Need a lathe to turn 60" length columns... any suggestions? :D - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 08-05-2011, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Need a lathe to turn 60" length columns... any suggestions? :D

Can someone please help steer me in the right direction here
I need to find a lathe that I can turn solid wood columns that are 60" in length and 9" approximately in diameter. I have spoken with JET/Powermatic and they say none of their lathes can do it, even with adding the extensions.
I don't really want to build one from scratch - is there one out there that handles this size? or do I need to purchase some sort of machine lather?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
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post #2 of 26 Old 08-05-2011, 05:22 PM
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If you look around...they are out there. A lot bigger than that...if you have the bucks.

Harrison, at your service!
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post #3 of 26 Old 08-05-2011, 05:36 PM
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you don't really need a lathe





http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f9/columns-28376/
You can make a router jig like this. bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 08-05-2011 at 05:41 PM.
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post #4 of 26 Old 08-05-2011, 05:46 PM
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Have you checked these folks out?

http://www.vegawoodworking.com/modell%201500T.htm
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post #5 of 26 Old 08-05-2011, 05:54 PM
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This one will go 11 feet, it's probably seen lots of columns in it's days.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ANTIQUE-WOOD-LAT...item2a12aed2ed

A wise man once told me, "Relax and enjoy life, cause you'll never get out of here alive." RIP Dad
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post #6 of 26 Old 08-05-2011, 06:42 PM
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I know my Delta midi lathe will take multiple extensions but I don't know if the horsepower will handle such a big load.
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post #7 of 26 Old 08-05-2011, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the suggestions guys!

Bill, that router jig is awesome! I'm just wondering - if I'm using teak to make the columns, will I go through like a zillion router bits?

Wildwood - thanks, that lathe looks awesome. I will call them and check HP and pricing for sure. I appreciate it!

Biscobob - that antique lathe is beautiful - I'm guessing it's belt driven?
Would be great if I could put a motor on it and drive it down here to Florida lol
Thing just looks so cool - probably has turned many awesome pieces in it's day.

Gary - I will check out Delta's site and maybe give them a call to see what they think, as the piece of wood I'm turning will be VERY heavy. Not sure how many HP it will need to run smooth, but prob at least 2 to 3?
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post #8 of 26 Old 08-05-2011, 08:34 PM
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I thought powermatic would let you attach more than one bed extension. I have a bed extension. If I added an extra full size bed which I'm pretty sure you can do, then I would easily have more than 60".
The Nova 16/24 will also take multiple bed extensions. Many years ago I took a Nova 3000 that had close to 40" of extension. I turned my Nova comet around (it had the same size bed) mounted my Nova 3000 tailstock on it and clamped the two lathe together. That gave me enough to turn a lamp that was close to 5 feet long.
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post #9 of 26 Old 08-05-2011, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidai View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions guys!


Gary - I will check out Delta's site and maybe give them a call to see what they think, as the piece of wood I'm turning will be VERY heavy. Not sure how many HP it will need to run smooth, but prob at least 2 to 3?
I wouldn't be surprised if thier larger lathes have the same capability. I would go with a larger lathe so as to have a beefy enough headstock and tailstock to handle the weight.
That router rig looks really promising though, and will be way cheaper over all. Router bits are not that expensive, just get a multi horse router to carry it.
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post #10 of 26 Old 08-06-2011, 04:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscobob View Post
This one will go 11 feet, it's probably seen lots of columns in it's days.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ANTIQUE-WOOD-LAT...item2a12aed2ed

That guy also has a ton of tooling for other woodworking machines. Prices are kinda iffy? Check out this antique Craftsman DP:

http://cgi.ebay.com/CRAFTSMAN-BENCH-...item27bd30c084

Harrison, at your service!
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post #11 of 26 Old 08-06-2011, 06:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidai View Post
Can someone please help steer me in the right direction here
I need to find a lathe that I can turn solid wood columns that are 60" in length and 9" approximately in diameter. I have spoken with JET/Powermatic and they say none of their lathes can do it, even with adding the extensions.
I don't really want to build one from scratch - is there one out there that handles this size? or do I need to purchase some sort of machine lather?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Search out a woodturner who drives a Nova XP lathe .
The bed sections can be added to , or be separated out along a sturdy workbench to that length and more .
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post #12 of 26 Old 08-06-2011, 08:07 AM
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Scroll down to Conover Lathe
http://www.woodcentral.com/shots/shot253.shtml

A used complete Conover lathe would be a good option if can find one.

Bill Grumbine uses a Vega Bowl lathe at one time demonstrated with this lathe for the company, still uses one in his classes. Might shoot him an e-mail if interested in Vega.
http://www.wonderfulwood.com/home.html

Vega about the cheapest option for long lathes even if buy duplicator to go with it. Used older Vega lathes have size spindles 1" x 8 tpi and 1 1/8" x 8 tpi vice 1 1/4" x 8 tpi.


Cheapest option is use the router set up posted above, or make two piece on regular full size lathe.

Last edited by wildwood; 08-06-2011 at 08:10 AM.
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post #13 of 26 Old 08-06-2011, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidai View Post
Can someone please help steer me in the right direction here
I need to find a lathe that I can turn solid wood columns that are 60" in length and 9" approximately in diameter. I have spoken with JET/Powermatic and they say none of their lathes can do it, even with adding the extensions.
I don't really want to build one from scratch - is there one out there that handles this size? or do I need to purchase some sort of machine lather?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks

Here ya go:



Used to set-up and run these little guys, too:




Harrison, at your service!

Last edited by H. A. S.; 08-06-2011 at 09:21 AM.
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post #14 of 26 Old 08-06-2011, 09:14 AM
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How many columns?

Quote: I need to find a lathe that I can turn solid wood columns that are 60" in length and 9" approximately in diameter. I have spoken with JET/Powermatic and they say none of their lathes can do it, even with adding the extensions.

How many?
Solid wood will check/crack. If that's not a problem OK, but as shown in the router jig a column can be made to appear solid and will be much more stable if you use segments glued together.

Budget?
These lathes can cost anywhere from $3000 to $7000 new.
If you find and old metal working lathe it may be cheaper, but it will weigh 1000 lbs or more.

Home built?
You can take a headstock with a 12" swing and use an I beam or a pair of channels to make a bed of any length. The tail stock can be moveable in either bolt hole or within the channel flanges. This approach will get you there at far less cost than a custom lathe with extensions.

Sections?
Use 2 sections of 30", or 3 of 20", to create the 60" required length as was suggested.

Veneer?
You can use a hollow form made like the router jig concept and cover it with Teak veneer and achieve a stable column with a continuous look.


Think outside the box and you will come up with other ideas.
bill





The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 08-06-2011 at 09:25 AM.
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post #15 of 26 Old 08-06-2011, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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thanks again for the responses everyone.

Bill, thanks for the suggestions - as far as solid wood goes, I can use a laminated piece, but it is preferable for a solid piece. As long as the checking and cracking isn't too large it shouldn't be a big deal, plus as long as my teak is dried enough/old enough, I don't think anything major should happen. My budget is decent, so I figured on spending around 5k for a new machine. I'd rather not go through the process at this point of the home built scenario, due to time constraints and lack of experience on my end. My project can't be done in sections due to the nature of the final product and it's functionality. Veneer won't cut it either, as the piece is functional and not for decoration (though looking good won't hurt :D )

So after some more research and following everyone's suggestions it seems the Vega is pretty sweet, as well the NOVA XP looks like a well built machine as well. Also, as John Lucas restated my thoughts about the Powermatic being extendable - even though when I called them directly and asked the female (grunt) on the phone put me on hold and then said they could not handle the size I needed - I searched further online - not only did I find pictures of the powermatic 3520b with a 50 inch !!!! extension on it, but it seems to be quite common - that would give me way beyond what I need (84 inches) total - and the 3520b seems like a dream machine, with adjustable everything. It's truly silly that the FIRST thing I did was call them directly, and they sent me on a wild goose chase. So now the question is:
Powermatic, Vega, or Nova XP?
And if I get the 2HP Powermatic - is it better to get the Single phase, or should I get the 3 phase, as I have a converter that I can use?
What will be better in the long run for the machine? (I'm thinking 3 phase, but I don't know enough electrical to know if it makes THAT MUCH of a difference in the long run).
Thanks again everyone!
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post #16 of 26 Old 08-06-2011, 02:56 PM
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maybe I was too subtle...

You didn't ask for advice on how to make them, but my experience when trying to use wood from "logs" is that invariably they will check, just the nature of wood.
If this were my project and I/we don't know the application as yet, I would make them out of either segemented Teak as in the router jig photo or out of a stable wood like maple and then veneer over the top. It will save a ton of money (no need for an expensive lathe) and the Teak veneer will look great....no checks or cracks.
One source:
http://www.oakwoodveneer.com/veneer/teak.html

Another method would be to use Teak ply wood and kerf or saw cut the back side and bend it into the round columns...a bit more tricky for a column that small, but possible. No lathe required for this method either. The columns can be filled with 60" lengths of wood and then foam filled for strength and stabilty.

One source:
http://www.buckwoodcraft.com/marine_plywood.htm


Best of luck to you regardless. bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #17 of 26 Old 08-06-2011, 04:45 PM
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Either the Nova or the Vega would seem like a good answer. Sure beats using a hand plane.








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post #18 of 26 Old 08-06-2011, 04:52 PM
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Here is an interesting way to make use of a sectional bed lathe .
This video did the rounds a few years ago , and is always worth a second viewing

Vasebuilding Dance by Paoli
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post #19 of 26 Old 08-06-2011, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuka Jock View Post
Here is an interesting way to make use of a sectional bed lathe .
This video did the rounds a few years ago , and is always worth a second viewing

Vasebuilding Dance by Paoli
First time i've seen it, thanks for sharing
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post #20 of 26 Old 08-06-2011, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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LOL, no Bill, my bad, because I could have made life easier by just posting some pics of the desired end result first - then there wouldn't be confusion - because it's hards for anyone to imagine the functionality of a 60" long, 9" diameter piece of solid wood. The segmented teak would work nicely as well - but for practitioners, it's "just not the same" as the traditional thing - which was a solid piece. Quite possibly segmented is even better - as it won't crack all the way through. But I think teak, if it's dry enough, is pretty resilient.
Cabinetman - you got that right about the hand plane! Although in the old days that's the only way they could do it.
Manuka - thanks for the vid, saw it before, and it's pretty awesome (except for the part where he uses the chainsaw, that was outright scary lol)

Here's some pics to clear up the confusion :)
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