Using wood lathe for plastic etc. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-19-2010, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Using wood lathe for plastic etc.

Hi, new here. Looks like a nice site.
I have occasion to need to make some parts from Delrin, aluminum or brass & need some advise about accessories for my lathe. I have an older Delta Midi Lathe & want some sort of x-y table or cross slide vise used on milling machines to attach where the tool rest fits. This would allow me to turn some uniform dimensioned parts. The result would give me the functionality that a metal lathe tool carriage has. Please excuse my terminology, as I am just best guessing here. I know that some turners use something similar for precision work & am hoping someone here can point me in the right direction.
Thanks,
kev

I think that things should work the way I want them to.
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-19-2010, 08:32 PM
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Buy a cross feed from someone parting out a metal lathe and fabricate it to the bed.

***For the record*** Ive made hundreds of guitar bodies,never put one together and cant play a note.
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post #3 of 14 Old 07-19-2010, 08:43 PM
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A cross slide vise will work

2-Way Cross Slide Vises (WT)
http://www.wttool.com/product-exec/p...lide_Vises_WT_

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 #4 of 14 Old 07-19-2010, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
Don't put your money on anything like this unless you purchase one on amazon for around $350.00. I bought one like this to try and do milling on my drill press too much play in the ways no matter what you do to tighten the ways. I ended up chipping an end mill because of the play. Maybe you could control wood and delrin but not any type of metal. All you need to do is read the reviews which I did but ignored the advice. Now I have a good paper weight.
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post #5 of 14 Old 07-19-2010, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Don't put your money on anything like this unless you purchase one on amazon for around $350.00. I bought one like this to try and do milling on my drill press too much play in the ways no matter what you do to tighten the ways. I ended up chipping an end mill because of the play. Maybe you could control wood and delrin but not any type of metal. All you need to do is read the reviews which I did but ignored the advice. Now I have a good paper weight.
[/QUOTE]

yep sound advice, have seen some of the el cheepos and they aint worth a cracker, certainly not for milling, drilling maybe.

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post #6 of 14 Old 07-20-2010, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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OK, thanks y'all. I had looked at one of these at Harbor Freight today & found the play was horrible. Actually, I don't need anything that has a lot of travel as long as it can be repositioned on the table. Something will come to me.
Thanks,
kev

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post #7 of 14 Old 07-20-2010, 09:19 AM
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You don't need and XY table to turn anything softer than steel. Plastics, aluminum,brass and copper can all be turned using the same High Speed Steel lathe tools you use to turn wood. You have to take much smaller controlled bites but it turns quite well.
It does turn slow because you can't take large cuts. I had a glass artist who was adding aluminum to his work and asked me if there was a better way than using a metal lathe which took him forever to get the compound curves. What we started doing was roughing out the shape on my metal lathe and then using the wood lathe and hand tools to fine tune the shape and soften the curves.
If you feel you must have a cross feed don't waste your money on the crossfeed vices. They just aren't rigid enough. You can buy cross feed tables from www.useenco.com or www.mscdirect.com. Then you'll have to buy a tool holder of some sort and adapt it to the table. It's a lot of hassle, been there done that.
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-20-2010, 11:23 AM
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what sizes are you looking at turning in plastic and metal?
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post #9 of 14 Old 07-20-2010, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Last piece I turned in delrin was OD 13/32" x 7/8". Thing is, the OD had to be exact for the whole 7/8" & I was having trouble getting that precise with a free floating tool. The tools I have cut fine, it was just a matter of being able to keep the precision.

I think that things should work the way I want them to.

Last edited by bugeyed; 07-21-2010 at 08:21 AM. Reason: Content
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post #10 of 14 Old 07-21-2010, 08:30 AM
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mm wood lathe and accuracy i dont think thay go together. Nope pretty sure thay dont

Old wood workers never die thay just get dry rot
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post #11 of 14 Old 07-21-2010, 08:57 AM
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add $50.00 and get this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Willing View Post
Don't put your money on anything like this unless you purchase one on amazon for around $350.00 I bought one like this to try and do milling on my drill press too much play in the ways no matter what you do to tighten the ways. I ended up chipping an end mill because of the play. Maybe you could control wood and delrin but not any type of metal. All you need to do is read the reviews which I did but ignored the advice. Now I have a good paper weight.
http://www.harborfreight.com/7-inch-...the-93212.html
$399.99

Click on image to zoom

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post #12 of 14 Old 07-21-2010, 09:07 AM
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There is a "fix" for this loose ways issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
Granted this vise is $50.00, and it's not a machinist's lathe, but you can back out the cutting tool to elmiinate the "slop" in the threads, then tighten a gib screw at the desired cutting depth and lock the cross feed in place. Then you can run the horizontal travel for the 3/4" length you need. It should not be a problem. I have an older one
and it's not good for milling on the drill press because of the "slop" in the threads, but once you lock the cross feed it should work OK.
JMO. bill

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post #13 of 14 Old 07-21-2010, 09:42 AM
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I've owned 2 of the milling vises. I tuned them as best I could and simply could not get rid of the chatter when trying to use them to mill wood in my drill press. I bought one of these
http://www.photo.tntech.edu/digital/...irrors19Jul10/
Then I added an inexpensive milling vice and it worked fine. It would be very simple to just put a cutter in the vise and get the kind of accuracy you need. It probably won't be much better than .005" on a wood lathe but should be good enough for most uses.
I had one of the little metal lathes like pictured above. It would not give me better than .003" and the motor blew up fairly quickly. Fortunately the motor housing, which is what broke, was plastic and bonded together well with epoxy so I was able to fix it.
I stepped up to a used Smithy. I'm still tuning it up but getting tolerances at .003" now. I should be able to get below that with a little more work.
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post #14 of 14 Old 07-21-2010, 09:44 AM
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if you are going to try making parts from plastic or metal i would brake down and get a dedicated lathe for that. trying to modify your wood lathe to do this will never get you anything with any accuracy.my best suggestion would be a outfit called soigeneris, the guy that runs this place is jeff birt. he offers all of the mills and assorted cutters for working with plastics and metals. he offers taig lathes and mills. there is a web group the taig owners club and the guys on there make steam engines and such with there taig lathes.
the central machinery lathe is ok but you will not get any support from harbor freight if you run into any problems.
the taig lathes are made here in the good ol usa and getting support for these lathes is top notch.
just my thought!
oh and by the way i have a taig lathe that i use for plastics and metals.
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