Beginner's Lathe Projects

I'm wondering if anyone can point me to a site that has diagrams, castings etc for beginner's lathe projects. My dad's bought a lathe, but we don't have anything to make on it yet. I would be interested in projects not requiring castings, or sites that sells fairly cheap beginner to intermediate unmachined castings and diagrams (my dad was an engineer, and I've used a lathe a small amount at school, so we're not absolute beginners).

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Sorry, almost forgot: http://www.chronos.ltd.uk/acatalog/index.html?http%3A//www.chronos.ltd.uk/acatalog/CLARKE_TOOLS_AND_MACHINERY.html&CatalogBody

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Sorry, almost forgot. This is my lathe: http://www.chronos.ltd.uk/acatalog/index.html?http%3A//www.chronos.ltd.uk/acatalog/CLARKE_TOOLS_AND_MACHINERY.html&CatalogBody (CLARKE 6 SPEED LATHE WITH 12 SPEED MILL DRILL)

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Take it back, get something better

_ANYTHING_ is better than that piece of junk. (Yes, I'm speaking from experience here)

Maybe look at an Emco ?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I would follow your advice, but there's really nothing I can do about it. It's not my lathe, it's really my dad's, though he bought it for me to learn on. He spent a huge amount of effort getting it, and I really couldn't complain at all.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

wrote:

That equipment is just fine. Plenty of really nice work is turned out on those machines. I presume the lathe is the 9x20? Good first project is the compound mount upgrade.

Rex

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

wrote:

Have you ever used one? You're posting from earthlink - now at a wild guess, you're on the wrong _continent_ to even see Clarke equipment close up.

From whom? I only know one person who fell for this lathe (I still feel guilty I didn't talk him out of it first). He never even used it - sold the thing brand new in box at a considerable loss and bought an old Harrison instead. Apart from the other problems with it, there isn't even a saddle traverse - you have to wind it along on the leadscrew!

9x20 ? The lathe we're talking about here is more like a 7x16

I appreciate that we're talking about a beginner's lathe here, and you can make do with all sorts stuff if you have to - but these blue Clarke lathes are absolute dogs (the little yellow ones are smaller, but quite decent). You could get an Emco or Warco at the same budget and have a far more useful machine.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yeah, I know you know what you're talking about, but I can't change it now, even if I wanted to. It was bought second hand off ebay anyway, so it's not such a huge loss if we sell it. I'll see how it goes with this lathe, and maybe in a while, when I have a budget of my own, I can buy a new one or put some money in that direction.

My dad drove a huge way across the country to get this (because it was bought off ebay) and also a huge amount of effort getting it up the stairs into our outbuilding, it'd be a bit ungrateful not to do anything with it.

Thanks for the advice though.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Before I dismissed the lathe/mill I would consider what the machine tools were like in 1890-1900 and what people were able to accomplish with them.

You won't be able to take big cuts, but unless you are in a production environment and trying to meet a quota, you don't need to.

Uncle George

wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It was bought second hand off ebay, so it's not such a huge loss if we sell it. I'll see how it goes with this lathe, and maybe in a while, when I have a budget of my own, I can buy a new one or put some money in that direction.

My dad drove a huge way across the country to get this (because it was bought off ebay) and also a huge amount of effort getting it up the stairs into our outbuilding, it'd be a bit ungrateful not to do anything with it.

Just so I know, what are this lathe's deficiencies. If it is absolutely essential in your opinion for me to get rid of it, could you please tell me it's faults?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You've got it now so you might as ell take advantage of it and use it.

Sounds like you dad is a good man. Based on you're appreciation I'd have to say you are too.

It should work just fine if you stay within the lathes limits. It's a great way to learn in your own backyard. If you can, see if you can take a class at a local tech school or community college.

There are loads of small projects that you could do to gain experience. Start with something really simple. Make a scriber or two for yourself. Get some 1/8" or 3/16" drill rod (Oil hardening O1). Chuck it in the lathe and file the end to a sharp point. You can then heat treat the steel by heating it up with a torch and quenching it in oil, or even a bar of soap. Then temper or draw it down by re-heating it with the torch and slowly cooling it. You can gage the proper temperatures by the color of the heated steel. Once the scriber is heat treated you can put it back in the lathe and polish it up with some emory. If it lost its sharp point along the way you can stone it sharp in the lathe. This project is a good way to get a feel for removing metal by hand. I think it is an important step to take before you start cutting with bits under power.

Next project you can make yourself some brass drifts or pin punches. Brass is free machining and is ideal for your first cutting project. Make nice ones with knurled handles.

Next use some more O1 and make yourself some center punches, prick punches, and a set of pin punches. These tasks will require you to learn how to properly sharpen HSS tool bits. Forget carbide on this machine, it's not worth the effort.

By now you'll be itching to do some milling. Blue up some flat stock and use your scriber to lay out a machinist square. Cut it out using a hack saw. Mill it as square as you can get it in the machine. Then file it square by hand. This is a very trying and difficult thing to do, but it was one of the tasks I had to do when I was learning and it is worthwhile. Hopefully by now you have some better way of heat treating by now than a torch. Say a friend, or your own equipment. Then you can heat treat the square and then stone and lap it to final squareness and finish.

Just a few ideas to get you started. I know I didn't include a lot of detail, but when you're ready, ask for instructions here. You'll get plenty of advice.

--

Dan


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thank you so much. That was quite possibly the most helpful post someone's ever made for me on the internet. I'll definitely do some of those things once I've got some material. My dad's promissed me some basic stationary steam engine castings for Christmas, which he'll be helping me machine out. That should be a lot of fun too. I don't have a torch at home, but I'm doing Engineering at school for GCSE this year, and next year for A Level, so I could ask the teachers for a personal favour. Shouldn't be a problem.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Almost forgot, my lathe: http://www.chronos.ltd.uk/acatalog/index.html?http%3A//www.chronos.ltd.uk/acatalog/CLARKE_TOOLS_AND_MACHINERY.html&CatalogBody

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Part of owning your own lathe is making stuff the way you want/need it.

Get a bunch of tool catalogs and old machining books and scan these for ideas.

Make the tools you want such as a rear mounted cut-off tool holder, pump-staff for centering/locating parts on faceplates/chucks, die holders for threading, quick change tool holders.

Home Shop Machinist and Machinist Workbench magazines are also good. see http://www.homeshopmachinist.net/ a little pricy but worth the cost.

see http://www.krfcompany.com/overview.html

I find lindsay's reprint books to be a goldmine of information. see http://www.lindsaybks.com/

see some of the student machining projects from college on my website at http://www.mcduffee-associates.us/machining/craftmachine.htm

All three of Lautard's books are very good. I am anticipating the 4th. see http://lautard.com/books.htm

Uncle George

wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

F. George McDuffee wrote:

Great ideas, thanks a lot. I searched in vain online for a long time for projects, and the ones I found at school were all things we already had. Though my teacher did suggest a bell punch, which sounded like a good idea to me. Thanks for all the links too, your school site, particularly, was very interesting. I'm looking forward to getting started.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

wrote:

We make a pretty nifty whistle with our freshmen students. Drawings are at http://neme-s.org/images/PDF%20Files/pdf_download_page.htm

Brass core and 1/2" copper shell. Just mind the diameters on the core for best results.

Errol Groff

Instructor, Machine Tool Department

H.H. Ellis Technical High School 643 Upper Maple Street Danielson, CT 06239

New England Model Engineering Society www.neme-s.org

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.