Beginner's Lathe Projects

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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).


Re: Beginner's Lathe Projects
Sorry, almost forgot:
http://www.chronos.ltd.uk/acatalog/index.html?http%3A//www.chronos.ltd.uk/acatalog/CLARKE_TOOLS_AND_MACHINERY.html&CatalogBody


Re: Beginner's Lathe Projects
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)


Re: Beginner's Lathe Projects

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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 ?


Re: Beginner's Lathe Projects
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.


Re: Beginner's Lathe Projects
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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

Re: Beginner's Lathe Projects
wrote:

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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.

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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!

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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.


Re: Beginner's Lathe Projects
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.


Re: Beginner's Lathe Projects
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:

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Re: Beginner's Lathe Projects
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?


Re: Beginner's Lathe Projects
@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com:

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

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

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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


Re: Beginner's Lathe Projects
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.


Re: Beginner's Lathe Projects
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


Re: Beginner's Lathe Projects
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
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Re: Beginner's Lathe Projects

F. George McDuffee wrote:
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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.


Re: Beginner's Lathe Projects
wrote:

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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

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