Ned had a good suggestion about using 2 90 degree gearboxes, except that I would have to drive the aux headstock with a pulley/belt setup to maintain the spindle height.
Leo suggested that I buy a chinese lathe & use the headstock. Ok, except the chinese headstocks are way too small. My lathe has a 24" swing, with 1
1/2" threads on the end of the spindle. Chinese lathes have 1x8 threads. My tool rest banjo is plenty long to support a tool rest for the aux headstock.
Pete suggested a front wheel drive axle, with constant velocity joints. Probably that is what I will do. Only problem is that it makes the aux headstock project further away from the ways than I would prefer. But still probably the best idea.
Bill Noble suggested I look at the woodturning NG. I have been turning since 1963, am a founding member of the AAW, have built 3 large lathes, demonstrated at 3 National Symposiums and all the Texas Symposiums (13 so far) and I find the Woodturning NG entertaining sometimes, but not very useful.
Mark asked if I could rotate the headstock. Nope, thus the desire for the aux headstock. And in my case, the back of the spindle has the pulleys from the drive mechanism, so in effect it is double-ended, but I cannot mount wood to the other end of the spindle.
For those who are curious to see the lathe, go to
, click on 'members web sites', then on 'James R. Johnson' and finally on 'see lathe here'.
Thanks for all who took the time to respond.
Regards, James R. Johnson