This sounds like a very good conversion, but is a future project.
First, I will get the lathe going in its present form, and use it for a
while, for the experience.
The pictures (plus the text of this email) would make a nice addition to
That said, the bottom shaft on the variator does wobble badly, and I bet
it needs that famous plastic bushing.
I would certainly be interested.
Joe (Grease-Face) Gwinn
Even with good bushings the small shaft that retains the piston block
will wobble somewhat, mine did and I believe those bushings to be OK.
They looked pretty new when I stripped the original stuff out and there
was a spare set that came with the machine, I think somebody bought two
sets. Anyway, if you end up needing them, and I can find them, I'll
send them your way as I don't think I'll need them anymore.
BXA is the correct size for this machine, and the Phase II I have has
been more than adequate even though it's the (GASP) dreaded piston
version. It works just fine, if you just have to have the wedge style
go for it but don't be afraid of the piston type. I've used a genuine
Aloris 'D' size and it was quite nice, this on a much larger lathe than
mine, I also have some experience with an 'A' size wedge type (I don't
know what brand) and found it to be somewhat lacking. I'm pretty sure
it was not an Aloris but which import I couldn't say.
DoN gave me some good advice back when I got the Phase II which is to
replace the tool bit clamp setscrews with a decent USA brand, I bought a
box of 100 Holochrome brand and replaced them all. The original ones
were certainly of lesser quality and prone to stripping or splitting the
socket. I've made a couple of tool holders over time, the knurled thumb
nut is available from MSC, but I made a batch of my own. The jamb nuts
I purchased. I used imperial size fasteners for the homemade ones.
The lathe came to me with the familiar four position tool post, and was
adequate, just not convenient. The wedge post is for sure better.
I may well need those bushings, so I'm putting my dibs in. Thanks for
the kind offer.
I bought the manual from Clausing, and it should arrive this coming
week. Then, I will take the wobbling assembly apart, and will see what
I will see.
All reports point to BXA as the correct size. Given the small price
differential between Aloris and the knockoffs, I'm leaning towards
genuine Aloris, but had not really thought about piston versus wedge.
I guess the piston approach is more-or-less equivalent in mechanical
solidity to the Dickson, despite the differences in mechanical setup,
and the Dickson is also reported to be adequate.
Yes. Steel and tempering quality seems to be a weakness in all Chinese
and Indian machine-tool products.
I'll be replacing all the clamp screws on the Dickson-style toolpost
holders that came with the lathe, probably with Holochrome. I gather
that the Holochrome cap screws have been adequate on your Phase II
I also got a 4-side screwclamp holder, but with no attachment hardware
whatsoever. Who knows what it was to fit, as it seems a bit undersize
for the lathe.
That differential can be a lot larger if you luck into a sale
price on the Phase-II toolposts. (Unless you discover that they no
longer offer sale prices on the wedge style.
I believe the Dickson to be more rigid than the piston style
The wedge style pulls the dovetail holder into firm contact with
the wings of the dovetail on the toolpost, thus giving a fairly wide
The Dickson style toolpost pulls (via the T-slot and cam-driven
T-bolt) the widely separated V-ways into firm contact, giving similar
The piston style, however, pushes the holder *away* from the
toolpost, so the only firm contact is on the angled part of the
dovetail, and the center where the piston presses. The "wings" are
separated by a gap between the holder and the toolpost. To my mind,
this leaves a little more give possible.
Also -- a second thing to beware of with the piston style. If
there is no tool holder on either dovetail, the locking lever can rotate
a full 360 degrees, making it possible for the ball handle to come into
interference with the moving jaws of the chuck. I have read (here) of
it resulting in the ball handle being turned into shrapnel. Even aside
from this -- the angle at which the handle locks up the holder shifts by
90 degrees when you move from the turning station to the facing/boring
All in all -- I am much happier with the Wedge style, though at
the time I did not know of the lock-up lever angle changes.
They have in mine. FWIW, I wound up putting in imperial screws
instead of the metric ones. It *is* possible to re-thread them -- but
those holders are hard. The advantage to re-threading them is that I
use the same T-handled Allen wrench for both the Aloris and the Phase-II
holders. The Phase-II screws are 8mm, and the Aloris 5/16" (very close
in diameter), and the thread pitch is pretty close, so you don't have
much work to do until you are near the bottom of the threads in the
holder. I used a HSS gun tap for the purpose, and then replaced it with
a new and sharp one. Don't try it with a carbon steel one -- you will
almost certainly break that in the holders. :-)
Just make another T-nut and tap it for a center post of the
proper diameter. I've got one -- which came from a 13" Jet, and which I
used for the very short time it took to get the Phase-II set. (Yes, it
was on sale at the time.)
FWIW, the Royal collet closer on my 5914 also has no specific part number on
Are you getting the closer manual from Clausing or Royal? Last I heard,
Royal was about to stop selling manual closers in favor or automatic
versions. If that's true it could make a lot of sense to get all of your
questions asked (and replacement parts bought) now. In time the supply of
parts and availability of knowledgeable tech support will disappear.