D1-4 spindle or $700?

Hello all,
The Enco 12x36 belt-driven lathe is speaking to me. The money and noise
factors favor it over the geared head. How big a deal is the threaded
spindle vs. D1-4?
My hunch is that most things I would do would either be effectively
self-centering by being chucked, turned and faced in one setup, or they
would be milled and bored and then mounted in a 4-jaw chuck and then
indicated to run true. The problem is that I have next to no lathe
experience, so predicting what I will need is a little risky; if I am
kidding myself, please speak up. I do know that both the IRS and an
arborist have alternate suggestions for the price difference - actually,
the IRS has ambitions that far exceed it, but you get the idea.
A couple of reservations about a threaded spindle: will chuck changes be
a nightmare? Less judgmentally, how does one hold the spindle to allow
it? Is the reverse switch an accident waiting to happen? If not, just
how hard is it to remove the chuck?? :) Anything else I should be asking?
Points about round stock and collets are well taken. Still, I _think_ I
could simply turn to a desired diameter and be pretty much done???
Otherwise, the cross and compound dials are 0.100/rev, and the machine
is inherently imperial, which is what I suspect I will want for the next
few decades or so ;)
Another good question to ask of any owners of the 12x36 belt-driven
lathe: would you buy it again?
Thanks,
Bill
Reply to
Bill Schwab
Loading thread data ...
Unless you are going to cut LH threads your assumptions seem valid.
Screws are one more variance contributing to runout in any chuck. Does it have a taper for collets for small 1 1/16" and less turning.
I'd go for a D or L series spindle nose but then that is me.
You have valid thoughts, if the price difference makes sense to you than do what makes you happy. We make tradeoffs all the time and it sounds like you have thought this through.
Besides, this might not be your only lathe in this life ;)
Wes
Reply to
Wes
Well, anything that needs a D1-anything mount will cost more than threaded. You can make your own threaded backplates, faceplates, etc. right on the lathe. In theory, you could make a D1 mount, too, but it is a lot more critical. Whatever mounts to the spindle by camlock needs to have botht the taper and flat mate up simultaneously. That requires some precision fixtures to get it to fit both at the same time.
On the other hand, there is a lot of D1 camlock hardware out there, so you can buy expensive stuff like collet chucks surplus if you can wait and watch for a while. The advantage, of course, is a D1-anything mount is a HELL of a lot more solid connection that a small thread. Also, generally, the spindle through hole on a camlock spindle will be a lot bigger than on a threaded spindle for the same size lathe.
Certainly not. The only nightmare is the jammed chuck, which should be a rare event under normal use. There is either a way to lock the spindle (engage backgear with direct drive still engaged) or a wrench to put on the spindle to hold it. Changing a threaded chuck is almost too easy.
Less judgmentally, how does one hold the spindle to allow
Yes. You have to be very careful when running the lathe in reverse. The only times I did this was to back up when threading a metric thread, or when using a toolpost grinder. On some lathes you have to release belt tension, start the motor, then ease the belt in, or the start will unwind the chuck. If not, just
Usually, you put the chuck key in the hole and give it a small pull, and it is loose.
Yes, for work that mounts once, cut it and it's done, that's right.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
As a hobbyist who does some work for hire, I have used several lathes in my shop, at a friend's shop and in a couple of different vo-tech shops, each of which had 4 or 5 different lathes. I've used both belt drive and gear head lathes and both threaded headstocks those with the D series mounts. I don't think the noise of a gear head lathe is all that big a deal. And it sure is nice to be able to throw a couple of levers rather than dinking around with dirty (sooner or later) belts. Belts wear out. I would prefer the D1-4 spindle over the threaded spindle, especially since you are just starting out and don't have a bunch of threaded adapters to get rid of. Also, I like the idea of changing chucks without having the bang on the gears to get the chuck loose. Use a wooden board to lay on the ways under the chuck. Carefully set the chuck onto the board and then lift it carefuly into place. My "board" has slats nailed to the front and back edges so it can't slide off the ways. I keep it handy at all times so I am never tempted to make a spindle-tooling change without it. Get the biggest spindle hole you can afford!!!
Pete Stanaitis --------------------
Bill Schwab wrote:
Reply to
spaco
Wes,
Good point.
There is a 5MT taper with an adapter to reduce to 3MT. That brings up a question: is there any reason I could not later buy a chuck (collet or otherwise) that fits the taper? Any limitations?
I appreciate the candor.
Within reason, I would like to think that's the case. Again, not knowing very much about lathes makes it difficult to guess what I will eventually find useful.
True enough. I thought about low-balling it with just that idea in mind, but I fear I would outgrow a 7x20 in short order.
Thanks!
Bill
Reply to
Bill Schwab
Chucks don't get stuck on a D1-4 spindle. They definitely do get stuck on threaded spindles, and they can be a bear to deal with when (not if) they do.
Reply to
Don Foreman
A fast response, not having read any other comments. Pardon me if I'm simply repeating things others may say.
I'd avoid a threaded spindle like the plague if it was my choice. There is *nothing* to recommend one. They serve poorly as compared to almost every other spindle system. The only thing they have going for them is that they are (were) widely used, particularly for older equipment, so you may be able to find accessories on the used market easier than those for other systems.
The D system, in my opinion, is the finest spindle system on the market. Considering the Monarch EE used it (D1-3), and all commercially rated engine lathes I've ever run do as well, aside from the LeBlond (L type spindle) , there's more than enough clear evidence that suggests it's the spindle of choice.
As far as I'm concerned, the threaded spindle system never should have been, but I suppose they had to start somewhere.
Harold
Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos
I mispoke myself there. LH or RH has nothing to do with it but it does determine which direction you will have to thread from to avoid spinning the chuck loose.
Wes
Reply to
Wes
Threaded spindles have one thing in their favor.
They are a darn sight better than a couple skinny nuts and bolts, when it comes to changing a chuck. A la the 7xXX mini's.
Other than that, Camlock would be my pick.
Cheers Trevor Jones
Reply to
Trevor Jones
You can probably get or adapt a collet chuck to fit a 5 Morse taper. You probably can't find a commercial adaptor for jaw-type chucks, and for good reason. You'd need some beefy drawtube to hold it on, if the chuck ever spun in the taper it could ruin the lathe by galling the taper, and God help you if a spinning 6" chuck ever fell out of the taper! If you don't mind surplus, there is D1-x stuff on eBay pretty regularly. My Sheldon 15" lathe has a D1-6, and I got a backplate and a 10" 4-jaw chuck for it by just being patient and letting the crazy bidding pass me by. You have to be a little careful, some eBay sellers may mis-identify the size of the D1 spindle of the item they are selling. So, you may want to have them measure it.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
I learned on a gear-head lathe with a D1-4 spindle that students had damaged by not cleaning out the recess before installing the chuck, and have a belt drive / threaded spindle lathe at home, also from a trade school, that is just fine for one operator who has gotten used to it and isn't doing mass production.
I consider 5C collets more important than the chuck mount or drive.
A single-phase motor won't instantly reverse if you push the switch handle too far; it just keeps running forward. It has to slow down until the start winding engages to reverse.
Jim Wilkins
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
What is the bore of headstock? 1 3/8" is minimum for using a 5MT to 5C collet adaptor and closing from the back side of headstock.
I've used screw, D, and L. L is accurate but a bit of a pita at times compared to the D. A nice conforming block of wood that accurately positions the chuck in relation to spindle makes all three types much nicer to deal with with chucks over 6".
Well you are taking the right approach by asking. Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
Could you give us an idea of your hobbies and the things you plan to make? Might help us in giving advice worth what you paid for it. ;)
Wes
Reply to
Wes
Don,
You seem to hold the majority opinion. Having just done battle (and won) with a Ford fan clutch, the point is very well taken. However, is there a reliable and appropriate place to grab the spindle? If it is just a matter of making a good connection and adding some leverage, then I should be able to live with it. Slight inconvenience is one thing; having to damage the machine to do a tool change is another.
As much as I like Enco, the real problem might be their offerings. I will look again for a comparable machine with a cam lock spindle.
Thanks!
Bill
Reply to
Bill Schwab
FWIW, I remove stubborn chucks on my South Bend (threaded spindle) with a strap wrench on the chuck body and a couple of blocks of wood stuffed around the bull gear, which engage the teeth. Not one tooth, but several teeth. I don't lock the bull gear to remove chucks.
I don't think I've had to use that method for ten years, though. If you keep the spindle nose clean it usually doesn't grab that hard. I don't like to put any pressure on the jaws but I'll put a pine stick in there most of the time and just give it a mild jerk, and it comes loose. I had a homemade tool that engaged the square socket in one of the jaw screws to do this, but after a couple of years I found it wasn't necessary.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
That's pretty much my experience, too. The chuck is very easy to unscrew unless I've been making interrupted cuts like rounding a large square block and even then it's not too bad as long as the belt wasn't tight. The only down side is that I can't take heavy smoking-blue-chip cuts with carbide unless it's 1" or less, in a collet. So I use the bandsaw to rough out large disks.
Jim Wilkins
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
With my HF gear head 12x36, gear noise is not significant, and shifting the head is much quicker than messing with belts. The shifts req some 'hand' to get right; the gates between speeds are very small. I reworked the detents to some degree of improvement; still not exactly satisfactory. JR Dweller in the cellar
Bill Schwab wrote:
Reply to
JR North
Having a lot of experience with Atlas/Craftsman lathes, and helping people with stuck chucks on these as the moderator of the Atlas/Craftsman group on Yahoo, first, let me point out that this is just not that big a problem. I did manage to get my chuck stuck once, in about 20 years of use. I usually just engaged the backgear without pulling the direct drive pin, and uncrewed the chuck with the chuck wrench. If that didn't work, I'd give the wrench a few taps with a bar or piece of handy wood. If that didn't get it loose, I then rigged a carrying strap I have around the step pulley and made an improvised strap wrench to hold the spindle. This has worked for just about every group member who had the stuck chuck problem.
Be wary of all the low-cost Chinese import machines. Some people have been happy with theirs, but I've seen some real horrors. A guy near me got one of these with no known brand, and it wouldn't even power on! It had a motor start handle on the carriage, and the linkage was out of adjustment. It had the usual gearbox full of metal chips and abrasive dust, and the bench had the adjustable feet so close together I was afraid the thing would fall over if you leaned on it. Even with the feet run down to the floor, you could set the lathe rocking with one finger!
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
I have a 13x36 belt drive Jet with a threaded spindle. Changing chucks is no big deal. I use a piece of 2" wood dowel about 2' long thru the chuck as a handle. Slip one end into the spindle hole and you can slide the chuck on or off easily and securely.
It also gives you a good two-handed grip to handle chucks off the machine.
I only had one instance of a really stuck chuck in 20 years of usage. I cut a piece of 2x4 to fit between a chuck jaw and the lathe bed to prevent reverse rotation, engaged back gear and bumped the reverse switch. Nothing to it. Normally the chuck key gives enough leverage to loosen a chuck. If you clean and lube the spindle thread when you change chucks, sticking very seldom happens.
Now, the important stuff. A belt drive is smooth and quiet and is much improved by using a 3-phase motor with a VFD. This arrangement is far better than any gear head machine with a constant speed motor. You get soft starting and infinite speed control with a finger tip. You can't use dynamic braking, but that is not a problem.
You will find that you almost never need to move the belts. Simply set the belt speed up to about 600 RPM at 60 Hz and let the VFD do all the speed variation. You can go from a crawl to 1200 RPM using this method.
If you watch ebay, 3-phase motor will be easy to find. I got a new, industrial grade, 2-hp Siemens TEFC for $70 when I converted my lathe. If you can buy the lathe with a 3-phase motor, that's even better. A VFD will cost about $200 or less. I used the original lathe mounted, reversing drum switch to control the VFD. Works fine even though the VFD control voltage is only 24V at a few mA. BTW, that drum switch control lever has a mechanical stop to prevent going into reverse with out a deliberate motion to by pass the stop. Accidently going into reverse is essentially impossible.
One more thing. Get some Power-Twist link belting from a Fenner dealer and replace those lumpy Chinese belts. The result is even less noise and vibration for many years.
Randal
Reply to
Randal O'Brian
Ed, Jim,
Jim Wilk>> FWIW, I remove stubborn chucks on my South Bend (threaded spindle) with a
Suppose you did overdo it, how do you remove the chuck then? The closest I get to burning chips is "deep" cuts with a flycutter on my mill. In that case, I cut only with the table moving left to right so the "angry" chips hit the wall instead of me - learned that one the hard way =:0 In most other circumstances, I can't usually keep an eye on everything all at once fast enough to take deep cuts w/o making scrap. There are exceptions, but I am typically more worried about ruining a part with a lot of work in it than I am about cutting faster.
Dumb question: why is the collet better? Is it taper mounted? I can see why that's better than threads for concentricity, but what about safety? I asked about taper mounted chucks, and the question of it flying out of the spindle was raised. My idealistic side wants to know why lathes appear not to have drawbars; you will probably say that it is so the stock can pass through the spindle???
Bill
Reply to
Bill Schwab
My older Enco 1024 has those feet close together (about 1 foot) but it certainly seems stable. I do intend to add some square tubing outriggers though, and put it on casters.
Reply to
Rex

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