Yes. I disagree, and there will probably be many others.
The quick change toolposts are good. They are almost as rigid as a one-piece tool block, and they are quicker and of course easy to index. But there are times where you have to work in a tight area for which they are simply too large. That's where the lantern toolpost becomes necessary.
Use your lathe for a while. Eventually, you'll be glad you have the lantern toolpost.
I've encountered a very few setups where the small size of the lantern post helped.
I use a Multifix toolpost
allows the tool to rotate in 9 degree steps, almost as freely as a lantern post. It lets me position a hand-ground HSS bit to both turn a diameter and face a shoulder, using either a straight or an angled Armstrong holder or directly in the QC block.
On my lathe there is a range of workpiece lengths where the carriage doesn't have much travel between the head and tailstocks when the work is held by both a collet and the tailstock center. The tailstock spindle is a replacement and wobbles if extended out very far.
Typically on these small parts I need to lean in close with a magnifier and don't want spinning chuck jaws nearby. I have 3" and 4" Enco/HF/Sherline chucks but they aren't as precise or rigid as collets and often don't let me move the work back and forth between the lathe and an indexer in the mill. In these cases a lantern post would be useful if I didn't have the Multifix.
I didn't show turning tool examples when Bob Lalonde asked because the way I grind them doesn't work so well in a non-rotating Aloris type tool post. They look like threading bits but blunter, 70 - 80 degrees included angle. This shape doesn't requires much grinding from the original square end, and is easy to resharpen. It's about the right shape for a bent toolholder if you watch the angles.
Original Swiss Multifix tool posts are very expensive and Enco seems to have discontinued them. I bought some extra Chinese (?) tool holders from Tools4cheap
fit fine and are well made. If they were priced more competitively I think they would be popular.
I've wished I had the versatility of my home setup a few times when running a CNC lathe with a Dorian toolpost and indexable carbide, but always could do the job.
Mostly, I use the Aloris BX style quick-change post for probably 98% of my work. I sure would NOT want to go back to the lanturn post for most work.
However, I sometimes find myself having to work into odd corners or recesses that cannot be easily reached with standard quick change tooling. I've made special quick-change tool-holders for some of these situations, but even then, the problem arises. It's often quicker to switch to the lantern toolpost than make a new toolholder, or custom grind a special tool bit for some oddball one-off application.
Note that I already have a HUGE collection of odd custom toolbits and "Armstrong" style tool holders with various angles to choose from. Thus some one of these is probably very close to what I need for any application.
And, sure, you can set a quick-change post at odd angles, but then you've lost one of the advantages of even having a quick-chage post ... repeatability after changing tools. After such a change you have to reset the post, which wastes time.
You create the same problem when switching to the lantern post. So, it becomes a question of whether it takes more time to realign the toolpost, or custom grind some really odd toolbit.
I realize that there are some other more elaborate quick-change posts that allow intermediate settings, and might solve some of this problem, but that's not what I have.
Daniel Mitchell Shop Supervisor Physics & Engineering Univ. of Michigan - Flint
I rarely use hand-ground HSS tools, but once in a while I have need for one in a special case. While I had an Atlas lathe around, I kept a lantern post, but only used it once every 5 years or so. It DID give you the ability to adjust tool height independently from tool angle, which is nice with the hand ground cutters.
I don't have a lantern post on my 15" Sheldon, and have not missed it. I can get what I want on the HSS bits, but you do have to grind the top rake into the tool, which does take a couple minutes.
If you are going to use primarily carbide indexable tooling (your surplus connections should make finding some suitable inserts pretty easy) then the QC is the way to go. If you will be hand grinding HSS (Mo Max or similar Tungsten-Cobalt tooling is really fine and very available at flea markets, etc.) then you at least want a setup that allows you to control the tool angle so you don't have to grind the tops of all those cutters for top rake.
When I got the Sheldon, I looked on eBay for a month or two and bought a lifetime supply of coated triangular carbide inserts for about a buck apiece, and then bought a 5-piece holder set for that style.
I really don't see why unless you had some holders and a post. If I did, I'd use them when appropriate.
I have a genuine Aloris AXA on a spacer on my lathe. It came with it You want a BXA for yours.
Quick change is nice. Drop in a tool, do the job, drop in another.
I don't have a dro but from what I have gathered, you can set up multiple coordinates so you can have each tool holder have it's own offsets.
If I had a dro, I'd set the compound at 29.5 and square up the post. If I needed to use straight bit (C type) to cut a chamfer, I'd rotate the compound to what put the bit at 45 to the edge of my part. Then I'd put it back for all the other tools.
As you can gather, I'd love a dro for my lathe.
-- "Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
There are probably going to be some used Shumatech DRO 350's on the market in the next few months . They just had a major powerbuy of something like
600 of the new DRO 550's , and I'm bettin' at least some who are upgrading are going to sell their 350's . I just built mine , and for a home shop machinist it's just a swell unit . Has multiple tool offsets , many other features I haven't learned to use yet .
will get you to the website to check out the specs . FWIW , I'm well under 400 bucks for 3 axes on my RF45 clone . Including scales , cables etc .
Oh my gawd. I actually agree with TMT on something. Worse yet, Gunner may agree too.
I once mounted a lantern on a large steel bar bolted to the carriage and had the tool six inches past the end of the lathe. The part was held in in a steady rest right at the end of the lathe (plus chuck on other end of course. So I turned a part longer than the lathe. Rare use, of course, but try that any other way.
My Clausing came without a toolpost, and I put a turret toolpost which I had on it for a short while, while I ordered a Phase-II Series
200 (pretty much the same as an Aloris BXA), and have never used the turret toolpost since.
I've seen used lantern toolposts, and never bought them (either on eBay or in surplus tool piles), even though I could have gotten them quite inexpensively. (Of course, if I did, I would also have to get several Armstrong style tool holders which would be (these days) almost as expensive as the Phase-II.)
I *do* have the lantern style toolpost for my old Atlas/Craftsman 6x18" lathe -- because when I was using it, I could not find a properly sized quick-change toolpost.
And the 7" Rockwell/Delta shaper has a lantern style toolpost too, but that kind does not have tilt built into it, and the tools which I have for the shaper are appropriate for the holder. It has the advantage of not adding as much weight to the "clapper box" as any quick-change toolpost would, and also I don't need to change tools frequently on the shaper.
Not on a lathe for which a good quick-change toolpost is available, at least. On the shaper, it is what works, and the quick-change is not needed.
I'll agree with most of what Don states above, with the following observations ...
My toolpost is a Phase-II "BXA" sized dovetail post. It is completely satisfactory on the Rockwell 14" lathe I have at the university. I have a similar "AXA" size post on my Logan 10" at home.
Yes, I have lantern toolposts and extensive sets of Armstrong-style tool holders and bits for both lathes at both locations. This *IS* important for my original argument. For most of my odd jobs I will already have some tool/holder combination that is close to what I need. Perhaps only some minor regrind is necessary, if that.
Without the above collection of tooling, in most cases the work could be done by setting the quick-change toolpost to some odd angle and custom-grinding some weird toolbit (this can take considerable time, and may require a non-common toolbit (extra long, etc.). Switching to the lantern post and existing tooling is often much quicker.
Basically, there's not much if anything that CAN'T be done with either style post. The advantages of the quick change are: 1) rapid changing of tools without having to set angles and heights. 2) Repeatability of settings when changing tools. HOWEVER, when the work won't allow these things (easily), then the more versatile (if troublesome) lantern post may be the answer.
Some of the specialized Aloris toolholders Don mentions would certainly assist in solving some problems. Sadly, the Aloris items are fairly expensive, and our department budget usually requires a cheap, of time consuming, solution. We're often "long on time and short on money". Phase-II doesn't offer nearly the variety in low-cost toolholders. I've made a few special holders for the Phase-II post (that hold tool bits at odd angles) that are useful.
Some of the work I need to do involves machining (often INSIDE) complex shaped existing vacuum fittings and chambers and such. Cutting additional O-ring grooves or adding/altering ports are such applications. These structures are fabrications, customized for various research applications, and often have odd protrusions either inside or outside. Often these things are not well planned, but just 'grow' as the project develops. New ports are added, or fittings silver-soldered on. Old ports get plugged (not always neatly). THEN somebody wants further modifications. Just getting into the thing, or around the obstructions, is usualy the problem.
Tooling to do this often requires a long reach and strange angles. Sometimes a boring bar, sometimes used as an EXTERNAL toolholder, is the answer. Sometimes a lantern post is the solution. In either case, a long reach is often needed, with corresponding lack of rigidity. Light cuts with sharp tools are a necessity. As is often the case, one spends 95% of the time on the setup, and 5% making the cut.
As is mine -- the wedge style, FWIW. The reason that I explicitly mention the Aloris toolpost is to call attention to the one with three dovetails, to increase the flexability. This I would like to have, but probably can't afford as a hobby machinist.
But all of the exiting tool holders which I pointed out will work nicely on my Phase-II Series 200 (their designation for BXA).
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O.K. I've seen holders for other systems which hold the tools at strange angles.
So -- not only are the workpieces strange in shape, but also usually stainless steel to survive the bakeout prior to high vacuum work.
O.K. This is something which calls for using whatever will work, and not a problem which I normally encounter.
O.K. The Aloris style boring bar holders can be a good start on this, with the lantern style toolholder at the end of the bar.
Which is what I normally do -- so your case is extreme, but may apply for others here too.
Since I don't have the collection of Armstrong type holders, going to the toolpost would represent a significant expense for me, just to get the holders. And that is money which I would rather put into getting one of the adjustable angle Aloris insert holders.
scroll down the left navigation to "workholding" (yes, I know it's toolholding, but that seems to be where they've lumped it in).
I seem to recall paging through an Allen Tool catalog that listed a bunch of this style toolholder as well, but in searching for them, I found they were part of the Danaher group along with Armstrong, so I guess that comes as no surprise.