Lathe arrived!

Hello all,
It's here; it actually arrived yesterday. The arrival was not nearly the big deal it could have been, thanks to a terrific driver and a
pallet jack.
I *know* I asked about the dials. They have both imperial and metric labels on separate "sub-rings" that are staggered, and with staggered pointers, but I still strongly suspect that it is an imperial machine; the thread selections are strongly tilted toward imperial. When US hardware stores switch, I'll _think_ about doing mechanics in metric units ;) BTW, the metric units for heat transfer beat the daylights out of BTUs and friends - no argument there.
Back to the lathe. I will check the screws against an indicator, but one thing that is clear is that they are 0.125/rev vs. the 0.1/rev I was told to expect. Somehow I suspect it won't bother me as much as it would on a mill. I like being able to pick off the last two digits to get the dial reading; it seems as though I could easily adapt to 0.2/rev, but 0.125???? I know many of you say it comes naturally, and you are typically bang on right; I still think it would bother me. No DROs please. I'm too cheap first off<g>, and secondly I recently did some RT work that I probably could not have done had I not practiced with scales and dials. The manual approach works for me. I admit to sometimes printing and cutting templates from 1:1 drawings to help locate features when things get tricky.
Gently prodding some of the headstock levers, they appear to be a little stubborn at times. Hopefully I have been clever enough to avoid breaking it, but let me know if I should be worried about levers that appear not to want to move to specific positions. I am assuming that much of it is gear teeth in the way, and that one would move the spindle to obtain favorable alignment??? I have yet to put power to it; there are wiring puzzles to ponder before I can safely do that. I have hydraulic oil on hand, but have yet to transfer the 3 GALLONS it is supposed to hold ~:0
The 4-jaw chuck is quite nice - it looks about as well-made as my Phase-II RT, which is saying something. Overall, the lathe looks like a very stocky machine. From the little I have seen of the cross and compound, they look nicely assembled - cosmoline everywhere, but no obvious grit yet.
What I believe to be the face plate is (if I gave it a fair shake with a quick inspection) not a thing of beauty, but it should serve. Is that for the lathe analog of clamping to a mill table? Dare I ask how to do precision setups on it? I suspect that most of my work will start out held in the chucks. A few years from now, when I start spending money again<g>, I will look for a 5C setup of some sort.
That's about all the crowing I have time to do right now - gotta go to work in the morning. However, I will pick up with questions later. For now, the lathe is safely in my garage, the crate is removed, and the lathe sits on a skid (I guess that is what one would call it???) on top of a pallet. Standing at the headstock end, the lathe is against the right side of the pallet. So, I am thinking of cribbing the skid just enough to unload the pallet, at which point I think I will be able to break away the pallet and straddle the lathe/skid with my hoist and sling the lathe. I promise not to burn bridges until I measure it. The only problem I see is that from the tailstock end, the skid is not sticking out very far, leaving what appears to be an angled bottom surface. Would you recommend cribbing that end "inside the pallet," or would you simply crib the pallet enough to get the hoist legs under it. Cribbing just the skid would save a fair amount of lifting distance, provided it works. However, maybe I need the practice with cribbing anyway. Having the pallet adds lateral stability (I hope!), so it might be a good option until the lathe is balanced on the slings.
Comments? The lathe (or life - foot for sure) you save could be my own.
MANY dumb questions to come.
Bill
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On Sat, 29 Mar 2008 01:23:43 -0400, Bill Schwab wrote:

Guy Lautard has a good trick in one of his books - make a bit that duplicates the nose of your headstock such that the faceplate will fit on it; assemble and align anything tricky on the faceplate mounted on this bit in a vise. This way you are not fighting gravity, and when it is just right you take the faceplate+work off the bit and put them on the lathe.
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[snip]
That was my experience with the Clausing 5914. I worried that this and that was stuck/broken, but after reading the manual and understanding the interlocks, all was well.

VFDs are also useful for trying thing out - just start with the drive frequency at zero, and slowly ramp the speed up manually. If anything balks, the motor will just stop, and no harm will be done.
It's also easier to see how things are working while running in slow motion.

Three gallons? The 5914 takes maybe a half gallon. I'd make a siphon to get oil from the container it came in and into the lathe. There is probably a drain plug to get the old oil out.
Joe Gwinn
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Joe,

Good. I suspect it is fine, but waiting is tough. Waiting? Well, I was snagged by work, both on the customer service and self-interest fronts, and I am fighting (well by comparison to others) a fairly unusual cold, so I'm not in at top efficiency.

Interesting. Any constraints on the type? I ask because a mill I am considering for the future is said to run only with rotary converters????

That's what the techs tell me. We'll see.
Bill
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I think any VFD can run right down to zero speed. If the VFD is capable of sensorless vector control, which greatly increases torque at low speeds, turn this feature off until you know that things work OK.
What mill would that be? The only reason I can imagine for a mill to be rotary converter only is that it has more than just the spindle motor being powered.
There have been long discussions of how to rewire a mill so the motor could be VFD controlled without affecting the other stuff. Basically, one runs the other stuff on single phase. The fly in the ointment is if such things as coolant pumps are truly three phase.
In any event, any ~220 volt 50 or 50 Hz three-phase motor can be driven by a VFD. It is not required that motor Hz and prime power Hz be the same with a VFD. The VFD must be derated by a factor of about two if the prime power is single phase.

I've forgotten - what make and model lathe is this?
Three gallons sounds more like a coolant tank.
Joe Gwinn
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    Hmm ... the *nice* way to do this is what Hardinge did. Planetary gears which cause the metric dial to rotate at a different rate than the imperial dial, so both can be set up for a full turn of the dial translating into a convenient figure.

    It is nice to be able to do both -- one of the reasons that I like the Emco-Maier Compact-5/CNC -- just flip one switch to move from imperial to metric or back.

    O.K. It sounds like an 8 TPI leadscrew. The thing to check is whether either of the dials have a slight gap between the top-most figure and zero. An 8 TPI dial is not bad when you are dealing with fractional inches (it is 1/8" per turn, after all), but easy to make a mistake in when you are working with decimal inches longer than 0.125".
    As I said -- check whether both dials wrap around fully. I've seen some which were perfect in metric units, but were something a little over the fractional inch one, which can *really* add errors if you trust them to add 0.125" per turn. Let's see -- 0.125" should work out to 3.175mm per turn. 3.125mm (a somewhat more reasonable value) works out to 0.123" per turn. 3.250mm works out to 0.128" per turn, 0.003" over the 1/8". So -- find out which scale does not wrap fully and you will know that it is a leadscrew cut in the other system.
    If you are going to work exclusively in imperial, I would seriously complain to the vendor. Was the story that it was 0.100" per turn over the phone, or in e-mail? If the latter, print it out and save it for use in your debates with the vendor. It should be possible to get a replacement dial, leadscrew and nut (if they are made for the machine) and swap them in.

    No -- I say that this increases the chances of making errors. You might want to set up a bracket for a dial indicator to measure crossfeed -- and spend the extra for a dial indicator with a longer travel than usual. I know that I've got one by Starrett which will handle 5" travel (or is it 6" -- I would have to go down and check to be sure.)

    The long-travel dial indicators can make a nice substitute for a DRO -- and a *lot* more affordable. :-) (But, it is more difficult to zero quickly when touching off on a part.)
    Note that my Clausing had been modified by a previous owner with a mount for the dial indicator near the back, and a bracket for a length of 1/8" drill rod on the front to make an adjustable pusher. Set it somewhere close and zero the dial indicator to finish it. This has the advantage of being working accurately even when the cross-feed leadscrew is badly worn -- as it was when I received the lathe.

    Exactly -- or with a lathe too stiff and heavy to move easily by hand, there would be a "jog" button to start it spinning slowly. So you hit the jog button, wait for things to slow almost to as top, and shift the gears.

    Can you remove the top of the headstock before you do this? it might let you look for sand and bubbles of paint which might hide sand before you commit to actually using the hydraulic oil. Better to find and clean out such things *before* the oil gets poured in. (There is probably a film of oil there from when it was tested before being shipped -- and they drained the oil prior to shipping. Maybe they use the same batch of oil (adding a little to make up for what stayed behind when it was drained) for each machine they test.

    Good -- though the grit normally does not show until you disassemble things.

    That depends. It could be a faceplate, or a dog driver plate. A faceplate would have skinny slots to accept bolts or T-nuts, and would probably have four or six of them -- perhaps with some T-slots which extend out to the outside edge as well depending. The dog driver might have just one slot, or two -- one extending through the outside diameter and the other going from near the hub about half way out, depending. These slots are to accept the tail of a bent-tail dog, and are likely to be wider than would be reasonable to retain bolts or T-nuts.

    With toolmaker's buttons. You start on a surface plate and scribe two intersecting lines at the location of the center of your desired feature. The drill and tap it for the screw which comes with the toolmaker's buttons. (They are typically a set containing one tall button and several shorter ones.) Anyway -- after the button is in approximate location, it is time to take it back to the surface plate and move the cylindrical part of the button to the right position -- both vertical and horizontal -- thus requiring rotating the workpiece on the surface plate. It also requires you to define two edges at right angles to be the reference edges, and one or the other of these will be down on the plate at any time you are setting the button. You then tighten the screw which holds the button and proceed to the next location. The extra-tall button is for the situation where there are two features close together. You work on the taller one first then remove it and work on the shorter one adjacent to it.
    As to *how* you work on it -- you secure the workpiece to the faceplate with clamps through the slots (similar to clamps used on a milling machine table, except that you need to bear in mind balance too, so you wind up adding bolts with a stack of washers to counter-weight the load already on the plate. Anyway -- the clamps are kept a little loose, so you can move the workpiece with taps from a soft-headed hammer. Move the workpiece so the first button is close to on center, then follow it with a DTI as you rotate the spindle by hand adjusting the position until the button shows no runout all the way around. Clamp down firmly, make sure that this has not moved the workpiece, then remove the button and machine the feature there. You can also use the buttons in a milling machine, with a DTI rotated with the spindle around the button to get the button aligned with the axis. When you finish that feature, loosen the clamps and move the workpiece to bring the next feature under the DTI and center that one before clamping (and balancing) again. Remember -- the more out of balance the faceplate is, the slower you will have to run to keep the lathe from dancing around the floor.
    Note that CNC has replaced toolmaker's buttons for many shops, so look for them on eBay. Hmm ... not too expensive in the Starrett catalog. There are two sets -- 494A (0.300" diameter) and 494C (0.500" diameter). Respective prices in 1998 were $35.45 and $39.70. Tap for the thread is 5-40. The tall one is 5/8" high, and the other three are 1/2" high.

    O.K. The faceplate work is for awkward shaped castings, which may also need support blocks under certain parts. It is not often needed, but when it is, nothing else will work.

    I don't have enough of a mental picture of this to be able to offer advice.

    How does this give the legs of the engine host access?

    Yes -- it is a source of stability.

    I haven't yet read the other followups so I don't know. Perhaps someone with better experience in moving what you have will have jumped in.
    Good Luck,         DoN.
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Don,
A partial reply for now:

It is specified as 8 tpi and the compound checked out to 0.125. I was getting 0.124 or something on the cross, but discovered that my mounting surface for the indicator was not flat. The metric dials have a weird number of divisions, so it is looking like an imperial machine. That's good.

That would be slick. I will search my email to see if I have it in writing. The guy who found that info for me seems very good overall. I will see what else I had available and then approach them about it if I was indeed mislead.
I have a hunch that it will not bother nearly so much on a lathe as it would (which it would bug me) on a mill. Staring at the thing, I suspect I will be doing a lot of "remove this much next" type of work vs. zeroing the dials for large distances. If I am missing something, please speak up.

That probably is in the cards for the future. I like to work manually, but I am not totally nuts :)

I had not thought of a dog driver; that could easily be what it is. More later.

Now for the reason for the partial reply. The stand is in one piece and the hoist legs are in position. Cribbing the skid would allow me to break away a couple of boards on the left side of the pallet to give the hoist access to the sling location.
At this point, it is very clear that the lathe is bolted to the skid. I do not yet see any firm attachment between the skid and the pallet.
The alternative to supporting the skid is to crib the pallet. The logical conclusion would be to take the pallet up 7-8 inches to clear the hoist legs. Not knowing whether the pallet is truly adding stability, that seems a long way to crib it.

How would they be attached? I will look again, but it's not obvious.
Thanks!!!!
Bill
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I had to live with an 8TPI mill for a while. You do get somewhat used to it, and also learn fraction-to-decimal conversions pretty well. I would count turns 125-250-375-500-625-750-875-ONE INCH etc, and make the finer adjustments in increments of .025", like a micrometer. It's easy to double-check or recover the tool X & Y positions with a ruler graduated to 0.1" as long as your zero is an edge or punch mark rather than a drilled hole.
Jim Wilkins
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What I always found to be a much faster way was to use a combination drill/countersink on the location of the feature and use a spring center to indicate the location off of that.
I will readily grant and acknowledge that the toolmakers buttons let you adjust AFTER the hole is created, if you have good dials or a good readout on your mill, you really shouldn't NEED do adjust the buttons
Mike
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    You mean what is sometimes called a "pump" center? It might be that you can't be as precise on such holes as you can using a height gauge (set to gauge blocks) and surface plate to position the buttons. But yes, the pump center in a center hole can do a good job if the maximum precision is not needed, and be a lot quicker to set up, too.

    But if you are doing layout on a complex casting, you probably can't do the initial holes with a mill (or even a jig borer for greater precision). Usually, all the holes are laid out relative to a reference surface which rests on the surface plate. Granted, most hobby metalworkers won't be working on such large castings most of the time.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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original question:

quick inspection) not a thing of beauty, but it should serve. Is that for the lathe analog of clamping to a mill table? Dare I ask how to do precision setups on it?
You center each button, then drill and bore..
Another way is to clamp two bars to the faceplate at right angles to each other, at a known distance from the center, and locate the work from them with adjustable parallels.
If the hole spacing must be as accurate as you can measure, you can make disks the diameter of the hole spacing and bore a hole in the center to locate from.
I made a drill jig for the jaw pins for a Microcentric lathe chuck this way. Drill and ream one hole, install a dowel pin and put one disk on it, clamp the second disk touching the first and align to its center hole, then drill and bore the second hole. I used a mill but it's the same principle on a lathe faceplate.
Jim Wilkins
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On Apr 5, 12:02am, F. George McDuffee <gmcduf...@mcduffee- associates.us> wrote: ...>

Lathe faceplate work with toolmaker's buttons etc was the practice in the late 1800's before the vertical milling machine became common. It hung on with amateurs because until recently a small vertical mill was harder to find than small lathe, and boring on a horizontal mill is about as difficult and limited as milling on a lathe. It's still a nice technique to know about but unless the holes are too large for a boring head, the vertical mill is much better for drilling an accurate hole pattern.
I think the only job I've done on a faceplate in the last 10 years was recutting solid rubber tires to fit the rims on my 1950's lawnmower. Sometimes I use a faceplate with a protruding bolt to drive a pulley on an arbor between centers.
Jim Wilkins
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