Mounting 15" rims on 13" lathe?

Got some 15" aluminum car rims that need a little work to remove some dings and scrapes on the outer rim. Plan on smoothing and polishing rims while mounted in the lathe. How can I do this in a 13" lathe without jacking up the head stock?

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Unless you can mount it to a vertical rotary table and use the lathe like a mill it sounds physically impossible to me.

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cut off the lathe bed

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Well, you could rotate the head stock to face the other direction. Might be a bit hard to power that way. Ah, if you had an axle and a hub to bolt the wheels to, and the axle would fit through the spindle, from the back side, to be held by the chuck.....; I hope the shaft is a tight fit and/or the lathe is heavy and well anchored. Also, get someone to take pics, from a safe distance, for the group. Respectfully, Ron Moore

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Ron Moore

First take off your tailstock, then get an old axle that your rim will fit on. Chuck it in the 3 jaw, if it's not long enough for the rim to overhang the end of the bed make an extension from a length of pipe bored so the axle spline will fit in. Secure it with a setscrew. Support the axle with a steadyrest. This will allow you to file out the dings with a good aluminum file and polish the rim. Engineman

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"Mike" wrote: (clip)How can I do this (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Forget the lathe. Mount a rim on the rear wheel of your car, and start the engine. Use a jack stand as a tool rest, and wood gouge as a cutting tool. (Did I mention jack the car up?)

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Leo Lichtman

Also, block the other three wheels, and as a safety measure, park loaded dump trucks touching both bumpers. Gerry :-)} London, Canada

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Gerald Miller

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Mount them excentrical, switch to highest speed, power on and see the bed beeing suitably deformed? Or what?


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Nick Müller

Get out the cutting torch, and make it into a "gap bed" lathe .


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Lloyd E. Sponenburgh

On Mon, 10 Oct 2005 20:11:22 -0500, with neither quill nor qualm, "Mike" quickly quoth:

Step #1: Carefully hacksaw the ways...

Oh, never mind. ;)

2 thoughts, a la (our old friend, Rube) Goldberg:

How about cutting off a full-floating axle housing and axle, mounting it to a stand, then welding a sprocket or pulley on the axle stub, belt a motor to it, then using that as a pseudo lathe? Lotsa work.

Easier, is to use a trailer stub axle mounted vertically, hang tool rests over it, and move a tire-mounted rim by hand. Alternatively, bump a rubber-pulleyed motor onto the rim/tire to rotate it, perhaps with an old tire.


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Reply to
Larry Jaques

Borrow a brake lathe.

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Andy Asberry

Get out a file and some sandpaper and dress out the dings and scrapes. Don't bother with the lathe. Way too much work for the results achieved, and if it's in a lathe you'll be tempted to remove too much metal and will weaken the wheel.


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Don't try this on a vehicle with Posi-Traction...

Seriously, mount the rim on a front axle, take a small motor with a 1/2" shaft, slip a couple inches of old, rubber garden hose on the shaft, let the shaft bear on the rim and file away...

Or, put an appropriate pulley on the motor and take a long v-belt (fan belt, maybe?) around the rim and spin it that way.


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Jerry Foster

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