PDA

View Full Version : new 'old' lathe advice for a newbie



itsanobscureid
18th Jan 2010, 03:13 AM
Hi all,
First post here - lurked for a while - then forgot about the site (shame on me - too much work), but am now back to hopefully gleam some advice from you all.
I have managed to pick up a cheap old lathe (manufactured by chevron) and tools (marples) with a hope of playing around with a little turning. I am well aware that this lathe may be pretty rubbish but for a number of reasons I decided to take a risk especially considering the price point of ~$150… these are as follows:

- My previous experience is limited to having messed about on a mate's old lathe and turned a mushroom or two on a few visits to his place.
- The lathe is stored outside as I have no shed :(
- If I get any use out of the thing I plan to upgrade to something better in 6-12mths (there will also be more approval by her indoors once I have created something :)

Therefore, I wasn't really comfortable shelling out $500+ for something that might go unappreciated.

The lathe and tools both had a little surface rust (in fact quite a lot in places) so I have begun by dismantling most of the unit and cleaning it and the tools up today - which I figured would be quite satisfying in its own right. However my sore arms from all that steel wool/brushing aren't too sure.

So that's my story now here are my noobish questions:
- My lathe has a 'revolving centre' tailstock (i'm pretty sure that's what its called). I removed the point on the end by unscrewing the handle (quill?) until it popped off the end (it is not screwed on but tapered). Here's a silly question - how do I put it back on? - a wooden mallet? - am I being stupid here.

- How tight should the revolving centre on the tailstock be to hold the blank? - one of my ideas to reseat the centre was to tighten up a random bit of wood between head and tail to push the centre back on. However I am starting to think that perhaps I was tightening too tightly into the wood without first drilling a whole - as whatever I did it seemed that my tailstock had a little bit of play under pressure, and was leaning back slightly push the centre upwards. I will look at this again and try to get the tailstock tighter, this surely can't be the norm as it would make turning impossible and the previous owner said they had used the lathe for some time. I think I must be missing something here.

- And finally, my head stock does not have a morse taper, instead it is threaded and the 3 pronged thingy screws on. Does this mean I will not find any chucks for it? If not, not to worry it would just be good to know.

Hopefully at least a little of this makes sense, apologies for the lack of brevity - I'm new to all this and am not sure of the jargon.
Please feel free to ignore me if you think I made a foolish decision in the 1st place, however any advice/insight/suggestion/abuse would be much appreciated.

Thanks for reading :)

PS keep up the good work on the forum - seems like a great community.

tea lady
18th Jan 2010, 11:59 AM
Welcome to the forum. There are no silly questions here.:D

So that's my story now here are my noobish questions:
- My lathe has a 'revolving centre' tailstock (i'm pretty sure that's what its called). I removed the point on the end by unscrewing the handle (quill?) until it popped off the end (it is not screwed on but tapered). Here's a silly question - how do I put it back on? - a wooden mallet? - am I being stupid here. Ya just put it in. Pressure from the work holds it in. :cool:

- How tight should the revolving centre on the tailstock be to hold the blank? - one of my ideas to reseat the centre was to tighten up a random bit of wood between head and tail to push the centre back on. However I am starting to think that perhaps I was tightening too tightly into the wood without first drilling a whole - as whatever I did it seemed that my tailstock had a little bit of play under pressure, and was leaning back slightly push the centre upwards. I will look at this again and try to get the tailstock tighter, this surely can't be the norm as it would make turning impossible and the previous owner said they had used the lathe for some time. I think I must be missing something here.:think: This sounds a bit fishy! Does the revolving centre move in the tail stock? Or the whole tail stock move? :?

- And finally, my head stock does not have a morse taper, instead it is threaded and the 3 pronged thingy screws on. Does this mean I will not find any chucks for it? If not, not to worry it would just be good to know. Also interesting. I am no "old lathe" expert. :shrug: But you could prolly get an adapter made to fit chucks. Do you mean it screws on to a thread that is INSIDE or OUTSIDE the head stock? :hmm:

Hopefully at least a little of this makes sense, apologies for the lack of brevity - I'm new to all this and am not sure of the jargon.
Please feel free to ignore me if you think I made a foolish decision in the 1st place, however any advice/insight/suggestion/abuse would be much appreciated.
Ignore? No chance. This place is crawling with helpful people.:D:cool:

Thanks for reading :)

PS keep up the good work on the forum - seems like a great community.

Some pics might also help. :)

itsanobscureid
18th Jan 2010, 02:06 PM
Welcome to the forum. There are no silly questions here.:D

Some pics might also help. :)

Thanks for the reply tea lady - much appreciated.

Following your educated responses.
Ya just put it in. Pressure from the work holds it in. http://cdn.woodworkforums.com/images/smilies/cool.gif
OK when I tried that yesterday it only seemed to go on a few millimetres rather than the 1cm or so it was orginally on - it seems to be on some sort of taper (pics will follow this evening) - I suspect my issue below may be exacerbating this though.

http://cdn.woodworkforums.com/images/smilies/actions/think.gif This sounds a bit fishy! Does the revolving centre move in the tail stock? Or the whole tail stock move? http://cdn.woodworkforums.com/images/smilies/standard/confused.gif
The whole tailstock moves but I'm not sure I have tightened it enough - as it seems to have a weird tightening mechanism. The tailstock sits inbetween and on top of the 2 rails with a big bolt through it - then there is a plactic piece on the bottom which a nut is tightened against. I knocked up this diagram to illustrate (as you can see I'm not producing much work today :) ). Again I will take pics tonight.

http://www.the218.com/sale/tailstock.jpg


Also interesting. I am no "old lathe" expert. http://cdn.woodworkforums.com/images/smilies/actions/shrug.gif But you could prolly get an adapter made to fit chucks. Do you mean it screws on to a thread that is INSIDE or OUTSIDE the head stock? http://cdn.woodworkforums.com/images/smilies/actions/hmm.gif
The thread is on the outside of the headstock and therefore the inside of the bit thing ;)


Photo's later - thanks for your help though - hopefully it's not completely unusable - then I will be happy

Sawdust Maker
18th Jan 2010, 02:56 PM
Welcome to the forum
As TS said there are no silly questions here (unless I ask them!)

I think TS has hit all the points

Don't like the sound of the tailstock tipping back. Sounds like the tightening mechanism has some give in it - would be wise to check it out.

If rust is a problem grab a tin of Inox Lannox from Auto One

And welcome to our addiction, no tree will ever look the same :2tsup:

itsanobscureid
18th Jan 2010, 03:15 PM
Thanks sawdust maker. I've posted another reply where I included a cross sectional diagram of the tailstock - but the post hasn't been approved yet - I assume this is cause it included a picture.

In the meantime - here's a link to the ebay listing of the item (http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=190363809992) - the pics aren't great so I'll take some more tonight.

The tools have already come up much cleaner than they were but I'll definatley check out Inox Lannox, thanks.

EX's Timber
18th Jan 2010, 03:19 PM
http://cdn.woodworkforums.com/http://cdn.woodworkforums.com/images/smilies/cool.gif
OK when I tried that yesterday it only seemed to go on a few millimetres rather than the 1cm or so it was orginally on - it seems to be on some sort of taper (pics will follow this evening) - I suspect my issue below may be exacerbating this though.

http://cdn.woodworkforums.com/http://cdn.woodworkforums.com/images/smilies/actions/think.gif

When you originally wound the tailstock spindle back, this causes the end of the morse taper (MT) on the Live Centre to knockout, so to seat the Live Centre back in fully, the tailstock spindle must be wound back out enough so that the end of the Live Centre clears the knockout action.

So once you have wound the tailstock out enough, just put the end in and give it a firm shove into the MT and it should lock itself in.

Sturdee
18th Jan 2010, 04:10 PM
- And finally, my head stock does not have a morse taper, instead it is threaded and the 3 pronged thingy screws on. Does this mean I will not find any chucks for it? If not, not to worry it would just be good to know.




Your lathe looks similar to my old one and I think the spindle is solid with the thread on the outside. If so take your '3 pronged thingy' with you to a bolt specialist store and they will be able to tell you the size and thread per inch on your spindle.

Knowing this you can buy any chuck as they all come with a separate insert to fit your lathe.

Peter.

itsanobscureid
18th Jan 2010, 04:42 PM
When you originally wound the tailstock spindle back, this causes the end of the morse taper (MT) on the Live Centre to knockout, so to seat the Live Centre back in fully, the tailstock spindle must be wound back out enough so that the end of the Live Centre clears the knockout action.

So once you have wound the tailstock out enough, just put the end in and give it a firm shove into the MT and it should lock itself in.

I'm pretty sure I understand what you mean here - I'll give it a try when I get in from work and let you know how I get on - Thanks DJ :)



Your lathe looks similar to my old one and I think the spindle is solid with the thread on the outside. If so take your '3 pronged thingy' with you to a bolt specialist store and they will be able to tell you the size and thread per inch on your spindle.

Knowing this you can buy any chuck as they all come with a separate insert to fit your lathe.

Peter.

That sounds good Peter - thanks

Sawdust Maker
18th Jan 2010, 04:45 PM
Thanks sawdust maker. I've posted another reply where I included a cross sectional diagram of the tailstock - but the post hasn't been approved yet - I assume this is cause it included a picture.

In the meantime - here's a link to the ebay listing of the item (http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=190363809992) - the pics aren't great so I'll take some more tonight.

The tools have already come up much cleaner than they were but I'll definatley check out Inox Lannox, thanks.

The hazards of drafting an email then getting called away to help make a lego car then posting without realizing time had passed :doh:

If the tailstock and, by the look of it in the ebay photos, the banjo both have that black plastic, there is possibly room for flex. Dunno if it is worth it to replace with metal bits

itsanobscureid
18th Jan 2010, 05:03 PM
The hazards of drafting an email then getting called away to help make a lego car then posting without realizing time had passed :doh:

If the tailstock and, by the look of it in the ebay photos, the banjo both have that black plastic, there is possibly room for flex. Dunno if it is worth it to replace with metal bits

:U I was thinking the same thing - just trying to figure out how I can drill/cut a whole in some steel big enough for the bolt without having to purchase a drill bit which costs more than the lathe did :o

...... now lego is something I know about ... lego lathe anyone? - I have the mindstorms kit so maybe it could turn all by itself :D

tea lady
18th Jan 2010, 06:14 PM
...... now lego is something I know about ... lego lathe anyone? - I have the mindstorms kit so maybe it could turn all by itself :D:rofl: You might have to turn imaginary wood with it.:D

Brisruss
18th Jan 2010, 07:52 PM
Hi Itsanobscureid,
Welcome to the forum. There are some great people lurking around that you can learn from.

What part of Brisbane do you live in?

I am sure we can knock up some sort of steel washer/keeper to secure the tailstock better. I am at Alderley so send me a PM if you want to have a go at it.

I spent some time doing up a Jet 1442 lathe that was pretty beat up and it is going well now. I had to make up my own banjo and toolpost which was fun.

Beware though it is very addictive!

Cheers,
Russ

thefixer
18th Jan 2010, 08:37 PM
I checked out the chevron lathe on google and it is the same as the GMC lathe that used to be distributed through bunnings. It has a steel tube bed and that is what flexes when you tighten the tailstock.This causes massive misalignment between centres and no amount of reinforcing of the tailstock will help you. I would advise you to use this lathe cautiously and sparingly and see if the turning bug bites. If it does bite turn the chevron into a disc sander and go and purchase a decent lathe. This is same lathe that got me into turning 3 or 4 years ago and the above mentioned is the exact path I took, as did many other members of this fine forum.
Good luck with your endeavours and don't be afraid to ask for help from the members. Their advice and assistance has been invaluable to me over last few years.

P.S. Is this the one you purchased? If so, then other readers may want to look and give their advice.
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Chevron-wood-lathe-and-Marple-chisels-Brisbane_W0QQitemZ190363809992QQcmdZViewItemQQimsxZ20100109?IMSfp=TL100109218001r16507

itsanobscureid
18th Jan 2010, 09:14 PM
thanks for the advice guys :) and thanks for the offer Russ, that's incredibly nice of you - I'm southside (just outside mansfield) so it might be quite a trek for you if there's little we can do.

As a little update - I went to Bunnings on the way home and grabbed some big 3/4" washers and really tightened up the tailstock - there now seems to be much less movement - very little in fact. I guess I will see how I get on with my first blank. My only thought here is that it's certainly quite a task to move the tailstock, but I guess one only does that once per piece.

Yes shorty that's the lathe I got - It doesn't seem to have any movement in the steel tubes, not that I can see at least - but I guess we shall see once I get turning.

Regarding the rotating centre - I've managed to get it back on the spindle but it was a real pain in the preverbal. After tightening the tailstock I put some random hardwood block between the head and tail, pushed the centre on a bit then tightened the spindle until it pushed on further - it's still only on 75% but at that stage the wood looked like it was going to split. Hopefully it'll do the job!

Will try to get a few better pics later, but first must pop out to visit some friends who've just had a baby :D

Thanks again to everyone who has replied, what a great bunch
Dan

Paul39
22nd Jan 2010, 07:13 AM
Its--,

So that we all talk about the same "thingies" here is a glossary of woodturning terms.

Glossary of Woodturning Terms (http://www.turningtools.co.uk/glossary/glossary.html)

and:

Wood Turning Terms and Jargon - a Glossary (http://www.aseasontoturn.com/glossary/glossary_index.html)

The advice below is assuming you want to try turning without throwing a bunch of money at it up front.

A turning club, wood turning instruction, or watching on of the turners on this forum in their shed will give you a great deal of information quickly.

You have a good selection of chisels. Now you need a way to sharpen them. Search "grinders" on this site. It is not yet time for Tormek. A decent 8 inch or even 6 inch will do you. Search "grinding wheels" for a discussion.

If you buy new, a grinder one or two notches above the cheapest with the wheels it comes with will do you.

You could even glue a piece of 80 grit sandpaper on the faceplate( the big round thing on the other end of the spindle) and use that.

The faceplate is made to go on the right end of the spindle and can be used for making bowls without buying a chuck.

I was given a lathe like yours in worse condition, below is how I more or less brought it to life.

Your lathe is welded together with a short bed plus extension. That will make it stiffer. Put some kerosene, penetrating oil, thin oil, etc. on your drive center (thing with sharp points) and spindle, screw the center on to the spindle as far as it will go, back off, more oil, on, off, repeat until it goes all the way on easily with your fingers. Do all threaded places the same.

Soak the area around where the faceplate screws on to the left end of the spindle. Tap gently with a stick of hardwood to help loosen things. There may be a set screw holding the faceplate onto the spindle, that will have to be looseded several turns before trying to remove the faceplate or the threads on the spindle may be damaged.

To get the rust off the small bits, tool rest, bolts, put a gallon of white vinegar in a plastic bucket, put the bits in and let sit for several days or a week. Remove and put in hot water scrub with a brush, dry in sun or warm oven and oil all over with 20 weight engine oil, auto transmission fluid, etc. Wipe off excess oil and install.

Oil the tailstock thread, apply penetrating oil as above and screw it it in and out, same with locking nut, until it moves freely with just finger pressure. Wipe off the rusty dirty junk and keep adding clean oil.

You MUST get the drive center and tailstock working properly before using the lathe.

If one or the other lets a rapidly revolving piece of wood come out and hit you in the mouth, you might lose your enthusiasm for turning.

Liberally oil the rusty bed and put a piece of 180 or 220 grit sand paper on it and a flat scrap board over that. Be sure it covers both rails, keeping the sandpaper under the board, gently rub back and forth until the roughness goes away. Do the same on the bottom. Do the same on the top and bottom of the banjo, the bottom of the tailstock and the top of the fittings that ride on the bottom of the bed for the tailstock and banjo.

If the tool rest post is sticky in the banjo, oil the post and run it in and out of the banjo, twisting as you go until it moves easily.

At the end of all these derusting / freeing up exercises wipe all the rusty gook off with rags and lightly oil.

Life is much easier if your tools do not fight you.

Welcome to a wonderful addiction.