View Full Version : Newbie question - how to get faceplate off new VL150 without damage?

14th Mar 2015, 07:34 PM
Hi folks,

Hoping someone can give me a good answer to a stupid question. I've finally got around to setting up a VL150 I picked up at a bargain price, and I can't get the faceplate off the spindle.

I've locked the spindle with the pin next to the headstock handwheel, and used the provided spanner to give a pretty decent heave in what I hope is the right direction (with the spanner sticking up vertically, pulling the top of the spanner towards me). I have reached the point where I don't want to put any more force on what is a pretty gorgeous piece on machinery without further reassurance that I'm not doing something stupid...

Any ideas?



14th Mar 2015, 08:26 PM
Not much help at the moment but once it's off measure the maximum diameter of thread and get a washer machined up to go between so it won't happen again.
it's happened with my lathe and I could squeeze the belt together between the pully's and fairly swung off spanner with an extension pipe for added leverage.
there might be better ways to get it off, this worked for me!

14th Mar 2015, 09:30 PM
Do you have a tommy bar that will fit in the hole in the spindle?

14th Mar 2015, 09:42 PM
Just so you know, I don't own one but my manual has the 150 in it and shows the hole for the tommy bar. You can put a tommy bar in and hold it, put the spanner on the faceplate and then give the spanner a sharp tap with a mallet (not a hammer!). I always try to avoid using the spindle lock to remove stuck accessories.


14th Mar 2015, 10:10 PM
Thanks folks! All good suggestions for attempt number 3 tomorrow.

No tommy bar that fits securely, unfortunately! I will have a dig around and see if maybe I can make something out of an allen key or hex bit.

14th Mar 2015, 11:19 PM
A suggestion to solve the problem, what I would do is put the spanner on the back of the face plate, put your left hand firmly on the driven pulley on the headstock and give the spanner a good whack with a wooden mallet or short length of a hard wood in an anti clockwise direction. Don't think using the spindle lock is a good idea. That may break the pin of it or damage the hole on the pulley. You may even grab the belt just under the pulley instead of holding the pulley.
I have never needed to put a washer between the lace plate and shaft shoulder. To prevent this from jamming again, tighten the face plate ONLY by hand, mind that the face plate is fully screwed on by hand before starting the lathe.

Hope this is of some help..


15th Mar 2015, 12:05 AM
A little bit of heat on to the F/Plate may do the trick, then give it a whack.

I have never had to use a washer at any time, but I do keep all surfaces very clean, mainly using a Wire Wheel, & maybe a bit of a Polish on the Cloth Wheel.


PS, Well how about that, I've clocked up 2000 Written Pieces.

15th Mar 2015, 01:17 AM
A little heat with a zippy propane torch and it will loosen. Just a wave or 3, no more.

A quick spray with wd40 might assist too.

I put a small amount of minwax polishing wax on my spindle with a finger and it makes accessories slide on and off easily without binding. (god, that sound so rude!)

15th Mar 2015, 05:36 AM
My system for getting the faceplate off my new to me neglected & rusty Woodfast:

Soak threads in front and where faceplate meets spindle in back with your favorite penetrating oil.

Block large pulley on spindle with rag & wedge, or tie belt on large spindle pulley with rope.

Mark a line where faceplate and spindle meet so that you can see if it is moving.

Heat face plate gently to very warm to the touch with torch, heat gun, or hair dryer. If aluminum it will expand with less heat, if cast iron heat until oil smokes.

Put spanner on back of faceplate and whack very hard with a 50mm thick piece of timber.
You want a sharp shock. Repeat five or so times, if no movement soak again and leave overnight. Next day soak, heat, whack.

Repeat all of the above as needed.

When you get it apart, meticulously clean inside of face plate and spindle register and threads, lightly oil. If rusty, wire brush. Remove, clean, oil and replace several times a year.

The spindle register and matching unthreaded part of faceplate or chuck make it line up. The thread only holds them on. The soft washers or ordinary metal washer will often cause the chuck or faceplate to wobble.

15th Mar 2015, 10:36 AM
My own lathe is not a Vicmarc, but I have used Vicmarcs a fair bit at my woodturning club. Some of the chucks and faceplates that are used on that club's Vicmarcs have grub screws that lock the chuck or faceplate onto the spindle to enable safe reverse running of the lathe.

Best you check to see whether your faceplate has a locking grub screw before you try to force the faceplate off. One of the lathe spindles at the club had to be replaced last year after the spindle thread was chewed up by a ham fisted member who forcibly removed a chuck before undoing the locking grub screw.



15th Mar 2015, 06:07 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions folks - a different project took over my workshop time this afternoon, but I will be having another go sometime this week (I hope!).

15th Mar 2015, 10:45 PM
Just a thought, but might there be a grub screw securing the faceplate to prevent it unscrewing when run in reverse?

15th Mar 2015, 10:50 PM
If it's a vicmarc faceplate it shouldn't have a grub screw. Vicmarc use a clamping a collar that holds their chucks and faceplates onto their spindles.

15th Mar 2015, 11:43 PM
If it's a vicmarc faceplate it shouldn't have a grub screw. Vicmarc use a clamping a collar that holds their chucks and faceplates onto their spindles.

I have a VL150 & yes they do have a clamping collar for the face plate. Unfortunately it is not mentioned in the lathe or chuck manuals. Have a look at the rear of the face plate for a split collar that seats into two grooves, one on the spindle and one on the face plate. If you can't see the grooves then most likely the collar is fitted. The collar has two recessed allen head machine screws holding both halves of the collar together. Its hard to even find an image of the collar or spindle nose, have a look at Vicmarcs FB site.

Don't use the spindle indexing pin to hold the spindle while you apply brute force. The spindle nose should have two holes for the levers / tommy bars - use them instead.


http://www.woodworkforums.com/showthread.php?t=186465 shows some images with the groove in the spindle nose.

16th Mar 2015, 11:24 AM
Ahah! Yes, I think the clamping collar will be what's causing me problems... Little disappointed in the manual for not making it clearer, but not to worry!

21st Mar 2015, 05:09 PM
Many thanks Mobyturns and Woodturnerjosh!

It was indeed the clamping collar - got it off with a 3/16" hex key (and some light encouragement with a screwdriver to get it off after that), and that revealed a slot for the tommy bar, which made it easy to get the faceplate off using the supplied wrench!

Only had a few minutes to turn something, but despite not having turned on a lathe in 10 years, I successfully roughed out a spare chunk of Bunnings pine without putting a chisel through my foot :). The VL150 sure does feel like a nice piece of machinery!



21st Mar 2015, 07:54 PM

Just fyi: Everything on your Vicmarc should be metric so if you plan on using that clamping collar it would be worth getting a 5mm allen key. 3/16 is only slightly smaller but you'd hate to strip a head out while it's clamped on, and I'd rather tell you now just in case than wait until it's too late ;)

21st Mar 2015, 11:02 PM
Thanks! I probably already have one, will dig it out and hang it next to the lathe.

24th Mar 2015, 08:29 AM
Thanks! I probably already have one, will dig it out and hang it next to the lathe.

You really only need to use the collar if you intend to use reverse on the lathe. Since Vicmarc have designed in the safety feature of a cover over the reverse switch :2tsup: it is unlikely that you will accidently engage reverse.