View Full Version : CNC Lathe attachment

3rd Aug 2004, 06:37 AM
Looking at building a CNC attachment to my lathe to enable precise and easy repitition work. Do a CAD design and then produce the item on the CNC.

I enjoy turing by hand, but when you need to make many copies etc you often need to look at other methods. I don't want a copy machine.

Is a CNC Lathe attachment something that would interest people if it was reasonably affordable.

I would be interested in your opinions.

5th Aug 2004, 10:48 AM

I looked at this a short time ago but for my router and found it to be very expensive, Do you have the necessary plans etc to construct this sort of thing.

I would be interested if it came in on a reasonable budget. Contact me at roelant@webone.com.au if you have further information.

I asked after the English machines that were advertised byMIK but never received any replies in relation to them.


5th Aug 2004, 11:13 AM
Roly / Moondog,

I would be interested in any device that helps automate repetitive processes - be it on a lathe or router. How repetitive? Well every table has 4 legs that are usually identical. Set of 6 chairs = 12 front legs, 12 back legs (assuming mirror images). Some people find making 12 of a thing to be theraputic. For me, 3 or 4 is OK, 12 is repetitive. I'd rather spend 6 hours designing, 1 hour setting up, then 1 hour cutting than spend 8 hours repetitive cutting .... because next time it isn't another 8 hours cutting but only 2 or less hours. And if you want to change/improve the design it is similarly easy.

But most commercial CNC devices cater for 100+ or 1000+ or more of a thing. And most don't work well on solid wood - the hold-down devices are mostly only good for sheets of MDF or ply.

There was a small, slow (OK for non-professionals) CNC machine (router) at the recent AWISA show in Sydney, but retailing for over $40K. I didn't see anything automated associated with wood lathes.


5th Aug 2004, 10:39 PM
I looked at this seriously a long time ago and decided if you only want to produce a few hundred identical items at a time the easiest course is to use a symtec lathe.

8th Aug 2004, 07:07 AM

If you just wanted to do repetitive work you'd use a copy attachment.....

What I am talking about would allow you to do the design on a CAD program, put your timber into the lathe and have it auto cut. Then you obviously have the ability to do repititive work.

The time saving etc, is not having to do all of the measuring for all of the cuts, depths etc.

I am thinking an attachment could retail for less than $2,000 and be adaptable for many lathe beds.

What do you think?

cheers :)

11th Aug 2004, 02:35 PM
This may sound kind of cheap and nasty, almost rude to some people but here goes!

I've been thinking about a similar thing, and ways to make my hell cheap GMC lathe somehow computer controlled.. Well I used to be a lego nutter as I imagine most of us were, and a few years ago I baught a lego Mindstorms kit. For those of us who know what mindstorms is, you get my idea already! For those of us that don't know about mindstorms, it's a kit produced by the Lego Corperation which has a programable 'Brick' which can control 3 switches (to turn on and off motors), and has 3 sensory inputs (1/0 switches, 0-255 pressure switches, light sensors etc).

I've been thinking about using this as a basic for a cheap CNC mod for just about any lathe, it just requires a little bit of thinking. For those of you saying 'lego is too weak you idiot' then I ask the question, which idiot hasn't heard of super-glue and wood reinforcement? ;)

So far I've been unable to find any reasons as to why this won't work except for a lot of stupid looks and laughs from people who obviously have no ability to think outside the square.. The brick itself can hold up to a 32K program (which is quite large considering what I'd be using it for) but also has the ability to talk to the computer (and perhaps receive more instructions) via an IR port at the front.

I'm certain by now some of you are laughing and saying I'm a fool, others will be sitting back working on their own ideas for it.. Since I know it'll work, I want someones pessamistic opinions on this, they're usually more helpful in finding potential problems than people dreaming up wild ideas (I can dream of my own!).

*coughs* sorry for the long post. :)