Thursday, June 9, 2011

Refinements to the Mini Lathe

Acquisition of the mini lathe happened at a slack time, and after building the first engine with it and getting acquainted, being spoiled as I am, I thought it needed some more refining. The square tool post that comes with the lathe is sturdy enough, but awkward to use because there is no height adjustment and no good way of changing tool bits back and forth to the exact position when changing between operations. Also the tail stock lock was by tightening a nut with a wrench. Because of such close quarters, it was difficult. I concluded it needed a quick change tool post and a cam lock on the tail stock. These things are available on the market place for money, but I was looking for something to make anyway, So I took the quick change off the big lathe and dissembled it to see how they work. Then a trip to the drafting table to sketch up a mini version.

The cam lock was built first. It was a pretty simple project, and really smoothed out the unlocking moving and re locking of the tail stock. It is almost a one move operation now.

Next came the quick change tool post. It was a little more effort, but turned out nice.
To start with 4 tool holders were made. That is about the minimum, that a person would want to get by with. I have 19 for the bigger Jet lathe. But besides tool bits, there are all sorts of attachments on them. Once the post is made, holders can be added as needed.

The mini has not been used a lot, but enough to know that the new refinements are are a worthwhile addition. Whats more I built them myself.

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