View Full Version : Desk Top Lathe Project(pic)

Tin Falcon
05-07-2006, 12:09 PM
Well guys I finally did it. I setup a photobucket account. You want to see projects so here it is.
A buddy of mine, a retired High School shop teacher wanted a lathe. I have talked to him a little about it over the last couple of years.
Here were the specs: American made, Primarily for pen/pencil sets , capable of metal working, Power longitudinal feed. Not spend a bucket of money. The choices were limited and we decided that the power feed could be ditched due to cost. The obvious off the shelf option was the TAIG.
So here is what he is getting. Something old something new some thing borrowed and something blue. The Thomas Edison quote comes to mind here “The only thing required to invent is an imagination and a big pile of junk” The lathe is an late 1970s early ‘80s American Edelstaal, Machinex 5 , 12” CTC 5” swing .New Old Stock. Motor 1hp 130v DC Made in USA by United Technologies. Motor and controller circuits are from a tread mill. Longitudinal feed motor industrial surplus from a friends basement. Base 1-1/2 marine grade plywood, salvaged from a boat builder. Crown Royal tin for the PCB enclosure. The back plates were machined by me from gray cast iron. And I purchases a handful of 5/16 HSS bits, a 4 jaw chuck from HF and a live center from Enco. So now have to make a few parts and finish putting it together. Cost for all that? Less than a Taig. Helping a friend Priceless!!
Tin Falcon


05-07-2006, 06:25 PM
Nice job Tin!

05-08-2006, 12:10 AM
Looks like something I would build. :)

Something old something new some thing borrowed and something blue

So when you two getting married? :D

Tin Falcon
05-08-2006, 06:59 AM
I have seen the photos of your work. I take that very much as a compliment.
I HAVE been married for amost 20 years keep wondering about parole LOL but know I am a lifer. I am not supised some would make that type of coment. Was hoping it would get folks attention.
Guess this project left most folks speechless over 300 lookers and two posts.

Cecil Walker
05-08-2006, 07:47 AM
Great job Tin, now i know why i have not heard from you lately. Tell the family hello for me will ya.

05-08-2006, 07:55 AM
nice job ! I think evan would have made one except he has been busy with the mill! i like the Crown Royal enclosure.

05-08-2006, 09:09 AM
I have seen the photos of your work. I take that very much as a compliment.

Heh. I didn't say I would show anybody. Just kidding, I have built many a project that is along the same lines in using whatever is available to make something the works well. I don't use cookie tins though since I have gluten intolerance.

American Edelstaal? I am guessing that is/was the US counterpart of Canadian Edelstaal who were the distributor of the Unimat series from Austria. Do you know where the lathe was actually made?

05-08-2006, 11:10 AM
Nice job! Now are you happy? ;)

Tin Falcon
05-08-2006, 04:37 PM
Evan :
American Eddestaal Inc
1 Atwood Avenue
Tenafly NJ 07670
The copyright date on the manual/ project book is 1979

Tin Falcon
06-24-2006, 06:25 PM
Well guys:
Thought you might like an update on the lathe project. I ended up a little more involved than I planned. Bottom line I dropped it off to its rightful owner in Maryland today and he loved it. He was very grateful for the work I did on it. He thanked me several times.
I did end up changing some things and making needed additions. Instead of the crown royal tin I used a wooden box for the board enclose. I also made a housing around the existing fan and ducted it into the CB enclose box. The longitudinal feed works great for turning pen blanks. This is the main purpose this lathe was set up.
We set the lathe up in his shop and did some test cuts and a quick tutorial. It seemed a little ironic teaching him how to run a lathe knowing his experience as a former high school shop teacher. He is a bit rusty though after being retired for over ten years and mostly teaching wood working with only some metal shop experience. I am confident he will do well with it and pick up things quickly. We discovered that the cross feed is calibrated in millimeters. So he was very grateful that I also took him a set of digital calipers that switch between millimeters and inches. Well I am hoping he will soon decide to cut some metal with it and joint the HSM ranks. Well enough talk, here are some pictures.



06-24-2006, 07:02 PM
Tin -
You must be a helluva friend to make that for a guy. Nice work - now get it away from that #$^% trash can! :D

Where in MD has it gone?

Tin Falcon
06-24-2006, 07:16 PM
Sorry for the choice of display base!! It was MILES away from the trash can when I posted the pics. My friend is in Rising Sun

06-24-2006, 07:28 PM
Nice job,did you build your own speed control?

charlie coghill
06-24-2006, 07:39 PM
Very nice job.

Guess this project left most folks speechless over 300 lookers and two posts.

yes, I know what you mean.

Tin Falcon
06-24-2006, 07:43 PM
No, the speed controler and motor were graciously donated by a retired tread mill. I prayed a lot and found one that was made in USA. And at a very reasonable price.It would be nice to find a couple more.

06-25-2006, 03:39 PM
good job tin, thanks for the pics, tom

10-18-2006, 07:35 PM

I'm new to the board, and have just purchased a Machinex5. It's pretty much complete with the exception of the chuck. I saw from your original post that you used an HF 4-jaw.

Coupla questions if you don't mind.....

Do you remember the HF part number of the chuck? How did you manage to mount it on the Macxhinex spindle? I've been going nuts trying to get anything that'll fit the 1" x 16 TPI dimensions.



10-18-2006, 07:48 PM
CharlieB, I did not post the topic but I have bought a chuck from HF before. The 4 jaws are on the shelf in my local store. Around $35+ dollars. A part number, I dont know. I can look nextime I'm in there.

As for the mounting, make one. You have a chuck of some sort dont you? Even a face plate will get you going. Mount up a small piece of material and chase the threads into the plate.

There is some setup work to keep it all true but it does not sound out of the relm of possibilities.


Tin Falcon
10-18-2006, 08:56 PM
Congratulations on the new lathe. The machinex seems to be a nice little lathe. Like rockrat said I just picked one up at the local HF store. It was on the shelf do not have a record of the part # the lathe was set up for a friend so the box went with the lathe . HF online does not list the chuck I bought. Another source would be http://www.littlemachineshop.com . 3" 3 jaw PN1187 $69.00 3" 4 jaw 1175 $49.95 the 1" 16 is an odd size I did not even try to find a back plate that size. LMS.com sells a 3/4 -16 back plate for $ 20 that could be bored out and threaded. I made two from scratch from cast iron.Made the second one for when if my friend wants to pick up a 3 jaw chuck I started by making a gage from 1 inch brass round as close to the spindle size as possible. I then threaded the parts on the 9" SB and used the gage to size the internal thread. the part was roughed out on the south Bend and the face and shouder were finished insitu in the machinex. Send me an e-mail if you want to go the from scratch route I may be able to help with a piece of stock. Also POI the one I worked on has metric calibrated dials. They were made in the late 70s when the whole world was sussposed to go metric.
here is a photo of the back plate
Hope this Helps
Tin Falcon

10-19-2006, 08:31 AM

Thanks for all that info. I hit the HF store yesterday, but they didn't stock any chucks, so I'll just go the mail order route, perhaps LMS. I don't have any chuck whatsoever, but the guy from whom I purchased the lathe is trying to rustle up a faceplate for me. Since I don't have any way to cut the threads, however, I'll probably get an off the shelf plate and have it bored and threaded for me.

Once again, thanks for taking the time to clarify things for me. Saved me a lot of legwork.


Tin Falcon
10-20-2006, 03:51 PM
Went to harbor freight store today. Seems like the 3" 4 jaw is no longer stocked. One of the sales peeople checked their computer and nothing showed up. Also none on the shelf. I had another thought though. I have an old craftman Dunlap lathe that has a 4 jaw chuck the face plate has a small shoulder on it and it has holes drilled and tapped for 10-32 scews. So the face pale is the back plate and the back plate is the face plate. If you can get a face plate for the machinex this Idea could get you up and running. Cut the shoulder just deep enough to get a good center index you should not have to go full depth.
Regards Tin

11-01-2006, 09:23 PM
Hello again:

I've been mulling over everyone's suggestions and have decided to try the following:

1) Order a chuck and backplate from LMS.

2) Order the following tap from Wholesale Tool:


3) Bore and tap the backplate.

Now for a few of questions:

Would I be better off getting a semi-finished backplate (3/8 pilot hole, no chuck mounting holes), or a finished backplate (already threaded for 3/4 - 16, chuck mounting holes already drilled)?

Is the tap I referenced the correct one to use?

How large should I bore the center hole on the backplate before using the tap?

As you can no doubt guess, I'm new to all of this, and I'm trying to get everything set up correctly before taking the leap.

Thanks for your past advice, and thanks in advance for whatever other help you may be able to offer.


Tin Falcon
11-02-2006, 06:27 AM
Am heading out for the day job let me get back to you in the PM do not want to do a hasty post and forget important details.
Tin Falcon

cam m
11-02-2006, 01:38 PM

I'd like to help, but I can't figure out if you have a 1"-16 spindle or a 3/4" - 16 spindle? The Taig lathe has, I believe, a 3/4" - 16 spindle nose. The Taig 4 jaws are available from LMS, Lee Valley, House of Tools, or directly from Taig.

FWIW, I made a face plate for my Taig simply by drilling & tapping a hole with a 3/4"-16 taper tap from the local tooling supplier (Thomas Skinner AIR) and then finishing insitu.


11-02-2006, 02:11 PM

It's definitely 1" x 16TPI. The lathe's an Edelstaal Machinex5, not a Taig.



11-02-2006, 02:39 PM
I'd buy the faceplate/backing plate with the threaded center. The thread quality will be much better and truer than you could possibly do with a tap. That is something that you need to be accurate.

11-02-2006, 03:51 PM

Yes, but the problem I have is that I cannot find an "off the shelf" backplate threaded for 1 x 16. I mentioned the 3/4 x 16 backplate (easily obtained) only as a possible starting point for making a 1 x 16.



Tin Falcon
11-02-2006, 05:08 PM
I see advantages and disadvantages to the back plate choices. If you go with the pre machined back plate things should go easier. There is less metal to remove less than an 1/8 in off the radius and off 1/4 on the diameter. on the bore and you should not have to mess with hole locations. If the factory was carefull and you are carefull this should be the way to go. The advantage of the blank is you have full control of the machining and a little more room for error. The disadvantage is there is more of it. Of course you are a HSM and doing this because you want to. You will have to locate the holes there is a template and instuctions on the LMS.com site. an easy way of locating the holes is tranfer buttons available from wholesale tool amongst other places IIRC it is M6 you need.
I do not see why the tap will not work.
the hole needs to be bored .932 to .946
Work careful keep the tap square to the work. Cast iron is not hard to machine but the chips are like dirt. Keep the shop vac nozzle near your cutter. cast Iron is run dry and air cooled.
After the hole is bored counter bored and tapped then finish with it mounted on the spindle.
How do you plan on boring out the hole?

11-02-2006, 06:22 PM

Haven't worked out the boring part yet. I've got a buddy at work who has a drill press, and I figure we can do the job with a 15/16 bit and a light touch. Might even try a couple of adjustable reamers. Worse comes to worst, there's always black powder and a shaped charge.

You're right, I do want to get my hands dirty with this. And if it doesn't come out right the first time, well, a little wrapping paper and ribbon and, voila, my brother-in-law gets a new paperweight for Christmas.

Thanks again for your help,