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J Tiers
05-16-2006, 11:29 PM
Anyone look at the "MLA toolpost" article?

Got to wondering about that, and it seems like every part that is good about an Aloris post is removed from that one, except the way it holds the holder.

It does not reproduce tool location when you put back the tool. When you loosen the toolholder, the whole thing slides around.

It does not reproduce not easily adjust tool height (that could be fixed).

It won't even stay at the same angle.


It's a good idea, probably..... but I think I would peg the front of the post to the baseplate, leaving the back movable with the lever tightener. Then I would bolt the base down to the compound separate from the tightening lever.

The basic principle could still be used, but the good features of that style post would be brought back.

It just seemed puzzlesome......... why make a completely inferior post, when a minor amount of effort added would make it work so much better?

JCHannum
05-16-2006, 11:44 PM
I had the pleasure of spending the weekend of the NAMES show set up next to Andy Loftquist. He is a nice guy and I enjoyed getting to know him.

When people asked him that, his reply was that he wanted the flexibility of moving the toolpost to suit the job.

There is a through tapped hole for a setscrew to set the tool height, but a "hanger" similar to the Aloris could be provided.

The toolpost as presented is a very simple design that is easily made, and embellishments can be added to suit the builder. For several years, I used a home brew version of the KRF Omni Post advertised in HSM. Mine did not have the repeatable indexing feature, but did have height adjustment. It was far and away better than the rocker style or four way style, and I would think Andy's toolpost would offer similar benefits.

J Tiers
05-17-2006, 01:12 AM
Nothing wrong with using what you like.....

But if you go to the trouble of doing an article, I would suppose that one might want to mention the improvements that might be good, maybe even do some sketches.

For something like an aloris post, the improvements are already completely known by anyone who has seen or used such a post. And, they were "subtracted" to get to the post in the article.

I can easily see how to improve that one, but not everyone can "build stuff in their head".

Well, its out there now, along with #173 of the never ending engine article, and "how to spend a lot of money and time building a surface grinder that is almost like a real one, using large equipment that your shop probably does not have or you'd already have a surface grinder, and end up with something not quite as good as what you could have bought for $200 used".

In case you think I am an incurable grump.... I didn't mind the lawn edger article that got so many folks uptight..... and I liked the bench rest article, etc, etc, etc......

John Stevenson
05-17-2006, 04:49 AM
It makes you wonder if anyone looks at the overall design of these things before they print them or just accept it and let it go ?

Recently in MEW there was a design for a attachment [ no names mentioned ] in this attachment was a shaft that carries a spacer, a gear and a nut.
Total length of this shaft was 25mm, the nut was 5mm, don't know what the gear was as it was omitted from the drawings and the spacer was 22mm long.

Now I don't know about others but drawings should tell you all you need to know, words are extra. So there is no way this is going to go together, UNTIL you read the text.

Believe it or not in the text it said. "Take the spacer and cut 12mm off " I searched for what you did with the 10mm bit but it wasn't used. So why not draw the spacer at 12mm long instead of 22mm long ?

It makes you question how many actually build these attachments from the magazines, looking closely at the design of this one it wouldn't have worked correctly due to a cutter shaft only having one output bearing at one end, the other end being unsupported.

.

Alguy
05-17-2006, 07:57 AM
I read the article , as a novice i can easily miss what is wrong with a project i did wonder what if you wanted to keep the same tool angle , i think i am becoming a bit more skeptical of the hsm articles .

The bench surface grinder article also seemed a bit beyond my abilty and my equipments abilty , i have bench sized equipment a sb9 and benchmaster mill
6 by 12 travel . and yes no# 173 of the never ending engine projects that never intrest me .

I dont know if it would be good series of articles but i think it might . Start with something like "i just got a lathe now what?" perhaps something along the lines of the british model engineers , Where they start assembling thier shop from the tooling they make. Start with something easy to more complex as skillbuilding series . I have found Forrests new hand series helpfull, as a novice i struggle at times to understand the articles .

that was my rant and my 2 cents
allen

joeby
05-17-2006, 08:24 AM
It's all a matter of personal preference. I have used Aloris toolposts for a long time, and I have a Kirkelie QC toolpost on my lathe at home. I like both the Aloris and Kirkelie; but I don't do production work, mostly one-offs, and the toolpost does get moved around a lot.

I have the toolpost put on my to-do list, as I intend to make one to fit the P&W lathe I am working on. Three reasons come immediately to mind, 1) The price is right, 2) It will work well for the type of work I do, 3) A major improvement over a lantern toolpost.

At the very least, I'm glad Andy contributed to the magazine. The pile of articles to be published surely can't be all that deep, and I have to agree, some should have been left in the pile.

Just my opinions.

Kevin

JCHannum
05-17-2006, 11:12 AM
No single design of toolpost will answer all the needs of machining. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. Andy's design is different, but certainly not inferior.

Andy set out to build a toolpost that met several criteria; Convenient and rapid changing between tools. Flexibility in presenting the tool to the work. Easy fabrication with a minimum of parts.

He met these criteria, and passed the design and build along to HSM readers. The article is well written, has clear and accurate drawings and photos and explains techniques and choices of various materials used to build one. The article is a very good article, and anyone who wishes can build a useful tool from the instructions presented.

Andy is a pretty capable guy, and I am sure if he wanted to duplicate an Aloris tool post, he could. He instead designed a simplified version that is easily made in the home shop.

GRH
05-17-2006, 11:23 AM
I built the one designed by John Stevenson and I really like it. A big advantage is I don't have to worry about needing extra holders as I can make them when required, I make a batch of 6 at a time and it's a lot less expensive than buying them. Another thing some manufacturers change stuff so your stuck.

Regards Graeme

TGTool
05-17-2006, 11:41 AM
I think too, the MLA toolpost is a good design and good writeup. He clearly explains that he doesn't do production work so repetitive setup wasn't a design criteria. He wanted some of what he considered advantages of the lantern toolpost (quick flexible tool presentation to the work) with the advantages of quick easy tool replacement and constant set height. Lots of design features are mutually exclusive so you choose the best set for your purpose and find a product that most nearly meets that.

Jan M.

Herm Williams
05-17-2006, 12:27 PM
Hello
I probably won't build either the toolpost or the surface grinder BUT I read the both articles. I'm allways interested in how things are done. He points out some procedures that I wish I had had when I was making extra holders for my aloris and kdk holders. The surface grinder has a lot of parts that have to be precise to function correctly, for me not an easy task. I admire people who can make things and can write a clear description.
my two cents worth.
re

TECHSHOP
05-17-2006, 06:58 PM
I found both articles interesting, but like everything in every other "how to" magazine or book, I will likely never make it exactly like the "original" in the article.

That does not mean that I found the design inferior, but more than likely because I have different requirements, machines, materials, and skills. I think to ask a writer to include all that would be "too much to ask" for a "how to" article. Same with the "prints", sometimes only the "relationship" and fit of the parts are important, not everything needs to be dimensioned " xxx+-0.0005".

I do like the UK magazines, both woodworking and metal working, they have a different "spirit" from what is published for the USA market.

I actually think that the articles are "climbing out of a slump" in the last few months, but I am usually a "contary indicator" in just about everything.

ztarum
05-17-2006, 07:20 PM
I think the MLA design is pretty good.
I have an Aloris BXA on my lathe (13" swing), and I find that is a bit big and clunky. Since then I have bought a 40 position "multifix" type post. I like this better because it given me more available angles, but it is not as easy to drop tools on and off.
Looking at the MLA post, I think it might be a really good post (at least for me). It provides rigidity and repeatability in height, and can be quickly set to any desired angle, which I think is a nice feature. As others have mentioned, repeating to a particular angle often isn't necessary in the home shop.
About the only thing I would want to add would be a single index or detent so that I could quickly and accurately set the post square to the axis for boring or mounting a threading tool.

lane
05-17-2006, 07:42 PM
The neet thing abour the articals in HSM is they may give you ideas for something you yourself are building. The surface grinder in neet but I dont need one .I wont a tool an cutter grinder an the artical gave me some ideas to work from , the same with the tool post . I built one 30 years ago I borried an Aloris an copyed it. But if you are not around this stuff all day in a shop you dont know about a lot of it.I am trying to learn how to use a computer and a drawing program with out any one to ask question of or see it done and man it Is hard. I can just imagine buying a lathe an mill and trying to learn what to do with it with no previous knowledge. expecialeyafter 38 years of cutting iron.

Moxiedad2001
05-17-2006, 09:01 PM
I see Andy Lofquist frequently as we live just a few miles apart. I was sort of "in on" the design of the toolpost described in the article. Andy did not set out to duplicate or improve upon the Aloris design, he set out to design an inexpensive replacement for a lantern post.

I use an Aloris AXA, and I was skeptical from the beginning about the usefulness of his design. However, now that it is done, I say DO NOT DISCOUNT the handiness of this toolpost. The repeatability of the Aloris is gained at the expense of ready flexibility in rotating the post in the X-Y plane. I have my Alorix locked in at 30 degrees to the compound axis and am loathe to change it even when I should. Andy’s toolpost has instantaneous versatility because both the holder and the post are locked by a single motion of the handle. I like it a lot, and Andy does also. He has made a dozen or so holders for it and uses it all the time. No, I will not make one to replace my Aloris. But, knowing what I know, I would not feel at all disadvantaged by having one in place of the Aloris. It’s a right handy piece of tooling.

I might add that there are a lot of articles in HSM that are about as readable as assembly instructions for a Chinese-made gadget. Some describe projects that almost no one will make, and they are not worth reading by anyone else. Andy writes with skill and wit (he has a master’s degree in creative writing). Even those who don’t need a new toolpost can read his article without falling asleep, and they may even profit from it. In my opinion, his is exactly the kind of article that we need more of in HSM.

K. Steiner

chief
05-17-2006, 10:24 PM
over the years and have found them to be well thought out, fairly priced and good qaulity material. He isn't trying to get rich. If you don't like his products
design and build your own. He is designing things for the HSM who has only a lathe to work with, it's quite easy to build things when you have a fully equipped shop but when you are limited to just a lathe and maybe a drill press it brings out the talent. This is one of the reasons I am not impressed with these CNC projects, I am not belittling anyone's interests or capabilites but I think it takes a bit more talent and skill when you do it manually.

J Tiers
05-17-2006, 10:50 PM
I like the MLA stuff also. I have a Logan, so nearly nothing of his is of any use to me but they look like nice items. He is strictly Atlas / Southbend oriented, by his own statement to me. He said that some things "might" fit Logan, but didn't know.

That is why I was puzzled. Thanks to a post above, I re-examined the drawings, and I see the hole in the toolholders that would work for a height screw, but when I read the article I didn't see any mention of the use for that hole, even when I went back looking for it. It isn't shown on the "general assembly" drawing.

In any case, that disposes of a major WTF that I had when reading the article.

I think a post that combined the fixed location AND the movability when needed would be good.

As it happens, I would primarily WANT the fixed location and repeatability of position, so it is another "MLA" item I can't use...........

ulav8r
05-18-2006, 09:14 AM
Looks like it would be easy to add a fixed position with one simple additional part. Mount a pin in the t-nut, fit he nut so it doesn't rotate, and put one or more holes in the main body to fit over the pin. To change angles, loosen the handle, lift the body and rotate to the desire location.

J Tiers
05-18-2006, 09:28 AM
Not that simple....

It would still slide around along the t-nut slot.

You need to peg the body ON ONE SIDE OF THE SLOT to the base, and then make the bolt-down independent of the clamping.

Or just buy an Aloris post......

JCHannum
05-18-2006, 09:48 AM
I like the MLA stuff also. I have a Logan, so nearly nothing of his is of any use to me but they look like nice items. He is strictly Atlas / Southbend oriented, by his own statement to me. He said that some things "might" fit Logan, but didn't know............

It might do you well to take a look at the MLA site before passsing along misinformation.

http://www.statecollegecentral.com/metallathe/index.html

Andy has 21 kits available that can be adapted to many machines. One of them is specifically for the Atlas lathe, but it can probably be modified to fit other machines as well. The Cross Slide kit, No S-4382 is made for the South Bend 9" & 10K, and may fit some Logan and other machines. There are dimensioned drawings provided so the buyer can determine the two kits' adaptability to other machines.

Most of his kits are directed toward the 9"-12" size lathe which is common in many home shops. It would be impossible to produce items that would fit every machine ever made in this range, and it would be equally difficult for him to know if a given item would fit a given machine, but he has done a good job in accomodating many of them.

Discounting the two cross slide kits that may or may not fit a given machine, 18 machine accessory kits remain that are of excellent quality and will produce useful accessories for the shop. The remaining kit is for the MLA diesel engine, which can be made on any machine.

It would seem to me that twenty out of the twenty one items offered could be of use to you. That is not a bad average.

SGW
05-18-2006, 11:25 AM
A friend of mine has made the T-slot cross slide for his 11" Logan.

ulav8r
05-18-2006, 12:31 PM
Not that simple....

It would still slide around along the t-nut slot.

You need to peg the body ON ONE SIDE OF THE SLOT to the base, and then make the bolt-down independent of the clamping.

Or just buy an Aloris post......

You're right, of course. Add a second simple part, a set screw in the t-nut to lock it in place.

This tool post would be cheaper than a new Aloris, good experience for a novice, something to do if you like making stuff and don't have enough projects or just want to say you made it yourself.

J Tiers
05-18-2006, 01:59 PM
It might do you well to take a look at the MLA site before passsing along misinformation.


JCH....

Please do NOT make unjustified assumptions and statements..... you assume I was a D-S and didn't ask.

Some years back, when I was looking at the MLA stuff, I actually ASKED Mr Lofquist about use with the Logan.

His response on the crosslide was essentially that he didn't make it to fit Logan, it was for SB and Atlas, and that it might or might not fit the Logan, I was on my own if it didn't.

I could not get sufficient dimensions to determine that from him. Since then, he has updated lots of things, and the info may be there, but I no longer need or want the milling stuff he has.

SO IF I AM PASSING ALONG "MISINFORMATION", IT CAME FROM THE MAKER OF THE STUFF IN QUESTION. IF THERE IS A MORE RELIABLE SOURCE THAN THAT, PLEASE SHOW IT TO ME.

possibly some of the toolposts would fit... although the center heights are wrong in some cases.

BUT it looks like all the "milling on the lathe" stuff , which is what I wanted at the time, requires the crosslide as a pre-requisite. That is what they mount on. I would have had to buy the kit, not cheap, and probably have had someone else mill the dovetails, also not cheap.... lots of $$ to spend on something the manufacturer wasn't sure would work....

The otehr items are not a whole lot of good without the thing they mount on, are they?

On top of that, my Logan compound will NOT mount on the MLA crosslide.....which is made to fit the S-B style. So there was another incompatibility.

Got any more to say about how stupid I am? :rolleyes:

John Stevenson
05-18-2006, 02:29 PM
I built the one designed by John Stevenson and I really like it. A big advantage is I don't have to worry about needing extra holders as I can make them when required, I make a batch of 6 at a time and it's a lot less expensive than buying them. Another thing some manufacturers change stuff so your stuck.

Regards Graeme
I admire a man with remarkable taste :) :)
That design is quite an old one, drawing have the 1994 date on them but this was when they went onto the web,

http://www.metalwebnews.com/howto/toolpost/toolpost.html

going by the text file and my sons age in the text the original one must have been built 1987/88

Now bear in mind this was before all the cheap imports, you may have had Alloris type posts in the US but all he had were the d.i.c.kson type. The one for the Myford with 3 holders was two weeks wages at that time here and out of my reach.

The reason mine is reversed is that I wanted the holders, of which you need plenty, to be easy to make and an internal dovetail wouldn't help this.
It doesn't matter how complex the post, you only need one but the holders have to be easy.

Having an old horizontal mill meant I could run a stick of these out using a 60 degree side and face cutter, turn them over, run back and I had a stick.
Once sawn off and the tool slot / hole put in it was then finished.

That post and the 14 or 16 odd holders have long been gone when the Myford was sold to make way for larger equipment.
Since then I have made three more posts to the same design but slightly larger and these sit on a 10", 12" and 14" lathes and by different stop hights they share the same 48 or so holders between them.

Was it worth the effort ? Yes I feel it was to get this number of holders between three machines. Since doing these I must have saved far more time that it took to make.

.

JCHannum
05-18-2006, 05:56 PM
"JCH....
SO IF I AM PASSING ALONG "MISINFORMATION", IT CAM FROM THE MAKER OF THE STUFF IN QUESTION. IF THERE IS A MORE RELIABLE SOURCE THAN THAT, PLEASE SHOW IT TO ME."

I posted a link to MLA website that clearly shows all of his products.

http://www.statecollegecentral.com/metallathe/index.html

"BUT it looks like all the "milling on the lathe" stuff , which is what I wanted at the time, requires the crosslide as a pre-requisite. That is what they mount on.

Not a whole lot of good without the thing they mount on, are they?"

The accessories do require a flat cross slide for use. Simply because they do not make one to fit a particular lathe does not mean that someone cannot build one to fit the machine in question or modify the existing.

"On top of that, my Logan compound will NOT mount on the MLA crosslide.....which is made to fit the S-B style.

The Atlas style cross slide provides a T-slot cross slide that can be adapted to other machines. It will not accept the Atlas compound, but can be installed to use the milling attachments and several other accessories.

Got any more to say?"

I did not assume you were a D-S. I know that you are a very capable machinist.

I asked the same question of Andy, and the answer was essentially the same. But, he mentioned the castings and drawings are for the Atlas or South Bend machines, and you will have to modify the dimensions to suit your application. So, to that extent, you are on your own.

A reasonably clever person, armed with the drawings on the website and the dimensions from his lathe will be able to readily see if the castings can be used or not. I am sure they will fit many other machines, as SGW states, they will obviously fit some Logans, maybe not yours.

Many other machines already have the T-slot style cross slide and can use the attachments without the need to fabricate one.

Yes, modifications may be needed, or the mount of some of the accessories may neeed to be changed, or a spacer may be needed to raise a toolpost height, but the lathe tooling can be adapted to many lathes in this size range.

Andy's site includes many items that do not require the cross slides, and that can be used on other lathes, on milling machines and other machines or as stand alone projects. I can count 18 that have other applications, or are not lathe related at all.

When a blanket statement like his items are of use only on Atlas or South Bend lathes is made, it is very misleading, and might discourage some from looking at his product line.

Andy's products are well thought out, the castings are of excellent quality, instructions and drawings are well done and very clearly presented. Many useful items for the shop can be built from his kits, and they are highly recommended by any who have built them.

joeby
05-18-2006, 08:46 PM
I would have to agree with Jim. Not to hi-jack the thread; but I have built the MLA boring head, and everything was as Jim stated.
I don't see the toolpost as being any different. It won't be suited to everyone; but in my case, I think it will do very nicely. The final product is, however, up to the builder.
Bottom line, I would say, is yes, if an Aloris suits you, that's what you need to get. I don't make money with my home shop, so I try to avoid that kind of investment. The MLA toolpost is already paid for and in my shop, just have to knock the scrap off the right piece of material, and there it is!

Kevin

J Tiers
05-19-2006, 12:17 AM
Well, we won't fight about it.....

My information apparently is old, quite possibly from 1999 or so, but it DID come from the MLA proprietor, giving it some credibility. And the Logan compound I have is an early two-t-nut type, not the "post and set-screw" type of later models, which may indeed fit.

Nice stuff though... IMO the retracting toolpost is perhaps the nicest MLA item due to its obvious uses for threading.

GRH
05-19-2006, 10:48 AM
I have 2 square tool posts made from a 2-3/4 square blocks and one is for boring bars, I got so tired of messing with shims to get the tool on center so when I saw John's (oops I mean SIR John) design I took the time to make his,
I have (3) 60 deg dovetail cutters (1) matches my lathe saddle and cross slides ( st'd and a 11" long MLA casting of a boring table) another is for roughing C.I and the steel tool post and finally the other is for finishing the tool post parts.
The cutters cost around $26.00 from Enco.

Regards Graeme

waumbek
05-21-2006, 02:59 PM
I for one have eagerly waited to see Andy's article since playing with his toolpost at Cabin Fever. The washer or base will have to be thinned up a bit and the holders modified somewhat to work on the Emco V10, but it looks good. Toolposts are something of a problem on the V10 because you've got just less than .75 between the deck of the compound and the center height. KDK has a nice model but it's pretty pricey, the Phase II I'm using is enormous and needs the underside of the toolholders shaved down to work.
I have also tried the KRF but found it wanting in rigidity.
I'd also like to say that I think Andy's MLA designs are very nice for the older Emco family of lathes, now somewhat orphaned for parts and accessories.
I've personally found Andy to be of great help and inspiration even. A nicer guy there never was. It might be fun to build the toolpost and dress it up with that "bulls eye mixture" in Guy Lautard's books. Wonder if it would work...