View Full Version : Shop built cross slide handle

05-24-2010, 01:03 PM

I made this South Bend 9" cross slide handle. It is about the same size as a South Bend 10L handle. The larger size gives better control than the original handle. Gary P. Hansen

05-24-2010, 01:48 PM
Nice job and it must have been an interesting exercise. You could say a little more about how you approached it and particular things you'd suggest to do or avoid. Simply holding the workpiece presents challenges at some points.

05-24-2010, 02:32 PM
I center drilled the large ball end so I could use a live center and then turned the balls just by eye. After I polished the balls with abrasive paper I parted off the handle. Next, I set up the handle (Standing Up) in a four jaw chuck and turned the flats on the center ball, counter bored it and drilled it. Then I turned up a plug that fit the center hole so I could drill it for the Dutchman key. Half the hole was in the plug and half in the handle. Anyway, there is more of a write up and photos on the South Bend section of the PM site. Gary P. Hansen

Bill Pace
05-24-2010, 02:54 PM
Thats pretty darn good for free handing it Gary!

I had free handed a couple and its a slow, time consuming, and tedious process. There came a time when I wanted to make several handles and I knew I didnt want to do a bunch free handed.

With most ball turners its very difficult to get past the one ball sticking out on the end, so doing the other 2 balls necessary for a ball handle can get about as involved as free handing one.

Having seen a couple examples of a ball turner made from a boring head, I thought it would be much more capable of doing all 3 balls with little hand work to finish up -- and it indeed does do a very good job! I made some 6-8 of them.....

These are for a 9x20 to replace the original tiny crappy round ones.



05-24-2010, 03:21 PM
Bill: those are nice looking handles. I have heard of people using boring heads to turn balls but I had not thought about the advantage of being able to turn more than one on the same shaft. I cut the three balls on the 1909 Le Blond that you made the gears for. THANKS! I have used those gears to cut treads with that lathe several times. It is easier to cut coarse threads with the 14" Le Blond than the 9" South Bend. Gary P. Hansen

05-24-2010, 03:33 PM
might we see more details of your boring-head-as-ball-turner?


05-24-2010, 05:18 PM
Gary, when I saw you post on the ball turning using the boring tool, it reminded me of a artical I had rat-holed on my list of things to build. It uses the same principale and works about the same.
I made one this past weekend and it works great.
The artical is here: http://members.optusnet.com.au/moreshedstuff/BallTurner.html
There is four pages in all, and is a easy build.
Now I will have to make one like yours.

05-24-2010, 06:15 PM
I'm in the process of building a ball turning fixture. The usual set-up, a base that rotates mounted on the cross-slide, with a long handle holding a tall tool holder.

I would have gone down the boring head route, but one of my criteria was to be able to turn a ball 73 mm in diameter, and my lathe only has an 8inch swing.

The French game of petanque, or boules, uses steel, brass or plastic balls, and you toss them underhand down a gravel track while puffing on Gauloises, sipping wine and coughing out gutteral Parisian.

The steel or brass are somewhat hollow, but I want to be able to turn those, and I figured I needed the rigidity of the full turning fixture.

I may find I'll do a boring head version later too if/when my first version doesn't work !

Bill Pace
05-24-2010, 08:24 PM
might we see more details of your boring-head-as-ball-turner?

Had to experiment with several variations on the cutting tool and its placement to get what I wanted, the rest was just a matter of fitting it up to pivot and mount on the QC.


05-24-2010, 10:52 PM
Bill, that lathe looks familar! You sure do some fine work as usual.

Mike Burdick
05-24-2010, 10:55 PM
One nice thing about a ball handle is that they can be designed to be balanced. If they're not, vibration will cause the handle to turn until the heavy part is at the bottom. :(