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View Full Version : Some basic newbie lathe questions



stoneaxe
06-06-2010, 08:22 PM
OK- first off- THIS IS HANDS DOWN THE COOLEST TOOL I HAVE EVER BOUGHT! Man, metal lathes are just the best! And I have not even powered it up yet! Anyway, the last couple days have been spent cleaning off old cutting fluid, chips and cosmoline, and getting it off the pallet and into it's new home.
Some questions- is there a place that sells way oil like vactra #2 by the gallon ? Local suppliers seem to have it in 5 gallon buckets only.

How would I go about reattaching the thread counter dial in the right orientation? It is a cheapo stamped dial that was held on by glue and popped off during cleaning-one of the few places that shows "budget" thinking on an otherwise well made lathe. The other nameplates, threading plates etc, have the same issue, printed rather than etched, and held on with glue. I guess it is a good trade off if they spent the savings in accurate machineing instead.

And a test of the three jaw chuck- using a 1/2" x 3" shank router bit, (the only ground , true, straight thing I could come up with) measuring with a mitutoyo indicator reading in halfs, TIR using the best key hole to tighten was .0005". Using the worst keyhole resulted in .002" . These measurements were made by turning the chuck by hand, as there is no power to the machine yet. Am I correct in assuming these are good numbers for a three jaw chuck?

Is there an standard way to install a camlock chuck? I figured it might be best to work around the cam pins, tightening each one a little at a time, like you would cross tighten a car wheel?

And those two piece chuck jaws- is that so one can turn the jaws around without needing to unscrew the whole jaw?

quadrod
06-06-2010, 08:35 PM
try this. http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PARTPG=INSRAR2&PMAKA=505-1987&PMPXNO=945479
and this
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laddy
06-06-2010, 08:39 PM
Good Luck! This is one nasty Hobby!!! Fred

stoneaxe
06-06-2010, 09:17 PM
Thanks, quadrod! Just what I was looking for.

tyrone shewlaces
06-06-2010, 09:57 PM
How would I go about reattaching the thread counter dial in the right orientation?

That should be as simple as engaging the half-nut fully and anywhere while the lathe is not running, then re-affixing the indicator thingie lining up one of the lines or numbers or whatever with the pointer. If I'm wrong about this, I'm sure someone will chime in.


Am I correct in assuming these are good numbers for a three jaw chuck?
Yea some three-jaw chucks are very accurate, but most are less than perfect. It's not unusual for .002" runout and I've used some that are terribly worse. You can mark or dimple the best measured orientation so it's easy to install it there each time, but make sure it repeats the same thing before you go too far. Maybe mark with tape and check it out for a while.


Is there an standard way to install a camlock chuck? I figured it might be best to work around the cam pins, tightening each one a little at a time, like you would cross tighten a car wheel?

That's what I do. I go around once and snug it up, then go round just one more time to make sure it's all good. I don't worry about tightening opposing cams though (like I would with a car wheel), I just go around twice tightening adjacent cams.
Incidentally that's why I like the L-type spindles, which have unfortunately become kind of obsolete. Those are just tightened once, then when you go to take them off, it has its own built-in "ejector". Quicker and easier. But the camlocks aren't bad. Tons better than threaded spindles or A-type mounts. Plus they seem to be very common so finding other types of chucks to fit your lathe should be an easy search.


And those two piece chuck jaws- is that so one can turn the jaws around without needing to unscrew the whole jaw?

yup. Or for installing different jaws entirely. It's nice to have two or three sets of blocks of aluminum machined into jaws which you can consider to be expendable. You can then machine the jaws to fit your work (with steps for stops or whatever). Usually you can remove the work and re-install the next piece (or same piece) within a half thou pretty easy. Then slap the hard jaws back on for the next job or whatever. Makes it quick & easy(er).

edit to add: Sorry to hear about your misfortune. laddy's right. You're doomed like the rest of us now.
Also, be sure to work safe. Always be prepared for things to go wrong and don't get in a hurry. Even a small lathe can injure flesh pretty bad, and some have perished just trying to turn stuff. A bit of paranoia is healthy around these machines.

Dale Lusby
06-06-2010, 10:50 PM
I'm fairly new to the club myself and everyone is right, you're in for it now. Enco has way oil and spindle oil by the gallon as mentioned earlier. I'd also suggest watching videos on you tube about lathe work and grinding your own cutters. Helped me quite a bit. Would also love to see pics and know more about what machine you have.

stoneaxe
06-06-2010, 11:31 PM
No pics yet-because I do not know how. The lathe is an Acra 1340, made by Shye Sheng in Taiwan. Ten years old. They call it thier "A" series on the website. Pretty cool to actually have a Asian maker say here we are and this is us- instead of hiding totally behind some western name. Anyway, the reason I selected it was that I had looked at one a guy had for sale, but before I could educate myself about it , it sold. But the comments were good, so I started looking for another. I think they made lathes for Sharp also.

The criteria was- 11"-14" x 30"-40", simple to operate, fit in a 3' x 6' space, no more than 5hp, cut metric threads, not worn out, not totally cheesy, and have at least a 1 1/2" bore. And cost 3-4K. I was not impressed with the Mainland Chinese machines in my price bracket, the old American iron was just too big and heavy, even if I could find a good one, and there were too many unknowns about parts, etc with an European lathe or a Brazilian lathe like the Nardini- So a clean used Taiwan machine seemed like the best bet, I have had very good luck with thier woodworking equipment also.

I have gone over every square inch of this with a toothbrush and solvent and it seems like good quality machine-does not have the casting finish of a American machine, but the ways are clean and well ground, the crossfeed and compound have scraped ways, there is minimal slop , it has a footbrake, etc. Popped the cover off the headstock and the gears look well gound and fairly beefy compared to some I have looked at.

So if this thing is anything like a woodworking shaper, I now get to spend the family fortune on tooling......will probably make the cost of the lathe look irrelevant....:)

wooleybooger
06-06-2010, 11:52 PM
mr pete222 has some good videos on you tube. MIT (the university) has a series on machine tools if you can find them. i dont have a link. pics or a better description of your machine would be nice.

andy_b
06-07-2010, 07:21 PM
I don't think it matters how you stick the thread dial back on. Depending on where the leadscrew is in its rotation and where you are along the length of the lathe bed will all change the position of the dial. The dial isn't a reference to anything other than where you start the cut in your work.

Grizzly, Enco, Grainger, McMaster-Carr should all sell way oil in gallon containers (they used to). I've been using Enco when I buy it.

andy b.