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View Full Version : Refinished my baby lathe



mars-red
01-28-2012, 08:54 PM
Just thought I'd share this - nothing major, but I got sick of the tired old finish on my jeweler's lathe. The plating (nickel, maybe?) had flaked off badly in a few areas and surface rust had set in. I always wanted to paint one of my lathes a really loud color, so I went for it. Cheap lacquer spray paint, in case I didn't like it. Turns out I like it a lot, so when this stuff wears off I'll have to see what I can find for good rugged paint in a similar color.

Here is the "before":
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-qDnBohBpa8U/TxYRJwBi3sI/AAAAAAAAAcs/mieSK4e2W_Y/s800/rivett_ww_lathe.jpg

Here it is now:
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-4Jmtax3Grbs/TySdDPHdz1I/AAAAAAAAAeE/zhReB2VWMiY/s1024/rivett_lathe_refinished_resized.jpg

gwilson
01-28-2012, 09:38 PM
Sorry if this is a stupid question,but are you sure the quill is not put backwards into the tailstock?

Deus Machina
01-28-2012, 09:48 PM
Wow, I like it. Good job!

How did you go about hiding the rough spots where the plating had come off?

J Tiers
01-28-2012, 11:47 PM
Sorry if this is a stupid question,but are you sure the quill is not put backwards into the tailstock?


Hey I KNOW it is!

Handles on back out of the way.

You do get maybe another inch C-C his way.....

mars-red
01-29-2012, 09:14 AM
Sorry if this is a stupid question,but are you sure the quill is not put backwards into the tailstock?

Haha nope, it is definitely in the correct way. :)

Edit: I'll elaborate on this, because I can see this starting a big argument for no reason. The way I have it in the pic is the most convenient arrangement, not only because the levers are to hand but I find there's more clearance for graver work. I've always run it this way, without even thinking of anything else, because it's how I noticed other watchmakers working. It wasn't until I bought my instrument lathe (in another post somewhere) that I realized running it the other way was even something to consider (my instrument lathe has a screw feed tailstock and so the quill can only go through in one direction). I honestly don't know why anyone would run the tailstock turned around the "correct" way on one of these that doesn't have a feeding tailstock.

mars-red
01-29-2012, 09:16 AM
Wow, I like it. Good job!

How did you go about hiding the rough spots where the plating had come off?

Thanks very much! There ended up being nothing to hide - I stripped the plating completely (elbow grease & abrasive - no small feat, it was really thick plating) on both the headstock and tailstock. The small amounts of pitting in the bead didn't seem worth the effort and the paint filled them in quite well. After working them over with abrasive paper (600 grit followed by 1000) I hit them with a buffing wheel.

sasquatch
01-29-2012, 09:30 AM
While reading and starting to scroll down, i thought, Oh NO not purple or lime green or something,,,,But i do like that,, and the job looks very inpressive too!:D

And the make of the lathe is ??

vpt
01-29-2012, 09:32 AM
I had a car that color! I believe the color on the car was a burnt orange pearl or something. Looks good! The little lathes come in very handy when you need them. I like my little unimat for tiny parts.

mars-red
01-29-2012, 09:36 AM
While reading and starting to scroll down, i thought, Oh NO not purple or lime green or something,,,,But i do like that,, and the job looks very inpressive too!:D

And the make of the lathe is ??

Thanks very much! It is an E. Rivett - I bought it before I realized their earlier jeweler's lathes took a proprietary collet type. Fortunately this one turned out to be a standard WW pattern. It's been a long time since I looked into it, but as I recall the machine seemed to be made sometime in the 1930s.

gwilson
01-29-2012, 10:04 AM
As long as the centers of the headstock and the tailstock align perfectly,I don't se why you can't use the tailstock as you are using it.

However,if you go to Tony Griffith's website,and look at the Rivett watch maker's lathe pictures,their tailstocks are arranged the other way around.

To each his own.

mars-red
01-29-2012, 11:28 AM
As long as the centers of the headstock and the tailstock align perfectly,I don't se why you can't use the tailstock as you are using it.

However,if you go to Tony Griffith's website,and look at the Rivett watch maker's lathe pictures,their tailstocks are arranged the other way around.

To each his own.

You are correct there, all the hours I spent on that site and I never noticed that. I think once I have a cross slide for this machine (I only have the t-rest right now) then the clearance will be much less of an issue (my hands won't be in there, trying to get comfortable). Perhaps then I can run it "as nature intended" :)

J Tiers
01-29-2012, 11:35 AM
I would think there would be MORE "stuff" in the way as you have it..... The "toe" of the tailstock, the handles......... stuff sticking out....

Since use of the tailstock for between centers turning is less common with watchmaking (so much is turned simply in a collet), you can just take it off when you don't need it. then NO problem.

If you also have a jeweling tailstock, you will take off the one you have on to use the other anyway.

And when you DO use the T/S, for drilling etc, you don't need your hands in there so much.

gwilson
01-29-2012, 01:49 PM
I have an incomplete old watch lathe that has what looks like an original olive drab paint job on it. Can't recall the make. Wonder if it was military?

mars-red
01-29-2012, 02:43 PM
I have an incomplete old watch lathe that has what looks like an original olive drab paint job on it. Can't recall the make. Wonder if it was military?

Neat! I know there were a lot of military documentation and specifications regarding watch repair so it wouldn't surprise me if there were military versions of some of the equipment as well. I don't suppose you have any pics? I know I'd love to see it!

mars-red
01-29-2012, 02:50 PM
I would think there would be MORE "stuff" in the way as you have it..... The "toe" of the tailstock, the handles......... stuff sticking out....

Since use of the tailstock for between centers turning is less common with watchmaking (so much is turned simply in a collet), you can just take it off when you don't need it. then NO problem.

If you also have a jeweling tailstock, you will take off the one you have on to use the other anyway.

And when you DO use the T/S, for drilling etc, you don't need your hands in there so much.

Most of the work I've done on it so far has involved using the tailstock to support the work piece (winding stems and balance staffs are quite long in relation to their diameter). I've spent a lot of time just practicing making balance staffs and for those I start with the tailstock being used for support and then for finishing I turn between centers using a tiny dog. The contour of the "tail" side of the tailstock gives more clearance, with the same amount of quill "overhang", for the outside of my right hand and wrist - the levers are never in the way. Although with this paint I may not like the idea of resting my hand against the bottom of the "tail" like I often do.

I desperately need a cross slide for this thing, and when that happens this will all be a non-issue - I anticipate it will only be for finishing balance staffs that I'll be using the t-rest and a graver (or perhaps also for making jewel settings, but the tailstock would be removed for that anyhow).

Alistair Hosie
01-29-2012, 03:37 PM
Wow it looks great. I would never have tried that colour , but you did a great job and proved me wrong.Have fun Brother. Alistair

mars-red
01-29-2012, 04:46 PM
Wow it looks great. I would never have tried that colour , but you did a great job and proved me wrong.Have fun Brother. Alistair

Thanks Alistair! :)

gwilson
01-29-2012, 05:42 PM
I'd not have used that color either,BUT,a coat of smooth paint can brighten a little lathe up!

lynnl
01-29-2012, 07:52 PM
Just tell folks it's a Kubota lathe.

mars-red
01-29-2012, 08:06 PM
Just tell folks it's a Kubota lathe.

:D Nice one!

Not to get off topic but I notice you're in Huntsville - I have family down there, spent almost every summer there as a kid.

Kenwc
01-29-2012, 08:36 PM
It reminds me of the color of Lyman reloading equipment. Looks goog.

J Tiers
01-30-2012, 12:19 AM
Most of the work I've done on it so far has involved using the tailstock to support the work piece (winding stems and balance staffs are quite long in relation to their diameter). I've spent a lot of time just practicing making balance staffs and for those I start with the tailstock being used for support and then for finishing I turn between centers using a tiny dog.

Never tried that way, I have made some balance staffs, but they were done by reversing in a collet, similar to what would have been done with a wax chuck.

I do have some female centers, which would work for it, I guess.

Only used the tailstock for drilling, really,