View Full Version : "Metal Lathe" web site and the milling attachment.

10-14-2012, 09:47 PM
Anyone have any dealings with Andrew Lofquist at the Metal Lathe web site? I'm trying to find out something about the milling attachment and he is either not understanding my question or just being evasive.
All I want to know is whether it will function just like the south bend milling attachment when it is completed or will I have to buy something else before I can use it.
He either thinks I am asking him how to machine the thing on the lathe or what tools I need to machine it on my lathe but that's not what I want to know. The web site sells the milling attachment and a milling base and it is confusing me.

10-14-2012, 10:35 PM
I bought the t-slot cross slide, the milling base and the milling attachment many years ago. They arent a substitute for a mill but can do in a pinch. The purpose of the offset base is to bring the milling attch closer to the spindle center line. And it raises it up a bit. You will not neeed to buy anything extra for the milling attch. The offset base isnt a real necessity, just makes it more useful IMO you could make one from steel if you like.
IIRC the offset base will only work with the t-slot cross slide anyway, correct?
The castings are very nice with ample stock all over.

10-15-2012, 01:15 AM
Andy Loftquist is a gentleman and is well known to many on this site. His casting kits are of excellent quality. His castings, of course, will require machining to complete. When completed the milling attachment can be used for milling on the lathe as furnished. It attaches to the cross slide as the South Bend attachment does. It is somewhat different in construction than the South Bend in that it has T-slots and detachable vise jaws. These features add flexibility the SB fixture does not have.

You will not need any additional tooling beyond the attachment for it to function as a milling attachment. However, you might need some additional tooling beyond what you presently have to machine it, without knowing your facilities that is difficult to answer. If you do not have access to a milling machine, the T-slot cross slide and transfer block, or some shop made substitutes will be needed to machine the attachment solely on the 9" South Bend lathe. Both are useful additions to the shop on their own.

10-17-2012, 12:03 AM
I wasn't trying to flame the guy or his name. I was just wondering how he is to do business with. Maybe I wasn't being clear when I wrote him but if he's liked here he can't be a bad guy. I will contact him again and see if I can't work something out.
Thanks JCH for the help on the kit, I think it will be what I need for right now.

Ed P
10-17-2012, 09:10 AM
I spoke with Andy not long ago and learned he was close to reaching a milestone, 1000 casting shipped!

Ed P

10-17-2012, 09:18 AM
I finally found the website and wonder why he does not show a photo of the actual casting?


11-10-2012, 12:19 AM
Couple questions maybe someone here would have an answer. I've seen these mentioned before but wonder where would you go to have it milled if you don't have a mill? Anyone here take on these kind of jobs? Any clue what it would cost to have it done?

11-10-2012, 01:19 AM
Couple questions maybe someone here would have an answer. I've seen these mentioned before but wonder where would you go to have it milled if you don't have a mill? Anyone here take on these kind of jobs? Any clue what it would cost to have it done?

Andy used to have a machine shop who would take on the major work but I think the guy retired some number of years back. I wouldn't have a problem helping someone in my shop with the fixturing and machining, but it would be a lot better for your education to do the work yourself (consider taking some classes at a community college, you can usually do g-jobs for yourself in the shop). As to cost - a one-off would be the most costly since everything gets jigged by itself and there's no point in making tooling, likely 8-12 hours work in the milling fixture alone (I've not made one of these so I'm just guessing here). In case there's someone out there willing to help you might put your location in your profile.

BTW: I've made 5-6 of Andy's casting sets and never hit a bad spot or had a problem. About the only 'complaint' I'd make is that the machining allowance is a bit generous and you have to take a lot off to get it to finished dimensions. That's a lot better than not being able to get all the skin off before cutting into the finished size.

On your original question: I think the milling attachment will work by itself, but would have more flexibility if you make the milling base as well. If I remember right the SB cross slide takes a dovetail spud from the compound so you'd need to match that on one of these to make it work. Other than that all you'd need is some sort of collet to hold the endmills in the spindle.

11-10-2012, 01:24 AM
I have bought three items from Andy. I am very pleased with his products, his business,and his personality.
My next project will be his boring head.

11-10-2012, 01:35 AM
Couple questions maybe someone here would have an answer. I've seen these mentioned before but wonder where would you go to have it milled if you don't have a mill? Anyone here take on these kind of jobs? Any clue what it would cost to have it done?
I saw on youtube where a guy needed a fly cutter so he drilled a hole in his turning plate and just used that. I found a plan for a vise made out of bar stock and it is bolted together. I'm thinking of making the whole milling attachment that way but I'm still weighing my options. I do like the looks of his castings.

11-11-2012, 12:26 PM
KdOfk, I don't visit this forum very often anymore, and so it is as though by accident I have stumbled rather late on your query of Oct. 14, 2012. In that query you ask whether others have had dealings with Metal Lathe Accessories, presumably to find out if they have had better luck than you in having their questions answered. The answer is that probably they have. Anyway, I hope they have.

However, often email messages are received with such questions as, "How is the milling attachment used on the lathe?" That example is given without too much exageration. Of course answering such a broad question would require an essay, if not a thin book. In the present case I am sure I did not understand the question, and so with apologies did not answer it correctly.

The trouble often comes from a lack of information. To answer the question I too have questions. For instance, what kind of lathe are you mounting the milling attachment on? Otherwise I can't know what I'm talking about. Or I may end up answering a question I haven't been asked.

The answer to answering questions too broad or unclear (or more tactfully those I don't understand) is to invite a telephone call, or if no answer is received an invitation by voice mail to return the call. In the present case, if I have it correctly, a telephone number was given with an invitation to call. But to my knowledge, as yet, no call or message has been received.

One reason for the invitation to telephone is that while the high-tech email works only about half the time, the low-tech telephone works most of the time. The other reason is that I can talk faster than I can write, and so what would take days to accomplish by back and forth emailing, can usually be accomplished on the telephone in five minutes. And that would save a lot of time, and as well eliminate many misunderstandings. Andy Lofquist, Metal Lathe Accessoies

11-11-2012, 01:01 PM
Ive found out the answers to several of my questions since the start of this thread.

11-11-2012, 02:42 PM
I was going to suggest simply calling Andy, and here is the man himself inviting the same.
I bought a couple items from Andy a few(several now) years ago, and can say that it was a very pleasant experience, both on speaking
with Andy and working with the castings.

To whomever asked, the way to get the milling done if you don't have the equipment is do some networking around and find someone.
At approx. the same time I purchased from Andy a friend did also, purchasing a South Bend cross-slide and rear mounted tool post
which I then did the milling work on his parts. I didn't charge much, it was alot of work, but it was fun and experience for me, and my friend,
who has moved away now, will remember me every time he uses his lathe with the parts I made for him.

11-11-2012, 04:16 PM
I've only done one of his projects, the Indicator Holder. Since it was my first project, I screwed it up, and Andy sent me a new casting at a very reasonable cost. I will deal with him again with no hesitation!

11-11-2012, 05:36 PM
I'll call Monday and talk about it. I found plans online to build a very sturdy vise out of bar stock and bolts. I think the two will go together nicely. Wont be able to buy till the end of the month but i can at least get a firmer handle on the whole thing.
Thanks everyone for the assistance.

11-14-2012, 02:22 PM
Called yesterday and got a lot of things worked out and questions answered. I think I'm going to wind up putting around $300 in the MLA coffers untill he develops new castings then it will be more. I really like the looks of his collet chuck and I gotta get the boring/ball turning kit.