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Thread: How do you set up a face plate

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Northern Ontario
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    Default How do you set up a face plate

    Hey all, My first post And I'm glade I found this site.

    I have a lathe, that I haven't used all to much, And now I want to learn more about It.

    I want to bore a 1-5/16" hole In a odd shape 3/4" thick plate

    I first looked at my 4 jaw chuck, but when the jaws are closed tight, I wouldn't be able to drill through this plate.

    So I dug deep, and I found my face plate, that I have never used, but I think It will hold this piece of plate, so I can drill and then bore to size.

    Can you give me some tips on holding flat plate to the face plate?
    I'm thinking that there maybe some dogs that slide through the FP slots
    And hold It that way?

    Thanks In Advance for any Info on this

    Danny

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Owensboro KY
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    3,970

    Default

    First locate the center of the hole. You can simply do some layout and center punch it, drill a pilot hole with a drill press, or if accuracy is necessary drill & ream and hole on a mill.

    Mount the face plate and use a center in the tailstock to locate the hole. Then using hold downs like one uses on a mill clamp the workpiece to the faceplate. If precise location is needed and you have drilled & reamed the hole use a test indicator to finish aligning the hole location using a mallet or a hammer & a block of wood to move the piece around before you finish tightening the clamps.

    When you are drilling & boring the hole pay very close attention to your hold down studs/bolts so you do not accidentally run into them. Also watch your RPM's since the piece will not be balanced. Sometimes it is even necessary to bolt on a counter weight if the piece is too far off the lathe axis and causes excess vibration.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2011
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    Northern Ontario
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    Default

    Ahh, ok, Its the hold down clamps that i'm missing, I don't have a mill.

    Cant I make these hold down clamps.?

    Thanks Dr, Stan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Steel
    Ahh, ok, Its the hold down clamps that i'm missing, I don't have a mill.

    Cant I make these hold down clamps.?

    Thanks Dr, Stan
    It would be much easier if you had a mill. You probably could make some that would do on a drill press, but they work a whole lot easier if they are slotted. Take a look at the web sites for industrial suppliers to get an idea of what they look like.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2011
    Location
    Northern Ontario
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Stan
    It would be much easier if you had a mill. You probably could make some that would do on a drill press, but they work a whole lot easier if they are slotted. Take a look at the web sites for industrial suppliers to get an idea of what they look like.
    I had a look at Busy Bee, They have kits

    I think I'm getting the bug......I was looking In the adds for a used mill

    Thanks for the Info Stan

    Danny

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Ashland City, TN
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    2,295

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    Danny, if your Faceplate is slotted, you can use odd pieces of scrap with a hole drilled through them and bolts, nuts, and washers to hold your workpiece to the faceplate. Be sure and pad it out from the faceplate enough so that you don't run into the faceplate when boring out the hole. The outer ring of an old ball bearing is good for that. If you can, buy a copy of the "Amateur's Lathe" by Sparey as it is very helpful to a beginner and sows a lot of accessories you can make for yourself on the lathe. Hood luck!!

    Al

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
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    Danny, something like one third of your machining time in the early days will be spent cutting steel strip into sections and drilling two or three holes in each piece.

    The pretty milled slots can come later. Just make sure that if you need an odd length of clamp you make two of each.

    Depending on the size of your set up, get some allthread in 8 or 10mm, or 5/16 or 3/8, lots of nuts and washers.

    Carriage bolts with the square half filed away will do for a first stab at T-bolts.

    If the strip you choose bends, use thicker. If it doesn;t, think about thinner next time. 1" x 5/16" is a safe bet for starters for a 9" diameter plate.

    You'll need spacer pieces with holes in too. Make sure the clamp bolt is closer to your work piece than it is to the spacer, so the effort goes into holding.

    Some like to slot the end of the allthread length, some don't. Some buy clamping sets, some make them. My experience is sets try to make you do what they can do, not what you want to do.

    And lastly, but most important, check for no obstructions before you start the lathe, and that includes the boring bar, and don't run an out of balance faceplate fast.
    Richard

  8. #8
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    Apr 2001
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    The Sparey book is wonderful. The picture of him in shop coat and tie standing at his lathe is itself worth the price. But it IS a good book for a beginning lathe user.

    A caution: after you get the faceplate set up, you may notice it is extremely out of balance. If you turn on your lathe at this point, at normal RPMs your lathe will do the hula. You will need to add counterweights to get the faceplate more or less in balance, and even then you will probably want to start at low RPMs to see how things go. And don't stand in line with the faceplate. If a clamp should come loose and a chunk of steel get thrown off, it's advisable not to be in the line of fire.

    "After you get the faceplate set up...." Thanks to gravity, that can be a lot more difficult than it sounds and require at least three hand. At some point you may want to make a duplicate of your spindle nose and attach it to a bearing that you can hold in your vise. Then you can mount the faceplate horizontally to do setups. You'll want the bearing so you can turn the faceplate and use an indicator during setup.
    ----------
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  9. #9
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    Mar 2011
    Location
    Northern Ontario
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    I used some 1x 1/4 flat bar, drilled holes for the hold down bolts, And It worked fine.......I now have the hole, drilled, bored, And the part tacked on the end of a hyd cylinder ......Thanks for those tips guys, I do have many yrs of wood turning, and welding under my belt......But the lathe just sat there for years, and years.....I still don't know the proper way to set the tool for facing, or spindle turning, I'm close LOL , I turned a pin today with my first shinny finish, yesterday I was wondering whitch tool bit was left or right.......I now have the Interest to learn just a bit more about lathe work.

    Danny

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Adelaide, South Australia
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    Danny,
    How big is the plate you are trying to bore and what diameter is your 4 jaw chuck? You may know this already but the jaws in a 4 jaw chuck are reversible so can hang onto odd shaped plates. By using the steps on reversed jaws you may be able to do the job on it.

    Michael

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