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Thread: Chuck size for a 9' benchtop lathe

  1. #1

    Default Chuck size for a 9' benchtop lathe

    Hi, newbie here. I've been wanting to get into machining for a while now, as a hobby, and I finally purchased my first piece of equipment. It's a Wabeco D2400 german benchtop lathe (bought used for 950 USD equivalent):



    It's 220mm swing with 500mm between centers, so around 9' x 20', comes with a 100mm/4' three jaw chuck. The first addition I want to make is definitely a 4 jaw independent chuck, and I think the best size would probably be 5' which I can get new for around a 130 bucks. I live in Romania, so old USSR gear is available for cheaper, but the sizes start at 160mm/6'-ish. I can get a 160mm 4 jaw independent for 50 bucks or so. Do you think this little lathe could handle a chuck that size or should I just bite the bullet on a new, more appropriately sized chuck?

    Also, I want to just pour a big slab of concrete and bolt the lathe down to it to improve stability, do you think it noticeably helps? If you have any quick and easy improvement/first step ideas, or tips about this particular lathe, I'm all ears.

  2. #2
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    I have poured concrete machine bench that supports my lathe, drill press, cold saw and small shaper. I find concrete very satisfactory.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    I use 6" chucks (four jaw scroll, an independent four jaw and a three jaw set true style) and my 9" South Bend handles them just fine.

    As far as your concrete slab goes...no one has ever said "My lathe is mounted too rigidly."

  4. #4
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    160mm/6" should be fine. With the 220mm/9" swing it gives you enough room for the jaws to stick out from the outside of the chuck on larger work pieces by up to 35mm/1.25" and still clear the bed. And that's about the maximum you would want them to stick out anyway. More than that and you should turn the jaws around and use the outside holding feature.

    A lathe of that size doesn't really need a full floor up concrete pedestal. Although if you did make such a pedestal there is certainly no doubt that it would make for a very solid lathe stand.

    I chose a slightly easier route with my own stand where I built up the two pedestals from concrete blocks mortared together. The lower portion was filled with packed road base gravel (a mix of small stones and sand) and the upper course and 1/2 of the next course down of bricks was filled with concrete to bed the mounting studs for the lathe. Then using nuts and washers below and above I was able to lock the lathe down and also true it up easily by simply jacking the bed as needed with the combinations of nuts on the studs. I used two separate pedestals for my larger machine. In your case I'd go for more of a "|___|" shape so you can use the opening to hold a small roll around tool chest for lathe tooling. For the top to hold the lathe either form it up and make the top from poured concrete with reinforcing steel and the studs or use two large sections of square steel tubing as mounting beams for the lathe. The results will be a good solid mounting that aids with reducing any possible chatter issues you might have. I know that for me this mount did greatly improve the cuts I could make and not suffer from chatter. Best of all it's a pretty inexpensive option.... just be VERY SURE the lathe is located right where you want it to go....

    Some will say that you should include room to get behind it for servicing anything that goes wrong. SOME room is a wise idea. But if you need to do anything really major there's always the option of lifting it off the stand and putting it down where you can reach everything easily.

    Here is a picture of my concrete construction block pedestals and lathe to give you an idea.



    The head stock end is a rectangle of two blocks side by side with another across the back on one layer and then reversed for the next layer. The tail stock end is "square" with two blocks side by side for each layer. I used 1/2" (12mm) threaded rod bent into "L" shapes for the studs that are cast into the concrete of the top layer and a bit. The idea was to solidly lock the top layer to the next down. But the gravel fill below that allows me to break the stand down a lot more easily if/when I ever need to move the machine.

    I used the chip tray as a template to hold the studs while the concrete cured.

    To be fair I suspect most folks would also be quite happy with a well built and heavy base made from wood. Then load it down with lots of heavy tools to aid with damping out any vibration. If you opt for a wood stand don't skimp on the sizes. You want LOTS of lumber to aid with making the stand both rigid and heavy to soak up and damp out any machine vibrations and to form a very sturdy base to allow you to true up the machine and hold it that way.
    Last edited by BCRider; 02-12-2018 at 03:57 PM.

  5. #5
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    When I bought my 12x36" (used), it was bolted to a concrete slab with concrete legs. I've since built a metal stand but it includes a concrete bottom and top slab overlaid with sheet metal. What ever you do, make provisions to allow adjusting the lathe mounts--So as to keep any twist out of the bed.

    By the way, can you get Bison chucks over there? They're made in Poland and rank among the best. Should be cheaper over there.

  6. #6

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    About the 6' chuck, I'm more worried about its weight, since it's just a small bench-top lathe & spindle. It does have tapered roller bearings.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane View Post
    As far as your concrete slab goes...no one has ever said "My lathe is mounted too rigidly."
    OR

    "It sure is easy to move when I need to rearrange my shop"

  8. #8
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    The 9 in South Bend has plain bearings and handles a 6 in 4 jaw just fine.
    Take a look at the weight rating for a Morse 2 revolving centre, it can handle a lot a weight.. so will your spindle.

  9. #9
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    I would go for a 5" three jaw and a 6" four jaw independent. I use a 6" four jaw independent lightweight and a 160mm standard four jaw. The 160mm weighs nearly twice as much as the 6". I also use a 6.7" serrated jaw chuck occasionally, which is even heavier than the 160mm.
    You might want to limit the speed using a 160mm to 1500 rpm and much less if the workpiece is out of balance.
    Last edited by old mart; 02-12-2018 at 04:29 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCWKen View Post
    When I bought my 12x36" (used), it was bolted to a concrete slab with concrete legs. I've since built a metal stand but it includes a concrete bottom and top slab overlaid with sheet metal. What ever you do, make provisions to allow adjusting the lathe mounts--So as to keep any twist out of the bed.

    By the way, can you get Bison chucks over there? They're made in Poland and rank among the best. Should be cheaper over there.
    That lathe stand sounds like a really nice compromise situation and perhaps the best of both worlds.

    Funnily enough Bison was the "cheap import junk" when I bought one for the old Myford I had many years ago. But as I and many others found their product is really well made and has resulted in the brand being widely recognized as darn good quality at a middle of the road price price point.

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