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Thread: Precision Bench Lathes

  1. #21
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    Feb 2012
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    yuma az
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    It you can find a smaller American lathe great if not and you go import maybe check out the grizzly g0602 10x22 nice price and they have a pretty big following with a ton of documented mods on forum's and you tube plenty of folks turning out accurate work on them maybe worth a look

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by boats View Post
    Before detachable Fly Rod extension butt reel seats were easily available I made several by drilling out the end on a regular seat. Then turning a rod with O Rings & building the extension on it. Lot you can do with a nice lathe.

    Never thought about the seat threads thought they were Acme. You have a good source for seat thread dies ?

    Boats
    I think some of the newer seats use 60 degree threads and acme and stub acme, but if you look at some of the older reel seats such as Paynes and Garrison they use Whitworth thread forms. I've ordered some from Tracy Tools, a UK outfit.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    115

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    That makes sense they are English. Few fancy fly rod seats I made cannibalized factory seats cutting off and inserting new body’s never threaded one. Will check out Tracy, thanks.

    95 % of mine Salt Water, Heavy & Light tackle boat rods, Surf & Bait Casters. Very few Fly rods.

    Boats
    Last edited by boats; 03-22-2019 at 06:03 AM.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Buffalo NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    Seriously, for working on stuff to "split a thou" you do not NEED a Hardinge or similar second operation precision lathe. Any of the 9 or 10" swing machines around will do what you want and provide other features that these specialty machines do not give you. The ability to work to a half thou is more on you than it is on the machine. On the other hand the same mistakes that will fight you on a common 9 or 10" current import or a Logan or a 9" South Bend will also stop you from doing well with one of the collet based "precision" lathes.

    Having said that a Hardinge or other toolroom collet machine WOULD be a nice start on a lifetime workshop.
    What you say is largely correct.
    I just wanted to comment on "working to half a thou".
    Yes for sure Hardinge lathes can do it.
    SouthBend class of machine "could" work to half a thou,
    but they have to be spot-on, and most today have a lot
    of wear unless they were really taken care of well.
    More typical on a lesser machine, people get close and
    then use emery cloth to polish to dimension. This is
    kind of cheating, and gets deadly grit on your machine.
    I believe the trouble with cheap import machines, it the
    less than wonderful fitting of the slideways. They may
    have scraping marks on the bed and other surfaces,
    but I assure you that if you actually blue them up and
    check the contact pattern, they will be way off from a
    proper surface bearing contact. Fitting precision sliding
    surfaces makes a machine accurate and rigid. Because
    of this poor scraping and fitting, cheap import machines
    need to "wear in" before they "wear out". Or to say,
    fit initially will improve, but geometry between parts gets
    worse.
    My first precision class machine that I got many years ago
    after my first lathe, being an Atlas 10", was a Tsugami
    Chucker. The Tsugami is a Japan copy of the Hardinge HC.
    It has the rotary turret on the cross slide, 9" wide dovetail
    bed, and 5C capacity. The difference from the Atlas 10" was
    truly amazing. This thing could turn hardened dowel pins
    within a tenth. No tailstock, but it had chase threading.
    If you are a hobby guy, consider a Hardinge HC or the
    Tsugami. There are lots of Tsugami lathes in California
    and west cost states, not many eastward. Mine came
    from a company in California. Anyhow, lots of Hardinge
    HC lathes to be had, and the prices are not too bad.
    The Hardinge 59 lathes are also nice, but no threading
    at all, and the longitudinal and the cross slide come from
    a compound that you position on the bed, useful for
    short turning only, unless you re-position the compound
    and interrupt your cut.
    I managed to buy a slightly worn HLV-H for $4000, but
    it took many years of searching to find one at that low
    of a price. And I had to rework the cross slide dovetails
    to get some of the wear out of it. Some jokers used
    water based coolant on it, and it rusted the ways really
    bad.
    So as my shop progressed, I was not satisfied with working
    to half a thou, so I got into cylindrical grinders. That is a
    whole another chapter, so to speak.

    -Doozer
    DZER

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Chilliwack, BC, Canada
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    Doozer, that's a nice commentary on what is needed to work easily in that range of accuracy. And you're not doing anything to ease my Hardinge envy.....

    I'll just add in defense of "the lesser machines" that if we only need to hold the accuracy over a short length that wear in the ways becomes less of an issue. That old and frequently offered advice that is used to justify machines with noticeable bed wear as being OK. It's interesting that my own lathe which shows only minimal wear on the ways and then mostly just as a change in the surface finish did bite me in the backside. In my recent project of turning a cylindrical square on the lathe I found that the 6.5" long cylinder was "wasp waisted" by .0008. So .0004 of change as the carriage moved through that length of cut from the most to the slightly less used portion of the bed. And how I was able to make another pass while literally pulling on the tool post progressively more through that portion of the cut and reduce the diametrical variation from the .0008 to .0004".

    But USUALLY in a home shop we don't need that level of accuracy on longer and larger parts. And when working down to shorter items I can't say that I've run into issues over things like press fits and such. I've always found that I can work down close, measure the size, set the cross slide and take the final cut and get what I needed to within a half thou without any major trickery.

    Sadly the cost related to obtaining a Hardinge is something I just can't justify for myself. When they do come up around here the price is always well up there. If I did trip over one at a reasonable price for sure I'd say "damn the shop room. I'll MAKE a spot for it ! ! ! !".

  6. #26
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    Oct 2009
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Well, I found a nice bench lathe locally and after taking a look yesterday decided to move ahead with it. It's an Ames No. 3, comes with the original headstock and a custom headstock. Custom headstock is a nice unit - high speed bearings, cogged belt drive, indexing pin, takes 5C collets. The original headstock is also a roller bearing model, but there are no collets for it so I'll probably stick with the 5C head. Cross slide is tight and feels so nice. Bed is in great shape, lathe looks like someone really cared for it - they even picked out the lettering and pinstriped the bed and tailstock!


  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Missouri
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    30,954

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    That is potentially a nice modelmaker's lathe. It's not perfect as a general purpose machine.

    What Doozer said about no threading, and a crosslide that you position on the bed? That's what you have.

    So, what it does not do: Threading (unless you have the attachment), and turning anything very long.

    The longest item it will turn in one go is the length pf the compound travel, and you need to set the compound accurately parallel to the bed, because that crosslide assembly has a swivel, as most do.

    For threading, those tended to have an attachment that operated the compound from the headstock. If you have that attachment, then some threading can be done.

    The other way, and I think Ames used this, was a system of thread masters and a bar at the back of the lathe that carried a threading tool on a bracket that could be moved along the bed. The master was used to move this rod when the threading was engaged, to cut the thread. It works well, if you have the masters and the setup.

    Look here for Ames info: http://www.lathes.co.uk/ames/index.html

    That headstock is not original as far as I know, no idea what it is.

    What it will do depends on the attachments. Look through the link. It is essentially a large watchmaker's lathe. Attachments made for it to do many things, but the basic issue is no leadscrew, so threading and turning are limited.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Chilliwack, BC, Canada
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    That's a SUPERB find Tom! Not a lathe to do it all by any means. But as a precision companion to sit alongside a future engine lathe it's a great option.

    Looking at http://www.lathes.co.uk/ames/ it would appear that the original headstock shaft takes collets that are a larger form of the 8mm watchmaker collets. But the link does not mention the actual size. At least not from my cursory look.

    There's also a serial number link so you can likely find out when your machine was born.

    And yes, I'm officially envious just a little....

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Somerset UK
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    2,160

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    That's a nice lathe you have got there, Tom. I see it has an unusually long top slide movement to compensate for not having a conventional saddle. If it were mine, I would look closely at the possibilities of making a saddle for it, after all, that headstock is custom made by someone. Perhaps a future project?

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Toronto
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    10,669

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    If working on nice old lathe, do yourself a big favour a get one of the large assortment gunsmith screw driver sets. These lathes will (likely) have lots of slotted fasteners.....which are fine, but only if you use a hollow ground blade that fits well. convention slotted screw drivers will make a mess of it.....It's just wrong when you see quality lathe and some hack has messed up all the fasteners. The gunsmith kit is the way to not be that hack
    .

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