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Why aloris ?

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  • Why aloris ?

    When I started running an lathe in 1953,their must have been over a thousand lathe companies that came and went and still were in business.They ALL HAD THE STUPID LANTERN ROCKER ARM TOOL ARMSTRONG TOOLHOLDERS.This was one small step above the wood lathe tool rest.Why did it take until around 1955 for an outsider to "invent" what should have been an obvious simple solution? Why didnt Monarch immediately fire a few "engineers" and buy Aloris? Edwin Dirnbeck

  • #2
    Looking back, almost everything looks "obvious". Looking forward, not so much.

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    • #3
      Good question. As soon as I saw my first Aloris I loved it. Maybe Mr. Aloris refused to sell out.

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      • #4
        Hi,

        Just because the Armstrong rocker tool post was common in the US for a very long time, doesn't mean other tool posts weren't around and available to machinists. Just look at all the 4-way/turret style tool holders found on many commercial sized machines.

        I think what made the lantern post popular is that it was well suited for light weight machines. Benchtop lathes just didn't/don't have the power to really flex an Armstrong enough to cause issues on your basic Sheldon, South Bend, or Atlas machines of the day. And if you did run afoul of a crash, the tool and holder would often be pushed down and out of the way of great harm. They can be very forgiving to noobies. Though at a more little more "difficult" setup compared to the Aloris styles post.

        And despite the near universal hate and discontent over the lantern style post, they aren't particularly hard to setup, (no packing shims required ever), and they are often very handy for reaching into tight places - more so than the ever popular Aloris type.

        Perhaps I'm too old now, but when I went to school to become a toolmaker, we started out on lathes equipped with Armstrong lantern tool posts. My first threads were cut using one. To this day, I would be just fine using one if that is what I was given.

        The Aloris tool post wasn't originally really meant for hobby lathes. They were meant for commercial use. But due to all the old obsolete commercial iron out there and available to home shop machinists for little money, the Aloris style became far more commonly seen in home shops. And thanks to Cheap, Cheerful, Chinese copies now widely available in a size for every machine and the desire for hsm's to be "like the big boys", they have become cheap and readily available to everyone. And this is not a bad thing either. It's a fast and easy design to use and generally flexible enough to most jobs you will come across.

        In the end, longevity of a tool often indicates the "rightness" of the original design. The fact that you can still buy new Armstrong tool holders yet today is a testament to the usefulness of the design.
        If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

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        • #5
          Before I knew about Aloris or other similar quick change options I preferred the basic Armstrong and lantern post to the four way. I hated the seemingly perpetual fussing around with shims. If I were stuck with four ways I think I'd make up a pair of wedges that cover about a .02 to .03 range of adjustment and then coarsely shim from there. But that was then. And for the times I used the lantern style I actually preferred it over the four way despite only being able to hold one tool at a time.

          Similarly the rocker setup on the Myford that I had for about two years fit into the same ease of use even if it did mean I could only hold one tool at a time.

          Mind you now that I've committed to the Aloris clone wedge style tool post I'm not going back.....
          Chilliwack BC, Canada

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          • #6
            I don't know if Aloris was the first quick-change tool post, but I wonder if some of the European companies would have been first with something similar. Was Aloris first?
            Sarge41

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            • #7
              Aloris says they were the originator of quick change tool posts and tool holders.

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              • #8
                Early in my lathe learning curve, I had an Atlas with the typical Lantern rocker type tool post.
                I soon came to the conclusion that my cutter bit performance was rather variable as to how
                the toolbit cut from one time to another. I identified the problem as, when I turned the toolpost
                to get it into the orientation for cutting whatever shape I wanted to turn, the center height would
                change. Being a little bit high or low was making the toolbit cut different every time I moved some
                thing. Soooo one thing I tried for a while was to use 1" ID washers of various thicknesses to shim
                the toolholder instead of the rocker key. (the lantern holder was 1" OD). That solved the toolbit
                height issue when I angled the toolholder, but like a 4 way toolpost, I was now messing with shim
                washers like messing with toolbit shims. Daaauuhhh !!! ! !
                So I bought an Aloris and ended this nonsense. Never looked back.

                -Doozer
                DZER

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                • #9
                  You and me both. Rockers can be quick and convenient, and they can be a total PITA. You lose all your angles that you so carefully ground into the bit, every time you move it. Those angles are only valid *once*, at one particular tool bit height when you first grind it. The moment you change that, the angles relative to the part all change. I used mine to cut a solid thick ring instead of stacking washers, I still have it just in case. Just using a regular AXA post nowadays, life is *sooo* much nicer! More repeatable controllable, predictable, on size.

                  Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                  Early in my lathe learning curve, I had an Atlas with the typical Lantern rocker type tool post.
                  I soon came to the conclusion that my cutter bit performance was rather variable as to how
                  the toolbit cut from one time to another. I identified the problem as, when I turned the toolpost
                  to get it into the orientation for cutting whatever shape I wanted to turn, the center height would
                  change. Being a little bit high or low was making the toolbit cut different every time I moved some
                  thing. Soooo one thing I tried for a while was to use 1" ID washers of various thicknesses to shim
                  the toolholder instead of the rocker key. (the lantern holder was 1" OD). That solved the toolbit
                  height issue when I angled the toolholder, but like a 4 way toolpost, I was now messing with shim
                  washers like messing with toolbit shims. Daaauuhhh !!! ! !
                  So I bought an Aloris and ended this nonsense. Never looked back.

                  -Doozer
                  Last edited by nickel-city-fab; 06-08-2021, 04:38 PM.
                  25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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                  • #10
                    Be fair, lantern toolposts work very well on shapers!
                    Location- Rugby, Warwickshire. UK

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by eKretz View Post
                      ................... Maybe Mr. Aloris refused to sell out.
                      That would be Mr Sirola...... he turned the name around for the company.

                      He probably had no more interest in selling out than others had in buying. Not a huge market share, not a big margin, etc, etc.

                      You never know what will be good. Cars were pretty stupid way back, Ford was considered a crackpot (that seems to have been true, though). Most successful companies looked really weak and silly when they started. I need go no further than Apple.

                      Aloris is no Apple, but they make a good product, and had patents to protect them.
                      2730

                      Keep eye on ball.
                      Hashim Khan


                      It's just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there.

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                      • #12
                        This is a new machine that we have yet to use. it has a 4 position turret much like in the past, no QCTP. It does however index.

                        The next option was an 8 position turret, my employer was having none of that added $10,000 cost, this he may come to regret in the next year or so.



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                        • #13
                          And I knew that about Sirola... But forgot. And Dale I don't really think there is hate or discontent toward lantern toolposts, they just aren't up to snuff in terms of toolchange speed and repeatability. There is a huge difference in productivity between a lantern toolpost and a quick change toolpost with a machine that has digital readouts

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by eKretz View Post
                            There is a huge difference in productivity between a lantern toolpost and a quick change toolpost with a machine that has digital readouts
                            Heck even without DRO they make a huge difference. Even on my 75-yr-old South Bend, as long as I do my part, I can trust the dials absolutely. And it comes out right where I expect it. My sizes don't move unless I screw up, or a tip breaks.
                            25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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                            • #15
                              Digital read outs become valuable with QCTP.
                              Lantern Posts did not lend themselves to digital and needed a reset.
                              Worked in several shops during the 60's and early 70's and still remember the first time I saw an Aloris..February 1976
                              and I bought one immediately . the shops I worked in had lanterns or 4 way.
                              Still remember machinists that would mark the 4 way with 4 colors of "Steel Paint" ( Quick dry) and then put matching dots on the Dial to signify the "Zero" point for that tool . Got really complicated

                              Rich
                              Green Bay, WI

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