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question about Lathe fwd/reverse levers - either side of carriage

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  • question about Lathe fwd/reverse levers - either side of carriage

    This is a bit of an awkward question - I have been using my Summit 14 lathe exclusively for over a year now but I have yet to really figure out the functions of the spindle on/off (forward/reverse) levers on my lathe. Picture attached. The larger lever at the LH side of the bed operates independently from the lever on the RH side of the carriage (LH lever does not move the RH lever). When I use the LH lever to engage the spindle (lifting the lever), it sometimes drops out and the spindle stops. When I use the RH lever, it will also move the LH lever and it has never dropped out while in use. Easy answer is to use the RH lever - I now try to do so but old habit die hard - and the LH lever is longer.

    I do not have access to other lathes or machinist - hoping one of you working in the field will respond. I am thinking this set up is common on most newer style of lathes that do not have a clutch. I know this is somewhat of a first world problem, but I am curious to know how/why/when each of the two two levers would be the appropriate one to use. Thanks

    Click image for larger version

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    Metro Detroit

  • #2
    The LH lever looks like it can move right/left. What’s it do when you move it that way?

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    • #3
      They should move together.
      Something is broken.

      -D
      DZER

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      • #4
        Is the lever on the left part of an override clutch that pops out when the carriage hits a hard stop? Looks like there is more going on with it other than a fwd/rev handle.

        Lathes I am familiar with that had 2 fwd/reverse handles , one was one the carriage and the other would be able to float anywhere on the rod.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by oxford View Post
          The LH lever looks like it can move right/left. What’s it do when you move it that way?
          Both levers must be moved toward the carriage to be able to move the lever.
          Metro Detroit

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          • #6
            The left right motion is a complication older lathes won’t have. I agree they should move together and I bet something is out of sorts in the hub of the left lever.

            To me, down should be fwd. and up, should be rev. but have seen plenty the opposite.

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            • #7
              I think he means the 2 levers on the square bar, one located by the headstock and one on the carriage.

              I can see any reason they would have different functions. My CVA (UK 10ee) just has one on the carriage.

              Dave
              Last edited by small.planes; 01-27-2022, 03:06 PM. Reason: Spelling
              Just south of Sudspumpwater UK

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              • #8
                My South Bend - Nordick has a similar arrangement as yours. LH lever on mine located near the spindle will only stop the spindle, not start it. The RH lever mounted on right side of carriage will start spindle by lifting lever. Moving it back to the its center position will stop it. Pushing RH lever down from center position will reverse spindle. Lifting RH lever to center position will stop spindle. My 15" Nordick is a French made lathe. Where was your Summit made?

                Sarge41

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sarge41 View Post
                  My South Bend - Nordick has a similar arrangement as yours. LH lever on mine located near the spindle will only stop the spindle, not start it. The RH lever mounted on right side of carriage will start spindle by lifting lever. Moving it back to the its center position will stop it. Pushing RH lever down from center position will reverse spindle. Lifting RH lever to center position will stop spindle. My 15" Nordick is a French made lathe. Where was your Summit made?

                  Sarge41
                  My Summit is Chinese - Summits were typically eastern European imports so I was surprised to find the Made in China in very small print under the electrical control box after I bought the lathe. Lathe is '95 vintage. The levers on my lathe operates the same as yours other than I can (sort of) start/stop/reverse from the LH lever also, its just that the LH lever frequently drops out when the RH lever is not used.

                  Guess I need to retrain my self to use the RH lever consistently. Thanks for posting.
                  Metro Detroit

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                  • #10
                    This lathe has spindle control levers at the head stock and on the apron, the one at the head stock is used when the carriage is 60" down the bed and can not be moved towards the chuck (steady rest in this case).
                    This is useful when one needs to jog the spindle at each end when indicating parts for example, not all lathes can be easily rotated by hand when out of gear.
                    This machine has a low spindle speed of 11 RPM's.

                    The reason that many machines have multiple control levers that move in unison is that this is the simplest and least expensive way to do it.
                    Last edited by Bented; 01-28-2022, 05:55 PM.

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