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Lathe tooling

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  • Lathe tooling

    I finally pulled the trigger on a Lathe purchase. It is a Jet GHB1340A. I have no tooling, and would like to draw on the groups wisdom. My initial projects will invovle decking, and squaring of small displacement engine componets. I also will be making bushings, and small pivot shafts. I will have a need for threading as well.

    Are the supplied chucks (6"3 jaw and 8"4 jaw), of workable quality?

    Thank you for time.

  • #2
    At the tech school where I took a few machining classes a few years ago, one or two of the 13" South Bend lathes had Jet 8" 4-jaw chucks mounted on them. They seemed to be as good as the S.B. chucks, and had stood up to the abuse of that environment just as well. Also, I'm totally pleased w/my Jet drill press and 5" X 6" Jet H/V metal bandsaw. So until/unless proven otherwise, I'd certainly assume those chucks are fully up to the task. As for as other tooling to consider: If it doesn't have it, the quick-change tool post sure makes life easier. I got one of the asian no-name wedge-types, and would hate to be without it. Also a collet chuck (5C) sure is nice. I made one, and tho it's not as accurate (maybe 2-4 thou TIR), it still is mighty handy. One day I plan to bore it out, press a sleeve in, and rebore it to try and tighten up that runout. If that doesn't work I may just go ahead and buy one of the Bison 5c chucks, which seem to enjoy unanimous acclaim.
    Congratulations on your newfound friend. Enjoy, and keep us posted on your accomplishments.
    Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


    • #3
      Your chucks should be fine. I would check the runout on your 3 jaw, to see how accurate it is.
      If I understand your tooling request, you will need a flycutter, a set of bits (I use the cheap indexable carbide kind), and a center gage (to set up for threading.
      Location: North Central Texas


      • #4
        Pick up a copy of "The Amateur's Lathe" or similar to get a better idea of what tooling you may need. One basic need is a tailstock drill chuck and a set of drills.

        You'll need a tool holder and some toolbits. I'm a fan of HSS; for a home shop, I think they're more practical, but lots of folks go for the indexable carbide.

        That U.K. "lathes" site, the URL of which gets posted here with some regularity but I can't find at the moment, has a link for ordering "The Amateur's Lathe." Maybe somebody can supply the URL....

        Joel, I'm not sure what you mean by "flycutter" as applied to a lathe?

        Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
        Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
        Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
        There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
        Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
        Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


        • #5

          "Are the supplied chucks (6"3 jaw and 8"4 jaw), of workable quality?"

          Well, judging from what Jet charges for these chucks ($400+ each) I hope so. I am not so sure that the price is warranted given that they are the same quality as the Chinese made lathes they come mounted on. If they don't live up to your expectations you can always replace them with $130 versions which are probably their equal.


          • #6
            [QUOTE]Originally posted by SGW:
            [B]Pick up a copy of "The Amateur's Lathe" or similar to get a better idea of what tooling you may need.

            That U.K. "lathes" site, the URL of which gets posted here with some regularity but I can't find at the moment, has a link for ordering "The Amateur's Lathe." Maybe somebody can supply the URL....

            That web site is:



            • #7
              I got mine (Amateur's Lathe) by ordering through Ablebooks is the other good source. If in the US, it is simpler - as shipment from UK takes a bit of time.

              It is a very well written, very dense book that is work reading many times. You find your viewpoint changing as you get more information. You pick up things on multiple passes that you just missed the first time. It's definitely hands on, too.

              -- jr


              • #8
                Thank you gentlemen,

                I will look into getting the book, sounds like a good read.

                Should I drain, and refill the headstock/gearboxes, with higher quality oil?

                Not having anyway of sharpening tools, and liking the idea of HSS. What is reccomended for a grinder/sharpener?


                • #9
                  I use a gen'l purpose 6" Sears benchgrinder (1/3hp). Works for me. Takes some practice. This is another area where taking a class or two at a tech school can pay dividends. Or find someone you can's kinda the old "picture's worth 1000 words" issue. I sometimes use some of the brazed on carbide tools, but I do agree w/SGW's position that HSS is more practical for the average HSM. For my purposes there's only one "average HSM": Me.
                  As far as simple facing, turning, and threading, you only need a few tool bits. But you'll soon find needs arising for specially ground shapes and sizes for which HSS is really the only practical solution.
                  Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


                  • #10
                    After buying my machine, I discovered i would soon have more money in tooling than i had in the machine. So a little at a time does it here !
                    Of course you first need a set of turning tools, I like to buy the carbide on HSS, that are all ready to go because i have no experience at grinding tools.There not real expensive and you know the angles and reliefs are correct. Of course when you burn one up its gone!
                    You need a parting(cut0off)tool. If you are going to be making bushings etc. And a set of chucking reamers will be quite handy, a set of adjustable reamers also would be nice. A tailstock arbor with a drill chuck is a must-have.
                    You can find a lathe tool kit from enco or grizzly that will have all the cutting tools along with a center gauge for a reasonable price. I have had good luck with enco, grizzly has reasonable prices, however make sure of what you are ordering because there catalog descriptions are incomplete some times!
                    I dont have one but a face plate will allow you to do all kinds of tricks on your lathe.

                    Jet makes great equipment, we have several jet milling machines at work and they work hard all day every day. In fact a friend of mine has a small jet lathe i have been trying to buy.
                    Put a dial indicator on you chucks and check the runout. depending on how they mount You may be able to spin the chucks to a different position and mark them at there best mounting config.
                    Anyway i amnew to machine work myself and there are lot of experience on this forum and everone is glad to help us "rookies" Thanks to all you guys for helping me !!!


                    • #11
                      If you grind your own HSS toolbits you will want to stone them smooth. After you have shaped them on the grinder or belt sander or whatever you need to get rid of all of the grinder marks by polishing them smooth. I use a fine stone. They will last longer, cut better and leave a better finish.