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Rockwell 11 Inch Metal Cutting Lathe

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  • Rockwell 11 Inch Metal Cutting Lathe

    I am trying to cut threads with my Rockwell lathe, but I am not doing something right. The manual states that changing one stud gear in the drive train will allow me to cut threads and power feed. Evidently I need a 24 tooth stud gear to cut threads according to the thread and feed chart on the lathe.

    Can someone please tell me which gear I need to change? A picture would be great.


  • #2
    The manual that can be downloaded from the Yahoo group shows a fairly clear picture of the typical arrangement of gears.

    Basically, for most threads/feeds you should have 2 identical gears on the QC input shaft, one just floating out their uselessly (the stored position). The smaller gear goes on the stud unless you need VERY fast feed/thread options. I no longer have mine, or I would get you a picture...
    Master Floor Sweeper


    • #3

      OT, but is that the varispeed model?

      I've got one, and am wondering if the noise mine makes while running is normal.

      It sounds kind of like a freight train in the distance; a low rumbling, resonant sound from the sheet metal base, along with fairly loud gear whine.


      • #4
        All Rockwell 11s (all in general actually) originally used a "Reeves Drive" variable speed setup. The old model hand a round crank wheel to adjust, later model "Mil Spec" models have a quick adjust lever arm. But either way a "low rumbling like a freight train in the distance" is actually not a bad description of how those drives typically sound (on a Rockwell or not). However, it should be relatively quiet. I find the sound it makes (when the QC gear box is in neutral) very pleasing in an old school "big machine hum" sort of way. Hard to describe.

        On the gear noise, first put the QC gear box tumbler in neutral. Still got it? I hope not. If it quiets, then it's probably the QC gear box, and they are a little noisy. However, it should be more of a gear rattle than a real "whine". If it does not, it might be the main drive collar on the back of the spindle (by the top pulley). Does it stop/change in back gear? Louder with the headstock top plate off? Louder with the drive door open? Coming from the QC gear train on the back of the head? And so on...

        In the end, that's one you will just have to track down "by ear". Only you can hear where it's coming from. But this should get you started...
        Master Floor Sweeper


        • #5
          Here's a pic to help you out...

          For the coaser threads, you would just transpose the 24 tooth with the 48 tooth in the bottom right corner of the pic. Have fun, Sidegrinder.

          PS: These are great lathes


          • #6
            I put the motor cover panel back on (it's been off for more than a year, why I don't even remember), and put the the headstock cover casting screws back in (same), and I think it sounds fine now.

            Just one thing - there's a clatter from the headstock gears that goes away with a light load (holding a rag against the collet closer nose).

            Is this normal? I looked in the manual, and according to it the backlash is set correctly (witness marks under spindle nose line up properly).

            It doesn't look like much judging by the relative gear movement when I had the headstock cover off.

            Oh, and where is the serial #?
            Last edited by noah katz; 11-02-2008, 07:02 PM.