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lathe anatomy 101

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  • lathe anatomy 101

    greets everyone..
    hope you're all well.

    had a question about a big bolt in the (front) center of my lathe saddle. i'm hoping someone can tell me what it is.

    plan on breaking the saddle down this weekend for some fine tune'n.. thought i'd ask before tearing it apart.

    if i squat down in front of my lathe saddle.. looking straight at it.. on the right i have a big carraige handwheel (and clutch lever) ... on the top left (about 11 oclock) is the crossslide handwheel..

    dead smack in the middle is a large metal disk.. about 6" in diameter. in the middle of this disk is a round headed bolt (knurled) with a jam nut between it and the saddle. the bolt is ~1" head diameter.

    it sort of looks like the screw/nut combination to adjust motorcycle clutches.

    what is this thing? i turned it all the way in, moved the saddle, and seemed to make no difference. turned it all the way out, no difference again.

    its probably pretty basic.. but i've never had to fiddle with it before. in fact, before the "inspection", i completely forgot it was there.

    hoping someone can help..

  • #2
    It would be a big help if we knew what make and size lathe you are dealing with.
    Jim H.


    • #3
      Without seeing it all I can think of is a bolt to retain a stub shaft in the casting,most lathes have an intermediate gear in the apron between the feed worm and the handwheel pinion,just a geuss.
      I just need one more tool,just one!


      • #4
        What wierdscience said.
        Adjuster for a power feed clutch?*

        *disregard if it doesn't have power feed.

        [This message has been edited by Herb W (edited 10-23-2003).]


        • #5
          Guess what, knuck...I have one too. It had me mystified for a while, until I did a thorough examination. Thing is, I don't remember the answer. I'll have to go look again, because I haven't had time to familiarize myself with that machine. (big thing. Two tons, early 20th century, modified with electric motor & auto or tractor transmission)

          One thing I do recall, is that in the middle of the adjustment knob, there was probably once a toggle lever. Some sort of engage lever mechanism. (radial threading?)


          I'm back. On one of my lathes it's an engagement lever for longitudinal feed or threading left / right. Don't know, since it's busted. (also noticed that the apron is cracked right in half) On another lathe which has about a hundred of those levers, knobs and dials, it's fine feed, threading, left & right, handwheel disengage, rinse cycle and egg timer I think.

          [This message has been edited by Dr. Rob (edited 10-24-2003).]

          [This message has been edited by Dr. Rob (edited 10-24-2003).]


          • #6
            Dr. Rob. I think you have hit the head squarely on the nail.
            Jim H.


            • #7
              Might it be your cross feed nut???

              Paul G.
              Paul G.


              • #8
                ...or hit my head squarely on the nail. Or nailed my hit head on the square. or squarely nailed my head. Or something. It's hard to say sometimes. Squarely nailed my head on this thread?


                • #9
                  Or whatever.
                  It is still very difficult to give an intelligent answer when the proper information is not available.
                  I don't recall as I have ever seen a lathe with an egg timer though. I don't hang around Harbor Freight, maybe they have some there.
                  Maybe we should ask that guy that was selling the tapes that explained that little round dial with the numbers.
                  Jim H.


                  • #10
                    sorry for the long delay
                    and maybe lack of info in my original post.

                    here is a picture of the lathe saddle if anyone is still interested. as you can see, it needs some cleaning up. before i tear it down, i'd like to know what the bolt is.


                    thanks in advance.


                    • #11
                      Try pulling on the shaft, it is quite possibly the feed selector shaft, switching between cross, neutral or longitudinal feeds.