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turning a tool in a sb9 lathe

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  • turning a tool in a sb9 lathe

    i'm new to all of this, and some of my questions may not make a lot of sense, so please try to bear with me.

    in general, with a lathe, the tool is stationary (either held at the carriage or the tailstock) and the piece is turned about it. i know for most lathes, including the sb9 which i have, they make collet closers for the spindles, so i assume there must be occasions where you want to turn the tool in the spindle and have the piece stationary. looking at my lathe, i am wondering if people have some sort of table that attaches to the saddle so that you can clamp the work to it? and then move it toward the spindle?

    like i said, i'm new at this, and i can't think of when you would want to do something like this, but seeing collet closers i'm assuming there is a reason. i ask because i'd like to see what sort of table can be mounted to a sb9 saddle.

    i am also asking, because i need to order a set of collets for my rf-30. normally, i'd just get a set of r8's, but this whole lathe collet closer thing got me thinking. if i may come to a point where i'd want to use collets in the lathe i'd need another set. if that's the case, would it be prudent to get, say, a set of er32 collets in an r8 holder for my mill/drill, and then get an mt3 holder so i can use the same collets in the lathe? it seems easier and cheaper than getting separate sets, not to mention that from what i can see, mt3 collets aren't that common, and sb lathes generally use an adapter to go to a different collet size.

  • #2
    In the world of home shop machining, anything is possible, including putting an endmill in the spindle. In general though, collets on a lathe are used to hold round stock for machining.

    One can buy a "milling attachment" for a lathe, which is basically a vise mounted on a vertical slide. While they are usable for LIGHT milling, they are by no means a substitute for a milling machine.

    It's also possible to bolt work to the cross slide, made easier if you have a T-slot cross slide (see ).
    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


    • #3
      Lost Cause,

      1) Buy yourself a copy of the "How to Run a Lathe" published by SB. It's worth its weight in gold.

      2) Subscribe to the HSM magazine. Lots of excellent info.

      3) Go to YouTube and search for lathe videos. There are tons of them you can watch and learn form.

      4) Contact your local community college or tech school. Find out if they offer manual machining classes and take some.

      5) Log into the forum frequently and read the threads. There is a lot of experience here.

      BTW, welcome to the asylum.



      • #4
        Lost Cause...
        I think as a general principle it is a good idea to have tools that will fit various machines if for no other reason that it leaves some of the precious paper stuff to buy other tools!


        • #5
          Unless you make a production run, chances are good that you will never need a collet. Buy a nice big 4 jaw and a dial indicator and have at it.
          To get you started,
          First go to Tony’s site,
          Then start with these.

!v=npJf...eature=related Tubalcain Videos WATCH THEM ALL

          See HTRAL at

          And don’t forget to download your FREE copie of Machinery’s handbook. Edition 5.
          Edition 15

          And if you have an Atlas or Craftsman product,

          Have fun with it, Mike
          Last edited by mf205i; 06-25-2010, 01:46 AM.


          • #6
            lost cause,

            Quote " I can't think of when you would want to do something like this, but seeing collet closers i'm assuming there is a reason. i ask because i'd like to see what sort of table can be mounted to a sb9 saddle."

            Have a look at the third photo on this page:


            This shows an example where an engine cylinder is mounted on the cross slide for boring with a boring bar mounted between centers on a lathe.

            Last edited by franco; 06-25-2010, 09:50 PM.


            • #7
              When the lathe turns the tool you are either milling in the lathe or doing a line bore. Here's some threads you can look at for ideas.




              The tool does not have to be mounted in a collet. The third thread above shows a boring bar I made to use in the lathe and it is mounted between a three jaw and a live center. Other pictures show tools mounted in a separate headstock that is attached to the compound.

              You are only limited by your imagination.
              Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 06-27-2010, 01:51 AM.
              Paul A.
              SE Texas

              Make it fit.
              You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!