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Lathe, How fast can I go??

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  • Lathe, How fast can I go??

    Hi, I have been offered an old (1930 ish) Colchester Master with a top speed of 550 rpm or so, How fast can I make this thing go(by way of faster motor & pully's etc)without blowing the shed up.
    Idealy I want 1500 RPM.
    Does anybody have any info on this type of lathe OR Does anybody in the U.K have a 36" between centres lathe with 1500 RPM Screwcutting gearbox and a clutch that they want to sell?? If so please drop me a line with your phone number and I will give you a ring
    Thanks, James.

  • #2
    The question is what kind of bearings and lubrication system does it have and what diameter are the bearing jounals if is babbit or broze bearings
    Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.

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    • #3
      Thanks Spin doctor, this is the problem... not knowing anything about the machine, and it's 500 miles away!

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      • #4
        Have a read here. It appears that some of these models were run up to 1500 rpm.

        http://www.lathes.co.uk/colchester/page2.html
        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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        • #5
          Just guessing, I'd say the spindle bearings shouldn't have a problem at 1500 rpm. I'd be more concerned about the maximum safe speed of your chucks.

          The noise of the gears may be pretty alarming "at speed," but I doubt it would be dangerous.
          ----------
          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

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          • #6
            For you Nubies out there, all chucks are rated for max speed. run them too fast and they can explode.
            Case in point, we bought a 36" Pyoreba (Polish)lathe with a 28" chuck the lathe was geared to run 1400 as I recall, but the Cast Iron Chuck was only rated for 900 Rpm.
            Scrap the chuck and bought a "Semi Steel" one which had a higher speed to match the RPM of the machine.
            So always be aware of your max capability on chucks, and of course Cast Iron is great stuff, but Semi-Steel is needed for the R's

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            • #7
              Rich

              Good point. I can run my lathe to 6000 because it has a forged steel chuck rated for 6500. If James is unsure of the limit of the chucks he has he should not change the speed at all.

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              • #8
                Thanks all, perhaps i'll give this one a miss and look for a more sutable machine, There are plenty of short bed lathes out there but I make bagpipes and need to mount 16" gundrills in the tailstock, so longbed versions are a must.
                James.

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