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  • Lever tailstock,and tail stock turret

    Hello everyone
    I have been thinking about doing a few tailstock mods. The first mod up would be the lever action tailstock. This cranking the hand wheel can get sooo old some times. Ive never had, or even operated one before, but seems like it would be a improvment over the hand wheel crank. I would like to have both really, lever and hand wheel. Im not sure if thats possible on the same tail stock. All that ive ever seen is one or the other, and not both.

    Those that have done this, was it worth while? or did you feel you had wasted alot of time doing this mod after the fact. Id like to hear the good bad and the ugly on this topic. Im thinking this would be a good thing, but never used one before Im sure there is somthing Im missing. If anyone has pics of the one they built , Id sur would like to see them.

    The next thing is a tail stock turret. I see them in my local Busy Bee, but they cater to real small lathes. The unit they sell is also MT2, my tail stock is MT 4. again, Id like your comments on these. Good, bad , worth while,or worthless? accurate, or more trouble than its worth? They do appear like a tool that could speed things up some what. This is another item, I have never used , or owned. Just looks like a good idea to me. Then again, some times, what appears to be a good idea, is more of a horror show in the long run.

    Your thoughts?
    Paul

  • #2
    I have a tailstock turret (six station) and use it a fair amount and find that it saves a lot of time in not having to switch bits in and out of a chuck when doing multiple identical parts. I can load the turret up at the beginning of the run and sometimes never have to stop the spindle for a tool change operation for the whole batch of parts. Its really simple to flip the lever and index to the next tool.
    I've even started leaving the tailstock turrent in and using it for everyday general purpose machining of one-of-a-kind parts. I keep mine loaded with a center drill and a live center along with three additional chucks in progressive size mounted for other drilling/reaming operations. I don't have to look around for where I put my chuck...its always in the turret and ready to go. If I could just have the live center and the center drill mounted with all the other slots empty, it would still be worth it for me.
    When I need to hold tolerances of 0.001" and tighter, I remove it and use dead centers and MT arbor mounted chucks directly in the tailstock to avoid the tolerance stack-up one incurs with the turret. I have done some simple repeatability test with the turret I have using a DTI and have found the positional repeatability on a single install is somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.001 to 0.0015". Not sure what one would get if they removed the whole turret and re-installed it.
    My turret has 1" diameter holes. I chose the 1" because it gave me the greatest flexibility in tooling; I can always make sleeves for smaller diameter tools if need be. This also allowed me to mount a MT2 live center in an MT2 to 1" sleeve adapter. I also use my surface grinder and grind a small landing on all my round arbors so the set screw won't mar the contact surface (Weldon shank type concept). KBC is the only place I could find the 1" diameter turrets with a MT3 arbor.

    The down side is you lose about 3 to 4" of effective lathe bed length due to the turret. Its also provides a safety issue with 3 sharp tools protruding into your work envelope: reaching around the backside of the tool post can daunting as is reaching over the top of the tailstock, but these are all manageable.
    With short parts that only protrude from the chuck a short distance, I have found that the turret tools collide with the toolpost rendering the turret useless if you have tools in all the slots.
    Last edited by jungle_geo; 03-23-2011, 01:48 AM.

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    • #3
      KBC turret?

      Hello Geo,

      Good reply to the original question. Can you tell me who KBC is ? Do you have a link to them or their products (specifically their turret which you mention)?

      Rgds. Ian.

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      • #4
        IanPendle: KBC (tools) are a canadian shop with rather high prices. I doubt shiping to the UK would be affordable or worthwhile at thier prices.

        They do have a decent selection on high quality consumables I will admit, but Enco and such beats them hands down.
        Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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        • #5
          I haven't used either so my opinion is not strictly relevant to the discussion, but with regards a lever action tailstock, it will depend on the size holes you are drilling. The lever is quicker but comes at the expense of leverage - a screw drive tailstock will be able to exert a lot more force to push the drill bit. The choice would come down to what size hole are you making? It will depend on the exact tailstock, drills and material but I would imagine anything above say 5mm/ 3/16" would start to be a pain in the arm with a lever if you were drilling any great depth or quantity.

          Michael

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          • #6
            Originally posted by form_change
            I would imagine anything above say 5mm/ 3/16" would start to be a pain in the arm with a lever if you were drilling any great depth or quantity.

            Michael
            It helps if you use a sharp bit. I drilled a 1-1/4" the other night without any trouble. My tailstock uses a cam lock.

            Comment


            • #7
              You can have lever and handwheel if the lathe design has an internal screw in the tailstock.



              Here's a Myford I did as a project, ignore the paint the tailstock is actually a scrap unit but there are no modifications needed to the actual tailstock just so it won't upset the Myford Flat Earth society
              .

              Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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              • #8
                Ignore my previous post. For some reason I thought we were talking about the hold down. After seeing John's pic and re-reading, I misunderstood.

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                • #9
                  Details John....I'm thinking that if you did it right, you could pin that lever forward and still use the hand wheel if you wanted to.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Boostinjdm
                    Details John....I'm thinking that if you did it right, you could pin that lever forward and still use the hand wheel if you wanted to.
                    No need, the orange handle locks the lever feed so the hand wheel takes over
                    .

                    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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                    • #11
                      Lever feed and Turret,

                      I use a Busy bee #2 Mt turret in a 2/3 sleeve often in a 12/36 lathe for centre drilling and drilling, and with a brass rotatable tap holder turning in the hole in the turret, for tapping up to 10/32. I have made a couple of handle operated , mt 2 shank mounted devices with chucks on them to use in tailstocks in repetitive or deep drilling. They are not entirely satisfactory as the overhang from the tailstock is considerable, but for non critical end drilling of larger numbers of parts they save a lot of handle twirling. Almost anything you do to make life easier and quicker will help, and if you make or modify tools yourself the expense will be minimal. Much better fun than watching the idiot box. Regards David Powell.

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                      • #12
                        I made a lever for my tailstock, but upon using it I found that it's really not as good as they seem. They require considerable leverage to even get decent action when drilling a hole. It's nowhere near as smooth as drilling with the leadscrew. (at least in my experience)

                        If you do decide to make one, make sure that the tailstock does not extend past the little key that keeps it from turning with the leadscrew... that little key will also prevent the tailstock ram from unscrewing and slamming itself into the workpiece when the drill gets caught in the work...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by IanPendle
                          Hello Geo,

                          Good reply to the original question. Can you tell me who KBC is ? Do you have a link to them or their products (specifically their turret which you mention)?

                          Rgds. Ian.
                          Yes, the information is as follows:

                          web address: http://www.kbctools.com
                          part number: 1-523-025

                          I hope that helps.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Those small tailpost based turrets can be okay for small parts, but they are pretty flimsy, which limits their usefulness.

                            If you really want the hot setup, search for a bed based turret. Even if one was never made for your lathe, you might find one made for a different lathe that you can adapt to your machine, it will be worth the effort.

                            I got one for my 5914 for $150. Like a dumbass I let it sit under the lathe for 2 years before I bothered to get it setup, and then discovered how nice it is to have it. Its a six position one and I just leave it setup most of the time with a set of standard tools, (spot drill, counter sink, 2 chucks, boring head, ER32 collet chuck). It makes it really fast both for one offs but especially when you need to make a run of a part.

                            You can also set it up so someone without machining skills can run parts for you (so you can do more important things, like watching youtube videos of fat girls falling off a table dancing).

                            I hardly ever use my tailstock any more, only for long parts.

                            Paul T.
                            www.power-t.com

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                            • #15
                              Paul, yes the bed based turrets are the way to go if you can find one that fits your lathe.
                              The ability to set the depth stop on each operation independently is a big advantage over the tailstock turret which has no such feature.
                              Some day I hope to have the time to make one for my 12x36.
                              There are plans for a smaller one at: http://www.downrivertools.com/TS-Turret.html

                              I would think one could scale it up to fit a larger lathe....someday I'll look into it.

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