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$100 screw cutting 12" lathe design

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  • #46
    I don't disagree with the cart being before the horse regarding the need for this lathe. That being said, what are some improvements? In my mind, the scrap for this lathe comes from a vehicle that won't run any more.

    First thing the peeps will need is a way to cut a truck into pieces. They'll need wrenches and screwdrivers to disassemble it.

    Poor nations run the gamut from "don't have nuthin'" to "we'd be ok if militiamen would quit shelling our village." There is probably a socio-technology band in there somewhere where machine tools would really help. A goat herder does not need a lathe. A guy who wants to pump water probably does.

    It could be the purpose of such a lathe is to earn enough money to buy a real lathe. (This reminds me of ultra-cheap guns supplied by the USA to Central American, um, freedom fighters. The pistols were good for one shot. Their purpose was to allow a man to get close to a soldier, shoot him, and take his gun.) After the new lathe is purchased, the original lathe is sold off and a new owner begins the process again.

    edit - my facts are not very factual unless I discover more facts. But here's something like what I was thinking of. I don't remember it looking this way.

    edit 2 - my facts still suck but this is what I was thinking of.
    Last edited by Tony Ennis; 12-05-2011, 04:03 PM.

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    • #47
      Love it or hate it, every machine person needs to carefully read these:

      http://flowxrgdotcom.files.wordpress...ing-lathes.pdf

      http://TinyURL.com/6dmdaub

      Whether my implementation is any good or not, a billion and a half people have little or no access to tools and this lathe is a possible answer for some of them.
      Much of my working life has been spent around either very old brewing machinery or in the oilpatch environment of dirt mixed with grease. Extremely close tolerances were not needed or affordable in my world or in many other places.

      I posted this in an effort to find better ways of doing specific things. Wooden thread followers were used 100 years ago, I would greatly appreciate other simple ways of doing this.
      Pat

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      • #48
        Liberator --sort of on topic

        Originally posted by Tony Ennis
        edit 2 - my facts still suck but this is what I was thinking of.
        Yes these are interesting, I have 2 of them in my collection, one with all original box and line drawn comic strip type instructions --the only thing I can say about them is that I'd value either of mine at a somewhat higher value then mentioned on Wikipedia. If they were for sale, which they are not.

        And so far as I know, as the article mentions, no record of one ever being used for the intended purpose exists --much like the scaled down lathe under discussion in this thread.

        Except, of course, the Liberator actually does exist. As does the possibility one was used as intended having simply never had the event recorded (I would actually consider this reasonable to assume).

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        • #49
          Jtiers.
          I often thought that it would be better to just drop a couple of junked Cadillacs on em. Along with some hacksaws and chisels.
          They know what they need. Just give em the raw materials to make it.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by philbur
            Yes but machine tools are also useful for repairing or recycling other things that are useful. The farmer on a US farm west of the Mississippi a hundred and fifty years ago might not have needed a lathe but the local blacksmith could probably have put it to good use.

            Phil
            Did you maybe MISS the part about being *usable*?

            I grant you that some blacksmiths might have had work where the lathe in teh article would have been useful.

            How many of them could actually put it to use if it were presented to them as-is?
            A lathe for use in an area without grid power, or without reliable grid power, must be designed for those conditions.....

            Originally posted by philbur

            PS: You can't prove that something is not useful by identifying situations where it is not useful.
            I specifically picked the time and place as having as much as possible two characteristics combined......

            1) being at least somewhat familiar to people in the US, and perhaps elsewhere, so peiople could have a mental picture to relate to.

            and 2) to have about the same level of general technology and especially availability of technology as the areas the lathe is apparently aimed at.
            I suspect the general "need" would actually have been greater in the old west, it is probably a lopsided favorable example, really.



            Originally posted by Rustybolt
            Jtiers.

            They know what they need. Just give em the raw materials to make it.
            That is generally the trend for many "do-gooder" western organizations now..... where they would formerly have handed out some "device" to solve problems.
            CNC machines only go through the motions.

            Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
            Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
            Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
            I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
            Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

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            • #51
              I'm warming to the idea of this lathe as I can see it as being applicable to a machine shop worker who wants his own lathe to do work on the side or who wants to set up a lathe for a cousin or relative possibly in a more remote town. Most shop floor workers in Africa do not make enough to be able to afford the luxury of the kind of hobby equipment we do and this design is more appropriate to someone who understands a lathe and it's set up in the first place.

              Most towns in Africa have power or are not far from a town with power so I think this design with electric power is a far more universal option than a treadmill machine.

              Putting it to the use described by the OP would appear to be relevent but note that in my scenario you already have a lathe and latheworker.
              "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"

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              • #52
                Start treadling

                Here is a quite old but very smooth treadle lathe, which despite its looks is pretty good. The treadle mechanism is very smooth and uses the larger pulley as a fly-wheel to store energy and to smooth out the bumps.

                I guess it could be incorporated into a lathe of any material - concrete, iron, bits-n-pieces/scrap etc.







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                • #53
                  I believe that there will always be " haves" and " have nots" in any society. Only the communists thought that there could successfully be a single class.
                  I also believe that if you do not protect what you "have" someone else will take it away from you. The Chinese are taking away our industrial manufacturing base by working more cheaply than we do. In order to remain among the " haves" , we must focus on our own welfare first, and selfishly if necessary. I don't believe that providing plans for crude concrete lathes to poor countries is going to help us. It may, in fact, simply lead to more countries like China who produce goods much more cheaply that we can. But, if someone really wants to provide lathes to a poor country, buy them some Chinese lathes, which at least can make some useful items. One lathe per 10 villages that can hold usable tolerances is worth more than a dozen sloppy cobbled up lathes per village. As US taxpayers, we provide economic aid to poor countries all over the world. But at the same time, we had the " cash for clunkers" program that scrapped thousands of running automobiles. We sink ships to create artificial reefs. The government stores surplus machine tools out in the weather to rust. But, we haven't been giving away those cars or ships or machines to poor countries, mostly because there are essentials that those people need a lot more, like clean water, food, shelter, and education. But probably not concrete lathes. Many of these nominally poor countries have valuable natural resources that we could buy with all that foreign aid, or they could use to build up their own economies if shown how.
                  Last edited by Bill736; 12-05-2011, 11:14 PM.

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                  • #54
                    Bill, you forgot about our government paying farmers NOT to raise crops on the premise that limiting excess and the resulting higher price somehow means a higher profit for the farmers...and yet none of the local Walmarts here carry lettuce grown in this country. Maybe I was in the military too long, grew up too poor, or something else Im missing, but I tend to agree with anyone that would say being "greedy" isnt necessarily a bad thing for the US.

                    Off the soapbox now, I still fail to see why anyone would need to provide "plans" for this project. Its a rather rudimentary design, something that anyone with enough skill and knowledge to consider fabricating a lathe would certainly be able to design for themself. Also, while not 100% worldwide, the internet and modern technology does touch every part of the world. I have personally seen many parts of the third world where the only source of electricity was a community generator, but sure enough quite a few people had cell phones and laptops. Simply put, the third world isnt that far behind, and basic machine tools have been around a century or two now = easily obtained knowledge. If the demand for the products of a lathe required it, IMHO lathes would exist in that location.
                    Last edited by justanengineer; 12-06-2011, 12:55 AM.
                    "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."

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                    • #55
                      I just went thru this thread and my first thought was what can we do to make it more basic and cheaper? Why?...
                      My son took the modern equivalent of Jr High shop class a few years back. Now they don't even let them use a screwdriver at an age I was working power saws. My son was doing welding already and was bored out of his mind.
                      Something like this, with a number of simple steps, would teach kids about basic techniques. Look at it--wood, concrete, metal. Kid in Jr High puts this together and no round stock in the county will be safe! Great way for them to get introduced to all sorts of hands on skills! I would have been all over this in school as would most boys I knew. Making parts for bicycles, model planes, small boats...

                      ArkTinkerer

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                      • #56
                        Thats a big problem, no more trade classes. High school is pretty much useless now days since they got rid of everything interesting and the stuff that got kids interested in other things.

                        All I see kids doing now days is just sitting around with their head in their phone or other digital gadget. The parents have it pounded in their head that you go to college and you will get a job so no need for any of that hands on stuff. Well we can already see that isn't working out. Just wait another 10 years and see how screwed everyone will be.
                        Andy

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by jep24601
                          Most shop floor workers in Africa do not make enough to be able to afford the luxury of the kind of hobby equipment we do and this design is more appropriate to someone who understands a lathe and it's set up in the first place.

                          Most towns in Africa have power or are not far from a town with power so I think this design with electric power is a far more universal option than a treadmill machine.

                          Putting it to the use described by the OP would appear to be relevent but note that in my scenario you already have a lathe and latheworker.
                          First note the bold section...... very very true..... it is a lathe somewhat as WE would want it.... No consideration for the sort of conditions in which that "toe lathe" is appropriate.

                          I think "treadmill" is harsh...... sounds like Australia, or the salt mines. The "toe lathe" is a form of "person-powered machine", perhaps a better label.

                          Towns Towns Towns....... Towns likely have no need for it, as noted they probably already HAVE a shop of some sort with better stuff. Where it is more appropriate, it may be far less needed. Villages have much less need, and far less resources.

                          Still think it is a solution desperately searching for a problem. That is common with many well-meaning western do-gooder efforts. People in backward areas do not need lathes. Lathes do not plow, they do not pump, they do not harvest, and they cannot move product to market.

                          The people MAY need things which are in part products of lathes.... and which are a more direct solution to their problems.

                          The ONE PLACE where it might be good.......

                          "Most shop floor workers in Africa do not make enough to be able to afford the luxury of the kind of hobby equipment we do "

                          if you delete the word "hobby" and see it instead as the word "business equipment", you see that it could be possible as an enabling technology to let people start businesses with far less investment. Maybe they could start businesses back home in the "town" or "village", something THEY KNOW is needed, NOT something "WE" think they "must " need.
                          CNC machines only go through the motions.

                          Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
                          Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
                          Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
                          I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
                          Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            It's been a long time since I traded a few messages with you, rigmatch. I don't have anything to add to the current discussion that's directly on topic but I will add a few observations about African technology.

                            I went through Kenya on vacation a couple years ago. Technology is not as backward there as it might look. Telephone service there leapfrogged landlines and almost everyone in Kenya uses cell phones. In Mombassa, Nairobi, and even out in the Shimba Hills wildlife preserve, I got better GSM cell phone service in Kenya than I do here at home in Alabama. I also saw cordless phones at the big mall in Nairobi that used a cell phone base station rather than a phone jack to plug in a landline.

                            In fact, I happened to stay in a Holiday Inn in Nairobi that was directly across from the Kenyan office of Fisher Scientific. I saw an invoice on the desk at Fisher Scientific to a brewery which was ordering lab equipment to test parameters of their beer.

                            On my way to the Nairobi airport, I also noticed what a big presence FedEx has in Nairobi. While it is true that the majority of Kenyans out in the countryside lack the money for any of this and carry water to their homes in large plastic buckets, there is plenty of technology available in the cities even if you do have to walk over sidewalks that have not been maintained for 50 years.

                            Kenya does a significant amount of trade with India. India ships them a lot of the manufactured goods that they cannot make for themselves. I wouldn't be surprised if there is some kind of Indian version of Harbor Fright that sells there although I didn't see it.

                            I do remember walking by a hardware store in Mombassa that seemed to have a wide selection of hardware. I also remember seeing car repair shops in Nairobi and was told that the roads are so bad that cars have to have their suspensions repaired yearly since the road from Mombassa to Nairobi is so bad.

                            I met two South Africans on the train that were from the Rift Valley Railroad Corporation, the South African firm that had just taken over the Kenyan railroads. They told me about the Kenyan heavy railroad maintenance shop in Nairobi that maintains the trains in Kenya. The building still has bullet holes and bomb damage from the attack on the U.S. embassy in Kenya some years back.

                            Virtually anything we think of as essential to modern society is available in the cities: Even ATM machines. It's funny to see your balance on a Kenyan ATM machine in Kenyan shillings. In short, the distribution between the haves and have-nots in Kenya is much much wider than it is in the U.S. but everything we might want is available though some channel even if it is more expensive and has a longer delay time.

                            I can't speak for the rest of Africa other than to say that my experience in Egypt was similar to Kenya. Cell phones worked as least as well as they do in Alabama.

                            Anyway, I hope this provides a picture of what is available in an area of the world that westerners by default think is just backwards.

                            --Cameron

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                            • #59
                              OT - I like that treadle lathe. I wants it, Precious.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by justanengineer
                                grew up too poor, or something else Im missing, but I tend to agree with anyone that would say being "greedy" isnt necessarily a bad thing for the US.

                                .
                                Not as long as you don't mind the rest of the world hating you and wanting you dead. Oh, sorry the ship has sailed on that one.

                                People in the first world, the ones that even care and most of us don't, forget that a large part of the population of Africa still live in rural villages, there houses are mud huts and wealth is measured in livestock etc. We see them as poor and underprivileged but they don't. Not every body on the planet wants to be like us. Some are happy to live there traditional life with few modern intrusions like better medical care.

                                Much of the unrest is inter-tribal hatred that goes back longer then anybody remembers.
                                The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                                Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

                                Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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