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  • New (to me) small, old lathe; how to proceed?

    At a local sale I picked up a "Simat 101" lathe (30.00 GBP which I think is cheap).

    http://www.lathes.co.uk/flexy/

    (search down).

    Mine doesn't have the countershaft shown, but is otherwise "spot on" to that picture.
    In particular, I only have the faceplate, no chuck. I have measured, and the spindle is m14x1.5mm. It appears my chances of finding a cheap chuck for my lathe are slim.

    I would welcome advice (or probably links) on:

    * fitting a motor or treadle
    * finding a chuck OR how to "get stuff done" using faceplates and centres.

    BugBear

  • #2
    Nice little lathe!

    A backplate should be fairly easy to make, then any backplate-fitting chuck would fit. Ask Tracy Tools for a tap, and find a bit of aluminium, and make the backplate. Final turning when the backplate is mounted on the lathe, so the chuck runs as true as it can.

    Are DC motors available surplus around your area? You'll note that the little mills from, say, Arc Euro Trade, have a potentiometer for speed control, and no belt changing. Someone somewhere will be able to help in the UK.

    I've got a little Unimat that may end up with a stepper motor for the spindle - we'll see...

    Another JohnS.

    Comment


    • #3
      Jackshaft such as pictured should be readily available in the form of a 200-300 mm shaft 12-18mm in size with pillow block bearings and a multispeed pulley. Not clear
      what size the lathe is but looks to be in the 30 cm range with 8-10cm swing? Suitable motor in the 150-250W range. 14Mx1.5M thread is a standard metric thread so
      you could get a generic back mounted chuck in the 4-6" range, a plate with the same diameter, center drill and tap the plate and drill the plate to mount the chuck.
      4J would be more versatile, especially with reversible jaws.
      Looks like ArcEuro trade has the pillow blocks, chucks and back plates, though as the previous poster suggests an aluminum disc would work as well. You might consider
      an ER chuck if you anticipate work holding that is cylindrical and under 18mm in size. A stepper drive is an interesting proposition and would give a fairly wide
      speed range. You will spend a good bit more than 30 pounds kitting the lathe up it looks like. There are a bunch of machinist forums in England that you may want
      to explore, start with the Model Engineers Workshop forum.
      Last edited by sch; 04-08-2013, 07:44 AM.
      Steve

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      • #4
        nice lathe, has some unusual features.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by sasquatch View Post
          nice lathe, has some unusual features.
          I was a little disappointed that the feed screw is whitworth thread, not acme.

          I may have a go at making better handwheels for it as a first project.

          BugBear

          Comment


          • #6
            Not knowing where you are located, it appears that the size is appropriate for chucks from either Sherline, or Taig. at M14, it might be possible to do a sleeve to adapt the 19mm Sherline. Maybe not, quite....

            Seeing the picture, my first response was "hey, that's a Perris, no, it's a Cowells" and reading , it turns out it is both... sort of.
            1601

            Keep eye on ball.
            Hashim Khan

            Comment


            • #7
              I had the chance to buy one of these little beauties, nicely tooled up, last year... and the only reason I was able to pass it up was knowing that I had to preserve my budget for a different purchase. I'll second J Tiers' suggestion for chuck options - especially the Sherlines, as I've heard nothing but positive feedback about their chucks and they are really nicely priced. Regarding a motor, after doing a lot of research about this myself (I have a 50mm center height lathe that is in sore need of a better motor), I'm sold on Sherline's updated DC motor and drive controller system. It's $230 new, if I recall correctly, and it gets you variable speed control with a nice torquey DC motor. Some of the folks over on the watchmaking forums swear by them and I've basically made up my mind to go the same route for mine. If you can make or find an appropriate countershaft then a small universal motor (like an old sewing machine or watchmaker lathe motor) would be a decent option too... but I've found them to be a bit underpowered when turning larger diameter work.
              Max
              http://joyofprecision.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by JohnAlex141r View Post
                I've got a little Unimat that may end up with a stepper motor for the spindle - we'll see...
                The sponsor of our forum had a series a couple years ago (well, OK maybe a decade ago, now?) about converting a mill spindle to a servo with the idea that the servo was really smooth and had absolutely huge torque at low speeds compared to a normal motor. You may already know about that magazine series if not sorry I can't remember much more about it.

                I already have a CNC mill which I converted from a manual and I've been thinking if I ever CNC a lathe I'd want to be able to cut threads and using a servo/stepper on the spindle seems simpler than all the feedback loop stuff involving VFD analog inputs and quadrature encoder outputs and all that. It "seems" that it would be simple to treat the lathe in software like a really big version of my mill's 4th axis and in the G code just tell it to go to X 2 A 700000 to make a relatively fine cut (err, more or less). Or obviously different values to cut a precise thread. I guess X 1 A 11520 would cut one inch of perfect 32 tpi thread assuming "inch" and "degree" and "incremental" mode/config. I'd really like to be able to cut weird threads like camera lens threads or (weird to me given where I live) metric threads.

                What I wonder about is how the software likes my idea. I don't relish the idea of homing the lathe and having the spindle then spin in reverse at high rate 700000 degrees, or how do you handle the zeroing of the spindle? What does EMC2/linuxcnc think of an axis (A) with a soft limit of a trillion degrees? Does the software crash? Aside from control issues, what does the backplotter graphics look like at 700000 degrees or whatever? I suppose to make multiple threading cuts you have to "rewind" the spindle, or in the G code just keep using higher and higher A values until the A value overflows? I wonder how to handle low acceleration of a heavy chuck and work... can linuxcnc/emc2 even be configured to accelerate that slowly? The idea of being able to thread right up to a shoulder at full speed with digital perfection each time sounds cool although I'm sure very nerve wracking to watch.

                Being a home guy I really couldn't care less about speed, I'm not willing to pay a lot of money to turn a homemade SLR camera macro adapter in 45 seconds instead of 45 minutes. 45 hours for all I care. Or if it can only cut 5-40 threads at the rate of an inch of thread per minute, eh whatever as long as its accurate in the end. I've got all day. Any excuse to spend time machining is a good excuse...

                A magazine article about this, maybe in our sponsor's "Digital Machinist" magazine, would be pretty interesting to me. If you do stepper your spindle write an article for DM about it and let George know at least one subscriber wants to read it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Vince;

                  Originally posted by vincemulhollon View Post
                  A magazine article about this, maybe in our sponsor's "Digital Machinist" magazine, would be pretty interesting to me. If you do stepper your spindle write an article for DM about it and let George know at least one subscriber wants to read it.
                  Hmmm :-) I do know that on the LinuxCNC email group, people have done threading with stepper motor for spindle, treating it like the A axis, etc.

                  Parts on order - we'll see what appears from the workshop.

                  Another JohnS.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Every time ELS or electronic threading comes up I get into Rant Mode. The subject has been discussed here:

                    http://http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/threads/47722
                    as well as in threads referred to in the above thread.

                    I presented a series on Electronic Threading beginning in the Winter 2009 issue of Digital Machinist. The system is bullet proof and will accept any variation in spindle speed, even down to stalling without losing position or tracking.

                    By contrast, the ELS system, even after several years, just doesn't work perfectly, and they are still experimenting, and even the threading feature on Mach 3 has some problems.

                    I suspect that the lack of enthusiasm about my method may be due to the need for hand building the electronics. I found with the Magnetic Clock that offering a circuit board has helped many people to attempt the clock when they wouldn't otherwise.

                    Perhaps I need to revisit my electronic threading project and consider offering a circuit board.

                    Sorry for the rant....
                    Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                    ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have not seen your series..... not a subscriber, although I do have a mill project on the horizon....

                      Anyway.... I don't know what (if any) micro you are using...... however, if you could put it in an Atmel, (hush, Lazlo), people buy the Arduino units basically as a PWB with a mounted uP chip + needful local stuff, and re-program it to their needs. Price-wise, it beats the daylights out of doing a PWB for that part of it... I suspect the Arduino people are less than impressed, but they still get the sales.

                      Much of the rest (power portions) is often significantly easier to do on a perfboard or one of the "stripe" boards where you cut the pre-etched copper strips to isolate areas. Having the uP on its board is a big headstart, and you *know* it has no big local layout issues.
                      1601

                      Keep eye on ball.
                      Hashim Khan

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ... funny old world... The Simat 101 is the very first lathe i ever owned. Didn't have it long, as was too small and underpowered for m/cycle parts i wanted to make. Ok for small spacers etc. However it did lead me into wanting a bigger lathe. If you click onto the lathes.co.uk site and read down, one of the manufacturers towards the end was Royston House Engineering near North Walsham, Norfolk, England, not far from where i lived at the time. I was in that building (large shed) many a time, the boss/owner was a very nice bloke called Brian, and the man who machined most of the awkward stuff was called Albert, who to this day remains one of my closest friends... funny old world.
                        Mike.

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                        • #13


                          No pictures, didn't happen (etc).

                          BugBear

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My overactive, bizarre and warped imagination just juxtaposed that cute little lathe with a piece of railroad rail sitting under my workbench.

                            I am now hearing the voice of a lathe (or at least the bed) calling out to me to plop the rail up on the Bridgeport and and mill away the excess to liberate the lathe.

                            the last time I heard the voice, I liberated an anvil from the rail, mostly with a 4" angle grinder.

                            Talk me out of this, or distract me until the voices go away.
                            Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                            ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Weston Bye View Post
                              My overactive, bizarre and warped imagination just juxtaposed that cute little lathe with a piece of railroad rail sitting under my workbench.

                              I am now hearing the voice of a lathe (or at least the bed) calling out to me to plop the rail up on the Bridgeport and and mill away the excess to liberate the lathe.

                              the last time I heard the voice, I liberated an anvil from the rail, mostly with a 4" angle grinder.

                              Talk me out of this, or distract me until the voices go away.
                              I hear those same voices all the time. They really want me to make a lathe from scratch... I do plan on giving in to the temptation some day. Don't fight it, embrace the insanity!
                              Max
                              http://joyofprecision.com/

                              Comment

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