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MountainGaurdian

Trying to get my lathe setup to do more

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 When I bought this farm I found an old Shopsmith lathe and got to running.  It had few parts for it around so I have kind of cobbled things together, it is a tad redneck but it works.  I have yet to buy a 5/8 shaft adapter to allow me to use lathe chucks and I have yet to buy a lathe chuck, but I do have a faceplate and a redneck driver mechanism made from a bolt and lag bolt welded together with a nut slipped over and welded in place and then a washer welded to the nut and bent into a "u" shape.  I just drill out a 3/4 inch by 3/16 inch deep hole and run the drive mechanism into the wood and rives the long branch pieces that I use to make handles quite well. It also drives the short branch pieces that I use to make dowels quite well also.  It does not drive much of anything else though, well not safely anyways...  lol...

 

I realized a couple days ago that the tailshaft was just a regular morse taper so I stole the taper and drill chuck out of my old floor drill press and put that in the tail.  I built a "very" redneck tool rest today but it works.  This is what I have setup so far...

 

 

 

 

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With the addition of the faceplate and the tool rest today I was able to try my attempt at an actual project.  I figured I might try a simply vase to test out the Western White pine wood and the faceplate attachment and lastly the ability to drill with the stationary tailstock drill chuck.  I was sent to town to go the store earlier so I was unable to complete the project but I will get back to it tomorrow and see if I can get it drilled out.  I have to haul another load of willow and poplar logs back home to feed the mill but I should have time to play around on the lathe I hope.  This what I have so far on my simple vase test.

851189589_pine1.jpg.7d8049407bb6e5f157ed317ee54dc87a.jpg1821632871_pine2.jpg.3edc97e7ee5d1e2961eea6d3562ec813.jpg

 

I sanded up a little bit some sandpaper and when I noticed the shine I grabbed an old piece of leather I removed from a saddle repair and ran that over it a bit and increased the shine a little bit more.  I got a little carried away with the pressure, the leather actually started smoking.  I wasn't concerned about until I stopped the piece and noticed how hot the wood got and then  noticed a small hairlinf crack in it.  So one wants to watch how much heat they create in sanding and polishing apparently.

 

I found some large Western White pine logs that I had forgotten about down below my dam yesterday and I have a some decent pile of branches as well, I am going to get those collected before snow falls and get them in the shop to practice on this winter.  I have dead dry willow out along the county road I want to get as well that should be turnable as well.  I have a several; trailer loads of green willow and green poplar right now, I am going to try to learn how to dry it and I will go ahead and set aside a few dozen logs to dry out over the next year or so.  I also cut down a dead apple tree yesterday that my goats ate and killed about a year and a half ago, still a little green in some of it but most of it is pretty dry.  

 

Anyone ever try to turn spruce?  I have a fair bit of dead standing spruce, I don't much like milling it as it is about pitchiest wood I have ever seen, it literally just oozes out while I am cutting boards.  But the dead dry trees might actually work for turning, they have that severely twisted grain that does a 306 circuit about every 3 to 5 feet and often half natural splits in the center that could make for some interesting looks in a turned piece.

 

Can I cut wood into lathe blanks green and then paint the ends for drying?  

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This is the setup I made for my mill to cut lathe blanks, I cut a few dozen poplar blanks a few years back but most of them cracked to badly to useable.  If I paint the ends will that solve the cracking issues or should I leave them in log form and cut the lathe blanks when dry?

 

Might as well throw in a picture of my dowel turning setup, I make dowels to use as fasteners on the private bridges that I build, store bought dowel material is expensive so I made this simple little setup from an old cross slide vice and an old flat file.  Handy little bugger, makes dowels quick and easy..

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2046289672_dowel2.jpg.934fcd4f0374bf2f11bc67938c06bcac.jpg

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5 hours ago, HandyDan said:

Hi Ed.  You have plenty of wood around which is a good thing.  Most turners prefer to turn the hard woods but I use them all.  I like your dowel making set up.  Do you have to deal with whip and chatter on the longer pieces?

The longest wood dowels I have turned are about 8 to 10 inches long or so.  I started making them to use as fasteners on beams where I drill the beams and then glue and pound ii wood dowel so I didn't need them to be particularly long.  As for material I just use relatively straight section of old dry branches.

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Glad to have another turner in our ranks! You have some really cool setups!

 

I haven't turned spruce, but have made pens out of "old growth" pine.

 

I use old TiteBond glue to seal the ends of turning blanks. Works a little better, for me, to prevent cracking.

 

Looking  forward to seeing more of the stuff you turn!

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First, welcome aboard.  Thank you for sharing pictures as I could not envision what you were going through.  

 

This is the part I hate to do, but I must say that your re-arrangement of the headstock is very dangerous.  Please visit here for your parts.  https://www.shopsmith.com/ownersite/catalog/l_turningpackage.htm  What you have is a Mark V from the 1970's or 1980's.  Also, there is a forum here  https://www.shopsmith.com/ss_forum/ with experienced users who are happy to share their information about the machine.  The reason your headstock is dangerous, is that exposed belt with a tensioner.  Anything is subject to get caught in it.  May I strongly suggest that you remove that belt, remove the tensioner and get a standard Poly V belt from Shopsmith.  It may take a while as they are rather slow.   And, if you have the belt cover, please put it in place.  The 2 screws that secure it are readily available at a good hardware store, not a big box store.  

 

As you can see from the first link I posted, there are parts available to do what you wish, but is made specifically for the Shopsmith.  The Nova G3 chuck is a good starter chuck and comes with an adapter that will fit other chucks when you are ready to move up.  The tailstock is a standard Morse taper #2.  

 

Another precaution, please don't turn the speed dial without the motor running.  That will give you another challenge and it takes too long to get a replacement pork chop from the mother ship.  Shopsmith is the only company that i know who still supports with parts their machines that were made 70 years ago.  

 

I am happy that you have one of these amazing machines, but please be very careful with these.  They are rugged, durable and are capable of doing many features.  I cringed when I saw your pictures.  I fear for your safety and the safety of others, whether it be children or the curious onlooker.  Many parts are available on eBay.  

 

Now, did you get a manual with the unit?  You need one and the book Power Tool Working for Everyone.  That title may not be just right, but it is a well written book and very useful.  

 

I'll be very happy to assist with what I know and I hope you decide to stay here.  Spruce is beautiful turned.  I made a train with some.  It is great stuff.  I hope to see more of your work.  Again, welcome aboard.

 

Another critical point is that oiling of the sheaves.  These sheaves contract and spread apart as the speed changes.  On the bottom sheave, you need to turn up the speed to almost full speed.  A few drops of machine oil is what is needed.  You will need a wide blade standard screwdriver (flat) to separate the spring to find the oil hole.  Then remove the cover from the back side of the headstock and find the oil hole in the spindle.  Place a few drops of machine oil (like 3 in 1) in the hole.  You will have to rotate the spindles.  If these lock up, it is a lot of work to undo.  After oiling, go through the speeds a couple of times to get the oil spread into the shafts and keyways.  This procedure needs to occur about every 10 hours of use.  And, come back with any other questions you have.  We'll try to get you the correct answer.  

Edited by FlGatorwood

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3 hours ago, FlGatorwood said:

First, welcome aboard.  Thank you for sharing pictures as I could not envision what you were going through.  

 

This is the part I hate to do, but I must say that your re-arrangement of the headstock is very dangerous.  Please visit here for your parts.  https://www.shopsmith.com/ownersite/catalog/l_turningpackage.htm  What you have is a Mark V from the 1970's or 1980's.  Also, there is a forum here  https://www.shopsmith.com/ss_forum/ with experienced users who are happy to share their information about the machine.  The reason your headstock is dangerous, is that exposed belt with a tensioner.  Anything is subject to get caught in it.  May I strongly suggest that you remove that belt, remove the tensioner and get a standard Poly V belt from Shopsmith.  It may take a while as they are rather slow.   And, if you have the belt cover, please put it in place.  The 2 screws that secure it are readily available at a good hardware store, not a big box store.  

 

As you can see from the first link I posted, there are parts available to do what you wish, but is made specifically for the Shopsmith.  The Nova G3 chuck is a good starter chuck and comes with an adapter that will fit other chucks when you are ready to move up.  The tailstock is a standard Morse taper #2.  

 

Another precaution, please don't turn the speed dial without the motor running.  That will give you another challenge and it takes too long to get a replacement pork chop from the mother ship.  Shopsmith is the only company that i know who still supports with parts their machines that were made 70 years ago.  

 

I am happy that you have one of these amazing machines, but please be very careful with these.  They are rugged, durable and are capable of doing many features.  I cringed when I saw your pictures.  I fear for your safety and the safety of others, whether it be children or the curious onlooker.  Many parts are available on eBay.  

 

Now, did you get a manual with the unit?  You need one and the book Power Tool Working for Everyone.  That title may not be just right, but it is a well written book and very useful.  

 

I'll be very happy to assist with what I know and I hope you decide to stay here.  Spruce is beautiful turned.  I made a train with some.  It is great stuff.  I hope to see more of your work.  Again, welcome aboard.

 

Another critical point is that oiling of the sheaves.  These sheaves contract and spread apart as the speed changes.  On the bottom sheave, you need to turn up the speed to almost full speed.  A few drops of machine oil is what is needed.  You will need a wide blade standard screwdriver (flat) to separate the spring to find the oil hole.  Then remove the cover from the back side of the headstock and find the oil hole in the spindle.  Place a few drops of machine oil (like 3 in 1) in the hole.  You will have to rotate the spindles.  If these lock up, it is a lot of work to undo.  After oiling, go through the speeds a couple of times to get the oil spread into the shafts and keyways.  This procedure needs to occur about every 10 hours of use.  And, come back with any other questions you have.  We'll try to get you the correct answer.  

I did not get a manual with this as I found it buried in junk in the middle of the shop when I bought this farm.  I have found a manual online as well as a parts illustration.  

 

Originally over the last 6 years I was just using the machine to tool some handles for shovels and whatnot but recently I got to thinking it might be cool to actually put the machine together as it should be and try to turn some projects.  I then started watching videos to see how it is supposed to be done and set up.  In doing that I began to understand what needed to some extent anyways.

 

I intend to by the belt to drive the lathe, I was not aware that Shopsmith was still around that is handy info as I was simply going to try and calculate the belt measurements and order one close enough to work.  As for the speed system I clean and lubricate it regularly, it is a simple thing on this machine.  Yes I am aware that you need to reduce the speed back down to minimum before shutting down the machine.

 

I do have the back cover to the machine, but the modified drive system will not work with the cover on.  As for danger, yes it is a danger but no more so than the open pto shaft on my tractor or back hoe, or many of the parts on my 1942 2U D8 DL cable blade cat bulldozer, dump truck, sawmill, falling saws etc.  One has to always be cautious and mindful living on a farm and working in the woods logging as I do.  I am not exactly new to machine and equipment operation, been living this lifestyle for 50 years and I still have all my attachments.

 

Thank you for the information and the concern.

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At the moment, I can't find the manuals, but here is a link that will be helpful.  http://www.shopsmithacademy.com/Sawdust_Sessions.htm

 

Ah, just found the manuals.  They have been corrected and they are free.  I hope you have a printer, but if you don't want a paper copy, these are always available on line.  https://www.shopsmith.com/ownersite/productmanuals.htm

 

Your unit should have the 1 1/8 hp motor.  It is powerful.  I, too, grew up on farms working with some machinery, but I prefer all the safety measures that don't impede production.

 

I don't remember the motor rpm, but the quill speed, the top shaft on the right and left sides of the headstock, starts at the bottom 750 rpm.  The top speed is 5600.  There is a speed reducer that is rather expensive.  There is also a speed increaser which is also expensive.  Sometimes, if you are patient, as farmers normally are, you will find one on eBay.  Also, you may look at the silver label on the left side of the headstock where the 2 shafts come out.  On the bottom shaft the silver metal plate should have a serial number.   https://www.shopsmith.com/ownersite/serialnumber.htm this chart may help you to determine which year the headstock was made.  

 

When you get your correct belt and restore the belt cover, I hope to see another picture.  Also, I hope to see more work.  Oh, BTW, if you have a dedicated 15 amp circuit, you don't have to slow down the speed to turn it off.  When it starts, it will draw at least 15 amps to start it and after it gets running, it's something over 13 amps.   

Edited by FlGatorwood
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I found the drive belt on Ebay for $23.93 free shipping, it would take 7 days to get here from Clifton New Jersey.  3BG Supply wants $141.60 for the belt and Amazon wants $54.27 for it.  Generally I have found that Amazon is always a fair bit overpriced so the cheap belt might actually be a decent belt, provided it will actually fit as they claim.

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ED I will address some questions however you will get more and better answers by putting fewer questions in one post.

1. Any wood can be turned however We do not have most of the woods you mention in the South except pine which is turnable just have a lot of chip out .

 

2. Can you save blanks for the future ? Yes definitely . I use wax to coat the ends of blanks after I cut the pith out because it will cause the blank to split as it dries.

 

3. Cracks will result the longer you leave the wood in your pile. You "may" be able to turn around them BUT it is best to turn wet wood and leave thick and once dry return it. You will lose some blanks but save many more doing this. We can cover this deeper later it is jut too much for this and if you will look at my club site there are many references and resources there to answer this question. How to do it on Magnolia Woodturners

 

4. Something I noticed in your post is using files. Yes it can be done but they must be tempered properly as they are very brittle and dangerous if not done correctly. You will also find articles on making turning tools on the website.

 

You remind me much of a farmer in our club who is one of the most inventive and resourceful turners I know and he makes lots of his tools. Trait of the trade I guess.

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33 minutes ago, Cal said:

 

Gene, I did not know that you had such an interest in dentistry!:P

I have been known to occasionally bite off more than I can chew.:lol: But, it's usually soft stuff, like cake. :TwoThumbsUp:consequently, I don't need any of the bridge work to which you alluded earlier. ;) 

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