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I have wanted to learn to turn metal for a long time.  I looked at all the alternatives and found most out of my price range.  I have learned that cheap usually means bad or limitations I quickly hate.  Many use the small 7 x 10 lathes and find them great for hobby work.  I knew I would find a project this machine couldn’t handle.  Gingery seemed a good place to start and learn while I went along.

I decided to make a larger version of the lathe.  A 30” bed with 4” ways seemed like a good starting point.  I have seen larger versions done before.  Most have used structural tubing to go this big.  I intend to cast all the parts.   Research showed some concerns about rigidity.  I did some more homework and decided that aluminum alloy 356 would be a better alternative than scrap.  I also found ZA 12 would be a good idea for parts with bearing surfaces.   

The Start

The Dream


The start

The Dream


Its coming along ;)

Follow along as I complete this project.  I hope to provide some useful information and detailed pictures as I go along.  I also have some plans to simplify some of the steps and some upgrades to address some of the limitations.   If you have any questions or a suggestion feel free to send me a message.

Patterns - The patterns still being refined.  After doing some of the castings below I found most were pretty good.  Need to fix the headstock for the 2nd attempt as the pattern breaks the sand on the left side. Lathe Parts
Bed & Feet - So far feet.  The left 1 is the result of a pin hole in the stainless crucible.  The right started to paint them IH Yellow :) Didn't want to confuse this thing with some green import.  The bed is on a diet.  Trying not to loose the strength but cut some metal.  Will be using a 8qt cast iron bean pot in the kiln.  HEAVY !!!  

The good the BED & the ugly click here. 

Carriage Assembly - Well what can you say.  After looking it over its crap :(  I also looked at the pattern.  Its bowed.  wasn't that way when I made it !.  That's Ok have another idea for a more stable assembly anyway so I guess its time for another pattern.  Gingery says put the spru right on the casting.

8/10/03 - I did make another one forgot the pics, I'll get some

Cross Slide - Not too bad, holes drilled.  Only 1 tapped so far and need to clean up the pad areas. I'm gonna drill out for the swivel pin.  A little rough at the bottom of the handle area (needed vent) but wont show when in use.  Still needs cleaning up.  Zinc and B&Sonium.

Compound Slide - Zinc and pistonium waiting for mounting.  Made it thicker for a different tool mount design.  Some pics of the 2 castings as they came out of the sand.  A larger crucible lets me do more than one at a time.  Have had pretty good results doing it this way.
Lead screw & Split nut -
Counter Shaft -  Most of the parts.  I also have the pulley and shaft.  Need to finish drilling holes and weld it together. 
Head Stock - Well here it is - ALMOST ;)


I moved it to its own page click here.
Tail Stock - The base, not so exciting.  B&Sonium
Accessories - The first pic is a hand wheel for the lead screw.  That is wood grain from the pattern being picked up by the green sand :)  Not perfect but I left room on the pattern for machining.  I should have vented better.  The second pic is the parts from the melt. That's a large slab of AL on top of the spru.  The other is the block to mount the split nut.  See the foundry page for some more shots.


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