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Title: Wood turning lathes
Description: Tool rests


egon - December 17, 2008 12:34 PM (GMT)

Some years ago I purchased a very inexpensive wood turning mini lathe. Length of 12 inches and diameter of six inches are the maximum. Needless to say my clumsy hands soon resulted in the breaking of the tool rest. A trip to the local welding shop fixed me up with several replacement rests at very excellent prices. They seem to work well and are far stronger than the original cast ??? China ??? metal.

Now it has come to pass that I joined a Canahoidian Woodworker forum where on a fellow had broken his tool rest and was looking for a replacement. Naturally I suggested a welded up new tool rest made from steel.

Now I find that shape and strength of the rest's has evolved over the ages and they are much more complicated than outward appearances would suggest.

I am hopping someone here has familiarity with tool rests, their origins and evolution of shape cause I sure don't and feel rather challenged! :D

By the way I turned another mallet the other day from semi green wood. I found that by placing it one the mallet thick end in a few mm of mineral oil checking was eliminated and the mallet soaked up lots of oil and actually got noticeably heavier. :D :o

JT Metalworks - December 17, 2008 12:58 PM (GMT)
We need photos Egon.

The last time I used a wood lathe, it was a horrid shop smith (my dad's) and that hasn't been updated in 25 years since it came home.

The only freehand tool rests I'm aware of that differ from a traditional "bar" are those used on metal spinning lathes (they have holes for pegs to allow additional leverage). Other than being at the correct height for the tool being used, how much can you improve upon one that doesn't flex?

Franzę - December 17, 2008 05:59 PM (GMT)
Just what's wrong with Shopsmiths JT?

The one I have is over 50 years old and it still functions.

Egon, the only toolrest I've ever seen for a wood lathe was just an adjustable bar. I've seen a fancy duplicating device that rides on a flat table too, but I wouldn't call that a toolrest. Are you Canahodians misnaming tools again?

JT Metalworks - December 17, 2008 07:14 PM (GMT)
Shopsmiths are decent lathes, so-so drill presses, piss poor table saws, not enough grunt for a disk sander, and not enough rpm range for the bandsaw attachment (which my dad also has) - all that at an exorbitant price. Need I say more?

I wouldn't take one if it was free, unless I thought I could sell it to some unsuspecting sap (or someone who doesn't know a table saw shouldn't be chest high). If they said they just needed a lathe, I wouldn't feel bad about taking their money.

Franzę - December 18, 2008 03:51 AM (GMT)
You obviously have the model with the link belt type variable speed drive. Mine is from 1952, first generation, and I think cost about $150- back then.

I have the saw, lathe, drill chuck, disk sander and drum sander. Why in hell anybody would even try the bandsaw on the end of that machine is beyond me, or the jigsaw. For what the machine is, it's a pretty decent machine.

The second generation with variable drive leaves plenty to be desired, it's like any combination machine, as a table saw it makes a good lathe.

Disk sanders, as far as I'mconcerned are the most worthless waste of machine I ever saw, including industrial disk sanders. It's a self fulfilling chatter inducer because you are trying to sand at 2 different speeds on anything larger ahan ╝" against the abrasive.


egon - December 18, 2008 10:39 AM (GMT)

Just ordinary tool rests I was talking about. Some fellows have curved ones for doing inside work. :D

Turns out the original question has taken his/her broken tool rest to be welded and is having a few more made up. :D

I do have a sanding disk attachment for my radial arm saw. There have been a few times it has come in handy but I much prefer a the belt sander.

Those sanding disc's make for an oweee if used inappropriately and they get warm and the glue gets soft and the sanding paper disk flies off. :o

storts1 - December 19, 2008 03:25 PM (GMT)
Franz or Jim or Egon,,This was Givin to me 10+ years ago,,works like a champ,has the varible sped with the big hanle.Buts be belt drivin,, ??? :D

Dont know what year it is,,and theres a Box of all the attachments,,Any guess what Year????????? Model Number,,Shop smith told me its a Older one because of the color???????? Dont us it alot,But its come in Handy! :D :D :D ! Jims right,the table saw is to High!!!!But the Old sucker will cut a 4 x 8 sheet of Plywood square!!,Just need that second person,and take your time!!Thanks!!!!!,Jack

Just waiting for our 18 inches of snow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And a nother foot on christmas eve!!!!!!! :( Thats when the Big Italion Feast is!!!! and got to Play santa!,For the Old Folks Home!!!!!!! :D

Franzę - December 19, 2008 05:42 PM (GMT)
That is second incarnation Jack.
The original company went belly up, and the machine you have was built by the people who bought up all the designs.

There is a web site for ShopSmith naturally, and you can get all kinds of info.

The one I just gave a young fellow was 3rd generation. I scored it in some deal with no attachments for about 20 bucks.

storts1 - December 19, 2008 08:06 PM (GMT)
Thanks!!!!!!! Still is a trooper when ya ned it,which is seldom,But hums away,,no bearing noise,,So there a new generation shopsmith,,we saw them at the Big E,,the fair we go to every year,,WOW,There not bashful on there prices,,especially if you want one with all the attachments : :o o The Table saw still looks to high!!!!!

Franzę - December 19, 2008 08:16 PM (GMT)
The saw ain't too high. The machine wasn't built for a friggin leprichan.

Build a riser to stand on, you know, like the booster seat you use at the resturant.

egon - December 19, 2008 09:06 PM (GMT)

Heard of them things but never did see one! :D

JT Metalworks - December 19, 2008 11:05 PM (GMT)
Building a platform to work with it negates the only marginal advantage it has - the ability to cut wide sections.

Ripping 4x8's is possible with it, but your helper needs to have as much skill on the machine as you do (so that eliminates spousal labor). I'd rather use my little job site saw on the floor for anything else. Besides, homie desperate has a panel saw in all their stores and if you're smart about who you select to assist you, you can sometimes get them to do accurate work.

Franzę - December 20, 2008 03:50 AM (GMT)
Damn near caused a divorce between my parents, I remember the screaming well. The hunk of tin that supports the blade guard and supposedly maintains the saw kerf is worthless too.

Personally I never understood why people don't just use a decent skillsaw and a screwdriver on a pair of sawhorses for long rips.

JT Metalworks - December 20, 2008 09:11 AM (GMT)
I've only used the blade guards on big cabinet sized machines where they're supported by the U shaped bracket. I don't use the ones that go up behind the blade as I've found they encourage binding and subsequent kickbacks. Which brings up another reason I think those machines are worthless as a table saw - you have to tilt the work and work surface to cut a bevel. Talk about a pain to set up, let alone having to worry about the drop being munched by the blade as gravity does it's job when the parts are severed.

egon - December 20, 2008 11:06 AM (GMT)
QUOTE
if you're smart about who you select to assist you, you can sometimes get them to do accurate work.


Does this mean you find someone with a key and then get him/her to watch?

With those all in one tools there have been rumours that some one actually finished a project with one but most have been abandoned by the the folks that inherited the original machine and the project. Seems multi functions were nice but change over time made for horrendous actual project work!

For those plywood sheet cuts four 2x4 underneath, one clamped on top as a guide and a good Skillsaw with a good blade is all it takes for good accurate cuts.

Bys the way I got a real Skillsaw commercial grade that dates dates back to the early 70'ies. Replaced the switch once.

JT Metalworks - December 20, 2008 11:25 AM (GMT)
No, you find the guy who doesn't look like he's stoned or lost when you ask about the panel saw. If they'd let me run it, I would gladly take the opportunity.

I guess another method might be to start asking using incorrect terms and find the one who looks angry that you don't know what it's called. :D

I've done some work to completion on the old mans shop smith. I've made more subwoofer cabinets on it than I care to count (before homie d started giving away cuts - and when they first came to town they were astronomically over priced compared to the lumber yards they've since ran under). Generally speaking, it's been used to turn and sever since I always had a radial drill press to use for little holes and I used a router with a circle jig I made to do the cutouts. Even just needing to do some simple bevels to get slant wall cabinets (the kind that tuck against the rear seat back) done was a pain. I even used a belt sander on those to avoid the experience of having to cut a board holding it at some obscure angle.

I've never done much "fine woodworking" outside of making some footlockers with hidden compartments in the base and some end tables and such. I grew up working with wood, but I realized how much I hated the material when I moved on to metal. Wood is never straight unless you have a timesaver sized belt or drum sander. So dealing with spinters (yeah, I get more metal splinters now), cracks, warps, bows, shrinkage, and endgrain is not high on my priorities anymore. I still use it for shelves when I want high strength and cheap.

Frankly, building the shop reminded me how much I dislike the stuff. I also know I drove HD crazy with how much lumber I rejected and caused them to have to bring me more, only to have me reject 70% of the replacements and do the process over again. I still need to make the shop sliding doors that isolate it from the garage - those will be wood.

storts1 - December 20, 2008 12:41 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (JT Metalworks @ Dec 19 2008, 06:05 PM)
Building a platform to work with it negates the only marginal advantage it has - the ability to cut wide sections.

Ripping 4x8's is possible with it, but your helper needs to have as much skill on the machine as you do (so that eliminates spousal labor). I'd rather use my little job site saw on the floor for anything else. Besides, homie desperate has a panel saw in all their stores and if you're smart about who you select to assist you, you can sometimes get them to do accurate work.

I agree,Your looking for a accident..leprecaun????????????WTF???????5-11 is not normal??????????????


When this was Givin to me Jim,there were no HD's with the Panel saws,, Boy it was Nice when I rented to the countertop guys,,I had my own Home Depot saw to use,,and no driving,,

I love it in hooterville,,but 1/2 hr eash way to home depot,,I do what u do,if its only a couple pcs,,Take the small delta out from under neath the stairs!!!!!!! Unless I got some one here with a half a brain,, work of a Plat form,Hell Id cut the saw down first if it got used enough!!

Still cant believe how accurate after all these years it is!!!!!!!!!!!!! and there still selling them!!!!!!!!!!! at that price Guess its like a eleltlux vacume,sell 1 a week and make a Pay check!!!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Franzę - December 20, 2008 07:16 PM (GMT)
Actually, my Old Man bought his to build the house & cabinets, and completed that job. He even made all the kitchen door handles & drawer pulls from 5/4 maple flooring on the machine.

For what it was designed to be it ain't a bad machine, but it does leave some to be desired as a table saw. It was real good at sawing fingers, as the Old Man learned back around 62. He never again used that saw though.

I have at least 2 of the old Porter Cable 8" skillsaws, and 1 needs a new cord. I also have a few of the old worm drive 7╝" saws. Both have their uses and are better for some aplications than others.

They have all outlived and outperformed most of the crap that came along behind them.

JT Metalworks - December 20, 2008 07:25 PM (GMT)
I like the worm saws - they're heavy enough to stay in the cut under heavy feeds and the blade is on the right side.

storts1 - December 20, 2008 10:49 PM (GMT)
With those worm saws,Boy,you have 1 big right arm at the end of the year!!!!!(well if your right handed!!!! :D )

And Jim,You made me go out to the garage,Your correct.On my Makita.the blade is on the right,,would of drove me nuts all night,,cant see it for beens compared to the left,,well at least your arm doesnt fall off,,Franz,I have a OLD Stanley worm drive,,takes 2 guys to pick it up!!!!!!!!!!!!! They made em to last back then,,well longer than the Company!!!!!!!!! :( :( :( :( :(

storts1 - December 20, 2008 10:58 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (JT Metalworks @ Dec 20 2008, 06:25 AM)
No, you find the guy who doesn't look like he's stoned or lost when you ask about the panel saw. If they'd let me run it, I would gladly take the opportunity.

I guess another method might be to start asking using incorrect terms and find the one who looks angry that you don't know what it's called. :D

I've done some work to completion on the old mans shop smith. I've made more subwoofer cabinets on it than I care to count (before homie d started giving away cuts - and when they first came to town they were astronomically over priced compared to the lumber yards they've since ran under). Generally speaking, it's been used to turn and sever since I always had a radial drill press to use for little holes and I used a router with a circle jig I made to do the cutouts. Even just needing to do some simple bevels to get slant wall cabinets (the kind that tuck against the rear seat back) done was a pain. I even used a belt sander on those to avoid the experience of having to cut a board holding it at some obscure angle.

I've never done much "fine woodworking" outside of making some footlockers with hidden compartments in the base and some end tables and such. I grew up working with wood, but I realized how much I hated the material when I moved on to metal. Wood is never straight unless you have a timesaver sized belt or drum sander. So dealing with spinters (yeah, I get more metal splinters now), cracks, warps, bows, shrinkage, and endgrain is not high on my priorities anymore. I still use it for shelves when I want high strength and cheap.

Frankly, building the shop reminded me how much I dislike the stuff. I also know I drove HD crazy with how much lumber I rejected and caused them to have to bring me more, only to have me reject 70% of the replacements and do the process over again. I still need to make the shop sliding doors that isolate it from the garage - those will be wood.

Guys down here ,need some special looks like a new Motel key to be able to use the saw,,and I allways Look for some one that Just retired!! dont know if there more lienint where you are,,But here that key has to be in has the magnetic stip,so they know who was running it!!!!!!! Some old timer,,Just retired,,said HD sent him to school for 3 weeks paid!!!Told be ,Not in a cocky way,,He could of taught the young Buck a thing or 2 ,,But left it up for him to learn!!!! As He Knew how to measure backwards,,,,and which side of the Line,,weld fills that Nice!!!!!!!!! :D

Franzę - December 21, 2008 02:41 AM (GMT)
I still have the first Porter Cable I bought back in 65, its the one that needs a new cord. That saw cost $280- of them 1965 dollars so it better last a while longer.

Have a few worm drives I picked up in auctions where all the smart people knew they weren't worth a damn cause the new light weight $29- saws were better. Used to be able to sell the worm drives to a saw shop here for decent money so they could use em for parts. The guy there who fixed saws retired, and the smart young fellows can't repair saws any more cause no parts are available. The college they went to didn't tell em you buy old saws for parts, yu can only buy parts from the part house.

Back in 02 we liquidated an old woodworking shop that had table saws with CI tables the size of pingpong tables, flat belt drives and 14" blades. Had to send out a call to the Amish to sell them useless antiques. Amish sure were willing to pay decent money for them though. I figure them Amish boys didn't go to college to get smart.


JT Metalworks - December 21, 2008 04:07 AM (GMT)
Jack, I was worried after I posted that "right side" comment you'd take it to mean the right rather than left (correct).

Yes, for a framing saw, you don't need a worm drive. Having to cut blocking with one would wear out John Henry. That's why I believe in power mitre boxes for cutting stuff like that. ;)

The old skill 77's sell for $50 or less on CL here. My dad's got one that was bought new in the 70's and I'm the only one who uses it anymore.

storts1 - December 21, 2008 07:24 PM (GMT)
Chop Saw was the best invention since sliced bread,well if your a carpender,,and the Hitachis,that will cut a 2 x 10! worth everypenny if your framing!!!!!!

sorry still like steel!!!!!! :D :D :D

One thing that comes in handie for both are the speed squares,,I have a couple 6 "ers,,and a Nice heavy 12"!!!!!!! True as can Be!!!! :D

As Soon as you said the side of the blade,Knew exactly what you ment,,But with all the wood working I do,Never thought of it! :lol: PS,Guess thats why there framers,and around here everything is quoted by the sq ft!!! So no dilly dallieng,epecially in todays economy!!!!!!!!!!,,Some bodys allways looking to go chop your price!!!!!!!




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