Turning Archive 2006

can we talk about metal lathes?

Tom Sontag - St. Louis
>I have recently been salvaging some pretty cool industrial machinery bits including large cast sprockets and steel axles. Why? Um, well, as I said, they are pretty cool, so uh, maybe someday I'll use some of it. Hey, in fact, right now my coffee mug sits on a 6-7" cast iron sprocket in my office. It elevates the mug above the paper mess and is most obviously the world's coolest ten pound coaster.

Anyway, the axles might need spinning to make them different diameters or something and I find myself looking at Atlas or South Bend lathes. Clearly they have some things in common with wood lathes. Does anyone use a metal lathe for their wood turning? I presume you could rig something up in the way of a tool rest and so on. See any reason why woodturning chucks couldn't fit? Speeds seem similar. Oil pan catches chips; so what? Is this stupid to even consider trading in a 60 year old Delta for a lathe that could also turn metal?

This is mostly conversation. I have no idea whether metal will grab me in any way close to the way wood has.

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