Turning Archive 2005

planning bowl lathe... Ideas? (long)

Big Mike
>Home Made bowl lathe….

Hello all
Being disabled/Retired… I finally have time to spend time pursuing my turning hobby. I recently moved to SW Indiana from the SF Bay Area… Have hardwood forest all around me… after spending some time in the local forest this fall cutting wood for my new woodstove… I realize I will not be lacking for abundant supplies of turning wood.

I want a bowl lathe… Income is not bad but …I cannot afford the high price of a new bowl lathe… they are expensive! Decided it might be fun to make my own. Big-un!!!! I am just in the planning stages…Thought I might through some of my ideas at the group and try to get some feedback…

1. I can get 1.5-inch pillow blocks from eBay for about $30-50 per set… I figure 1.5 inch would be plenty big enough for work up to 24 inch work…(bigger than I would probably use)(what do you folks think Should I go 2 inch??) planning to have spindle center 12 inches above ways…

2. Local machine shop guy tells me the spindle will be no problem for him to produce… planed to have the work end of the spindle cut down to 1x8 threads (I could use my chucks and face plats from my other two lathes)
(would 1X8 handle large bowls?)

The machine shop guy wants an extra hundred bucks to drill hole through the spindle and place # 2 MT… do you guys think It would be worth the trouble? (note: I did tell him the machine shop guy I wanted lands cut on the spindle so I could get a wrench on for removing accessories)

3. As for motor I want to go big... 3-5 HP Not sure where to get it…. Possible eBay,

Not sure the best way to control speed… whether to use step pulleys, (like my Jet) or some type gear box, or possible DC motor and controller like the one shown today on forum with the little Jet (that is sharp!) (would I have enough tork with this type set up? ? I know nothing about how to set it up A DC/controller… Input??? I would love to do it with my jet mini!

(what about a really crazy idea... could a guy somehow rig a small standard auto Trany with a 5 hp AC motor? :o) I can see it! Operate the clutch like a motor cycle!)

4. As for the frame I am planning using 10 inch I beams. (I have a welder…)

The upright vertical (12 inches high) at spindle end with a piece of heavy plate steal welded to the top to hold the pillow blocks. The Vertical upright would be centered on two parallel 6 foot horizontal piece’s of the same I Beam about 12-20 inches in from the end to leave room for motor mounting behind it.

(I would leave 2 inch space between the two horizontal I beams to mount tool rest, and to maybe rig a tail stock or boring bar set-up) might even mount a swivel seated tractor seat at the end…

I would then weld legs on the two horizontal bed I beams.(now connected at ends) to hold the bed about 24 inches off the floor. giving me a total height at the tool rest of about 3 feet. (I could easily adjust this to be the correct height for tool rest and standing turning... how high should the tool rest be... for a 6 foot 3 inch guy?)

does all that make since? I know… lots of questions. But… I figured you all could help…

I know it all sounds disjointed but… I am not good ad describing what is in my head… I hope it makes a little since…

I know this is long… but I thought the answers might be of interest to more on this forum than my self.

Thanks for any feedback I might get…

Big Mike

© 1998 - 2017 by Ellis Walentine. All rights reserved.
No parts of this web site may be reproduced in any form or by
any means without the written permission of the publisher.