Turning Archive 2005

large lathes

gil in san diego
>I was just reading the post that had the "John Williams" homemade lathe. I have seen several pictures of large homemade wood lathes and they are all spinning horizontally, just like John's, and just like every other wood lathe I have ever seen.
Well, what am I missing? It seems to me that if a lathe that was meant for large and very heavy pieces of wood were spinning vertically, it might help to solve some problems.

1)It seems that it would be easier for one person to load the large piece of wood. You could roll it up a ramp, slide it, hit it with a club or rock it to get it into position (i.e. you might not need to lift it)

2)It seems that the bearings would owe their life to you for not making them fight with gravity.

3)It seems that the motor would be doing a lot less work since it would never need to lift anything (like the heavy part of the stock that gravity brings to the 6 o'clock position before you start things spinning)

4)It seems that dismounts would happen less often. You would probably want to hide behind something solid as you were working in case there was a dismount since you would not know which direction it would want to go.

It's got to be obvious - what am I missing?

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