Turning Archive 2005

All dressed up with no place to go

>Time was when you could buy an inexpensive cross slide with a compound top slide and tool holder for wood lathes. There was no lead screw. It was just clamped along the lathe bed, but the 6 to 8 in. axial feed was sufficient, as was the cross feed. I have an old one.

I thought to try making one using my limited skills with tools commonly found in most woodturning shops. I planned to use a $40 H.F. X/Y vise and add some sort of shop made top slide and clamp. If my abortion worked, it would demonstrate that most any of you could cobble one up. Of course, many of you could do much better.

Then I realized that I never use the one I have. Maybe it's because I have a metal lathe.
I think I could use it for machining softer metal and hard wood or for an attempt at ornamntal turning. I wonder what else.

Is it likely that any significant number of us would find much use for a cheap & dirty compound cross slide and tool holder? Probably not or I'd see it in all the catalogs. I think Technatool offered something similar, but it wasn't very popular and IMO not reasonably priced.

I reckon that I've typed myself out of making it, but I'd appreciate your ideas for using one. Maybe someone here can refer me to a useful website so I can go away quietly.:)

TIA, Arch

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