Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bob Eckstein's Taig Lathe

Bob Eckstein sent in these pics of his lathe:

It took a bit longer than I had expected, but the Taig lathe is now a going concern.

The tailstock as delivered was a collection of sharp jagged edges. Judicious use of a fine file cleaned up the extrusions and made it a lot more pleasant to deal with. The motion of the ram was somewhat rough and uneven but a session with lapping compound took care of it. The handle is made of layers of CORIAN plastic laminated with epoxy and carved to shape. The knobs are from the hardware store, 10-32 thread. The chuck is a Craftsman keyless 3/8"

I didn't have a boring bar to use in truing the lathe jaws, and a carbide lathe bit made a real mess of it, so I took a cylindrical solid carbide milling cutter and placed it in the drilling tailstock. I closed the chuck very gently until there was the slightest contact and turned it slowly by hand, then tightened it a little more and continued until the jaws had been cleaned up. The milling cutter was small enough that I could run it to the back of the jaws and avoid having to remove them to file off the "lip". The whole process went very quickly. There is still a little run-out but far less than what the chuck had as delivered.

The motor is a 46 volt DC unit. Power supply is a 5 amp Variac with a full-wave rectifier. The motor has a 1/4" shaft and I found the perfect adapter to use the 1/2" pulley: It's a chuck sleeve for Hitachi routers to use 1/4" bits in a 1/2" router chuck. The Hitachi part number is 956-927Z, Model TR-12.


The little clamp is used to lock the handwheel on the carriage so you don't have to hold it to use the power feed. By the way, the power feed advances the carriage approximately .003 per revolution of the input pulley.

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