Thursday, July 7, 2022

Lathe Extension


A little while ago I ordered an extension for the bed of my little lathe, to enable me to turn spindles longer than about 400mm.

What I had failed to take into account is that then I would have a much longer lathe to accommodate in my fairly teensy-tiny workshop. Ah well. So, now instead of a lathe that is a bit cramped, I have one that's probably going to be too long 99% of the time.

I knocked up a side table out of crappy, soaking wet fence rail and plywood. It does the job, and as an added bonus, there's space underneath it to store my car-jack router lift. The minus is that I now have to find somewhere for some other stuff, but no doubt that will be resolved eventually.

The lathe bed extension just bolts to the end of the original bed, but there are no positive locating lugs or anything, so it's just held in place by tension on the two bolts. It doesn't match the corresponding surface exactly in dimension, so the tail-stock and tool rest don't slide smoothly across the border; there has to be a certain amount of jiggling to get them past. Still, it's workable, and possibly the connection could be fettled a bit to make things work more smoothly.

Next up, I really need a wider tool rest. The one that came with the lathe is only 150mm long, and that's just too claustrophobic. Fortunately, a tool rest is a very simple thing to make for anyone with welding capabilities.

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