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Tailstock modification (Read 217 times)
 
Derik Mittag
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Craftsman 12"x42"
Tailstock modification
Aug 4th, 2018 at 1:55pm
 
Hey folks,

I have a 12" craftsman wood lathe. It's kinda old judging by the design. Anyhow, the rail in which the tailstock moves back and forth on is a piece of pipe. I had a piece come off, it was a little irregular and I suppose it managed to shake the rail loose (the rail is secured by a bolt in the end of the pipe with a nut. It's okay for small stuff like pens and lidded boxes.

I want to modify the tailstock rail to be flat and square as you have on a modern lathe. Anyone have any experience with this, or ideas?
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: Tailstock modification
Reply #1 - Aug 4th, 2018 at 2:34pm
 
No chance of maybe springing for a small Rikon or something??

Personally, I think that by the time you figure out and actually make that sort of modification, you'd be waaaay better off just getting a new lathe.

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Derik Mittag
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Re: Tailstock modification
Reply #2 - Aug 4th, 2018 at 2:54pm
 
I just bought this lathe about a year and a half ago. It sat for 6 months before I got into turning. I really don't want to buy a newer lathe
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Bill Godber
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Re: Tailstock modification
Reply #3 - Aug 4th, 2018 at 9:15pm
 
I've had a craftsman like yours. the "rail" you mention is a piece of round hollow pipe and both the head and tail stock are fitted to its roundness. I can't think of a way to modify it to a square piece.
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« Last Edit: Aug 4th, 2018 at 9:16pm by Bill Godber »  
 
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Derik Mittag
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Re: Tailstock modification
Reply #4 - Aug 4th, 2018 at 9:28pm
 
Bill Godber wrote on Aug 4th, 2018 at 9:15pm:
I've had a craftsman like yours. the "rail" you mention is a piece of round hollow pipe and both the head and tail stock are fitted to its roundness. I can't think of a way to modify it to a square piece.


I haven't figured anything out yet, may just save up some cash for a new and bigger lathe in the future
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: Tailstock modification
Reply #5 - Aug 5th, 2018 at 9:19am
 
I can actually visualize how it COULD be done, buuuuut... it really would cost more than a new lathe.

A good machinist could retro fit it with a flat surface but then both the head and tail would need to be remachined to fit, etc.

Consider the possibility of eventually donating it to a school with a metals/machining course...some sort of Tech school.

A good teacher should be able to work it out and the students could have some really good lessons.

You'll feel better about spending on a new one if the old one helps a student learn a new skill.

I've heard they make good boat mooring anchors as well!! Shocked Grin

Good luck, Derik. Smiley

Reminds me of when i was in High School metals class. One other kid and I were given the project of machining an air pump for an aquarium.. piston, crankshaft, connecting rod and all.

Was the most fun on a metal lathe ever. Now I'm having the most fun on a wood lathe ever!!
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Don Stephan
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Re: Tailstock modification
Reply #6 - Aug 5th, 2018 at 11:52am
 
Perhaps a lock and locking nut would help? 

If the blank was unbalanced because it wasn't round, perhaps cutting blanks more round with a chainsaw (not easy) or a bandsaw would reduce the degree of unbalanced blanks?
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Derik Mittag
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Re: Tailstock modification
Reply #7 - Aug 5th, 2018 at 2:08pm
 
Thanks Ralph, I'll consider donating it.

Don, I'm pretty comfortable with a chainsaw so maybe I'll trim it down.
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Don Stephan
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Re: Tailstock modification
Reply #8 - Aug 5th, 2018 at 5:11pm
 
Maybe my chain is grabby - hard to keep the large blanks still while I knock off the corners.  Don't even bother trying if the blank is under 8 x 8.

Too impatient to uses the band saw and then clean it afterward.
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Derik Mittag
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Re: Tailstock modification
Reply #9 - Aug 5th, 2018 at 5:30pm
 
Don Stephan wrote on Aug 5th, 2018 at 5:11pm:
Maybe my chain is grabby - hard to keep the large blanks still while I knock off the corners. Don't even bother trying if the blank is under 8 x 8.

Too impatient to uses the band saw and then clean it afterward.


Chain could be a little dull. It gets a little touchy when it's dull. I don't have a band saw capable of trimming down logs
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John Cepko
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Re: Tailstock modification
Reply #10 - Aug 6th, 2018 at 7:12pm
 
Keep the Craftsman for pens, and the like, or a buffing wheel set up.
But, for larger stuff, a larger lathe is needed.
Besides, all the neat toys and accessories fit the larger lathes.

The Craftsman type lathes are just good enough to get you sucked into the turning vortex. But, soon their limitations become apparent, and frustration sets in.
I think that is where you are...and to enjoy, and get the most of the hobby, a better machine is needed.
Keep an eye out on Craigslist, or the local turning club. A decent used machine can sometimes be had for half price of new. But, you have to pounce, and have cash ready, they go quickly.
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Derik Mittag
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Re: Tailstock modification
Reply #11 - Aug 8th, 2018 at 6:08pm
 
You're right, I'm almost in a rut.  The machine is nice to get started, I've never thought of doing pens. It's difficult where I'm at because it's a relatively small community and I know the people, they're cheap.
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