I finally got around to putting together a LowRider “Lathe” attachment that I’ve been pondering for some time. This was essentially a “I wonder if I can do this” type of thing.
So, it DOES work. It doesn’t work great, but I think it only needs minor tweaks to make it a little more robust. Securing the stock is the main area of concern, but after the first test, I’m pretty sure of what I need to do to remedy the shortcomings.
On with the pics…
This is the headstock side. I have the stepper turning a larger timing gear which is mounted on an 8mm rod. This rod is held in the wooden frame with thrust bearings (thank you, niget2002) which are held in place by collars (thank you, vicious1)
These bearings and collars are covered by the blue dust caps to keep sawdust out of the bearings.
The stepper can be adjusted toward or away from the rod via the lead screw. This will allow for timing gears of various diameter and belts of various lengths. I simply unplug the LR Y motors from my board and plug in the stepper from the lathe. Then I park the LR directly over the stock in the lathe and secure it in place.
Issues I have here include:
- Thrust bearings take care of the axial load, but the rod still has a little play radially. I will be adding more (different) bearings to handle radial play.
- Entire assembly needs to be supported better so as to remain perfectly solid when stock is loaded.
I think a little piece of aluminum angle secured to the table to the left of the frame will take care of that.
- The pointy bits securing the stock are completely inadequate. Will probably eliminate the sharpened bolts, secure the flange directly to the stock and secure the flange to the rod.
Here’s the tailstock section:
No real problems with this. It slides on 2" aluminum extrusion that was meant to build screen rooms.
(My entire LR table top is constructed from this). I just need to find some sort of clamp to secure it in place when I’ve mounted the stock. Some sort of hold-down clamp should work.
Here’s the first test cut:
It started out as flat-sided lumber. We cut it down to a cylinder on the lathe, then did the little carve.
I dabbed on some stain AFTER the cut to better emphasize the carve, but got some of the stain got into the carve. It’s actually a pretty clean carve.
I have a video of the first cut, but I have to clear it with Ryan before posting. It may show a bit too much of the LR3.