Author Topic: Homemade Mini-Wood Lathe...Bearing Selection for Headstock  (Read 479 times)

Offline BronxFigs

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 88
Homemade Mini-Wood Lathe...Bearing Selection for Headstock
« on: August 04, 2017, 02:42:39 PM »
Greetings Forum Members....

Once again, I need your help.

I want to build a small bench-top wood lathe.  The lathe will be constructed from wood/plywood.  The lathe will swing about 7 inches, and the bed  will be approximately 18" - 24" OAL including the tailstock... short, and sweet, and very portable.  The lathe will live at the bottom of my closet when not used.  Powered by a 1/4-HP motor with speed control.

My problem is what type of bearings do I use in the headstock?  The spindle will be between .750"- 1.00" diameter steel, threaded to accept either a cheapo, 4-jaw, of even cheaper faceplate.  I will be using mostly, a set of ER  collets on the spindle.  The lathe will be used only for very light duty ( i.e. turning some briar smoking pipes, and drilling/facing a few wooden/plastic beads), so end and side cutting forces will be minimal, I think.

Can I just use some cheap, flanged, bronze/Oilite-type bearings pressed into the wooden headstock, or will I need some better, flange-mounted ball bearings?    How do I prevent the spindle from walking backwards against cutting forces?  Will Oilite/bronze bushings withstand side cutting forces?  Will I need a thrust bearings or collars on the spindle so it can't move?

Yes, I know I could spend a few bucks and look around for a used, cheapo-Chinese wood lathe, but they are too big and heavy, and will not fit into my closet, for storage.

Any suggestions will be very appreciated.

Frank
90% of everything is BS!

Offline Brian Rupnow

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3458
  • Barrie, Ontario Canada
Re: Homemade Mini-Wood Lathe...Bearing Selection for Headstock
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2017, 02:52:25 PM »
Your best bet would be a pair of angular contact ball bearings. They are made to take both axial and radial loading. A woodlathe has to spin quite fast, so I'm not sure what life you would get out of bronze or oilite bushings.--Brian

Online Vixen

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 534
  • Hampshire UK
Re: Homemade Mini-Wood Lathe...Bearing Selection for Headstock
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2017, 03:27:50 PM »
Hello Frank

Is there any possibility of building the headstock out of the front wheel bearing and hub from a car or van?

Just thinking out loud

Mike
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 03:46:57 PM by Vixen »
It is the journey that matters, not the destination

Offline wagnmkr

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 588
  • Lindsay, Ontario, Canada
Re: Homemade Mini-Wood Lathe...Bearing Selection for Headstock
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2017, 03:55:32 PM »
Or, you could just get one of these ... quite a bit cheaper in the US I would think..

http://www.leevalley.com/en/Wood/page.aspx?p=43104&cat=1,330,50260&ap=1

Tom
I was cut out to be rich ... but ... I was sown up all wrong!

Offline Dan Rowe

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 614
  • Dripping Springs TX USA
Re: Homemade Mini-Wood Lathe...Bearing Selection for Headstock
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2017, 03:59:59 PM »
A bare Taig or Sherline headstock would also be a handy starting point. A lot of attachments are then possible off the shelf.

Dan
ShaylocoDan

Offline BronxFigs

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 88
Re: Homemade Mini-Wood Lathe...Bearing Selection for Headstock
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2017, 05:22:03 PM »
Thanks for the quick help and interest.

Micro lathe headstocks will not give me the height above the bed, to turn briar pipes, etc.  unless I use riser blocks, and in addition, the small diameter spindles will be a real limitation.  Wheel axle bearings came to mind.  I think I have the ability to machine flanges that will hold these bearings....or, I could just buy 2-bolt flange mounted bearings.

Brian, thanks....I will take your recommendations and do some searching for the annular contact ball bearings.  OK....no Oilite bushings, but would/could they work?  I could just replace the when the begin to wear out, and be good for the next few years.  Lathe will get very limited use, at RPMs under 1000.

I honestly had no idea just what type of bearings would work in this application.  Appreciate all the suggestions.


Frank
90% of everything is BS!

Online b.lindsey

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10473
  • Dallas, NC, USA
    • Workbench-Miniatures
Re: Homemade Mini-Wood Lathe...Bearing Selection for Headstock
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2017, 12:58:25 AM »
Frank, it appears you are in the US so you might want to take a look at this:

https://www.harborfreight.com/8-inch-x-12-inch-bench-top-wood-lathe-95607.html

Not quite as long as you started but the head height should be enough, and the price is good even if you had to make some mods to it.

Bill

Offline BronxFigs

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 88
Re: Homemade Mini-Wood Lathe...Bearing Selection for Headstock
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2017, 02:14:57 AM »
b. lindsey:

PERFECT!!!!.... Didn't know this small a lathe existed.   For this price there's no need to cobble together a homemade lathe.  Bet the parts to make my own lathe would have cost me more than this  Harbor Freight lathe which includes a motor, etc.

I'm glad I asked.  never disappointed by this forum and you guys always come up with a solution for my vexations.

THANKS!

Frank 
90% of everything is BS!

Online b.lindsey

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10473
  • Dallas, NC, USA
    • Workbench-Miniatures
Re: Homemade Mini-Wood Lathe...Bearing Selection for Headstock
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2017, 02:59:51 AM »
Well Frank, as you know harbor freight isn't the best quality, but saves you a lot of work and should fit most of your needs. Hope so anyway.

Bill

Offline Pete49

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 622
  • top of the gulf SA, Gateway to the Flinders Ranges
Re: Homemade Mini-Wood Lathe...Bearing Selection for Headstock
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2017, 03:40:22 AM »
I have a similar lathe to the HF one pictured and I use it for making pens and small bowls and egg cups and it works quite well. Mines about ten years old and still a good worker though I did replace the belt a couple years ago. It should serve you well for making pipes.
I used to have a friend.....but the rope broke and he ran away :(

Offline Ian S C

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 885
  • Stirling Engine Maker Darfield Canterbury N Z
Re: Homemade Mini-Wood Lathe...Bearing Selection for Headstock
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2017, 11:50:52 AM »
rom what I read, you intend to make the head stock of wood, if you put Oilite bearings directly into wood the oil would soak into the wood, you could get round this quite easily by making a metal (anything will do)bush with the Oilite bush pressed into it. If you have suitable anguler contact ball bearings they would be (maybe) better. A steel plate or even wooden one each side of the hole would retain the bearing in the wooden headstock.
There's nothing wrong with DIY lathe building, in earlier years, both sides of the Atlantic, and down here at the bottom of the rock, a home built lathe was all  that a lot of modellers could afford.
Ian S C

Offline BronxFigs

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 88
Re: Homemade Mini-Wood Lathe...Bearing Selection for Headstock
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2017, 11:37:01 PM »
UPDATE....

I could not find a wood lathe that was sized just right.  The bench-top lathes were just a little too big and heavy, and the small, mini lathes had too small a swing for the work I want to do. 

So, while browsing around on eBay, I came across a brand new headstock for the Harbor Freight SKU# 65345 10" X 18" wood-lathe at a very reasonable price, and so I bought it.  This purchase will eliminate a lot of work.  I just skipped to plan B when I saw the head-stock.  I'll just build the rest of my wood lathe from parts that I already have.   I decided to make a bed from wide, piece of Aluminum channel, and I already have a motor.  I'll make a carriage/cross slide from some Aluminum stock, and mount a tool post on it.  I'll move this carriage with a threaded shaft and hand-wheel, and I'll cobble together a simple tail-stock-  that will hold a Jacobs chuck for drilling.  I'll keep the OAL as short as possible, around 20" - so the whole shebang can fit into a closet for storage.  Hoping to keep the total weight under 50 lbs.  Hernias happen  :((((

I watched some You-Tube videos that feature this HF lathe, and found out that I can replace the original, cheapo bearings with better, Japanese Nachi ABEC-3 bearings, as an upgrade.

Winter is coming, and I need a new toy to play with.  What's better than a "little, "table-top lathe?

Truly, thanks for all the help and suggestions.

Frank
90% of everything is BS!