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Thread: Customizing a Unimat

  1. #11
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hemi View Post
    -This all right here is more my speed! I got 2 of these little gems, and love them both dearly....... Used often (nearly everyday) and enjoy all the old ways of them! I just got a good ER-16 6 pcs collet set with collet chuck for mine that came with a Dividing head and fixture plate from ebay.... I also just got a complete new to me machine thats just the cats meow in a model shop, setting! (Which is what I have), so having 2 one is set up as a metal lathe, and the other a Milling machine/drill press.... I got 2 Dividing heads (both with 48 placement gearins in them) I'd like/love to get the other 2 that goes with the machine. I got a Dremel hanging between the 2 machines with a flex-Shaft attachment to use on either machine as needed powered/controlled by a sewing machine foot pedal....

    I do a lot of little model things on model cars & trucks and these mini machine centers are priceless that way! Makes so much of what I make and model possible I can't even begin to explain!

    There are a few attachments I'd LOVE to have yet for the machines, a 3 inch rotary table, and a Dremel pin-vice like holder to hold the Dremel collets as well as Dremel's 3 jaw chuck for using in the 2 machines, YES I go down THAT small on some things!

    Then to top it all off, I have a much larger Metal Lathe then the Unimats thats out of order. a Grizzly ? 7 x 14, thing came with plastic drive gears, and turning a worn socket front edge flat again to "grab" a bolt of the size it was made for, chunked off 3/4th of the teeth on I think 2 of the plastic drive gears. I wanna get new metal ones for it out of the Micro-Mark catalog when funds allow.... But because its now sat for over 3 years, its gonna need some TLC as rust has set in and I wanna get on that ASAP as I don't want to hurt the machine! (It was after all new but over 6 months old when the gearing issue happened so I couldn't return it) so...... it sets till I have the $$$$$ to go and buy the gear set in metal!

    BUT My true love of metal work falls onto the Unimats, LOVE that they can interchange so easily.... Only hitch so far I have found is that the mill table is T-Slotted with 2 different "T-Nuts" on the clampings to clamp down things to the mill table, I have to say tho, I have A LOT of attachments for these 2 machines tho. an a few things, I have 2 of because I have 2 machines! BUT, thats OK, I'm working on a rather large medicine cabinet to "house" all of it, wall mounted behind that 2 machines!
    Remember that the plastic gears act like mechanical "fuses" to protect the rest of the machine. Replacing them with metal is going to remove this protection. That said, if I wanted metal gears, the last place I would look would be Micro-Mart. Their prices are simply absurd. Do yourself a favor and check with Little Machine Shop...

    Tooling, parts, and accessories for bench top machinists - LittleMachineShop.com

    located here in Pasadena, CA. I know the owner and can vouch for their operation - very professional and excellent custormer service. (No, I have no business connection with them.)

    On a different note. Rather than adapting a Dremel chuck, why not get some conventional pin vises, e.g....

    https://www.amazon.com/SE-8408DH4-Do...ords=pin+vises

    and chuck those in the Unimat 4jaw? Even if their precision is less than perfect, the work can always be made to run true with the 4jaw. That arrangement should give you adequate angular access to the part.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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  3. #12
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    Hemi,

    I solved the Unimat SL accessory and attachment storage by building a storage cabinet that also supports the Unimat lathe. Currently the combined weight of the lathe and storage cabinet with accessory is more than 60 lbs and this extra weight keeps the lathe stationary on the workbench. Here are some photos of the Unimat SL lathe and cabinet Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe . I bought the lathe new in 1970.

    Regards,

    Paul Jones

  4. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz View Post
    Remember that the plastic gears act like mechanical "fuses" to protect the rest of the machine. Replacing them with metal is going to remove this protection. That said, if I wanted metal gears, the last place I would look would be Micro-Mart. Their prices are simply absurd. Do yourself a favor and check with Little Machine Shop...

    Tooling, parts, and accessories for bench top machinists - LittleMachineShop.com

    located here in Pasadena, CA. I know the owner and can vouch for their operation - very professional and excellent custormer service. (No, I have no business connection with them.)

    On a different note. Rather than adapting a Dremel chuck, why not get some conventional pin vises, e.g....

    https://www.amazon.com/SE-8408DH4-Do...ords=pin+vises

    and chuck those in the Unimat 4jaw? Even if their precision is less than perfect, the work can always be made to run true with the 4jaw. That arrangement should give you adequate angular access to the part.
    Marv,
    Yeah.... I see that the plastic gearing is a fail-safe, but at taking no more then .006" to .008" off of a socket should not have taken the teeth off the gearing! I mean I wasn't even making the machine work to have that happen! PLUS I got the machine new in-box, from a Surplus place for $300 so I was linda like what can I expect, you know?

    I thought about making my own pulleys and go belt driven on that same lathe making the pulleys like those on my Unimats and that would be a GREAT "fail Safe, if made to use the same belts as the Unimats do, OR making the pulleys to use vacuum cleaner belts..... -Theres an idea!

    As far as Micro-Mark, yes, they're prices are up there...... I do not disagree, (one of the reasons I haven't bought those metal gears from them!)

    As far as pin vices go. I think I may seek a way to make them mount right onto the Unimat drive, like the head stock chuck or drill chucks do..... BUT its finding the right "Pin-Vice" to start...... Something to look into for sure!

    That little machine shop, you mentioned, you think they could make a set of the metal gears for my Grizzly, for less then $104.99? As the whole set of metal gears from Micro-Mark is that price.....

  5. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post
    Hemi,

    I solved the Unimat SL accessory and attachment storage by building a storage cabinet that also supports the Unimat lathe. Currently the combined weight of the lathe and storage cabinet with accessory is more than 60 lbs and this extra weight keeps the lathe stationary on the workbench. Here are some photos of the Unimat SL lathe and cabinet Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe . I bought the lathe new in 1970.

    Regards,

    Paul Jones
    Paul,
    Yeah I have a bench built for both the Unimats, I'm more thinking a cabinet on the wall behind them..... As the bench was built to suit.... So... I ought to get pics of all this! (I have them all I have to do is post them!)

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  7. #15
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hemi View Post
    Marv,
    Yeah.... I see that the plastic gearing is a fail-safe, but at taking no more then .006" to .008" off of a socket should not have taken the teeth off the gearing! I mean I wasn't even making the machine work to have that happen! PLUS I got the machine new in-box, from a Surplus place for $300 so I was linda like what can I expect, you know?

    I thought about making my own pulleys and go belt driven on that same lathe making the pulleys like those on my Unimats and that would be a GREAT "fail Safe, if made to use the same belts as the Unimats do, OR making the pulleys to use vacuum cleaner belts..... -Theres an idea!

    As far as Micro-Mark, yes, they're prices are up there...... I do not disagree, (one of the reasons I haven't bought those metal gears from them!)

    As far as pin vices go. I think I may seek a way to make them mount right onto the Unimat drive, like the head stock chuck or drill chucks do..... BUT its finding the right "Pin-Vice" to start...... Something to look into for sure!

    That little machine shop, you mentioned, you think they could make a set of the metal gears for my Grizzly, for less then $104.99? As the whole set of metal gears from Micro-Mark is that price.....
    Belt drive certainly has its advantages. If the plastic gears are akin to fuses, then the belt is like a circuit breaker - does its job when needed but is immediately reusable when the problem abates.

    AFAIK, LMS does not make gears. Almost all of the 7 x 14 import lathes are identical in design; many of them originate from the same factory and are rebranded for sale here. Thus the gears are identical so it's practical to manufacture replacement gears.

    If you have any questions, give the folks at LMS a call. They're very helpful and eager to help.

    Assuming your 7 x 14 has the required change gears, you should be able to cut the 40 tpi thread found on the Dremel. You can use one of the Dremel collet nuts to check the progress of the thread as you cut it.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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  9. #16
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    Took me a minute, but I got it. It is a more accurate version of the alignment pin that all Unimats come with. I may make one when I get a-round-tu-it. I have to wonder if the screw that secures it to the ways does any damage with multiple uses. Would some adaptation of the split cotter mechanism or just a soft tip on the screw be better?



    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz View Post
    As promised, here are some pics of the Unimat headstock alignment guide. Let me emphasize here that this tool is a commercial product made by National Camera, Englewood, CO 80110 and not something made by me. It was bought many, many years ago so I have no idea if the company still exists. That said, it's a simple enough device and any competent hobby machinist could cobble one together in a few hours.

    As is obvious from the pictures it clamps across the Unimat drill rod lathe ways and is secured in place by the small thrumb screw. The differential screw mechanism consists of a large hex-headed adjuster nut threaded 28 tpi into the frame. In the center of this adjuster, a small pusher screw is threaded 32 tpi into the adjuster and prevented from rotating by the spring lock visible on the back of the frame in the second photo.

    Thus a full rotation of the adjuster will move the pusher by:

    1/28 - 1/32 = 1/224 = 0.00446"

    so a 1/6 rotation (ie, one flat on the adjuster) will move it 0.00074"

    In use, one butts the pusher against the Unimat spindle, takes a test cut on a bit of scrap, measures the amount of taper produced and then makes a correction with the adjuster nut. This process is repeated until the taper is reduced to an acceptable level at which time the lock nut on the top of the frame is used to lock the adjuster in place. Then the next time the headstock is moved, it's a simple matter to drop the unit in place, move the spindle against the pusher, lock in place and Bob's your mother's brother.





    Paul A.

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  11. #17
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
    Took me a minute, but I got it. It is a more accurate version of the alignment pin that all Unimats come with. I may make one when I get a-round-tu-it. I have to wonder if the screw that secures it to the ways does any damage with multiple uses. Would some adaptation of the split cotter mechanism or just a soft tip on the screw be better?
    The only purpose of that screw is to repeatably snug the V on the other end against one of the Unimat bed rods. As such, it doesn't need to be tightened much at all. If you're really concerned, replace it with a brass screw.


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