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Thread: Homemade Lathe Headstock EXTERNAL Gearbox

  1. #1
    LMMasterMariner's Avatar
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    Homemade Lathe Headstock EXTERNAL Gearbox

    Hi guys,

    Fabricated external lathe gearbox and finally managed to test it. I run it for very short time in order not to destroy gears. No oil in gearbox.

    As there are couple of people who couldn't wait to see it in operation (rossbotics wrote: Looks great, cant' wait to see the finished product)
    I posted it now before it is completely finished.



    I would assemble it completely in a day or two and fill oil inside (ISO 46 hydraulic oil) and buy 925 mm v-belt (presently 900 mm v-belt is outside pulley groove), but I received an urgent call from crewing manager and had to pack my luggage and join the vessel very urgently. So that has to wait until I am back home again. Then I will post video of assembling gearbox and with fully completed gearbox (painted as well) in use.

    Poor design of belt change and bad choice of spindle speeds made me to do something about it. Whoever has this type of lathe knows exactly what I am talking about. I was thinking about this project for a couple of years already and during my last contract I spent more than 3 months calculating speeds and what gears to buy. I made so many calculations and I made more than 500 different drawings always changing something. There was also an idea to have 18 speeds, but that would be overkill. Still there is possibility to install two additional gears (55 and 33 teeth) and get additional 6 spindle speeds: 125, 250, 375, 500, 750 and 1500. It can happen. I am in China again and gears (google translated it from Chinese as precision spur gears #45 steel tooth surface induction hardened) are very cheap here. Chinese gears for Chinese lathe.
    Total weight of gearbox is close to 50 kilograms and that's the reason why it sits on very strong support. It is also placed far away from the chuck so it is not in the way of chuck key.

    Once I was happy with my calculations and drawings, I bought all that stuff which can be seen in attached pictures.

    What can't be seen in video is that I also installed drain plug at the bottom of gearbox (smaller oil eye glass) and glued rare earth magnet inside in order to collect steel particles.

    Materials used:
    mild steel, SS 316 and SS 304

    I estimate that I spent little bit less than 100 dollars for all material, but now I have fully functional and user friendly lathe. Needless to say that I spent plenty hours of my vacation time for fabrication of this gearbox.

    Best regards
    LMMasterMariner
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Homemade Lathe Headstock EXTERNAL Gearbox-0001.jpg   Homemade Lathe Headstock EXTERNAL Gearbox-0002.jpg   Homemade Lathe Headstock EXTERNAL Gearbox-0003.jpg  
    Last edited by LMMasterMariner; 05-01-2018 at 12:45 AM.

  2. The Following 20 Users Say Thank You to LMMasterMariner For This Useful Post:

    Christophe Mineau (05-01-2018), Frank S (05-01-2018), Harvey Melvin Richards (05-01-2018), IAMSatisfied (05-02-2018), jmanatee (05-02-2018), Jon (05-01-2018), JRock (05-01-2018), olderdan (05-01-2018), Papa Bill (05-02-2018), Paul Jones (05-01-2018), PJs (05-02-2018), rossbotics (05-01-2018), Seedtick (05-01-2018), StephenL (06-20-2018), thehomeengineer (05-02-2018), Toolmaker51 (10-30-2018), tooly (05-14-2018), Tuomas (05-05-2018), volodar (10-31-2018), yves78 (05-02-2018)

  3. #2
    rossbotics rossbotics's Avatar
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    That is one awesome piece of engineering I must say, I bet you laid awake in bed at night thinking about that project !, It looks and functions just like a geared head lathe, I can understand what you meant by changing your designs so many times until you finally got what you were looking for, I been there and done that as well, congratulations on a superb and beautiful job, I give you two thumbs up on this one and my vote for tool of the month, excellent work !

    Doug
    Comments are always welcome
    Doug



    Tool Plans for Sale by rossbotics




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    LMMasterMariner (05-01-2018), Paul Jones (05-01-2018), PJs (05-02-2018), thehomeengineer (05-02-2018)

  5. #3
    LMMasterMariner's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments. I was even dreaming about it, not only laying awake and thinking about.

    LMMasterMariner

  6. #4
    olderdan's Avatar
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    Superb design and build, I particularly like the selector mechanism, a recirculating oil pump would really top it off. You have made a superb lathe with your many modifications and this one certainly deserves an award.

  7. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to olderdan For This Useful Post:

    LMMasterMariner (05-02-2018), PJs (05-02-2018)

  8. #5

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    I made a power feed for the X axis of a mill I had..Came out well but man what a chore to get the reduction and spacing so everything added up..I like your rack and lever for gear change..Where did you end up getting the gears from?

  9. #6
    bruce.desertrat's Avatar
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    That's truly an amazing build. Congratulations!

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    LMMasterMariner (05-02-2018)

  11. #7
    Frank S's Avatar
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    Great job I might have only one suggestion
    I have used those adjustable pillow block bearing several times in the past. I found that in time no matter how Tight I thought I had them they would move just enough to cause a miss match My solution was to drill and tap a small piece of metal then weld one on each side to the adjustment then use a grub screw to hold the housing in place. It is a lot of work having to use two grubs on each bearing since you have 8 of them but it may pay off in the long run.
    Again great job
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

  12. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Frank S For This Useful Post:

    IAMSatisfied (05-02-2018), LMMasterMariner (05-02-2018), Paul Jones (05-02-2018)

  13. #8
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    Awesome and brilliant. Wish I had the know how to do that.

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    LMMasterMariner (05-02-2018)

  15. #9
    LMMasterMariner's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments. Recirculating oil pump would be very nice addition to this project, but I wanted to make it simple. There are plenty lathes with oil bath system and they are working just fine.

  16. #10
    LMMasterMariner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seb fontana View Post
    I made a power feed for the X axis of a mill I had..Came out well but man what a chore to get the reduction and spacing so everything added up..I like your rack and lever for gear change..Where did you end up getting the gears from?
    I got gears in China. Ordered them via Taobao and they are really very cheap here in China.

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