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  1. #1
    Paul Jones's Avatar
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    Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe

    I want to share some photos of the recent improvements I made to my Unimat SL 1000 lathe which has a 3" swing. I bought this lathe new in 1970, used for a few years and then put into storage. I recently started to use the lathe again and decided it needed a make-over after being inspired by the book series "The Shop Wisdom" by Rudy Kouhoupt.

    I decided to build a storage platform with a drawer ( see Homemade Lathe Cabinet ), add a permanently installed milling/drilling head and more intermediate pulleys for slower spindle RPM, raise the whole lathe up on 1" tall riser blocks and added spare threaded holes in the riser blocks for future attachments (e.g., the indexing pin arm (http://www.homemadetools.net/homemad...nimat-sl-lathe) and yet to be designed attachments), add dial indicators for the x, y and z directions (I usually work in inches, see Homemade Cross Slide Dial Indicator ), and add adjustable carriage stops to the x-direction ( see Homemade Lathe Carriage and Milling Stops ).

    It took many iterations to align the x, y, and z axes to each other but everything seems to remain in alignment with each axis. Along the way I replaced the motors with continuous duty U-100 motors. There are many more future features I want to add such a longitudinal power feed for the x-axis and a dividing plate for the spindles ( Homemade Indexing Plate for Unimat SL Lathe ). Some of the most fun I have is designing the parts before anything is machined and then making a hard copy for recording my changes as the parts are built (and then adding these changes back on the original drawings).

    Eventually I want to start building stationary steam engines but I am having too much fun with the Unimat.

    I plan to post more of my photos as the Unimat improvements progress.

    Paul Jones
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-unimat-cabinet-drawer-details.jpg   Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-unimat-drawer-insert-details.jpg   Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-unimat-drawer-dividers-two-level-compartment.jpg   Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-unimat-dial-indicators-carriage-stops-details.jpg   Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-making-chips-machining-z-axis-dial-indicator-holder.jpg  

    Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-indexing-drilling-index-plate-adapter-ring.jpg   Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-unimat-set-up-slotting-saw-using-homemade-arbor.jpg   Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-fly-cutting-ends-copper-vise-jaws.jpg   Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-adjustable-detent-unimat-iindexing-plate.jpg   Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-cutting-clamping-slot-qctp-boring-bar-holder.jpg  

    Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-drilling-miniature-bolt-pattern-compound-steam-engine-entablature-.jpg  
    Last edited by Paul Jones; 10-09-2017 at 08:44 AM. Reason: More information about the detent to indexing plate

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    big o (11-12-2016), C-Bag (09-04-2015), Captainleeward (11-11-2015), jjr2001 (02-15-2018), kbalch (07-07-2014), mklotz (10-17-2016), morsa (10-13-2016), nevadablue (08-16-2015), old_toolmaker (03-03-2018), PJs (09-29-2015), rendoman (07-04-2016), Toolmaker51 (06-28-2017), vafthrudnir (02-25-2018), Workshopshed (07-07-2014), zhekov1234 (02-05-2017)

  3. #2
    Content Editor DIYer's Avatar
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    Cool mods! I look forward to your tool contributions here.

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    Paul Jones (08-13-2014)

  5. #3
    Paul Jones's Avatar
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    DIYer -- Thank you for the feedback. There is so much to see and learn from the HMT website -- Paul

  6. #4
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    Thanks Paul! I've added your Lathe Modifications to our Lathes category, as well as to your builder page: Paul Jones' Homemade Tools. Your receipt:


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  8. #5
    Paul Jones's Avatar
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    Since first publishing the Unimat modifications, I have added a few more features to the 3" swing lathe including indexing plates for both the headstock and milling head, plus some specialized tooling e.g., http://www.homemadetools.net/qctp-holders and http://www.homemadetools.net/slotting-saw-arbor ). The additional improvements have been posted at Homemade Tools as separate articles with descriptions and pictures.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-unimat-boring-bar-holder.jpg   Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-carriage-stop-dial-indicator-details.jpg   Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-improved-rotating-unimat-handles.jpg   Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-gage-blocks-provide-reference-height-above-milling-table.jpg   Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-unimat-index-plate-headstock.jpg  

    Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-indexing-plate-unimate-milling-head.jpg   Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-details-unimat-indexing-plate.jpg   Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-custom-unimate-faceplate-10-32-taped-holes.jpg   Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-fly-cutter-attached-small-faceplate.jpg   Modifications and Improvements to a Unimat SL 1000 Lathe-detent-marking-tool-indexing.jpg  

    Last edited by Paul Jones; 12-23-2015 at 08:42 PM.

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  10. #6
    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    Great stuff, Paul. Like you, I added DIs to all three axes of my Unimat. I would rather have forced the USA to go metric but adding the DIs seemed a bit easier.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


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  12. #7
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    holy cow Paul!

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  14. #8
    Paul Jones's Avatar
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    Thanks Marv. I like your adjustable collar added below the drilling/milling head on your Unimat. It is something I have do. It is easy to accidentally let the drilling/milling head slip down and damage parts during setup. Also, I plan to add a separate motor drive for performing longitudinal power feeding.

  15. #9
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    Paul, I found that a standard 1" split collar, as used on line shafts, works great for the column/mill head backup support.
    ---
    Ken

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    Paul Jones (09-18-2015)

  17. #10
    Paul Jones's Avatar
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    Thanks Ken, I remember seeing the split collar in the photo for your Unimat setup, and like Marv's version, I thought it would be very useful. Thank you for the advice, Paul

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