What is the biggest diameter Model T part requiring lathe work?
What is the longest Model T part requiring lathe work?
Trying to figure a proper size lathe needed to handle most Model T parts.
Also curious what lathe you have or would recommend. Thanks
I have 14 x 40. I recommend this size as it does virtually everything I want it to. Digital readouts really helps me to get the best out of it. Generally bigger is better as the machine will be more rigid and will likely maintain it's accuracy better
You can haul a little load in a big truck but not a big load in a little truck. Same with a lathe but just as there is a place for a little truck when hauling little loads a small lathe is very handy for small parts and more delicate work.
I have 4 or 5 lathes, a Jet 13 x 36 -- not quite big enough sometimes; a Little Machine Shop 5 x 19 which is actually a Sieg 4 with some upgrades, two little Unimate S's, havn't been made for years but still all over ebay for $3-900. I could not do carb work without them. I also have a US made Sherline which is variable speed but other than that not much of a lathe.
If it were me, I would look around for a good used 14 x 40 or slightly larger and buy a new Little Machine Shop 4 x 12 or 4 x 16. They are Chinese but well made and LMS has parts and service for them. They are 50-100 over what the no parts-no service places like ebay get for similar. They probably all come off the same line. Or buy the big one and a Unimat S with a 3 jaw off ebay for 3-400, The nice thing about the little Unimat S is that is converts to a small high speed very accurate drill press. Come to think of it, I have 3 Unimats. Two set up as lathes and one as a weenie little drill press. Check Craigslist, I paid $225 for my last unimat with a cabinet, tons of chucks, tools, books, etc. It would have brought $600 on ebay. He hadn't used it for years and the wife wanted it gone.
Also depends on your Skill set. Are you going to be polishing or grinding crankshafts / camshafts or are you looking to make new throttle / choke shafts for holley Carbs? I can't think of anything on a T needing anything bigger than the sizes stated above but I can think of a lot of things where a 10 x 36 is plenty.
I've rebuilt over 70 Ruckstells, restored and worked on dozens of little Ford tractors and rebuilt and made parts for over 1000 brass carburetors. Every tool has a use and a purpose whether you are cleaning up bronze thrust plates in Ruckstells, making transmission parts or balancing crankshafts or throttle shafts for Holley carbs. My LMS lathe is pretty well worn out or has at least paid for itself over and over again and has probably thousands of hours on it.
My advice is buy a nice used 14 or 16 x 40 and a nice little one either new or used. I took my first machine shop class in 1973 at the Helena Vo Tech, bought an Enco 10 x 24 and have been at it ever since.
That is what the instructor recommended then and I think it is still good advice. One big, one little.
Your mileage may vary.
I think the flywheel is the largest "round" part that might ever be turned on a model T.
I have a 10" Atlas but wish I had a 14" x 40" lathe.
Larger lathes generally have slower RPMs. On a larger diameter part this works out fine as far as surface speeds go. However when turning small diameter pcs you can't always get a high enough surface speed to get a good finish. It all depends on the type of material your machining and the type of tooling. Whatever you do get the best you budget allows, with the most tooling. A wore out machine can make for a long day in the shop.
I have a 14-1/2" South bend that I was able to swing a T flywheel with and can also use it to polish up a carb spray needle. A lot of what you can turn is decided by what tooling you have. For example chucks of different sizes and number of jaws 2,3,4,6 internal and external grip and then there are collets very handy to have. And like Stan said I can turn small work in a big lathe but awful hard to turn big stuff in a small one. Jim
I have a 14-1/2" South bend that I was able to swing a T flywheel with and can also use it to polish up a carb spray needle. A lot of what you can turn is decided by what tooling you have. For example chucks of different sizes and number of jaws 2,3,4,6 internal and external grip and then there are collets very handy to have. And like Stan said I can turn small work in a big lathe but awful hard to turn big stuff in a small one. Also one more thing if your going to do threads look for one with a quick change gears. Sorry for the double post I tried to edit the first one without success. Jim
(Message edited by tfan on January 05, 2017)
About 25 years ago, a friend (?) dumped an old 10" flat-bed Atlas lathe on me, insisting I had to have one "to make parts for those old cars". It was in pretty bad shape, and needed a lot of work, but came with a fair amount of tooling. I had never been trained on a lathe, so I didn't exactly see the "need" as urgently as my friend did, but as it turns out, I've been mighty glad to have had it ! I managed to bungle through its operation with a little manual of about 150 pages that was put out by the South Bend company. I expect it's still around and is very helpful if you don't have formal training. If I were going to go looking for a lathe nowadays, I'd definitely follow Stan's advice, and I've been pleasantly surprised to find that some of the Chinese machines are very acceptable - lots more than an old, worn-out piece of junk ! However, if I had my druthers, I'd have an old flat-belt South Bend with V-ways.
My lathe is as old as my T with bronze bushings with a 14 inch four jaw and a ten inch three jaw I can chuck a drive shaft and it must weigh 2000 pounds. If I am careful it does most T jobs. Any thing I don't trust with it goes to my machinist.
The advice here is good. My Series 60 Monarch is 18.5" x 30" between centers and even with the ways being about 48" long it is often too short for things like axle housings if you need to reach inside the end with a tool. T axle housings are about 26".
Furthermore, I would add that if you're inexperienced, watch this video (it's not one of the gory ones):
.... and then find somebody that still has all ten fingers and get some proper instruction on its use. This is especially true if you buy a geared head machine. Anything with a rotating spindle is constantly hungry. It can eat you for lunch before you know what happened and WILL eat all manner of things that you would not, up to and including shirt sleeves and ponytails. Smaller machines can whack you pretty good, too.
Walter, how true !! One of the wonderments of my "new" lathe when I got it is some genius managed to run the power cross-feed into the headstock - one set of change-gears shelled out, being pot-metal. That's probably good, it didn't wreck anything else.
I got a 9" long bed Atlas for a song. A good used 12" Logan or South Bend would be nice but the Atlas is what I can afford and while it's a bit worn, as long as you learn some of it quirks, it seems to work. I am a real novice on the the lathe and machine work in general but am learning at 60+.
Where you live dictates how much a good used lathe will cost. Back east where a tool room sized lathe might cost a few hundred $ it might be 3-4 times that in other parts of the country where there are less of them. Shop around and buy the best you can afford and try to get one with some tooling. Tooling starts to add a lot of cost to the initial lathe cost.
My favorite lathe story. With about 40 plus years of owning and operating lathes, I was in a class at the university. There were about 8 or 10 of us gathered around a 10" lathe while the instructor was teaching safety. With a large T handle in the 4 jaw, he cautioned to NEVER leave the handle in the chuck as he reached for the start button... ONE person dove for the floor! ME! The others just stood there with stupid looks on their faces. Once I realized the guy was bluffing and I was back on my feet, he grinned at me and said "You get an A for the day"
regarding machine tools of any type ...buy the largest you can justify ...also consider the spindle thru bore on any lathe as well as spindle tooling and bed tooling (steady rest etc.) and turning tools ... the swing and length of the bed are often secondary if the toolpost or cross slide limits the effective "swing" of a part ...also spindle horsepower and spindle braking and gear box ranges are important ...I have a 13X40 and a 18X60 lathe currently...always an optimist...gene french
Years ago I was driving in Long Island City New York and spotted a large lathe sitting by the curb in front of an industrial building. I stopped and went inside and asked what was going on. They told me they had replaced it with a new lathe and were throwing it out since no one wanted it. I told them I would take it but could not pick it up until the weekend (it was Wednesday). They said they would drag it back inside and hold it for me until the weekend if I promised to get it by then. It was an 18" Bradford lathe make around 1890. When I returned to pick it up with a flat bed trailer they helped me load it and and gave me three cases of gears for thread cutting and feed speed plus three chucks, two face plates, a follow rest, steady rest and a milling attachment. They also gave me a belt lacing tool as the lathe was set up for overhead shaft drive. I rigged it up to a 3/4 hp motor and used it for many, many years. Other than a bit of play in the cross feed it worked great. They are out there. A lot of the older stuff is just not practical for businesses to keep using and the only market left for that kind of machinery is the hobbyist.
Here's what you need! A Dalton Combination Machine. It's a lathe, vertical mill, horizontal mill and drill press all in one machine. They were made for WW-I ships and subs, space savings. This one is a late production from about 1925.
Both my old lathes are to big by most folks standards but they fit my budget. One is a 1906 patent 16x12 monarch, the other a 16x12 hendey. Along with a 14" G&E shaper, a small steinel horizontal mill and a 1896 new haven drill press I can do most of what I need to do. All were bought at below scrap prices as I couldn't stand to see them go for scrap. KGB
A further capacity consideration in any lathe purchase, beyond swing and length, ought to the size of the hole through the headstock spindle. In long shaft work it's nice not to be too limited by this size.
Hendeys were supposed to be pretty good machines in their day. Isn't it amazing how the old stuff just keeps on working? My Lathe is about 1944, but I will admit, it was barely used when I bought it (still cosmoline on many parts) and I hardly use it myself!
I have a big old Hendey. It was made in 1911 and had a 10 foot bed. What a chunk of iron!
The company that made this one went belly-up in 1891. Some day I'll have a line shaft set up and will try it out.
This is all good information. Thank you.
I have 4 different size lathes and have the luxury of choosing the appropriate size for the job I'm currently working on. The Model T flywheel I believe Is the largest Model T part that needs to be turned. For that I have the choice of an 18" or a 22", The 18" is great for precision turning and I don't like to beat it up doing heavy hogging, when I need to take out a lot of material I choose a 22" lathe. I am going to try to upload some pictures to give a size relation. The T flywheel Is 14.75" in diameter with no ring gear so I don't think a 14" lathe will work. The first picture Is a 18" lathe with the T flywheel on a 16" chuck The last will be the T flywheel on a 22" lathe with a removable gap that can swing 42" when needed. The pictures should show That you need something bigger than a 14" unless it has a gap to handle the T flywheel. I just measured a T flywheel with a ring gear on It and It measures 15.125.
My 11 inch South Bend cost me $300 and I have spent another $300 or so on chucks and tooling. It was made in 1935 or so and has done all I have needed so far.
Sheldon made a good lathe and if you could find a 12 inch Sheldon you could be in hog heaven.
A friend gave me a table top Atlas lathe last year, it's good for bushings, shims, etc. I think it has a 6" inch chuck. Luckily it came with tooling.
For bigger jobs I use our tooling lathe at work, 12" chuck, it'll handle 2.5" through the spindle.
I have a 17" Rockford and a 12" Logan, The Logan is newer and gets used most of the time. But the long and big work is done in the Rockford.I have to do the axle work in the Rockford because of length.
I too have been keeping my eyes open for a good used lathe. This one is for sale not to far from me, think it will fit in my truck?...I have an extended cab 1/2 ton Sierra. The seller says its off a Navy ship.
it will fit, but your chev will never move again,ha.ha.but you wont find a better one. charley
You're probably right Charlie.
LeBlond makes a very good lathe and with a Japanese partner they are still in business. I am sure your pickup can tow it on a rented trailer. What tooling comes with it? I suspect you can get it quite reasonably. It certainly would not be too small.
If you are serious about it get an old time machinist to look at with you. It could be a jewel in the rough or it could be junk.
Large Lathes usually require 3 phase power which many of us do not have access to. Rotary and solid state phase converters are available which can be expensive. Having the power co. install a 3 phase transformer is very expensive and hard to justify for home use.
For about forty years I have had a W.F. & John Barnes #13, about 12" swing and a 7 foot bed. It's just long enough to take a T driveshaft between centers ( or as my old man used to say, to make rifle barrels when the revolution comes). Its biggest drawback is the half inch bore through the spindle, so the steady rest gets a lot of used. It is age-appropriate also, probably dating back to the Roosevelt administration--Theodore, not Franklin. The latest patent I have found on it is 1904.
3 phase power ? How about a period stationary engine . . . or, hey ! rig your Model T with one of those flat-belt drive arrangements ? We have the technology !!
My Atlas, 9" swing and just long enough to take cut down for Cast Iron Warford drive shaft between centers.
Can you cut threads, like 20 on a 3/8 rod, on any of these lathes?
The material in the above photo is 660 that I am getting ready to turn for new upper drive shaft bushing for the under size Warford drive shaft.
One suggestion is to stay away from the older Jet bench lathes. They are next to impossible to to get replacement parts for. A friend has one that that has one of the gears for the carriage feed stripped out. I have called Jet and had looked on ebay about 1 1/2 years ago, nothing could be found. Older lathes like Logan, South Bend, Atlas etc, lots of spare parts can be found.
When the local utility company quoted me $100k to hook up the 3rd phase to my residential property, I looked into a "Phase Perfect" digital converter... Best $4k I've ever spent! And an absolute must when you go CNC controlled.
14"x60" Milltronics CNC lathe with 10hp spindle, 8 tool turret, and 2" thru bore. Haven't needed a bigger lathe yet... Don't tell my wife I said that
P.S. Big old machines are great... But It's a pain in the butt to swat a fly with a sledgehammer. Big machines turn slow and take big expensive (sometimes obsolete/unavailable) tooling. Keep your intensions and budget in perspective when shopping around.
John I wouldn't pass that one up just rent or
borrow a trailer.....big is always better..
Steve, what make is that old lathe?
My machinist was vary good before Toyota bought his shop and home for five million for there new dealer out let. He has shown me many tricks that cost little and still buys many of his dials and small tools from harbor freight. One of the best tricks is a Harbor Freight dial with a round H F magnet attached to the back of it. I use several constantly on my old south bend.
Kevin, 10 hp, it must be a monster I have a 23" Cincinnati that only has a 5hp . I have built several phase converters , you can build them out of capacitors and a start switch. For a converter that will run several machines at once or different hp, I use a rotary converter. It is the same capacitor type with the addition of a motor running idle. The motor hp needs to be large enough to equal load. I think my first converter cost about $0 dollars because I already had the stuff from an old air conditioner. The beauty of using a converter rather than going to a single phase motor, is it will run at a reduced cost per hp. I am sure that the digital converter is probably better.
If you can do it yourself, you can operate three phase machines with a variable frequency drive. Last time I needed one, for a three horsepower mill, it cost $110 US, made in China, of course, but works well. Dave in Bellingham,WA
I have an 11x36 Rockwell that does 95 percent of what I need. Shop space is more important to me than a bigger lathe. I have a friend named Kevin who is pretty darn good at the other 5 percent.
From a technical standpoint you would probably need a CDL to move that LeBlond. I'll bet it weighs north of 8,000 lbs. and probably closer to 10,000 lbs.
Note the steep angle on the front way. That was a LeBlond trait designed to dissipate heavy loads on large diameter cuts. On newer LeBlonds the way was bolted on and replaceable. It's hard to tell on that one if that's the case.
Just a thought, a lot of that ship equipment was run on D.C. Current. Might check motor.
Sheldon lathes were better built than most of the ones (Atlas, South Bend, etc.) now used in home shops. There is a very helpful forum on Yahoo. One of our well respected T parts manufacturers even post there once in a while.
The Sheldon 1236 is actually a 13X36. Here's one that might be a very good deal, right in your neck of the woods:
The problem with that LeBlond Is the chuck mounting,
it is probable L1 or L2 and finding good chucks
at a good price is a problem. Keep in mind that you have more $'s in tooling than the machine
Capacitor starters are fine for starting 3 phase motors... but you only run on 2 of the 3 power legs after startup. That's only 2/3 total power! And you run the risk of burning up the motor during periods of heavy load! They work just fine for most hobbyists. They are by far the cheapest option, but not the best solution for production.
Rotary phase converters do create true 3 phase power, but at the cost of an additional motor of equal or larger size. They are designed to run constant load motors, and variable loads can burn them up unless oversized by up to 50%. In the case of my CNC, I was going to need a special designed 15hp rotary converter to supply my 10hp lathe. My old house only had a 100amp panel on it at the time, that meant the risk of tripping the main beaker at max load.
Variable frequency drives (VFD) are a great solution for an old knob twister. They will operate a 3 phase motor on single phase power with no problems. And if you get the right one, you will get variable speed control and reverse too!
I chose the digital phase convertor because it best fit my situation. It supplies true 3 phase power just as the local utility would. It doesn't care how many machines I run at once. It doesn't care how rapid the load changes are. It only cares if I draw more current than it was designed to supply. It only costs about 5% to operate. And if I remember correctly, about 80watts at idle.
Thanks for the bit about digital phase convertors, Kevin. That's the first I've read about them. I would imagine on your CNC it would be rather picky about control voltage, too, and that sounds like the hot ticket for consistent power. Older CNC's would have a mind of their own if the control voltage got out of whack. The new stuff probably just does or does not work. My rotary phase convertor is out of balance and my conventional lathe requires a 440 control voltage transformer. Since moving from a place that had commercial 3-phase and going back to the rotary phase convertor, the switch gear isn't happy.
Does the DPC have built-in protection against power surges or is it susceptible to going poof if something hits it?
Walter-your right about anything computer controlled being sensitive to voltage fluctuations. I have seen options on CNC machines that somehow protect the sensitive components from brown outs and power outages. None of the machines I own, or have used, have had such a protection system. And I'm not sure about the digital converter either.
While I have encountered many brown outs and power outages, they usually only result in broken tools and scrap parts. The only machine I have ever encountered that had problems with power outages, was a mid 80's Boston Digital mill. Every time the lights flickered it would cost $1000 and 2 weeks. I'm glad it wasn't mine!
I have 3 phase in my garage and house.
How did you pull that off?
Wow wife must have one big mixer or blender, anyway when I saw at the house too, that's what I was thinking!
Our house was owned by my wife's grandparents and grandpa was a machinist. His work got new lathes and gave him his old one so he could work from home. Father in law was a electrician so got the power co. to install 3 phase so dad could run the lathe in the garage. It was also run to the house just in case.
What is the biggest diameter Model T part requiring lathe work?
What is the longest Model T part requiring lathe work?
Trying to figure a proper size lathe needed to handle most Model T parts.
For the average repair work the 10-12" should be more then big enough to do any drum work (bushings or face after riveting). 9" like mine should work. Unless you are looking to do axles or drive shafts I don't think a longer bed is going to be beneficial.
To fit your idea of what you think you might need, what were/are you thinking you might be doing on a lathe?
IF I had the money, this is the one I would buy. My theory is if you buy a small tool made by a company that makes large tools you will get a better tool. I've been shopping a little and I like the idea that this is made in Taiwan as opposed to China.
I run a table saw that I got really cheap with a 3 phase motor on single phase using a conversion that uses capacitors and a timer for start and a magnetic relay between it and the motor. On a lathe I would buy a variable speed 3 phase converter
There is a really good sale on about the identical one here right now for just under $6,000.00 Cdn (about 4,500.00 US). I have one and like it a lot
i got lucky i live 15 mi from town,i got 3 phase when we got rule water, the trunk line went right buy my shop. my elc bill went down 20.00 a month right off the bat.that paid for the water.a while back i found out you can buy 3 phase window air conditioning i could have saved a lot if i had known that. charley
Hello everyone and mods.
I am new here. I'm planning a DIY mod for my vape.
Doing my research for metal lathes. Can anyone help a beginner out?
I want to buy my own metal lathe. As I'm a beginner I'm having information overload with all the info I'm reading on other forums and reviews.
Can you please tell me which metal lathe is good to buy in this review?
mmm! Brandon Stantiu could be on the level with a question or maybe even a sly way to promote the web site??
Lathes are like tractors big is often cheap just
Don't get one too big.also if you can find one with chucks and tooling it will save lots of money
3 phase converter running my lathe was 65 bucks on ebay. just a small plastic box, easy to wire, been on there for 3 years now.