shopnotes mini lathe

I’ve decided I’d grossly underestimated myself, and that I’m capable of making the Mini Lathe pictured below, without the assistance and mentoring of the woodworking class i was hoping to get into this quarter at the community center. (but did not)

What’s interesting about the project I’m building is that they show you two alternative uses for the lathe, bowl turning with a faceplate and disc sanding with an attachment. I’m thinking I’m going to build an extra platform for a steadyrest and later, I’m going to see if I can fashion a drum sanding table out of this as well. What’s the difference? It’s almost exactly the same mechanics. I see no reason why I can’t utilize the motor and driveshaft assembly for a sanding table.

holy crap it’s been really reallyhard tracking down some of the parts, though.

First of all, the 9″x5/8″ USS Bolt in the headstock is not “all thread” like one of the drawings (exploded perpective assembly drawing) leads me to believe, it’s only threaded in the last inch and a half or so. The detail drawing of the hardware assembly does accurately show thread in only the last 1.5 inches. I only noticed this after I made my best guess at buying what turned out to be the correct hardware. By the way, “USS” means “Coarse Threaded”… Don’t spend 3 hours going to every hardware store looking like I did.. that’s all it is. I found mine at Orchard Supply Hardware. They were super helpful.

Next, finding 3 step pulleys has proven to be extraordinarily challenging online. The article says “my local hardware store had to order them for me”… they’re talking about ACE, after many hours and hours of research I come to realize. Here is the link to the pulleys I’m ordering. 3 step x 5/8″ bore.

Stop collars… I found them, finally.. Bitsnbores.com… part number 11900625 5/8″ stop collar $2.65 apiece! Excellent! might as well order a couple extra.
Update: reid tool has these as well. I believe the part numbers are:
LSC-10 LSC-10SS 11/8 .6260-.6280 1/2 5/16-18 $1.49 steel, $5.09 stainless steel

The motor was relatively painless. I found This page quickly, and decided that the second motor listed, the 1/3 horsepower one, would probably do fine. Will the fraction of a horse more power than the 1/4 horse they suggested make a difference? I figured for 6 extra bucks it’s worth it. I’m already in for over $60, might as well step up a little.

Knobs… There’s a 500+ page PDF catalog available for Reid Tool, the vendor suggested at the back of the magazine for knobs.. which is a blessing and a curse. They have about 8 or 10 pages of knobs in their catalog. I picked the one I thought was correct one time, went back through the catalog a second time and picked the exact same part, so we will see if I made the right choice. Before I did that, I called them and said “Has anyone called about this project?” No. “Do you have any idea which knobs I need? There’s 8 or 10 pages of them in your catalog.” No. “ok, thanks.. <sigh>” I suspect this is the correct part:
(qty. 10) JCL-132 – 5/16-18 1″$1.18 and,
(qty. 4) DK-22 – 5/16-18 1 1/2″ $1.79 I think corresponding tee nuts would be WN-125, $5.39 per box of 100

We shall see.

4 threaded inserts from reid:
STI-225 1/4-20 .394 .551 .300 .303 .669 $0.32 each
(4) 1/4″x20 knobs
4JCL-127 1.58 .45 .49 .95 .63 1/4-20 .98 $1.38 each
bearings: (qty. 2) NB-1095 from Reid.

Update 2:
to be honest, I’m over-ordering on some of the parts, because I’m planning on doing some other things with the motor, as stated above… here’s the boiled down version of what I’m ordering.

Update 3:ACE hardware cancelled my order for the 3 step pulleys. My next door neighbor Duane properly reminded me what my old room mate Jason has told me a couple of times… McMaster-Carr is the end-all be-all of parts and materials. Pulleys are re-ordered and en-route. I shoulda ordered everything from here in the first place. Doh!

update 4: I remembered that I had only requested a quote from Reid, so I ordered everything from McMaster-Carr… yesterday… Half my order showed up at work today! that was FAST! … so, that’s the two pulleys, the flange bearing, a couple of knobs, and the stop collars (aka Shaft Collars). Woohoo!

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