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Thread: Outboard turning on Sears 15 inch Wood Lathe ????

  1. #1

    Outboard turning on Sears 15 inch Wood Lathe ????

    Direct quote from the Manual:

    "To prepare the lathe for outboard turning, use the 19mm spanner wrench to loosen the hex head bolt under the headstock. Rotate the headstock 180 and tighten the bolt."

    Simple enough, but how do you get the wrench to the hex bolt under the headstock ? Lathe is bolted down to a 400 Pound Cherry, White Oak, and Ash Workbench. No room to stick my fat fingers in between the Cast Iron to turn that Headstock.

    Options???
    Last edited by Clarence Martinn; 06-28-2020 at 11:49 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarence Martinn View Post
    Direct quote from the Manual:

    "To prepare the lathe for outboard turning, use the 19mm spanner wrench to loosen the hex head bolt under the headstock. Rotate the headstock 180 and tighten the bolt."

    Simple enough, but how do you get the wrench to the hex bolt under the headstock ? Lathe is bolted down to a 400 Pound Cherry, White and Ash Workbench. No room to stick my fat fingers in between the Cast Iron to turn that Headstock.

    Options???
    I know nothing about that lathe or the clearances. Maybe some pictures or drawings?

    Room for a custom-made wrench? Maybe temporarily unbolt the lathe?
    I'd hate to drill a big access hole in a nice workbench.

    JKJ

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    I know nothing about that lathe or the clearances. Maybe some pictures or drawings?

    Room for a custom-made wrench? Maybe temporarily unbolt the lathe?
    I'd hate to drill a big access hole in a nice workbench.

    JKJ
    That is what I don't want to do ! Top of the Workbench is 3 Inch thick Curly Cherry.

  4. #4
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    Why not unbolt the lathe, raise it up, turn the headstock, then bolt it back down, same bolts in the same holes?
    Don't let it bring you down,
    It's only castles burning,
    Just find someone who's turning,
    And you will come around

    Neil Young (with a little bit of emphasis added by me)

    Board member, Gulf Coast Woodturners Association

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarence Martinn View Post
    That is what I don't want to do ! Top of the Workbench is 3 Inch thick Curly Cherry.

    You drilled holes in it when you bolted down the lathe, right? Drill one more hole big enough for a socket and extension.

  6. #6
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    The craftsman I had had an opening on the back side of the head stock to get a thin wrench into. My head stock came a little lose and turned. I was able to loosen it through the opening and adjust the head without any issue.

    I never turned outboard on my craftsman, but I suspect it doesn't have enough power to turn anything bigger than the 15" of inboard capacity. I regularly stalled mine if taking aggressive cuts on a big bowl. I would be easier to work inside of forms from the outboard position, though, assuming you had a tool stand that works well.

  7. #7
    It's got plenty of power. Manual says it can do 20 inches outboard turning. I turned a glued up 8x8 Cherry turning square 36 inches long on the Lathe. Never bogged down once .

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarence Martinn View Post
    It's got plenty of power. Manual says it can do 20 inches outboard turning. I turned a glued up 8x8 Cherry turning square 36 inches long on the Lathe. Never bogged down once .
    Tremendous different in torque required when turning at 4" radius vs 10". You'll be surprised when you try it. What's the minimum speed on the lathe? Better be around 100rpm starting at that diameter.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarence Martinn View Post
    It's got plenty of power. Manual says it can do 20 inches outboard turning. I turned a glued up 8x8 Cherry turning square 36 inches long on the Lathe. Never bogged down once .
    Torque is a function of diameter not length. Except for pure weight, length has little impact on needed power. You might turn something 20" but you'll have to take light cuts at slower speeds or it will stall. Torque = Power/angular speed. The higher the speed the less torque for a fixed amount of power. If you are light on power, you'll have to turn slower to keep the lathe cutting and that means it'll be harder to get a good finish.

    That said, I've turned 14" bowls on a craftsman lathe specified as 1.5 HP. I did nearly stall it a time or two, and just had to take smaller bites at lower speeds. Once you get it roughed out, you can increase the speed and take light shearing cuts to finish the piece. Give it a try and report back on how it worked for you.

    This is not my lathe, but it is the same model:

  10. #10
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    Don't forget, you'll need a tool rest if you out board turn. I have not been able to find a nice economical one.
    If you find a suitable outboard tool rest, please post so perhaps I could check it out. My lathe headstock slides so I could turn off the end of the lathe.
    Thanks and good luck!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Iwamoto View Post
    Don't forget, you'll need a tool rest if you out board turn. I have not been able to find a nice economical one.
    If you find a suitable outboard tool rest, please post so perhaps I could check it out. My lathe headstock slides so I could turn off the end of the lathe.
    Thanks and good luck!
    A friend of mine turns outboard on his delta lathe with a free-standing tool rest he made from steel, said it was plenty sturdy enough. I saw it years ago but don't remember the design. I could call and ask him.

    If you have access to a welder or weldor it wouldn't be too hard to come up with something heavy enough. For example I have a grinder on a stand I can barely move - the base weighs about 200 lbs.

  12. #12
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    Yeah, no welder. Wish I had one. I could easily fab one up. And lots of other things. Maybe I should buy one, I can go into business selling outboard tool rests... LOL Add that to the 100 roughed out bowl blanks I have yet to get to.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Iwamoto View Post
    Yeah, no welder. Wish I had one. I could easily fab one up. And lots of other things. Maybe I should buy one, I can go into business selling outboard tool rests... LOL Add that to the 100 roughed out bowl blanks I have yet to get to.
    In my deep past I was a weld inspector but never learned to weld till much later. When I bought my first little welding machine from Home Depot, a cheap flux-core Lincoln Weld Pak 100, it changed the way I thought about making and repairing things. Where before I spent a lot of time with drills and taps and bolts and JB Weld and even twisted wire, a quick zap zap now sometimes does the trick not only quicker but better.

    But it's like woodturning and lots of other things - dip one toe in and get sucked into the vortex. First came the angle grinders and wire brushes, then the oxy-acetylene, then metal-cutting bandsaws and hydraulic press and more welding machines and plasma cutter and then we start with the milling machines and metal lathes. And a bigger shop to make it all fit. Hmm, a surface grinder and CNC mill would be REAL nice.

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