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Run Out on unwell made Chinese Metal Lathe

Fred Van Hook

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71
Last Subscription Date
11/05/2019
Machine Shop tip #95 is for run out... On a unknown machine you first need to know that the headstock is true to the bed.. That means you need to take test cuts across the face of a blank (X AXIS) and then down the length of a piece of bar stock (Z AXIS).. When you are sure that is true and the height of the cross slide (or tool) is correct then you can run a cut using the tailstock..
 

I like oldstuff

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Last Subscription Date
11/09/2015
Yeah Pete. I had a freebie #2 taper drill that was busticated up and bent. I cut the drill portion off of it and made the shanky part into the test thing.
*Also drilled the end of it to mount a spotting drill which is uber handy and accurate so it serves two purposes.
 

I like oldstuff

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11/09/2015
Hey waterloo.
The stak is a forum that encompasses the whole planet. Many of the viewers have no idea what a South Bend is.
Just sayin.....


Think globally
 

cobbadog

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I don't have the option in my equipment to have a dead centre in place of the chuck at the moment and thought maybe a pair of drill bits one in the chuck of the lathe and the other in the tailstock. Quite possibly not a good idea after watching those videos posted.
In the post by I Like Oldstuff showing using the 3 jaw chuck and a dead centre is a way that I can do it as these things I do have in the draws and all are new. Now it is a case of waiting for the delivery.
 

cobbadog

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Thanks for your opinion waterloo, you are half right about the lack of quality but wrong about me whinging about it. All I asked was how to adjust it nothing more.
 

Fred Van Hook

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Age
71
Last Subscription Date
11/05/2019
There have been a lot if good suggestions here in this thread.. I think you will have a lot of fun learning how to operate your lathe.. As with some of the equipment I worked on you get familiar with it. What I did when aligning a machine was to make it as straight as possible so the operator had less trouble running and getting good parts. So in your case you are on the right track... Get the machine squared and straight and enjoy making parts.. First rule is be safe.. Second is do no harm...
 

cobbadog

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Cheers Fred. Rule #3 is to have fun doing it.
Good news is that the dial indicator arrived late today but had no time to start playing so as soon as I can I will out in the shed and start learning again. I like to aproach new things with caution but enthusiasm. They could teach me much at school 50 years ago but you can now.
 

waterloo123

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Last Subscription Date
02/08/2020
Hey waterloo.
The stak is a forum that encompasses the whole planet. Many of the viewers have no idea what a South Bend is.
Just sayin.....


Think globally
Anyone who does some research and is getting into machining, will find Atlas Clausing, Southbend, etc. All I'm saying is the 3rd world country stuff is junk. Expect it not to be perfect, and ya won't be disappointed. Not a matter of thinking globally, a matter of thinking logically!
 

I like oldstuff

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11/09/2015
And to further confound you cobba here's yet another way to check the tail stock alignment with your shiny new dial indicator.

Measure the diameter of the movable spindle on the tail stock. Let's say it's 25.03mm.
Machine a short piece of metal in the chuck to that exact diameter.

Setup your dial indicator on the carriage and zero it on that machined piece. Run the carriage all the way to the tail stock and measure the spindle. (Be sure the tail stock and it's spindle are locked) It should show zero or very close to it. Now you can move the tail stock adjust screws to get it as close as possible.

This method works perfectly and is highly accurate. But you'll have to machine a piece every time you want to check the alignment as there's no way to get the machined piece back in the chuck with no runout.
 
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cobbadog

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Thanks again for the further information and ways of achieving the same end result. No play time today but tomorrow is looking great.

As for the Atlas and Southbend brand lathe, I was well aware of them and their quality. For me I was buying a cheap lathe to see if I was able to do what I wanted to do with it at the time as I am not getting any younger and the last time I had been on a lathe was 50 years ago on one of those rare days I went to school. The theory behind not spending too much money was if I didn't like it or could not do what I wanted to do with it I could then flog it off even at a loss if I ahd to. Then if I needed something bigger or better again I could flog it off and buy a better one as like the brands that you are so fond of. So far the only thing I have picked up on this Chinese mestapiece is the tailstock run out and that as I have found out is adjustable and once done will fulfill all my desires at the moment for making nuts and bolts as Whitworth BSF are almost impossible to buy here now without importing from the UK at a stupid price, plus some handles for the vintage tractors I restore and all the small jobs like lock pins for the 3pl. So if I can improve the alignment of the tailstock this will allow me to then continue to make the new valve guides for a vintage stationary engine I am now restoring. At the moment the run out is a mere 0.17mm so half of that is 0.85mm not a lot for an El Cheapo is it?
 

waterloo123

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Last Subscription Date
02/08/2020
Thanks again for the further information and ways of achieving the same end result. No play time today but tomorrow is looking great.

As for the Atlas and Southbend brand lathe, I was well aware of them and their quality. For me I was buying a cheap lathe to see if I was able to do what I wanted to do with it at the time as I am not getting any younger and the last time I had been on a lathe was 50 years ago on one of those rare days I went to school. The theory behind not spending too much money was if I didn't like it or could not do what I wanted to do with it I could then flog it off even at a loss if I ahd to. Then if I needed something bigger or better again I could flog it off and buy a better one as like the brands that you are so fond of. So far the only thing I have picked up on this Chinese mestapiece is the tailstock run out and that as I have found out is adjustable and once done will fulfill all my desires at the moment for making nuts and bolts as Whitworth BSF are almost impossible to buy here now without importing from the UK at a stupid price, plus some handles for the vintage tractors I restore and all the small jobs like lock pins for the 3pl. So if I can improve the alignment of the tailstock this will allow me to then continue to make the new valve guides for a vintage stationary engine I am now restoring. At the moment the run out is a mere 0.17mm so half of that is 0.85mm not a lot for an El Cheapo is it?
Not bad for a cheapie as you say. My friend bought a china lathe and mill, years back. It did work for him, but at max capacity, it would chatter and leave tool marks. I guess its just for the money sometimes, a good old used one you can find parts for, is better than a new cheapie. And you won't lose alot if you resell the cheapie. Very hard to sell used china knockoff.
 

cobbadog

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I doubt I would loose anything if I decide to sell this one as I paid very little for it because the previous owner thought the electric motor was burnt out along with a heap of other things. Knowing all of this long before doing a 5 hour round trip and exhanged many emails of pics and what did or did not come with the lathe a price was offered and would be confirmed once I see it in person. The price was rude to say the least offering not much more than scrap value because it did not run. Did the drive and bought it home, ran a meter over the motor and found the capacitor had failed. $20.00 later it ran like a clock. So with that sorted I started buying some extra acessories and the latest being the dial indicator. Value of the lathe here now in running condition and not with the tooling is now $2,500.00 without trying and would sell the same day listed but I am becomming attached to it believe it or not.
Like the old saying "It's not much, but it's mine"
 

I like oldstuff

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Last Subscription Date
11/09/2015
It doesn't matter what we have simply because we're having fun playing with our toys although no matter what we have we always want something bigger and better.
Me? A South Bend 9 inch in very good condition. It was virtually new although had been stored for 30 years when I got it. They have all the features but are rather flexible when you make them grunt. I paid $1,350 for it around 1992.

A 1941 war surplus Nichols horizontal mill that I converted to vertical with a Wuhanium 90 degree head and disaffectionately called the frankenmill. This thing has seen a lot of use in almost 80 years and the table slide is pretty wonky. *Anyone have a used gib for it? Mine is broken and shimmed up to provide a three axis +- tolerance seemingly of half a city block. I bought this for $200 in the early 80's.

I had a business making certified aircraft gyro instrument backup vacuum pumps then another biz making aircraft towing tugs. Both of these machines have done a ton of work and paid for themselves many times over.
 
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cobbadog

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Well today I had a go at getting it in alignment and won. It was, as expected very sensitive in the movement side to side but with patience I got it down to 0.001mm over the 250mm (6") so I'm happy with that. This will be more than good enough to now make those valve guides.
I guess I played around with it for about 45 minutes moving the slightest amount on the screws to make the indicator go wild. I think it came down to how much I grunted at it when making the fine adjustments.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to my question nd all the very helpful replies, I appreciate it very much, cheers.
 

I like oldstuff

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Last Subscription Date
11/09/2015
You really got that thing dialed in! Yeah that adjustment is certainly quite fine as you found out. Congrats.:cool:

But,,, you ain't done yet.
Now let's see how tight the headstock bearings are. This will keep accuracy up and cutting chatter to a minimum which can drive you crazy trying to find out why it's happening.
Setup your indicator to press straight down on the chuck. Put a 20+mm diameter piece of steel in the chuck and pull straight up and down with about 10-20kg of force. This will show any play in the bearings.

*I have no idea as to the bearing design in your machine but it's probably ball or tapered rollers. You might have a nut on the spindle to control it.
Post up some pics of the spindle end if you want to mess with it.
 

cobbadog

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I like oldstuff,
I accept your challenge to as we say "have a go ya mug". I only have tomorrow to finalise my jobs before we go away for a much needed holiday from this Saturday for a week so when I get back and sort out all the phone calls left on the landline and emails for work I will look at this. I am enjoying the challenges and so far no harm has been done only improvements so no reason why this cannot continue.
So the next thing I will need to learn is how to remove the chuck from the head stock correctly and safely. I am guessing it is screwed on and possibly a LH thread. More time on YouTube coming up. I will take a pic of the lathe and the head stock tomorrow and post them up for your amusement but I think I could make one slight change to your description of the lathe, "design". I heard that this lathe is a standard design in China and that many different foundaries pour the components and even more different Companies machine and assemble them, this really makes it a challenge to get information on it as I found out when I wanted a thread chasing dial. Not just a dial but one that would also be useful to make Imperial threads on a Metric lead screw. This was a challenge but so far the threads I had to make have worked out good so the choice of 3 different size gears have given me the choices I need.
 

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