Big Lathe Now Working!


The lathe in the woodshop is functional thanks to the new lathe stand built by Howard. The lathe is made of the motor from Rachel’s donated lathe and the frame from the old workshop lathe. Hugh, Ravi, and Jose Miguel worked together to build the “frankenlathe”.

Because the original lathe stand wasn’t heavy enough, it vibrated too much when throwing out-of-balance work. To solve this problem, Howard added a piece of a railroad rail, a giant motor, and a piece of oblong steel to the bottom of the stand. This has reduced the vibration. However, Ravi warns that users shouldn’t try to turn very big objects on there until it has been determined that the stand is sufficiently weighted down. Otherwise, the piece may be ruined or even become a projectile.

The lathe stand is made of 100% recycled or re-used wood. The lathe can be raised into a better position for taller users by unfastening the carriage bolts underneath the head and the tail of the lathe, inserting wood shims to raise it to the desired height, and then re-tightening the bolts that hold the lathe to the stand.

The lathe stand has a dust collector port under the lathe to capture falling dust and debris. This port should be connected to the cyclone dust collection system when the lathe is in use.

While the lathe table has wheels, it may now be too heavy for them so users should be careful when trying to move the lathe. Lathe tools and chuck key are stored on the bottom shelf of the lathe stand.

While use of the lathe is currently “at your own risk,” training is highly advised and the machine will soon require certification as soon as someone who is skilled with the lathe can provide a certification class.

Regarding safety, Ravi has the following tips:

Body Safety
1) get some training
2) wear impact-resistant face shield, not the dust-resistant one
3) properly align rest to reduce catches
4) Properly seat material
5) Select proper speed setting for material, size, and type of action taken
6) sharpen chisels before use
7*) don’t wear scarves, long hair or other things that can get sucked into the rotating shaft of death
*Should be higher on the list but I don’t want to remake the list

Equipment Safety
1) turn both knob and switch to off, if only knob is turned to off can burn out motor
2) be careful in handling and placing chisels so as to not damage the tips