I am a tech ed instructor in a small high school. I recently finally got a lathe back in the lab. It is a 1950ish SB 16/24 and I love it to death. However, it came with the standard style tool post and a spinning 4 way toolpost. I would like to get a QCTP for it because that is likely what the students will run into in the real world and it will definitely help with making sure the tool is running on center. However, I also have a limited budget in that a nice Aloris would be over 20 percent of my entire yearly budget. Is there such a thing as a decent off brand that is available? I have been looking for a good used post but everyone else seems to know what they are worth as well.
Other than considering Dorian, I don't think there is much way to go. I have used a Phase 2 and found it functionally acceptable but not as nicely made as the "D" and "A" brands.
I've been there Ryan. Just continue with the 4 way toolpost soon enough you will be annoyed to the point that you will find money to buy a quality toolpost. I bought a CXA which is a size larger than usually put on a 13" swing but I wanted rigidity. If I had to choose again I would go for a Multifix.
On the last push to Stainless.
The Phase 2 piston type are OK. I have one on my 12x36 lathe, and it's pretty rigid. They come with lots of stuff, like a knurling tool, boring bar holder, 2 standard turning tool holders, and a parting tool holder. This one isn't a phase 2, but it's probably made in the same place, it looks exactly the same. This is about as cheap as it gets. I dunno if you'd want the 14"-20", or up to 18". There is almost $100 difference, and sometimes a smaller toolpost just doesn't cut it on a bigger lathe. Then again, a big tool post is kinda clumsy when making small parts. If you look in the south bend forum, the people in there will probably have some better input on this. If you plan on doing heavy duty stuff with this beast, you'll probably want the bigger tool post. You can get tool holders that hold small HSS tool bits that were designed to go into a square turret tool post on a smaller lathe, and put them in the standard turning tool holders on the big QCTP. This is a good solution for detail work on a big lathe. Considering your budget, maybe look for some used tool holders of fleabay.
How much better would a Phase II QC toolpost be when compared to a 4 way toolpost?
The 4 way is light years ahead of the lantern toolpost and the quality of the Aloris or Dorian is known.
In a situation such as this where cost is the main factor an import QCTP will be in the $150-200(maybe less) bracket while the A & D toolposts will be easily twice that if not more.
The point is- Do you think the jump to a cheap QCTP is a big enough improvement over the 4 way to invest in it.--OR-- Is the improvement from a 4 way to a high end QCTP toolpost really that big a jump to warrant the price over the low end QCTP?
I can understand wanting to expose the students to what they might find in the real world,but the 4 way post should be very functional and it and the lantern post are still used by many.
I'd say pick-up a Phase II or use the 4 way post & have the students build something they might be able to sell on ebay for a profit then use the profits to purchase a nice QCTP set.
Get with the wood shop and have them build cannon carrages(deck guns are easiest) and have your students turn the barrels & ram-rods -- Cannons always sell(Non-functioning cannons BTW--I remember shop classes)
I've had a PhaseII piston type AXA for about 3 years and it's fine for light duty work. The Aloris BXA on the 12x40 Sharp I have at work is worlds nicer, and worlds more costly.
A decent compromise is to get the PhaseII wedge type. It's more rigid than the piston type if I recall correctly.
Also, Travers Tool seems to have the best price on them consistantly.
I have a T&O BXA for my 14x40 Narnini. It is very well made "wedge" style. I have about 20 #1 holders with tools pre-set so I can just pop them in and out as needed. I bought most of the holders from Shars or Discount Machine Shop which is Shar's ebay store. $15/each is a steal.
Whatever you do, I would opt for the wedge as opposed to the piston type.
I have the Phase11 piston type and I like it a lot. I moved up from a lantern style so you can imagine the improvement. I spent the extra money I saved on toolholders. I now have about fifteen of them and that's about all I think I will ever need. The latest one I got was a Morse taper and it is really nice to be able to drill holes with the power carriage feed. You do have to sweep the taper with a coax indicator to get it set up but if you have to drill out a bunch of widgets it is really nice.
Our 12x36 at work, which is used by many different people, has a Phase II piston BXA and works great.
Everybody seems to be able to use them with no instruction. Just wish they'd tell me when they break the tool tips though.
The largest Phase II piston type is on sale in the current Travers flyer for about $260. Wedge version is about $100 more. Both include the holders Junkyard mentioned up above.
Equivalent size Aloris will be 3 to 4 times that much, as you no doubt already know.
IMO. spending the money for an Aloris to stick on a high school shop lathe makes no more sense than putting a brand new HLV in the same shop. You buy high quality tooling and high dollar machinery when the tooling and machinery is the limiting factor for the intended use. Thats not the case in your situation.
If it were me, for the intended use, I'd buy the piston type Phase II. One thing I would do though is replace all the setscrews in the toolholders with a couple dollars worth of good'uns, since the originals like to split in the hex.
If you run across a high school kid who can produce work to a level where the difference between a Phase II piston and an Aloris wedge has a measureable influence, just post his particulars here and at least a couple hundred of us will be happy to hire him and get him out of your hair
Does the shop have a milling machine, shaper or planer?
If so, then build one of John Stevenson's toolposts
The design is quite simple and could even be done as a project by the students. Cost is just the cost of some steel.
I think the Dorian First time Buyer Sets are great. Comes with turning/ threading/parting tools, inserts, and its a good quality tool post. Can't get more for your dollar, even better if its on sale.
... the aloris or dorian will likely
get busted just the same when the chuck crashes
into it. for the amt of use it will see , a p-ll
should last for years until it sees an unfortunate accident.
as a former instructor myself, i know what happens
to equipment in a trade school.... and how to stretch
a thin budget. top of the line tooling is not going
to help much when you run low on materials and cutting tools.
also, a 16/24 can be a miserable machine to operate,
when the work diameter is less than 4" or so...
it's difficult to setup the cutting tools,especially boring bars, and there's not too
much rigidity with the compound "tower" that has to
be swung backwards just to get many tools around
to the work center.
simply removing the risers(i sold mine for over $400 )
will make a much easier to use ,
tighter ,friendlier lathe.
I have a 16 X 50 with a phase II piston type tool post, and I think that it works fine. I have used Aloris and Dorian in the past, you can say it is like Chevy compared to BMW. The Chevy will get you there.
Like a couple of others, my first thought was, why not have the students build a QCTP? That's what one of the local community college instructors did -- he drew up a design that clones the piston type QCTP, and can take the Aloris toolholders (or make your own). Here are a couple of pictures of the one I made:
I had a phase 2 cxa on a toolroom cnc lathe. The problem I had with the phase 2 was that it was not perfectly square. You could not go from a drill op to a cutoff op because of this. I then purchased an aloris cxa and it is square. I square up the post initially and then don't mess with it unless I have to. Probably not as big of a concern on a manual lathe because you will be drilling with the tailstock. They look the same from appearance.
I like Awake's idea, however, I wouldn't consider letting a student actualy use a QCTP until I was satisfied that they could set a tool point on center with the more primitive tool posts and that they had a good understanding of the affects of over and under center settings good and bad. This is the kind of stuff they're there to learn.
I should add that I made the QCTP above using the 4-way tool holder that came with my lathe -- so I had to learn how to use the latter before I was able to use the QCTP! [img]smile.gif[/img] I might also add, FWIW, that the project above was relatively early in my learning of machining; that may indicate that it is not out of reach of new students ... though it certainly took me quite a while to finish the whole thing!
In mini-lathe.com on Vicky Ford's foundry experi
ences page is a plan for a Groz Type QCtoolholder
in the machining section.Design could possibly be
modified eliminating pivot pin by slitting to
through drill hole? Seems fast and easy to make
as there is no piston or wedge to make.
Thanks for the suggestions guys.
Making one is not a possibility. I am just getting the metals program back up and running. I currently only have the one lathe and a horizontal bandsaw. The lathe is the first machining equipment I have. Hopefully next year I can find a decent used mill.
I know there is a lot for them to learn about proper setup especially with a lantern style post. However I need this to be as quick to learn for them as possible. I need to be able to rotate 10 to 14 kids through the lathe project in about 8 to 10 weeks. I need for them to be able to work with as few questions and issues as possible.
I have been doing some research online and ebay has a few guys who appear to be making there own Aloris clones and selling them pretty reasonably. I think I am probably going to go that route. Unless of course one of you is board with their Aloris or Dorian and wants to ship it to me. I would even be willing to pay for the shipping.