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Thread: Home built metal lathe? unreal!
10-24-2010, 03:53 AM #1
Home built metal lathe? unreal!
From what I understand, these people are using grant money from a college to do this stuff. They're going to save the earth by conserving and becoming self sufficient. They are off the grid, therefore, using generators to power their whatever equipment. You know, start up the generator to run your welder to make this beautiful lathe. I just don't get it! Caution! The speed of the "lathe" is off the charts.
Multimachine | Open Source Ecology
10-24-2010, 04:27 AM #2
there have been homemade lathes for many years
Gingery Series: Metalworking Shop from Scrap
Dave Gingery and now his son continuing the family tradition. these machines use castings from a charcoal foundry.
you are not going to save time or money as buying a modern designed Chinese lathe for less than $500 will save you maybe a year out of your life. but if you want to learn foundry sand casting, basic machine scraping and alignment the books will teach a person a lot.
still take a Gingery lathe, this is using a already made electric motor, rubber vee belt, drill chuck, portable 3/8 electric drill, cold rolled steel, threading taps, files, etc.
but you can make each 1/4-20 hex head screw but why would you?? when they are so cheap to buy. also even a Chinese lathe with electronic speed control saves making much hardware to get different speeds mechanically.
modern engineering design from ball bearings to electronics is usually more compact and efficient design seeing how it is using 200+ years of technology.
i would not try blacksmith forge welding when you can mig weld for less than $300 easily. you can try the old technology but i would recommend learning modern technology that can help with finding a job like learning about CNC, CAD / CAM, or PLC's.
If you put on a resume you built a lathe it usually will not help you much finding a job
10-24-2010, 04:27 AM #3Plus, we have major success in achieving uncontrollable chatter in the lathe function.
edit: Reading further into the article it talks about using scrap engine blocks which I think has been dicussed here before.
10-24-2010, 05:31 AM #4
Judging by the bricks the base is made from, it also doubles as a wood fired barbecue. I really like these big picture guys....sorry Farmer-Scientists, with product names for stuff (some of which doesn't yet exist): MicroTrac, PowerCube, TrueFan, LastWear, LifeTrac.
I'm just not sure how their subsistence villagers will go trying to build tractors while their neighbours will use self assembling organic bio-fueled power units (donkeys,mules, horses) to do their plowing.
10-24-2010, 06:01 AM #5
this may well be the first example of a time that master Don might approve the suggestion
that these guys simply go out and buy on of those harbor freight chinese lathe/mill/drills that you can get for around 600 bucks any day of the week..
i can't see that thing depicted in the article being useful for anything other than perhaps
work used on a farm implement.
i suppose it is one step above simply having a rock and a stick to work with?
if these are the folks that are looking to develop technologies to save mankind, we are all in serious trouble.
10-24-2010, 06:33 AM #6
Light a fire under it,chuck up a sheep,turn it on,couple hours,hey presto,a good feed
10-24-2010, 06:45 AM #7
It doesn't even have a tailstock? For $800.oo,they'd be better off buying used lathes somewhere,and might at least be able to cut threads.
Trouble is,to joe average,they probably look clever. To the politicians too,probably.
10-24-2010, 06:59 AM #8
Follow The Money
The key to this somewhat over-extended reach into 100 year old technology is the term "grant money". There is no end to the fun and marvelous things we could come up with if "some college" would give us a grant to support us and pay for our experiments. We all strive daily to improve our productivity and profit potential. We, however, usually do it on our own ticket. The people behind this "lathe" have not even a nodding acquaintance with productivity or profit. Why does a dog do that? Because he can! End of Rant. Regards, Clark
10-24-2010, 07:02 AM #9
Looking at their web site it appears to be an excellent example of what happens when you have a group of people
that have been educated beyond their intelligence.
They appear to be preparing for an end of the world SHTF scenario.
Yes what they are doing is doable, the question is, Why.
Last edited by KIMFAB; 10-24-2010 at 08:35 PM.
10-24-2010, 07:12 AM #10
Like a buddy of mine says "Yeah, good luck with that."
This is the same mindset that would believe that by hooking a generator to an electric motor and feeding the electric motor off of the generator, you can have perpetual energy.
10-24-2010, 07:13 AM #11
Bunch of damned WEENIES!! They have already used SCADS of already made,atmosphere polluting parts. Why a hydraulic motor? That doesn't sound energy efficient to me. The fluid has to come from somewhere,be pumped,etc..
The way they have mounted that lathe tool,better stay entirely away from the chuck.
It MUST be good for the Earth,though,It's mounted on blocks of dirt!!!
10-24-2010, 07:26 AM #12
Funny thing is you can find a decent partial lathe or lathe bed for cheap just about anywhere and start a real project where a tailstock is possible. How are you ever gonna fix the 'open source' tractor if you can't turn something on centers?dd
This lathe is a trainwreck! Open source is Linux, anything else is magical thinking.
10-24-2010, 07:35 AM #13
They need to take a trip to the tribal areas of Pakistan..... Up there people make very workable assault weapons, generally the AK47, and copies of many other firearms with very little in the way of tooling.
perhaps these "grant money vampires" should investigate the history of the lathe for some far better ideas. If any of that grant money came from our federal government, this would be a good time to start investigating for fraud and just plain incompetent waste of money.
If you expect to provide any technology for undeveloped areas, you HAVE TO use parts and pieces that are 1) available locally, and 2) can be maintained locally.
Those researchers are acting like idiots.
10-24-2010, 07:39 AM #14
10-24-2010, 08:11 AM #15
Lathe???!! More like a...
I always thought a lathe consisted of a bed, two centers, and a drive...has something changed???
This looks like a horizontal hole boring machine, and not a good one at that.
Anybody who has ever read (British) Model Engineer (est. 1898) will soon find how to build a metal-turning lathe from basically scrap steel, and maybe bronze bearings, in sizes from clockmakers to 3 or 4 inch center height...and all without castings, either. And even hand (or foot) or animal powered...or the darling of the greenies, Wind or water powered ( what, No electricity????).
The ancient Egyptians had Lathes ( hand driven) almost 4,000 years ago...to make arrow shafts, wheel spokes for chariots, and sundry other items. ( all made of wood with bronze cutting tools)
It looks like the invention of a burocrat who has never been on a farm, never read an engineering journal or Model-making magazine, and never visted a trade show, to find ways of wasting the tax-payers money...."plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose" ( the more it changes, the more it remains the same).
Given the right incentive, I could build a Lathe out of Aussie hardwood with nothing more than a saw (hand), a brace and bit drill( also hand) and a handfull of 3/8 or 1/2 Nuts & Bolts and Washers...even a supply of Nails even.
And then drive it with some "non-polluting" form of energy....and make the cutting tools from scrap steel, with a handbuilt small forge. From there screws can be cut, etc, if one "knows how".
10-24-2010, 08:14 AM #16
Having a career in a museum,I have seen this exact crap go on forever. The trouble is,their MASTERS,those who hand out the money to perpetuate this nonsense have NO IDEA about something like a lathe. We could all write letters to the academics who grant this money,and they would not be able to grasp what we are saying. Most likely they would think we have a vendetta against their"farmer scientists".
Where I worked,the academics insisted upon hiring a total con man to make a piano. they sent him to England for 6 weeks to study. I could see from the garbage he created that he had spent no time studying the original piano. Then,they paid him to make the abomination. I'll bet they wasted at least $50,000.00. That's a conservative guess,too.
I had warned them not to do it,having had the experience of hiring him myself earlier. He had also bilked a major antique dealer in town. Would they listen? No. it was only after the piano was built from green wood,cracking everywhere,with the veneer bubbling loose from contact cement that they SECRETLY tried to GIVE the damned thing away. I found out about it,but the informer swore me to secrecy for fear of his job.
They also paid $250,000 for an 18th.C. library table. When they turned it over to the technicians,they found that the TOP,the GALLERY around the top,and 3 LEGS were replacements. So,they paid $250.00 for 1 leg,and the apron of the table,because they were too damned educated to ask the grunts anything. The tech. grunts,BTW,were highly educated in their own right,but none the less grunts to the elite.
You can't try to tell these elite anything. They hold themselves superior to you and others who work with their hands,while they WORSHIP objects made by people like us 200 years ago. silly,isn't it?
Last edited by gwilson; 10-24-2010 at 02:10 PM.
10-24-2010, 08:22 AM #17Originally Posted by Open Source Ecology
The answer you seek is right here:
The Cupola Furnace: A Practical Treatise on the Construction and Management of Foundry Cupolas
Free from Google books, published in 1903.
10-24-2010, 09:23 AM #18
On the other end of the spectrum...
Years ago there was a guy who wrote some articles in HSM, not the most favorite of magazines here I know, that was off the charts. It is a lathe with some very interesting motions of axis, kind of like a hybrid HBM/lathe. Some neat ideas and if I remember right he designed his own castings, dont remember if he made them or had them done for him.
I only post it here because it exemplifies the type of craftsmanship that so many other homemade projects lack. I dont know if I would want one but it is a truly neat machine, enjoy the photos, sorry for the bad quality.
10-24-2010, 09:24 AM #19
Actually, a lot of this open source stuff is self-financed. No sign of any institutional affiliation on their wiki
Open Source Ecology - Open Source Ecology
The local 'peak energy' group is trying to get me to offer a blacksmithing class. I guess I ought to clean up the shop if they want to pay for it. One of those fella would probably buy my old lathe too. hmmmm....
I tend to feel there is gonna be plenty of surplus crap around after any apokalclips. No need to reinvent the lathe, how many are they gonna need?
I have had some minor dealings with a nearby amish community and they actually have guidelines for how many of the more complex machines should be available in the community. You only need one lathe in a community if you are willing to work with your neighbors and if you're only allowed one lathe, then you have to work with your neighbors.
10-24-2010, 09:26 AM #20
And just a couple more...Just in case you cant tell the headstock of the lathe has a vertical or Y axis to it and can be used to mill or just increase the swing. Kind of neat actually.