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Thread: Tailstock "drill pad": legit device, or risky business?

  1. #1
    S_W_Bausch is offline Diamond
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    Default Tailstock "drill pad": legit device, or risky business?



    Pretty simple concept: stick a drill bit in the headstock, stick the drill pad in the tailstock, locate the work in the vee groove, and be careful

    Does it have a legit use, for modelmakers, perhaps, using small lathes, small bits, etc?

    Or is it simply an accident waiting to happen?

  2. #2
    fciron's Avatar
    fciron is offline Hot Rolled
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    I'll vote legit device. How is it any different from holding a piece of metal on the table of your drill press?

    I can see that it looks a little hairy since it's at right angles from the usual orientation, but that's an old technique. It might seem weird now, but it wasn't uncommon for a lathe to be someone's first piece of equipment, especially in a hobby shop, so having it do the work of a drill press as well was quite valuable. It hasn't always been possible to buy a drill press with your left over lunch money. I think the value of a drill pad comes from a time when drill presses were less common.

    I've done the dicey looking thing where you center drill with the drill in the head stock and the other end of the bar on a center in the tailstock. (...and your hand on the work to keep it from spinning.) It works great. It's a good way to ensure your center holes are lined up on a rough casting or other irregular work piece. I've clamped stuff to the lathe carriage for boring and I've used an angle block on the carriage to hold so I could drill large holes with back-gears and power-feed.

    I wouldn't use the a drill pad or crotch if I had a drill press available, but that is mostly a matter of convenience. (I think the one in your illustration is a crotch, while a drill pad is just flat.) My drill press is always set up with a drill chuck and a table, while the lathe is under a tarp and would need to have tooling swapped out to do that work.

    On the other hand, I've never figured out how you're supposed to drill through-holes with that stuff without poking holes in them. I can think of a few ways, but they seem impractical and time consuming. Once again, it only looks like a useful tool if you don't have a drill press.

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    JRIowa's Avatar
    JRIowa is offline Diamond
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    Our safety people would puke all over that. Hold the part by hand? Not in our shop.

    For a home shop, different story. The only bad thing is how to apply coolant or oil with one hand on the tailstock wheel and the other holding the part?
    JR

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    Graham08 is offline Aluminum
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    The use of a crotch center is illustrated in South Bend's "How to Run a Lathe", for what it's worth.

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    Keith Krome is offline Stainless
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    Legitimate device and risky business.

    There are those for whom a table fork is an accident waiting to happen. Machinery is less forgiving.
    S_W_Bausch and adama like this.

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    HuFlungDung is offline Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRIowa View Post
    The only bad thing is how to apply coolant or oil with one hand on the tailstock wheel and the other holding the part?
    JR
    That's what your mouth is for: take a big swig of coolant or cutting oil before you begin and practice accurate spewing
    aerodark, 32995 and fusker like this.

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    Forrest Addy is online now Diamond
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    What happend when you break through?

    This is NOT an aid for through drilling.
    4GSR and oldbikerdude37 like this.

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    Screwmachine is online now Stainless
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    I use one from time to time for small diameter stuff, like 3/8" rod. I wouldn't want to go much bigger than that, like was said, the breakthrough is the bear.

  9. #9
    ObsoleteTom is offline Cast Iron
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    I'd vote for both risky business and legit device. I cut my teeth on the 1932 edition of How To Run a Lathe, and, Like fciron, I've done all those risky procedures at one time or another (after all, that's what my user name is about), BUT I feel a lot better doing these things on an old school, underpowered belt driven machine like a 9" South Bend than a modern machine like a 15" Colchester that has enough power to kill you. I guess it needs to be kept in prospective-stuff that worked OK back in the day often should not be mixed with modern speed and power.

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    S_W_Bausch is offline Diamond
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    I think a nifty shop project could be a shop-built self-centering vise on a tailstock pad, but the hand-held workpiece method s a great opportunity to feel stupid (and remember to buy bandaids).

  11. #11
    Johann Ohnesorg is offline Hot Rolled
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    Make a small cylinder that fits the outline. Drill and tap 1/4" two times so both parts rest on each other, put the part in, bolt it down, drill through.

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    fciron's Avatar
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    As I said, hobby shop use and historical. I really think the set up time on the lathe makes them redundant.

    A quick google search shows one that sold for $20 recently. Figure in ten bucks shipping and you've just about bought a crappy drill press. No need to set up the lathe. The same provisions about not pushing too hard apply to your $30 drill press as apply to that pad, but you can clamp stuff to the drill press table.

  13. #13
    Sea Farmer is online now Titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forrest Addy View Post
    What happend when you break through?

    This is NOT an aid for through drilling.
    Well, I have one with a center hole in the V, runs all the way through the taper. Takes care of the breakthrough problem, provided the drill is smaller than the hole

    Still, I've never felt the need to use it. It just came in a box of accessories with a lathe.

  14. #14
    JRIowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuFlungDung View Post
    That's what your mouth is for: take a big swig of coolant or cutting oil before you begin and practice accurate spewing
    Ok, what the hell do I do with my cigar then?
    Both hands are busy, my mouth is full of coolant...don't go there Hu
    JR
    32995 likes this.

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    oldbrock is offline Hot Rolled
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    It is however a sure way of having the hole intersect the centerline of the shaft accurately. Otherwise you have to make a jig or use a "v" block with a centering fixture to get the same result. It's just quicker for one offs. Peter
    davycrocket likes this.

  16. #16
    blake in spokane is offline Hot Rolled
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    Ues it as a combination tool on the press - straighten round shafts & flat work.
    S_W_Bausch likes this.

  17. #17
    oldbrock is offline Hot Rolled
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    JR, Stick a piece of steel brake line through your cigar and a broom up you know where then you can smoke, squirt coolant on the job and sweep the floor too. Aint multitasking great. Peter

  18. #18
    Metalcutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fciron View Post
    I'll vote legit device. How is it any different from holding a piece of metal on the table of your drill press?

    I can see that it looks a little hairy since it's at right angles from the usual orientation, but that's an old technique. It might seem weird now, but it wasn't uncommon for a lathe to be someone's first piece of equipment, especially in a hobby shop, so having it do the work of a drill press as well was quite valuable. It hasn't always been possible to buy a drill press with your left over lunch money. I think the value of a drill pad comes from a time when drill presses were less common.

    I've done the dicey looking thing where you center drill with the drill in the head stock and the other end of the bar on a center in the tailstock. (...and your hand on the work to keep it from spinning.) It works great. It's a good way to ensure your center holes are lined up on a rough casting or other irregular work piece. I've clamped stuff to the lathe carriage for boring and I've used an angle block on the carriage to hold so I could drill large holes with back-gears and power-feed.

    I wouldn't use the a drill pad or crotch if I had a drill press available, but that is mostly a matter of convenience. (I think the one in your illustration is a crotch, while a drill pad is just flat.) My drill press is always set up with a drill chuck and a table, while the lathe is under a tarp and would need to have tooling swapped out to do that work.

    On the other hand, I've never figured out how you're supposed to drill through-holes with that stuff without poking holes in them. I can think of a few ways, but they seem impractical and time consuming. Once again, it only looks like a useful tool if you don't have a drill press.
    Hi there Mr. Fciron:

    I have question for you...?

    In a lathe set up, I wanted to center drill the end of a 1/2" - 18" long shaft.

    So I gripped one end in a headstock chuck. I gripped it semi-snug about 3/8" deep in the jaws. I did this while holding the shaft "eyeball" straight. Then with the lathe turning VERY slowly, I began moving the cross slide in and began to push the shaft end with a mounted block as though I was edge finding on a mill. The rotating shaft was the "edge finder." I noticed when the shaft was running true the cross slide began to give me back pressure on the handle. I stopped the machine and tightened the chuck well, and then drilled the center hole.

    My question is, have you ever done this, or seen it done?

    I don't mind telling you I was a bit nervous, but the result was very satisfactory.
    I ask you because you seem to be a seasoned machinist. I've been a mill machinist almost exclusively.

    Regards,

    Stan-

  19. #19
    richmccarty is offline Cast Iron
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    What size lathe is it for?

    I am a clockmakers and would comfortably use a tailstock v-block like that to drill small (~1mm) cross holes in clock arbors. Schaublin makes them for the 70 series. For smaller stuff, no problem. This kind of tool is, to me, a clockmakers 'cheater' for extending the usefulness of the basic bench lathe.

    I aslo have a 3" dia flat drill pad that fits into the tailskock of my Stark #4 that converts the lathe into a reasonably powerful horizonal drill, far more powerful than my little High Speed Hammer drilling machine.

    Rich

  20. #20
    adama is offline Diamond
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    I was contemplating one but most of the odds and sods im doing start out size wise more like cross drilling a 1" stainless pin. Would save haveing to set the mill up and find center every time. Then like mentioned above the thought of the drill catching, spinning part up and the drill then snapping kinda put me off the idea. As a kid i had a 2' diameter wood bowl i was turning come off a wood lathe. Between bouncing of the garrage walls, the lathe and me it was destroyed and i was left pretty well beat up. That was a nice smooth nearly finnished bowl. A stainless pin with a pointy bit of drill bit is going to be at least as painful at even half the speed!
    4GSR likes this.

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