Post By johnoder
Turning Tool Holders
I'm looking for some sources for tool holders used in lantern tool posts. These would be used on a SB heavy nine. What I have that came with the lathe are two cut off tool holders, a boring bar holder (I think) and a knurling tool. What I want to get are a straight, left and right holder for 1/4 has tools. The tool post will accept a 3/8 thick holder but not a 1/2 holder. Would also like to get some 1/4 tool blanks.
Do yourself a big favor and go find yourself a 4 way tool post or a quick change tool post. It will be the best investment you will make as far as tooling goes. The lantern tool post is a thing of the past, it is not rigid and did not work very well in the old days and sure doesn't work well now. Why limit your and the machines ability with a crappy tool post. Believe me you will not believe the difference . Even if you think you need to keep the machine original, get a good tool pos.t and set the lantern on a shelf to show people you still have it.
I'll second the suggestion to seriously consider a QCTP.
For the SB class machine, there are plenty of options from the low-cost Chinese imports (CDCO, in Chicago) to the high-cost Americans (Aloris, Dorian).
For larger, stiffer machines, there is the Multi-Fix-type.
Lantern posts were designed back-in-the-day when high-speed steel was pretty much the only option.
Today, we have carbide inserts and even high-speed steel inserts, each of which are made with QCTPs in mind.
Now, if the overriding consideration is low cost at the expense of significant time for tool preparation and sharpening, then Armstrong-type holders are indeed available in the types you suggest as are lengths of various HSS tools in the sizes you mentioned.
Heck, there is even a threading holder in which the insert is operated vertically and all you have to do to get a completely new edge is grind or dress the top surface and rotate the insert up a couple of minutes (or degrees).
Thanks for the advice and while you are probably right - that isn't going to happen at this point. There are a number of questions about the condition of the lathe a big question about my abilities so I'm not going to invest a ton of money in tool posts until I am more confident in both the ,machine and myself. I just need something to get going with which is why I'm looking for lantern tool post holders.
Fair enough ... you're the one on-the-scene and best able to evaluate your short- and long-term needs and desires.
I would respectfully suggest that you purchase Armtrong-type holders (these DO NOT have to be Armstrong-branded, just Armstrong type) in 1/4", 5/16" and 3/8" and then generic insert holder kits (these are often available at very low cost from Horror Freight and others) and then modify these for use with the new(er) HSS inserts.
Also, if anticipating performing many threading operations, DO look for an Armstrong-type regrindable threading holder complete with insert.
The Armstrong threading holder may not be available from its competitors, but the others are.
I have some 1/4 inch HSS tool blanks I could part with.....let me know.
Last edited by packrat2; 06-27-2012 at 09:14 AM.
Thanks Peter - any suggestions for where to purchase the Armstrong type holders you were record,mending
"any suggestions for where to purchase the Armstrong type holders you were record"
Well, there's always eBay.
Armstrong-type became so ubiquitous in past decades that almost everyone, everywhere made them to Armstrong's basic pattern.
I received a relatively complete set of 1/4" holders with my Logan 820, an 8 x 22 lathe which has an uncharacteristically small center-of-spindle to "top-of-compound" distance (only supports, at the max, a 3C or 3AT collet in the spindle, but which is easily expandable to ER40 using a generic ER40-to-MT3 adapter and a few shop-made parts).
But, my Logan also came with a complete metric/Imperial threading kit, and that was very much worth the "price of admission".
Almost immediately thereafter, I installed a Phase II 100-size QCTP system (equivalent to an Aloris AX system ... the piston type), and I was significantly displeased with Phase II, so much so that I went with a competitor for all subsequent purchases.
Anyway, I can see that Horrible Freight no longer offers 1/4", 5/16" and 3/8" insert sets, but many others do.
And, indeed, it is possible to make one's own using instructions to be found on the 'Net.
Tubalcain has a video describing the lantern style tool holders:
You probably don't need all three (L, R, S) of the turning toolholders you described. You can probably get away with using 1 of them for most jobs. Tubalcain even suggests throwing one of the 3 out, as you will never use it.
Those toolholders show up on ebay all the time. Search for "Armstrong toolholder" "Williams Toolholder" and you should get many matches. Prices can vary for these. Turning/cutoff toolholders go anywhere from $15-$35. Some of the boring toolholders go as high as $45, While the threading ones can sell anywhere from $60-$80.
One thing about using armstrong tool holders is that if you can use them you can use anything....
I have a bunch that came with my SB 9.
They are waiting to go on ebay since I replaced them with a QCTP.
If you are interested I will dig them out and take pictures.
Thanks Josh - sent ya a PM
Take "not very rigid" with a grain of salt. Here are the chips made with a lantern post and Armstrong/Williams style tool holder. They are the giant meat hooks forming the border of this 1915 photo.
The beauty of using the lantern type is it offers you a variety of positions with a quick twist of a wrench. As a new machinist it will allow you learn the basics of tool positioning and allow you to experiment and figure out what works best according to your style of turning. About the biggest down side in my opinion, is you loose the set position if you remove the bit for any reason. Since you are probably not making a lot of parts repetitively, indexable tooling is not a big necessity. Even though I still occasionally use my lantern tool post, it has been relegated to the back of the tool cabinet. I have switched to a QCTP with indexable tooling simply for the fact that I have an idea of how I want my machine to perform and I'm too lazy to sharpen HSS tools. QCTP's will spoil you. They are not necessary for the home machinist but it's surely a welcome addition.
Hey Josh... was that QCTP an off the shelf item? As much as I hate to admit it, I am leaning towards a set up from the chinaman at harbor freight. Any body have any feed back on these?? I also have a really nice micrometer carriage stop that Id like to trade a like condition threading dial for. Heading out early in the a.m. for a factory under drive table for a SB10 with the motor and countershaft drive that I probably wont use. Ill get pics tomorrow... Im sure that will go very reasonably as well! Any takers??? ws
Quick Change Tool Post Set & Other Post Tools - Harbor Freight Tools
Southbend Lathe Heavy 10 Navy Base Cabinet | eBay
I bought an Aloris AXA from a local guy.
Don't get that harbor freight one you linked to, it is for a little 7x12 machine.
The Phase II ones have a pretty good reputation, and they are fairly inexpensive.
Quick Change Tool Post Set, AXA - LittleMachineShop.com
EDIT: I guess that is not a Phase II, but it will still be better then the HB.
The "new" 1965 Heavy 10 that's getting delivered to my garage this next week has a Chinese wedge QCTP on it, and since I'm going to be using the machine to do some basically repetitive operations, I'd really like to go with insert tooling - Can anyone recommend a good 1/2" holder or set that isn't going to set me back a huge amount? Way I see it, a cheap set that uses expensive inserts loses its cheapness pretty fast. Also, wondering what inserts you guys like? I'll probably be cutting mostly 1045 and stressproof.
Picked up a set of the Micro100 Dex 1/2" CCMT holders for use with my AXA tool post - they seem pretty solid, and the ones I've tried out so far seem to work fairly well.