Why do toolroom lathes have a horizontal spindle, instead of one like a mill or VBM?
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    Default Why do toolroom lathes have a horizontal spindle, instead of one like a mill or VBM?

    Possibly stupid question of the day:

    I was thinking how I wish I could fit a larger capacity lathe in a smaller footprint, which got me thinking: why do toolroom lathes have a horizontal spindle? Why not a vertical spindle like a mill, or like a vertical boring machine (with the headstock down low and the tailstock at eye height?) One would end up with a much smaller footprint for the same size machine.

    Does it have to do with rigidity and the fact that a regular toolroom lathe, once leveled and bolted the the floor, is more square/rigid?

    Obviously, loading long stock would be a problem, but (maybe I'm the only one) I've never had to remove the tailstock on our HLVH to put something long in. I imagine there are a lot of us who don't, depending on the type of work you do.

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    Campbell makes vertical grinders that are used in very fine work.
    Vertical Grinding Machines | Campbell Grinder Company

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    The WWII battleships of the Iowa class had vertical lathes in the machine shops by Bullard. It is a vertical turret lathe. I have a picture of the lathe in the Wisconsin moored in Norfolk but since Photosucket blew up I havn’t ported to another hosting site to link it.
    Joe

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    A miniature VTL would be kinda cute.Never seen one or a picture of one,The whole purpose I guess was for heavy short items.All I have ever seen were real brutes but really don't have that big of a foot print for the diameter work they take compared to a lathe of comparable swing.

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    I have downloaded most of my Machining photos from my Photobucket account and have been uploading them one-by-one to this site's and other BB's photo hosting facilities. It is not that hard and you can still access your photos on Photobucket.

    You can see some instructions for using the vBulletin's photo hosting here:

    Posting Photos With This Board's Hosting Service - The Short Strokes

    It is not exactly for this site, but very similar. Step #8 is the one that "gets" most people, but it IS necessary. They think that the upload process is finished after step #7, but it is not. Be sure to do step #8.



    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Rogers View Post
    The WWII battleships of the Iowa class had vertical lathes in the machine shops by Bullard. It is a vertical turret lathe. I have a picture of the lathe in the Wisconsin moored in Norfolk but since Photosucket blew up I havn’t ported to another hosting site to link it.
    Joe

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    It would be kinda hard to put in a long piece through the headstock. All the chips would fall into the chuck and be spun off into space. The chuck would get jammed with chips.
    From the old lineshaft days you would have to make an expensive right angle gearbox to get power onto the spindle.
    I suppose the way oil would stay in place better. But in the old days good luck sealing the headstock oil in around the back end of the spindle.
    Bill D

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    The horizontal spindle of a tool room lathe allows the entire length of the part to be viewed at constant eye level. The horizontal spindle also allows the control levers and wheels to be at constant hand height. Turning between centers on a vertical lathe would be very difficult for the operator. You would also need a counter balance for the tail stock and some way to apply oil when cutting threads or doing cutoff.

    Robert

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    I have seen a device to make your drillpress into a wood lathe. looks cheap and scary.

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    1. No tailstocks
    2. Threading

    Never seen a VTL or mill with either, but yet every toolroom lathe has both.
    JR

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    There used to be a company near me in Bolton called " Thomas Ryder ". They specialised in vertical multi spindle chucking auto lathes. They were in business for many years but fell foul of the usual asset stripping business shenanigans and are no longer in existence.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    I have a couple of CNC mills but no CNC lathe, so I occasionally use a mill for a vertical lathe. It does have the advantage that you can mount a series of tools on the table, selecting them with the X axis and contouring with the Y and Z. Boring is good from the chip removal standpoint but you have to use a mirror to look at the bore. Having the spindle on the bottom would make viewing easy but chip removal on a long bore would be very difficult.

    As Robert says, looking up and down a shaft is not a natural movement.

    Bill

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    Kind of hard to do bar work with a vertical spindle machine. You would need a deep pit under the machine or a hole in the roof above the machine. I did have a screw machine in a 10 by 12 foot portable building, ran the bar feed out a hole in the wall, which was not too hard.

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    I recall a huge vertical lathe at the Fisher Govenor (Fisher Controls) plant in Marshalltown Iowa. They were tuning what looked like 4 foot diameter balls for their ball valves.

    Ken

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    It’s not about the footprint of the machine, it’s about the “footprint” of the work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KMoffett View Post
    I recall a huge vertical lathe at the Fisher Govenor (Fisher Controls) plant in Marshalltown Iowa. They were tuning what looked like 4 foot diameter balls for their ball valves.

    Ken
    Largest balls were 2 foot.
    Most of that stuff was done on the little 60" machines
    JR

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    There is an online document that said Fisher had a i08" Vertical turret lathe.
    Google: fisher governor vertical lathe
    The reference to the 108" lathe is in the brief Google summery:

    Fisher & Beebe. Iowa. he was satisfied with one of his product designs—the Fisher Type 1 constant pressure pump governor (which is actually a regulator). ...... Machining resources already included an 108-inch vertical turret lathe Governor Road Opens A and a six-spindle drill. office in 1966 Sales meeting utilizes the ...



    The actual document requires you to register.

    Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    There used to be a company near me in Bolton called " Thomas Ryder ". They specialised in vertical multi spindle chucking auto lathes. They were in business for many years but fell foul of the usual asset stripping business shenanigans and are no longer in existence.
    Regards Tyrone.
    Ryder autos were often used for high volume production in the car industry in the UK (maybe overseas too?). They were ideal for such parts as brake drums and some gearbox and axle parts. As Tyrone says, They had a number of vertical spindles with chucks. This arrangement could index around under the tooling, so you had a sort of rotary transfer arrangement. I used to work for a company in Coventry that had a lot of these - they used to rebuild them in their internal machine tool repair department, then put them back into production. Great production machines, but definitely not toolroom lathes.

    In our mill engine museum in Bolton we often get ex Ryder people visiting.

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    One of the handiest machines we had was a 2' Bullard vertical. It was great to set up, though sitting somthing on jacks on a chuck was odd, but it really works quite well, I'd buy one for a home shop as it was smaller than a cincinatti mill, there was another fearsome Bullard with about 24' that could really take metal off we did bits of steel ladles, in fact the whole ladle could fit on her, that's a 200 ton lump, amazing.
    Absolutely no use for bar work, though you can cut threads!, it takes some jiggling though, no between centres either as a tailstock is absent but even so they have a unique place, very much like a horizontal boring machine, when you need one you need one
    They are on my list of favourite machines, HBM, VTL, and planer, there was a 30 foot cincinatti planer, most graceful way to remove branding iron size chips, and they would brand you too.
    Watching the big Bullard would hypnotise you, that was the most dangerous part, intermittent cutting on big diameters, cut wait cut wait, you go into a trance.
    I've seen a few vertical cnc lathes with live tooling so the vertical isn't dead yet.
    Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by KMoffett View Post
    There is an online document that said Fisher had a i08" Vertical turret lathe.
    Yup, a Gray 108, a 72" Gray, 2, 60" Grays, and others. I just said that they didn't run the 2' balls on the big lathe. There were some 72" butterfly valves and discs run on that machine.
    JR

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    Quote Originally Posted by JRIowa View Post
    Yup, a Gray 108, a 72" Gray, 2, 60" Grays, and others. I just said that they didn't run the 2' balls on the big lathe. There were some 72" butterfly valves and discs run on that machine.
    JR
    JR - Do they still use those big honkers ? I grew up not far from Marshalltown and never had the presence of mind to see if I could tour the Fisher plant - duh !

    excello


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