Why do toolroom lathes have a horizontal spindle, instead of one like a mill or VBM? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Bullard vertical turret lathe

    Got this picture from Joe, very cool looking.

    img_0877.jpg

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  3. #22
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    Mostly due to cost, horizontal is cheaper and more flexible.
    Verticals excel at small flat parts or very heavy parts.
    There is the chuck on the bottom and the chuck on the top. One for big and heavy the other for lighter.
    A chuck on top Emag makes quick work of disc brake rotors or turned and threaded stub shafts.
    In this case it is very much like using a vertical mill with the part in the spindle but with heavy duty spindles.
    One very nice thing about these upside down machines is that chips and stringers fall away from the part and cutting tool.

    Cost problem comes from rigidity. If you stood a SB 13.5 on end the other end it would have not support which was normally the floor so you need to add a lot of metal to overcome this and it is a lot to stay in the now reduced footprint.
    Tall and skinny in a machine tool presents lots of problems.
    Add the fact that most think horizontal in a lathe and there is no use fighting the market place.

    Toolroom lathes have a reasonable amount of length/dia.
    I have seen verticals that can handle 3 foot long (with tailstock) but that is short part in most worlds.
    Also remember that you run out of ceiling space quicker than you run out of floor space.

    It is an idea which works well in niche markets, not a general purpose machine tool.
    I do so love old school Bullards and now Emags but they are special creatures with special purposes.

    More to the OP, not a stupid question at all. It is a engineering nightmare for starters.
    There is this whole support, moment arm, stiffness thing that gets in the way.
    Plus if you have a four to six foot shaft vertical how much of that is in your field of view?
    Horizontal easy to work with, vertical maybe you need a step ladder to see what is going on.
    So not good for design and not good for the operator.....but you did save floor space.
    Bob

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  5. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by excello View Post
    JR - Do they still use those big honkers ?
    Still a lot of stuff runs across the VTLs. All the Grays have new controls. I put toolchanges on the 60" Grays that I had rebuilt.
    JR

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimk1960 View Post
    Got this picture from Joe, very cool looking.

    img_0877.jpg
    Until you have to drive it for a living....too much like work.

    Much preferred the dynatrol series.

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  8. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimk1960 View Post
    Got this picture from Joe, very cool looking.
    If you have space in a shop for a machine that probably gets very little use, it's ok, but check these out:
    Vertical Turning Centers
    JR

    BTW, my avatar is of a 60" Gray getting unloaded. Just about as big a machine as you can ship cross-country without taking apart. Double drop deck trailer and still over height, over width, and over weight. Machine is 13'10" tall and going through a 14' door.

  9. #26
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    The OP's original question was about tool room lathes. No one has referenced the type of work that tool rooms commonly do and why VTL's are unsuitable for that kind of work. Tool rooms make parts for broken machines and tooling for machines, typically shafts, threaded parts, jigs, and such. Most often these parts are not suited for VTL's. On the other hand if big dies are needed VTL's are a perfect fit, but they are not small. Of course there are always exceptions.

  10. #27
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    Have you looked into a "T" lathe? Large diameter, short bed.

    Tom

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    Aka flange lathe over here, handy things.
    How about this, a high speed rotary table for the mill, and toolpost inverted on the column, ok probably stupid, though I use my horizontal mill as a baby flange lathe, works too
    Mark

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    We had a 42" Bullard and 24" in our toolroom where I served my apprenticeship, did plenty of threading and tapers.

    The 24" is perfect toolroom size

    To be fair we also had slotters, shapers, and small Rockford planers (4'x2'×2')

    And there was a small 2.5" bar HBM and a 4".

    If I was ever going to assemble a shop it would look almost exactly like that toolroom. We could make anything...except money lol

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  14. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDegenhart View Post
    Have you looked into a "T" lathe? Large diameter, short bed.

    Tom
    and usually huge in size regardless....remember he is thinking small tool room lathe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milacron View Post
    and usually huge in size regardless....remember he is thinking small tool room lathe.
    " DSG " made a " surfacing and boring " lathe in the old days. There were several machines in the range and the biggest one was a 24" swing machine. They were obviously much shorter than a standard lathe. I worked on a couple and they were the usual " DSG " smooth as silk quality.

    I think other brands were available in this style of machine also.

    Regards Tyrone.

  16. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimk1960 View Post
    Got this picture from Joe, very cool looking.

    img_0877.jpg
    I used to run a machine just like this. It was so old it still had the leather belts driving it that would slap around making noise while the spindle was on. Made wheels for escalators on it.
    At the same job we had a few big vertical lathes that had been retrofitted w fanuc controls and tool changers, one was a Bullard w a 60 inch chuck and the other had a 10 foot chuck. Like someone else said, "when you need em you need em". We did things that wouldnt have been possible on a horizontal lathe.
    So i can see where the OP is coming from, there are probably occasions when a decent sized vertical lathe might be your only option and not a bad machine to have in addition to the usual toolroom equipment.

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    Vertical lathes are great for making gear blanks, pumps, sleeves, working on things that are eccentric or out of balance/assymetrical. We used ours for alot of punch press and forging press rebuild work. Or sticking jobs on that weren't quite VBM jobs, but there was no other machine empty.

    Depending on what your toolroom does/needs, they can be a perfect fit, and you can in a pinch even do short shaft work in them if they have a sidehead. By putting a center in the turret.

  18. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milacron View Post
    and usually huge in size regardless....remember he is thinking small tool room lathe.
    The conversation had drifted away from small tool room lathes, toward the more massive vertical spindle machines. Thought I would offer this up.

    Tom


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