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Newbie asks dumb question about using a small engine as a lathe headstock

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  • Bungee
    Hello. I just joined the group as the information here looks exactly like what I have been looking for. I did a search but didn t come up with anything like
    Message 1 of 11 , May 16, 2013
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      Hello. I just joined the group as the information here looks exactly like what I have been looking for.

      I did a search but didn't come up with anything like this.

      I have been thinking about building a lathe for awhile. I want to start small and then maybe build a bigger one. I have an old single cylinder engine from a lawn mower. I am thinking of pulling the cylinder, carberator, piston and rod, etc so I can use the crankcase and crankshft as a headstock. I would mount drive pulleys on one side of the crank and a chuck on the other. I plan to use a Black and Decker 1/2 inch hammer drill to drive the unit with pulleys to cut the speed down. Does anyone see a reason why this won't work?

      Thanks,

      Gregg
    • Pat
      Hi Bungee No reason this would not work for very light work. I hope you will go forward with this because it could be used to machine the bushings on a larger
      Message 2 of 11 , May 17, 2013
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        Hi Bungee

        No reason this would not work for very light work. I hope you will go forward with this because it could be used to machine the bushings on a larger one. Take plenty of pictures!

        A German engineer with a lot of free time is building a 80% scaled down concrete lathe and after that a a 2/3 scale lathe. You both will have to be careful to have the carriage heavy enough to avoid "chatter"

        Pat

        --- In multimachine@yahoogroups.com, "Bungee" <gtmcfar@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hello. I just joined the group as the information here looks exactly like what I have been looking for.
        >
        > I did a search but didn't come up with anything like this.
        >
        > I have been thinking about building a lathe for awhile. I want to start small and then maybe build a bigger one. I have an old single cylinder engine from a lawn mower. I am thinking of pulling the cylinder, carberator, piston and rod, etc so I can use the crankcase and crankshft as a headstock. I would mount drive pulleys on one side of the crank and a chuck on the other. I plan to use a Black and Decker 1/2 inch hammer drill to drive the unit with pulleys to cut the speed down. Does anyone see a reason why this won't work?
        >
        > Thanks,
        >
        > Gregg
        >
      • David G. LeVine
        ... Gregg, Unless the crank is rebalanced, it will vibrate like mad an higher speeds. However, a straight shaft with similar dimensions would work quite well.
        Message 3 of 11 , May 17, 2013
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          On 05/17/2013 02:31 AM, Bungee wrote:
          > I have been thinking about building a lathe for awhile. I want to start small and then maybe build a bigger one. I have an old single cylinder engine from a lawn mower. I am thinking of pulling the cylinder, carberator, piston and rod, etc so I can use the crankcase and crankshft as a headstock. I would mount drive pulleys on one side of the crank and a chuck on the other. I plan to use a Black and Decker 1/2 inch hammer drill to drive the unit with pulleys to cut the speed down. Does anyone see a reason why this won't work?
          >
          > Thanks,
          >
          > Gregg

          Gregg,

          Unless the crank is rebalanced, it will vibrate like mad an higher
          speeds. However, a straight shaft with similar dimensions would work
          quite well. You might be able to machine it using the crankshaft at low
          (below 70 RPM) speeds.

          Dave 8{)

          --

          "A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the
          advice."

          Bill Cosby
        • Adam Simmons
          would this be accurate enough? a guess would be .002-.003 of play on each bearing, possibly more if it s older. Plus, i m not sure how these oil, but i d
          Message 4 of 11 , May 17, 2013
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            would this be accurate enough?  a guess would be .002-.003 of play on each bearing, possibly more if it's older.  Plus, i'm not sure how these oil, but i'd imagine you'd want to keep some sort of oil pressure in it.


            On Fri, May 17, 2013 at 12:39 PM, David G. LeVine <dlevine@...> wrote:
             

            On 05/17/2013 02:31 AM, Bungee wrote:
            > I have been thinking about building a lathe for awhile. I want to start small and then maybe build a bigger one. I have an old single cylinder engine from a lawn mower. I am thinking of pulling the cylinder, carberator, piston and rod, etc so I can use the crankcase and crankshft as a headstock. I would mount drive pulleys on one side of the crank and a chuck on the other. I plan to use a Black and Decker 1/2 inch hammer drill to drive the unit with pulleys to cut the speed down. Does anyone see a reason why this won't work?
            >
            > Thanks,
            >
            > Gregg

            Gregg,

            Unless the crank is rebalanced, it will vibrate like mad an higher
            speeds. However, a straight shaft with similar dimensions would work
            quite well. You might be able to machine it using the crankshaft at low
            (below 70 RPM) speeds.

            Dave 8{)

            --

            "A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the
            advice."

            Bill Cosby


          • David G. LeVine
            ... In general, small horizontal engines are splash lubricated anyway (look for the vane which looks like it should do nothing on the connecting rod), most
            Message 5 of 11 , May 17, 2013
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              On 05/17/2013 04:01 PM, Adam Simmons wrote:
              would this be accurate enough?  a guess would be .002-.003 of play on each bearing, possibly more if it's older.  Plus, i'm not sure how these oil, but i'd imagine you'd want to keep some sort of oil pressure in it.

              In general, small horizontal engines are splash lubricated anyway (look for the vane which looks like it should do nothing on the connecting rod), most vertical engines are pressure lubricated.  Some (over 7 HP and V twins) are pressure lubricated, I would assume that newer OHV engines would need pressure lubrication to keep the valves working properly since the rockers are in the head.

              Regardless, 0.002-0.003" clearance with pressurized oil would be fine, but you will need to generate that pressure, and the internal pumps are designed to work at or near max RPM.  On small engines that is 3,600 RPM.  I doubt that a lathe can be run that fast for most things.

              Dave  8{)
              --

              "A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice."

              Bill Cosby
            • Tim
              Hi Gregg, I m just a tinkerer always working against the obstacle of little or no money. I had a similar idea only I was going to use the engine as the
              Message 6 of 11 , May 18, 2013
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                Hi Gregg,
                I'm just a tinkerer always working against the obstacle of little or no money. I had a similar idea only I was going to use the engine as the business end of a drill press. Also thought of taking the head off and letting the piston drive a power hacksaw.
                Tim

                --- In multimachine@yahoogroups.com, "David G. LeVine" <dlevine@...> wrote:
                >
                > On 05/17/2013 02:31 AM, Bungee wrote:
                > > I have been thinking about building a lathe for awhile. I want to start small and then maybe build a bigger one. I have an old single cylinder engine from a lawn mower. I am thinking of pulling the cylinder, carberator, piston and rod, etc so I can use the crankcase and crankshft as a headstock. I would mount drive pulleys on one side of the crank and a chuck on the other. I plan to use a Black and Decker 1/2 inch hammer drill to drive the unit with pulleys to cut the speed down. Does anyone see a reason why this won't work?
                > >
                > > Thanks,
                > >
                > > Gregg
                >
                > Gregg,
                >
                > Unless the crank is rebalanced, it will vibrate like mad an higher
                > speeds. However, a straight shaft with similar dimensions would work
                > quite well. You might be able to machine it using the crankshaft at low
                > (below 70 RPM) speeds.
                >
                > Dave 8{)
                >
                > --
                >
                > "A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the
                > advice."
                >
                > Bill Cosby
                >
              • David G. LeVine
                ... Tim, Using the piston to drive a power hacksaw is similar to the old PM filing machine from a refrigerator compressor. Best practice on a power hacksaw is
                Message 7 of 11 , May 18, 2013
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                  On 05/18/2013 10:16 AM, Tim wrote:
                  > Hi Gregg,
                  > I'm just a tinkerer always working against the obstacle of little or no money. I had a similar idea only I was going to use the engine as the business end of a drill press. Also thought of taking the head off and letting the piston drive a power hacksaw.
                  > Tim

                  Tim,

                  Using the piston to drive a power hacksaw is similar to the old PM
                  filing machine from a refrigerator compressor. Best practice on a power
                  hacksaw is to remove the blade from the work during the back stroke.
                  The piston won't do that. What it WILL do is quickly cut the workpiece
                  and the blade will dull SLIGHTLY more quickly than if it was removed
                  from the work.

                  On the plus side, it will work pretty well and be quite simple to do
                  with a decent stroke length. You will need to get a slow enough drive
                  to prevent overheating the blade and work, but that is pretty simple.
                  All in all, it sounds like a plan, but how will you lubricate the main
                  bearings at such low speed?

                  Dave 8{)

                  --

                  "A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the
                  advice."

                  Bill Cosby
                • michael broadbent
                  In the past I have used the fuel pump of a car ,the old mechanical ones driven by an offset cam. The type I used had a priming lever fitted with a home made
                  Message 8 of 11 , May 19, 2013
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                    In the past I have used the fuel pump of a car ,the old mechanical ones driven by an offset cam. The type I
                    used had a priming lever fitted with a home made non return valve it worked well and delivered at slow speeds.
                    Mike

                    From: David G. LeVine <dlevine@...>
                    To: multimachine@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Saturday, 18 May 2013, 22:38
                    Subject: Re: [multimachine] Re: Newbie asks dumb question about using a small engine as a lathe headstock

                    On 05/18/2013 10:16 AM, Tim wrote:
                    > Hi Gregg,
                    > I'm just a tinkerer always working against the obstacle of little or no money. I had a similar idea only I was going to use the engine as the business end of a drill press. Also thought of taking the head off and letting the piston drive a power hacksaw.
                    > Tim

                    Tim,

                    Using the piston to drive a power hacksaw is similar to the old PM
                    filing machine from a refrigerator compressor.  Best practice on a power
                    hacksaw is to remove the blade from the work during the back stroke. 
                    The piston won't do that.  What it WILL do is quickly cut the workpiece
                    and the blade will dull SLIGHTLY more quickly than if it was removed
                    from the work.

                    On the plus side, it will work pretty well and be quite simple to do
                    with a decent stroke length.  You will need to get a slow enough drive
                    to prevent overheating the blade and work, but that is pretty simple. 
                    All in all, it sounds like a plan, but how will you lubricate the main
                    bearings at such low speed?

                    Dave  8{)

                    --

                    "A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the
                    advice."

                    Bill Cosby


                    ------------------------------------

                    -------------
                    We have a sister site for files and pictures dedicated to concrete machine framed machine tools. You will find a great deal of information about concrete based machines and the inventor of the concrete frame lathe, Lucian Ingraham Yeomans. Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Multimachine-Concrete-Machine-Tools/

                    Also visit the Joseph V. Romig group for even more concrete tool construction, shop notes, stories, and wisdom from the early 20th Century.
                    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/romig_designs/
                    -------------Yahoo! Groups Links

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                  • oldhermit
                    If I remember there was an article around 1963 on how to make 2 bench top saber saws. The stroke from one was provided by a small engine and the other by a
                    Message 9 of 11 , May 19, 2013
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                      If I remember there was an article around 1963 on how to make 2 bench top saber saws. The stroke from one was provided by a small engine and the other by a refrigeration compressor.

                      --- In multimachine@yahoogroups.com, "David G. LeVine" <dlevine@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > On 05/18/2013 10:16 AM, Tim wrote:
                      > > Hi Gregg,
                      > > I'm just a tinkerer always working against the obstacle of little or no money. I had a similar idea only I was going to use the engine as the business end of a drill press. Also thought of taking the head off and letting the piston drive a power hacksaw.
                      > > Tim
                      >
                      > Tim,
                      >
                      > Using the piston to drive a power hacksaw is similar to the old PM
                      > filing machine from a refrigerator compressor. Best practice on a power
                      > hacksaw is to remove the blade from the work during the back stroke.
                      > The piston won't do that. What it WILL do is quickly cut the workpiece
                      > and the blade will dull SLIGHTLY more quickly than if it was removed
                      > from the work.
                      >
                      > On the plus side, it will work pretty well and be quite simple to do
                      > with a decent stroke length. You will need to get a slow enough drive
                      > to prevent overheating the blade and work, but that is pretty simple.
                      > All in all, it sounds like a plan, but how will you lubricate the main
                      > bearings at such low speed?
                      >
                      > Dave 8{)
                      >
                      > --
                      >
                      > "A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the
                      > advice."
                      >
                      > Bill Cosby
                      >
                    • john baird
                      Hi, leave the engine complete, start it up, and use it as a self powered headstock. regards jb
                      Message 10 of 11 , May 19, 2013
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                        Hi, leave the engine complete, start it up, and use it as a self powered headstock.
                        regards jb

                        --- On Sun, 19/5/13, oldhermit <orwhut@...> wrote:

                        > From: oldhermit <orwhut@...>
                        > Subject: [multimachine] Re: Newbie asks dumb question about using a small engine as a lathe headstock
                        > To: multimachine@yahoogroups.com
                        > Date: Sunday, 19 May, 2013, 14:54
                        > If I remember there was an article
                        > around 1963 on how to make 2 bench top saber saws.  The
                        > stroke from one was provided by a small engine and the other
                        > by a refrigeration compressor.
                        >
                        > --- In multimachine@yahoogroups.com,
                        > "David G. LeVine" <dlevine@...> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > On 05/18/2013 10:16 AM, Tim wrote:
                        > > > Hi Gregg,
                        > > > I'm just a tinkerer always working against the
                        > obstacle of little or no money. I had a similar idea only I
                        > was going to use the engine as the business end of a drill
                        > press. Also thought of taking the head off and letting the
                        > piston drive a power hacksaw.
                        > > > Tim
                        > >
                        > > Tim,
                        > >
                        > > Using the piston to drive a power hacksaw is similar to
                        > the old PM
                        > > filing machine from a refrigerator compressor. 
                        > Best practice on a power
                        > > hacksaw is to remove the blade from the work during the
                        > back stroke. 
                        > > The piston won't do that.  What it WILL do is
                        > quickly cut the workpiece
                        > > and the blade will dull SLIGHTLY more quickly than if
                        > it was removed
                        > > from the work.
                        > >
                        > > On the plus side, it will work pretty well and be quite
                        > simple to do
                        > > with a decent stroke length.  You will need to get
                        > a slow enough drive
                        > > to prevent overheating the blade and work, but that is
                        > pretty simple. 
                        > > All in all, it sounds like a plan, but how will you
                        > lubricate the main
                        > > bearings at such low speed?
                        > >
                        > > Dave  8{)
                        > >
                        > > --
                        > >
                        > > "A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid
                        > ones that need the
                        > > advice."
                        > >
                        > > Bill Cosby
                        > >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > ------------------------------------
                        >
                        > -------------
                        > We have a sister site for files and pictures dedicated to
                        > concrete machine framed machine tools. You will find a great
                        > deal of information about concrete based machines and the
                        > inventor of the concrete frame lathe, Lucian Ingraham
                        > Yeomans. Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Multimachine-Concrete-Machine-Tools/
                        >
                        > Also visit the Joseph V. Romig group for even more concrete
                        > tool construction, shop notes, stories, and wisdom from the
                        > early 20th Century.
                        > http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/romig_designs/
                        > -------------Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >     multimachine-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com
                        >
                        >
                      • Bungee
                        Hello all. I am glad I posted here. The engine is a vertical shaft and would need to be mounted on its side on a frame. I never èven considered lubrication
                        Message 11 of 11 , May 19, 2013
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                          Hello all.

                          I am glad I posted here. The engine is a vertical shaft and would need to be mounted on its side on a frame. I never èven considered lubrication and just assumed it would work by splash like a horizontal. Need to put some more thought into that.

                          I am reading on the concrete lathe and it is sounding really fun. And there is a bonus of getting a very useful tool at the end.

                          The engine lathe idea is basically to complete some wood projects I have and to start a better lathe. I work for the US gov and have allot of furlough days coming before the end of the year. Need a project to occupy the time that won't get too expensive.

                          Thanks for all the ideas,

                          G
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