WHAT model engineer does not, at some time, dream of owning a small wonder-machine, that would  make everything?

But when one reads the colour brochures and at the same time adds up the basic unit price plus the cost of the accessories, nine out of ten readers lay the brochures aside, and the dreams go into the files.

However, it is possible for a modeller to build a small lathe himself, and so keep the costs to a minimum.

The original idea for this project stems from an EMCO product of some years ago, their model UNIMAT SL which they quite correctly described as a "small machine" - with a between-centres distance of only 175mm. Our self-built lathe should really be of somewhat greater capacity:


    Technical data for the self-built machine


            Centre height                            58mm

            Centre distance                         270mm

            Spindle bore diameter               8.2mm

            Lathe chuck diameter                80mm

            Spindle speeds                                               

                    155/310/620/1350/2700/5400 rpm


            Eight thread pitches from 0.5 to 2.0mm

            (with change-wheels)


A lathe is obviously a precision machine, which will only provide trouble-free operation when it is built as carefully and rigidly as possible. On the other hand, a self-built machine demands as simple a construction as possible.

BUILD YOUR OWN LATHE
By Guenter Kallies
Part one

The main components of this machine are manufactured from light-alloy plate material, as delivered from the suppliers already cut to size by band-saw. Further reworking of these saw-cut faces is not usually needed, this would not affect the function, only maybe improve the appearance!

For assembly of the parts, few tools are required, namely a ‘hobby’ drilling machine with holder and stand, some drills, a good vice, some files, measuring instruments, scribers and punches, also two tap sets for M4 and M6 will be needed.

However, it should be no secret that, without the help of a friendly mechanical engineer, who will produce one or two of the more accurate parts, the do-it-yourself project may be doomed to failure!

Alternatively it may be possible to pay for this work. However, this will definitely blow up the costs. Altogether, the author spent only a few hundred euros to build this lathe, of which the three-jaw chuck represents the lion's share. Spread over some one-and-a-half year's building time, these costs are acceptable.

All detail parts were assembled using socket-cap screws. After completing assembly and final alignment of the individual components, these were fixed additionally with 4.0mm dia. roll-pins. These small standard parts are not listed separately in the drawing parts lists, and must be decided by the lathe builder himself.

    NOTE:   All drawing dimensions and sizes quoted in parts lists are metric. If you are unfamiliar with this system, please convert to your preferred one before starting work!


GO TO PART TWO

GO TO PART THREE

GO TO PART FOUR

GO TO PART FIVE

GO TO PART SIX

GO TO PART SEVEN

GO TO PART EIGHT

GO TO PART NINE (ENDS)