Moderators: Random Orbital Bob, nev, CHJ, Noel, Charley

By Munty Scruntfundle
Hi folks.

I'm in to week 2 of turning now, loving it. Even come up with some bits I'm quite pleased with. Today's first go with a bit of soft saple resulted in a lovely bowl for a friend, couldn't be happier with the AC305WL lathe.

Except... Because I'm sat in a chair hollowing or negative cuts are extremely tricky and bordering on dangerous. Lathe manufacturers get around this by rotating the entire lathe by 90 on it's axis, so the bed is on the opposite side to the turner, therefore there's better access.

I could do this, but it would mean building a sturdy, steel, box section frame which would end up large and difficult to move. Far from ideal. OneWay make one, it's a small lathe but the frame is huge.

So I was thinking, it wouldn't be too difficult to make a swivel for the head, it would only be 2 round bits of aluminium, some holes and some kind of locking bolt. Sadly I don't have the metal tools to make this yet. I'd need to raise the tail stock by the same amount and chop an inch off the table legs, but that's pretty simple.

Has anyone out there done this, or thought about it? Any advice?

Many thanks.
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By Phil Pascoe
Forget it. Save your money or when you upgrade your lathe, and practice your spindle turning - you'l learn more, anyway. If you are permanently in a chair, make up a platform and ramp so you can work from a better height - the swivelling head isn't quite so critical then. It's sapele, btw. :D
By Inspector
In a similar light as the Oneway is the Vicmarc sit down lathe. Not cheap either but having a similar stand fabricated of metal or wood might suit you. ... gory_id=13

A better solution than trying to convert your lathe to a swivel head is to by one that already has it built in. Nova make several and there are a number of other companies that have models that do the same. They are bigger but if you got a Nova and didn't use the bed extension it would be the right size for bowls and small spindle work like pens, bottle stoppers and pepper mills.
A used Nova would still have the swivel head and be less money. I does have an easy to change belt and step pulley for speed adjustments, not the DVR electronic style. The outboard turning attachment (outrigger) lets you turn bowls 29"/740mm across.

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An alternate, if you can find one similar to the Axminster AT406WL which allows you to move the headstock to near the end of the bed if you have room to approach the lathe from the tailstock end.

Way over the top cost wise I'm afraid but you may locate a pre-owned one or an older model with the same facility.
By Munty Scruntfundle
Building up platforms can be extremely dangerous for chairs, the floor needs to be the floor, so I have to modify pretty much everything purchased, or build specific tables for the smallest of machines. It's a pain, but also quite interesting.

I need to keep an eye out for a usable lathe, an upgrade hopefully with a 1 by 8 drive shaft as I've just picked up a loads of gear to fit it. I'm not sure about these adaptors, what do people make of them?

The moving head instead of swivel is actually a very good idea, do any lathes allow for chuck attachment on the back side of the drive shaft, therefore eliminating the problem completely?