Is this too big for my lathe?

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Shan

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Morning. I've just cut up a sizable piece of chestnut with the 'hope' of making a shallow bowl/plate/platter for the other half as she's got a birthday soon.
The diameter is 400mm/16" & 80mm/3 1/4" thick. It weighs in at 12kgs with face plate attached or 8kgs alone.
My lathe is 1 hp and will attach by 6 screws. It's still green so would you suggest I wait for it to dry or give it a shot now?
Some pics of the set up.

Cheers Shan
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Stigmorgan

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Your faceplate is 4kgs?
If I had time I would rough turn it round seal the end grain and let it dry for a few months at least, a moisture meter would be useful, you can bake it in the oven or even microwave to speed the drying process but you have to be careful. You could also turn it thin and hope it doesn't warp too much. I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will be along soon to tell me I'm an silly person 😁😁😁
 

Phill05

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Shan, Do you have any speed control on your lathe? the 1HP should not be a problem but speed could be.
 

Shan

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Your faceplate is 4kgs?
If I had time I would rough turn it round seal the end grain and let it dry for a few months at least, a moisture meter would be useful, you can bake it in the oven or even microwave to speed the drying process but you have to be careful. You could also turn it thin and hope it doesn't warp too much. I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will be along soon to tell me I'm an silly person 😁😁😁
Yes, 4 kg. The chuck is 10kg. I just remove the fp from the chuck. It's a heavy ol beast the lathe. Weighs over 200kg. Got it 2nd hand but was advised to get a heavy one so they don't wobble when turning bowls. Bit too big for micro wave but a couple of smaller bowls I've made haven't cracked and I know it's wet. Rusts up all the gouges and bed etc. Cheers
 

Shan

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Shan, Do you have any speed control on your lathe? the 1HP should not be a problem but speed could be.
I don't really. Just have the pulley system with 4 speeds but the slowest seems pretty quick. Replied to Stig and as the chuck weighs 10kg I guess the weight won't be an issue, but the speed might. Cheers
 

Phill05

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As your lathe is 3 phase you might be able to fit a VFD so you could vary the speed, If you do turn it on with that lump on stand well back out of range we don't want to hear of any miss guided missiles flying about.
 

Terry - Somerset

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I have turned much lighter ~14"x2" out of balance blanks on an Axminster lather (AWVSL1000). This weighed in at ~100kg so less mass than yours.

Even on its slowest speed (around 500 rpm I recall) the vibration was more than a little worrying - headstock, tool rest rattling loose, lathe and stand marching across the floor.

Stay well out of the direction of fire if the blank (or a bit of it) gets loose - use mask and head protection. Personally I would look for a dry blank - at least this will take a few kg off the weight.
 

Shan

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As your lathe is 3 phase you might be able to fit a VFD so you could vary the speed, If you do turn it on with that lump on stand well back out of range we don't want to hear of any miss guided missiles flying about.
Phil, I've gone down the VFD route with no success. A sparky fitted 2 different ones and kept tripping out. He thinks maybe the motor wasn't suitable for them. Said it might have been the age of the motor?
But yes. Ideally that would be the go. I wanted to slow it down for boring holes. Feels a bit too fast at time's.
 

clogs

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Vamos, Crete, GREECE.......
perhaps change the pulley size on the motor.......
even better if there's room put a double pulley on the motor...
then u can have fast n slow speeds....
 

alex robinson

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As others have said, speed will be the possible problem, not weight. If you can get it balanced enough to avoid vibrations, you may be ok. Turn on the slowest speed, wear face protection, and stand clear of the line of fire. Before you start it up, I would turn it by hand trying to find the heavier side. Trim that side using a hand held electric plane, or even just a saw until it is as even as you can manage.

Chestnut is horrendous for making everything rust, but does at least dry pretty well. I have had success rough turning it, covering with PVA and letting dry, before turning a second time.
 

Shan

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As others have said, speed will be the possible problem, not weight. If you can get it balanced enough to avoid vibrations, you may be ok. Turn on the slowest speed, wear face protection, and stand clear of the line of fire. Before you start it up, I would turn it by hand trying to find the heavier side. Trim that side using a hand held electric plane, or even just a saw until it is as even as you can manage.

Chestnut is horrendous for making everything rust, but does at least dry pretty well. I have had success rough turning it, covering with PVA and letting dry, before turning a second time.
Ok. I've had a rethink. Probably not the best idea as people have mentioned the speed can be an issue and I don't have any control over that. Coupled with the fact that it's way out of balance on the circumference and the thickness. Only so much you can achieve with a chainsaw when it starts to run off.

I'm looking for a bandsaw at the moment and hopefully when I get that can get it rounded better. Thicknesser not on the shopping list so will wait for it to dry or maybe carve up some smaller blanks. Could see too much mayhem happening.
Did attach the face plate and gave it a spin by hand and didn't feel too hopeful at full tilt. Shame as I really enjoyed turning it green but let's see what develops should I get a bandsaw.

Thanks folks for all feedback.
 

Stigmorgan

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What's the slowest speed on your lathe? Mine is belt drive and has 3 speeds 450, 1200 and 2000, if I had it I would run it at 450 to balance it and rough it out to reduce the mass then change the belt to mid speed so I can start getting cleaner cuts, then if I felt safe enough I'd finish it at full speed.
 

alex robinson

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Did you read the warning label on your lathe!🤣🚑🤣🚑
There are high tech safety features in play! It is a cone drive variable speed, so I can tie the speed lever in place below the bottom official speed with string. This gets the slowest down to 350 - 400 from 500. I also start well out of the line of fire, and the feebleness of the motor means it takes a fair while to get up to speed, so I can kill it in time if it is jumping around too much.
 

alex robinson

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Ok. I've had a rethink. Probably not the best idea as people have mentioned the speed can be an issue and I don't have any control over that. Coupled with the fact that it's way out of balance on the circumference and the thickness. Only so much you can achieve with a chainsaw when it starts to run off.

I'm looking for a bandsaw at the moment and hopefully when I get that can get it rounded better. Thicknesser not on the shopping list so will wait for it to dry or maybe carve up some smaller blanks. Could see too much mayhem happening.
Did attach the face plate and gave it a spin by hand and didn't feel too hopeful at full tilt. Shame as I really enjoyed turning it green but let's see what develops should I get a bandsaw.

Thanks folks for all feedback.
I think the speed is something to be aware of, but if the lathe is good and heavy, you could give it a go and see how bad the vibrations are. So long as you never stand in line with the rotation, and have a hand over the off switch it is worth a try.
 

Shan

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What's the slowest speed on your lathe? Mine is belt drive and has 3 speeds 450, 1200 and 2000, if I had it I would run it at 450 to balance it and rough it out to reduce the mass then change the belt to mid speed so I can start getting cleaner cuts, then if I felt safe enough I'd finish it at full speed.
Not too sure! Feels like fast, faster, super rapid and then insane! Can't quite get my head round the various speeds but I generally turn and sand on the slowest. Sometimes take it to the 2nd speed but not too often. The 3rd &4th one's are shifting big time.
Don't have much room to manoeuvre as bit limited to change pulleys on the head stock and I think that the smallest pulley on the motor looks about as small as it can go unless I put the belt on the motor spindle and I'm sure the belt couldn't work on such a small cog.
I'm sure there's a way to work out the speed but haven't got my head around it. The motor says 1400 rpm. Which I think is pretty standard for the 3ph motors I've seen here.
 

Shan

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I think the speed is something to be aware of, but if the lathe is good and heavy, you could give it a go and see how bad the vibrations are. So long as you never stand in line with the rotation, and have a hand over the off switch it is worth a try.
Ok. The off switch is right in-line with the head stock which probably isn't the safest place. I like the idea of those lathes with a movable switch but didn't think too much about that when I bought it. Could probably change this. Cheers
 
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