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Long bed bench top lathe?

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St.J

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This might be a bit of a tall order. Or at least a long one.

I am looking for a long bed lathe that will sit on my bench top. I’ve been using a strange cobbled together system for years and it’s time for an upgrade.
Unfortunately space is limited in my tiny workshop so I’d like to be able to move it around. I realise that this isn’t ideal but that’s where we are.

A search of the forum returns almost 3000 threads. The first couple of hundred don’t reveal any makes or models.

Must have at least 1200mm between centres.
Doesn’t need much clearance over the bed. Will be turning spindles about 50mm in diameter.
Doesn’t need a chuck - drive centre in morse taper is fine.
Doesn’t need sophisticated speed controls.
Doesn’t need a long tool rest - I’ll build a couple to fit.
Used or new. Though I can’t find anything new that’s long enough. Bed extensions seem to be available for floor-standing models.

Any recommendations appreciated.
Thanks
 

sunnybob

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several manufacturers sell bench top lathes that can be added to by bolting another section on the end. Pretty sure axminster and record sell them.
 

St.J

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Thanks sunnybob.
Axminster was an early port of call. They say their longest with a bed extension is about 1160. Close but no cigar.
I asked if two extensions could be bolted on. Sadly not.
It would be a little shy of two grand for a lathe with extension that wouldn’t quite meet requirements.
But thanks for trying!
 

marcros

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you could look at the jet- I have the 1014 with an extension. I dont see why you couldn't have 2+ extensions though, although it is starting to get a bit ridiculous at that point. It is an old model, and has been replaced with the 1015.

if that doesn't quite do it, they do a 1221.

if you are just turning between centres, can you not separate the headstock and tailstock. between the two you are always going to have a straight line. you could have them mounted and otherwise from your bench. The jet and the extension would do this well I think, just support the open end of the extension on something.
 

St.J

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marcros":27q1e39i said:
if you are just turning between centres, can you not separate the headstock and tailstock. between the two you are always going to have a straight line. you could have them mounted and otherwise from your bench. The jet and the extension would do this well I think, just support the open end of the extension on something.
Thanks.
That’s exactly what I mean by a cobbled together setup! I’ve mounted a head and tail stock on bars separately . It’s a pain!

Thanks for the recommendation of Jet. I’ll look into it.
 

St.J

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Though I hadn’t thought of mounting the extension with a gap. Good thought. I could bolt it all to a stout beam.
Thanks
 

Richard_C

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I thought of a gap twixt lathe and extension. I have a record power dml 305, 12 inch throw cast iron bed, the dml 250 is a little smaller and cheaper but similar construction. Both have extensions available but neither comes close to the length you want. A problem though, the extensions only have legs at the tailstock end, they bolt to the end of the main bed for suport so it has 6 legs in all. Other makes are likely to be similar so you will need to 'prop up' one end somehow. It struck me that you could make a c. 5ocm length of wooden T section such that the downward leg fitted snugly into the centre gap in the cast bed and the flat section sat on top. That way alignment should be easy. You may need 2 tool posts and banjos one near each end to support a very long tool rest that bridges the gap.

You would need a very sturdy base, on mine the rigidity comes from the fact the extension bolts directly to the main bed and the mating faces are machined.

Do you really need that continuous length though, could you turn in sections with tenons like tent poles....
 

SVB

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For spindle work a record twin bar lathe could be a way to go. Buy anyone used then order bed bars from a steel stockiest to suit your needs.
 

St.J

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SVB,
Perfect! Thank you. That kind of thinking is what I come here for.

Problem solved. Thanks everyone for your help.

The chap at Record Power was incredibly helpful.

St.J
 

colinc

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If you are going that route, you could also buy an extra bed mount (or make a hardwood one) to provide a moveable bed support to dampen the inevitable deflections.

I have just been reading Kerry Pierce’s chair making book and his solution to the same problem was to create a gap bed lathe from a cheap one.
 

heimlaga

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in the old days there were many makers who supplied sets of headstock and tailstock and banjo. Then you made your own bed from hardwood to the tenght you wanted.

I have one of those sets in the spare parts shed. I bought it cheap from a demolition crew who had found it in a building they weere tearing down. I needed a long benchtop lathe. However before I got around to rebuild it cirkumstances had changed so I ended up with a larger more solid floor standing lathe.
 

RickG

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heimlaga":1mqga9ab said:
in the old days there were many makers who supplied sets of headstock and tailstock and banjo. Then you made your own bed from hardwood to the tenght you wanted.

I have one of those sets in the spare parts shed. I bought it cheap from a demolition crew who had found it in a building they weere tearing down. I needed a long benchtop lathe. However before I got around to rebuild it cirkumstances had changed so I ended up with a larger more solid floor standing lathe.
This is interesting as I've recently been thinking, "The points of the headstock and tailstock on my lathe don't align perfectly, should I change my lathe?"
OK, it's something to be aware of, but many amazing pieces of work have probably been built on worse lathes. Thank you.
 

Keith 66

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Arundel K4 had a long bed version, two round steel bars, you can alter one of those to be as long as you want.
 

heimlaga

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RickG":2alidbv7 said:
heimlaga":2alidbv7 said:
in the old days there were many makers who supplied sets of headstock and tailstock and banjo. Then you made your own bed from hardwood to the tenght you wanted.

I have one of those sets in the spare parts shed. I bought it cheap from a demolition crew who had found it in a building they weere tearing down. I needed a long benchtop lathe. However before I got around to rebuild it cirkumstances had changed so I ended up with a larger more solid floor standing lathe.
This is interesting as I've recently been thinking, "The points of the headstock and tailstock on my lathe don't align perfectly, should I change my lathe?"
OK, it's something to be aware of, but many amazing pieces of work have probably been built on worse lathes. Thank you.
If the basic design is rigid and vibration free enough there will almost always be a way to make things align well enough. Most of the turnings you see on 18th and 19th century furniture were made on lathes made entirely from wood by the turner himself.
 
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