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Outboard turning v bed clearance

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Shay Vings

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I am planning to upgrade to a Vicmarc or similar and pondering why worry (and spend more than necessary) about clearance over the bed when they have swivelling headstocks and outboard turning attachments. The VL175 will do 360mm dia over the bed and if I want to do a bigger bowl/platter then swivel the headstock?

I can see that bed clearance matters for big spindle turning projects but do many people turn spindles 1m long x 360mm dia? I can also see that its good practice to have the tailstock in place in the early stages of turning faceplate work/screwchuck work and that would not be possible.

Are there other things I need to consider?
 

chipmunk

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Hi Shay,
Just a couple of thoughts.

The banjo will eat into that 360mm for spindle turnings although I admit that it's probably not a big deal.

The biggest advantage for clearance over the bed for me is probably not the workpiece but swinging long gouge handles when hollowing. I have a 16" swing and this is tight sometimes for hollowing bowls over the bed.

I have to admit that I've never used a VL175 but the rotating headstock seems to me to be an expensive solution to a problem which is easier and more cheaply solved by a sliding headstock like the Jet 3520B.

VL175 or Jet 3520B? Not much competition in my mind.
Hope this helps
Jon
 

duncanh

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A large swing over the bed is also useful for reverse mounting a turning to remove the chucking point. Even when using a vacuum chuck this is useful.
 

Silverbirch

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Hi Shay

I have a V175 and I`d imagine that unless you are turning huge spindle projects, its between centres capacity would be more than sufficient.
The advantage of a rotating headstock is that you don`t need additional space for yourself at the end of the lathe as you would if you were turning a large bowl etc off the tailstock end or outboard from the headstock end.
I find the rotating headstock rock solid and indispensable for turning larger items and when using longer tools for hollowing etc. You can then present the tools at the optimum angles, rather than being compromised by the need to keep the handles from fouling the lathe bed.
Bear in mind that to turn very large bowls on the V175,(and I suppose most other lathes of this design) where you might want to rotate the headstock to 90degrees, for example, you will need the outboard turning rest. In the case of the V175, it will cost you an extra £450. Needless to say, I don`t have one. I intend some day to apply my mind to a more economical solution, but so far the standard tool rest has been adequate for my needs.
HTH

Ian
 

chipmunk

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Ian makes a good point - To work off the end does depend on having enough workshop space around the lathe.

Jon
 

myturn

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I have the Killinger 1400SE which has the same swing over bed (360mm) as the VL175 and a head that rotates 360°. It has the advantage for me that it has a shorter bed and the head can rotate any way I want. Useful for turning off the back of the bed on occasion.

It is rare that I make anything that won't fit over the bed and if I do I have fitted the VL175 outboard rest fitted to the lathe which can then cope with anything I am likely to turn.
If I want to reverse mount a bowl that won't fit over the bed then it is easy enough to use large cole-type jaws or even a piece of MDF or ply attached to a face-plate with a clamping arrangement made to suit the piece if the cole-jaws can't cope.

I find that most people don't want enormous bowls as they take up too much room, they might be ok for show pieces but are not really practical.

By far the most useful aspect of the lathe is the swivelling head (and variable speed of course). Almost everything I turn that does not have to be held between centres I use the head pointing out so I don't have to lean over the bed which is much more comfortable and I can move my body more fluently. No longer do I come in from a session with an aching back.
 
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