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Building a Small Lathe by L.C. Mason

It is very similar to a Unimat and is only suitable for very small and light work. Clive, I can’t imagine why an article on your splendid l.v.mason would not be of interest to readers of MEW.

Personally, I gave up and bought a Taig. Just off the top of my head I’m considering a honking great slab of gauge plate for the bed, attached to a steel or aluminium base which is then filled with epoxy concrete. These photos are of the machine as I found it. In any event if you follow conversations with people involved in building Gingery type machines you will find that the bed design leave a lot to be desired.

Please don’t base your decision solely on ideas expressed here. I haven’t got around to fixing it up yet. Making a lathe from scratch,I. Sorry but I must disagree. Gingery clearly implied in one of his books that once you have a lathe it becomes the machine from which you can build better machine tools. I say this now because I now have a tiny bit of experience in using lathes and mills and what it takes to make an accurate part. Explore the Home Gift Guide. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon.

This post has been changed and the file moved to Post 14 http: I had never seen your home-built lathe before. One of my first castings was for this thread dial,,, http: I don’t have a foundry nearby but there are a couple of companies that sell structural steel sections. My castings were every bit as good.


All times are GMT I’d love to read your build article, I would have thought it was exactly the kind of thing MEW should be featuring. Granted I did not make several of the main components but making the head stock from a 5C spin collet fixture was a great learning experience.

Building a small lathe | Open Library

It’s still being used but it is still crap. From my experience and from the work that I have seen done by others it would take a dozen tries for the Gingery method to “evolve” into a useful machine.

The gauge plate bed is not a bad idea, but I would bolt some heavy bars of cast iron maybe durabar to the underside to add rigidity and increase damping if you do it with gauge plate.

In any event people compare the lathes to Tiag and Sherline and then dump one the use of aluminum in the Gingery machines. Best regards Dias Costa.

I do not know about your machining expertise, but my past wish of making my own lathe was primarily because of my lack of experience in machining and metal working.

Not to far from where I grew buildong stood the building where Seneca Fall Machine was located and where the Star Treadle powered lathes where built and frankly in some circles where famous. Can get a cheap spindex and just use the spindle from that with new bearings. Get to Know Us. Using the Small Lathe. JD – Thanks for the comprehensive input, I take your point about steel maybe being bullding for the base.

I remember an article in Model Engineer about building a lathe out of flat square and round stock and made it I want something smaller in size than o.c.mason current lathe that could be set up indoors etc where it is airconditioned! I built this small cnc lathe for the challenge and fun of it.

Use 2 bearings per slide. That might not be on a first generation lathe done in the Gingery manner but there are a lot of good lessons learned from the Gingery process to get you there.


Building a Small Lathe by L. C. Mason (1980, Paperback)

Would be interested to hear how your plans progress. But, there are those that can keep the steam up and dedication to projects to see them built from start to finish. I’m thinking I’ll make a 5C spindle.

The Deltron or IKO type with flat rails work fine and they’re ready to use. Renew Now Dont miss an issue! A; not likely, even with import costs going up the small machines are still an excellent value. Personally, I gave up and bought a Taig.

In essence the Gingery builring duplicates the evolution of the machine tool industry itself. You could build l.c.masom that would allow you to build another and so on and eventually you’d have one of those ones that they turn drive shaft for ships: Even that one was a toss up because it was massive and had power feed everything.

A used industrial lathe is a fast way to l.c.masn into machining and they are often cost much less than a new lathe, certainly less work than making a lathe. The only one that wasn’t better value than what I could have build was a clapped out, thrashed war era Herbert? I still have this feeling that people are missing the point of the Gingery process. Yes, it is an encyclopaedia for lathes, but as I said, the tiny section on homemade lathes in that does not have any plans as such.

To add to it all, Tom Walshaw or Tubal Cain wrote of pretty well the origins of where cheap and nasties were produced and sort of jumbled together. Follow us on Twitter. The reason for the long rant is to agree with all other posters that it is not worth the effort to make a little lathe these days. Round ways can work very well and have some advantages for home built construction.