View Full Version : Wood lathe copy attachment conversion

24-08-2018, 03:23 PM
So I bought a wood lathe and copy attachment off fleabay - basic it was an absolute bargain and a massive upgrade to my existing one.
So I have for years thought about automating a wood lathe even if its just for roughing out logs and square blocks. Or even shaping for repetitive furniture legs and spindles ready for sanding. I'm not making aircraft parts so accuracy to nano mil's is not a concern. What I'm asking is advice on practicality and recommend motors etc. The idea is fast feed small cuts that way putting less stress on the the spindle replacement.

Ok pic below.


Number 1. is a cog lead / winder, I've tested the play, its mostly from the handle not the actual shaft although there is some. And uses a lateral guide on the other side

2. Is like a horizontal Y-Axis its a solid bit of kit bolted directly onto 1's winding housing block .

3 and there's a good 6 inch of vertical adjustment that is solid as a rock when clamped up. So lining up a tool to the head stock and chuck center is simple.

So i'm thinking of going really simple, replace the winding handle with stepper direct coupled.
I 'm looking at doing the same for 2 and bolting on a spindle or if that is undo-able stripping down 2 to the plate and adding a actuator and spindle.
And then adding the usual stepper controllers / power and running through my existing Mach3 setup.

What size steppers would you guess i'll need for 1. & .2 ?

I think there's definite potential with a bit of fiddling and cursing, but I reckon I could get something usable going.

12-01-2019, 11:40 PM
I'm doing similar. I have 2 lathes. One I bought very cheap. 70. I bought a kit from open builds which included the stepper motors. It's an 80 x 40 c section aluminium extrusion. Have the first part assembled. Made a mistake with the order and got 2 1000mm c sections. Should have got 1 and a 250mm one as well so my plan now is to get 2 250mm versions and I'll have enough for the 2 lathes. By the way both lathes have manual copiers already one broken and the other for bits.......Delta never used.

13-01-2019, 12:19 AM
I used the open builds system to I bought a small lathe to make the copier , have done everything except replacing the lathe motor with a stepper. Not sure if I should do a direct shaft coupling or belt and pully. Also I'm trying to keep all the steppers under 3 amps and again not sure if this will have enough torque + rotary speed to do a nice smoothing final cut. I dont have a photo of the copier on the small lathe Ill post one when its ready but this is the copier on my table after I sorted out the grbl and steppers.
I've set the larger lathe up for hand turning and Ill probably sell off the copier.

13-01-2019, 01:28 AM
Curious as to why you'd replace the lathe motor with a stepper? My project will be simpler I think. I'll use the cutters on my current copier with an option to add a router too.

13-01-2019, 03:46 AM
I bought the small lathe for parts and repairs , the motor wasn't working, and it gives me the flexibility of doing other things like off center vases and weaves - plus I'm also hoping to work with stone at some point