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Lathe Upgrades. 2 axis vice and rotozip - Mill perfect plywood disks.

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Picture of Lathe Upgrades.  2 axis vice and rotozip - Mill perfect plywood disks.
THIS INSTRUCTABLE HAS POTENTIAL FOR INJURY MUTILATION OR IN THE WORST CASE DEATH,  I WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY SUCH INJURIES, IF YOU DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS YOU DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK.


Project:  To add my 2 axis 6" vice to the bed of my wood lathe so could turn perfect disk's from plywood.

I had bought the 2 axis vice at the same time as my wood lathe with plans to build a milling machine. I will post an Instructable on this when it happens.

I often use plywood disks in my projects but find them awkward to cut perfectly round, and I have found that plywood is one of the nastiest things to turn on a wood lathe as it tends to catch very easy and blunts the tools very quickly.

I had planned to make a tool holder to take my wood chisels but found that they where not suitable and downright dangerous when used with the 2 axis vice.

By shear chance I found that my Rotozip was perfectly aligned with the center height of the lathe when fitted into the vice. so I decided to use that to make a simple milling attachment.  I bought the Rotozip about a year ago and had never found a good use for it until now.

Sorry this is not a cheap Instructable the cost of the lathe vice and Rotozip fall in at not shy of £500.  It is just to show how tools you may already have in your workshop may be combined to make a cheap alternative to expensive machinery.

THIS IS NOT DESIGNED TO BE USED WITH A SPINNING LATHE JUST TO HOLD THE ROTOZIP IN PLACE AND ALLOW YOU TO MAKE A MORE CONTROLLED CUT.  I WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU GETTING HURT IF YOU DO SOMETHING STUPID WITH A SETUP LIKE THIS.

Thanks for looking, I hope my idea gives you inspiration.

Andy


 
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Step 1: Attaching the vice to the lathe bed.

Picture of Attaching the vice to the lathe bed.
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To attach the vice to the lathe bed i needed to make a plate that would fit snugly into the recess between the milled rails of the lathe bed and allow me to clamp the vice to the bed from underneath.

To make this place i cut a piece of 6mm plywood 300mm long and 40mm wide and sanded it down on the sanding table until it was a perfect sliding fit to space between the 2 rails.

I then cut a piece of 3/4" plywood 300mm long and about 60mm wide it was sanded down so it would not snag on the underside of the lathe bed.

The 2 pieces where glued and screwed together as show in the pictures using Gorilla glue  (gloves and old clothes are best worn when using this glue)

15mm hole where drilled in the plate to suit the vice, i used 15mm holes to make it easy to fit the 12mm bolts when attaching to the lathe bed.

12mm bolts are used with wing nuts and 40mm repair washers to make it very easy to fix the vice at the desired place along the lathe bed.

Step 2: Setting up the Rotozip.

Picture of Setting up the Rotozip.
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By shear luck the Rotozip sits in the jaws of my vice at just the right height needed.

Blocks of hardwood where used to position the Rotozip in the desired position in the vice jaws to allow the vice to have its max travel.

Once the Rotozip was in place I checked that the cutting tool was perpendicular to the face of the the back plate using a square.

Step 3: Useing the milling atachment

Picture of Useing the milling atachment
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DO NOT USE THIS WITH YOUR LATHE SWITCHED ON.

Due to the design of the lathe and the vice, and the fact that the 2 where never designed to meet, the Rotozip has only about 3" travel on the users side of the lathe but has much more travel towards the back of the lathe, I can cut up to about 11-12" disks with this setup.

For this test I decided to make a better base plate for my Paper/sawdust brick mould. see my other posts for this.

A square of 3/4" plywood was screwed to the back plate and the Rotozip positioned at the desired position.

Holding the plywood to act as a brake the cutting tool was wound into the work piece a few mm and the lathe was rotated by hand to make the cut.  Then wind the cutter a few more mm and rotate the piece again, repeat until you have cut through the plywood and have a perfect circle.

The disk was perfectly round and had no tearing like when turned using hand tools.

Once the disk was in it round for I then milled out the recess around the edge. a few mm at a time.

The Rotozip is very fast at cutting so there is no need to try and use the lathe to rotate the disk so don't

I WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYONE BEING INJURED IN ANY WAY FROM DOING THIS, BE CAREFUL AND WEAR YOUR SAFETY EQUIPMENT.


Thanks for looking at my post, hope it inspires.

Andy.

ringai2 years ago
This would work nicely with an eccentric chuck or faceplate! I have an Joyner eccentric faceplate that can make some really nice looking designs and turnings, but I really dislike turning with it because the tool is so often just "cutting " air as the chuck turns.

Mounting a rotozip and then using the handwheel to rotate the workpiece is a great idea.
kcedgerton4 years ago
This looks like a great addition to a wood lathe, I bet that it would make some of my projects easier, especially the wooden ball bearing... I just need to get one of those vices. does it need to be a 6" or will a smaller one work?
Dr Qui (author)  kcedgerton4 years ago
the vices come in 4" and 6" it would depend on the type of rotary cutting tool you have, the things i just happened to have just happen to to suite each other, this was not planned before purchase. The setup works better on hard woods and has only been used to mill plywood disks so far.
luvit5 years ago
i own power tools, too. show me howz to pimp my bench vise.