Step 5: Choosing a Holder

Toolholders are what attach your tools to the lathe. Most modern lathes , and all the techshop lathes, are equipped with quick change tool posts (Shown above). These are special tool posts, that allow you to quickly swap tools, while maintaining the same height for each tool. The majority of the rest of this instrucable will cover set-up with quick change posts. If you have another type of toolpost, the same general rules apply, but the methods for setting tool height will be different.

Quickchange toolposts have standard sizes, 100 series (AXA), 200 series (BXA), 300 series (CXA), etc. If you just got your lathe, the toolpost should say which series it is. Techshop lathes use a 250-222 toolpost, which is a 200 series/BXA toolpost. All 200 series toolholders will fit the 200 series toolpost, and similarly, for 300 series holders and posts. However, a 200 series toolholder would not fit on a 300 series toolpost.

The toolholders themselves are also standardized. Different varieties typically come in all common toolpost sizes. Again, most tool supplies should have a wide selection, KBC, MSC, SHARS, etc. For most turning and facing tools, a #1 or #2 toolholder will be the best choice. For boring bars, a #2 or #4 holder will be best. Keep in mind, the toolholders have a maximum tool size, for 200 Series/BXA toolholders #1 and #2, a 5/8ths tool will be the largest you can hold. You have to choose smaller tools based on your toolpost.

Here, I chose a single BXA #2 toolholder. This holder accepts the SCLC tool, and has a v-groove for the S-SCLC boring bar, meaning only one holder is necessary.
<p>I was really hoping to find something about tool to use for facing and which tool to use for turning?</p><p>But your instructable has other good information. Thanks</p>
<p>Nice instructable. thks.</p>
<p>I have an older smithy 1220 and want to upgrade my tool holder. there is a dizzying array of manufacturers, brands and sizes out there. How do I find out what aftermarket tool holder size is right for my lathe? </p><p>At first I wanted to try and save money by making my own, but it looks a bit daunting for someone (me) who is just starting out in this hobby and doesn't have all the tooling needed to do the job. </p>
Trouble with indexable carbide on amateur lathes is usually a lack of stiffness in the machine, leads to tool chatter, and tool chatter leads to edge failure very quickly. <br> <br>Don't mess around with tool height adjustments like that, beg/borrow/steal a decent vernier or digital height gauge. Measure the centre of your machine relative to the cross slide, and set your tools off that.
Thanks a lot, I really appreciate the discussion of the different types of tools. I opened up the Techshop cabinet for my first independent lathe session and was quite puzzled at the variety. I plan to get some of my own, and this was a good place to start.
A nice clear explanation. Thanks. I've not got a lathe (yet) but found this interesting.
This is a very thorough first post, thank you so much for the share. Your steps make lathing a much less daunting tool to use.

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