Introduction: Use a Metal Lathe to Alter the Diameter of a Lead Screw

I'm building a Thickness Sander and I'm using Acme Lead Screws to raise and lower a table on the sander.

The plan calls for taking a 3/4" lead screw and turning off an 1/8" of steel from the lead screw so that the bronze bushing (see red circle) fits over the lead screw. 

Step 1: Securely Hold the Part in the Lathe

This lathe has a collet that can be changed to work with any diameter material that you need to hold.  This system is far superior to a 3 jaw chuck for holding steel.

Once you have securely held the rod, you need to use a center drill ( picture 2) to drill a 60 degree hole to allow for the tail-stock live center quill  to then support the work as you turn it down.

Step 2: Turn the Part Down to Size With a Carbide Cutter

In this video, I was not supporting the end of the rod and it was bouncing all over the place and I was getting a really poor cut.

Once I got smart about the was I was doing this process -- and used the center drill, then supported the work with the live center, things started to go well.

The trick in doing this is to support the work, put oil on it to cool it as it cuts, and go SLOW. 

It took me a while to get the hang of cutting the threads off, but it worked out.

I had to alter 4 acme lead screws on each end of the rod.  I was able to use the DRO to make sure that I took off the right amount of the diameter, as well as the length of the material that needed to be removed.

I made these parts at TechShop.