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8' lathe

"My Father in Law make McGyver look like a rube. We just got a small job for turning some columns that were just a tad long for our SB lathe. We'd planned on extending the bed to be able to do 8' long turnings, so this seemed like the right time.

I gave my FIL some measured drawings and good pictures and he welded up and assembled an extension bed (I helped a little - I got him coffee...) Then, he fabbed up a jackshaft setup and separate drive motor to reduce the lathe turning speed - a serious issue for us as the existing low speed of 600 RPM would be scary with large diameter turnings. The new speed reduction setup drops the rotation speed to about 120 RPM and we have the capacity to do 98" long turnings. The speed reduction is a small 1550 RPM motor running through a jackshaft, then driving a pulley attached to the lathe spindle.

I didn't disconnect the main lathe drive motor - I can still use it for sanding, but I unplug it in low speed operation. It only ends up turning about 80 RPM so I didn't think this would cause any trouble."

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