• The NAWCC Museum and Library & Research Center are currently open. Please check the Visiting Schedule for Days and Hours at the bottom of the Visit Page.

E. Rivett Lathe

BobC

Registered User
Jan 3, 2006
77
0
6
Hello, I recently became the owner of an E. Rivett lathe. Could someone advise the size and where collets for this lathe may be obtained? My Sherline collets just don't fit.
 

Larry Vanice

Registered User
Nov 20, 2005
41
2
0
Edward Rivett (1851-1937) founded the Faneuil Watch Tool Co. in Boston in 1884. The company was reorganized 1903 as the Rivett Lathe Mfg. Co. Rivett sold out about 1912 and the company was reorganized as the Rivett Lathe and Grinder Co.

The Rivett No. 1 watch lathe used a collet with a .300 inch body diameter. The New Model watch lathe, introduced 1895, had a .325 inch body diameter.

The common WW collets that your Sherline uses have a .3147 inch body diameter.

Your E. Rivett lathe probably needs one or the other of those two types of Rivett collet. Both are very rare because the early Rivett lathes are scarce and no other lathe company made a watch lathe that used the Rivett collets. They do turn up rarely on eBay or at NAWCC meetings, sometimes still with a Rivett lathe. The collets will be stamped "Rivett" on the side.

Hardinge Brothers were willing to make any collet to order, and probably made a few Rivett collets. The early Hardinge watch lathe collets were stamped "Dale," no matter what lathe they fit. Stephen A. Dale was a partner with the Hardinge brothers in the early 1890's.

Shortly after WW2, there were many ex-soldiers getting assistance from the Government to attend trade schools. The new watch repair students usually bought new lathes. That circumstance led the lathe companies to produce new models. The Rivett Company designed a brand new watch lathe during this period. It was a fine product, with Art Deco styling to prove how modern and up to date it was. It looks like no other lathe. They were wise enough to use the common Webster Whitcomb collet design, so that the many other brands of WW collets would fit their new lathe. But Rivett also made collets. Derbyshire owned the WW trademark, so Rivett called their version of the WW collet a Rivett 1R, and marked their collets thus. Obviously, a Rivett 1R collet will not fit the old E. Rivett lathes made from 1884 to around 1912.

The bottom line is that the old E. Rivett lathes are best considered as antiques for display, rather than use, because it is unlikely you can get a set of collets for them.

A very fine history of the Rivett Company by Thomas M. Hammond can be found at: http://www.americanprecision.org/Fall_991.html
 

BobC

Registered User
Jan 3, 2006
77
0
6
Gentlemen, Thanks for the input. Is it possible to change the headstock to a different model allowing the use of a standard collet?
Thanks again, Bob
 

Larry Vanice

Registered User
Nov 20, 2005
41
2
0
Thr Rivett bed and tailstock will not work with any standard lathe headstock. You have a collector's item. You need to buy a standard type of lathe for actual work. Be sure to get one that uses WW type collets, which are easy to get. Some sellers do not know one collet or lathe from another, so be careful what you buy.
 

BobC

Registered User
Jan 3, 2006
77
0
6
Fair enough Larry and thanks. How about the Perton lathe? Some quick googling looks like they use the 8mm collet. Is it workable or any good?
Thanks... Bob C.
 

RJSoftware

Registered User
Apr 15, 2005
8,442
100
63
Loxahatchee, Florida
Country
Region
Here is some notation for any of those like myself who have continued to persue use of Rivett lathe.

(more breadcrumbs for newbians to follow, if they make the same mistake as me...!)

Here is a site dedicated to Rivett history.
http://www.rivettlathe.com/

The Rivett #2 style with .30 collet diametor is still fairly common on ebay and occasionally collet sets still show up. But, they are pricey.

I have a fair set of 25 but continue to look for more.

Specific demensions of my collets are as follows.
.30 shaft diametor (not at threads).
.262 shaft diametor (at threads).
1.322 end to end (complete length of collet)
.3 length of threaded section
.488 diametor of collet head (relaxed state)
.26 distance from start of angle to outer shaft head (parallel to shaft)
.08 (aprox) remaining distance of outer bevel.

The collets I have are sized from 72 to 10. Where 72 has the smallest hole and 10 is the largest.

When searching ebay or other likely sources, I have not exactly determined if other collets with (from seller description which may be subjective) the number/hole arrangement is determinant of being a match. In other words just because on some collets as the number goes down the hole size gets smaller (reverse of my #2 Rivett collets) that they would NOT function.

I only assume they would NOT function, that if the number hole relation is reverse from what my set is, then it is PROBABLY not compatible.

I believe the reverse is indicative of WW style which is NOT compatible.

I say this because of the vaugeness of some seller descriptions where they describe the collet shaft diametors as aprox 5/16ths inch. .30 is close to 5/16ths

.30 seems to be the key attribute indicative of compatibility. 40 tpi is common to both Rivett and WW.
.3 is 7.61999999999177 mm or roughly 7.61.

My collet set is a least workable set for watch and clock repair. 70 is small enough to hold onto watch staff (not pivots) and 10 is much larger than any clock arbor.

One solution I am looking into is to locate an adjustable die of 40 tpi.

It is quite common to find on ebay WW tap which is used to true up threads for drawbars.

40 tpi is used on both the Rivett lathe and the WW. So an adjustable die in the .30 ball park should be able to cut a stock piece to create specialized collets.

Beware that not all dies advertized as adjustable are adjustable. The adjustable have 2 cutting blades that can spread apart. I think they are spring loaded so you can spread them and the springs adjust to the object.

An alternative solution (which looks even more promissing) is that there is a machinist shop in my area that can do the work for me.

One of my main objectives is to have a jacobs chuck so that I can turn objects larger than the #10 collet can hold.

But I need a Rivett compatible collet to hold a jacob's chuck. You see pleanty of WW jacob's chuck holders on ebay. But no Rivett (drat..!).

I could then make specialized collets if the jacobs chuck does not produce sloppy results as I have heard the runout is bad.

I will have to experiment. Love the idea of cutting my own out of brass.

The first home made collet I think will be just a large wax collet. I like the idea of being able to shellac in place (with heat) any irregular object and turn.

I would like to experiment with making jewel replacements. Guess I will need diamond tip cutting tools. Garnett looks cheap enough I think.

Another objective is to have made/or make a tailstock collet holder.

So, with the jacob's chuck I can hold a larger stock piece to turn down so to make a tube to slide in tailstock post. I will have to find stock pipe/tube with inner diametor agree-able with Rivett drawbar (I fortunatley have 2) and turn the pipe down so it will slide in the tailstock post.

I don't think I can drill a stock piece 5 or so inches. I'm not a massochist. But I may end up trying. Not sure.

Then have the machist turn a head that will connect to that pipe so to insert collet in. The head might be solder on or the whole thing turned as one piece.

The head should be keyed for the collet as well.

The objective of a tailstock collet holder is to have the ability to drill very small arbors for pivot replacement.

See, understand, I was able to get 2 Rivett #2 lathes off ebay for cheap. So I have 2 of everything except tailstocks.

At one point I was using the 2 heads facing each other. Where one would hold the bit while the other hold the object.

This was very close and workable, but no cigar. The problem was that both the heads do not EXACTLY match up height wise. They are very very very close...! But just enough off to not work for watch pivots.

I tried shimming one, but what to use when the difference is something like .02 to. 05 "inches off. One layer of masking tape was close.

Plus it was a sloppy solution as to operate one has to slide one of the heads.

Sliding the head you have to push down while sliding. The heads really count on being tightened down to maintain reliable contact with the bed. So accuracy is comprimized by sliding. Managable but still sloppy.

A tailstock collet holder that can slide should be a good solution for accuracy.

In reading Fried's book. I see I will/should have to learn to make my own small pivot drill bits by grinding larger bits. I see Mascott pivot drills on ebay but often the quality is comprimized (busted bits or worn).

Another highly desired object would be the cross slide. I have seen home made cross slides on ebay compatible with WW style. So, it should not be too inconcievable for one to be made of Rivett demensions.

The homemade is desirable because every time I see a genuine Rivett crosslide on ebay it goes for mega bucks. I am crossing my fingers hoping the machinist can help.

The crosslide will be a definite plus. But I am getting to the point of where I can cut a watch balance staff using the tool post.

Tiny tiny tiny. I need to rework my bench so the lathe is just below neck high. Bending over to lathe with eye loupe on makes my neck hurt after a while. I think the microscope arrangement might not be so necessary. 10x loupe seems good enough. Maybe a little stronger but not much. Some eye loupes are much better than others. I definitley recommend one with a strap to the head. Who want's to squeeze their eye to hold a loupe for that long..!

So, is the crosslide really necessary? I think it's not, but I think I'm really gonna like it. :)

Probably a bigger obsticle to cutting balance staffs is measuring. How does one get a caliper on such small parts? There are specialized bench calipers and microscopes with cross-hairs/grids to help. But, my current interpretation is that they all require staff removal from the lathe to measure. So it's -cut -remove -measure -install etc... I think I'm going to experiment with improving veneer caliper design by attaching two modified razor blades (super glue) to caliper blades to measure with. So, to cut and measure on the fly.


RJ
 
Last edited:

Mike Phelan

Registered User
Dec 17, 2003
9,836
15
38
West Yorkshire, England
Country
Region
.3 is 7.61999999999177 mm or roughly 7.61.
... or less roughly 7.62. ;)
One of my main objectives is to have a jacobs chuck so that I can turn objects larger than the #10 collet can hold.

But I need a Rivett compatible collet to hold a jacob's chuck. You see pleanty of WW jacob's chuck holders on ebay. But no Rivett (drat..!).

RJ
RJ

You can get a Jacobs chuck with a female thread - the Unimat 3 uses one with a 14 x 1 thread.
Then, does your Rivett have change wheels and a top slide that you can angle? If so, you could make a mandrel that fits like a collet.
 

Ansomnia

Registered User
Sep 11, 2005
2,614
2
0
Country
Region
Fair enough Larry and thanks. How about the Perton lathe? Some quick googling looks like they use the 8mm collet. Is it workable or any good?
Thanks... Bob C.
Bob, my recollection is that my Perton was more tolerant than other lathes with regard to compatibility with 8 mm collets and WW-pattern accessories. Perton lathes do appear a bit plain with regard to aesthetic detailing but my lathe was very robust, smooth-running with excellent fitting. It was a good watchmaker's lathe.


Michael
 

RJSoftware

Registered User
Apr 15, 2005
8,442
100
63
Loxahatchee, Florida
Country
Region
Hey Micheal (Ansoniaman).

Just thought you might want to know that this thread is over 5 years old. I'm just updating with info for future Rivett lathe owners.

Hope you been well..!

Hey Mike P.

A few questions.

define

"change wheel"

"mandrel"

You lost me. If you have a pic or two that might help. The Rivett lathe does not do angles. I suppose your talking about tapering arrangements like Morse 1, 2, etc..

Thanks for your info..!

RJ
 

Jerry Kieffer

Registered User
NAWCC Member
May 31, 2005
2,843
474
83
wisconsin
Country
Here is some notation for any of those like myself who have continued to persue use of Rivett lathe.

(more breadcrumbs for newbians to follow, if they make the same mistake as me...!)

Here is a site dedicated to Rivett history.
http://www.rivettlathe.com/

The Rivett #2 style with .30 collet diametor is still fairly common on ebay and occasionally collet sets still show up. But, they are pricey.

I have a fair set of 25 but continue to look for more.

Specific demensions of my collets are as follows.
.30 shaft diametor (not at threads).
.262 shaft diametor (at threads).
1.322 end to end (complete length of collet)
.3 length of threaded section
.488 diametor of collet head (relaxed state)
.26 distance from start of angle to outer shaft head (parallel to shaft)
.08 (aprox) remaining distance of outer bevel.

The collets I have are sized from 72 to 10. Where 72 has the smallest hole and 10 is the largest.

When searching ebay or other likely sources, I have not exactly determined if other collets with (from seller description which may be subjective) the number/hole arrangement is determinant of being a match. In other words just because on some collets as the number goes down the hole size gets smaller (reverse of my #2 Rivett collets) that they would NOT function.

I only assume they would NOT function, that if the number hole relation is reverse from what my set is, then it is PROBABLY not compatible.

I believe the reverse is indicative of WW style which is NOT compatible.

I say this because of the vaugeness of some seller descriptions where they describe the collet shaft diametors as aprox 5/16ths inch. .30 is close to 5/16ths

.30 seems to be the key attribute indicative of compatibility. 40 tpi is common to both Rivett and WW.
.3 is 7.61999999999177 mm or roughly 7.61.

My collet set is a least workable set for watch and clock repair. 70 is small enough to hold onto watch staff (not pivots) and 10 is much larger than any clock arbor.

One solution I am looking into is to locate an adjustable die of 40 tpi.

It is quite common to find on ebay WW tap which is used to true up threads for drawbars.

40 tpi is used on both the Rivett lathe and the WW. So an adjustable die in the .30 ball park should be able to cut a stock piece to create specialized collets.

Beware that not all dies advertized as adjustable are adjustable. The adjustable have 2 cutting blades that can spread apart. I think they are spring loaded so you can spread them and the springs adjust to the object.

An alternative solution (which looks even more promissing) is that there is a machinist shop in my area that can do the work for me.

One of my main objectives is to have a jacobs chuck so that I can turn objects larger than the #10 collet can hold.

But I need a Rivett compatible collet to hold a jacob's chuck. You see pleanty of WW jacob's chuck holders on ebay. But no Rivett (drat..!).

I could then make specialized collets if the jacobs chuck does not produce sloppy results as I have heard the runout is bad.

I will have to experiment. Love the idea of cutting my own out of brass.

The first home made collet I think will be just a large wax collet. I like the idea of being able to shellac in place (with heat) any irregular object and turn.

I would like to experiment with making jewel replacements. Guess I will need diamond tip cutting tools. Garnett looks cheap enough I think.

Another objective is to have made/or make a tailstock collet holder.

So, with the jacob's chuck I can hold a larger stock piece to turn down so to make a tube to slide in tailstock post. I will have to find stock pipe/tube with inner diametor agree-able with Rivett drawbar (I fortunatley have 2) and turn the pipe down so it will slide in the tailstock post.

I don't think I can drill a stock piece 5 or so inches. I'm not a massochist. But I may end up trying. Not sure.

Then have the machist turn a head that will connect to that pipe so to insert collet in. The head might be solder on or the whole thing turned as one piece.

The head should be keyed for the collet as well.

The objective of a tailstock collet holder is to have the ability to drill very small arbors for pivot replacement.

See, understand, I was able to get 2 Rivett #2 lathes off ebay for cheap. So I have 2 of everything except tailstocks.

At one point I was using the 2 heads facing each other. Where one would hold the bit while the other hold the object.

This was very close and workable, but no cigar. The problem was that both the heads do not EXACTLY match up height wise. They are very very very close...! But just enough off to not work for watch pivots.

I tried shimming one, but what to use when the difference is something like .02 to. 05 "inches off. One layer of masking tape was close.

Plus it was a sloppy solution as to operate one has to slide one of the heads.

Sliding the head you have to push down while sliding. The heads really count on being tightened down to maintain reliable contact with the bed. So accuracy is comprimized by sliding. Managable but still sloppy.

A tailstock collet holder that can slide should be a good solution for accuracy.

In reading Fried's book. I see I will/should have to learn to make my own small pivot drill bits by grinding larger bits. I see Mascott pivot drills on ebay but often the quality is comprimized (busted bits or worn).

Another highly desired object would be the cross slide. I have seen home made cross slides on ebay compatible with WW style. So, it should not be too inconcievable for one to be made of Rivett demensions.

The homemade is desirable because every time I see a genuine Rivett crosslide on ebay it goes for mega bucks. I am crossing my fingers hoping the machinist can help.

The crosslide will be a definite plus. But I am getting to the point of where I can cut a watch balance staff using the tool post.

Tiny tiny tiny. I need to rework my bench so the lathe is just below neck high. Bending over to lathe with eye loupe on makes my neck hurt after a while. I think the microscope arrangement might not be so necessary. 10x loupe seems good enough. Maybe a little stronger but not much. Some eye loupes are much better than others. I definitley recommend one with a strap to the head. Who want's to squeeze their eye to hold a loupe for that long..!

So, is the crosslide really necessary? I think it's not, but I think I'm really gonna like it. :)

Probably a bigger obsticle to cutting balance staffs is measuring. How does one get a caliper on such small parts? There are specialized bench calipers and microscopes with cross-hairs/grids to help. But, my current interpretation is that they all require staff removal from the lathe to measure. So it's -cut -remove -measure -install etc... I think I'm going to experiment with improving veneer caliper design by attaching two modified razor blades (super glue) to caliper blades to measure with. So, to cut and measure on the fly.


RJ
RJ
It sounds like your Rivett Lathe is more of a project than a tool to do a project. Personally when I started out, I started in the same manner.
Those tools eventually became part of my tool collection and I was forced to move on to more practical tools for the projects I wished to do. But then again it was an enjoyable experience while it lasted.

In regard to measuring staffs. Personally I have found it not practical to constantly remove staffs from the lathe for measurement. I think you will also find that most common measuring tools were not designed to measure small items such as staffs. This would especially be true for calipers that are much larger than small micrometers. For in place measurement of staff diameters, I use a small .500" Starrett micrometer. (first attached photo) With a little practice even the smallest staff pivot can be measured without issue.
Lengths are even easier. For this I use the end of Gage pins by optical comparision. I have found it to highly accurate when compared to other methods and far more efficient especially time wise. An example measurement can be seen in the second photo. Gage pins are available in inch or metric sets by .001" or .01mm size increments.

Jerry Kieffer
 

Attachments

Ansomnia

Registered User
Sep 11, 2005
2,614
2
0
Country
Region
Hey Micheal (Ansoniaman).

Just thought you might want to know that this thread is over 5 years old. I'm just updating with info for future Rivett lathe owners.

Hope you been well..!

...
RJ
Hey RJ, good to catch up with you! All's well indeed!

I've been immersed in major "domestic projects" lately and haven't had much opportunity to pursue my horological interests. I'm away from home at the moment and the MB is a nice way to stay in touch.

You're right though, I didn't notice the dates on Bob's messages... :eek::D But all the same, I wanted to put in my 2 cents' on the Perton as I think it's a decent WW-pattern lathe if you can get one for a good price.


Michael
 

Ansomnia

Registered User
Sep 11, 2005
2,614
2
0
Country
Region
...
Probably a bigger obsticle to cutting balance staffs is measuring. How does one get a caliper on such small parts? There are specialized bench calipers and microscopes with cross-hairs/grids to help. But, my current interpretation is that they all require staff removal from the lathe to measure. So it's -cut -remove -measure -install etc... I think I'm going to experiment with improving veneer caliper design by attaching two modified razor blades (super glue) to caliper blades to measure with. So, to cut and measure on the fly.


RJ
RJ, I see Jerry's made some excellent advice and tips about measuring on the lathe as you have also alluded to the problems if the work has to be removed for measurement.

I want to also emphasize the usefulness of spring-loaded jaws on the measuring tool. And I'm attaching again the photo I showed before. The Hamilton Kwik-Check gauge has very sharp spring-loaded jaws that makes it accurate, faster and safer to use on slender, delicate parts. The plunger on the right allows you to open and slowly close the jaws over the part. This gauge was designed to measure very tiny parts on or off the lathe... and do it safely and quickly (because the jaws are sharp, sprung and can be released quickly).

Try to find a gauge that is spring-loaded!


Michael
 

Attachments

RJSoftware

Registered User
Apr 15, 2005
8,442
100
63
Loxahatchee, Florida
Country
Region
Hello Jerry, Mike. Good to hear from you all.

I will definitely have to check into either of those measuring devices. Doubt I'll get one like you have Mike, probably rare.

The Starrett .500" micrometor sounds more obtainable.

To all concearned.

I made some progress today. I had a WW jacob's chuck collet that I bought off ebay a long while back.

Turns out (pun intended) that it was hardly any work turning it down the .01" to get it to fit.

I also was pleasantly surprized about the threads as all I had to do was turn those down a touch and then recapture the threads just by screwing the drawbar on.

To turn the collet I used the jacobs chuck to hold the largest size drill bit that I could with my largest Rivett collet.

So, if you can imagine (probably should have take a pic), I have my Rivett running with largest collet I have with a large titanium drill bit inserted in the collet. The jacobs chuck was facing the collet and the WW collet for the jacobs was installed in the jacobs chuck, so to be turned. I put the point of the rod of my tailstock to secure centering. But was not needed. I had to ajdust the jacobs chuck teeth several times till I felt it was running as true as can be.

The titanium bit (new bit set) was very rigid and provided a perfectly true mount to fasten the jacobs chuck to.

To turn down the case harden steel of the WW collet I used a small diamond enfused grinding wheel. The kind for grinding carbon steel. I get them cheap at the flea market.

So, a little at a time, I grind away till the whole shaft is .30 instead of .31. I simply held the disk against the WW collet shaft by finger. Rubbed back and forth to keep the turn even as possible (no crosslide yet).

I also grinded the key slot a little deeper. Not sure I needed to do that. But next time I convert one I will take time to be certain about that. I should have test fitted better.


BUTTTTT....!!!

Now I have a working jacobs chuck for my Rivett lathe. Yahoo...! :Party:

Since I have ability to grab/turn something a little larger now. I think I might take a stab at making the tailstock collet holder.

First I'm going to check into smallparts.com and see if they have some tubing that might meet outer and inner criteria.

http://www.smallparts.com

The drawbar diametor is:
.316
The tailstock bar diametor is:
.34

.34 - .316 = .024 (ratts too thin...!)

So, I have to create another way to draw in the tailstock collet besides a drawbar.

I suppose if the head where keyed it could turn the collet. Then if I cut a tailstock rod with threaded end to draw in the collet, that would work.

It is important to me, I think, to have a tailstock collet holder, so I can hold the smaller watch drill bits in dead center.

I still like the idea of being able to do watch pivots. No matter how small.

It may be possible also to find a WW tailstock collet holder and modify to fit my Rivett lathe. I may sacrifice the originality of the Rivett tailstock rod so to adapt to WW collet holder.

I may end up having the machinist make the part. Not sure how it's gonna go. The WW can be carved down to fit the Rivett but not vice versa.

I have also pondered how to handle WW collets. I think I can reduce them down holding them with drill bits secured by shellac.

Definitley will give it a try.

RJ
 
Last edited:

Ansomnia

Registered User
Sep 11, 2005
2,614
2
0
Country
Region
Hello Jerry, Mike. Good to hear from you all.

I will definitely have to check into either of those measuring devices. Doubt I'll get one like you have Mike, probably rare.
...

RJ
Well, maybe not RJ.

I am attaching a photo of a carbon fiber digital thickness gauge that several sellers are advertising on eBay... starting at around $10 and BIN prices at around $14. It appears to have a lever action and I think one could use epoxy glue and some appropriate add-ons to extend the "jaw" to feature a pair of knife edges.

It has resolution of 0.001"/0.01 mm and accuracy purportedly around 0.015"/0.03 mm which should be fine for clock parts.


Michael
 

Attachments

Toolhi

Registered User
Jan 29, 2008
52
0
0
Hi: Dashto.com(Tom Mister-Nawcc member) has lots of Rivett collets listed for sale.
 

RJSoftware

Registered User
Apr 15, 2005
8,442
100
63
Loxahatchee, Florida
Country
Region
Hey Toolhi. Apreciate the effort.

I went to the site and used the "silly search" (?-odd name) and got quite a few hits/listings on Rivett collets.

Thing is I think these are wrong size as each one in statement reads .325 across threads.

That makes them way bigger, even bigger than WW which is bigger than mine.

Here are the demensions on my Rivett collets.

Specific demensions of my collets are as follows.
.30 shaft diametor (not at threads).
.262 shaft diametor (at threads).
1.322 end to end (complete length of collet)
.3 length of threaded section
.488 diametor of collet head (relaxed state)
.26 distance from start of angle to outer shaft head (parallel to shaft)
.08 (aprox) remaining distance of outer bevel.

I wrote to dashto and gave the specs above, to make sure there was no misunderstanding. You never know, could have been a listing typo that got copy/edited for each.

Anyway, if s/he writes back I will let you(others) know.

RJ
 

cazboy

Registered User
Apr 27, 2006
1,106
4
0
68
Prescott Valley, Arizona
dougsclocks.hpage.com
Country
Region
Hey Micheal (Ansoniaman).

Just thought you might want to know that this thread is over 5 years old. I'm just updating with info for future Rivett lathe owners...
Like me! Just found this thread... I posted pics of my Rivett 2B (bought at a flea market for $50) on another thread. Dang - looks like my Rivett will most likely turn out to be an occasionally-used tool at best. Hopefully I'll be able to find a tailstock and a couple more collets someday...

But more importantly, can anyone tell me where I can find a tailstock to fit it? Is evilbay my only chance?
 
Last edited:

RJSoftware

Registered User
Apr 15, 2005
8,442
100
63
Loxahatchee, Florida
Country
Region
Just an update: More breadcrumbs for newbians who may be stuck in same boat.

I found out the (quite by accident) that the pointy tip of my Rivett tailstock rod comes off. I pried on it with pliars and it popped out.

Yes, it took me this long to realize this.......! Now I realize that I don't need to grind another tailstock rod and make some kind of collet holder or dremel chuck.

I now can pull off the pointy center tip with pliars and my tailstock push rod has hole.

So I quickly made a shellac chuck for it....!

I had to cut a homemade morse taper so it would fit in the rod.

What I did was measure both ends of the existing center that I pulled out. Cut those first on some steel rod I had.

Then ground a straight edge from one side to other. Then drilled a hole in center.

Finally...! Something I can hold small bits with to drill watch arbors with to repivot.

RJ
 

cazboy

Registered User
Apr 27, 2006
1,106
4
0
68
Prescott Valley, Arizona
dougsclocks.hpage.com
Country
Region
Hi RJ, when I bought my Rivett tailstock, it came with a male center (that's the "pointy tip" you referred to) in a little plastic bag. So, I always knew it was meant to be removeable. But when I bought my set of collets, one of them was a collet-mounted male center - or so I thought for quite a while. Eventually I got curious. Not being willing to take a pair of pliers to my delicate Rivett stuff, I soaked it in Kroil for about a week and then took a piece of brass rod from the back of the collet and gave it a firm whack with a large brass hammer. Nothing!
Another whack....and the male center popped out. Turned out the collet I thought was a male center was actually a female center with a male center stuck into it.

Funny you should mention a Jacobs chuck for the tailstock. At the moment, I'm in the process of having a duplicate tailstock ground. Once that's been done, a little #30 Albrecht chuck will sit right on the end. As I understand it, the series of Rivett watchmaker's lathes like mine were made a decade or two before someone else decided to standardize tailstock drilling.
 

RJSoftware

Registered User
Apr 15, 2005
8,442
100
63
Loxahatchee, Florida
Country
Region
>>Hi RJ, when I bought my Rivett tailstock, it came with a male center (that's the "pointy tip" you referred to) in a little plastic bag. So, I always knew it was meant to be removeable. But when I bought my set of collets, one of them was a collet-mounted male center - or so I thought for quite a while. Eventually I got curious. Not being willing to take a pair of pliers to my delicate Rivett stuff, I soaked it in Kroil for about a week and then took a piece of brass rod from the back of the collet and gave it a firm whack with a large brass hammer. Nothing!
Another whack....and the male center popped out. Turned out the collet I thought was a male center was actually a female center with a male center stuck into it.

Yep, it's a strange thing to go soo many years like I did before I realized...

>>Funny you should mention a Jacobs chuck for the tailstock.

No, you see I'm not dealing with a Jacobs chuck. I use one on my Rivett lathe but don't like it. You just can't really count on a good center with the Jacobs chuck.

Since my recent objective was to drill a very tine hole (.004") on the arbor of a very tiny lever (.011") I needed a way to hold the bit as dead on as possible.

In case you don't know (probably do) what a wax chuck is, it's just a hole drilled in small piece of metal that is filled with shellac (why they call it wax then..?) and is centered after heating and holds the bit or object solid.

I cut a piece of steel rod to fit in the end of the tailstock rod just like the center piece has a morse taper on it. I suppose the morse taper helps with centering maybe. As more pressure is applied, the more it centers maybe... Anyway, the hole I drilled in the end of that piece to hold the .004 drill bit (a Mascot drill bit) was just a little wider. So the shellac holds it firmly.

I could have (or maybe should have) drilled the hole to 1/8" diametor like the shanks of the carbide drill bits I have. Then I would have more versatality to drill other junk.

I cant really think of anything else that I would wish for my tailstock rod to hold, that is why I skipped trying to get a collet holder or suitable chuck like a dremel chuck.

Now here's something that will make you think. If you can find a old dremel that has suitable chuck, just cut the chuck out and leave enough metal to cut a morse taper and insert into your tailstock rod.

The dremel chuck is much superior to the Jacobs in terms of centering which is main objective of collet. The dremel chuck has curved insert that tightens equally arround the 1/8" shaft and since it can handle very high speeds is proof of it's superiority. If it where a Jacobs, even the slightest off center would be disaster.

To cut the old dremel headstock shank, just tighten the dremel chuck onto 1/8th inch drill bit, then insert in your lathe and cut the dremel shaft into suitable morse taper.

Whaaa lahhh, you got a highly reliable chuck that you can load any kind of dremel bit in including the carbide bits that they sell cheap at the flea markets. The main thing is that it's dead center and sturdy.

See, I wanted to get to the point where when I get a busted staff I could just drill it and insert apropriate rod. I'm sure that being able to replace the pivot would be faster than cutting whole new staff.

>>At the moment, I'm in the process of having a duplicate tailstock ground.

Out of curiosity how much is that gonna cost..?

>>Once that's been done, a little #30 Albrecht chuck will sit right on the end. As I understand it, the series of Rivett watchmaker's lathes like mine were made a decade or two before someone else decided to standardize tailstock drilling.

Yes, Rivett (I use one too) did not have same demensions. Till later after ours. Pretty sure we have the same model.

I give you another heads up. I found that I could simply shave off just a hair of a WW collet thread height and insert it into my Rivett lathe. I did this so I could use a Jacobs chuck on my headstock. I needed it so that I could turn down pieces that where larger than my largest Rivett collet. The only Jacobs chucks that I ever seen on ebay sells with WW collet. So that's what I got and cut the threads down just a hair.

And it's really only a small amount of reduction of the WW thread height. Something like .03 inch I think. It's such a small amount you can hold a stone to it when it's turning and be done in a few seconds. The Rivett and the WW is the same tpi just the WW is a little larger radius. Even though the body of the WW collet is bigger and head shaped different angle, it still performs. I was thinking about modifying the Rivett head, lucky me I thought a little harder.

To do the shaving I stuffed the WW collet with largest drill bit it could take, chucked up the other side of bit in my lathe and held a stone to the threads square and kept finger pressure on to center the WW collet.

Also, not sure I had to do this, but I ground the slot on the WW collet a little deeper so the notch would work. I used a thin stone dremel wheel disc.

But once I had the ability to chuck up larger metal with the Jacobs chuck it was a relief.

I have to play with it a bit. Sometimes it's good center. I watch the little reflective light on the chuck, if it vibrates then no good.

But anyway, even if it's not perfect center, the stock just being cut down enough for the Rivett collet to hold it makes good progress. Then I can reestablish a perfect center and just cut off the Jacobs slop.

My next objective is a 3 head chuck.

I'm still working on cutting and peeling, not chipping. I think that I have established that I'm running a little fast on slowest pulley setting.

RJ
 
Last edited: