Finally pulled the trigger on a little lathe/mill!

Discussion in 'Horological Tools' started by brian fisher, Apr 29, 2019.

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  1. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

    Jan 20, 2017
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    I've been looking for something along these lines for a good while now. The catalyst that finally pushed me over the edge is that I needed to have caps made for my 13 tube Jacques. after pricing out the cost of having them done, i decided that this money could be better put toward a "forever" tool. Kind of like: give a man a fish, he eats for a day. teach him to fish......

    s1jRk9.jpg

    it arrived with a little minor damage. the guy i bought it from did a really nice job of packing it up. in spite of this, the motor bracket and the power feed shaft arrived bent....because...well....fedex ground.

    i spent a couple hours fooling around with it today and was able to straighten everything out to my satisfaction.

    as you can see in the pic, this one came with a lot of very expensive accessories. in fact, just the add-ons sell on ebay for more than i paid for the entire lathe. they guy i bought it from buys and sells metal working machines and tooling for a living. he knew i was getting a good deal but was just happy to see it being sold to someone who would cherrish it.

    Accessories:

    power feed attachment is connected to the lathe.

    From left to right:

    a box of misc. bolts and various spare parts

    Dividing table (48 tooth gear) attached to round mill table

    3 jaw chuck (spare set of jaws but one jaw is missing a couple of teeth)

    4 jaw chuck

    mounting plate with dog

    1/4" drill chuck

    2 live centers and 2 dead centers

    milling attachment

    rectangular milling table

    machine vice

    4 hold downs for the tables

    original set of cutters with almost no use on them

    this lathe has been used very sparingly. i have my doubts it has even been used more than 20-30 times and seems to have been well taken care of.

    I purchased a 10 foot section of neoprene belting material. the lathe still has its original set of leather belts. they seem to be in really good condtion.


    here is a litte vid of my starting it up for the first time:

     
  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    there is a lot to play with there!
     
  3. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    NICE! Variable speed?

    Now comes the fun part: learning how to use all the extras. (My experience is limited to just a couple of classes, but it really can be fun and rewarding.) Looking forward to seeing and hearing what you are able to accomplish with this addition to your shop.
     
  4. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Brian,

    You do have a lot of goodies there, these are ingenious little machines! One thing to beware of when using the power feed is that there doesn't appear to be a limit knockout stop on it, so you could drive the tool into the chuck if you don't pay close attention. I have one of these set up as a drilling machine, and the only problem I have with it is the flexibility of the rods forming the bed and also the thinner ones on the cross slide; you need to take light cuts, especially if milling with it.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  5. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Nice set up Brian. I have most of what you have with the exception of the power feed. That would be nice for looong cuts. You may want to make some riser blocks for the headstock, tool post and tailstock if you plan on doing something that is just a tad large for the machine. Yes it has its limitations but it got me by before I got a larger machine.

    Look forward to hearing how it works for you.

    David
     
  6. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    I wonder what arrangement can be made to cut threads. Seen other non unimat with arrangements to thread. What freaks me a bit is that a lathe/mill can make all its own parts. At least in theory.

    Next on list is a foundry...!!! Casting aluminum in that green sand. Double freaky...!!!
     
  7. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

    Jan 20, 2017
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    thank you for the kind comments all of you. it is not variable speed, but i do have a variable router controller i am planning to employ. there is a thread cutting attachment availible for this lathe. the problem is that each thread needs a separate pattern/follower set that sells for around 50 bucks on ebay.

    I made my first metal part today.

    nSLjXL.jpg

    not too bad for really not knowing what i am doing. there was a learning curve. one of my first purchases after buying this lathe was to pick up a set of PDF manuals off ebay. that was probably the best 6 bucks ive ever spent. a combination of this and watching jim cut parts in his shop was what i needed to get through my first project. only 12 more to go.

    VcFJG0.jpg

    i have not completely read them but i have spent some time skimming through. for example, i learned how to properly reverse the jaws on the 3 jaw chuck.

    i have been looking at what do do for collets. Unimat actually made a head stock that takes traditional 10mm(?) collets. it is pretty tough to find and also very expensive. the collets that fit that chuck are also fairly cost prohibitive. they also have a collet chuck attachment that can be screwed in just like the 3 or 4 jaw chuck. it uses another type of collet called an er16. this one is also very hard to find and the swiss collets are expensive as well.

    after looking around on line, i found that someone sells an er20 collet chuck that perfectly fits the M12 x 1mm thread on the head stock. i chose to go this route. the reason why is because i can buy chinese er20 collets for very cheap. i can get both metric and sae up to 1/2" or 13mm. 13 metric collets from 1mm to 13mm and 14 collets from 1/16" to 1/2" cost about 45 bucks with shipping. apparently they are rated pretty high. we will see how they work once they arrive. i am pretty excited about them.....

    s-l1600-16.jpg s-l1600-15.jpg
     
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  8. wow

    wow Registered User
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    Brian, I have a Unimat SL like yours that I have used for years. I used it as a lathe and as a small drill press more than any other way. I have the round milling table and several different size gears for cutting wheels. I used a sewing machine foot controlled reastat to vary the speed. Works great. I now have a Sherline mill so I no longer use my Unimat. It is a great little machine to begin with. I have lots of manuals if you need copies. Lots to work with there. Good luck.
    Will
     
  9. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Brian nice job on your first test drive.

    One of the things that I found that helped me with this small lathe is learning how to grind HSS lathe tools. Sharp is good. Also I found it better to grind a very narrow party tool, perhaps 1mm or less in width to reduce cutting forces when parting. I made a lot of stuff with mine once I became aware of its "sweet spots", and it taught me patience big time. Your power Z feed would have helped me in that respect.

    David
     
  10. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    Brian, I started out repairing clocks with that lathe and mill set up 37 years ago. The biggest problem I found with it was the flex (twisting) of the bed rods. Even with light cuts I would be a couple of thousands off because of it. It was not something visable to the eye until heavier cuts were made. The one thing I did to correct a lot of that problem was mount the lathe on a large heavy steel plate that was also mounted on a 3/4" piece of plywood. That will go a long way to eliminating a lot of twist in the bed rods. Even then there was a flexing of the rods themselves with heavier cuts. You will find as you learn and gain skills in lathe and mill work that you will demand more and more accuracy than the machine can produce. When that happens it will be time to upgrade. In the meantime have fun learning and enjoy. Also this is not a toy, it is a powerful metal cutting machine and even for its small size it can do a lot of damage to fingers, eyes, face, etc. if you don't respect it and be aware of what you are doing with it.
     
  11. D.th.munroe

    D.th.munroe Registered User

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    Hi Brian.
    Yup nice little machines to start. My collet head stock takes standard 8mm ww type collets. Did you see all the oddball attachments for these? Lol
     
  12. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Brian I second Joseph's recommendation for a sturdy base. I have mine mounted on about three sheets of plywood and MDF all glued and screwed together and then painted.

    I also mounted a flat steel plate behind the bed so that I could mount magnetic base indicator holders.

    mounted on base.jpg

    David
     
  13. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    thank you everyone for all of your advice. some of the older models came with a cast iron bed. i wonder if it would be worth my while to procure one of those off ebay?

    you can tell this tool was definitely made in an era long before our society became enamored with lawsuits. as joe mentions, there is not a single saftey device to be found on this.....anywhere. i actually kind of like that feature to be honest. i suppose that if i mangle one of my fingers through it, i might change my tune a bit though....

    I would like to say i have a healthy respect for it. i've been using table saws and many other power tools for all of my adult life.

    i posted this pic elsewhere on the forum but i did pick up a set of interchangable bit cutters from harbor freight. they are a godsend compared to what came with the set. i really do need to learn how to shapen tooling.

    Rq8gbJ.jpg

    2ztWvR.jpg

    also, using a dial indicator to set up cuts will make everything so much more precise.

    Rq8gbJ.jpg
     
  14. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Brian if I can suggest. You could turn the too holder around so the slot for the lathe tool is closest to the head stock. This will get the tool closer to the work piece and you can have less stick out for more rigidity. This would also force the lathe tool into the tool post rather than try and push it out from under the set screws.​

    David
     
  15. Peter John

    Peter John Registered User
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    Good suggestion. I have the unimat sl as well. Used it as a lathe until I discovered the Sherline is better. Stronger dc motor, variable speed, sturdier ways for both cross slide and longitude. The unimat is now a drill press. Peter
     
  16. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    WF17YR.jpg

    i picked up this 10' roll of belting material off amazon for less than 10 buks including shipping. the size is 8mm. if you can buy 6mm, it would probably fit a little better but i am really happy with this stuff considering the price. belts are easy to make. i just heated up the soldering iron and melted the ends, then fused them together.
     
  17. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    Brian, that belting is good stuff. I have used it before on various projects. I would stay with the larger diameter it will hold up longer. The stuff does stretch and after a while will start slipping under load. But it's easy enough to make a replacement and ten feet will make a lot of them.
     
  18. David S

    David S Registered User
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    With my unimat I always removed the belt if I wasn't planning on using it for awhile. Essentially between uses, to try and minimize belt stretching.

    David
     
  19. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Super glue also works well for attaching the ends of the belt. :emoji_bulb:
     
  20. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    thank you for the tips. i took off my belts today after making several cuts.

    i picked up a few items off of ebay.

    XRO5uo.jpg

    first is a set of tommy bars. they came from a local houston guy. it is odd to me that they have hollowed out holes in the bottom, but they are sturdy enough to get a good tightening on the chuck without bending. they really beat the heck out of the original stainless sticks.

    Ln7r81.jpg

    next up is this quick change tool post. it is made in the USA from a seller out of california. this is the only one specifically made for the unimat that i am aware of. it comes with several tool posts as seen above. it even came with a holder for my dremmel. the square is a tool post rising block to match the headstock riser(that i don't have yet)

    tJh5Us.jpg

    collets and collet chuck. all of this came off ebay too. the size is er20. i chose this platform because they go up to 1/2". another reason is that there is a pre made collet chuck out there that actually screws directly to the unimat headstock. i did not buy it because it costs 100 bucks or so. the chuck in the photo is pretty similiar except it doesn't have the m12 x 1 thread and only cost 10 dollars. i ordered an m12 x 1 tap from china but it has not arrived yet. i bought the chuck with the 10mm hole up the center because the correct drill size is 10.6mm for that thread. hopefully i can run a nice true thread up the center and use it with little to no runout. the metric set is 13 collets while the sae's came with 14. so 27 collets cost about 40 bucks with shipping. so...i have less than $60 invested so far into a chuck and 27 collets. no....they are not the $600 dollar set of swiss er16's but i am hoping to see some good results with them anyway.
     
  21. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    I tried a borrowed Unimat once, but I lacked patience and I'd been spoiled by the ten-inch engine lathes I'd used in high school and thus tried making parts (not for clocks) that were far too large and tough for the little machine.

    Note that any unfamiliar machine tool requires a lot of practice, and while you're learning you will run the tool into the rotating chuck, and try to mill a surface with the cutter rotating the wrong way, and carefully set up a thinnish rod to turn down only to have it bend and wind up atop the cutter bit, and every other mistake anyone could possibly make. But as you learn you'll discover that even a machine tool with serious limitations is vastly better than no machine tool at all, and you'll be surprised at the devilish and evil shortcuts you can make to get the job done.

    You'll likely have to do a certain amount of adjustment of the gibs to ensure that things don't rattle, though since the machine had been in use previously they're likely pretty good.

    Have fun, and be very patient with yourself.

    Mark Kinsler

    and don't burn yourself on the chips
     
  22. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    i used to use that stuff (before the sherline) and would put a razor blade in a pair of lockjaw pliers, heat it up with a butane torch and then just slide the two ends up the red hot sides of the blade until they met and fused...
     
  23. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    tzmsMF.jpg

    i picked up a new 1/7hp DC brushed motor off ebay in the last week or so.

    MT3veM.jpg

    this is my bracket design. i ordered a piece of 1/2" by 4" by 12" piece of aluminum plate to make this out of. hopefully, it will arrive in the next week or so.

    jFNk16.jpg

    today, i made a pulley out of some scrap brass. that boring bar came from ebay. it was the smallest one i could find with interchangable bits. you can make a hole as small as about 8 or 9mm. the diameter of the bar is a little smaller than 1/4". as a result the quick change tool post came in really handy since that device makes it really easy to adjust the hight of the tool.


    so...it turns out that i am not sure what to do for a speed controller. i tried my router controller but it just makes this motor pulse so that isn't going to work.

    the motor is listed as 130 volt, 2900rpm, 1.3 amps. i know there are several cheap options in ebay. i don't know if i can use them with a 130v motor. one is rated for 90v output.

    I have added a couple of pics below.

    also, i don't mind building one. i have looked around on line, but have not had good luck finding any decent plans.

    so....any advice would really be appreciated.

    thank you ahead of time.

    Brian
     

    Attached Files:

  24. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    I use a pedal speed controller that's probably meant for a sewing machine. It's all electronic, though I suspect that any sewing machine controller will work, for the smallest motors for that application are rated for 130v, 1 ampere. I use it for, ta da, a bogus no-tailstock lathe-thing that uses a sewing machine motor to drive a shaft that has a half-inch drill chuck hanging off the end. Works pretty well, though I do have a big lathe-mill-drill out in the garage.

    M Kinsler
     
  25. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    looking good. for that belting material i put a razor blade in some vice grips, heat it with my little butane torch, and then press the ends of the green stuff on either side of the hot blade and then slide them together... perfect match up every time (not that i have to do it that often!) and easy enough to trim off any little bits as necessary.
     
  26. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    Nice Unimat!

    I have one but with the red sign on it. No power feed though. A few other accessories that I seldom use. Never got the hang of how the fret saw is supposed to be useful for instance. Far too high a speed on the spindle for it to be safe to use.

    I added a simple speed controller with a knob that I attached to the motor housing.

    I noticed that the belting tends to hold up better if you cut it diagonally and then heat. The surface area increases and the load becomes tangential to the joint rather than pulling right on it.

    That being said, does anyone here know a good way to splice Vee belts? I am aware of the link belts but they seem to be noisier than smooth belts.

    Regards
    Karl
     
  27. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Mark,

    I know that some Singer foot pedals work pneumatically, and perhaps some other makes do as well, so don't try one of those!

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  28. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    I think my foot pedal works by a carbon strip (or steel, not sure) that becomes shorter as you press the pedal and so shortens the resistance. As such, it becomes pretty hot when run at half speed for an extended period of time. And all that heat is power that the motor doesn’t deliver to the lathe. A counter shaft and motor running at full speed is better in my experience. In you case: larger pulleys.
     
  29. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
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    Karl,

    Habiset round belting. Swiss so you do have access.
     
  30. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    I only find info on “Habasit”. Is that the one?
     
  31. sharukh

    sharukh Registered User
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    Karl,

    Have you considered using O rings ? I have been using them on my Unimat as well as watchmaker lathes. The choice of sizes is huge.

    Sharukh
     
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  32. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    Good idea! The problem is not really finding the right length but that I need to take the spindle apart in order to install the belt if I can’t splice it. This is not for a small lathe but for a 102mm center height Habegger. The spindle has both ball bearings and a bronze bearing in the front. Taking it apart for cleaning was no small feat. Guess I’ll put the right belt on before I finish up on my work on it now.

    Regards
    Karl
     
  33. D.th.munroe

    D.th.munroe Registered User

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    Brian
    if that's a DC motor those controls or a sewing machine pedal I dont think will work, your probably going to need a dc control board and power supply.
    The cheap 7x10 lathes I think use a 90v dc motor and control board, but powered treadmills are a good source for dc power supplies, motors and control boards (with some modifications, basically removing all the extra control boards and putting a potentiometer on the control wires) like this one that hasn't been set up yet.
    Dan

    15615799879525360957358301322170.jpg
     
  34. wefalck

    wefalck Registered User

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    A 130V DC motor seems to be a rather unusual animal these days. I was about to suggest cheap electronic transformers and speed controllers for 12V or 24V (or even 48V) that can be found on ebay, coming from Chinese sources, but then I read the whole thread again. It may be still worthwhile to check out what is on the market there.

    I am actually keeping an eye on 24V electric scooter motors that have become really cheap and are likely to have enough torque for lathe applications - in case the Sherline on my lathe goes bust, as the one for the mill did a couple of years ago.

    Way back in the early 1970s, when still a youngster, I got a teflon-coated insert for my soldering iron that was meant (and used) for cutting styrofoam (my mother really appreciated the smell), but it turned out to be very useful for welding plastic belting too. I then trim of the excess with a pair of round scissors and smooth the seem down with a an open-pore abrasive wheel in my handheld drill. With some care, the seams are almost undetectable. Have to try the diagonal seem, as suggested above.

    The best belts seem to be the original Swiss green 'Polycord' belts. 'Habasit' belt are quite similar, I believe. However, it seems to be difficult to find a source from which you can buy small quantities at a reasonable price: it turned out the German importer for Polycord belts is located in a small town located onyl a few kilometers away from my home-town - however, even when I suggested that I would drive over to collect some meters of it, they wanted to charge me the minimum order price of 70€ plus VAT. I have not been able to identify a source in Europe that would supply a few meters at the actual price per meter plus the actual cost of shipping.

    The second best solution are the green belts offered by Chinese suppliers on ebay. They don't fuse as well as Polycord belts and they are more stretchy. However, the Chinese sell them at a couple of Euro per Meter, shipping included. So that is what I have been using nolens volens lately.

    The pulleys on watchmakers lathes are designed for round belts. The angle for of the grooves would be too steep for V-belts.
     
  35. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi wefalck,

    Tony Griffiths at lathes.co.uk sells Polycord by the metre or customs lengths.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  36. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    thank you for the advice gentlemen. i submitted a lowball offer on the used blue one and the guy accepted it. 45.00 shipped. it has an output range up to 115v.

    the way i understand it, a dc motor really doesn't care how many volts it gets. it simply changes the rpm and possibly the power output somewhat.

    hopefully, this one is my answer. the pulley i made has three speed options in addition to the 3 on the headstock. so...even if i get, say 2600rpm out of it, that should be a good match for this little lathe.

    also, my 1/2" aluminum plate arrived in the mail today. i'll start on the bracket next week when i get home from my trip.
     
  37. wefalck

    wefalck Registered User

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    Thanks, Graham. Although I have been on Tony's Web-side for 20 years or so, this was not on my radar. I knew he sells V-belts. For the moment I still have the Chinese stock that I need to use up.
     
  38. sharukh

    sharukh Registered User
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    You CAN join O rings. Cut it the same as you would the fusible belt. Use Cyanoacrylate to stick it. The joint is quite strong.

    Sharukh.
     
  39. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    Well, yeah. But that would have to be an O-ring about 60cm in diameter and 2cm thick.
     
  40. D.th.munroe

    D.th.munroe Registered User

    Feb 15, 2018
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    There is a place in the US called "Tom's Tool Store" that sells unimat parts he has blue premade belts for the unimat
    for an ok price
    Though I cant believe I just sold my whole unimat setup to my brother for the price they want for a ww collet spindle lol
     
  41. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    #41 brian fisher, Jul 3, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
    I finished up my lathe re-power project.

    there was nothing wrong with the old motor except that it was underpowered, one speed, and always ran hot.

    KYempx.jpg

    i cut the bracket out on a scroll saw. (1/2" x 4" aluminum plate off ebay). it was really slow going but did the job just fine. i used 3m spray adhesive to adhere my template to the plate of aluminum.

    9HzKcB.jpg

    eIdWoI.jpg

    here are a couple of pics of the finished product. i am going to turn the brass pulley on the motor around to take advantage of higher and lower speeds. that speed controller is perfect for the job at hand. it came without schematic or directions and it was not immediately obvious how to hook it up. i was able to go on line to the manufacturer's web site where i found and printed out an owner's manual for this exact model. awewome! it has two potentiometers internally that adjust the min and max speeds. i set the max value to the highest possible and the min value to what i assume to be around 200 rpm. i had to decide if i was going to mount the controller remotely on a board or on the motor itself. the motor mounting option seemed like the best bet for a couple reasons: first, this is how sherline does it. i figured if it was good enough for them, it was good enough for me. also, since this lathe can be set up as a mill, i forsaw a problem in the logistics of extra cords and cord lengths when switching back and forth between mill and lathe operations.

    here is a youtube vid of the upgrade in action:



    Jerry Kiefer i am not. however, i am really stoked as to how well this project has turned out. Especially since it was done with a bunch of random auction parts. i have about 120.00 invested in this upgrade including the motor (new on ebay 45.00 shipped), controller(new on ebay 45.00 shipped), the aluminum plate, and a few misc parts such as screws, electrical connectors, etc. the power cord came out of a dishwasher that i scrapped a couple years ago.

    i thought about selling my original motor on the auction site. i think i can get about the same amount as i have invested in the upgrade. i guess the thing that gives me pause is that i might upgrade to a bigger lathe at some point. if i do that, i will probably keep the upgrade and sell the unimat with the original motor.
     
  42. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Dec 18, 2011
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    Nice going Brian. Nice to see the Unimat in action. How is the low speed torque with the new motor and controller? It is nice to have a range of speeds without having to changing belt positions.

    David
     
  43. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

    Apr 20, 2013
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    Nice! The only issue with this setup could be that the end if the motor is sticking out past the spindle nose. That’s fine for using the Unimat as a lathe but for milling it could become an issue. Have you considered changing the rotation of the motor and switching the layout around? Like the Sherline headstocks?

    Regards
    Karl
     
  44. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    that is a good point Karl. i hadn't thought of that. so far, i havent used the machine for anything but lathe operations. i guess switching around the motor would be really easy from a wiring standpoint. all i would have to do is reverse 2 wires in the control box. the bracket would be pretty complicated though. i purchased an ER20 collet chuck as picured above. it is a good bit longer than the 3 jaw. perhaps with a bit installed, it might have enough clearance? the chuck is presently at the machine shop as i write this getting m12x1 threads put in. i will try it out and report back when i get the chance.



    well, i am not sure what to compare it to, but it really seems to have a ton of torque even at the lowest speed. i did a good bit of research before i purchased anything. apparently, one of the best assets of DC pma motors is this feature. i actually made up 2 belts yesterday. one for the high speed pulley and one for the low speed. i wish i had some sort of tachometer to get an idea of what it is actually spinning.
     
  45. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    Yes, the motor bracket will need some modifications. At first I had a brain fart and thought that you could just flip it around. But you need an offset. Maybe a spacer block?

    Yes, most chucks will move you far enough from the spindle nose. It’s just if you use collets with a draw bar on a taper nose spindle that it will become an issue. Still, you are more likely to run into awkward, protruding features on a milling op than a turning op. Think bushing of a pillar plate in a clock with fixed pillars. Then you want as little as possible surrounding the spindle.

    Regards
    Karl
     
  46. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    M9khiM.jpg

    I dropped my er20 collet chuck off at a local machine shop. he cut the proper thread in the tail end for me.

    lklWli.jpg

    the finished chuck is off center by about .003. i didn't expect it to be perfect, so...

    s3iwmQ.jpg

    i offset my headstock and ground the inner surface of the chuck with my dremmel. I spent some time on it and i now have it down to about .0012".

    i guess that is probably pretty accurate but i was hoping to get it to about .0005" runout. perhaps some of you might have an idea or two about how i can get the accuracy a little tighter?

    Brian
     
  47. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    The stone you are using looks to be a aluminum oxide. To grind hardened steel you probably would get better results if you used a silicon carbide stone.
     
    brian fisher likes this.
  48. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    #48 RJSoftware, Jul 17, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
    Just wondering where this slightly larger than watchmaker lathe (bench top) comes into play.
     
  49. brian fisher

    brian fisher Registered User

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    well, the collet chuck is actually mild steel. it machines pretty easily. i am going to reset it and grind on it some more to see if i can get it down to about .0005 or so.

    rj; I guess i don't really understand your question, but i assume you infer it is just a bit bigger than a jeweler's lathe so what is the point? i don't know. i like it. i use it when i can. that is about the best i have for you on the subject.
     
  50. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    #50 RJSoftware, Jul 18, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
    yep, just my debating with myself to get one. Actually the Harbour freight benchtop one. Was hoping you had some outstanding reason that I didnt even consider...

    I have seen videos where guys that do aluminium castings require larger lathe to finish up. Antique Car parts, but the lathe is generally larger. Casting aluminum looks fun.

    I had a chance to buy a larger bench top lathe, mill combo for $300. I dropped the ball and lost it. I doubt I get an offer like that again.
     

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