hello the best type of collet holder for the tailstck is the lever type.but you can get er series collet holders in 1mt 2mt and 3 mt ,i dont know what the taper is on your tailstock
er series are good collets and er16 set goes down to .5 millemeter ....regards ray
Bangster - As long as the taper fits your tailstock, they are very helpful. Obviously, not as accurate as a regular collet-holding tailstock. Don't forget many people who replace pivots don't even use a tailstock. They chuck the drill up in a pinvise and hold steady while they drill. Now you know why there are so many tailstocks missing from lathes you see on ebay, etc. They used to throw them away.
I'd recommend using a center drill in the collet holder (or one of Mr. Huckabee's center finders) to start the center. Then you should be able to use the collet holder to hold the drill. Of course, if you are going to turn between centers, this wouldn't be very accurate.
If you see another and it is reasonably priced, I'd recommend getting it and trying it out. To try and find a collet holding tailstock which fits your lathe is almost impossible. You'd need to get a complete lathe. There are plenty of used lathes out there, you just have to be patient (and make sure that the tailstock actually lines up with the headstock). (switching)
Don't forget, not every watchmaker had a Levin lathe. Check out the so called lower grades. Your skill is just as important as chrome.
I have made an important discovery. A while back I bought one of these for some purpose or other. Today I was looking at it, trying to figure out if its shank could be turned to a taper than would fit in my tailstock spindle, when I realized that the shank appeared to be the same size as the spindle itself. The rest is history.
Pulled the spindle out, stuck the gadget in its place, and voila! Stuck a drill bit in the chuck, lubricated the rails of the lathe, and discovered that I could drill into whatever is chucked in the headstock, by sliding the tailstock along the rails.
Not as nifty as a lever-action collet-holding tailpiece, but by gum it's better than nothing at all.
Well, if you're into making do with kludhy tools, you can also try putting the headstock from another lathe at the tailstock position (reversed, naturally). That way you can actually use a collet to hold your drill bit.
Of course, it probably won't be centered properly, but it also probably won't be any worse that the chuck in the picture.
Personally, I like to find the center, and then just hold the drill in a pin vise. Of course, I have a small advantage: I have a collet holding pin vise, so the drill is in a collet, which is in the pin vise, which is held in my hand. It all just works perfectly, and has almost no set-up time.
Oh - and I just use a sharp graver to find the center. If you're in the center with the point, the graver doesn't vibrate at all, and you can make a small nick to provide a centered start for the drill.
Bangster - BTW, I just acquired a "Peerless" Marshall lathe. The collet holder I have doesn't fit the tailstock taper. It is much too small. It does, however, fit the taper for the American Watch Tool Co lathe I have. So that's another thing you have to look for.
Personally, I do not find much use for a collet holding tailstock in a WW lathe. Under 1/8 I use a pinvise. If will use the tailstock for drills between 1/8 and 1/4 inch where the deflection can still be seen; but at least screw machine dills are stiff and strong so they may cut oversize but they will not break. Larger holes get made on a larger lathe.
I just got back from teaching the intro to micromachining (graver prep and use) course at the NAWCC school. In a week every student was successful in drilling 2/10 mm holes by hand w/ a pinvise.
I have explained elsewhere how the reality of tolerance and wear preclude reliably lining up a sliding tailstock and headstock to be dead on center and how this causes the point of the drill to deflect, stressing the shank and breaking any drill under 5/10mm. But these same drills can be used in a handheld pinvise.
I teach people that a collet holding tailstock is essential for resale but the reason they often look so good is that many who are accomplished with the WW lathe keep them in the cupboard. I tend to use my tailstock for removing collets and installing pivot plugs; and holding things like pinion blanks while I am machining the leaves.
Think about it; Levin sold a 8 poiund attachment with height and transvers adjustments so that micro drills could be aligned with the headstock. Neither Levin nor Derby ever stated tolerances for head/tail alignment. Given this when situation when new, what is to be expected of lathes that have been in use for 40 to 60 years? That is, even if they are the set of head, bed and tail that left the factory together!
For the benifit of the beginners I have to offer another point of view. I certainly agree that a student in a short period of time can drill a hole with a pin vise in a jewelers lathe. While nothing is impossible, After many years of micro machining I have to question if that hole is centered, round, straight and without taper. If the hole is to be used for repivoting nothing less would be excceptable in my opinion.
I have to agree with you on the Tailstock alignment issues with many Jewelers lathes. Wear is not an issue since lubrication of the Tailstock ram will center the ram under the light loads of micro drilling. Alignment of course is another issue with no practical method of adjustment. For this and other reasons I seldom use my three complete sets of jewelers lathes for micro machining in favor of modern equipment.
A modern lathe with adjustable headstocks/tailstocks eliminate all of the alignment issues you have discussed. In regard to drilling holes I normally demonstate cutting a .010" pivot about .125"-.150" long and THEN drilling a .005" hole down the center. This is done holding the drill in the tailstock that will consistently drill a straight centered round hole without a taper. This has been publicly demonstated for over ten years and is done as a first procedure in many of my beginners classes to build confidence in the equipment the student is using. Since this procedure relies on equipment capability more so than skill it is easily taught to students with no experience. Many times over the years when doing equipment demo`s I have had people who have never touched a lathe do this in a couple of minutes with just verbal instruction. I can only think of one broken drill and that was part my fault.
Some day we should get together and see if we can impress the heck out of each other. If that don`t work we could have a couple of beers and try again.
I imagine we will bump into each other through the school at some point. I would enjoy spending some together. I must admit I am impressed with what you have done vis a vis pinion cutting; but I have few (if any) original techniques that others find impressive. I offer what I have and try what others say may work "better" (allowing for time, equipment and personal quirks). A friend even sez I am pretty promiscuous when it comes to tools and equipment because I don't hesitate to buy a new piece of euipment and then sell it or the thing it replaces.
One important point to clarify to readers is that while I am talking in metric, you are using imperial measurements. The 2/10mm hole my students drilled by hand is smaller than 8/1000 of an inch. That was with 100% success rate using equipment equivalent to that used by most of our readers; the NAWCC school is rapidly upgrading its equipment but we had to use legacy lathes that are essentially "Mart" quality.
There is no need for students to drill such a small hole before they can make a balance staff to a drawing. It is a confidence building excercise; they gain an understanding of what they and simple tools/machines can accomplish along with a realization of how tactile sensation (the "touch") can play an important role in their use of the WW lathe (along with the skill to cut a female center).
I teach my students that the only critical outcome standards to a machining job are dimensional accuracy and finish. And that there are varied ways to complete a job that will acheive those ends depending upon the equipment available, personal preference and knowledge. The emphasis on dimensional accuracy and finish has the benefit of helping them identify techniques that lead to botch work.
If they can truly form a dimensionally accurate repivot with a finish that matches the original with a pinvise and arkansas stone, God bless em. But most people recognize they cannot.
Having said that, some people will buy new Sherline lathes and others will buy used WW lathes. IMO, a Sherline is not well suited to the way a watchmaker works; just look at the cost of the T-rest. The watchmaker spends the vast majority of time (90%?) doing freehand work and the WW lathe is well suited for that. The small headstock invites the watchmaker to get up close and personal, and if mounted on a good Al plate, to move the lathe around as he she moves from turning to facing. At least for me, by the time I planned all my sliderest moves I would be done making a balance staff on the WW.
I note that you are doing very useful things with the Sherline. I think you and Roger Chastaine provide very good instruction on how to use the Sherline. But I don't think the Sherline is the lathe for everyday watch restoration. If I did not have an 8 inch Habegger and two mills, I would strongly consider the merits of buying a Sherline. But I will also tell any watchmaker that is serious about restoration work that they will need an 8 inch lathe; I use mine almost as much as I use my WW.
Watchmakers who want to buy a new lathe would be best served to buy the Vectra (a chinese made, german distributed copy of the WW Bergeon lathe) or a Steiner. But the vast majority of watchmakers will buy used WW lathes and my goal is to teach them how to use those lathes and to think about the best way to use their money (ie, are collet holding tailstocks all that useful?). But I would pose that even the tailstock of a new Vectra may not be trusted for drilling small holes.
I am not clear why a perfectly sized and centered hole is needed for repivoting. It is certainly desirable but far from essential. As for size, the plug is fitted to the hole . Then the pivot is formed after the plug is joined to the arbor providing the opportunity to ensure the truth of the final pivot.
My work flow is drill the hole, make a plug with an arbor that is a driving fit to that hole and the "pivot" end oversized. Mount the wheel arbor and its pivot plug, preferably between centers, and cut the pivot. Particularly if mounted between centers (where the working end is mounted using the original arbor face), the new pivot must be centered. But if one has good collets, the repaired arbor can often be mounted through the back of the collet with just the pivot plug exposed. Whole job takes between 15 and 20 minutes.
If I needed perfectly sized cylindrical holes, I would have kept the Levin micro drilling attachment I once had. But I found that was not an essential requirement and I turned it into money that was used for something else. Besides, just setting up that rig and taking it down took a good 10 minutes each time. It simply was not "fun".
But for fun, we could drill holes by hand and by tailstock, grind the arbor to the center line and check to see if there are significant differences in parallelism. Not sure of the instrumentation needed given we are talking about sizes between 3/10mm to 5/10mm in diameter; maybe a scope with a measurement recticle. The next step would be to work out if deviations found were within the limits required for the needed fit. My experience is that they are.
Since I recently acquired it, I am playing with the drilling attachment for my Steiner turns. This is a tool used for dead center repivoting. I think it is "fun" and quicker; but I cannot reccomend that everyone run out and buy one because of cost and availability.
Thank you for the thorough explanation. I agree that the Jewelers lathe is a highly efficient insturment in highly skilled hands. The key to this discussion is highly skilled hands that takes many years to develope in most cases unless your naturally talented. While many basic achievements can be mastered on any type of equipment with some practice in a short time, the real question is how many truly master the equipment in the long run. If a student has the time and the desire as well as maintaining the skills with daily use in most cases they will succeed.
On the other hand a lathe requiring the amount of hand skill that a jewelers lathe requires can be very ineffiecient if a person has limited time, lacks natural skill and or lacks the time to maintain that skill.
Modern Equipment offers an option for those people as well as others who are looking for less skill oriented procedures that will produce high quality work. The most efficient method of doing Quality work is the method that works best for the individule doing the work. The more options that are offered the more people we will hopefully attract to this hobby.
I am always happy to publicly demonstrate the abilities of modern Equipment that easily equal and in many cases exceed that of a jewelers lathe if quality equipment is used. One example would be your comment that a round, straight taper free hole is desirable but not always necessary. Using a properly adjusted/ aligned tailstock there is no other way to do it if quality tooling is used. An example of its use would be repivoting a 4th pinion. While expensive watches will warrent cutting a new arbor/pinion many lesser quality watches can be easily repaired with a simple repivoting including seconds bit. This type of repair is only practical by using the smallest possible pivot hole centered as close as possible to maintain strength of the pinion. A straight, round , non taper hole allows a pivot/seconds bit to be rotated in the hole with a slight friction fit offering maximum assembly strength and stability. The pivot is held in the tailstock for installation assuring close alighment so that only slight amount of metal removal is required to true the arbor.
Another example is that modern equipment allows for single point threading and the ability to make special Taps and Dies. Considering the cost of standard Taps and Dies and the fact that many of the threads one encounters are non standard, this may be the only practical way to restore some watches/clocks and other items.
To make a long story short I use modern Equipment because it is the most efficient way and in some cases the only way for me to produce the quality/type of work that I wish to produce. I suspect that you use what you use because it works best for you.
As stated my Goal is to offer options hoping that it will increase interest in this hobby.
I guess you state as fact two premises that I do not accept on faith: that it takes less time to become facile with a Sherline than it does to with a WW lathe; and that holes drilled by hand are not as accurate as those drilled with a Sherline. No matter how forcefully one states a hypothesis, they are only assumptions unlessl they are tested.
Both premises are subject to test. As Sam and and I (and Wostep) have shown, those with absolutley no machining background can become proficient in the WW lathe in a very short period of time. When I teach, I am not concerned about how small a hole I can drill, I want to prove to the student that they can do it as well. My premise in restoration is that if someone else did it 100 years ago, you can do it too. There ain't no magic; just knowledge.
I also outlined how one could measure the hypothesized taper and concentricity of small holes drilled by hand vs. those drilled buy tailstock in various machines. Given the experience of those who came before me (including W. O. Smith, Marvin Whitney, Roy Hovey, etc) and myself, I know the experience is that holes drilled by hand are within the tolerance required to secure drivng fits. It is easy enough to disprove this by direct measurement. Certainly, if you wanted to test this when we are at the school sometime, I would be willing to assist you. But I am not motivated to verify this for myself since my everyday experience suggests there is no problem.
I am not clear why you seem to say a 4th pinon can only be repivoted with "modern equipment". This is and has been an everyday job for watchmakers using a ww lathes for the last century, If you can drill 2/10 mm hole into the face of an arbor, you can repivot anything. This thread started out by informing readers that trying to use a collet holding device may not be the best way to do it and the experienced watchmakers have known this for years (hence the "new" condition of many collet holding tailstocks).
This is not to say it cannot be done in "Modern equipment" (in quotes because I consider a new Steiner or Vectra modern), but simply to say that such equipment is not a requirement at all. Neither is it to imply that any old clapped out WW lathe/collet will do either.
The only thing that makes those who mastered WW lathes different from those who are just starting out is knowledge and experience. We don't have an extra finger or 5/20 vision. This is the no different than those who mastered the Sherline vs. those who just purchased one. And the NAWCC School offers instruction in both Sherline use and WW lathe use.
I think there is a place in the world for Sherline, Taig, WW and 8 inch lathes, vertical mills, horizontal mills, milling attachments, etc. The issue is for each machinist to find that place. Given that a watchmaker spends most of his life with work that is smaller than 3 mm and doing graver work, the traditional WW lathe is likely his/her best choice for his first machine. For a clockmaker, a Sherline may well be a best choice for his first machine.
This a good discussion for those reading this thread. I hope it helps them to sort out their options. The only outcome of importance is dimensional accuracy and finish and that there are a myriad of ways to acheive that outcome. HOW it is accomplished is a function of personal preference, and equipment at hand. (Ask Roger about my class's use of the Sherline for dead center turning of 1/2 inch brass; I have few "loyalties" when it comes to machines and can be quite promiscuous). As far as I can figure, once you START with a piece of euipment, you then start to figure out what you need to do more. It is the choice of that first lathe that seems to be the source of the inertia and I simply suggest that a good way to guide that choice is the user's inclinations as to what kind of work he/she would like to take on. Balance staffs, the WW. Replacement parts for clocks, Sherline. WW is too light for the latter, Sherline too "clunky" for the former. But that is only my opinion, it is not offered as a statement of fact. As with all opinions and articles of faith, each person must verify for themselves.
First I would Hope this discussion is considered a friendly non combative discussion as two friends would have over dinner. It certainly is considered that for me. I would also like to clear up the "Sherline" discussion. While I use this equipment and have found it to be the least expensive Equipment capable of doing what is being discussed There are other more expensive brands that are also just as capable. It is not my intention to promote any brand of equipment but to offer the option of other types of equipment capable of doing the same level of work. For this reason I seldom refer to equipment by brand name but only by type. My back ground for Micro machining comes from Model engineering where some work is more complicated and half the size of watch parts. Since I have no patients (When Working) when I ran into a problems over the years I blamed my equipment. I tried all available brands and types and selected what would accomplish the task in a timely fashion, with the least amount of effort/skill to the quality standards I had set for the work. I have never indicated in any way that a Jewelers Lathe with a graver using traditional methods could not produce quality work. In fact I have stated many times some of the finest Horological work has been done that way. However it is NOT THE ONLY WAY quality Horological work can be done to the highest standards. 100 years ago the Jewelers lathe was the only choice for this work. Today it is not and I see no reason not to offer other options. You are correct in that my opinion is no better than what I can demonstrate. I am very comfortable with that since I have learned the hard way that when you teach you must be able to demonstrate what you teach. You also must be able to teach what you demonstrate. My preference for equipment also comes from daily use as well as teaching micro machining for both Hobbyist and Industry. My reference to skill levels comes from equipment use and having taught both the use of a Jewelers Lathe as well as modern equipment. What I have to offer I am willing to share by request as payment to the many who have helped me in the past. Only the student can judge the value of of what is offered , good or bad.
I am getting confused. I don't think I ever "accused" you of saying work can only be done with one set of equipment; although I am still unclear about your reference to the 4th pinion repivot.
Without your saying so, I already was certain from your general writing style that you are not offended that I proposed tests for your hypotheses about which lathe is "easier" to learn and that hand held drills create holes unsuitable for repivoting. I was certain you understand that is a rational response when claims are made that seem to be at odds with experience. I avoid discussions with people who are ideological and insist everyone take what they say as aritcles of faith.
Certainly, it appears you and I agree there are mutliple ways to produce a given product. I guess where you and I differ is that you emphasize "newness" or "modernness" and I emphasize the fit of the tool to the job.
The choice you pose in the last note, "modern" vs "traditional" is all the more confusing to me since engine lathes have been around as long as watchmaker lathes. It is not "tradition" or "stubborness" that led watchmakers to conclude the WW lathe was the best tool for their work.
For example, as said earlier, a watchmaker spends the vast majority of his time working on material that is smaller than 3mm in diameter. Plus, making a balance staff or adjusting a stem is more readily done with a graver. The design of the WW headstock is more accomodating of wearing a loupe and getting in close. The Sherline is not; neither is the Levin 10mm headstock or even the Levin 8mm ball bearing headstock. The Sherline is designed as a minature engine lathe and hence even the use of a T-rest is cumbersome.
OTOH, I think the WW lathe is ill suited to turning 1/2 inch rod or cutting clock wheels. It CAN be done, but I thinkthe Sherline is a better choice if that is the intended direction.
I hope you do not find this difference offensive; I have found your approach to things quite interesting and in fact I am on record as saying that given the difficutly of securing pinion cutters, your use of Sherline to make pinions merits those looking into wheel and pinion cutting looking at your approach.
However, the fact that other methods have survived the test of time does not mean they are obsolete or second rate. As said elsewhere, by the time I finished planning my slide rest moves, I could have had a staff made by graver and in the watch. OTOH, if I was making 100 staffs, I would go CNC becuase the time spent programming would be made up.
Similarly, I do not use my WW to make clock barrels. I use my 8 inch lathe; others without the space should consider a Sherline. Although I have a t-rest for it, I would never even dream of using a graver on my 8 inch lathe.
It was/is not my purpose to offend you or to be combative. I agree new machines are more desirable than old (hence my suggestion that those able buy the Vectra or Steiner/Horia watchmaker lathes); but I do not agree that an engine lathe is inherently more suited to a watchmaker than a watchmaker's lathe. My opinion is the opposite. At the same time, I think any serious restorer requires an engine lathe; but I think it should be between a 6 and 9 inch swing lathe.
The beauty of these threads is that present and future readers have access to our thoughts and can evaluate for themselves which direction they want to start out in. This has come a long way from the usefulness of a collet holder on a WW lathe!
If I could actually be be offended at all I probably would have committeded suicide many years ago. My concern was that you not be offended by some of my famous less than sensitive statements from time to time. I also appreciate the fact that you are taking the time to help others by teaching what experience has taught you. Being insensitive again I think more of use need to do that without excuses. The small differences we have about the ease/speed of operating a handwheel verses the use of a hand graver can be easily resolved through personal demonstration. As mentioned in my first message on this, if it gets to serious it should be tempered with a Beer. But no more than one since I seldom drink and can`t handle more than one.