hello i am looking into building a machine. i currently have a nice litton-HSJ HSJ Lathe - 114 mm (4-1/2") Bore
but i need a longer machine for one product i produce. i want to partially automate the process. what I have in mind is basically a long lathe with automated tail stock travel and fire carriage travel. also both the tail stock and the head stock will need to turn at the same rate this is the tricky part. not sure what size or type of motors to use. i would like the head and tail stocks to be powered independently rather than using a drive shaft as my current machine uses. so that i can add to the bed length if needed. this machine will not need to have the same tolerances as a metal machine would need. as it will be for a single task i have my litton for assembly.
i am thinking i will use this for the bed Linear Slide Assembly (RPS) | Linear Actuator Technology
i will also likely build custom head and tail stocks. but that is another story later down the road.
what motors to use to drive the spindles?
what motors to turn the hand wheels for linear travel?
what is the best way to build the bed?
thanks for your input
Glass machines are simple, to drive the 2 head stocks seperatly , the best way is to have a disconect coupler in the drive shaft.
you must have one drive Shaft from the main motor( if you want to call it that) to drive both head stocks. use steel timing chain to to drive the heads stocks. nothing else works even close.
in some instances I found the drive shaft works better in the middle of the bed than on the back side like litton has now, however you have to macke your own beds in this case. on cnc type ones use a cheap ball screw in the center of the bed and have the drive shaft off the back side.
the motors can be bought at grainger there is nothign special about them.
I tried the linear guide type and didnt like them, make the bed like the litton.
for glass any stepper motor will work.
the cheapest way to make a good bed is to find a big set of bench centers. or an old hardinge ahc type machine. if the bed is long enough.
4.5 inch spindle machine isnt that the one thats like 4-5 foot long bed? in that case you will have to try to find a casting. good luck for one or 2, the best we could find as far as cost effectiveness was a min. of 15.
its cheaper to build of out steel and alum.
the whole lathe is extreamly simple to build. there as basic as basic can be, almost everything but the base and the head stock can be bought off the shelf, through mc master carr , granger etc etc the rest you just have the equipment to build it or send it out. you will only need to grind the table and the bottoms of the head stock.( to make it correct) but you can get away with a face mill on a good machine and some lapping.
for the head stocks you might be able to use old hardinge houseings and modifiy them to hold a bigger through bore spindle and bearing.( thats your cheapest route for head stocks on that big of a spindle bore, check ebay)
your cost is going to be about 4-8k from a complete scratch build to modified ones easy,and thats not including the chucks( trust me I been there done that and I have the machines to make every part needed) , no matter how you look at it. maybe a tad more for that size of machine. you can buy used glass machine just as cheap and modify them.
My neighbor bought like 5-7 of these litton machines a few years back and he got them cheaper than crap. he sold them recently for more than he bought them for.
one other thing for the best, hit up a scrap yard you could be surprized what you will find that can be modified. Dont forget you will need a really heavy stand and that would have to be custom made either by you or a fab shop.
you can also use alum to build a bed and have it hard anodized.
the #1 head stock MUST be pinned and perfectly square otherwise your going to be breaking glass, once that back head stock touches it.