slide rest, lathe

• WHEN YOU ADD a compound slide rest to a wood-turning lathe, you expand the tool's abilities to include reasonably precise machining of metals, plastics, hardwoods—any turnable material. The lathe does not need altering unless you must change pulleys or add a jack shaft to produce spindle speeds low enough for metal turning. You'll probably also want to add a chuck or two of the type used to hold metal rods, tubes and rings—say one universal (3-jaw) chuck and one independent 4-jaw type. The compound slide rest shown in use on the facing page was designed to be built in a shop that presently has no metal-working lathe. It's not as complicated as a quick glance at the drawings on the following pages might suggest. The basic materials needed will include: One plate of 3/8" steel and three plates of 1/4" steel (keyed A, J, K and S on the drawings); four 5/8"-square steel bars for the lower slide rails (E and F); four %-in.-square steel bars for the upper slide rails (L and P); strips of 1/8" -thick brass in 5/16" and 3/4" widths, for the gibs and their retaining plates (I and O); eight end supports of 1/4-in. steel (B and C, G and H, M and N, Q and R); pieces of the same stock, to form the tool-post slot; enough 3/8-16 threaded rod (the type sold in local hardware stores) to make one 6-in. and one 10-in.

Compound slide rest for a wood lathe

Have you wished you could do metal turning? This accessory lets you do it on your wood lathe. Furthermore, you don't need special metalworking equipment to make the slide rest

Upside-down assembly of cross-slide sections assures accuracy. After rails F are joined to end supports and plate J, use assembly as spacing cradle for rails E. Slip paper between gib and rail before clamping to drill for bolts and pins at the right

To make a curved slot in plate J, secure plate K to it with a pivot bolt and drill a series of overlapping holes through the locking bolt hole, while K is pivoted about 100 deg. Then file away jagged edges and file a hex nut to fit the
slot as shown on page 2383


Drill rails for bolts and pins, using predrilled end supports as templates

feed screw; and two brass blocks, each 3/4" to 1" square and about 1" long, for feedscrew nuts, which are stationary. Start with the cross slide. This half of the assembly consists of two rail-and-plate sections. The bottom (fixed) section bolts to the lathe bed; the top (sliding) section moves crosswise to the lathe bed—as for facing cuts—and serves as a mount for the pivoting compound slide. The gibs, attached to the rails of the sliding section, are adjustable to control any play that may develop.

It's important that rails are mounted exactly parallel to each other and to the plate on which their end supports are mounted. Assemble the top section first, clamping the rails in position and using the predrilled end supports for boring templates, as in Fig. 1. Note that the gib-retaining plates are already attached to the rails. A V-block makes a good clamping support. After these rails are secured, use them as a form for clamping the lower, fixed rails while the latter are drilled for the bolts and pins that fasten them to their end supports (Fig. 2). Before applying 2381

slide rest, lathe

The disassembled compound slide is in the foreground, with the cross slide to the rear. A detached gib and retaining strip are at the left, in front of the upside-down feed table

The slide rest consists of two units: The cross slide (the color-shaded portion of these two pages) bolts to the lathe bed; the compound slide pivots on top. Each unit has two rail-and-plate sections. The key letters used in the text refer to the pull-apart assembly above and the dimensioned plans on the next page



slide rest, lathe

Scribe a scale into the face of plate J, after making an index notch on the edge of plate K. Set the compound slide at accurate angles with a protractor, tapping lightly with a hammer and clamp tight. Use the square edge of the protractor to guide the scriber. To use the scale, be sure the cross slide is clamped at right angles to the headstock axis

compound slide rest, continued the clamps, place a strip of fairly heavy paper between each gib and its retaining strip, to provide clearance for easier assembly. Gib setscrews will take up the slack when the unit is in use. At each point where a setscrew touches a gib, drill a recess about 1/16" deep and not much wider than the screw tip. These prevent lateral shifting. Position the screws to provide access when the rail sections are assembled. You can use either two 8-32 bolts, or one bolt plus a 1/8" steel pin, to fasten each rail to each end support. When predrilling the supports, use a No. 29 (tap-size) drill for the bolt hole; then, after the supports have served as boring templates, enlarge these holes with a No. 19 bit. Bolt heads are countersunk. To prepare the bearing for the 10-in. feed screw, ream out a piece of 1/4" iron or brass pipe until it's round and smooth. Take pains to see that the end of this pipe is square with end support G when screwed tight. Drill and thread the brass block so the feed screw is parallel to the top and bottom plates A and J. At the point where the screw rotates within the pipe bearing, coat it with solder or babbitt to fill the threads and increase the diameter. Then file until the screw rotates snugly inside the bearing. Two thin nuts, jammed together behind this soldered section, ride against the inside end of the bearing. The central hole in end support B should be large enough for these nuts to turn inside it. In the photos and drawings, different hand controls are shown on the two feed screws. The choice between a two-handled crank or a hand2384

wheel is not critical, unless you plan to add micrometer scales. Making the compound slide. This—the pivoting half of the accessory—is of the same basic construction as the cross slide, but on a smaller scale. As shown in Fig. 3, its bottom plate (K) pivots on plate J of the cross slide, for angular, settings. The pivot stud is threaded into plate J and passes through a bushing press-fitted in plate K; it protrudes enough to permit the use of a washer and nut.. The completed unit shown was built for an 11" lathe. The top surface of the tool-post-slot strips (T) should be about 1 in. below the center line of the lathe headstock spindle. Thus, overall height of the accessory shown is about 4-1/2" from the lathe bed. The two mounting blocks (D) can be dimensioned to bring the toolpost slot to the proper height for various lathes. These blocks are simply 2-in. wide steel bars or strips bolted to the bottom of plate A; length and spacing should be whatever is required for secure fastening with lathe-bed bolts. Test the unit by turning an easy material such as wood. Oil any moving parts, and be sure all bolts are tight. Adjust gib screws to take up any play in the slides. At first, the feed screws may turn hard because of slide tightness and roughness. Rails not equipped with gibs (which add stiffness) may have a tendency to spring. In the unit shown, rail-stiffening bolts were installed midpoint on the fixed rails of the compound slide. They can be seen in the photo on page 2382, and are given as an optional detail. If there's excessive chatter when turning metal, check the unit for play. Grasp the tool-

A standard tool post for a 9-in. metal-turning lathe clamps regular toolholder. Point of the bit normally should be on the center line of the lathe spindle. Much work requires no micrometer collars on feed screws, but they are easily added, as shown at the right

post and try to rock it in various directions. If chatter persists once play has been removed, you may have to lower the spindle speed. Wood lathes often have a minimum speed that is too high for large-diameter metal turning. You can do a lot of turning without feeling the need for the angular scale shown in Fig. 4, or for micrometer collars on each screw to gaugefeed in small fractions of an inch. These features may be added later. The collar shown (Fig. 5) is 1-1/4" diameter and 1/2" long. Its matching index ring, setscrewed to the bearing pipe, is about the same size. Each turn of the screw moves the tool 1/16 (or .0625) inch. Since the micrometer collar is divided into 125 equal spaces, each division indicates a tool movement of .0005 in.—two divisions, .001. One way to graduate the collar: clamp it in the

lathe chuck, wrap a strip of paper around the chuck body and trim it to exact circumference. Remove this band, divide the circumference into 125 equal parts, tape it around the chuck again, and provide a fixed pointer for the division lines. Use a pointed tool in the compound slide rest to scribe equivalent lines on the face of the collar.