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Seeking a plan for a slow-speed finishing machine/jig

Joined
Jan 29, 2021
Messages
5
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Location
Hamilton, ON
I'm looking to upgrade my lathe but can shave nearly $1000 off the purchase price by buying a lathe (Record Envoy) that has a higher minimum speed that I'd like (250 rpm).

I can do this if I can build some kind of finishing machine/jig that will hold a chuck or faceplate and turn slow enough to allow a finish to dry without drips. There are two options that I can think of -- either turning the chuck or handwheel on the lathe, as TheHornedlizardman1 demonstrates here:

Youtube:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=488QK8aHkKU


or, preferably, a completely separate unit. I don't mind picking up a small 1/4-1/2 hp motor second hand to dedicate to the project. Any advice on how to build or set this up would be appreciated.

(Incidentally I did see David Staeheli's 'anti-gravity' finishing machine tip in the October edition of the American Woodturner, and put it to good use on a Christmas ornament. But I'd like to get a beefier set up for large bowls and platters.)
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2019
Messages
713
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439
Location
Lebanon, Missouri
I have been giving this some thought. A rotisserie motor will give you slow rotation, possibly too slow. Look at using a black pipe flange with a nipple to use as a “faceplate” vs a chuck or faceplate. Mount the nipple horizontally, and could put a pulley or handwheel on the other end. Could be made into a multi position “drying rack” tying all pulleys together with a driven belt.
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2017
Messages
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429
Location
Marietta, Georgia
Look for an old treadmill and take the motor and speed control out. I mounted mine to a board with a metal enclosure for the controller and used pulleys from Northern Tool. The big pulley just happened to have a metal core welded in that was exactly 1 1/4” so I could grind the welds off and leave a perfect hole to mount the pulley behind the chuck. Picture shows parts being lined up for assembly.91AF3FA5-8F7C-4F92-8106-1C58D25C3781.jpeg
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
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Location
Ponsford, MN
101_1227.JPG
The left hand unit is made from a rotisserie motor and the one the right using a reversible gear motor purchased at a surplus store. The adaptors on each are made to accept a 1/2" male shaft. The mounts shown here are used to hold threaded pieces for finish turning or finishing, have a 1/2" dowel to mount in the finishing fixture plus they can still be mounted in the lathe. I also have an adaptor made from aluminum that will mount a 1"-8 face plate or chuck.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
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Panning for Montana gold, with Betsy, the mule!
As I read this thread, I asked myself why anyone would want to tie up their lathe for an extended time.....besides, the lathe is probably in a place where dust is created, and in the air! :eek:

Don's rotisserie motor setup seems like a more workable solution.

-----odie-----
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2012
Messages
269
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167
Location
New City, NY
I built one of these using a 5rpm motor and still had some uneven buildup using poly. I thought the contraption was very clever solution to the gravity issue. Alternatively, I switched to water based poly and diluted it 50-50. I applied it to a the work and immediately rubbed it off. It does require about 5 coats to build but it allows me to finish many pieces at once.
 

john lucas

AAW Forum Expert
Joined
Apr 26, 2004
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Location
Cookeville, TN
Steve skinner recommends 20 to 30 rpm for poly. Inrigged up 2 slow speed systems to.my lathe but looking at building a stand alone system. I have a metal.lathe so my options will.probably be different than yours.
 
Joined
May 4, 2010
Messages
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Location
Bozeman, MT
Fishing rod driers which are used to get the epoxy thread wrap concentric and flat run anywhere from 5-20 rpm, with slower generally better. Turning the rod by hand 90 degrees every 15 minutes even works. The epoxy takes 4-8 hours to get reasonably firm. If you run them faster, the epoxy can migrate or even be flung off.

Since poly is not as thick as epoxy rod finish and sets up faster, the best speed will probably be different. While the same potential problems with too much speed would apply, too slow would probably be an issue as well.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Messages
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Location
Ponsford, MN
Look for an old treadmill and take the motor and speed control out. I mounted mine to a board with a metal enclosure for the controller and used pulleys from Northern Tool. The big pulley just happened to have a metal core welded in that was exactly 1 1/4” so I could grind the welds off and leave a perfect hole to mount the pulley behind the chuck. Picture shows parts being lined up for assembly.View attachment 37222
That looks like an excellent gear motor to use for rotating the turning, however it would easily support the the chuck and turning in an off lathe setup.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2014
Messages
288
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261
Location
Dallas, TX
Somewhere in this thread somebody said lathes are expensive - most would agree.
See attached pic of FINISHING HORSE - while I use a hand-wheel to turn while spraying finish, it could easily be replaced with a wheel for a belt - attach your motor and voila.
Of course you must leave a tenon to attach a pipe-flange to serve as a face-plate ( about $4 from Home Depot for a 1/2" - 3/8" good for pieces under 50-lbs). An 8" or 10" nipple for the shaft and you're set


FINISHING HORSE.jpg
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2006
Messages
275
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126
Location
Freelton, ON
Hi Everett. No lathe is going to run at the slow speed required for this, for any period of time. The motor will overheat and cut out. Charles Jordan, of our guild, put together a system a few years ago that functioned as a speed reducer using the lathe as the drive for an external holder. If you have a small lathe that can be tied up for a period of time I would rig up a drive system as has been illustrated above. Personally I favour using multiple thin applications of finish over one thick application that wants to run. The exception would be if using epoxies.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
Messages
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Location
Nebraska
A windshield wiper motor can be used to easily power a system to turn a project for finishing, you can also easily control the speed on a 12VDC motor.
 
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