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McMaster/Carr post lever......(Robust, maybe others)

Discussion in 'Tutorials and Tips' started by odie, Sep 29, 2020.

  1. odie

    odie

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    I don't have a Robust lathe, but I do have a Robust banjo. That McMaster-Carr lever is great on how you can position it to any position. The one problem I've had, is changing tool rests, and changing tool rest height over and over again, all day long. The little cone spring that keeps the cogs aligned, is a little too stiff for me. It takes a bit of a pull/jerk to disengage the cogs.

    I've discovered that by replacing that spring with a much weaker spring, it makes that a one finger pull.....that's great! The spring has nothing to do with the tightness of the mechanism that pinches the tool rest shaft, but only keeps the lever in place.

    Don't know if this is of interest to anyone else, but for the past few weeks, I've been very happy to make that adjustment a little easier on my tired old hands! :rolleyes:

    -----odie-----
    IMG_6211 (2).JPG
     
    Tom Albrecht and Bill Boehme like this.
  2. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    That's a nice assortment of springs. :) I just checked the lever on my Robust banjo and I would guess that it takes roughly two pounds of force to disengage the lever to shift it to a different position. That's definitely more than finger force. It require a bit of arm force.

    I have another observation. Almost all of my tool rests are made by Robust and the post diameters are so close to each other that I haven't encountered the need to reposition the lever except if I use one of my other rests not made by Robust. I have a couple cast iron Delta rests that have posts which are noticeably smaller in diameter.
     
    odie likes this.
  3. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    confirms the Oneway banjo is still the best out there.

    but it is something to consider for my jet1221
     
  4. Roger Wiegand

    Roger Wiegand

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    The lever on the banjo is adjustable? It's never occurred to me to want to move it, seems like a set it and forget it thing. Moving it would, I think, leave it in the "wrong" place. I do tighten to either the right or left depending on what I'm doing.
     
  5. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I have had a problem with the lever handle stripping. The pin part of it is made from hardened steel. The handle is a cheaper pot metal and much softer. Eventually it strips. Best one I ever hand was made by a friend. Made it like the handles on our bench vices. Larger head on the end of the pin, and a through piece of bar to make a sliding T handle.

    I haven't turned much on a Oneway, but I think that handle has a longer lever, and the handle part is on a hinge. Correct? I do like that idea.

    I like the locking wedges on the Robust banjo as it does a better job of clamping down on the tool rest post than the single set screw type. On my PM3520A, which I sold years ago, I used 2 of the set pins since when I only used one, the tool rest would always vibrate down.

    robo hippy
     
  6. odie

    odie

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    That assortment of springs has come in handy a few times. It's available at HF:
    https://harborfreight.com/200-piece-assorted-spring-set-67562.html
    There is a number of "assortment" boxes at HF......Cotter pins, O-rings, hose clamps, electrical fittings, etc. I have most of them, and don't think any of them hasn't come in handy at one time or another.

    Bill, you make a point about all your tool rests having identical diameters. Mine do not......I probably have 15 tool rests of various manufacturers. They do vary in diameter enough to necessitate using the adjustable handle feature frequently. :D

    After reading these responses, it may be that not many turners could benefit from my suggestion......but, it might just be the right solution for one or two turners, like me! ;)

    Robo......after getting the Robust tool rest, I noticed the difference right away. I also had the slipping problem with the original Woodfast banjo, with it's single screw clamping mechanism. I even used a "cheater bar" on the set screw for a time. Matter of fact, it's one of the main reasons I decided to replace the original banjo. ;)

    This Robust banjo is great!....as is all of the well thought out products I have from Robust.....(well, except for the McMaster-Carr handle!) :D

    -----odie-----
     
  7. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I am wondering if Brent has upgraded his banjo. When I looked at the 3520C at one of the symposiums, it had a mechanism to keep the wedges from rotating, which was a problem on my Robust banjos. The PM booth guy told me Brent was checking it out pretty closely. It isn't a major problem, but it does give better lock down.

    robo hippy
     
  8. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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    Oddie, Please send me one of those little springs you have.
     
  9. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I would guess that the anti rotation feature uses a key and keyway much like what is used on the quill in the tailstock of most lathes. The potential problem with something like that where you also have wedges jamming against the tool post is that the wedges might get stuck.

    Are we being really phrugal?
     
  10. odie

    odie

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    I'd be happy to, Tom.......send me your mailing address in a PM. :D

    However, did you know that you could have the whole assortment of those springs for 5 bucks?

    click here:

    https://harborfreight.com/200-piece-assorted-spring-set-67562.html

    -----odie-----
     
  11. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I do make sure to lubricate my wedges frequently when turning wet wood. They and the banjo are not made from stainless steel. Madrone, my favorite wood tends to leave a lot of sticky gunk every where, and that includes on the tool rest post and inside the banjo. Have to keep that lubed as well, and some times even take one of the grey pads on a stick to it for clean up.

    robo hippy
     

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