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

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Everett Vander Horst, Feb 9, 2021.

  1. Everett Vander Horst

    Everett Vander Horst

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2021
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    Location (City & State):
    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.)
     
    odie likes this.
  2. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    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.
     
    odie likes this.
  3. Gary Beasley

    Gary Beasley

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    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
     
    odie and George Kuipers like this.
  4. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

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    Location (City & State):
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    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.
     
  5. odie

    odie

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    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-----
     
    Bill Boehme and hockenbery like this.
  6. Peter White

    Peter White

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    Location (City & State):
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    Auto door opener motor works well as well you can set it up where and not tie up your lathe.
     
  7. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

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    That is another of the many scrounged parts that could be used.
     
  8. Dennis Weiner

    Dennis Weiner

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    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.
     
  9. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    Location (City & State):
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    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.
     
  10. Dean Center

    Dean Center

    Joined:
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    Location (City & State):
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    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.
     
  11. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

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    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.
     
  12. John Tisdale

    John Tisdale

    Joined:
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    Location (City & State):
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    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
     
  13. Mike Brazeau

    Mike Brazeau

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    Location (City & State):
    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.
     
  14. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Location (City & State):
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    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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