48-inch Lathe capacity with your MARK V?
From C. H. Dahlhamer of Hagerstown, MD:
I’d like to open up the capacity of my MARK V lathe to 48-inches, so I can turn longer workpieces. Would you toss this around and see if you or any of your MARK V users have faced this problem and how they solved it?
Several Shopsmith owners have reported opening up their lathe capacity by attaching the legs of their machine securely to a STURDY workbench, then putting the lathe tailstock in a Shopsmith mounting base that’s bolted to the bench. In order to turn stock that overhangs the machine, they flip the piece end-for-end.
I would advise against this approach. I’ve tried it and have found that it’s very difficult to get the lathe centers lined up exactly. As a result, a lot of wobbling occurs, and that’s very dangerous.
A much more precise…as well as safer…way to make oversized turnings is to turn your piece in sections and join them together, end-to-end. When doing this, it’s not necessary for you to give up the strength of the single turning.
For smaller turnings, bore 2-inches or more into each end and join with glue and a 4-inches long dowel that’s as large a diameter as you can make it.
For larger, load-bearing turnings such as porch posts, glue up a long, hollow box, as shown here. Use one of the newer waterproof glues if the post is to be outdoors. Then, turn these sections (up to 34-inches long) by nailing a temporary plate onto the open ends. Once turned, remove the plates and stack the sections on a piece of cold-rolled steel pipe.
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