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Boro Room -- For Boro-related tips, techniques, and questions.

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  #1  
Old 2010-12-18, 12:50am
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Default Making my own glass lathe

EDIT:
I am not currently working on my lathe and I have been contacted by a few people who are interested in building their own. I decided to publish the files on my website. You should be able to extract them and view them using Google Sketchup.

~945kb
http://www.gordonhaag.com/glass/lathe.zip

I will continue to answer questions in this thread and through PMs.
/EDIT

I really want one, but I really really don't want to buy one. I have access to a machine shop so I decided to make my own. I got a lot of ideas from some yahoo groups: MultiMachine and Gingery Machines. I think I will put all my designs, instructions, and notes on a disk once I finish it, but who knows when that will be?

Here is my current Sketchup of it. Sketchup is a great free three-d drawing program made by google. This will be changed as it grows. It is pretty close to being done, all it needs is another pulley, the torch holder, and some blocks to hold it up. Stuff like bolts and belts are really hard to model so I'm not going to put those in.




Here is a Sketchup of where I currently am, this will eventually get replaced with pics!




Currently working on one of the four pulleys!
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Last edited by Mr. Meker; 2011-12-11 at 5:20pm. Reason: Added link to zip
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Old 2010-12-18, 7:49am
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Can't wait to see this progress! I've always wanted a lathe as well.
Good luck with the build!
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Old 2010-12-18, 10:05am
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Thats realy cool, why dont you start with a wood lathe and turn it into a glass lathe, it has all the stuff you need and you can find used ones cheap.

Mike
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Old 2010-12-18, 12:41pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLASSFREEK View Post
Thats realy cool, why dont you start with a wood lathe and turn it into a glass lathe, it has all the stuff you need and you can find used ones cheap.

Mike
Have you done this, Mike?
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  #5  
Old 2010-12-18, 3:22pm
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I thought about buying one from harbor freight and using it, but when I looked at them closer, they are really easy to build. I didn't use their design because of some advice I received from MultiMachine. But looking back at it, they would be pretty easy to make. The beds are just 2 pieces 2" or so square tubing with a gap in the middle. This gap allows things to be keyed into it. I picked the round way design because of the ease with which round holes can be made. Square holes are really hard to make.
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Old 2010-12-18, 4:50pm
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I've thought about doing this a number of times. It just never got high enough on the list to start. Most often both the headstock and tailstock are mechanically connected so they drive in sync. One thought I had was to drive each end independently with stepper motors that could then be synced together or run at different speeds to get twist effects etc.
Let us know as you progress. Nice project.
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  #7  
Old 2010-12-18, 5:26pm
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I was surfing tonight and came across this site, then saw your post here. Keep us posted on how it goes, thanks.

http://pw2.netcom.com/~sjnoll/glasslathe.html
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Old 2010-12-18, 5:27pm
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http://pw2.netcom.com/~sjnoll/glasslathe.html

Malcolm
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Old 2010-12-18, 5:43pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtcoInc View Post
Malcolm, is that your link?...I stumbled across it tonight and love this stuff!
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Old 2010-12-18, 7:45pm
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Just keep in mind that glass lathes turn a lot slower than wood ones
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Old 2010-12-18, 7:49pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giapet View Post
Malcolm, is that your link?...I stumbled across it tonight and love this stuff!
Nope, and I think it's funny that we both posted the same link within a minute of one another

I found the link a long time ago ... interesting

Malcolm
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Old 2010-12-18, 7:59pm
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malcolm and karen....amazing link. thanks!
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Old 2010-12-18, 8:41pm
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I've seen that link before. Lots of the pages that turn up on google about this link to a page on big-list.com that doesn't exist anymore. I won't get to work on my lathe for the next 2 weeks or so, so I'm on to building a kiln. I need to find some sheet metal for cheap. The scrap yard was closed today, but I'm going back on Monday. I think I am going to use this controller http://www.virtualvillage.com/pid-di...01480-138.html
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Old 2010-12-19, 10:04am
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Wood lathes won't work for glass. On wood lathes, only one end spins. A glass lathe needs both ends to spin.
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Old 2010-12-19, 10:41am
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I have a Harbor Freight metal lathe and have kicked around this idea myself. It has a variable speed that will go pretty slow. Less than 1 revolution per second. Hmm, now I'm thinking.

Cosmo brings up a good point, but don't they make live centers for wood lathes? If so, maybe that could be adapted.
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Old 2010-12-19, 11:36am
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Yeah, if you want to go all crazy DIY just for kicks, you could set up a pulley off of the drive piece and work something out to drive the other stock.

But you'd really have to love noodling around to bother
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Old 2010-12-19, 1:32pm
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You'll notice in the link that both ends have motors and are driven by toothed belts. That is so the ends do not slip with the motor. More important is that the motors are steppers and driven by an electronic step generator so they stay in sync.

A live center will not woprk. It has too much friction even with good bearings annd the glass when it gets hot will start to twist against this friction.

You could add another pulley to the meker system that goes under the carriage to the moving headstoch as he has done in the drawing. That will keep it all in sync and eliminate the need for 2 motors.
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  #18  
Old 2010-12-19, 9:28pm
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Updated first pic to show pulleys. Belts are not included, and neither is the pulley to the motor. It goes just in front of the headstock.
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Old 2010-12-20, 3:19pm
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I like the concept, but I have to ask...

How much is it going to cost? And how much work will go into it, especially if it isn't perfect the first time?

I've seen used lathes as cheap as $1500. Not knocking your creative impulses, but I'm afraid you may be getting to the point where it would be cheaper just to buy one...
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Old 2010-12-20, 9:51pm
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I have about $100 in so far, but I didn't have to pay for any of the aluminum. My school melts old pistons from the auto shop and I machined ingots for most of the pieces that aren't steel. $25 for the 2 outside rods (36"L, 1"dia, CRS), $10 for the middle rod (same but HRS), $6 in cutters that the shop didn't have, $30 in miscellaneous parts from Enco. I estimate that I will put about $100 more into it, and if you can't cast your own aluminum, it will cost you an extra $100 or so in stock. But extruded aluminum is such a pain to machine compared to cast, you might want to go to a local high school and see if they can give you a few ingots.
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Old 2010-12-21, 8:28am
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Sounds very cost effective! Most diy plans are since you're bypassing the mark-ups on raw materials, manufacturing, and distribution. Where you lose a little is in the time it takes to make it yourself. But if you're like me you have more time than money so it makes sense to do it yourself.
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Old 2010-12-21, 1:08pm
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One our PNW artists returned from Italy in love with a 'batuto' machine ($40,000 or so) she saw there. She has access to talented machinists etc so she built her own ($5000 or so). I built a smaller 'hobby' sized machine for about $375 or so.
My point is that sweat equity and some time can save you a bunch of money. I just may revisit this lathe project. Thanks for the inspiration meker.
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Old 2010-12-21, 3:47pm
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Some interesting images of a variety of glass lathes.

http://www.dichroic.us/html/GLASS%20LATHE.htm
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  #24  
Old 2010-12-21, 6:35pm
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You're going to have to explain what a batuto machine is. Unfortunately, I don't get to work on my lathe until Monday after next. I just found some pulleys on McMaster Carr that I am going to buy, only $7.04 ea. I need 4. This will add to the price, but save me a bunch of machining. That stuff takes time which I don't have.

I thought about buying one, but I don't sell a lot of my stuff and I don't have much of an income from anything else. The only lathe I have seen lately for sale has a broken chuck and is too big for what I need and they still want $4000.
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Old 2010-12-21, 10:01pm
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A batuto machine is essentially a glass cutter using variously shaped diamond wheels to engrave glass. Mine consists of an aluminum box section 4" x 8" and 12" tall. I mounted two bearings in this box that support a 16" shaft about 9" above the base plate. This shaft is driven thru pulleys with a DC variable speed motor and has a tach to give rpm readings. I drilled and reamed the free end to 0.375 to accept .375 dia. shafts that carry my home made diamond wheels. 325 grit seems to work best. I also have a small pump that supplies water to the wheel when it's rotating to preserve the diamond wheels and aid in removing debris.
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Old 2010-12-22, 12:39am
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Google Imaging "batuto machine" didn't give the most family-friendly images. Because I am unable to work on my lathe right now, I am working on building a kiln. Cheng, I saw your kiln and I like it a lot. Could you help me figure out what size element I need for a 120V kiln 19"W x 13.5"D x 12"H? The max temperature is 1100F and it has 2.5" of firebrick on the floor and 3" of fiber everywhere else.
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Old 2010-12-22, 3:08am
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This kiln has a 8" H x 11" W x 13" D opening. The element is 11.8 ohms and at 117 VAC will run about 1170 watts. The kiln takes 55 minutes to reach 1050 F and uses a Fuji PXR-3 PID controller with SSR.

A replacement element for a Skutt 609 was used and shortened a little to fit the new layout. Purchased the element from Kiln Elements for $18.20 plus shipping.

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Old 2010-12-22, 10:53am
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Sending you 5 pages of a text on Element Design @ David Coggins BPQ KIln 2001
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Last edited by cheng076; 2010-12-22 at 10:58am.
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  #29  
Old 2010-12-22, 10:59am
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Sorry. I thought this was going via regular email. But hell maybe some of you others out there can use the info.
PJH
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  #30  
Old 2010-12-22, 9:26pm
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Here is that information in a webpage

http://web.archive.org/web/200502140...entdesign.html

I am running through my design. My inside surface area is 1293 sq in. This means that I need 2600 watts (1293*2.5). I don't know if this is average or maximum draw, but it seems like a lot.
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