Monday, May 5, 2008

Some Assembly Required

From all the looking at lathes I knew that there would be some amount of assembly when it arrived this afternoon. At the very least, bolting on the headstock/motor assembly and attaching tailstock, and figuring out how to bolt it down to the bench.

But I was unprepared for the heavy square box accompanied by a long narrow light box. The heavy box contained all the cast iron pieces, headstock, tailstock, motor, toolrest, and brackets. The narrow box just had the 2 tubes that make the bed of the Record Power lathe.

The mounting brackets bolt straight into the bench (one bolt each). The tubes lay in the brackets with a brace bolted across the top to hold them in place. Since the bed assembles so easily, and is just simple tubes, I could conceivably get a pair of longer tubes to extend the bed length if I was so inclined.

Everything else bolted on easily, and I had it all up and running in less than 30 minutes. So I took it for a spin.

Since it didn't come with a faceplate (something that I overlooked, and now regret not getting the slightly more expensive Rikon lathe), I turned a little something between centers. It looks a bit like a cherry Light Saber handle.

There are a few things to get used to with this lathe as opposed to the Conover we have at work. The first is the motor size (slight small than work) with I expected for a mid-sized lathe, but I have to be careful how much I can take off without stalling the motor.

Second, the pulleys. Works has a variable speed control on it, so you can change speed while the stock is turning, where I'll have to stop to change speeds.

Third, the tailstock and toolrest are not on quick release/adjust levers, so I have to get a wrench out to adjust them. I'll have to look into how I can do that.

Lastly, the stock attachment points (faceplace and centers). The spur drive is sort of tiny, and the tail center isn't a live center. The live center will be on the top of the list to get. And not having a faceplate is a little disappointing, as that is most of the work I'll be doing on the lathe, cups and bowls.

A few adjustments to the porch are also going to be necessary. The flat spot on the porch which is still under cover is on the west end, with the setting sun half blinding me. I'm going to get some screening/netting and hang it at the top 3 or 4 feet on that side of the porch. That should let enough light in to keep me working, but give me some sun protection as well.

I've already got a cover for it, and now it looks like we have a grill on the porch.

All in all I'm happy with it, but I'll be even happier when I get everything just right.

No comments: