Which Lathe upgrade?

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jcrusso
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Which Lathe upgrade?

Post by jcrusso »

I have a Mark V that I primarily use as a lathe. Most of my turnings are bowls, but I do pens and other spindly things occasionally as well. Looking at the two upgrades I'm interested in - the speed reducer and universal tool rest - I'm not sure what would be the biggest improvement. For bigger bowls and finishing the slower speeds would be great, but the stock tool rest is also a pain to use sometimes.

Does anyone here have opinions on either of those upgrades?
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chapmanruss
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Re: Which Lathe upgrade?

Post by chapmanruss »

jcrusso,

Welcome to the Shopsmith Forum.

Both are good upgrades for Lathe Turning especially for larger items like bowl turning.

The Speed Reducer does just as it says, slows it down to as low as 100 RPMs, a 7 to 1 reduction. That is something desirable with bowl and large turnings. It is a Shopsmith accessory I do not have since I upgraded to a Mark 7 (goes down to 250 RPMs) before getting one. It's not limited to just turning but can be used with larger Drill Bits, think Forsner, which slows them down to avoid burning. The Conventional Mark V Headstock runs between 700 and 5200 RPMs.

The Universal Tool Rest (which I do have) does two things, it gives a better reach and adds weigh to your Shopsmith. The extra weight is a plus when starting with uneven stock.

It sounds like your budget will allow only one currently so you would have to decide which one would be more beneficial right now. The Speed Reducer is $499 while the Universal Lathe Tool Rest is $319. I purchased my Universal Lathe Tool Rest when it was on sale as the package ($389 list) which includes the three specialty tool rests. If you can wait for a sale, you can save some of the cost over the regular price. Sign up for email & promotions under the LEARNING heading to get sale information sent to you.
Russ

Mark V completely upgraded to Mark 7
Mark V 520
All SPT's & 2 Power Stations
Model 10ER S/N R64000 first one I restored on bench w/ metal ends & retractable casters.
Has Speed Changer, 4E Jointer, Jig Saw with lamp, a complete set of original accessories & much more.
Model 10E's S/N's 1076 & 1077 oldest ones I have restored. Mark 2 S/N 85959 restored. Others to be restored.
edma194
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Re: Which Lathe upgrade?

Post by edma194 »

chapmanruss wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 12:40 pm It's not limited to just turning but can be used with larger Drill Bits, think Forsner, which slows them down to avoid burning. The Conventional Mark V Headstock runs between 700 and 5200 RPMs.
Scott Markwood from My Growth Rings pointed out that the speed reducer doesn't work great for drilling because it's supposed to be locked down on the way tubes with a bracket assembly and then the quill can't be extended. That wouldn't affect using it in lathe mode.
Ed from Rhode Island

510 PowerPro Double Tilt:Greenie PowerPro Drill Press:500 Sanding Shorty w/Belt&Strip Sanders
Super Sawsmith 2000:Scroll Saw w/Stand:Joint-Matic:Power Station:Power Stand:Bandsaw:Joiner:Jigsaw
1961 Goldie:1960 Sawsmith RAS:10ER
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chapmanruss
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Re: Which Lathe upgrade?

Post by chapmanruss »

Ed,

You are correct about it being locked down to the Way Tubes but for drilling the lock could be released and help keep it in line. I know, it's not ideal, just another possible use for the Speed Reducer.
Russ

Mark V completely upgraded to Mark 7
Mark V 520
All SPT's & 2 Power Stations
Model 10ER S/N R64000 first one I restored on bench w/ metal ends & retractable casters.
Has Speed Changer, 4E Jointer, Jig Saw with lamp, a complete set of original accessories & much more.
Model 10E's S/N's 1076 & 1077 oldest ones I have restored. Mark 2 S/N 85959 restored. Others to be restored.
Areba21
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Re: Which Lathe upgrade?

Post by Areba21 »

You know, I'm leaning towards the speed reducer too. It just seems like it would make life a whole lot easier when dealing with those bigger bowls. Messing with your workflow is no joke. Tough decision, but if I had to pick, I'd say go for the speed reducer first.
edma194
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Re: Which Lathe upgrade?

Post by edma194 »

Areba21 wrote: Fri Apr 12, 2024 1:35 pm You know, I'm leaning towards the speed reducer too. It just seems like it would make life a whole lot easier when dealing with those bigger bowls. Messing with your workflow is no joke. Tough decision, but if I had to pick, I'd say go for the speed reducer first.
Costs a lot less than a PowerPro upgrade.
chapmanruss wrote: Fri Apr 12, 2024 12:41 pm You are correct about it being locked down to the Way Tubes but for drilling the lock could be released and help keep it in line. I know, it's not ideal, just another possible use for the Speed Reducer.
Russ, I think it's possible to use simple sliding linear bearings to allow the bracket to slide while keep it firmly attached to the way tubes. More expensive linear ball bearings would be even better, but for 1-3/4" diameter tubes they would be very expensive. I really want to try this with some UMHW plastic I already have V slots cut in. Just have to get one of those 'Round Tuits'.
Ed from Rhode Island

510 PowerPro Double Tilt:Greenie PowerPro Drill Press:500 Sanding Shorty w/Belt&Strip Sanders
Super Sawsmith 2000:Scroll Saw w/Stand:Joint-Matic:Power Station:Power Stand:Bandsaw:Joiner:Jigsaw
1961 Goldie:1960 Sawsmith RAS:10ER
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BuckeyeDennis
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Re: Which Lathe upgrade?

Post by BuckeyeDennis »

I have both, and have turned a few large bowl with them. Here’s a pic of a medium-sized applewood bowl with both accessories in action.

Bowl in extenders 2 LowRes.JPG
Bowl in extenders 2 LowRes.JPG (51.63 KiB) Viewed 2374 times

If I had to choose between the two, I’d defintely choose the speed reducer. The UTR is nice, but a large unbalanced blank spinning at 700 RPM on a lightweight machine is downright dangerous. And even if it weren't, it would still try to walk the whole darn machine to the other side of your woodshop.

I also use the speed reducer for large Forstner bits. It clamps tightly to the quill, so loosening the way-tube clamp for drilling really isn’t a problem, as the load is almost purely axial. And the bracket still slides along the way tubes, providing an additional measure of support.

When space and budget permit permit, however, my next Shopsmith lathe upgrade will be an 800 lb. bowl lathe! :D
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thedovetailjoint
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Re: Which Lathe upgrade?

Post by thedovetailjoint »

edma194 wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 3:34 pm Scott Markwood from My Growth Rings pointed out that the speed reducer doesn't work great for drilling because it's supposed to be locked down on the way tubes with a bracket assembly and then the quill can't be extended. That wouldn't affect using it in lathe mode.
Ed, it may have been MY speed reducer, or "jack shaft" that I was talking about. The SS Speed Reducer can be used for drilling and actually does a fine job.
Scott
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edma194
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Re: Which Lathe upgrade?

Post by edma194 »

thedovetailjoint wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2024 6:17 pm Ed, it may have been MY speed reducer, or "jack shaft" that I was talking about. The SS Speed Reducer can be used for drilling and actually does a fine job.
Scott
My recollection is that you pointed out that the speed reducer bracket had to be loosened for drill press operation which could allow vibration to affect the cut. The way I wrote that post made it sound like the speed reducer doesn't allow the quill to be extended at all which has caused confusion. Sorry I didn't make that more clear, or if I still don't it right.

Anyway, I don't think it would take much to allow the bracket to stay tight enough on the way tubes and slide without scratching them or allowing vibration. So far, I haven't had the need to use the speed reducer that way since the PowerPro has been slow enough.
Ed from Rhode Island

510 PowerPro Double Tilt:Greenie PowerPro Drill Press:500 Sanding Shorty w/Belt&Strip Sanders
Super Sawsmith 2000:Scroll Saw w/Stand:Joint-Matic:Power Station:Power Stand:Bandsaw:Joiner:Jigsaw
1961 Goldie:1960 Sawsmith RAS:10ER
edma194
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Posts: 1922
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2020 4:08 pm

Re: Which Lathe upgrade?

Post by edma194 »

edma194 wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2024 7:40 pm
thedovetailjoint wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2024 6:17 pm Ed, it may have been MY speed reducer, or "jack shaft" that I was talking about. The SS Speed Reducer can be used for drilling and actually does a fine job.
Scott
My recollection is that you pointed out that the speed reducer bracket had to be loosened for drill press operation which could allow vibration to affect the cut. The way I wrote that post made it sound like the speed reducer doesn't allow the quill to be extended at all which has caused confusion. Sorry I didn't make that more clear, or if I still don't have it right.

Anyway, I don't think it would take much to allow the bracket to stay tight enough on the way tubes and slide without scratching them or allowing vibration. So far, I haven't had the need to use the speed reducer that way since the PowerPro has been slow enough.
Ed from Rhode Island

510 PowerPro Double Tilt:Greenie PowerPro Drill Press:500 Sanding Shorty w/Belt&Strip Sanders
Super Sawsmith 2000:Scroll Saw w/Stand:Joint-Matic:Power Station:Power Stand:Bandsaw:Joiner:Jigsaw
1961 Goldie:1960 Sawsmith RAS:10ER
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