In my opinion one of the key items lacking on the Gingery Lathe are the handwheel graduated collars that give you a rough idea of depth of cut, and/or distance traveled, etc… Obviously there are many ways that this can be solved, from gluing some measuring tap on a cylindrical blank to making some dial indicator clamps, etc… It became apparent that I could easily add spindle indexing capability to my lathe using my motor controller software, and I could also use the update with a dremel tool holder to do other interesting work on the lathe.
The first item of business would be to design a Spindle Locking mechanism for the lathe. I found that with my pulley setup, when the motor was stopped ( without braking capability ) that the pulley would pull the spindle back in the reverse direction slightly. The spindle lock would allow me to preload the spindle in such a way that the pulley would not have this effect and instead would impart it’s force on the motor ( or countershaft ) spindle instead. Also, a locking mechanism would be required if I wanted to do any accurate work using a dremel tool, as the forces of that would most likely cause the spindle to rotate to some degree.
The Spindle Lock pattern was made from 1/2″ foam, and cast using the lost foam method. It turned out quite well, and I will mostly be using the lost foam method for most, if not all, of my future projects.
The spindle lock was cleaned up on my milling machine, and mounted to my lathe faceplate using the Gingery 2-jaw chuck in order to bore out the 3/4″ spindle hole. Obviously it took quite a bit of effort to get everything accurately measured and laid out on the part. The goal was to machine the part accurately enough such that it would not bind with the spindle in any which way when mounted such that when unclamped, it would not impeded the rotation of the spindle at all.
Initially I was just going to use the hex bold for clamping, but it became apparent that getting in the case with a wrench each time would end up being a pain in the you know what. Regardless I found a nice chunky knob at the local hardware store which works extremely well. I can lock down the spindle with finger pressure.
So, the main goal of the project was to facilitate the Spindle Indexing update. Everything worked as expected, and below is a photo of some scribe marks indexed on a pieces of aluminum.
What’s next? I had the desire to add a stepper motor to the leadscrew, however at this point I have some other projects I would like to complete, and possibly would also like to move on to making some sort of a 3d printer. Rest assured, I will most likely return to the lathe at some lather date in order to automate it further.