A DIFFERENT ROUTER LATHE or “A ROUTER STANDARDIZER” - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Default A DIFFERENT ROUTER LATHE or “A ROUTER STANDARDIZER”

Before I show the new one, then I wanted to show the old one. I never really thought about this original “Rotating and Indexed Box” that I made some years ago, as being a “Router Lathe” but it is one. When I made it then I am not sure that I even had heard that term and this older box is definitely not a “Router Copier”, but it could be called a “Router Standardizer”, when I made this one then I needed to be able to rotate a table column over, and along, a fixed router cutter, so that the Leg Boss area on some three legged tables that I make, were all “uniform in size, and that all of the columns would be the same diameter, and also be parallel with the center line of the column, where they needed to be. Because the tables have three legs then I needed to then be able to machine three flat areas that were 120 degrees from each other and around the leg boss area for the three legs to attach to, so I had to be able to index the rotation with a x3 indexing wheel, (actually I made a x9 and I just had to remember which three slots out of the 9 were the ones that I was using, I refuse to say if I ever got that wrong), then, when all the flat areas were done, I had to then do a deep mortise in the middle of the three flat areas for the leg tennons. I also had to square, and parallel, and slot, some other parts of the table column to a standard size.

This old box can do all of that so it is in fact, a simple Router Lathe, and also a Wood Milling Machine, I use it on a Router table and trapped tight between two router table fences and as the fences were made far longer than the box, and they had sides that are twice as high as the sides on the box, then I could lower the box very accurately in the tight environment of the two fences onto any Router Cutter, and I could also fix stoppers at both ends so that the forward and backwards movement inside the two fences, was restricted to the work area only, that gave me the ability to do accurate flat areas, mortises, (once the set up was done then I could do all three indexed mortises on an individual column in about five minutes, so as I made columns 30 at a time then the box let me do all the mortises in about an hour and a half), and I did slots as well, and all on a round object, and the box being trapped, made it so that no area on the column, that I did not want to machine, would be inadvertently machined.

Although I never did this, as I use this box “over a router cutter”, but there is no reason why I could not make a sled that would be attached to the base of one of my Routers, that also has two runners attached to the underside of that sled so that the two runners would effectively trap the sled from any side to side movement and with the cutter centered over the central line, if such a sled was made then the router on the sled could then run along the top of the box and do anything that you wanted to do to any workpiece held rigidly inside the box, stops could be set up just as easy by fixing a pair of stop blocks to anywhere on the side of the box so even though I used it “over the cutter”, I can see no reason why a router could not do all the work I do, but “sitting on top of the box”. This box is a very effective and simple “Router Lathe” and perfect as “A simple Router Standardizer”.

This box was easy to make and I still use it and if anyone wanted to make one like it, or one similar to it, then I would say this “you will never get a cheaper or more effective Router Lathe than this is and I am sure that many Cabinetmakers have made similar devices, some indexed and some not”. I have not had to repair it and it has done this work on many many table columns, however it did have issues, you can see the indexing wheel behind the head chuck and to change it required the box to be stripped down so my new one will have the Indexing wheel on the outside, the box could not do all the work I later thought about doing but as it does what I designed it to do, and it could do many other things if I asked it to do them, as a jig it meets the required standard for a jig, but I could never see how I could do any spiral flutes with it and due to the fact that some areas of the Table Columns were turned by hand on my wood lathe, then I could not do straight flutes either. The rotation was done by hand via the small knob outside the headstock end and I could not see a simple way where I could power the rotation without a major remake, so turning the workpiece by hand meant that I had to control the box with the other hand and as the head and footstock shafts are not on bearings then the hand rotation does work, but is not that smooth, I could not fit longer items into this box and the “part change over” took far too long, although I used all care to make the pronged head and foot chucks and I made sure that I put the columns back into the same pins each time, but there were still small alignment issues with these handmade stocks and the tail stock is less than what I wanted it to be.

That said, I have never damaged a single item using it due to its design so I never had to throw one out, (if I ever did get a flat area out of place by choosing the wrong index slot then that could have been easily fixed, and the column could have been saved, and then I could have put masking tape over the slots that I was not using so it would not happen again). In the beginning then if I had of actually understood how good an idea this really was then I would have designed and made it a lot better, but it did teach me a lot about this problem. It would not be that hard to make one with bearings and a better headstock, one that was longer and had a sliding tailstock, one that had a height adjustable tailstock would also be nice but that is what I am doing with the new box.

The new Rotating and Indexed Box will do all the work that I want it to do including all the things that this older Jig is used to do, but it will also not do spiral flutes, The new one will be a better Router Lathe and better Wood Milling Machine than this one has ever been and it will also be an “Indexed Profile Copier, or Rotating Profile Copier”, when this one is not, but the new one will cost much more than this did to make but, it is still very likely that I will keep and use this box for the Table Columns that it was designed to be used with.

I did have the design for the new box fully worked out when I realized this.

“Without changing the design in any way then it will be a Rotating Profile Router Copier”. NGM
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Last edited by neville9999; 12-02-2012 at 12:33 PM. Reason: simple editing
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 11:48 AM
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Thanks again, Neville - this is an amazing piece of work. I have already sent you a friend request and hope you will accept. Otis Guillebeau

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 02:22 AM
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Hi, Neville.

Since I don't have nither the patience nor the skill to hone the tools, I've been thinking in something like this to be installed in my wood lathe to be used with one of my routers. I got the idea from Patrick Spielman's book some years ago.

I'll wait for your new invention to know how can I do it in the best way.

Congratulations!!!

We, woodworkers are everywhere!!!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 12:39 PM
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Sorry, I am unable to make any sense out of trying to co-relate your part photos with the text of your explatation. I think that it could be better illustrated with a picture of the part that you made mounted in the machine, along with the router and tooling in position to do the desired machining. In your case a picture is worth a thousand words.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucenelson View Post
Sorry, I am unable to make any sense out of trying to co-relate your part photos with the text of your explatation. I think that it could be better illustrated with a picture of the part that you made mounted in the machine, along with the router and tooling in position to do the desired machining. In your case a picture is worth a thousand words.
Bruce I only posted the images of the old box as a reference and it was a totally original idea, this box works very well and it is a very effective Router Lathe that I use commercially, it has never let me down and it's use is only limited by the users intentions, it was an idea that I was not fully sure about but it does work brilliantly and far better that I ever thought that it would, its limitations was what made me search for, and find your thread on "The Router Lathe". I have gotten a lot of benefit from both your thread and from this web site and I hope that someone will benefit from some of what I have learned from its use and from the generous users of this web site, however with what I know now then the new Rotation Indexed Box will be better, I am just sorry that I don't have the time to finish it was quickly as I would like to. NGM
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neville9999 View Post
Bruce I only posted the images of the old box as a reference and it was a totally original idea, this box works very well and it is a very effective Router Lathe that I use commercially, it has never let me down and it's use is only limited by the users intentions, it was an idea that I was not fully sure about but it does work brilliantly and far better that I ever thought that it would, its limitations was what made me search for, and find your thread on "The Router Lathe". I have gotten a lot of benefit from both your thread and from this web site and I hope that someone will benefit from some of what I have learned from its use and from the generous users of this web site, however with what I know now then the new Rotation Indexed Box will be better, I am just sorry that I don't have the time to finish it was quickly as I would like to. NGM


Howdy Neville

I have to admit that I had to turn up my brains 'comprehension rheostat' a wee bit to make the text and kindly provided pics cohere but once I did that it all fell pretty much together!

Thanks for taking the time to explain it all in detail, I had been searching for a simple jig for fluting some table legs equally around their axis and the basic ingredients of your 'rotating' jig have given me the 100 watt light bulb I needed.

Thanks again.


Buck.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 06:08 AM Thread Starter
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Buck thanks for your kind words, this type box will do what you want but if you are going to put a tapered leg into this type of box then you will have to include a height adjustable tail stock in the one that you make and you will have to use the box you make to standardize the area where you are going to run the flute by rotating the leg over or under a cutter as the area has to be the exact amount away from the fluting cutter and rotating your leg over or under a cutter will make that part of all your legs all the same, and after you do that then fluting can be done, my new router lathe (also not yet finished) will use a fluting cutter that has an end bearing that will follow the work and I will use it from the side, so as the cutter rests on the workpiece then standardizing that area will not be that important and it will let me continue to make those legs by hand as they will not have to be standard, but with this type of box then standardizing the area to be fluted has to be done, that is if you intend to work with an end cutter that has no bearing or one that does not rest on the work, I would advise you to consider using a side fluting cutter that does have a bearing as there would be benefits for you to do that, you would have to use a router extension arbor to get the cutter down to the centre line of the leg but you would not have to standardize the area to be fluted, all you would have to do is to mount the router on a floating sled that sat on top of the box, you would use the box to index the rotation of the leg and to hold it still while you did the flute and then do the flute from the side by hand, one flute at a time using the indexing wheel to set the stationary position and using the router "hand held" and floating on top of the box, I would make the sled with a clear Perspex base so you could see through it and then you could start and stop your flute by eye or by fixing stoppers on top of the box to contain the sled movement to the area to be fluted, doing it from the side would mean that you would not need a height adjustable tail stock, just make your box a bit wider so there is room to get the cutter safely down to the centre line at the side of you leg, I use the shown box to do indexed mortising and grooving as well as standardizing (rotary cutting of some sections of a table column to get them all the same) you should read my thread about "Indexing wheels" and how I make them as that type of indexing wheel was conceived as an idea for use in this box but they will also fit into other types of boxes as well, if you are going to make one then I am pleased as this type of box is very useful and I will keep this box shown and use it in the future, but just for the legs it was designed for, as these types of boxes are best made for just the purpose you need them to do, my new box design is a better idea and more flexible and it will have a height adjustable tail stock, but it cannot do spiral flutes, but it will be able to do straight flutes on tapered objects as well as all the things that this box can do, I am making a router lathe for no other reason than to use it to do spiral flutes and you may want to read my thread about the use of a Router Table as a Profile Shaper" but me finishing the construction of both my new box and my router lathe will have to wait until after I have a cardiac procedure done, I don't regard it as being dangerous but it is just occupying a lot of my time for now and it should fix an issue that has plagued me for 25 years and reduce my risk of a stroke by a big factor, if you want to have some other images posted or any input from me then just PM me and I will see what I can send to you. Neville

Obviously the type of flute you would get from the side would be different to the type of flute you would get from the top, you would be using a different cutter with a different cutting profile, the type of flute you wanted to do would decide if it could be done from the side or if you had to do it from the top, from the side would let you use a side cutter with a side following bearing and that would mean that it could follow differing shapes and the leg would not have to be standard, but a flute from the top would require a standard leg or a unique design in a bearing, I have considered making a pair of twin bearing that the cutter would protrude through, this type of bearing set up could not be attacfhed to the cutter, I will make somthing like this for my Router Lathe and as I intend to use a high speed, 1/4 colleted electric die grinder to do the cut, then the twin bearing rig could be attached to the body of the die grinder and that will work and let the leg to be made by hand as the bearings will follow a leg shape that differed or ones that were not all exactly the same. Neville

Last edited by neville9999; 01-03-2013 at 06:46 AM. Reason: Adding the footnote
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 09:26 PM
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Howdy neville

Thanks a lot for taking the time for such a full and informative answer pard'...got your PM also. Being new here I apparently need a few more posts before I can PM.


Buck.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-04-2013, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Buck you can always say Howdy to a bunch of new members, you can get your post count up to 10 that way in about 15minutes, I only have time to respond to serious questions but I do get diverted by some posts, anyone who makes interesting table legs can benefit from making a box like this old indexed box of mine, the design for this box was not totally correct for someone who wanted more of a "universal use box" but as I said, it was made as an experiment and for a particular purpose and I am still a bit surprised about how well it works, the new box I am putting together will be a lot better, flexibility wise, but I have to put off finishing it for now, and it is better because it will be both a "rotating profile copier" and any table or chair leg maker would want one that could do that, and it will also be a "stationary indexed milling machine" that can cut multi sided objects, so that is also as cool as all get out, that does not mean that the type of box shown here does not have a lot of uses, as it does have many, anyone who makes table legs or chair components will have some use for a box like this, you just have to be able to understand how to use it. Neville
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