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using the router boss as a lathe

1931 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  lking
the capability that brought me to the router boss ( initially was the ability to turn spindles using a router -- i was in the beginning stages of a desk project which needed 3" x 29" posts at the corners -- i was looking at buying a lathe when an email arrived hawking the '4th axis accessory' for the router boss that provided the ability to turn spindles -- i have posted to this forum previously on my experiences with this tool so i won't belabor the setup again -- i have a router boss with the 4th axis accessory, upgraded to the motor drive Textile Clothes hanger Denim Wood Engineering

in the fall, i was charged with making a stand up dog feeding station for my granddog for christmas -- after i finished that, our 3 dogs whined why does Jax get a fancy feeder before we do -- so i had to make 3 more to quiet everybody down Dog Water dog Wood Dog breed Carnivore
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-- as you can see in the pictures -- you can add profiles to the legs using different bits -- but you are confined to regular, symmetric profiles -- it is nigh impossible to cut a profile where the slope is different on the opposing sides -- as i was trying to figure out how to make 4 sets of different looking legs -- it occurred to me that i have a motor driven spinning piece of wood -- if i could just add a tool rest -- i'd have a lathe -- and i could not only add asymmetric profiles but also take some of the 'squareness' out of the profiles i can do -- round off the corners more, add a little grace -- not so machine made looking --

the first problem was in the default config the wood spins spins away from the user -- in the wrong direction for a lathe -- so i first thought -- i'll just reverse the polarity of the motor -- reverse the spin -- well, that just caused the chuck to rotate off -- so plan B was to simply flip everything 180 degrees -- headstock on left, tailstock on right -- other than now all the bolts that secure the headstock and tailstock are pointed at the floor -- it works fine -- Property Wood Tool Gas Machine
-- i put together a tool rest that would slide into the bottom T- track on the router boss mainframe -- learned that i needed to provide adjustment both in height and in/out position -- and it seems like it will work --
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as i mentioned above -- the reason for me to do this is to enhance/upgrade the lathe-like capabilities of the existing device -- you can make spindles very easily with the 4th axis -- more precise, more reproducible than i could ever do by hand on a real lathe -- i believe the best combination is to cut the outline, if you will, using the 4th axis -- flip to 'lathe mode' and add the final touches --
as a test -- i took a 1 1/2" spindle i had made -- cut 1/4" deep x 1 1/4' long divots with a 3/8" spiral bit -- switched to a point roundover bit (whiteside 1580) cut a profile centered in each of the divots 3/8" deep -- and added the 4 point round off profiles at the headstock which match in spacing and depth the profiles on the legs of the feeder stand to the left in the earlier pic of the three stands -- Wood Machine tool Hardwood Gas Wood stain
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flipped to lathe mode -- and with my rudimentary lathe skills produced multiple contours -- to me the three profiles near the headstock look better than the same profiles on the feeder stand because they are more rounded -- not as square looking -- they look softer --
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my conclusion is that using the router boss as a spindle lathe is a viable option within the limitations of the device -- 6" in diagonal length is the biggest blank you can spin -- that translates to a 4 1/4" diameter spindle -- if you round off the corners of the blank prior to turning -- you can probably squeeze out a 4 1/2" diameter spindle -- max length of blank exceeds 35" -- if the baseplate and router get in the way -- in 3 minutes you can remove it and have the full length of workable space available -- Wood Gas Automotive exterior Machine Engineering

this post was just meant to be an overview -- glad to go into more detail if anyone has an interest -- i am not related by blood, marriage or financial gain by anyone connected to or the router boss -- it is just a tool i enjoy using and wanted to share with my fellow woodworkers -- have fun in your shop and stay safe --
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Hi, Iking.
For many years I've wanted to attach one of my ordinaries router to my chinese medium-range lathe. I've gathered a lot of ideas, accessories et al.
Yours seems simple and effective so please, more details will be appreciated.
many thanks for the reply -- the underlying system is the router boss tool -- i would refer you to for details and videos -- you can see how the router is positioned above the workpiece and the various accessories available -- you can do any router function -- mortise, tenons, dados, rabbets -- with the advantage of the router above so you can see the cut as it happens -- incredible precision and reproducibility -- router boss project , 6 months experience with a router boss -- all that being said -- standard installation has the device attached to a 2x6 mounted on a wall -- not any use for your application -- i didn't have enough wall space available so i built a support that i mounted to an old workbench -- with the capability of sliding the whole thing back out of the way because the footprint seemed so big and in the beginning i imagined running into it all the time -- hasn't moved in 5 years, i use it all the time -- you could potentially adapt that approach to making a platform that would sit above your lathe and allow you to bring bits down on a project -- you can buy the acrylic baseplate the router attaches to and the black guide rails you see on the sides -- that might give you a starting point for stability and position adjustment -- there is also a forum attached to -- you might post something there to see if you can find someone who has had the same thought -- hope that has been some help -- good luck !!

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