Boxford lathe help

  1. Dcal Member

    Messages:
    1,119
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Hi all, new to machining and I have just got the Boxford lathe I bought from Austin on here, bolted down and up and running.

    I downloaded the "Boxford Know your Lathe" book and got a bit of info off the Boxford Site to get me started.

    There are 3 holes in the steel frame for fixings and I used 12mm thread bar chemically anchored into the concrete floor with a nut and washer top and bottom so I could adjust the base up or down and get a good starting point for leveling the bed.

    IMG_4269.JPG

    I used an old engineers level to adjust and set the bed and I got it pretty close I think.
    Unfortunately while i was working around the lathe I touched the level that was sitting across the bed, it fell into the stand and let the bubble out.


    IMG_4265.JPG

    Its a Rabone 8" and the vial seems to be about 75mm x 13mm.
    Anyone know where I can get a replacement vial and can they be replaced?
    I tried screwing it apart but it seems pretty solid and I didn't want to force it.
    Is there a trick in getting them apart? Or is it a specialist job?

    IMG_4267.JPG


    After a few choice words I went back to the lathe.
    I tried checking out the functions and it all seemed good until I was trying out the powered feed.
    While running the screw cutting function the motor came under a lot of load and I switched it off.
    The gear train seemed locked up but when I disengaged the drive all seemed ok apart from the screw thread which was solid.
    I tried all the functions on the apron but it was still locked up so I partly disassembled the apron on the lathe and I found that the nut that holds the drive nut on the feed screws had tightened and locked solid against the apron body stopping the lead screw from turning at all.
    I initially thought the nut had picked up and seized on the apron body but I was able to wind the complete apron off the lead screw and fully disassemble it on the bench.

    IMG_4255.JPG

    I discovered that there was nothing stopping the lock nut from over tightening. A quick search on the web uncovered that there should be a small pin through the feed nut, the lock nut and key way to keep the nut from coming loose or over tightening.
    The one I have does not have a locking pin or a hole in the key for a pin.
    There is a hole drilled through the feed nut and lock nut and the ends of the key have nibs (to stop the key coming completely out of the nut?)
    There isn't a slot in the lock-nut for the key nib which might also work, but the distance between the nibs is longer than the complete drive nut assembly anyway.

    IMG_4252.JPG

    Are there different ways of locking this on different models?
    Whats the best fix?

    Can I just drill the key way and fit a steel pin?
    I was thinking it would be best to have a pin, slightly smaller than the holes already drilled in the lock nut and feed nut and just tack welding the pin to the key.
    Would that work?

    IMG_4263.JPG

    Not one of the best days I've had, but its all learning.

    Thanks in advance
     
    MBB likes this.
  2. Seadog

    Seadog Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    4,194
    Location:
    NE London - UK
    Hi Dcal. As far as I'm aware they all had a key with a pin. Yours sounds like someone's modification. The ring nut definitely needs positive location to prevent pickup. The original was probably just peened over, but nothing to stop a dab of weld being used, I guess. Loctite would be another option. A nice sliding fit rather than a loose fit would be preferable. Test fit the nut both ways round for best fit, and float, and hole alignment.

    The key and the pin were sold under different part numbers according to the Boxford spares listing, so the pin would probably be a light drive fit in the key. I never thought to try to remove the pin when I rebuilt my lathe.
     
    Dcal likes this.
  3. Dcal Member

    Messages:
    1,119
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Thanks Seadog thought it might have been a mod.
    Its seems very obvious which way the nut go on, its pretty snug when its on one way.
    I'll drill the key and give it a try.

    Thanks for your input.
    I'm certain I'll have many more questions as I get further into this.
     
  4. Seadog

    Seadog Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    4,194
    Location:
    NE London - UK
    Dcal likes this.
  5. Dcal Member

    Messages:
    1,119
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    So it isn't just me!
    Thanks for the links for the vials,
    Have you tried the Chinese one? Seems like a good fit.


    When I was trying to take the caps off my "ex" level they seemed really tight and the tubes of the body were twisting as Ai was trying to screw then off.
    I wonder if they have been loctited on?
    I might tree a little heat from a hot air gun.l
     
  6. Seadog

    Seadog Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    4,194
    Location:
    NE London - UK
    I didn't break mine. It came in a tray of old tooling that I acquired in the early 80s. I'm slowly getting around to repairing it. I might give the Chinese one a try as it's quite cheap.
     
  7. Pete.

    Pete. Member

    Messages:
    8,056
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    I might have a vial, I'll look when I get home.
     
    Dcal likes this.
  8. Dcal Member

    Messages:
    1,119
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Thanks Pete
     
  9. Dcal Member

    Messages:
    1,119
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    With Seadogs advice went ahead and drilled and tacked in a pin (drill bit shank) into the key.

    IMG_4276.JPG

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    All back together and working fine.

    Also had another go at the level, again based on the info given by Seadog.
    Dug out the Plaster of Paris and was able to knock out the end caps from the inside with a punch.

    IMG_4290.JPG

    Tried ordering a vial from the AliExpress link but the site was down.
    Will try again tomorrow.

    Thanks again for you help Seadog
     
    Seadog likes this.
  10. Pete.

    Pete. Member

    Messages:
    8,056
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    My vial is 75x 12.5 (or 3" x 1/2") ish. It's from a Rabone level but it's probably the same.

    vial.jpg
     
    Dcal likes this.
  11. Dcal Member

    Messages:
    1,119
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Pete, That looks exactly what I'm after.
    The one I broke is also a Rabone and looks the same.

    Is this surplus to your requirements? Or are you using for the level in the photo?
    If it is available I'd be very happy to buy it from you.

    Did you buy it or know where it came from?
     
  12. Pete.

    Pete. Member

    Messages:
    8,056
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    I got it off eBay for £13 but when I got it the plaster of paris was crumbling. I dug it all out then stuck it in a drawer for later. Pay me the £13 and I'll stick it in the post.
     
  13. Dcal Member

    Messages:
    1,119
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Great I'll Pm you
     
  14. Dcal Member

    Messages:
    1,119
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Pete's vial arrived last week along with a Chinese one. (Not the one in Seadog's link, as I couldn't get through the checkout but something similar)
    As Pete kindly also sent me the level tube and end caps and they are identical to the one I have I can install both vials and compare accuracy and resolution.

    PS the Chinese vial came all the way from China in 4 days which I think is incredible.

    IMG_4392.JPG
     
    RedOrZed, Pete., slim_boy_fat and 2 others like this.
  15. Seadog

    Seadog Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    4,194
    Location:
    NE London - UK
    I'll be watching with interest. It might spur me on to completing my restoration. That is if I can find someone to re-plate the body (nickel).
     
  16. Dcal Member

    Messages:
    1,119
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    First results of actually using the Boxford (or any metal lathe.)

    Some clown welded up the pressed steel plugs in the spare wheel well on the Alfa I'm doing up.
    As a extra special touch they then hammered a screwdriver through the wheel well to let the water out (I presume)
    I know I've never heard of water leaks in an Alfa either.

    IMG_4402.JPG

    Instead of leaving well alone or going to a scrap yard and looking for something close that would fit, like any normal person, I decided to try and make some.

    Started with a steel disk that came off a chain sprocket I modified for a lawn mower drive.
    I "modified" it with a 9 inch grinder and this was one of the reasons I decided I needed a lathe.

    IMG_4184.JPG

    It was too big and I didn't know how to hold it in the 4 jaw chuck that I has so turned a bit of 20mm bar down and welded it into the disc and faced it off to a fashion with the HSS and brazed carbide bits that came with the lathe.

    IMG_4291.JPG

    Do you like the shims to get the tool somewhere near center height?

    IMG_4298.JPG

    I then went on the internet for a good few hours to try and learn how to sharpen lathe cutting tools.

    Next I put an off cut of 20mm s355 plate in the chuck and played about until I ended up with this

    IMG_4306.JPG

    I needed some way of lining the two half's of the formers, so decided to cut out a hole in a piece of 6mm galve plate to form the top die.
    I cut above center and made a wider cut to give a bit of relief and thought I was going great until I cut through, when it jammed and broke the parting tool (I assume it's a parting tool)
    So that how not to make a hole in in a plate with a parting tool!

    IMG_4318.JPG

    Welded the former into it (Faced off the galv coating first)

    IMG_4325.JPG


    and ended up with a tool that nearly works

    IMG_4333.JPG

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    Need to make the top half stiffer to flatten out the plate and also need to make the lower die deeper but I think it's not bad for a first attempt

    I also need to get more cutting tools but as I have some that came with the lathe and have no idea what I should get, I will play about with what I have.

    Any recommendations for a novice like me with a Boxford?
    Also really fancy a tool post where I can adjust the tool height but again no idea what to go for.
    Probably better to get more time on the lathe and less searching the internet
     
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  17. eLuSiVeMiTe

    eLuSiVeMiTe Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    7,457
    Location:
    Bedfordshire England
    Looks like you had fun.
    I bought a glanze set of Indexible tooling from glanze. Been spot on.
    Just over a ton for the set but well worth while.
     
  18. Hopefuldave Intergalactic pot-mender

    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    The Shed of Danger, surrey, England
    Selection of tools - DON'T buy the brazed-on carbide tools, unless you already have a "green grit" (Silicon carbide) wheel for your bench grinder and some diamond hones, they're absolute carp with the wrong geometry on the cutting edges and need careful sharpening and honing to get them to cut without 10 HP behind the spindle (and even then they're complete carp), if you must have carbide get a set of indexable tools (that take replaceable carbide inserts, the ones for aluminium are good on smaller lower power lathes as the edges are *sharp* and have rake to the cutting edges - see above, Glanze are good for the price) or for a beginner-ish user HSS tool bits and a grinder (dump the pieces of concrete that impersonate wheels, fit some brand-name e.g. Norton and better rests) and practice grinding lathe tools that fit a...

    Quick-change toolpost and holders, best thing since sliced bread, Stilton and a bit of pickle, they can be adjusted to put their tools on centre height really easily (no faffing about with shims) and you can swap tools in seconds rather than minutes.

    There are a range of sizes of quick-change toolpost, best is to measure from the top of the topslide to spindle centre (lathe axis) to work out which you need, I have a Dickson T2 and a BX size on my Holbrook 13" swing but that has a double cross-slide which sets the topslide a bit higher than most - if going for the dovetail type, AX = Chinese 250-100 4 - 6" centre height, NOT from topslide but from ways , BX 250-200 (around 6 - 8" ), etc. - Dickson are a bit more complicated...

    Dave H. (the other one)

    P.S. - that was called "trepanning" and breaking tools is a regular occurrence! There's a special grind for it but you need to support the waste with e.g. a bolt through the spindle and a spacer behind it against the chuck face...
     
    slim_boy_fat, Dcal and zx9 like this.
  19. Seadog

    Seadog Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    4,194
    Location:
    NE London - UK

    I'd recommend the BXA wedge style holder for your Boxford rather than the AXA piston type. There's a world of difference in the toolholder rigidity. I started out with the AXA before buying a BXA. I would never revert.
     
    Dcal likes this.
  20. Dcal Member

    Messages:
    1,119
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, been at the Edinburgh Fringe.

    Dave H, thanks for the advice, I'll get a look at the Glanze stuff.
    I've had much better luck with the HSS tools and as you said found real issues trying to sharpen the brazed carbide tools.

    I'll keep playing with the HSS for now as I have a few and it will be good practice to learn to sharpen the tools.

    Seadog, do you know what size BXA holder I need to get or a good (I mean cheap) supplier?

    I tried re-centering the lower die in the 4 jaw to deepen the dish and followed the instructions on doubleboost's youtube video to good effect, until i tried to give a jaw a good tighten to get it bang on and promptly broke the adjusting grub screw.
    Great videos by doubleboost and really useful for a beginner like me.

    IMG_4342.JPG

    The 4 jaw is the only chuck I have on a back plate so I was a bit stuck
    I was able to get 1/2 whit grub screws but didn't know how to hold them to machine the slot for the chuck jaw.
    Also I didn't have a functioning chuck

    I decided to attempt a temporary repair to the broken grub screw.
    I brazed in a m6 bolt in to the missing bit and filled it up with braze. I then ground off the excess and ran a tap down it.

    IMG_4370.JPG

    I then ran a 1/2 inch whit tap down a 12mm coupler and M12 nut and made a half nut.

    IMG_4384.JPG

    I was then able to use the "repaired" grub screw to hold the coupler in the chuck, thread on a new grub screw and lock it in place with the half nut to allow me to machine the slot.

    IMG_4377.JPG


    By turning the tool post I was able to machine both shoulders of the slot with the same HSS tool.

    IMG_4381.JPG

    IMG_4388.JPG


    Really pleased with the results and I have a fully functioning 4 jaw again.
    I need to make 3 more grub screws as there are cracks on some of the old ones, but I now know how to hold them.
     
    slim_boy_fat likes this.
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