Simple spindles


The spindle "cartridge" (spindle, bearing, outer piece of protective pipe) is aligned and grouted into an oversize cavity just as the ways are.

Bearing "cartridges" are just short pieces of pipe, a center hollow or solid shaft and machined bearing metal castings to fill the gap.

This type of construction gives the machine builder many choices in spindle bore and in types and sizes of bearing/bushing but often the easiest and cheapest choice is to use parts from a junked hydraulic cylinder. A worn hydraulic cylinder is a great place to start for builders of lathes at the lowest cost. The outer body of the cylinder can be used as the outer part of the spindle cartridge and the piston rod can be a solid spindle. A hollow spindle is more useful and the lathe can later be used to make its own improved spindle. These improvements can include the ball or roller bearings needed to get higher spindle speeds.

The piston rod should least 75mm dia, and the outer cylinder should be at least 250 mm. long
The piston rod should least 75mm dia, and the outer cylinder should be at least 250 mm. long

This can be easily made into this!
spindle_to_be_updated.jpg

Bushings bridge the gap between the outer pipe and the spindle. They are cast in the same simple shape that is used for many parts of our lathe.


bushing.jpg

But, you are hardly bound by the easy and cheap way! You have a huge number of spindle choices after you have accurately cast a large pipe into the headstock. The spindle can be made from many types and sizes of pipe. This is a sample of sizes available in the non-metric world.



  • Ball and roller bearings can be used with housings (made like the one above) pressed into the outer tube. Spindles would be machined to the Bearing ID since pipe rarely has an ID the same as a pipe OD.