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Thread: indexer/lathe combo for under $1K

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Radford VA
    Posts
    587

    Default indexer/lathe combo for under $1K

    Hello all - I just wanted to share my indexer/lathe combo setup that I recently completed for my 9648 PRT Alpha. I call it an indexer/lathe combo because I can easily switch between a stepper controlled indexer and a standard lathe ran by its own AC motor. I was able to get everything done for right at $900. That included buying the Rikon lathe brand new (on sale) and purchasing the Oriental motor and drive off Ebay. Luckily, I have access to a Bridgeport milling machine, so I was able to machine the stepper mounting plate myself. I also had to bore out the timing pulleys to fit the stepper and Rikon shaft on a metal lathe.

    My pulley ratio came out to be 3.6:1 and on my first test piece it seems to be working fine. I can switch between indexer and lathe mode by just switching one belt on and one belt off. In the picture, I show both belts on just for clarity. The stepper belt takes a little effort to get off and on. I have it tightened just to the point where I can work it off the big pulley, but not have too much slack. In reality, I will probably use the indexer mode more than anything.

    I really like the Rikon lathe. It can swing 12" on its own, but with my setup I can only do 8" because of the Shopbot table. I bought the extension bed and I can do about a 38" length until the tailstock hits the Shopbot rail.

    If anyone wants some more specs or info, just post back to this thread. Randall's indexer tutorial really helped me out to get everything running. I probably would have never figured out everything without this forum. Pretty much all the knowledge to get this thing working was gained from all the posts right here. The piece in the last picture was my first test run.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Tulsa Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,237

    Default

    Brad, that is an excellent setup. Looks relatively easy to do.

    It clearly would have the advantages of a CNC lathe and indexer in one installation.

    Supposedly "someday", SB is supposed to release a software update that allows the indexer to just have an RPM, so it can do both jobs directly.

    Good work- and keep innovating-

    D
    "The best thing about building something new is either you succeed or learn something. Its a win-win situation."

    --Greg Westbrook

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Port Orange Florida
    Posts
    194

    Smile indexer/lathe combo for under $1K

    That really looks good. Woodcraft has that lathe on sell for 269.99. Very nice solution.
    Thanks
    Don

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Posts
    119

    Default

    Awesome. I really need to add an indexer to mine. That looks like a lot of cool applications

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Port Orange Florida
    Posts
    194

    Smile indexer/lathe combo for under $1K

    I just ordered one for my router, I could not find the distance between the center and the bottom of lathe feet. Could you please give me that measurements I want to get things going while I wait for delivery. Any help would really be appreciate.
    Thanks
    Donald Clifton

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Radford VA
    Posts
    587

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    Donald - I measure mine to be 13-1/2 inches. Let me know if you need anything else.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Port Orange Florida
    Posts
    194

    Smile indexer/lathe combo for under $1K

    Thanks Brad, I have some slates that came off an old Gerber router that I'm going to use to mount the lathe on. and I have 9" Z travel. I'm going to drop the slates down 9 1/2 inches from the table surface. Woodcrafter had the lathe on sell I got both lathe and ext. for $359 and free shipping. Thanks again for the help.
    Donald Clifton

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Port Orange Florida
    Posts
    194

    Default indexer/lathe combo for under $1K

    Brad, Don't want to keep bugging you but what is the outside measurement of the legs front to back ( not bolt holes )? I'm rethinking my drop and will make it 13 1/2" instead of 9".
    Thanks for the help I need all I can get
    Donald Clifton

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Radford VA
    Posts
    587

    Default

    Donald - I don't mind at all, glad to help. The outside width of the legs are 7-1/2 inches. That measurement is the same for the lathe and the extension table.

    Just in case you needed this measurement lengthwise...the main lathe feet are 27-1/2" and with extension is 55-3/4".

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Port Orange Florida
    Posts
    194

    Smile Indexer/lathe combo for under $1k

    Thanks Brad, that will help. I am tring to get the mount done before the lathe come. I have been using a Bayside gear head and it's a real pain to setup plus it just had a straight shaft. This way I can use a nova chuck or other attachment that will make like easier. Did you get your timing belts from McMaster?
    Thank again
    Donald Clifton

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