Although I’ve talked about it with Max on the podcast, I’ve never announced on the blog that I picked up a made in Switzerland Schaublin 102. 102 is the turning radius in millimeters (about 4 inches). The lathe was in pieces, but in very workable condition. I dragged it home and it sat for a few months until I found the time to get to working on it.
This week I finally managed to get the 102 making chips. It took some work mostly in the drive area. I didn’t have access to the proper voltage to drive the existing motor so I decided to replace the original Schaublin motor with new 3/4 HP Baldor that I picked up a year ago for $50. I also wanted to keep the mechanical variable speed drive working. I could have got the old motor rewound, and I might do that some day, but the $800 that I was quoted was a bit rich.
After modelling up the existing motor in Fusion I designed up a pulley to fit the Baldor, spacers to place the new motor in the same location as the old one and a motor mounting plate. I used old school methods to make up a plate to mount the VFD and associated electrical components.
I made a montage type video of all the work:
I was pretty happy with how it turned out. Here is an animated gif showing a test cut that I did with the lathe:
Aside from making up the required parts, I spent a fair bit of time cleaning out the bed, cross slide, tailstock and the interesting air – oil lubricating unit for the spindle bearings. I also have several hours fishing the air – oil lubrication lines back into place in the headstock.
I’ve never used a plain turning lathe before, and quite frankly until I did I thought they were a bit of a joke. In the past no carriage or leadscrew caused me to immediately write off plain turning lathes as useless machines. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, as I used my import lathe more (which has a carriage and leadscrew) I realized that I do 80% of my work without such features. If you have the chance to pickup a plain turning lathe in good condition, jump at it! Many people devalue such machines and as such you can sometimes get a very good deal on a lathe that is exceptionally capable – and a joy to use.
Next up is a proper toolpost for the lathe, a backing plate for a Buck 6 jaw chuck I picked up, and probably a faceplate. That is unless I manage to pick this stuff up used somewhere. I really don’t count on that happening though. Parts and associated tooling for Schaublins usually demand high prices.