I would like to attempt a Stuart Turner S50 engine as my first proper essay into stationary engine building.
My "workshop" has a 12X7 lathe with a small vertical milling table as an accessory (with a movable slide in the"Z" axis). Thus simple milling against the headstock can be carried out, but the table does not tilt or swivel. I do not have a proper mill or milling attachment and cannot afford one for the time being.
Will this be a handicap or can I "get by" with this set up on the lathe? Is much milling involved?
Welcome klank, don't be nervous, there's a really good bunch in here, the odd strange sense of humour perhaps .
I haven't built the S50, nice looking engine though but am part way through a 10V and a 10H - supposedly the beginner's engines. The 10V has the benefit of a book giving blow by blow details on construction which is pretty good, especially since the ST drawings give no clues at all!
The standard setup seems to be 3 1/2" lathe with a vertical slide for milling so I'd say you are spot on with your machine, even if it doesn't have a Myford badge on it.
I have a Chester Cobra lathe (don't laugh)which is realistically a 5 1/2 by 9 in your terminolgy and that will handle the size, it's lack of rigidity that is my problem.
Jump in, mangle some metal, and then ask questions here, you will be surprised how many closet stationary engineers come out of the closet.
I was too embarassed to put I have a Chester DB-7V lathe - I pondered over the outlay for that which just about equals the Cobra + mill attachment. Now I wonder if I made the right choice - got a bit more room with this and a harder bed but now I wonder if the mill option would have been better.
Anyway, I shall go ahead and get the castings and give it a go.
If I may ask - should I fabricate some sort of fly cutter for the work? If so - can you point me in the right direction as to how to make one. Would old broken drill bits make a fly cutter tool if ground appropriately?
I am very new to using a lathe and trying to get what info. I can from the net.
Now, that lathe, although small, is an excellent piece of machinery. Compared to some of the lathes that people have made models, some a lot larger than the S50 on, it is, of not ideal, quite adequate.
As for lathework, and indeed general workshop practice, the best source is the various model magazines. Model Engineer, or Model Engineers Workshop, with, IMHO, the earlier issues of ME being the best for a novice. There are some excellent books that are worth getting too. The Workshop Practice series are, and I am sure other will add their suggestions.
As for milling, the "traditional" way was to mill in the lathe, so any milling function has to be a plus.
Joining your local Model Engineering Society can enable you to meet other "nutcases" and get info and ideas from them.
Finally, yes, ask questions here. You will get plenty of answers and lots of ideas.
One of our club members strted an S50 as his first engine and has had a lot of fun with it. Not finished yet, but he's fitting in manufacture with learning hard sums at Uni. Get yourself a good book on lathework. My favourite is "The Amateurs Lathe" by Sparey which is old fashioned now but full of good stuff. Yes you can make a fly cutter bit out of an old drill bit. The end of the drill that normally goes in the chuck will need hardening and tempering. Alternatively grind the business end to the shape you want. Milling in the lathe? You can do an awful lot of very good work with your setup. Hold the milling cutter in the three jaw chuck and off you go. A cutter held like this CAN work its way out of the jaws if you're unlucky, so keep an eye on that. Otherwise it'll work a treat. Have fun. Ther's lots of it around in this hobby. John
Peter, I think you made the right choice, you have a much better lathe there, I needed a separate mill as I am cnc'ing it, in theory for the day job ;D
My flycutter is just turned from a lump of steel of indeterminate quality, 4" long 1 1/2" dia. turned down 2" of length to fit in chuck, drill through thick end at an angle for tool bit and at 90 deg to that for a grubscrew. They aren't the dearest tools to buy though!
I reckon I should be able to finish my ST 10V and 10H on this lathe as well as Rob Roy, going to need something a bit better for the Hunslet though!
Thank you all for such kind and encouraging replies.
You have given me the confidence to have a go with my modest set-up.
Thanks in particular re. the fly cutter ideas and books (knowlege is half the battle - ability is questionable for my part).
If I may ask again - the little vertical mill table which came with my lathe (a sort of "sliced off pyramid" of ?aluminium with a small adjustable table on the front) has a pair of moveable blocks in T slots - the upper with three set screws to hold work being presented for machining. Not a lot of space really. Chronos list a "milling table" (slotted) to attach to this - giving a bit more space to work with and which might hold a small vise. Has anyone ever seen one of these and are they any good? - the price seems a bit high for what it is - nearly £40!!!
Anyway - thanks to all for taking the trouble to reply and encourage.
Peter, I haven't a vertical slide for my lathe - t'would be a bit pointless considering it's size but I suspect what you want is a milling vice to sit on the T-slotted table of your vertical slide. They will take up valuable space on the slide though, have you considered clamping to the table directly.
When I fly cut the base for my ST 10v I used a set up like this
and whilst it is obviously on a vertical mill the same principles apply. I have found the clamp set, and a few home made additions (bodges) far more useful than the vice to be frank. BTW it is really bad form to use bolts to fasten into T-nuts, should be studs, if the bolt happens to bottom out in the slot you can ping the top off the slot - not a good move! Another clear case of do as I say not as I do.
I've just had a look at the Chronos item and if your vertical slide is the one pictured then the table shown below it might not be such a bad investment, it appears to come with a clamp kit - worth checking.
Of course for flycutting, and assuming you can cover the whole job in one pass, you don't need a vertical slide at all, just clamp the item to the saddle or cross slide (toolpost at a pinch) with any packing needed and have at it! There you go, all around the houses to arrive at the simplest solution last - typical of me.
Just have fun with it, thats the main point. Cheers, ANdy
G'day Andy. Thanks too for the picture. Question. What model mill is that; I have an X2 and I notice that your column bracket is behind the column not to the front as for the X2. I like the cheapy fly cutter. I will have to make one asap. I have just installed my mill and pulled out a fly cutter only to find it 1/2 inch shank and my collets are metric. I have some 30mm MS bar so new cutter with 12mm shank should be a quicky exercise; I also have some round HSS stock for the cutter. Thanks for a project idea.
G'day Andy. Thanks for reply. I could turn down the cutter but I suspect it is surface hardened, anyway it has a nice blued finish! At some point I will either buy a 1/2 collet or get a cheap 3MT centre and work it over to make a cutter holder. Sharpening lathe tools does not worry me but like you tools for fly cutters is an area I still have to explore. Regards Ian
Post by Shawki Shlemon on Jul 29, 2007 9:10:56 GMT
Hi Peter I see you have been on this forum for a while, I wonder if you have seen my thread on boring between centres on which I show also milling cylinder faces on the lathe using cheap home made tools and equipment . By cheap I mean cost of scrap metal .Using same method you can mill many other items .If you haven't ,I suggest is worth looking at it .
I do most of my milling in the lathe with a vertical slide. I have got a small Chester Micro mill but I use that mostly as a drilling machine. If you want to spend half an hour or so reading, have a look at my website (click on the house symbol to the left of the page). It's mostly locomotive orientated but if you look in the 2½" gauge loco section under Helen Longish and the Flying Scotsman there's lots of info and photos of various machining operations in the lathe using the vertical slide etc. I think there's a few bits using home made fly cutters as well. You might see a few ideas that may help you,
Thank you both for the help - I have found the pages you both referred to - Now I've got some more ideas about facing/fly cutting. There really is no prescribed way is there! You do it as it works for "you" (but seeing other people's ideas helps a lot).
Hi Klank Welcome to the forum, I built an S50 a couple of years ago and if I remember right I milled the baseplate using a 1/2" end mill with good results, don't know if that would suit your set-up though. I also milled off the dummy bolt heads on the base casting and drilled and tapped it to take proper bolts, it looks a lot better. It would also be quite easy to file the baseplate [says the man who doesn't like filing!] I've built several ST engines and I would say the S50 is about the easiest, go for it ;D Ron
Hi klank and welcome. I'm a newbie too (with poorer equipment than you wanted to admit to!). I'm sure that if you follow the advice of these guys you'll turn out some good stuff. Nice to see someone else in the stationary engine dept. too
Hi from the other side of Devon, I love anything driven by steam, and a stationary is a loco without wheels, I got to meet Anthony Mount at Bristol and spent some time looking at his collection of models. Great hobbie ours which covers such a wide range of interests.
Builder of far too many projects, but I love them all. The more Locomotives you have building, the more solutions to other Projects Problems get Solved. Reworking Simplex into a Fowler Complex. Making a Jinty more to scale. And going up a size in the shape of a Jessie.
Hi David, fellow Devonian, Nice to meet you. I am now just about ready to put tool to the castings - drinking much coffee and "fiddling around" before hand to put off the evil day. Having seen so many beautiful finished works on this board I really have no excuse but to get stuck in and try my best. Regards Peter