SWING AWAY TAILSTOCKS FOR THE 3520B LATHE
Peter Gerstel Woodworking is a small company that produces a limited number of mission furniture reproductions as well as some Greene and Greene pieces. The furniture that I produce is limited to smaller pieces such as mirrors, entryway benches, side and end tables, etc. On occasion I produce some morris chairs as well. I have given up most of my flat work as my shop is crowded and it makes it difficult to produce large projects. While I have done some I work with metal and wood lathes and a rose engine to produce the work that I really enjoy. I will leave the swing away up on this site as it really is a good product and project.
I also produce some bowls, hollow forms, bottle stoppers and other projects on the lathe. In the making of many pieces on the lathe I really got tired of removing the tailstock to do deep hollowing, sanding and finishing operations. As a result, I have devised what I think is the best accessory that you can have for the Powermatic 3520B wood lathe. That being a SWING AWAY TAILSTOCK device that is not only easy to build, but inexpensive, uses surplus or easily optainable materials in its construction. It takes only a weekend to build and after the material has been cut to length takes only hand tools and a drill press to complete.
The first version of the SWING AWAY moves the tailstock away from the rear of the right hand bed by about 7 inches. The second version moves the bed away 13 inches depending upon the location of the pivot hole. I am testing this second version at the present time and may reduce the total swing down to 12 inches. This seems to me to be more than adequate for almost all operations. If you work from the rear of the machine then you would put the tailstock in line with the bed. The further you move the tailstock away from the bed the further you must be away from the wall which may have the be considered.
The newest version of the SWING AWAY uses 2 in x 3/4 aluminum for the support box and I have changed the system for raising the height of the rails to match the lathe bed. The new system uses a threaded bolt system which allows for exact placement of the rail height. It works just like a levelng jack and when locked into position will not move. I have substituted a 1/2 steel plate for the pivot bar and have changed the leveling sytem to make it easiern to adjust. I am in the process of changing the slide bars from steel to steel backed with a delrin top for easier sliding.
Vicmark and One Way Lathes have a similiar device and I while I have not yet received information on how far the tailstock is moved away in their swing away devices I do not believe that they move the tailstock 12 or 13 inches away from the bed. The Robust American Beauty Lathe uses a different technique for swinging the tailstock out of the way.
This device really works well, it is easily adjustable to achieve a perfect slide from the bed and it is strong and well built. IT IS NOT INTENDED, HOWEVER, TO BE USED AS A BED EXTENSION AND FOR THAT REASON I HAVE NOT INSTALLED ANY KIND OF A BRACKET THAT WILL ALLOW THE SWING AWAY TO BE LOCKED TO THE BED.
The turning that I do does not require the powermatic extension to be in place. For turnings over 20 inches in diameter I can still have the swing away attached as well as the extension bolted to the lathe bed in the lower position.
THE DIRECTIONS AND THE PHOTOS OF THE SWING AWAY SYSTEM THAT I HAVE MADE CAN BE FOUND AT THE FOLLOWING;
I was told that this could not be downloaded. If you have problems e mail me at email@example.com and I will send you an e mail to let you download it.
The SWING AWAY TAILSTOCK design can be adapted easily to use various materials in its construction. The support plate should aways be steel. The 3/4 x 3 1/2 aluminum that I use at present for the pivot arm and the support box can be reduced to 3/4 x 2. I would still use the 3/4 x 3 1/2 aluminum stock for the pivot arm. The support box can be made of 3/8 thick steel by 1 1/2 or 2 inch wide steel if it is welded. The pivot arm can be changed to 1/2 x 3 inch steel plate but you must locate the holes that hold the pivot arm to the support box in different locations. The latest version has a swing away of 12 inches and has almost no deflection in any position because of the 50 lb weight of the tailstock as well as the weight of the unit.
I have also changed the pivot are to a 1/2 x 4 inch plate for the pivot support with a shorter pivot bolt, and square tubing. You would only have two holes in the pivot support into the end of the lathe bed but I believe that this would be enough. All other measurements and positioning remains the same.
In the plans that are available I suggest that you position the support plate so it is even with the from of the lathe bed when you clamp the locate the holes to tie the plate to the bed. If you move the plate over 1 inch you gain 2 inches on the swing away. Move it 2 inches to the right and you get an 11 in swing away. YOU MUST REMEMBER TO ADD INCHES TO THE PIVOT ARM IF YOU DO THIS. IT IS MY SUGGESTION THAT YOU MAKE THE ROUGH CUT ON THE PIVOT ARM 8 INCHES FOR THE 7 INCH SWING AWAY. ROUGH CUT THE PIVOT ARM 9 INCHES FOR THE 9 INCH SWING AWAY AND AT LEAST 10 INCHES FOR THE 12 INCHES SWING AWAY.
The plans that you get will show these different lengths. The support box and the support plate and pivot all remain the same.
The Powermatic is a great machine. The SWING AWAY TAILSTOCK makes it easier to use.
NEW CHANGE IN DESIGN:
THE FIRST, SECOND, THIRD, AND FORTH MODELS OF THE SWING AWAY HAVE ALL BECOME REDUCED IN SIZE.
MATERIAL COSTS AND UNNECESSARY WEIGHT AS WELL AS A GREAT DEAL OF WORK WILL SOON BE REDUCED TO A MUCH SIMPLIER SYSTEM. THIS NEW SWING AWAY WILL BE SIMILIAR TO SOME OF THE OTHERS ON THE MARKET BUT WILL RETAIN THE ADJUSTABLE HEIGHT SYSTEM. THE ADJUSTABLE SYSTEM WORKS WELL BECAUSE THE FINISH CUT ON THE END OF THE LATHE IS NOT (AT LEAST ON MINE) AT RIGHT ANGLES TO THE BED. STILL RETAINED IS THE 3/4 PIVOT BOLT WITH NEEDLE BEARINGS ON TOP AND BOTTOM OF THE 3/8 PLATE. THE MATERIAL WILL NOW BE STEEL AND MUST LESS EXPENSIVE TO BUILD.
Plans and Pictures
I am putting the plans for the swing away on the wedsite with pictures. The file is large and since I got very few orders I believe people are looking at the website and then making their own. Follow the directions and it will work out just fine.