As before when I was making the movable bed cnc machine, I had to cut the z-axis lead screw to the correct length and then machine out a smaller diameter at one end so that it would fit into a ball bearing.
As I had seen on several youtube videos, some folks had created their own lathe for machining rods to their required diameters. Granted that many of these were for wooden rods, I thought perhaps the concept could be adapted for my situation to machine a steel lead screw rod that I had.
And so began another project – a lathe grinder. It was a combination of several of my previous projects.
I am sure many of you would had seen the drill press that I had made previously. It was portable and light enough for me to install on a wall and later dismantle when I had completed a job. Naturally, it was installed vertically. Wooden Drill Press
I had actually installed it horizontally on a banquet table when I wanted to drill horizontally on the edges of a large piece of mdf sheet. At that time, I had modified the drill press so that the drill table could be removed when I needed to. Also, the height of the horizontal drill could be lowered by removing a spacer piece to suit the situation.
I had also converted a banquet table by drilling holes on it so that I could install steel studs and clamping bars to hold down my work pieces. The advantage of using this banquet table was that it was foldable and was highly portable. As I had mentioned before, due to shortage of space, I needed to do most of my diy work outdoors, but had to remove everything when I had finished, to protect them from the weather. Banquet Table for the Handyman
Another project that I had done was to fit an angle grinder on a wooden housing and then installing the whole assembly onto a low brick fence to be used as a bench grinder. Bench Grinder
By combining all the above items, I hoped to create a workable lathe grinder.
A normal lathe machine would have a fixed head stock drive/chuck mechanism, and a movable cutting tool travelling in an axial or radial movement.
Since my drill press already had an axial movement incorporated in the mechanism, I decided to make use of it in my lathe grinder design. Instead of a cutting tool, I had decided to make use of my bench grinder, but first, I needed to adjust the height of the mechanism such that the center level of the grinding wheel would coincide with the level of the work piece.
Secondly, I needed to set up a way for adjusting the horizontal movement of the grinding mechanism, so that the depth of cut could be adjusted. I also needed some sort of marking to show the position of the grinder relative to the work piece, so that I could move to the position for the next cut.
Ideally, the mechanism would be sliding horizontally on a perfectly machined flat surface driven by a lead screw where the smallest degree of turn could be translated into a correspondingly accurate linear movement.
Unfortunately this was not the case here. The equipment did not have all the luxurious ideal mechanism. It was really crude. Everything was moved by slight taps on the hammer and then clamped in position. The engraved scale served to let me know how much the mechanism had moved each time.
As you can see from the video, the finished product was not very accurate. Perhaps in the near future, I could add a steady rest along the long shaft work piece so as to prevent it from swaying too excessively when it was being rotated.