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  • Spring meet up in Ontario, Newmarket, April 6/2024. Discussion

The British pound, British machine tools, small spaces and die filers.

TorontoBuilder

Ultra Member
I've been slow on restoring my chipmaster, since I'm waiting for warmer weather so much of the stripping can be done outdoors. That hasn't prevented me from thinking about where this lathe will go when I bring it home.

Very likely it will end up pushed to the very back of a one car garage. Basically, I'll have one of the smallest metal shops in Canada. Which got me thinking of how to add functionality to such a small space, and naturally I started thinking of all the types of lathe accessories that could be used but my memory is not what it once was. I can think of milling, grinding, and slotting attachments. Then I recalled seeing a tailstock mounted die filer about a month ago while browsing my old issues of Live steam (Oct 1977) so that lead me to google lathe mounted die filers, and low and behold both Harold Hall and Edgar Westbury designed lathe mounted versions. Westbury's is the best I've seen and allows for the mounting of saw blades as well. Perfect for pairing with a British lathe I think. The question is can I modify it for my lathe? With current exchange rates it's less expensive than the MLA-18 filing machine from Andy Lofquist at Metal Lathe Accessories, and than either die filer kit from Martin Models.

So what else can I mount on a lathe?

Pretty much even with shipping.

 

Janger

(John)
Administrator
Vendor
Great post @TorontoBuilder It's a cool project. Here I have gathered up a few links.


$156USD.

Similar price

similar price. This one has a much simpler rotation to linear motion conversion but only 3/4" stroke.

Harold Hall's machine
http://www.homews.co.uk/page44.html

Questions:
Could inside key ways be made with these tools effectively?

Do any of them move a bit forward on the down stroke and a bit back on the return similar to some jig saws? That might eliminate any tendency to pinch fingers.
 
Last edited:

Proxule

Ultra Member
Great post @TorontoBuilder It's a cool project. Here I have gathered up a few links.


$156USD.

Similar price

similar price. This one has a much simpler rotation to linear motion conversion but only 3/4" stroke.

Harold Hall's machine
http://www.homews.co.uk/page44.html

Questions:
Could inside key ways be made with these tools effectively?

Do any of them move a bit forward on the down stroke and a bit back on the return similar to some jig saws? That might eliminate any tendency to pinch fingers.
Harold Hall is my hero - amazing site and literature / intellect!
 

TorontoBuilder

Ultra Member
Great post @TorontoBuilder It's a cool project. Here I have gathered up a few links.


$156USD.

Similar price

similar price. This one has a much simpler rotation to linear motion conversion but only 3/4" stroke.

Harold Hall's machine
http://www.homews.co.uk/page44.html

Questions:
Could inside key ways be made with these tools effectively?

Do any of them move a bit forward on the down stroke and a bit back on the return similar to some jig saws? That might eliminate any tendency to pinch fingers.

The Hemingway kit when added to my shopping cart set to CAD comes to $130.49 and change. Shipping adds another $101.45. Total $231.95

The 3 piece die filer kit from Martin comes to $195 USD which brings it to $270.

MLA-18

MLA-18 Filing Machine Basic Kit (30 lbs.) $159.50
Add for the cast Pulley Blank (5 lbs.) $30.00
Add for the Bronze Bearing Material (2 lbs.) $62.00
Add for Hardware Packet (no additional shipping if sent with kit) $9.50
Shipping is over $50 IIRC

The MLA is better than the MM. The Hemingway is best if you have a lathe and space issues, but a stand alone has appeal. None are perfect all around design.

The Live Steam tailstock mounted version can be made without castings and is likely cheapest. I should model it in fusion
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
So what else can I mount on a lathe?

The things that take the most room for my lathe are all the various chucks and home made spiders. I put a tool holder shelf on my backsplash to store all my tool holders. Of course, you will also want storage for cutting tools, wrenches, oil, metrology, stock, and any gears.
 

Mcgyver

Ultra Member
Neat stuff, but I proffer what the world needs is not a die filer, but large volumes of high quality inexpensive die files! The filers come up and sell for small dollars, but you better save your lunch money for a set of files :)
 

Mcgyver

Ultra Member
Not every week granted, but I've probably seen 1/2 a dozen in the last 10 years for <200. Mind you, that was precovid, back before the world and central banks went nuts. :).....but outside of hobbyst so few know what they are or want them I bet there'll be more
 
I got off lucky when I bought mine, it came with about 70 files. The files are worth far more than the die filer, in fact, by volume, that little box of files might be one of the most expensive things in the shop.
 
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