Newbie questions
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Moonraker
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Newbie questions - 04-26-2008, 12:55 PM

I'm looking to get into some hobby work to make cues and do shaft repairs, etc. I've been reading about the Hightowers, Unique, Porper's, etc. but for the cost of these "out-of-the-box" machines, I'm leaning more toward just purchasing a Grizzly 13X36 metal lathe and "doing it right". But maybe I'm doing it wrong.

First of all, I understand the 36" portion of the lathe, but is a 13" swing necessary to build cues? Would a 12X36 work fine?

Also, this is going to sound stupid, but where do you find the chucks that will hold a shaft or butt in place while you turn it? Is this normally included with a lathe? I went to Grizzly today and couldn't get anyone there to help me.

Finally, is there a document, book, or video series that you recommend for someone starting out into hobby cue making? I'd like to do as much research before I choose which way to go.

Thanks,
Moonraker
  
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masonh
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04-26-2008, 12:57 PM

the 12" would be fine and most of those grizzly lathes come with a 3-jaw and a 4-jaw chuck to hold the wood.

you will need to buy a bunch of other toll,bits,taps,etc to set it up for cuemaking,but i think you are headed in the right directionn.
  
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JoeyInCali
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04-26-2008, 01:15 PM

I suggest enrolling at a local college for one semester of basic machining.
AFTER that, you can start thinking about making cues.
Metal lathes are not toys. They are as dangerous as your car.
  
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manwon
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04-26-2008, 01:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonraker
I'm looking to get into some hobby work to make cues and do shaft repairs, etc. I've been reading about the Hightowers, Unique, Porper's, etc. but for the cost of these "out-of-the-box" machines, I'm leaning more toward just purchasing a Grizzly 13X36 metal lathe and "doing it right". But maybe I'm doing it wrong.

First of all, I understand the 36" portion of the lathe, but is a 13" swing necessary to build cues? Would a 12X36 work fine?

Also, this is going to sound stupid, but where do you find the chucks that will hold a shaft or butt in place while you turn it? Is this normally included with a lathe? I went to Grizzly today and couldn't get anyone there to help me.

Finally, is there a document, book, or video series that you recommend for someone starting out into hobby cue making? I'd like to do as much research before I choose which way to go.

Thanks,
Moonraker
The best advice I offer if you are going to due this is contact Chris Hightower and purchase his Book, or his Video's. They will be very helpful in the beginning, and they will give a place to start before purchasing equipment. The Lathe you are talking about would be a good lathe to start with if you are serious about building cues. It will certainly meet your need now and later as your abilities progress, as you stay with cue building it will never be a waste of money.

While these machines deserve respect, if care is taken you can certainly teach yourself how to use the equipment. They can be very dangerous, and you may end up with a wooden finger, however, to me it is worth it. In fact most of the great cue makers have sacrificed a body part or two learning their craft , it just go's with the territory.

Good luck and if I can help contact me!!!!!


Best Regards

"Warlock 1"

Craig W. Rittel
  
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Paul Dayton
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04-26-2008, 03:21 PM

The 13x40 metal working lathe is a lathe that can do cues not just a cue lathe.
  
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04-26-2008, 04:16 PM

I think if your going to use a taper bar on a lathe for shafts & butts 13x40 is better then a 12x36 the shorter lathe you have to hang the tailstock halfway off the lathe to make room for alot of live center's. 13x40 would be a getter asset I think. Some cue maker's belive in belt driven over gear driven for reducing vibration. I look at it this way less movment more accuracy.
  
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04-26-2008, 04:40 PM

Well, I have been searching for a lathe for over a year. The problem I have is that I can basically do all the work needed to produce a cue, EXCEPT installing a joint pin which needs a big bore lathe/head chuck. The ones I have been getting in to "close range to" has pretty much all the bells and whistles needed, except the mentioned dimension in the head chuck.

However, since I'm in Europe I'm not familiar to the Grizz, but if you fin one which might swallow a cue, go for it. I have been looking for one as mentioned for over a year, so I'm converging to buying a DeLux from Chris H, or a used one since it seems to be hard to get on used. Even if it's 110V and not in mm as the rest of the world.

Hope it helped.

N
  
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04-26-2008, 04:51 PM

I got the G4016 13X40 metal lathe. Just got it home and got it nearly un-crated. Thanks for your advice. No, let's see how much wood I can screw up. :P
  
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Paul Dayton
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04-26-2008, 06:19 PM

That was quick. In less than 3 hours you decided what lathe to buy, ordered it, had it shipped, had it delivered, rented a forklift, unloaded the lathe, got it into the shop and are uncrating it now.
  
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04-26-2008, 07:46 PM

Well close. I did buy it, get it loaded, brought it to my house, uncrated, but haven't gotten it on the stand yet. I have a Grizzly about 40 minutes from my house
  
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04-26-2008, 07:58 PM

Just be careful. Even knowledgable makers bang theur fingers. With that you'll rip it off. There is a top maker missing a thumb.

I looked into that same lathe. You need the taper attachment, steady rest for shafts and the knowledge to modify it slightly. At the end of the day I just went with the deluxe and a mini metal lathe. Chris hightower customer serv is the best in the biz.
  
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good choice!
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good choice! - 04-27-2008, 04:35 AM

The 13 x 40 is a good start. I went with a 12x36 at first, and it works good except there is way too little room for error when making a long cut. You can run into the end of travel and break a gear very easily. Done that! The 40 inch gives you a safe margin. Spend less time cutting wood and more time making collets for the cues to prevent gouging by your 3 jaw chuck, and to hold a butt or shaft aligned in the rear of the spindle of that lathe. Align a 35 mm ID bearing in your center rest and make collets for that too. I had to modify the center rest jaws to hold a 72 mm OD bearing on mine. Then you will be able to do a a very precise job of installing pins, and facing joints. The Hightower Book and videos should be considered a necessity. Good luck with your new venture!
  
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Paul Dayton
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04-27-2008, 06:09 AM

You will not have to use a center rest. You can do all the work on pins and joints inside the headstock once you make the collets.

Get an adjustable 6", 6 jaw chuck.
  
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04-27-2008, 11:05 AM

I'd strongly advice that you read several guides to operating a metal lathe. Many exist on the Internet, including some very good ones from the US Army (although I could not find them ). Here is one to start :

http://www.americanmachinetools.com/...se_a_lathe.htm

Dave
  
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