Harbor Freight lathe, no handwheel on headstock

I noticed my Harbor Freight lathe (#34706) does not have a handwheel on
the headstock for manual turning (or braking) of the spindle. Their
customer service said there is no fix in that that part was never
designed into the lathe. They said the Delta and/or Jet model that the
HF lathe copied (which do have headstock handwheels) won't fit.
Any suggestions???
Reply to
stevek
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(clip) They said the Delta and/or Jet model that the HF lathe copied (which do have headstock handwheels) won't fit.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ They are partially incorrect. Your lathe is a knockoff of the Jet 1236, which does not have a handwheel. There are aftermarket handwheels available, but I am not sure the outboard spindle thread is the same. The Jet uses a left hand, 1/2" 12 TPI thread. Unfortunately, the NC standard thread pitch is 13 TPI.
I solved the problem on my Jet by buying a length of 1/2" 13 pitch left hand Allthread. This will screw into the outboard end of the spindle a couple of turns and then it binds. I turned a wooden handwheel and epoxied it onto a 3" length of this Allthread. The fact that the thread does not screw in fully turns out to be useful--you want the handwheel to tighten.
Caution: check your thread diameter and pitch--there are a few differences between the Jet and the HF lathe--this could be one of them.
BTW, I was able to drill lengthwise through the Allthread so I could attach a line for a vacuum chuck. It worked great!
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
Great suggestion Leo.
If I can't find an "off the slelf" solution, I will certainly follow your advice.
It's good to find out that the more "respectable" (Jet/Delta) brands have the same shortcuming as the Harbor Freight lathe. Now I don't have to feel like a fool for going with the HF and saving significant $$.
Steve
Reply to
stevek
I've got the same lathe, and have found no such 'off the shelf' handwheel that'll fit it. I've just gone without it since then, since the motor slows down fast enough when the power is cut. If I need to maually turn the piece (while the motor is off), I either grab and turn the wood itself, or the faceplate/chuck. Although if you really wanted such a handwheel, it could be build.
On a side note, something else you should be careful of with this lathe. It happens on the Jet model as well. When using the tailstock (with a live center) to support the wood, make sure not to jam the tip of the center too tightly into the wood. If you do, it actually moves the whole headstock upwards, slightly off center. When you remove the tailstock (for finishing off bowls, for example), the headstock moves back into proper position, and now the wood will be 'off center', which makes it very frustrating. It took me a while to figure this out. I'm supposing that since you can rotate the headstock for outboard purposes, the clamp to hold it in place will come loose enough with enough pressure from the tailstock. Otherwords, I've been happy with this lathe.
Reply to
Brent
(clip) When you remove the tailstock (for finishing off bowls, for example), the headstock moves back into proper position, and now the wood will be 'off center',(clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I don't think this is correct. If the tailstock pushes the headstock upward and off center, the work will still be revolving around the spindle centerline. Removing the tailstock pressure would allow the headstock to settle back to its "relaxed" position, but the work would still be revolving around the spindle axis.
I suspect that what is actually happening is that there is some deflection of the wood within the chuck jaws (or wrt whatever you are using.) This would make the wood revolve around a "false axis."
To follow my reasoning, imagine that you turned a piece with the chuck revolved horizontally to an off-axis position. Can you see that you would be able to return it to the on-axis setting without introducing any wobble?
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
Yes, this is correct Leo - It's still centered as far as the headstock is concerned. The only time it becomes a problem for me is when I'm hollowing out a bowl or simular things- I typically use the tailstock for support just until I need to hollow out the center. If this 'off center' thing was to occur, then I see the tell-tell sign of a shadow on the top ridge of the outside when I release the tailstock pressure. I can still hollow out the center as normal, but the 'hollow' part wont be exactly centered with the rest of the piece.
It happens whether I use a chuck or a faceplace. Something I didn't mention earlier, but when I start adding pressure from the tailstock, I notice the headstock actually moving, which is uncool. The wood in the chuck/faceplate does not move indepedantly. Thankfully, I didn't cheap up on my chuck (Nova Mini). No matter how much I clamp down the head to the body, it'll still give some play with enough force. I suppose that's the price one pays when getting a cheaper lathe. I've been able to combat this by simply not adding too much pressure on the tailstock - usually just enough to get the point to penatrate the wood. If I wasn't concerned about performing outboard turning, then I would just weld the headstock to the body, or some other extreme measure.
Reply to
Brent
I am learning to do pens and while sanding I turn off the lathe. How to turn the spindle? I would grab the spindle and give a twist, but if there was wax om my fingers everything slipped. My solution was to get a piece of wood about 1" thick and drill and tap a 1x8 hole in it. I then put a couple of washers on the spindle and screwed the wood onto the spindle. Turned it round and put and edge on it that was comfortable. Now with waxy fingers I can still turn the spindle. Lock the spindle give a reverse twist and off it comes.
Bruce
Reply to
Bruce Ferguson
As the owner of a 3000 with the original infamous self-adjusting tailstock, I know what Leo says to be true.
Have you tried increasing the pressure of the hold by adjusting the jam nut or what ever they use to tighten the headstock?
Or the friction with a bit of pumice scattered between the ways and the headstock?
Reply to
George
In article , "George" wrote:
That seems a touch drastic. I do recall someone suggesting a bit of deliberate corrosion for tailstock slide - ie, turn some oak, pack the shavings on the bed (& perhaps the bottom of the headstock in this case, or tailstock in the other) for a few hours, just enough to get a little micro-roughness.
Reply to
Ecnerwal
Lemme see - scatter sand on the ice or use salt ... one is dirt, the other kills vegetation.
I'll stick with a bit of loose grit.
Reply to
George
I'm having a little truble visualizing what you did. Did you place the wood "handle" on the outside or inside headstock spindle? Which lathe do you have?
Steve
Reply to
stevek
Stoutman, the lathe is a Jet 12X36 with 1X8 threads for the spindle. my disk is screwed onto the spindle.(right side of the headstock) I put on a couple of washers but you could turn a relief into the side that goes to the headstock. I put in a morse taper so I don't have problems with the threads. Also you can unscrew it and knock out a drive spur, but I ususally put on a metal nut if I think I am going to need it. i got the idea from Darrel Feltmates site. He uses the same thing to make glue blocks and goes into detail on how to make them. Well worth the trip. I thought I had a picture of it but can't seem to find it. If I find it I will post it at a.b.p.woodworking.
Bruce
Reply to
Bruce Ferguson

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