Thursday, December 10, 2015

Test Run - Brazing Lathe Back Gear Handle

When taking apart the headstock, I finally noticed two big issues :
  1. The bull back gear had a tooth that was missing
  2. The handle had broken off
To "fix", I could simply watch eBay for items to come up that would match an original 9" Junior lathe.  Standard 9" South Bends (models A/B/C) would not fit - trust me, I found one on eBay for $20, ordered it, and (when I received it) found the bore through the handle to be offset, and about 1.5 times the size of the original "Junior".

Here's what this means.  I have to fix it, or wait.  The parts are slow to come by - they are a tad bit rare.  I have a second lathe, and had a welder repair a crack in the bed - he brazed it.  So, I thought, "I might as well try it."

I slapped a 2x4 into the wood lathe, and turned down a brace to hold the "newer" model handle.  I didn't want metal, because to would end up being brazed into the handle.  It fit great.  I grabbed some brazing bronze rods from home depot, took them home, and slapped the part into the oven to pre-heat it.  After a half hour, I pulled it out, pressed it onto the wood brace, and fired up the small torch to get it red hot.

After about 40 minutes, I knew it wasn't going to work.  Turns out, when I fired up the "small torch", it was too small.  By the time the handle got warm enough, the wood I wanted to use as the drill marker for the new hole was burnt.  I've tracked my cutting/welding torch down, but I need regulators, hoses, and (hrmmm) acetylene and oxygen.  I have tanks for them with the MIG welder, but they're empty.

So, I bit the dust on that try.  I happened to find one on eBay after this attempt, so I bought it.  That doesn't mean I won't try this again.  Shoot, I believe I can make a temporary handle out of a bushing and a bolt (drill a hole for the taper pin, and drill a hole half-way through, thread it, and throw a bolt in to use as a handle), so using this handle isn't necessary.  I'd at least like to repair the gears so that I have a back up.  If one tooth can break on the gearing, I expect I can easily break another one.

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