Thursday, January 30, 2014

Craftsman 109 Lathe - Spindle

It seems is a well known fact that Craftsman 109 has a weak spindle. The spindle is just over 1/2 inch in diameter (0.550"), and is easily bent. On the lathe I bought, with its age, I'd have to assume that it is bent. So when I have it stripped into parts, I took the opportunity to measure it.

I googled and it seems that people are checking the spindle with dial indicators. I have one which I recently bought, but I don't have a holder. Since the dial indicator does not need much force to hold it in place, I just put it on top of a few boxes and blocks and it worked fine.

It is off. So I marked it, took it off the headstock, and whacked it with a hammer. After a few tries, I have finally get it close enough, and on it goes.

Here is the test cut after straightening the spindle. On the left was the best I can get before rebuilding, and on the right is with the newly straighten spindle. It really looks much better.

The advantage of having a weak spindle is that it can be corrected really easily if needed.

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