You can find them at ) As I read this book written by Gingery, I noticed that the molds were machined with a lathe and made from aluminum. The general agreement here is that the gingery lathe is a POS, and that you should only build one for practice, not for actually using it. ive been a member here for some time mostly just reading and now this section has been added i may be able to contribute. this is my casting project. i.

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Page 1 of 2 1 2 Last Jump ginfery page: Results 1 to 10 of Gingery Lathe Re-hashed Hi all, As summer approaches I’ll have a lot more time on my hands and I’ve been wanting a lathe for a long time. However, dropping a chunk of change on it is next to impossible. So, I looked to the backyard guru of machine makeing Gingery.

Which gets to my main point The general agreement here is that the gingery lathe is a POS, and that you should only build one for practice, not for actually using it.

My question is, what are the specific issues with the Gingery lathe and how could we fix those issues? An Engineer’s job is not done when he can’t add anything else, but when he can no longer take anything away. The Bureaucracy is expanding, to meet the kathe of the expanding Bureaucracy!


Never let Science and Reason get in the way of Logic!!! Off the top of my head: Proper aluminum alloys are soft, light and strong with poor vibration damping and good workability, and poor alloys pop can alloy, for example, or some contaminated mixed alloys are soft, light, potentially relatively weak, have poor damping and poor workability.

There’s a reason cast iron is used for machine tools: If cast iron in those volumes is out of your league it shouldn’t be, it’s not that hard to do with a good oilburner and good refractorythen you could look into other alloys, such as a leaded brass or a ZA series alloy.

These are more expensive per pound and less desirable than cast iron, but they’re still better than lathd. Beefing it up, even if you don’t scale it up it’s tiny by most standards will require a larger crucible and heavier castings, but you’ll get a more rigid tool in exchange. If you use bolts or screws, use multiple rows instead of one row down the center, and use graded hardware tightened to its max torque spec. Think like the bolts you’d use to secure an engine head to its layhe. Make sure the bed and ways mate correctly before bolting.

The object is to make them like one piece of material. I’d be more inclined to cast a babbitt bearing. Except that you wouldn’t have the experience of making your own. If you can borrow some machine tools to use in the construction, that amount of time lathee go way down. The process of turning stumbling blocks into stepping stones can at times require the use of a large sledgehammer. Couple of questions myself on this topic Does this POSness extend and to what degree to the other Gingery projects ie.

Also if you, as you mention, beef the machine up a bit but still use Al gingeru sort of bad side effects are you going to have, lack of accuracy? Finally with the bearings wouldn’t a greased roller or needle bearing, like on the main spindle of a decent drill press, gingeery better than a babbit.

I ask because I’m in the same boat as John and have started making the patterns i’ll continue regardless just for the experience so I’d like to know what sort of machine I’ll end latue with I thumbed through my Gingery collection, and yes, the shaper and mill fall victim to pretty much the same problems.

If you use aluminum, you’ll end up with a lack of rigidity either bulk deflection, vibrational, or both compared vingery, say, cast iron parts.


That will translate into lack of accuracy more accurately, lack of repeatable precision on heavier cuts, as well as chatter and squawk. You can still do good work with the machine, assuming gingry built to tight tolerances and you have the skill, but it will take you longer because you’ll have to take very fine cuts to maintain accuracy. Also, aluminum used unprotected in the bearing surfaces of the slides is soft.

Chips of harder metals will chew it up, and worse, they’ll embed in it and abrade your steel ways. You could install plates of CRS to make a steel-on-steel bearing surface, at the expense of much additional labor and complexity, but even mild steel isn’t nearly up to par compared to hardened white iron. With white iron ways, the only things you have to watch out for are ceramic particles and maybe some of the harder tool steels. Everything else is softer. Sure, tapered roller bearings would be fine as long as you’re staying below a couple thousand RPM.

Gingsry ball bearing sets would also be okay if they were beefy enough. But large precision bearings are lathw cheap, and there’s the added complexity of having to preload them to take the slop out. Babbitt is dirt cheap, simpler, and no less accurate. Gongery disadvantage is higher friction and a lower lifespan, but igngery the first–just get a slightly bigger motor. For the second, you can recast and re-bore them whenever you want. But unless you’re using the lathe for production, you shouldn’t have to for decades.

Took a beer break from casting and decided to check-in.

As I see it “aluminum” is the main problem with the Gingery Lathe as well as most of the Gingery machines. So, the first step in improving the design would be to lathee a different metal, something on the order of cast iron with treated sections of “white iron.

You suggest Babbit bearings, sounds good to me. Also, you mentioned “beefing” up the patterns would this still be needed with the cast iron? I guess I missed the plate glass trick, explain? Everything else as you said requires time and labor, pathe which I can give, especially since I have no J-O-B right now ginyery school is revving for the final push although I am working on gaining an income.

Ginger think that you can “beef” up the patterns for aluminum to be “ok” but the “beefiness” may be infesable if not impossible. Thanks guys, and keep the comments coming. I hope to post about today’s casting tonight.

Personally, I would redesign the entire machine using the Gingery drawings as inspiration and guidance, rather than trying to base your design entirely off of them. And yes, many of the parts would be a little light in cast iron as well. You really can’t make a machine tool too heavy. Here’s my quick take on a Gingery-inspired lathe. So far, I have a bed, headstock, and one bearing cap, and I haven’t done any real engineering on it–this is just off the cuff.

This would be an 8×12 lathe, comparable to Gingery size. So far it’s looking more like gingrry HF minilathe than Gingery’s work. The plate glass trick is in gingwry shaper book–I’m not sure if it’s also in the lathe book or not. It’s a way to make a surface plate by lapping two sheets gnigery plate glass which are already very flat. The problem I have with it, other than the fact that real surface plates are readily available, is that plate glass isn’t stiff enough to maintain accuracy.

Real surface plates are a couple inches thick so they don’t warp. I made gingeru a Gingery lathe, it’s almost been 10 years now since starting it, I have it in working condition, but I have yet to completely finish it, I got a real latheI haven’t finished the tail stock yet.

I do have it cast, I just need to finish it. The only thing the Gingery lathe is good for is a learning experience, I mean yes it can cut metal, just slowly. You can only take small cuts or it will chatter off the table or bench you have it on unless it is bolted down. I built mine because I had just quit work as a machinist due to my health, after 2 years I needed a fix on making metal chips, that’s when I came across this web site and seen Lionel’s lathe. Well I bought the books after building me a foundry furnace and began making patterns.


I did make a few changes to mine, the main change I made was to the head stock, I made a 2nd one but beefed it up so I could put some tapered spindle bearings in it I had from a VW Bug I have lots of old VW Bug parts I bored the head to take the bearing races and installed them.

That cut down a bit on the chattering, but didn’t solve the problem entirely. As Anon mentioned the aluminum castings aren’t a good material to make the lathe out of.

David J. Gingery

Now I built this lathe after almost 20 years in a machine shop, so i knew some tricks of the trade which made it much easier for me. If you have never used a metal cutting lathe and plan to build a Gingery based lathe it will be a great learning experience, and you will never know the difference from a REAL lathe of the same size and the Gingery lathe.

I have used bench lathes of the same size as the Gingery lathe which were made my a real machine tool building company and they also chattered and you couldn’t take large cuts on one of those either, but they are by far much better than a Gingery lathe.

The price for one of the same size lathes from Harbor Freight is rather cheap when compared to the time you will spend making the Gingery lathe.

I have so much time in making the patterns, then once you cast the parts you need to finish them, which when doing by hand takes many many hours.

One day I may finish my Gingery lathe along with the change gears so it can cut threads, which I would guess can take many hours to do compared to a lathe I’m used to running which is much larger.

As far as the Gingery lathe goes it might make a good tool to do model making type work where your cutting soft material such as wood, plastic, and aluminum.

I was able to cut steel on mine and I was lucky when scraping the cross slide and carriage slide that it was with in 3 thousands of an inch over 6 inches, most of that taper could have just been from the piece of steel I was turning pushing away because I had no tail stock to hold the end in a solid position.

If you want a good learning experience and would like to do model work or just small parts it’s a fine tool to make. If ya cant cast it, Forge it RSS http: I was thinking about the sturdiness problem and was wondering if by making the lathe conssiderably smaller – like 18″ long or something – and beefing up the castings, could you make the lathe anywhere decent? That with making the castings from iron as well. I’d love to have a lathe but there’s no way I can afford to buy one, even a harbour freight one.

Coal forged mushrooms and inlaws do NOT taste good. Most of that was for steel and brass bushings. My problem has been my sloppy manufacturing and slipping drive belts and pulleys. For what it is, hey, it’s a lathe and you learn a lot making it. Don’t know about you, but I’m not making parts for the space shuttle and if I frig up something I cast, hey, I can make another.

The Best Gingery Lathe Video Series To Date

It does have its plusses. All times are GMT. The time now is