Ironing out the wrinkles of the new lathe

Prior to Christmas I had decided that the week between Crimbo and the New Year I would spend ironing out the wrinkles with the new lathe.

First I stripped down, cleaned and deburred all my chucks which you can see in the photo of my workbench in the last post.

The lathe came with two 3 jaw chucks (80mm and 100mm) and a 4 jaw chuck.
I have seen a few reviews on YouTube of Chinese import chucks and it seems that although basically sound bits of kit, to keep the price down they don’t do any cleaning or deburring post machining which means that many of them have all the grinding dust present inside which if mot cleaned out will drastically reduce the life of the chuck.

The 4 jaw chuck cannot have been used because when I tried it before stripping it down to clean one of the jaws wouldn’t actually close due to burrs in the slides. I also took the opportunity to strip down and clean another 3 jaw 80mm chuck that I had bought in October with my rotary table for the mill. The latter is actually the best manufactured of all of them needing very little to getting running smoothly.
Next up was the ball handle for the compound/top slide. I didn’t take a photo of it prior to starting work on it but it should look like the one on the left (from the cross slide)

Lathe Ball Handles


I am not sure if the handle had been broken off at some point or just crudely sawn off but I wanted to replace the handle part. I am pretty sure that I could probably buy a spare from Amadeal but where is the fun in that.
So I made a fixture out of an M10 cap screw a couple of nuts and some washers to hold it securely in the milling vice and drilled it almost to the bottom. I did consider that I might have to drill it right through because I didn’t think that I had an M6 plug tap but I found one in a drawer so I was able to retain the chromed ball.

Hole drilled for replacement handle

The plan is to make a handle similar to the other one from stainless steel rod once I get the lathe back together.