mandrel for small turnings

discussion of the niceties of turning on a bow, bungee or pole lathe.

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mandrel for small turnings

Postby Darrell » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:47 pm

Hi all

I am looking at turning some very small items on my lathe, about 4 inches long by 1 inch diameter.
The project is to make copies of thread spools/needle cases as found on the wreck of the Mary Rose.
Google images for "Mary Rose needle case"

I'm not keen on using a longer piece than I need so I have room for the drive rope, as half my stock would end up as waste.
So I was thinking about making a mandrel to drive the stock.
Has anyone done this sort of thing?
Got any tips or tricks or pix?

Darrell
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Re: mandrel for small turnings

Postby Davie Crockett » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:03 am

Hi Darrell, Not my area of expertise but thinking it through...you may be better off with a collet type mandrel. You'll need a uniform sized stock piece to fit it though.
This guy made one to fit a machine lathe but I cant see why the idea can't be adapted for a pole lathe. He's used what's effectively a morse taper and a wooden ring, but if you're using a known stock size you can use a straight collet, the work piece expands it slightly then a steel (Large curtain ring) clamps it by moving it towards the work piece.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FK_sY1Cb10Q&t=17s
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Re: mandrel for small turnings

Postby Darrell » Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:15 pm

Yesterday I had some rainy day time in the shop, so I assembled a mandrel out of some leftover bits.

Some 3/8 drill rod, some bronze bushings, scrap lumber and now I have a mandrel.
The rain let up after lunch, so I dragged the lathe out of its dark cobwebby corner of the garage and tried out my new toy.
It works, but not very well. Something is bent or awry in the mechanism. But it does do the job.
I made four bobbins, first one pictured below.

Image

Image

Image

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Re: mandrel for small turnings

Postby Steve Martin » Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:01 am

Congratulations! Looks good to me. As you use it, I expect you may see how to improve it.
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Re: mandrel for small turnings

Postby Simon Hartley » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:23 pm

I have turned short items on a pole lathe without a mandrel. If I want toturn 4-inch pieces, I use an 8-inch billet and make two of them at a time.
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