The 5 simple modules that attach to the
(1) The vertical slide module is basically a short engine block
with a steel plate bolted to the head surface and a cross slide
attached to to the end bell (upper) end. There are many kinds of
cross slides that can be bought or built. If you have a little
money to spend, think about buying a $69 ENCO one to use at
first (in developing countries, however, a similar one may be the
equivalent of a thousand dollars). Later, you can build something
like a massive concrete and steel "Romig" single or twin lathe
bed and cross slide. (See the "Romig" turret lathe design in the MultiMachine newsgroup "files"
section.) J.V. Romig designed machine tools that were featured in Popular Mechanics magazine
for almost thirty years. The designs still work well. This small cross slide also can be used for
many other projects. Example: you can fit it on top of a turntable and use it for cutting tapers. (A
turntable could also be fitted to the top of a big "Romig" bed to cut tapers.)
(2) The drive unit module. There are literally dozens of ways
to drive the machine. A combination of small and large pulleys
makes a good medium-speed drive. Other setups might include
multiple-groove pulleys or even the transmission from a lawn
mower, garden cultivator, or pickup truck. Power can be
provided by anything from an electrical appliance motor to a car
or truck engine.
(3) The machine mount module
The quality of the finish your machine can make will be
greatly affected by the rigidity and weight of the base.
Since I lack work space, I had to have a machine that I
could move around. Mine is built with an engine stand
and mobile base. (A permanent base made from concrete
or a heavy steel frame would be much more rigid.)
An overhead hoist is a necessity since you'll be using a
machine that may weigh well over a ton. If you decide to
use an engine-stand-type machine mount, try to make it
a one-ton model. In the USA, Harbor Freight has these
for about a hundred dollars.