This page is designed to outline what you need to buy or build to make an MDF Rose Engine Lathe 2.0. The parts you need are:
Each of these is discussed more below.
1. Lathe Base and Headstock
2. Spindle Drive
The original MDF Rose Engine Lathe was designed to be hand cranked, but many added motor drives of various types to rotate the spindle. (Jon Magill later outlined a way to add a stepper motor for driving the spindle.)
The MDF Rose Engine Lathe 2.0 was designed from the get-go to use a stepper motor for driving the spindle.
The stepper motor used also has great torque, even at low speeds, so you can learn to use the rose engine lathe without having to be too cautious.
The system controlled by a Teensy is quite complex, and a new person is recommended to not go here just yet. It adds a lot of complexity that is best dealt with once you get the basics under your belt.
The video to the right overviews the differences between these two.
3. Work Holding
The spindle we supply has a #2 Morse Taper in the nose, and no threads. Thusly, we include with that spindle:
As the spindle used has a #2 Morse taper, any adapter from #2 MT to other thread sizes can be used. We have found that the ones made by Best Wood Tools are quite good.
Key Note: You do need to use an adapter which accommodates the use of a draw bar. The ones sold for reversing a chuck onto the tailstock of a wood lathe typically do not have such capabilities.
4. Tooling to Cut Designs
Once you get the machine built and a way to rotate the spindle, the next consideration is how you want to cut patterns into the object you are making. The traditional method is to use a cutting frame or a drill spindle.
If you are just starting though, and especially if you are not sure you want dive head-long into this, you can use something you have on hand to get started. One commonly-seen example is to use a Dremel-style device, or even a flex tool like the Foredom. The results won't be as great, but it is a way to get started. Some have also used a router.
5. Tool Holding
Regardless of the tooling you use to cut the design, the cutting tool needs to be held in a manner which allows it to move smoothly along the lathe's X and Z axes.
Still have questions?
If you still have questions or it just doesn't make sense, don't fret. Rose engine lathes take a while to wrap your mind around, but are great fun once you do. In the interim, please send me an eMail at ColvinTools@Gmail.com. I'll be happy to schedule time to chat or schedule a video chat so we can help answer all your questions.