Nov 20

Dust in the wind…

Dust collection in the shed has evolved from a dustpan and broom, to a cheap-and-cheerful wet-and-dry vacuum cleaner, to including a dust devil knock-off cyclone separator in the mix, to changing out the barrel from something waaaaay too large for the shed to something that was better sized, to building a cart to lash all the pieces to, to getting a proper extractor and creating a hodgepodge of 100mm and 63mm hoses. That’s where it’s been for a while and it kinda worked but was… a bit janky to be honest.

I mean, that’s a mess. And it means I can’t have shelves on the front of the dust cart as well because of the hoses which is wasted space. But it worked well enough while all it had to cope with was the bandsaw and occasionally unplugging the 100mm hose from the cyclone and plugging it into the thicknesser. But then the lathe showed up and while you don’t have to worry quite so much while cutting on it, if you’re scraping or sanding, you generate a lot of dust in a hurry, so I printed off a loc-line style posable hose for there and fed it with a new length of 100mm hose:

But the hose from that is running across the floor:

Minor trip hazard there, plus it’s jamming up the stuff behind the lathe and it’s also a faff to hook it up so I’m liable not to hook it up which is not a great idea. And to boot, the top-heavy arrangement of the cyclone pulls the whole thing over and the cyclone acts like a lever and rips out of the plastic lid of the dust bucket.

Also, the new finishes for the woodturning stuff are taking over. So this has needed fixing for a while and my plan was to make a Thien cyclone separator lid for the blue barrel by printing one off, but the more I worked with the 3D printer the more I realised that this is one of those jobs that just wouldn’t last if I 3D printed it on my kit because of the natural flexing and vibration the parts undergo. PLA would snap and PETG would give out after a while – the loc-line hose has already lost two segments to wear and tear and I expect to lose a few more before I figure out a way to print those things that doesn’t suffer from separation between layers. Looking round the plumbing section of woodies didn’t provide the parts I needed either. So instead, I bought a kit for about the price of a reel of PLA.

Make the bread, buy the butter. So, I stripped down the dust collection setup, cleaned off the old silicone, retired the cyclone (I’ll find a use for it at some point, probably in a proper shop vac if I ever get a shed large enough to expose enough floor to need a hoover) and cut two plywood discs to sandwich the remains of the plastic lid of the barrel.

I haven’t put in the baffle yet. The internal structure of the barrel means you can’t really get a baffle in there – the indented handholds get in the way. I’m hoping that the counter-facing elbows will perform a similar function but the dust in the barrel may wind up being a problem as it fills. I can try adding a baffle then, or just empty it more often. Part of the price of a small shed is that you can’t always be as efficient as you can be at a larger scale after all.

That’s the top half and as you can see, there’s not a lot of room to play with here. In fact, there’s none, I had to trim the flanges on both parts on two sides to make them fit.

Oh well. Next, fit it back to the barrel, and ratchet-strap it back in place.

And now you see the next part of the plan, rotating the extractor 180 degrees and running the extraction 100mm hose up the back of the dust extraction cart where it’s all wasted space and hooking up the outflow pipe that way. Now the next step is to get the 100mm hose going to the lathe out from underfoot.

And the only two ways to get out from underfoot were to cut holes in the floor of the shed, run the tube outside the shed, across to the other side and back up inside the shed – which would have been… awkward; or this way, suspending it overhead. There’s about half an inch of head clearance, which for the shed is actually pretty good. The loc-line style posable hose then mounts to the ceiling and the hose plugs into it and if I need dust extraction, I just position the hose.

The 100mm hose was too long for that run though, so I cut about half a metre off it and that now feeds the line going to the bandsaw and which also acts as the hoover for the floor and other debris. I don’t have a Y-splitter, I just use quick-release clamps and attach and detach as required:

To use the thicknesser, I’ll detach the lathe hose from its posable endpoint, untie it from the roof mounts (it’s only paracord holding it) and plug it into the thicknesser and away we go. Not the best solution but the best I can think of for now in this much space.

Next up, a sheet of plywood will cover that extractor and become the backplate for a set of shelf type things so that I can move all of this stuff off my bench…


Nov 20

Well thank feck for that…

Nov 20

Lidl Parkside Lathe, part fin

So I was tidying up after the last bit of turning and was planning on starting into routing the lathe dust collection host across the ceiling and into the cyclone lid I’ll be making using a rutlands kit to replace the dust devil clone I’m using at the moment.

(yes, you get two sets of those)

But to build the lid I had to find the plywood I have left and that was behind the lidl lathe, which I’ve been meaning to test again since before lockdown started, and just hadn’t gotten to, and if I tested it it would mean I could put off hard work for a day so, out it came 😀

Now, the last time I played with this was before anyone knew what Covid was, so it’s been a while. And at that point, I had not gotten my minilathe, hadn’t done any of the course on turning, and hadn’t spent any time actually turning. I’m still not terribly good at it, but I have been riding that bevel for a few months now and I’m almost at the stage where you know just enough to be dangerous, so I was wondering how my opinion would have changed. So I put the lightest miniature blank I had between its centers. By the way, this thing came with a faceplate (made out of pot metal) and claimed you could turn bowls with it. Let’s be clear, the only way you’re adding a faceplate to this thing is with a welder. There’s no control to lock the spindle to remove the drive center. I’m not sure what they expected you do to loosen the center, the manual claims it can be removed but I have no idea how. I mean, look at it:

Anyway, set it up…

And then tried to adjust the rest. Several times. And just gave up in the end. Can’t get into the gap between headstock and tailstock on a blank that size.

Worse, you can’t really adjust the height very much at all. If you want to use a scraping tool of any kind with this (except for a shear scraping pass with a gouge), give up now because you can’t get the rest high enough to get on centerline while also having the screw clamp the rest securely.

Also, no, I’m not using the “tools” that came with it. Seriously. No. Not doing it. Well, not with the gouge anyway. The skew might be usable if you reground it and your last name is Jones and your first name is Steve, but honestly, I’m not even sure about that. So I used my own bargain basement HSS tools.

Okay, so first off, I’m not good at one-handed turning. Don’t do it much, bar when parting or tweaking something I think is too thin and will snap without some steadying. So with both hands, I could get a single pass with the roughing gouge, but the rest isn’t helping much. It’s almost sticky in places for some reason. But that’s a small thing in the grand scheme of things.

Far worse is that that’s the lathe at about 40% of its max speed. Except that it’s struggling to maintain speed and you’ve no gearing or anything to let you get more power into the spindle to maintain the speed in a cut. So instead, you have to turn the power (and speed) up, considerably, and then the bearing start to scream. Listen for yourself (this is up to about 80% of max):

You can hear it at 40-50% struggling to maintain speed, then crank it to 80% or so and cut, and it still can’t maintain the speed in the cut but it can at least turn fast enough to fake it, but the bearings do not like the load at that speed.

They claimed, don’t forget, that this thing could turn bowls. With a straight face.

Also, using the skew is nearly impossible because you can’t get the rest high enough while keeping it locked to the rest, so the whole thing is just awkward. If the lathe had any power at all, it’d be sketchy.

I mean, okay, it looks almost clean, but you can’t see the tearout, which wasn’t great. I got out a spindle gouge and turned a sort-of-shape, but it was a lot of work, and where on the minilathe you’d feel like you had some sort of control, here you felt like you were behind the curve continually.

And here’s a major problem for me – the lathe does not generate enough power to turn the lathe when the speed is set to it’s slowest setting and you’re trying to sand with 80 grit paper. I mean, the secret to my woodturning is that I buy 80 grit in bulk, so that’s a bit of a problem.


Yeah. Nope.
It has now been booted with prejudice from the shed. Total waste of eighty quid. Could have had a pack of bowl blanks for that as well 🙁 Avoid unless you want it for parts (and even then, I don’t know what you could use them for). Save your money and get a second-hand minilathe, you can pick up an older minilathe model for the 150-200 euro range on adverts.ie or the like – and I mean things like Charnwood W815s and Record Power Dml36sh lathes which are not bad choices. I did the turning course on a DML36sh and they’re grand – actually better than my minilathe in fact – more length in the bed and the headstock rotates IIRC so you could do larger bowls than I can. The W815 is basically the same casting as my minilathe, just with a different badge and some minor differences that are small enough that I can use some charnwood parts on my lathe at the moment (chuck jaws to be specific).

But the lidl lathe? Yeah, it’s only fun if you’ve not tried an actual lathe. The minute you do that, you see all its flaws and notice that it doesn’t really have any strengths at all. Avoid.