Saturday, March 13, 2010

Delta Midi Lathe Notes

I've finally gotten around to attaching the lathe bed extension to my Model LA-200 Delta Midi Lathe, so I'll post a few hints and observations here while I'm at it. There's a bit of a back story to this lathe here if you'd care to read it.

I'll remove the headstock and motor to make the thing easier to handle while I attach the extension, and locate mounting fasteners for the fully assembled lathe bed. While I'm at that, I'll correct what strikes me as a silly bit of over-engineering. It's pictured below.

Why on earth they felt compelled to provide that hole in the casting for the motor's power cord is beyond me. It accomplishes next to nothing in the way of protection for the power cord, and it needlessly complicates removal of the motor. I'll reroute the cord so it bypasses the hole.

The best place to disconnect the motor's cord is at the switch box. The hot lead has a spade terminal on it, the ground lead has a screw-fastened ring terminal. The neutral is connected by a crimped 'top hat' splice, so it's the one wire that needs to be cut. A wire nut is all that will be needed to restore the connection.

I did look under the motor's capacitor cover first, but the wiring there is all crimp-connected and quite densely packed -- it's an area best left well enough alone.

Here's the disconnected motor cord freed from its needless lathe-bed hole. Much better.

I'll tin that stripped neutral wire end before I reconnect it with a wire nut.

With that out of the way, removing the headstock and motor should be a breeze, and I can get on with attaching the extension and setting up the complete lathe bed.

Attaching the Extension

The extension is fastened to the main lathe bed by two M10x40mm hex socket head screws with split lock washers and flat washers. (Delta kindly includes an 8mm hex key.) Here's a way to ensure good alignment of the two bed sections as you tighten the screws.

Install the screws with their washers and get them finger tight. Then position the tailstock directly over the join and clamp it in place there. Now fully tighten the screws and you're done.

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