View Full Version : Homemade lathe for tips and shaft cleaning

04-16-2004, 09:29 PM
I have seen where some of you have made your own lathe for doing this type of work.I was curious how you did it cause money is a little tight to go out and buy a production model.Any insight would be greatly appreciated. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

04-16-2004, 10:23 PM
Already answered..... /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote ohpoolplayer:</font><hr> I have seen where some of you have made your own lathe for doing this type of work.I was curious how you did it cause money is a little tight to go out and buy a production model.Any insight would be greatly appreciated. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif <hr /></blockquote>

04-18-2004, 08:35 AM
i'm far from a machinist and haven't tried this, but would chucking a male joint protector and screwing the shaft to it work? sliding the shaft into a steady rest and/or fitting the tip end into a drill chuck ( with some protection added to the ferrule) on the other side to hold it in place?

04-19-2004, 01:19 PM
I have a homemade jig that clamps a drill into it. Then I chuck a threaded bolt from the cue butt end into the chuck. I have about 5 or 6 different bolts for various cues. To use it I hold the shaft with left hand (never let go) and file or sand with right. I've used this inexpensive way for many years successfully.

04-20-2004, 05:50 AM
I'm building one right now. When it's done I'll post pictures. But for starters I'm using a 5" x 4' long piece of poplar as the base. Then I bought a cheap Black &amp; Decker 3/8 drill and cut the handle off with a hand saw. I then ripped out the trigger. Next, I'm attaching the drill to the base with a block of wood that has been routed out so that it fits around the drill case and bolts down with carriage bolts and wing nuts. The carriage bolts come up through the bottom of the base, then through the wood blocks and are tightened up using the wing nuts. For the other end I've ordered sealed bearings on-line that fit the shaft in two places, near the joint and near the tip. I'll mount these by taking a block of wood and drilling out a hole the OD size of the bearing, then cut the block in half, drill two holes and run carriage bolts and wing nuts to use as a clamp to squeeze the bearings in. I will then drill slots so that the bearings holders will slide back and forth on the base to fit different size shafts. Later I may try to add a tail stock and a tool post.

Will see if I actually finish it.

If the above is more than you're interested in you can put a drill in a vice clamp mounted on a work bench and use Spiderman's crutch tip tool to mount the shaft. Hold the shaft in one hand and use a utility knife in the other to shape the tip or remove the old tip.

04-20-2004, 08:11 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote ohpoolplayer:</font><hr> I have seen where some of you have made your own lathe for doing this type of work.I was curious how you did it cause money is a little tight to go out and buy a production model.Any insight would be greatly appreciated. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif <hr /></blockquote>

Try doing a search under crutch tip for ideas but here's what I did. Others have done a cleaner more professional job but mine works fine.

Acting by the suggestions of others I got a rubber crutch tip, drilled a hole in the center of the end, put a washer inside and outside and ran a bolt through it with the head inside the crutch tip and put a double nut on the outside. Insert the bolt in an electric drill and viola...it spins the shaft.

I have an older vsr drill that has a button to lock the switch on. I used a bunjee cord to strap the drill down to a 6x1x5ft board. I hold the shaft with my hand and sand or file or clean the shaft with the other hand.

04-20-2004, 09:24 AM
My first investment in cue repair was a Willard's. In '98 that was about $400 including additional cutters, collets, etc., to fit all shaft sizes. I was doing shaping and burnishing manually so I got a spare shaft holder from Willard, a pillow block, sewing machine motor, etc., and mounted them on a 12" x 12" piece of 1" board. I got the pillow block at a local bearing supply outlet. It had exactly the correct ID to accept the spare Willard shaft holder. The motor drove the shaft holder via a rubber sewing maching drive "belt. With a home-made steady rest I had a "spinner" that I used for tip shaping and burnishing until I bought a lathe. That "spinner" is still around here somewhere gathering dust. It worked fine 'cept I was burning up sewing machie motors 'cuz I wouldn't let 'em cool off...


04-20-2004, 10:06 AM
There is not really a need to do all that? You can just buy yourself an in expensive wood lathe and make a few modifications and you will be able to do basic things like, tips, ferrules, retapers, polishing wrapping and so on. In fact you can even build a Sneaky Pete on a wood lathe drilling a perfect centered hole for the screw and insert if you have a little know how, it is actually very easy. You can't do all this with just a drill and you may even spend more money and do more work setting it up then with an actual wood lathe. Of course you are not trying to build a cue with it, just do some simple repairs. I made some parts for a friend to fit a lathe he bought at Big Lots for $59.00 and he is going nuts with it. We made a steady rest for it out of a pillow bearing and even made a compound for cutting down tips and ferrules by mounting an inexpensive drill press vice with x y travel. The whole thing was less the $100. and works remarkably well. He is doing all the work for his pool team now. I made another for a guy where I salvaged the compound rest off a junk metal lathe and mounted it to a wood lathe. It worked as well as most of the repair lathes you pay $700. or more for. You do need a friend with some machining experience and a shop of some kind to build this stuff, but it is really pretty easy. When you look at many of the cue repair lathes on the market you can see what they have done, they can't hide it. You can copy and even improve on what you see.

04-20-2004, 08:34 PM
Popcorn i have a small harbor frieght lathe,is there a better chuck to use for tips and ferrules then the standard 3 jaw it came with? it is not very accurate.thanks

04-20-2004, 10:38 PM
Here is a couple of web sites you may like if have not seen them before. The problem with working on cues is, you can not clamp down tight on a cue shaft or you may damage it even with a collet. Self centering lathe chucks have a scroll plate in them that centers the jaws, but it takes a lot of pressure to make them self center every time. I have a six jaw Buck chuck on one of the lathes. A pretty good chuck, around $600. It won't center every time when I put in shafts either. I just use an old machinists trick of after lightly tightening the chuck, putting a dial indicator on the shaft and lightly tapping the high jaw. It centers and stays there in a second or two. Working on cues presents unique problems even with high end equipment. Most chucks advertise being repeatable within .002 to .003, that is not good enough for working on a cue. You don't want to be cutting even a thousandth or two off someone's shaft or ferrule so you have to work out ways of getting things as close to -0- as you can. You could get a better chuck, but it may not completely solve your problem. Working to such close tolerances is just one of the things that has to do with working on cues. You would hate to spend more on a chuck then you spent on the lathe and still have the problem. Check out those web sites though, there is a lot of info there relating to those lathes.
I forgot to ask, did you just get this lathe? Have you checked it with something like a drill bit and put an indicator on it to see if it will center when tightened hard? Is it always off the same?