View Full Version : turning assitance.

12-23-2004, 11:24 PM
I could use some help on turning. These are not pool cues but the building is extremely similar and any help given would be greatly appreciated.

WHat I am doing is taking 23/64ths soft wood dowels, splicing on square hard wood stock via 4 90 degree V grooves, creating 4 points just like on cues.

The problem I am having is when it comes to rounding. I cant afford a 3k dollar cue lathe and was thinking maybe a old old school lathe would work? (ie something I could make with the assitance of 2 machinists friends), or possibly a harbor freight mini lathe? Any ideas welcome.

here are some pics, you can see the dilema on the first pic.


you can also see my crude V groove cutting "sled". Go to the "foots" page.

Again I can't say thanks enough!


Cueless Joey
12-24-2004, 01:11 AM
Dan, what are those things use for?
I think the cheapest way to turn them round is to buy a wood lathe and somehow mounting a router parallel to the ways.
Maybe weld two arms to hold a round bar. The mount a router on that round bar.

12-24-2004, 03:24 AM
Forget the mini lathe. Go to Harbor Freight and get a 48 inch lathe for about $75 and turn them down.

12-24-2004, 06:32 AM
also several cue makers posting at www.azbilliards.com (http://www.azbilliards.com)

12-24-2004, 09:09 AM
How long are these? You can use a cheap wood lathe and mount the wood between centers. Then, build a "sled" that will mount to the bed somewhere. This sled will be teh full lenght of the lathe and its funcional purpose will basically be a shelf above the centerline of the lathe that the router will sit on. You will then put a fence on this horizontal shelf to guide the router, to make a straight cut or a tapered cut. On a wood lather, the spindle is not hollow, so you will have to make sure the wood will fit in between the centers. I made one of these years ago, I'll see if I still have it and post a picture if you are not understatind the description. I think this is also what Joey was referring to in his post, but I'm not positive.

There is also another way to turn wood with a router table. Go to Tompkins Turner (http://woodworker.com/cgi-bin/FULLPRES.exe?PARTNUM=900-307) to see a picture. They are just 2 disks attached to the ends of your workpiece. To make a tapered cut, just make one disk smaller than the other. For this to work for your long workpiece, you will need to make a right angle of about 5 inches tall, 5 inches wide, and at least twice the length of your workpiece. Clamp that to your router table. You will now have a long enough support on the bottom and side to pass the stock completely through. Take a pass along the length, then turn the wood and disks slightly to take another pass. Keep doing this until you go 360 degrees around the wood. There will be some flat spots, because its not a continuous motion like on a lathe. But with some hand sanding, you should be ok.

Finally, if you have machinist friends, you could probably make your own lathe. Make a bed out of some 2x lumber and mdf or nice plywood. Get a pillow block with a spindle in it for about $30 from MSC or Enco (your machinist friends will know what it is). You will need one for the headstock and the tailstock. Also buy two pulleys from this same place. Have your friends attach a pulley to the drive spindle and to a motor. You want to turn very slowly, like 100 rpm. Otherwise the wood might whip around quite a bit, as from the pictures it looks like it is over 60 inches long. Then on the bed, make a provision to guide a router (by hand) back and forth to turn it round (like in the first suggestion on this post).

Good luck.

12-24-2004, 07:14 PM
these are called footed shafts for archery/bowhunting. For some reason the guys who do it professionally in the archery industry keep these things very secretive on the how to other then, do it by hand. I was hoping to jump up to the next level and possibly be able to complete a set in less then 3 weeks time (start to finish after apply and rounding the foot, sealing, painting and fletching.).

Total length with unfinished square foots attached is 36" to 38"es from end to end. I had thought about the lathes but I need something that is capable of running the dowel through the head *through stock?*. I dont think most if any at all low end full sized or even the better mini lathes (taig and others) are capable of this. Correct me if I am wrong as I dont have anything around here to look at so that is an assumption. As far as mounting it between the end posts full length, I would think, being they are not exactly straight that I would end up with crooked foots by doing this? Again I know little to nothing about working with lathes and it seems most are saying the machinist's small mini lathe is the way to go. I was hoping to be able to build one or find a lower end wood working lathe (about 1/5th the cost of a small machinist lathe).

The actual square stock that needs turning is 9"es from end to end so I dont really need something extremely long for this, as long as it has through stock capability of 3/8" or larger.

Thanks for the AZ builders site, I'll copy and paste this over there also.

Thanks again and have a great xmas and holliday season!!!


12-24-2004, 08:30 PM
I don't think you can make them on a wood lathe or any lathe for that matter, they are too thin. Why to they have to have the points? Can't you just sleeve on something like a phenolic and get the extra weight and strength or use a double sleeve and join the two different woods My guess is you could make them pretty easy using a doweling machine then do the finish work on them. You could make thousands of them like that no problem.

12-24-2004, 08:52 PM
/ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gifYou're in WAY over your head. In the 1st place to turn a simple shaft, for a pool cue, takes 6-8 turnings over a 4-8 month period in order to end up with something that does not WARP into a semicircle. Anything smaller in diameter than a pool cue must take some very special turning equipment. I have 6 lathes & I would not even attempt it...JER

12-24-2004, 08:57 PM
http://www.billiardsdigest.com/ccboard/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=ccb&Number=161056&Forum=cc b&Words=lathe&Match=Entire%20Phrase&Searchpage=0&L imit=25&Old=allposts&Main=160981&Search=true#Post1 61056

Read through this thread, talks about homemade lathes people have come up with. Not sure if they will work for your application, worth a look though. You'll also need to figure out a tool rest of some kind. Hope this helps

12-24-2004, 08:58 PM
He got me looking on the net and they look like they are not that hard to make. They sell for like $45.00 a dozen and the footed ones like he is talking about for about $70.00 a dozen. I think with the right machine they are easy to make. Here is one site that was kind of interesting.

12-24-2004, 10:33 PM
Actually If you look at the 2nd link I posted, you'll see it being done on a full sale machinist lathe. The idea is to get that last 9-10"es turning as true as possible, then taking it down. I understand to some degree the idea behind the great time in rounding in a cue (through some reading), I also know many people are rounding these by hand and calling them good. As you can see on the webshots link I did something like this, and finsihed up by spinning them in a drill and wrapping sand paper around the foot, much like pen making. The lathe idea definatly will work. and unlike a cue they dont last quite as long with as much as I am out shooting. (cues lasting for many years, shafts lasting for maybe 2 years, lots of stumping, trick shooting with friends, and just plum tons of practice)

WHy make themthis way? Its almost like asking why make a cue with all the bells and whistles, nostalgia, looks, on top of gaining the strength and weight. I've seen double foots that are to die for, very gorgeous looking shafts, basically miniture cues.

Thanks for the lathe link, I am going through that and saving it to my favorites. I did talk to one of the machinist buddies tonight and he has some ideas. There is no way its worth the $70 per dozen to become a professional footer, its something I've wanted to do for quite a long time, much like building a bow (and a cedar strip canoe which I am currently in the process of doing). Tied flys commercially for 3 winters, that was enough production for me /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif!

I'll keep ya posted. In the mean time any help/idea'rs is greatly appreciated.

12-25-2004, 01:02 AM
That may be, but I am certain they are made with doweling machines or centerlines grinders just as the bin of hard wood dowels you will find in any hardware store are made.

12-25-2004, 05:54 AM
I do know one shop that is turning the shafts first, then applying foots and re running to take the foots down. They already have the machinery to run regular shafting though. I dont think the guys selling foots have that capability, though I am sure a few do, the average doesnt.

I tried getting purpleheart ran into 23/64 or even 3/8" dowels and found the it to be extremely cost prohibitive. I think the machinery alone (commerically made dowelers) is out of the price range of almost if not all of the shops that sell shafts. Almost all of them have made some form of home lathe where the cutter head rotates around the shaft going from end to end as the square "billet" is turing. Or in the case of specifically commercial footers, they are turning things down on a lathe, some wood lathes, some metal lathes. The finial finish is put on buy wrapping sand paper around the splice with the lathe turning and progressively working down to 160/220, not wanting to get to fine as you'll take cedar and very little purpleheart leaving a ridge or low spot where the soft wood is at.

12-25-2004, 08:23 AM
The word was to be "centerless" grinder

12-25-2004, 09:13 AM
Do you produce the arrow from scratch or are you taking an already made arrow and trying to add the foot? If you just need to turn the last 10 inches or so you can do it with a lathe by putting the shaft through the lathe head and centering the end in the tail piece and with a router mounted on the tool post just cut it down no problem. If you get a wood lathe with a hole through the spindle or have the solid spindle hollowed out by a machine shop you can also do it with a copy attachment. You could even make a home made one like the ones some guys use to do fluting mounted on the wood lathe except you would have the lathe running. Your problem seems to be a lack of tools. In a machine shop when you need something special you can just make it, machines making more machines. Starting from scratch is difficult. How many of these arrows do you plan to produce?

12-25-2004, 03:36 PM
The arrows themselves are already turned. I am splicing on a square footing to the already round, spined and weighed dowels. Then turning the foots down to even with the shaft.
click on the link, go to the foots page, its the first picture, upper left hand corner, you'll see some finished ones and one spliced ready to be taken down.

Running the dowel through the head stock is exactly what I was thinking (just like the second link in my original post.

Lack of tools is definatly one of the things. That is why I was here asking, thinking I might be able to make something much simplier then a cue lathe or machinist lathe. Being this is so similar (concept wise), any ideas are welcome, but realize I dont have a machine shop, or for that matter a full wood shop though I do have the typical bandsaw table saw, couple routers etc. I was looking at router lathes but both companys that made them dont anymore, though one still advertise's for it.

How many foots will I make? More then just a few that's for sure. figure they go in 6 or 12 arrow increments, I make arrows for myself, my wife and a handful of friends, along with making some as gifts for some, it wont be a ton, but there will definatly be more then a few /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif.

The harbor freight machinist lathe looks like its going to be what I go with if I stick to this idea of turning it down in a lathe.

Thanks again!

12-29-2004, 04:56 PM