Lathe Duplicator

Copyright 2002 by Jim Wilson
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Lathe Duplicator

This is a small, simple duplicator I built for my TotalShop lathe. The TotalShop is a Shopsmith clone. My duplicator consists of three basic parts.
    1) a table that fits over the ways;
    2) a template that mounts to the table, and
    3) the cutter-follower assembly.
  Lathe Duplicator Parts
Table Underside   The table is a simple melamine box, with a couple steel posts for mounting the template. I originally intended to mount some center pins for holding an original turning for duplication, but have not needed them so far.
Template Mounting - Left   The templates I use are made from 3/16" steel plate, although for small quantities, they could be made of hardboard. They are secured by screws to the posts on the table, and aligned under the spindle axis.   Template Mounting - Right
Cutter-follower   The cutter-follower is made from three pieces of 1/2" steel, assembled into an upside-down "T." Two parallel channels are milled into the faces of the upper two pieces. When the two pieces are sandwiched together, the channels align to form square holes for holding the tool bits, one for the cutter and one for the follower.

The cutter-follower assembly rides on the table, with the cutter located at the spindle axis height. The follower is aligned directly below the cutter (above would be better), and bears against the template. I made both the cutters and the followers from 1/2" or 3/8" tool steel drill rod (W-1 or O-1, I can't remember which).

Round holes for the bits would work fine if you use drill rod, and would be easier to make. Mine are square only because my initial plan was to use high speed steel metalworking lathe tool blanks for the tools, but I changed my mind midstream and made them from drill rod instead.

It took the better part of an afternoon to make all the parts and get the kinks worked out, but then again, I have machine tools. It might be possible to make the cutter-follower from hardwood instead of steel.

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