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Home Repair and Maintenance


After talking to Sears customer service, then Sears online customer service, they gave me the number for the manufacturer of the the Craftsman Copy Craft lathe duplicator. I ended up talking to a tech guy there, and explained the issue. First I had to convince him the problem wasn’t with my lathe. I explained that the bars were 42 inches long. The brackets that held the bar at the ends were 1 inch wide, so 42 minus 1 inch at the ends is 40 inches. Then the carriage is 6 inches wide with 3 inches on either side of the cutting tool. So 40 inches minus the 3 inches on either side of the tool is 34 inches. I managed to get 35 inches by putting the brackets halfway onto the end of the bar. The guy said he would have to call me back. He called back a few hours later and appologized that the 38 inch number in the manul and on the Sears website is wrong. So I am going to take the thing apart tonight, and return it to Sears. I need to be able to duplicate 36 inches for what I am doing. The thing also seemed to be a real pain the neck to set up as well. I am going to build my own duplicator. I ordered some HSS cutting tool blanks off of Amazon. I found some instructions on how to grind them. Meanwhile I will start building the duplicator tonight or this weekend. I may find some scrap steel, or an old screw driver or file or something, and grind it into a temporary cutting tool to play with until I get the HSS steel. I bought a low speed grinder last night for sharpening the lathe tools, so I can probably use it to grind these as well.

The Craftsman Copy Crafter lathe duplicator that I bought and that is supposed to be able to copy spindles up to 38″, apparently will only actually do 35″! Grrrr! I have the bar holders out as far as they will go, and probably farther than they are supposed to go (ends of the bars are only haflway in the holders), and when the carriage moves from end to end, the cutter only moves 35″. Where they got this 38″ number I do not know. I am looking at making a shop built duplicator that will be easier anyway. I have some cool pics on the net of things people have built, and I will make my own.

I wrote out plans for the lathe stand I built. Click here to see my lathe stand plan.

I built this stand using 2×6’s and a 2×10. The design is based on the bed of the “Low Cost Wooden Longbed” lathe by Carlyle Lynch found on page 72 of Lathes And Turning Techiques. Lynch’s wooden lathe is really cool, you should check it out. If you think it doesn’t look heavy enough, try lifting 3 12′ 2×6’s and a 12′ 2×10. It ain’t exactly light. But it would be an easy modification to add a long narrow box connected between the uprights, and fill the box with sand.
Lathe stand

Materials List:
(3) 12′ 2×6
(1) 12′ 2×10
(4) 10″ 1/2″ Carriage Bolts
(4) 1/2″ Washers
(4) 1/2″ Hex Nuts
Wood Glue

Lathe stand parts

I started with two 12 foot 2×6’s. I cut them into four 6 foot pieces using my Dewalt Compound Miter Saw. I then laminated them into a pair of 6 foot long 3 inch thick beams. I used Titebond II premium wood glue.
I cut the 12 foot 2×10 into four pieces 32 1/2 inches long. I laminated them into a pair of 3 inch thick planks, which will become the uprights. I stacked weights on top of the beams and uprights to hold them tight together while the glue dried.
I wanted to let them set for 24 hours, so meanwhile I cut another 12 foot 2×6 into four 32 inch long pieces. These will become the feet.

The next day, after the glue has dried. I ran my Dewalt DW680K heavy duty planer over the beams and the uprights to flush the edges. I trimmed the beams down to 65 inches long, but these could be left at 6 feet long if you want the length.
From the top of the uprights, I cut rests for the beams on each side measuring 3 inches wide, and 5 1/4 inches deep. I cut these with my jig saw with a 4 1/4 inch long Bosch Progressor type blade. This was very very slow, and the cuts kind of slanted as they went into the wood. A band saw would have been a better choice, but I don’t own one. After the chunks were removed, I straightened the cuts with my Skil belt sander. I made a 2 inch long tenon at the bottom of each of the uprights by using my Porter & Cable 690LR router set to a depth of 3/4’s of an inch.
After the tenons were cut, I laid these centered on the pieces I had previously cut for the feet. I outlined the tenons with a pencil. These will the mortises, which I routered with the router again set to 3/4’s of an inch. I made sure to route just a little wider and deeper then the pencil line. I glued the feet pieces into a pair of feet 32 inches long and laid weights on them while they dried.
While the feet dried I bored two 1/2 inch holes through the top part of the upright, connecting the two beam rests. I drilled these in my drill press with a 1/2 inch spade bit. One at a time, I laid a beam on each rest, squared them, and with a pencil through 1/2 inch holes, marking the ends of the beams. I then drilled 1/2 inch holes through the ends of the beams.
The next day after the feet have dried. Using my miter saw, I trimmed the ends of the feet so they were flush. I also cut a 45 degree corner on the top ends. On the bottom of the feet using my jig saw, I cut a 3/4 deep strip leaving a 7 inch wide ‘toe’ at the ends of each foot.
I dry fitted the tenons of the uprights into the mortises. They were a little tight, so I thinned the tenons a touch with the belt sander so they fit firmly. I coated the tenons with glue, and fitted them into the mortises, making sure they were centered within the feet. I tapped the uprights down with a hammer, and let these pieces dry.
When the uprights and feet were dry, and laid the beams across them, squared them, and bolted them together with 10 inch long 1/2 inch carriage bolts, washers and nuts.
To make sure the the tops of the two beams were flat I used a square. One was slightly higher than the other, so with some passes with my power planer, they were made to be flat.
I moved the stand into place. There was a slight wobble, so I placed a thin shim under one foot, and it was rock solid. I then setup my lathe on top of the stand, and bolted it onto the beams.
Lathe stand with Craftsman 15 inch lathe

I finished building my lathe stand this morning, and got my lathe set up. I ripped some of the dry wall off my garage wall again, and hooked up the outlets I installed to an existing outlet.
Home Made Lathe Stand
Home made lathe Stand with Craftsman lathe
It has been close to 30 years since I turned anything on a wood lathe. I goofed around and turned some tonfa handles to replace the horrible ones the come stock on the Century competition tonfa. Not for me, but for a friend of mine. I have a nice set of Shureido tonfa.

Click to see plans for this lathe stand

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