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Author Topic: Question about using a lathe for a tenon cutter  (Read 1371 times)

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Offline samplesdm

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Question about using a lathe for a tenon cutter
« on: April 10, 2018, 03:48:33 PM »
Hi all. I'm new to this site. I build log beds. I have some tenon cutters and have been using a Milwaukee drill. It caught fire the other day, and so did my flannel :) I think it's a dead soldier.
I've never used a lathe, I don't know much about them.
I see Kbeitz uses a lathe with his tenon cutter. I would like to do that too. I am wondering what kind of lathe i would need, how powerful. Maybe designs for a slide/bed.
Thank you

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Question about using a lathe for a tenon cutter
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2018, 04:55:40 PM »
   Sorry but I can't answer about the lathe. If you try it and it works well let me know. I use the Lumberjack tenon cutter in a high torque HF drill to make legs for primitive benches made from 2" live edge slabs. My tenons are 1.5" diameter and have a 3" peg past the shoulder. They work well but cutting them with a drill can be a real wrist breaker. I had considered a big drill press or even an old ShopSmith.

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Offline Darrel

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Re: Question about using a lathe for a tenon cutter
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2018, 05:21:21 PM »
samplesdm, welcome!

Question, do you plan to turn the stock with the lathe and have the tennon cutter stationary or do you plan to to use the lathe to power the tennon cutter!  I've tried it both ways but for me it was easier not to deal with a spinning log.  I did this 50 years ago in my dad's shop and can't remember exactly how I did it, but I did remove the tail stock from the lathe and rigged up some sort of a jig for helping me hold onto the log and keep it straight. 
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Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Question about using a lathe for a tenon cutter
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2018, 12:08:21 AM »
I use a slow turning strong wood lathe to turn the bit. I have a large metal sliding circle that the log gets clamped into. I push the log into the bit. Most lathes don't turn slow enough to do this safely.
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Offline scouter Joe

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Re: Question about using a lathe for a tenon cutter
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2018, 07:42:29 AM »
I have used an old dewalt timber wolf drill for years . I have a vice that I clamp the work piece in . With the long body and the D grip handle at the chuck end it is fairly easy to control the drill . Another good choice is the Milwaukee hole hawg . I believe the # is 1675-1 . Now I have Bossworth tenon makers with a 3/4" stem so need a 3/4 " drill . This is a Milwaukee and has a fairly long handle and a long pipe . All of these will run at 300 rpm . I.m sure you would be satisfied with the dewalt . I find the Milwaukee is easier to line up and get the tenons straighter . scouter Joe .                                                     OOPS I meant to reply to the post For the drill for tenon makers . Id appreciate if it could be moved  . Sorry

Offline sealark37

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Re: Question about using a lathe for a tenon cutter
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2018, 08:52:31 AM »
Having assisted in the design and construction of two tenon machines, I have found that no matter whether you turn the log or the cutter, the critical part is holding both firmly during the cut.  We settled on a system where the tenon cutter was solidly mounted, and turned continuously.  The log was clamped in a fixture, and fed into the cutter at a rate that was controlled by the size and hardness of the wood.      Regards, Clark 

Offline samplesdm

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Re: Question about using a lathe for a tenon cutter
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2018, 11:56:03 AM »
Thank you all for the help and the feedback. I haven't been on here in awhile. I usually just make beds during the winter months.
I do plan to put the tenon cutter in the lathe. the logs i use are usually pretty big and have bends and curves in them. I don't know how well they would spin in a lathe. I know very little about lathes, so forgive me if I sound that way.
If you all wouldn't mind, would you maybe be able to post pictures of your lathe/slide setup?
Thank you,

Offline Satamax

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Re: Question about using a lathe for a tenon cutter
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2018, 01:59:33 PM »
Dennis, my opinion, buy an old metal lathe, but a cast iron monster. The biggest you can find without flat belts. Put the cutter in the chuck, remove the tool holder from the cross sled. And the center holder from the lathe. You make yourself a  vice, to hold the log on the cross sled. Something along the lines of a pipe vice. May be something like a faithfull multipurpose. And you put a trailing piece of ply, behind the cross sled, onto which you will be able to use wedges, to lift or lower the log.  You can turn as slow as 25 rpm may be. Plenty of power. That would make a nice tenonner. 
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