South Bend Lathe

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Ithaca Generator now has a functioning metal lathe. It can be used to make cylindrical, conical, and threaded features on metal and plastic parts. A few of you have expressed being interested but unsure what a metal lathe can do. Here's a video with some example projects: I've been surprised by how enjoyable I've found it to be to operate a lathe, and I'm sure that many of you would enjoy it too.

Use of this tool falls under all existing IG policies the same as any other backroom tool. Please be careful. Anyone interested in using this machine who would like an orientation is welcome reach out to me directly. I'm not a trained machinist, mechanic, or safety expert, and I claim no qualifications or expertise. I've just watched a bunch of YouTube videos, read some books, and made some parts on my own similar lathe. I'll try to schedule orientation sessions for one or two people at a time, and will offer single-gender orientation sessions if there is interest. Everyone who is interested is welcome. We are all supposed to be here.

A few safety tips (not comprehensive): Everyone anywhere near the lathe while it's being used should wear safety glasses. Nobody should approach or otherwise surprise or distract someone who is operating a lathe. Only one person should operate the lathe at a time. Be explicit about who is operating it, and don't touch any part of it if that's not you. No long sleeves, ties, jewelry, or other clothing or accessories that could get caught in the machine. Long hair should be secured up so that it can't get caught in the machine, and not just in a pony tail. Always unplug the lathe before going near belts or gears, and when doing anything else that could be dangerous if the lathe turned on. Never take your hand off the chuck key while it's in the chuck. It's too easy to forget it and have it become a projectile. Be aware that the lathe has a lot of inertia and will not stop immediately.