The 'How-To' of a Shop-Made Rod Lathe Using Only Hand Tools
2301 61st Street, Lubbock, Texas 79412-3320
Last fall, 1997, I sent pictures of a shop-made rod lathe using
only hand tools, a ? inch drill motor and some welding.
You expressed interest, so I submit this article which might be
of interest to your readers who need to re-babbitt their connecting
rods during their restoration process.
The chassis is a Ford cylinder head, however, any block iron
could be used, as long as it had a milled surface for the top, and
a milled surface on the side and end, with each surface 90 degrees
to each other.
On one end the chassis is supported with angle iron legs. The
other end is supported with a plate ? inch thick with 6 inch
width---to this plate 2 inch x 1 inch channel irons were placed ?
inches apart--these channels are placed after the center line of
the boring bar is established.
The 'V' block is made from 3 inch angle iron with a
window through which the wrist pin end of the rod passes. The
'V' block is welded to a plate which adjusts vertically,
and clamped from the back. To the back of this plate a ?' inch
square is fastened with screws to keep everything in alignment.
If the builder has an emery wheel, go ahead and use ?' round
If the builder does not have an emery wheel, use water quench
drill rod ?' inch. As this comes from the supplier, it can be
cut and shaped with a hack saw and file--heat red hot with propane
torch, quench in water and touch up the edge with a slip stone.
For boring, use a round point tool--for facing, shape a straight
edge from the ? inch round. For the radius, silver solder a small
flat across the ? inch round and file to shape. You can silver
solder with a propane torch.