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Andreas Preuss

What is the best mini lathe for bow repairs?

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8 hours ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

The Alberti stick bushing tool is by far the better option for bushing sticks; it can do in short order what takes forever in a lathe, even with a four jaw chuck..

I don't see that tool on their website.  Is it no longer made?  Mostly I'm curious about it.  I've no plans to resume bow repair, though there is a need for that in my area.

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44 minutes ago, Mark Norfleet said:

I don't see that tool on their website.  Is it no longer made?  Mostly I'm curious about it.  I've no plans to resume bow repair, though there is a need for that in my area.

I do not know if it is readily available yet, I have had a second on order for quite some time.  I will post a pic when I am back at the shop. 
 

Okay this is it:

796FC616-CC6A-4BF3-9327-5C6046780FFE.jpeg

99D03081-3CC7-4A6D-8808-A5A93DA885EE.jpeg
 

The bow rests on the v block on the the 2 90 degree frog underslide surfaces.  You can see the drill mocked up, the placement of that is adjustable to where you want it.   
Basically, it is like putting the bow into a v block on the lathe compound and moving it up and down to get where you want to be.

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10 hours ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

I use compact 8 lathes mostly.  It is nice to have a lathe that allows the making of tooling when needed......it does not seem that a sherline Is nearly strong enough to cut teeth in cutters.

True

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4 hours ago, Mark Norfleet said:

I don't see that tool on their website.  Is it no longer made?  Mostly I'm curious about it.  I've no plans to resume bow repair, though there is a need for that in my area.

It's not on the site.  I called him a few weeks ago about it and the hold up was something about the drill bits.  He was sending me out one anyway.  I need to call him as it hasn't arrived yet.

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9 hours ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

I do not know if it is readily available yet, I have had a second on order for quite some time.  I will post a pic when I am back at the shop. 
 

Okay this is it:

796FC616-CC6A-4BF3-9327-5C6046780FFE.jpeg

99D03081-3CC7-4A6D-8808-A5A93DA885EE.jpeg
 

The bow rests on the v block on the the 2 90 degree frog underslide surfaces.  You can see the drill mocked up, the placement of that is adjustable to where you want it.   
Basically, it is like putting the bow into a v block on the lathe compound and moving it up and down to get where you want to be.

 

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I will try again. I have used an Alberti for a couple of years now and for bushing sticks it is much superior to a lathe. It is more accurate and you don't have the stick whipping around. I also have a Bow Badger which is better than a lathe but not as accurate as the Alberti.

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10 hours ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

Okay this is it:

The bow rests on the v block on the the 2 90 degree frog underslide surfaces.  You can see the drill mocked up, the placement of that is adjustable to where you want it.   
Basically, it is like putting the bow into a v block on the lathe compound and moving it up and down to get where you want to be.

Cool tool.  Thanks for posting the pictures.   It's easy to see why this is an improvement on using a lathe.

Do the drills wander at all and produce less than perfect holes?  I would be tempted to use solid carbide bits if so.

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1 minute ago, Mark Norfleet said:

Cool tool.  Thanks for posting the pictures.   It's easy to see why this is an improvement on using a lathe.

Do the drills wander at all and produce less than perfect holes?  I would be tempted to use solid carbide bits if so.

The drills are great, no drift and it puts the hole right where you need it the first time.  Every bow maker knows how frustrating it can be to keep bushing a screw hole on a new bow because the drills do not track.

There is another cool thing about the tool.  He included fixtures that have step up concentric circles cut by the 1/10 of a millimeter (you can see them on the 2nd photo on the right). You put these into the tool, and rest the proper concentric circle on the v block.......so, if you want to drill exactly on center of an 8.5 mm stick, you set the v block to rest on the 8.5 mm concentric circle, and instantly you drill dead center....pretty brilliant.

Finally, one thing Alberti does not do is send instructions.......these things arrive in a box and then it is up to you to figure them out.

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The original DB Unimat is quite expensive, and tooling more so ($100 for a steady rest - collets are a fortune) these days. The biggest advantage is it fits in a small case. There’s a number of smaller Chinese made lathes with much cheaper tooling available now at a similar overall price. Depending on where you are, and your available space, look for used larger lathes too. Atlas or Craftsman branded atlas.

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On 1/8/2020 at 4:40 PM, Jerry Pasewicz said:

The drills are great, no drift and it puts the hole right where you need it the first time.  Every bow maker knows how frustrating it can be to keep bushing a screw hole on a new bow because the drills do not track.

There is another cool thing about the tool.  He included fixtures that have step up concentric circles cut by the 1/10 of a millimeter (you can see them on the 2nd photo on the right). You put these into the tool, and rest the proper concentric circle on the v block.......so, if you want to drill exactly on center of an 8.5 mm stick, you set the v block to rest on the 8.5 mm concentric circle, and instantly you drill dead center....pretty brilliant.

Finally, one thing Alberti does not do is send instructions.......these things arrive in a box and then it is up to you to figure them out.

And Jerry, this is why I will be contacting you.....B).  He is trying to scavenge up the drills mentioned.  I talked to him about the nature of the drills being more like "boring bits" to prevent the wandering, nice to hear it works the way it's intended.  Mine should be on the way, hopefully not "sans" the bits.

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I think the lathe is the most flexible device for this work.  Used mini-lathes are rare in my location--a few weeks ago, one was available in Yakima but the machine was no longer manufactured and parts unavailable--something to keep in mind.  The cheapest Harbor Freight model sells for about $600, and machines like it are available from a number of suppliers.  You will need a 4-jaw chuck which can be found at the littlemachineshop.com.  The speed controller for the Harbor Freight model goes down to about 100 rpm which is pretty slow, and the ID of the spindle will permit a bow to enter.

You can purchase drill bits with a sharp point which acts to help keep the drill centered.  McMaster-Carr is one place to get them.  

For some of the bow operations, you need a  mill.  It would be nice to find a combined unit of lathe and mill.  I think that would be a better idea than just the lathe.  Harbor Freight used to make such a combined unit, but I no longer can find it.  

Mike D

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