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Williams Trade School

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Question:
My QC toolpost is garbage and I'll be making one. I'm taking a lathe class with a fantastic teacher and he's suggested I make a lantern style post. He finds that for home stuff it'll do great. For when he's at work at doing a lot of setups he wants the QC toolpost however. I was just wondering what people prefer and why. Where is one better/more useful than the other? What are the pitfalls of each, that kind of thing.


Answer:
Now that you've heard the "opinions" from the production shops, and those that don't have time to enjoy just working metal for the joy of working metal, here's mine.

My Grizzly came with one of those abortions they call a "turret", which looks like one, but in function, resembles a turret like a trade school grad resembles a machinist. It took me a while, but I got a set of the Williams tool holders, and dug up the lantern post and have only had to use the turret for my cutoff tool. The only reason I use it for that is because I made the tool holder to fit it, and I'm too lazy to make another one.

The remarks about tool angles etc. are fine when one is talking about carbide tooling, but for the most part, the changes when using high speed tools won't even be noticed except for threading. For boring, I made blocks to hold the boring bars, and then made the bars to fit. I don't do or even try to do production work on the engine lathe, that's what my turret lathes are for. There are a lot of jobs that I've done that would not have been possible with either a tool post turret or quick change tool holders, and that's where the old lantern comes in handy, it is far more versatile than the others. Maybe a bit more of a PITA to work with, but more than compensated for.



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