Making A Better Lathe Banjo Pt. 5

After almost a month long layoff, I’ve been able to get back into the shop and make some more progress on the change gears project. While they where fairly easy to make, the mounting studs where the part I was least looking forward to making. Mainly because I had to make several of them (7 in total), and because each one had a lot of individual steps.

One part of the process I thoroughly enjoyed, was making some custom thread relief tools. I used to avoid making custom HSS tool bits with my old cheap grinder, as it vibrated a lot and was slow at removing material. The new Baldor & CBN wheel combination are silky smooth and remove material very quickly. The surface finish is almost good enough that I don’t need to hone the cutting edges.

Now that I have the studs done, I feel like I’m over the hump, and hopefully I can wrap up this project within the next week.


Posted in: General, Machining, Videos
Part of the Project


  • Ken Shmidheiser
    December 4, 2016


    Really enjoying this series. I have the identical HF 8×12 (really 8×14) lathe, and have the same issues with the factory banjos.

    Would it be possible to get a copy of your gear calculation charts for SAE and Metric? You mentioned your wrote your own program to do the calculations, and I’m curious in which language. I am a Mac user and am proficient in C, Objective-C and a few other languages and would enjoy seeing your source code.

    A few more questions: Is the chip pan under your lathe one of the oil drip pans you can get at Wal-Mart? And I noticed you made your own carriage lock screw with sliding handle. Any details on that will be appreciated. Finally, which extra gears did you order for your new banjos, and did you get them from Harbor Freight? (I see that Lathemaster, where I had been getting some of my parts, is now out of business.)

    Thanks for the consideration and keep up the excellent work!


    Ken Shmidheiser

  • Jim McGilton
    December 5, 2016

    Very good series enjoyed every bit of it,The only Part that has got me stumped is how do you adjust the studs when meshing the gears,you would need a very thin spanner,as you are tightening the studs up before you fit the gear.
    Thanks for great videos


  • Jim McGilton
    December 20, 2016

    I only found part 6 and it all makes perfect sense,I have really enjoyed your videos
    and want to say a “Big Sorry”
    Thanks again ffor the great videos

    • December 20, 2016

      I’m glad you like them Jim, and no worries my coworkers would tell you my thought process can be hard to follow at times.

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