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Lathe Speed
Posted by: Keith Langford (---)
Date: July 27, 2020 08:09PM

So my lathe is not variable speed, I have 520, 900, 1400, 2150 & 3400. which would be better for turning the cork. 2150 or 3400. Thank you.

Keith Langford

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Re: Lathe Speed
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: July 27, 2020 09:06PM

It comes down to feet per minute. Cork cylinders are not very large in diameter so you have to up the speed to get the proper feet per minute past the cutting tool or sandpaper. Try 2150 and see how that works for you. I suspect it'll be about right.


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Re: Lathe Speed
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: July 28, 2020 10:29AM

Mr. Kirkman is correct.

I also have a 5 speed lathe and it works very well for me. I had a variable speed lathe and I sold it because I did not like the start up delay in the motor system. With the 5 speed lathe, it is instant on and instant off.

Just take a charity rod that is broken and put it on your lathe and do some testing.

Start at 520 and then go all of the way to the 3400 speed.

When I first started building years ago, I did not have a very fast lathe. As a result, I tended to use coarser grit paper with a heavier hand to remove cork as needed. But, when I purchase a faster lathe, I found that I could go to finer grit sand paper and use a lighter touch on the paper which I much preferred.

After just a few rods, I was turning grips at 3400 and I have always used that speed ever since I moved up to the faster speed.

But, because the cork is turning faster, a coarse grit paper and a heavy hand will remove all of the cork from the blank or mandrel in a few minutes. So, start with a finer grit and a lighter touch and try different grits and different pressures while turning the grips at high speed and you will quickly get the grit and the touch correct for a quickly turned grip with a perfect result.

For very rough work I will typically start with either 60 grit or 80 grit paper. Then, as the work proceeds go to 100, 120, 150, 220, 330, and normally finish with 400 grit paper. But for some work I will actually finish with the back side of the 400 grit paper for the ultimate smooth finish.

Best wishes.

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Re: Lathe Speed
Posted by: Keith Langford (---)
Date: July 28, 2020 07:15PM

Thanks Roger, very fine gentleman on this forum, I really like it. i have learned so much about rodbuilding in a very short time. I gave my best freind the spinning rod I built with evryones help, and he hasnt stopped raving about it yet. We fished tournaments together for 20 years and used pretty good rods ( G loomis & St. Croix upper end rods ) and he said nothing he has ever fished with even comes close. Kind of made me feel good, but of course I had $300 of components in that rod as well, sure that helped.

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Re: Lathe Speed
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.digicelbroadband.com)
Date: July 30, 2020 07:41PM

Fastest speed is best for soft cork and a light touch. You tend to dig into it when it is turning slow.

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