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Wooden Arbors

By Gary Edson

Um, the title “Wooden Arbors” brings to mind grapes or wisteria, I guess. But for me, wood arbors are a real quick, cheap and easy means for holding stuff in lathe chucks. They are okay for situations where accuracy and rigid holding are not issues. Some arbors are one-use affairs; you may as well make them as quick, cheap, and easy as possible...

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For instance, Photo 1 shows a mounting ring for a wee K&B Torp Junior .035 model airplane engine from the 1950s. The original ring was pretty beat up, so I made a new one. After I parted it off, it needed some finishing work on the parted-off side. So I chucked up a short piece of dowel and turned it to the right diameter so the ring would just slide over it, up against a shoulder. I sometimes slit the end of the dowel and insert a small sheet metal screw to hold my piece in place. But here, all I did was wet the end of the dowel. The wood swelled and held the piece nicely. Then I finished the ring with fine emery paper and an abrasive pad.

Photo 2 shows two more wood arbors for the same engine project. One is for holding the steel finned cylinder for lathe filing to remove plier marks. The other shows the mounted cylinder head. Both of these arbors have slits and screws for expansion. Quick, cheap, and easy.

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