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DESIGN YOUR GEAR TRAIN
Check the pitch of the leadscrew for the lathe you selected:
For lathes without a gearbox you may need to change the leadscrew setting. For medium sized imperial lathes the leadscrew is usually 8 TPI but for larger machines may be 6 TPI, 4 TPI or 2 TPI.
How Many Compound Gears?
How many compound gears can be included in the gear train (0,1,2)?
Use the drawings and buttons below to design your gear train.
Compound gears have two gear wheels connected together by a key or rivet. These compound gears do affect the gear ratio of the gear train, but idler wheels, which are just a single gear, do not affect the gear ratio. A large number of gears in the gear train, with a large collection of gears to choose from, can produce a very large number of results, especially when combined with a large acceptable error, or use of the automatic compound gear mode. Automatic mode works out every possible combination of two gears from your set to make up compound pairs.
No Compound Gears
(Stud and leadscrew gears only.
The idler gear has no effect.)
Try this option first. If you cannot solve your problem try the next option, which is one compound gear. If that does not work you may have to resort to the last option which is two compound gears. Some lathes routinely require two. Most lathes generally use no compound gears, unless you are converting between metric and imperial threads, but compound gears do increase the range of threads you can produce. The following diagram includes an idler gear, but it has no effect on the gear ratio and can be ignored. The stud gear turns at the same speed as the spindle, so all gears above the stud gear can be ignored. The only gears that determine the gear ratio in this case are the stud gear and leadscrew gear (LSG) giving a ratio of 20/56 in this example:
(This illustration was prepared using GearGenerator.com by Abel Vincze)
One Compound Pair
(Two gear wheels joined together
and placed between the blue
stud gear and leadscrew gear.)
Most lathes use one special compound pair of gear wheels.
A compound gear consists of two gear wheels connected together, plus the stud gear and leadscrew gear making a total of 4 gears in most cases. These can be used to cut a metric thread on an imperial (inch) lathe or to cut an imperial thread on a metric (mm) lathe. Special metric/imperial "transposing gears" are available, but some conversions can be done without special gearsor even without compound gears at all. Compound gears can be used for other things too. (This illustration was prepared using GearGenerator.com by Abel Vincze)
Two Compound pairs
(Four gear wheels between the blue
stud gear and leadscrew gear)
Asian lathes may use up to 2 compound gears.
If you get no results with one compound gear you may need to advance to two. (This illustration was prepared using GearGenerator.com by Abel Vincze)
Automatic Compound Gears
Automatically combine change gears to make compound gears.
Some lathes are designed so that you can pair any two change gears to make a compound gear. Use Automatic mode for all lathes except those lathes that have separate compound gear pairs such as Boxford and other clones of the American South Bend lathes. In automatic mode the program can automatically combine the change gears in every possible combination. This does NOT use the list of compound gears, only the change gears. Unfortunately Boxford and some other South Bend clones use compound gears that have a larger internal diameter than the keyed change gears. In that case do not use Automatic mode and the program will use your manually entered list of compound gears instead.In the help file, you will find a photo of an adapter which allows change wheels to be used as compound pairs.
Automatic Compound Gears
No Automatic Compound Gears