Vega Duplicator upgrades and fixes
The Vega Duplicator is a great machine but like most machines it's got its share of bugs and problems.
What problems have you experienced and what did you do the machine to fix or upgrade it ??
Here are a few things I've done with mine.
First, we all have the problem with the thumbscrew, the one that locks the head. It has a nasty habit of rotating down due to vibration and grabbing onto the cutter unit while we're turning keeping the cutter from sliding smoothly. Adding a spring underneath solves this problem:
For many of us the steel cover doesn't want to stay attached in it's slot and is constantly vibrating out. Tightening the setscrew on the side binds the entire unit keeping the headstock from sliding in and out properly, as does tightening either of the two bolts on top.
This one is simple. Put the cover in a vise and bend it slightly upward (towards the label) this will give it enough friction to stay in place.
Dont bend it down or, when you try to slide it into place, it will catch in the small indentation were the setscrew is.
You have to keep the plastic slides correctly adjusted to minimize vibration in the unit. If you tighten the setscrew without loosening the locking nut you will strip the threads in the aluminum body. It's extremely easy to do (trust me
Redrill and tap for a 1/4" 20 thread Thumbscrew. Redrill the hole in the plastic slide just larger then the threads of the screw - it has to slide easily on the thumbscrew, not catch on the threads.
If you mount your unit on the backside of the lathe you can use the toolrest without having to remove the duplicator. Dont forget the mount the cutter facing down instead of up.
This also allows you to round the stock with your chisels rather then with the duplicator. The shock and vibration of knocking off the corners probably does more long term damage to the duplicators head unit then anything else.
I built a chip shield that hangs over the unit. This keeps the chips and shavings from flying all over the shop and makes cleanup a lot easier.
It also doubles as a face shield protecting your eyes (I wear safety glasses anyway, you can't be too safe when it comes to your vision)
The shield folds down on the side opposite that you're working at.