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  #1  
Old 02-17-2009, 03:31 PM
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Default Vega Duplicator upgrades and fixes

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Last edited by Sudsy; 02-17-2009 at 05:00 PM. Reason: spelling and grammar
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2009, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: Vega Duplicator upgrades and fixes

I found the Vega to be a great little accessory, I added a few of my own improvements, first, My lathe is level and bolted to the bench.... this elimates 90% of all vibrations.... the exception being off center turned or odd shaped wood, also rock maple tends to emit vibrations even with a carbide cutter

As for the Vega, I use only one side of the bench, so once the duplicator is set up, a pair of 3/4" locking collars were installed to allow me to switch from manual to duplicator in less than 30 seconds, I added a lexan cover over the lathe bed with a dust scoop behind it, this keeps everything up top and most of the lighter chips go into the hood, anything left behind is simply swept into the hood.. clean up complete...it also keeps the motor from overheating.. very important with a varable speed motor...

I've never had an issue with the cover, once the screw is tightened, it remains that way until I service the duplicator... every 100 plugs or so, I remove the cover and give all the components a shot of the lube, it has never once affected a plug I made, I do it at the end of the night, and it dries on contact... amazing how smoothe it makes things...I didnt take a picture but I changed out the chain roller from soft copper to nylon... kakes it real smoothe..

I changed out the original retainer knobs that came with the dupe that hold the template.... I bought mine at lowes, I believe they were 10.32.... I also made a hardwood tracer, I usualy turn a form freehand then exchange the cutter for the tracer and trace my form onto my template...

and as for the cutter... carbide is the ONLY game in town...
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  #3  
Old 02-17-2009, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: Vega Duplicator upgrades and fixes

Talk about timing! I went out to do some turning right after posting this.

I just had a blank come apart at 1600 rpm
There was a sapline in it and it split in half along that line as I was bringing it to round with the chisel

The shield kept the pieces from hitting me in the face, hard!
Safety glasses or not (I had em on) that wouldn't have been nice.
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  #4  
Old 02-17-2009, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Vega Duplicator upgrades and fixes

Roc, for want of anything better I've been using 3 in 1 to lube the duplicator.
That stuff you're using looks like the cats arse! Where'd you get it ??

Also, the reverse mount only works if you have a relatively narrow table and can set it up in the middle of the room so you can access it easily from both sides. If you can't do that or don't have the table, Roc's way is brilliant.

I got lucky and scored a super heavy fairly narrow steel table that held a machinist lathe, takes 4 guys to move it. If you have factories closing down in your area watch for auctions.
I mounted the lathe to a sheet of MDF and bolted the MDF to the table.
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:06 AM
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Default Re: Vega Duplicator upgrades and fixes

I got the suff at Lowes... after a few applications, it seems to permeate the metal ... another thing I like about it is it doesnt attract dust like oil does, I even use it on the bed of the lathe to help the tail stock slide...

Flying debris is a scary thing... I always wear a carpenters aprin and a full face shield... I got boinked once by a bowl... talk about ouch!
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Vega Duplicator upgrades and fixes

Hello Sudsy and Roc,
Do you think that Vega duplicator will work with my old craftsman lathe? some modifiyng would be normal. The bed is the same basic style of both your lathes ... cast Iron I think it might have been called a 9" hobby lathe in its day . Both your plexi hoods look nice , and I plan on making one when I get my dust collector set up.
Ive had my wood shop for 20 yrs and never wanted one (Dust collector) till I started turning cedar and my lungs told me it was time . . I got the 2 hp Grizzly cyclone as a christmas present to meself . I'm not quite ready for the duct yet . No $.
Do you find the duplicator user friendly and very usefull?
Anyway.... Thanks for all your help. This will be my 3rd season for luremaking . and I've found it to be a rewarding hobby.
George
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Vega Duplicator upgrades and fixes

1 more thing .
I bought a new ( to me) penetrating lubricant at hamilton marine this fall , called Tri-flow.
expensive but good.
GF
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  #8  
Old 02-19-2009, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: Vega Duplicator upgrades and fixes

I wouldn't want to say yes and then have it not fit Call Vega, 800-222-VEGA(8342)
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:57 AM
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Default Re: Vega Duplicator upgrades and fixes

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Originally Posted by GF View Post
Hello Sudsy and Roc,
Do you think that Vega duplicator will work with my old craftsman lathe? some modifiyng would be normal. The bed is the same basic style of both your lathes ... cast Iron I think it might have been called a 9" hobby lathe in its day . Both your plexi hoods look nice , and I plan on making one when I get my dust collector set up.
Ive had my wood shop for 20 yrs and never wanted one (Dust collector) till I started turning cedar and my lungs told me it was time . . I got the 2 hp Grizzly cyclone as a christmas present to meself . I'm not quite ready for the duct yet . No $.
Do you find the duplicator user friendly and very usefull?
Anyway.... Thanks for all your help. This will be my 3rd season for luremaking . and I've found it to be a rewarding hobby.
George
Sudsy gave you the logical answer for the application... solid advise... as far as the duct work goes, with exception to the blast gates,most of the system can be assembled for cheap.... use solid( as opposed to the pipe with holes in it) drain PVC.. it's light weight and cheap, a 10' length (if I recall ) was about $6 at Home Depot...from there you only need a few lenghts for your drops....the thing about dust collection beyond the health risks are this, if you are going to finnish your plugs ( paint and epoxy) the unwanted dust makes a real mess out of your finnished product, my system ( along with air purifier) keeps my shop pristeen, I even keep a 40 gallon tank with shiners in the shop.... with no floating debris....thats how clean it stays...
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Vega Duplicator upgrades and fixes

Right! Thanks .
Calling vega first is a good idea when I get that far .
when I first started thinking dust collection , the 4" soil and drain was my plan . and probably will still be used when I get down to 4" . With a 13" planer ,jointers,table saws,shapers, sanders etc I opted for a bigger dust collector . The cyclone I chose starts off with a 7" inlet .then reducing to 6" main line ,with all the wyes (6+)branches, blastgates ,floor sweep,flex ends etc. and all the rest of the goodies , I came up with a $400 order to have what I needed. and thats with the economy metal duct. The price of 6" plastic pipe is right up there too. but I think in the end I'll use a combination. I hope to do set the main line with branches soon . like the vega duplicator ...Its only expensive once .
GF
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: Vega Duplicator upgrades and fixes

Those are both great duplicator set ups. It is amazing to me how inventive guys that need something can be. Awesome. Any one with a wood-shop seems to spend nearly as much time setting up the shop with jigs fixtures, etc as they do building projects. The shop for the most part is a piece of work almost or more involved than most projects.

I have a delta duplicator which is a bit different than the vega but it serves the same purpose. Cool stuff
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: Vega Duplicator upgrades and fixes

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Those are both great duplicator set ups. It is amazing to me how inventive guys that need something can be. Awesome. Any one with a wood-shop seems to spend nearly as much time setting up the shop with jigs fixtures, etc as they do building projects. The shop for the most part is a piece of work almost or more involved than most projects.

I have a delta duplicator which is a bit different than the vega but it serves the same purpose. Cool stuff

You posted something here that is in need of a bump...

setting up your shop ( fixtures and jigs etc.) is THE best way to make use of your time in the shop.. it's all about the "system" and repeatability..
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: Vega Duplicator upgrades and fixes

And lets no forget dust collection. My wife gets pissed if I get her car dusty... and if it gets on the wifes car, then it gets into my lungs. I can wash the car.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:45 AM
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And lets no forget dust collection. My wife gets pissed if I get her car dusty... and if it gets on the wifes car, then it gets into my lungs. I can wash the car.

I just went to remote control on mine,I hate walking all the way across the shop to turn on the dust collector when i use the band saw or drill press.. what I hate more is having to walk back across to shut it off.... by having the remote, I'll turn on the dust collector to cut one piece.. it not only saves me time, but I'm more inclined to use it for singe piece cuts or to drill a few holes...

anyone that doesnt have an air purifier in their shop.. I highly recomend it.. my shop has less dust in it than the house does!
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:40 PM
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I just went to remote control on mine,
I did the same thing last year. Mine is 240V. I installed a fan remote control with a 2 pole lighting contactor to start and stop the Collector motor. I also wired in a bunch of switches at various work stations in line with the collector in case I lose the remote. Which happens.

Now if I could get motorized gates I would be fully automatic.
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