Frequently asked questions / LASER protractor

[ Books ]

[ Sherline ]
[ LASER protractor ]
> [ Mechanical protractor ]

> [ Tailstock ]
> [ Lathe/Mill Stops ]
> [ Monster Vise ]
> [ Endmill Holder ]
> [ Morse taper ]

[ Unimat ]
[ Mechanical protractor ]
> [ Tools ]

[ China Lathe ]
[ Vintage ]
[ Craftsman ]
[ HiTorque Bench Lathe

[ Learning Center ]
[ Product Tests ]
[ Freebies ]

[ How to order ]
[ FAQ ]
[ Customer Feedback ]
[ Customer Corner ]
[ Address
[ Contact ]
[ Returns ]
[ US shipping ]
[ International orders ]
[ Privacy ]
[ Site Map ]
[ Disclaimer ]
[ Home ]

[ LatheCity ]
(C) 2012, LatheCity

Frequently asked questions - LASER Protractor:

Question: Can your laser protractor be used on my 11\" swing lathe?

Answer: Ron:
I am not sure what you call a swing lathe.
The version we currently have requires a rotatable headstock of the lathe.
Thus, it works for the Sherline system and would also work for UNIMAT lathes.
The mounting hardware and scales we currently have are for Sherlines lathes.
Now, the idea of the system could be adapted for other lathes including these with a compound slide.
However, different mounting hardware for the LASER pointer and different scales would be required.
The main issue is: we don't have dozens of lathes in our shop to adapt the current system.
You can purchase just the manual which explains the idea of the operation and machine your own fixture and scale which is not hard to do.
We would help with the scale (free of charge).
I hope this helps.
See also:
I wish we could do better, but we can't at present.
Uwe Burghaus

Question: Dear lathecity, Hi. Thanks for your response and advice. Have been looking at your laser device. I'm not a machinest but a wood person with several lathes. Would be nice to make my own 0 tapered gadgets. Do you think I could with your instructions? I have a little Sherline lathe and mill I picked up.... Thanks. Laurie

Answer: Dear xxx,

Yes, the LASER protractor / Morse taper cutter is made for the Sherline lathe.
It works on the 17" and 8" lathe and we can make other scales if required.
I would not use a 3" lathe for that - it would work but the precision is greater on a longer lathe.

The process of cutting a Morse taper is rather simple and described in the manual that comes with this tool.
Cutting arbors is a little trickier in particular if you need a full depth arbor. One would need a boring bar long enough, naturally.
The angle setting procedure is the same and its simple. Half depth arbors can be cut with Sherlines standard boring bar.

At the moment we have only one left in stock - I would not like to stress you, but ... one is left.
I will make probably some more during the coming weekend.

I did never work much with wood - not my thing. A metal lathe is different, but I guess you would learn this fast.
We also have books particularly for the sherline lathe - also up at ebay.

Whatever you do - good luck with the project.


Thank you for all of your help.... I think I will try to learn myself but I need to get some cash (through sales here) to buy it but I'll be in touch. The one I have is the short one and if I could even make some dead centers and spur drives that would be great.

Have a good day and keep making cool stuff.


Question: Sir; I have a SMITHY Granite Series, IMAX 1340.... Will it fit???

Answer: Dear xyz:
I am not familiar with this lathe. Having a brief look at it on the internet, I have to write: nope - it will not fit.
Generally, it would work if you can rotate the headstock of your lathe.
It would probably need a different scale, but we would provide one free of charge.
You had to take some simple measurements.

We are planning to offer a similar tool that can be mounted on the cross-slide
of a lathe which would allow for wider applicability of the LASER protractor. Interested?
Unfortunately, also cross-slide designs vary widely. It's hard to come up with
a single tool that would work on any lathe.

Considering that one can sometimes find an old Sherline lathe for $300, ...,
it may almost be worth getting one ... considering how many accessories are available for Sherline systems.

Morse taper can also be cut by slicing, emulating a CNC lathe.
How that works is described in vol. 1 which includes also some slicing tables.
We work on Vol. 3 at the moment: "Poor man's CNC lathe."
I hope this note was helpful.

Uwe Burghaus

Question: Dear lathecity,I have a Rivett 608 lathe. One of the difficulties with this old lathe is that the taper is unlike
almost all other lathes. Some recon it to be a Jarno #4 taper. My question:Will this work on a
Rivett 608 (turns 8 inch diameter)?Thanks, M.

Answer: M. :I am afraid the current version of the LASER protractor would not work
on your lathe. You would need a lathe that allows to rotate the headstock. Looking a
little around, it seems that a Rivett 608 does NOT do that. You can cut Jarno tapers with our
accessory if you have a Sherline lathe or any other lathe that allows rotating the headstock.
We currently work on a version that can be mounted on a cross-slide - that one would work with any lathe.
If you need Jarno taper accessories we should be able making these for you. For example, Jarno #4 to a Morse taper etc..
I hope this helps.Uwe Burghaus(LatheCity)- lathecity

Question: Sir, I would be interested but this cutter is too expensive, can I get a discount?
Answer: Nope. Consider your savings, you can make now pieces which would have cost you probably $300 and more.
It took us quite a while to develop and test this tool, writing the 60 pages manual which is truly nice, etc.
Also this is a highly specialised tool and not a mass produced stereo ...

Question: Dear, The LASER thing has an aluminum adapter, can I get it in steel.
Answer: Yes, theoretically, we can make a steel adapter for the LASER protractor, but why would you like to pay more? It does not make any sense having this in steel. Please consider that even Sherline's cross-slide is made of aluminum ... the LASER protractor is not a cutting tool, it sets the cutting angle, there are no engineering reasons for a steel construction, if you collect steel ... well, add $20 to the price and we can send you a steel version.