Turning a Crank Counterweight

The counterweight on my reel crank has hemispherical shape. Sherline sells an accessory that turns spherical shapes, and it is just what you would need to make more than a hemisphere. But I have found that I can get by with general purpose accessories.

To make a hemispherical counterweight, I first made a brass mandrel that holds the work away from the chuck and encloses the screw that will secure the work. I make a blank for the counterweight that is cylindrical and has a tapped, blind hole.

I put the chuck, mandrel, and blank on the mill headstock, turned horizontal. I then fasten a lathe toolpost to the rotary table. The toolpost stays at constant radius, and I use X-axis feed between turning passes. Each cutting pass is made by turning the rotary axis through 90 degrees.

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