Every once and a while you come across something that’s just pure genius. That’s how I feel about Norman Leonard’s reverse tumbler design for the Grizzly G0602 10×22 Lathe.
It’s not that Norman has broken new ground and done something that has never been done before. There are after all lots of lathes with reverse capabilities. It’s also not like Norman’s solution is all that complex or difficult. But therein lies the genius of it.
A few months back a forum member by the name of rdfoster asked if anyone had come across a design for a reverse for the G0602. This prompted Norman to casually announced that he was going to build a reverse tumbler setup for his G0602, which is the same lathe that I and many others own. The G0602 is an extremely capable lathe, and as such is very popular among the hobby machining community. But it’s not without its limitations. Cutting left-hand threads is one of them. Norman set out to remedy this, and he did so within a matter of days, all out of his head, following no plans.
You’ve met guys like Norman. He reminds me of that guy we all know who can build a small backyard workshop or shed out of his head in a weekend … without plans. And when he’s done he has one stud and a half sheet of OSB left over. Anyway, enough praise for Norman and guys like him. Lets get on to the project.
I won’t try and re-write the steps that Norman took during the fabrication of his reverse tumbler, as I have nothing to add (having not built one myself yet). Instead I’ll direct you to the forum post where it all began.
Here’s a link to Norman’s original post:
Here’s a link to a PDF file of Normans instructions along with a CAD version of Norman’s Plans drafted by Kevin Day (AKA Blame on the forum).
Normans-Leonard-G0602-Reverse-Tumbler-Plans-Final-Rev2.pdf (927.3 KiB, 988 downloads)
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I’d also like to take a moment to thank Kevin for all his hard work on this project. Kevin volunteered to turn Norman’s White-Board sketches into a CAD file for everyone’s benefit. He spent more than a few hours drawing things up, and even patiently revised the plans multiple times at my request. Thank you Kevin for all your hard work!
If any of you readers end up making your own version of Norman’s reverse tumbler, please share pictures of your project and point out any design changes or improvements you might have made. I’m sure after just a few iterations someone will have a reverse setup that looks like it came from the factory! Share your pictures by posting them on Norman’s original forum post (the first link above).
So what’s Norman up to these days? Check out his speed reducer for the G0602:
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