I was thinking of mounting a router on a lathe to mill some wooden precision parts for a project. Does anyone have experience with this? Is it dangerous to run the lathe and the router at the same time (wood implosion)? Should I turn the lathe manually? I plan on using a down spiral bit in the router.
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor J:
Routers and lathes are often used in conjunction. Routers or milling heads mounted on lathes are usually used for ornamental turning such as twisting or fluting of the round stock. These machines are already available so you don't have to build one.
I used to have a Craftsman Router Crafter tool. It used a hand crank to turn the stock. A router was mounted and attached with a continuous looped cable. When you turn the crank, the router would traverse the piece. You could completely shape the stock as well as do all the indexing embellishments (fun toy).
You might also consider a small combination lathe and mill (machine tool available at Harbor Freight & Tool). This has a milling head mounted over the lathe.
When using a milling head or a router with a lathe, the stock turns slowly while the milling or routing is high speed. Typical recommended surface fpm apply (dia. x rpm).
So yeah, if you already have a lathe, you certainly can mount a router and use it for a variety of things.
I own a specialty woodworking business and don't use the machine much anymore. The products I build don't have any spindles.
I am setting up a lathe to make the radius on fingerboards for string instruments (violins, cellos). This will require a cylinder to mount the board on, that will then turn on the lathe. The powered carriage is a great idea, but for now I am only producing a few. Yes! I do remember the Sears Router Crafter - a classic.