With a reputation as a good beginners or students glass engraving lathe, the blue Merker MK! Has been built for using pre mounted diamond wheels. Certainly strong enough for traditional copper w, until it comes to the tradition of hammering the wheels onto the spindle. My efforts at getting a simple stronger lathe made locally warrants a book on its own. Flying tools in from over seas has not been an option for some time. Recalling internet discussions around the subject, I started exploring with limited experience but nothing to lose.
I have got as far as having half a dozen spindles turned with a proper morse taper 1.5. Narrowed down to 6mm they have a shoulder 6 mm back. Someone gave me 20cm of copper pipe 5 cm diameter. I hack sawed the pipe lengthways and hammered it flat, roughly. Cut circles with tinsnips and drilled a centre hole.
Next I filed the spindle end roughly square, and with needle files changed the wheel centre hole to a slightly larger square.
I have a wooden frame I made for leading small stone wheel centres. Using this and trusting the spindle collar to be perpendicular, I fixed it with silver solder(flux core)using a mini propane torch.
1.Next hand filed it to a near circle then ran it in the lathe, filing it down to a closer circle. The copper was uneven and thin. I have wheels about 1mm thick but a bit uneven.
2.Took me ages to file to get round circles. I should have rounded them on the bench grinder before mounting. I was too worried the heat might un fix them if I did it on the electric grinder later.
3. All the time spend filing and now trying has not loosened wheels at all. I don’t know if the squaring helps.
Thanks Greg Sullivan for help and advice. I think it was Jim Riser who mentioned “solder” in early discussion. Thanks Jim and I guess the term “bush carpenter’; can apply to engineering. Sure it needs refining but now I’m down to practice on COPPER WHEELS.