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  1. #1

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    Lathe for conversions

    What do you think of this lathe for conversion work? Capt,n http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=45861 Or is a Grissley better?
    Imagination is far more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein.

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  2. #2

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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    I'ts an OK lathe, but. I would look for a used Jet 10". It is the same quality lathe, but it has a power cross feed that is great for facing off stuff. The extra inch of throw and the slightly longer bet are a plus. The 10" has a greater range of thread options. The 10" also has a 110/220 motor. You will need a dedicated 20A 110 service for either lathe, and NO extention cords. I converted my Jet to 220V and run it off the dryer power. It only draws about 10 amps on 220. On 110, it would pop a 15amp breaker after 30 seconds or so running, and it was the only load on the service. Last and by far not the least, buying a used lathe, you will almost always get a better selection of tooling. I picked my Jet 10x24 up a couple years back for $500. Face plates, 3 and 4 jaw chucks, Quick chang tool post, boring bars, you name it. Oh yes, read the fine print, the nice stand it is setting on is "avaiable seperatly".

    Now, if you have your heart set on it, it is still good value for the money. See if you can't pick it up at the local HF store, it should save you quite a bit in shipping. Just get a couple buddys and a pickup.

    You might also look at Enco. USE_ENCO.COM. They have a little better version of the 9", with more tooling and a stand for $999.95. I would go with this one vs the HF lathe. Better quality, and overall a couple hundred less expensive when you consider the tooling included. They even have free shipping on the 9" now and then. Not this month in my flyer though.

    Don

  3. #3

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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    Campgems: What toolong do you get with the Enco? Thanks Capt,n
    Imagination is far more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein.

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  4. #4

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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    4" 3 jaw chuck, 5" 4 jaw, steady rest, follow rest, metric change gears, 7" flaceplate, #2 MT dead center, Threading Dial, Toolbox with tools, 1/2" capacity 4 ywy tool post and cabinet stand for $999.95. The overall specs are like the HF lathe, the Chineese don't limit their knockoff line to just engines They had a really bad rep for a while, but seem to be getting their act together now. By the way, there is a group on Yahoo dedicated to the 9" lathe. Take a look, it is an active group if I remember correctly. I dropped out when I got the 10" Jet.

    If you do get one, and you don't have a milling machine, get a mill attachment for the lathe that goes on the cross slide. You are limited to what you can do with it, but it gives you some added ability.

    One last thing, I would stear away from the combo machines like the smithy. I expect a lot of argument on this, but they seem to me to be overpriced for the limited adational function.

    Don

  5. #5
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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    Page 46 9 X 20 lathe Click on the lathe on the front page of catalog and currently it goes to page 46-47. The lathe on the front of the catalog is on page 47. The lathe he is talking about is on page 46 on the left.

    http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INPAGE?P...006&rfx_page=1

    Here's the lathe itself...

    http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?P...AKA=NM308-0338

    The Manual from ENCO

    http://www.use-enco.com/Machinery/110-0820.pdf
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  6. #6

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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    I have a HF 9x20, and that Enco is the same thing. All the 9x20 chinese lathes come out the same factory. Your best deal is at a Harbor Freight store, they sell them for $699 and you can get a 20% discount coupon, plus you can sometimes a get a deal by getting the extended warrenty. Go to Yahoo and browse the 9x20 lathe group archives. If you get a 9X20 you MUST download the manual that some of members on the 9x20 group put together. It is very detailed on how to overcome the 9x20's shortcomings.

    Have Fun

    Steve

  7. #7
    Moderator w8ye's Avatar
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  8. #8

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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    Agree totally with running man. I have the Enco 9x20. There is a HF store down the road from work and they have a 9x20 in there as a display. Its the same lathe, just a different color. I didnt know about the 9x20 group when I got mine and a manual that made sense would have been nice. The supplied manual is pretty worthless. Built my own table to mount it on. I had to pretty much completely disassemble mine and figure out how to adjust it on my own. It works pretty good now and I've done some engine conversions with it, ryobi. I dont know for sure but I believe the HF lathe will come with the same options I got at Enco. For $100 more the support you get at Enco will be tons better. I didnt use them while doing setup and adjustments but they were lots of help when it came to buying assesories. Best thing I ever did was to convert the tool post to a quick change, series 100. Let me know if you want to do that. I thought the old post was threaded, it wasnt. It was pressed in. A machinist friend helped me figure it out and it was easy after that.
    Edwin

  9. #9

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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    I can pick up the 9x20 at HF in Grand Rapids Mich, and they said they will match the sale price on the HF web-site. I have seen the Lathe there and it looks ok to me. The way,s look like they can be adjusted. I am getting close to a decision. I hope it is the right one! Capt,n
    Imagination is far more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein.

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  10. #10

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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    Guys....are you sure the HF 9x20 is the same as the Grizzly? The Grissly sure looks good in the photos! Thank you all ,for the data. w8ye sure had a lot of links. It all makes for a lot of fun shopping. This sure is a way to meet friends that help out in decision making. Best Regards to all. Capt,n Gottta get to bed now. Darn!!!!
    Imagination is far more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein.

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  11. #11

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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    Think OS, Magnum and ASP. Different logos, and some differences, but with a quick look, you can't tell them apart.

    Look closely at the HF lathe. I didn't see the second chuck or the steady or follower rest. One of the others had some live centers, etc.
    Basicly, there are different sets of goodies that come with the basic lathe. Some of the things, you will only seldom use, but when you need it, you need it.

    One thing you will absolutely need is a four jaw chuck.

    Before you jump, spend a few days going over the post in the 9x20 group. It will be time well spent.

    One last thing, be ready to spend another $300 or so for some decient measuring tools, Micrometors, 0-1, 1-2, and 2-3, Dept Micrometers, telescope gages, Dial test indicator, and a good 1" travel dial indicator (2" is better). Then there is the actual tooling. Again, the 9x20 group will have some good info on HSS vs Carbide bits. center drils, etc. These things are like a sail boat, the hull is cheap, but the rigging will drive you to the poor house. If a fun trip though.

    Don

  12. #12

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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    captinjohn,
    I said it was the same as the ENCO, not Grizzly. Havent looked at a Grizzly in a long time. And its probably true about the options from HF, I cant really confirm it. Havent had the interest. At least from Enco you can get good advice and support and even spare belts and parts for the lathe. Now that I've had the lathe for a couple of years, wish I went up to the next size. As for assorsories, campgems is right on the money. I also have a Central Machine Mill from from HF that I got used from my machinist friend when he moved up to a big Grizzly Knee Mill and converted to CNC (lots of money). I've pretty much doubled what I've spent on assesories for both from what I spent purchasing the equipment. Measuring tools is really important. Quick change tool posts and index bits are nice but not necessary. I only sharpen custom bits for special cuts. Practice cuts by eyeballing can only take you so far. And keep the gibs tight and lubed.

    Another site with a good lathe is at http://www.lathemaster.com/ .

    Edwin

  13. #13

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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    Try to get some training on the safe and proper use of engine (screw-cutting) lathes. Lathes can be very dangerous if used improperly!

    I don't know about Michigan, but Minnesota has an extensive state-wide Vo-tech school program that includes Machine Tool Technology classes at many locations. I attended night school in St. Paul for two years before buying an engine lathe in 1982. School provided proper training and an opportunity to work on my own projects as well as the class work. I ended up buying a new (1982) Austrian-built Emco-Maier Maximat Super 11 (11"X25") built to DIN standards, and I still use it today.

    School will also give you the background to be able to distinguish between features and options that you may or may not need when you purchase your own.

    If you happen to have some extra money lying around, consider this:

    http://www.hardingeus.com/index.asp?pageID=63&prodID=29

    BTW, last year's purchase price was around $43,000.00. I can't afford it either.

  14. #14

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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    Michigan? Dont know where Hesperia is but I have a brother inlaw in Coldwater that teaches machine tool courses at a trade school. Covers lathe, mills, cnc and so on.
    Edwin

    PS- Oh, I see where Hesperia is. Never mind.

  15. #15

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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    I do have some experience with lots of machines. I worked in a shop where they made several types of engines. Aircraft, Army Tank engines and numerous 4 & 6 & 8 cylinder engines. I have run mills, multiple drills, lathes, and much more. You got to understand though...most of this equipment was set up for running. I more or less just changed tooling. Except for when I worked in experimental. There I got to do some basic set-ups on my own. The small lathes like a 9x20 are different to set up than their bigger brothers. That is why I ask certain questions for the smaller machines. It is guys like RCIGN1 that really knows his stuff on setting up about anything you would need to do with the machining /conversion of the RC engines we admire. And there are other guys like REV Av8tor and a few others that do a fine job also. I hope you all understand what a privilege it is to ask and get very good replies back when needed. I hope you all continue to share your knowledge and experience. To me this RCU would not be much at all except for the great guys that help and share. I am not good at typing....it took me way to long to type this short post. Take Care and Best Regards to ALL! Capt,n
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  16. #16

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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    Capt,n

    If you have had some experience running the machines, running the 9x20 won't be much different. Actually, the work setup isn't any difference than a large lathe, just the size of tools needed. I ran a number of lathes when I was on my apprentiship, the largest being around a 20x196 or so and the smallest an old flat belt driven 6 x 18. I've done some really fine work on the big old guy, turning a three step screw that had #2-56 threads on one end and was only 1/2" long. A job like that is a lot eaiser on the small lathes.

    There is more to a conversion than turning on a lathe though. I would expect some drilling and tapping is required and some milling also. That is why I suggested a mill attachment for the cross feed. If you have the bucks to spare, a Taig Mill would be money well spent. You can even turn on the mill with the right setup. Same as you can mill on a lathe with the right setup. Both are compromises though, and one of each is best if you can.

    Another group you might enjoy looking at is the Taig group on Yahoo. It covers both their lathe and mill. The Taig lathe lacks power feed, so threading on a stock lathe is limited to using dies. There are a number of modification though that have been done and the result is a very nice, small lathe. Guys have CNCed their lathes and mills. I did my mill and it is impressive what you can do with it.

    Don


  17. #17
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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    captinjohn, I did a lot of research in the past few months on home shop machine tools. Here's a good comparo on the popular Chinese "mini-lathes". http://www.annisquamgranite.com/lathecomparo.htm This and other reviews made me shy away from the 7x and 9x. They are good machines and, if properly set up and equipped, can be great for the kind of micro machining we do on small engines. I took their advice and got an 8x14. It also has its shortcomings, but overall a better compromise for what I need in a mini-lathe.

    If you have somebody that knows about machine tools and can scout with you, a used lathe can be a tremendous bargain. The trick is to know what a used-but-not-abused tool look like.
    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

  18. #18

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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    Volfy: Is the Lathemaster sold by HF or where? Sounds like a better built unit. Thanks Capt,n UPDATE is this the lathemaster? 190lbs? http://www.lathemaster.com/LATHEMASTER8x14Lathe.htm
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  19. #19
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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    captinjohn, yes that is the LM 8x14.

    Several websites reviews have claimed that the HF 8x12 and the LM 8x14 are made by the same factory. I have not seen the HF version in person, as none of their retail outlet I visited stocks it. I did download the HF manual, and judging by the description and parts diagram, I'd say they are identical twins. The HF 8x12 is the absolute bare-bones version, lacking the goodies that come standard with the LM 8x14 (faceplate, stead rest, splash guards, floor pan, 5' 4-jaw chuck, etc.). But it is a lower cost starter. Bob Bertrand at Lathemasters is a great guy with a well-known reputation for service. He also has a larger 9x30 with similar features.
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  20. #20

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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    Yep, Grizzly's the same, different color. Same goes for Jet. The HF comes with all the accessories except the 4 jaw chuck. Grizzly also has a decent manual online for the 9x20. Grizzly also has a good supply of spares and good service. Best deal is to buy to from an HF store and get what parts you need from Grizzly. HF can take a while to ship spares. Grizzly's price for a 9x20 is a bit higher, and you have to pay for shipping.

    The 9x20 has been called a lathe kit, because you usually have to take it apart and clean it and put it back together. Haven't had to do that to mine yet, the more recent ones seem to be getting built better.

    Steve

    PS Forget the stand, its way to short for those of us who are over 5'0".

  21. #21

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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    Question: The 8x12 is $439 + $50 for 4 jaw chuck, now($489) and reads like better quatity. The 9x20 is $699. That is over a $200 difference. So the question is....will the 8x12 do all the things needed for converting engines say up to 150 cc. Mostly 25-50 cc. Thanks Capt,n
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  22. #22
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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    I remember, back probably 15 years ago, Grizzly was whining because people would buy these Foreign machines most anywhere and then try to get repair parts for them from Grizzly. Grizzly wanted proof of purchase before they would sell you a repair part.

    I always bought what accessories I needed from them without any problem.
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  23. #23

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    RE: Lathe for conversions


    ORIGINAL: captinjohn

    So the question is....will the 8x12 do all the things needed for converting engines say up to 150 cc. Mostly 25-50 cc. Thanks Capt,n
    The short answer is no. You will need some sort of mill/milling attachment. You can't remove webs and such with a lathe unless you can turn the piece, and there is nothing between the webs you want to save.

    If I had to limit myself to one machine for the conversions you want to do, it would be a Taig Mill with a sherline rotary table.

    If you look at an engine, there are only three things on it that are turned on a lathe. The piston, the cylinder, and the crank (with special jigs). So, if those are the only things you are going to modify, then a lathe will work. Anything else needs a mill

    Don

  24. #24

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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    3 things only? What about facing off flywheels... you can bore out where prop adpter seats against flywheel... turning prop adapters.... tapping and drilling dead center in adapters...turning outside of cyl fins to get a neat look...cutting base of cyl down to get more compression. I am sure there are more. I plan to have a seperate milling device. Maybe a good cross feed milling vise in a good drill press. Any other thoughts....anyone? Thanks Capt,n
    Imagination is far more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein.

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  25. #25

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    RE: Lathe for conversions

    What about this Lathe & Mill combo? Capt,n http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=46199
    Imagination is far more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein.

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