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Time to buy a lathe

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Old 10-21-2012, 10:21 AM
  #1
Vettster
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Default Time to buy a lathe

Been wanting to buy a lathe for quite some time now. But have been holding off simply because Im not sure what to buy.

I would like something small enough for the basement. Dont want to invest huge dollars either but still want something good enough to turn aluminum shafts and drill holes for struts and stuff. Nothing major, I dont want to make my own gear and what not, just make the ones I have work and make gear pins etc...

Can you guys recommend a decent small lathe.

Thanks
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:41 AM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

I'm not sure how small you want. Look at Sherline for quality.
http://www.sherline.com/

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Old 10-21-2012, 11:46 AM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

http://www.harborfreight.com/7-inch-...the-93212.html
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:57 AM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

I have just bought a lathe for the same reason, to let me adjust parts to fit. I bought what is called a "mini-lathe", it is a generic pattern made by 2 or 3 chinese factories and sold under many brand or shop labels. The link in the post above takes you to one example. The mini lathe is small and light enoigh to be a worktop lathe. Purists may scoff at it but for the sort of work most of us will do it is more than enough. There is lots of info on the web such as mini-lathe.com. The only negative is the work required initially to clean and set it up, they aren't always assembled very well
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:02 PM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

I have had the older Atlas belt drive and it had speeds and feeds. I have tried Sherline and wasn't that impressed. I have had Unimate it had feed but no threading capabilities unless you bought attachments for each thread you wanted to turn. Ended up with a 36 inch bed Grizzly Gunsmiths lathe and never looked back. Now this may be large for your needs but look at the smaller bench top lathes by Grizzly. Their lathes come with quite a few attachments and their support is great. I live in Canada and my lathe was delivered to my door. The truck had a lift gate and the driver a pump truck. Together it was in the garage in short order. Check them out.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/cate...60000%7C700000

The 7 by 12 you will have to change gears to get your different feeds. The first quick change starts at the 9 by 19 size. The GO516 combo give you lathe and mill on the same machine but you will have to change gears for the lathe feeds. Look at the accessories that are included.

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Old 10-21-2012, 01:42 PM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

Thanks for all the reply's guys. Many to choose from. The Grizzly is nice but the shipping will be a killer. Ive noticed from reading reviews that everyone seems to complain about plastic gears. No I wont be using it for heavy work, but yes they will wear eventually.

How about this one? http://www.busybeetools.com/products...RAFTEX-CX.html Or is this to much for what I need? Sometimes its better to have more than you need for a little extra.
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:14 PM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

Tons!! of info on mini lathes here...http://www.mini-lathe.com/
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:32 PM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

I also had a 12x36 atlas and now have a 13x40 import lathe. Get the biggest lathe you can move / afford. Once you start adding tooling space gets tight. Also bigger lathes will have a larger spindle bore which is very handy for turning shafts and longer work. Check out Kijiji for used lathes. For the price of a mini lathe at Busy Bee you can get larger units like a 9x19. There is quite often newer import machines that have seen little use. Used machines normally also come with tooling that can really add up to buy new.

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Old 10-21-2012, 03:13 PM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

If you think about it you will end up paying the taxes for either purchase. Go to the Grizzly site and pick checkout I bet you will pay under $150 shipping which will still save you over $100. I think the limited bed at 12 inches and the limited throat or spindle diameter is going to disapoint you with this lathe. Good advice in going as big as you can afford even if it seems more than you need.

Used lathes near you
http://ontario.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-s...AdIdZ420644365

http://ontario.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-s...AdIdZ423835849

http://ontario.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-s...AdIdZ423565297

http://ontario.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-s...AdIdZ411067404
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:18 PM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

The Micro Mark lathes are almost the same as the harbor freight or Grizzly lt haathes but I have been told that the specs and qc are a bit better. I have the 14inch bed model and it has been a good little instrument. Much more accurate than I am Scotty
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:30 PM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Geoff_H

I also had a 12x36 atlas and now have a 13x40 import lathe. Get the biggest lathe you can move / afford. Once you start adding tooling space gets tight. Also bigger lathes will have a larger spindle bore which is very handy for turning shafts and longer work. Check out Kijiji for used lathes. For the price of a mini lathe at Busy Bee you can get larger units like a 9x19. There is quite often newer import machines that have seen little use. Used machines normally also come with tooling that can really add up to buy new.

Geoff
Just as Geoff said, buy the biggest you can, once you start using it it you will wonder how you did without it. buying the lathe is the cheap part, when you get into the tooling it can get expensive....better tooling better results

I have a medium size lathe 6" chuck a few times I wish I had a 8 or 10"

so going to make a home made Turbine ?
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:31 PM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

Boring a cylinder for a 1/4 scale radial with the Grizzly G4003G gunsmiths lathe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWJ9HChgBBQ
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:07 PM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

Thanks guys.. And no Angus..I dont think I would ever build a Turbine. Not even a kit

Thanks for the links Propworn. Ive read that a lot of these companies really lower their prices just before xmass, but will keep my eyes open for a good used one.

The problem is, its so easy to start out wanting just an sufficient size, but then you always think...hmmm maybe bigger will be better, and things can snow ball at that point. A good example was this time last year when I got sick of shoveling the snow on my 4 car driveway. So then I started looking at snow blowers. but then I decided that that meant I would be out in the cold(I work outside year round and hate being outside in the winter after work) so that lead to looking for a small truck mount plow. The next thing I know..Im the owner of a full size plow that cost $5000 and I only used it ONCE!! last year[:@]

Need to get back to the original intent. I just want something for very small jobs. I think 7x12 would be just fine for me. After all I dont have the largest work shop and I dont want it to take up that much room.

I know you might cring at what Im about to say Propworn..but Princess Auto sells the mini lathes for 499, but you have to place an order. From what Ive seen..there very similar to many of the other mini lathes others have posted.

Thanks agian for your replies guys
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:25 PM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

7x12 from Grizzly
Order Summary


Merchandise: $595.00
Freight: $129.00
Order Total: $724.00
13% HST 94.12
UPS Extortion charges $100 or more

= $918

Sorry..But Im going to buy it in Canada
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:47 PM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

Just got the harborfrieght 7x10 mini lathe ..its good...look in the AMA magazine there is a discount on it in there..got it $100 off.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:01 PM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

Quote:
ORIGINAL: NUNU

Just got the harborfrieght 7x10 mini lathe ..its good...look in the AMA magazine there is a discount on it in there..got it $100 off.
Yes Nunu...That is very similar to the one selling at Princess Auto though its a 7x12
http://www.princessauto.com/pal/prod...es/Metal-Lathe
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:39 PM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

I would also look at these....

http://www.taigtools.com/
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:44 AM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

I had the 7x12 lathe from Cummins tools. At the time it's was the cheapest place to get it. I think I paid $300 for it. It came with all the gears (for threading) 3 jaw chuck, live center, dead center, and basic tools.

Unfortunately for me... the addiction went too far... so I sold my 7x12 and bought an SL10 ($46k)


So... here's the shop before, and after.







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Old 10-22-2012, 05:59 AM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

Last year I bought a Smithy 1324 Granite Classic. Little more than the price of a new turbine at the time.
I couldn't be happier. I did notice that their offering more goodies than when I pulled the trigger.
I had to buy a SHOP CRANE, 2 TON FOLDABLE from Harbor fright to get it on the stand. I should have bought it 30 years ago. Think about it, less than a fiberglass kit that will inevitably end up worthless. all models do. Plus you can fix other things with it.
Check it out: http://www.smithy.com/granite/pricing/classic
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:39 AM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

Those 7x12 mini lathes are excellent, in the UK there are about four varients of the same lathe, warco one is green, Machine Mart do a yellow one, sealey do a red one and chester machine tools do one in the more normal grey/bue lathe colours called a conquest which I have myself for about 10yrs.

[link=http://www.chesteruk.net/products/detail/2]Chester machine tools[/link]

Chester at the minute are doing a special price which is actually cheaper than what I paid ten years ago!

They are an excellent little lathe and will do anything the average modeller will want, especially if you pick up a larger 4 jaw chuck for it.
It has also has a variable speed control so no need to change gears of pull at levers.

I did think at the time maybe I should have bought bigger, but I have found it is rare I need to do anything that requires a bigger lathe, and if I do I can get access to a larger one if needed.
The beauty is it takes up no room in the workshop and is bench top so you can move it about if you want.
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:58 AM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

I have a 7 x 12 Cummins like Dr. Honda and love it for what I have been making. I converted it to CNC and the thing works great, love using it and the price was right!
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:24 AM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

I don't have one but I have used a couple. I would say be careful of the diameter of the spindle hole, this will limit you more than you might think.

Also, I like the ones graduated in inches, one turn is 0.050 or 0.100. That is just a personal preference. I have been looking for a used 9x20 myself with no luck.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:26 AM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe


Just curious - could you guys please post here a list with specific items that you have actually built/repaired/modified with a lathe, preferably related to our hobby? Personally, I have yet to miss having one, but then again, I may be the one missing something...

Thanks in advance.

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Old 10-22-2012, 08:45 AM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe

I have a Jet 1340GH lathe.
I have made special size gears for my helies to get the speeds that I want instead of what the designer picked. Drastic improvement in performance.
I have made replacement struts because I did not have time to order a replacement.
I am constantly making spacers that are just the right size, for all kinds of things.
I also play with guns and use it in customizing and accurizing them.
I have made parts to fix or customize my truck and my motorcycle.
I lot of the stuff is tiny little "insignificant" things that can be made quickly or to just the right size.

My lathe does get a lot of hours put on it. It gets used at least once every other week for something.
My milling machine rarely sits for a whole week without getting used for something.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:51 AM
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Default RE: Time to buy a lathe


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Beavis


Just curious - could you guys please post here a list with specific items that you have actually built/repaired/modified with a lathe, preferably related to our hobby? Personally, I have yet to miss having one, but then again, I may be the one missing something...

Thanks in advance.

I could use my lathe everyday for somthing.
All I can say is if you had one and then you didnt you would definitely know how much you want one again

Here are three different items made in the past two weeks, in Brass, nylon and Wood
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