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Old 06-12-2017, 11:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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I turn Stainless Steel on mine. I use cutting fluid and shallower cuts 0.010". I've also cut hardened Stainless Steel Damascus with carbide cutters. I made a simple tool rest for mine to use it just like a wood lathe.

I also use it to make my own specialty taps for Bock and JOWO fountain pen sections, they cost $40-$50 each.


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Old 06-12-2017, 11:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithbyrd View Post
So with the 7x12 you can't turn steel/stainless or you have to go slower?

You can turn steel by taking VERY light cuts. I have not tried stainless.
My version of the lathe has only 1/3 HP motor

Phone LMS and ask to talk to Chris ... he knows everything about the mini lathes and mills that they sell.
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Old 06-13-2017, 01:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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You can most definitely cut all metals... or most. I haven't cut everything, but I've cut stainless, carbon steel, carbon fiber even, carbon damascuss, stainless damascuss, copper, brass, aluminum...
I attached(or hope I did) a picture of a stainless steel damascuss (vegas forge) ring I made with a Jack Daniels whiskey barrel inlay with a carbon fiber spacer. All turned on my little Grizzly 7x12 mini lathe.
I apologize for not having more pen photos but I'm mostly a ring maker. Like I said in the previous comment tho, I run this little metal lathe almost daily.

Lubricant. Depends on how hot the metal is getting and if your tool is having trouble cutting. With some metals it's hard to take a skim cut (like copper) and will require a bit more of a bite. (That is up for debate, but I find a much cleaner cut with a nice deep pass [moving my tool in about 0.020" yes that's a deep pass on this baby lathe]) I usually use threading oil (picked it up a local parts store) when I cut any kind of steel. Other than that I almost never use lube.

Get a good set of carbide insert tools (little machine shop is the place to go for those) and you shouldn't have any issues with most metals you cut.

A big draw back the 7x12 is cutting your own threads. You have to change out the gears and the lead screw likes to pop back into neutral which usually ruins your threads. If you'd like to cut your own threads without using a die I'd get a larger lathe with a built in gear box, but if you are just looking for some more accuracy and the ability to simply cut metal I'd say it's a great choice. I love mine... but I am looking for a bigger one. I would like to to be able to turn more larger projects. I'd also like to be able to run larger bar stock through my headstock so I can in a sense mass produce some of my projects by cutting them off and extending the bar out for the next piece. The 7x12 lathe only has a 3/4" spindle bore (however the chuck does not, which is easily fixed by removing your jaws and very carefully running a boring bar through it to open it up, I did this months ago and have had zero issues with it since, I might suggest taking it off and check to make sure you won't cut through the walls first)

To turn my kitless pens (still in the experimenting phase) I run a 3/4" rod of alumilite I fasted through the headstock and cut pieces off as a finish them. If you have any questions feel free to message me. I'll give you my number and we can talk. I'd even be willing to video chat with you and show you the differences.

Hope I didn't run on for too long hahahaha
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Old 06-13-2017, 01:53 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:48 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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i would not get the C3 from LMS. i would go ahead and buy their HI-torque 7 x 16 for the extra $300 you will certainly not regret it later on. the difference in craftsmanship is remarkable.
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Old 06-13-2017, 08:24 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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You all have given some great responses! I really appreciate it - I am moving forward with the gift from my wife.
I won't even try to respond to each persons post just say Thank you to ALL of you!
We are in the process of selling our house and moving to PA in the next month or two - pray for my house to sell! But with this move it will probably be 2-3 months before I actually get to use it!
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Old 06-13-2017, 08:32 AM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by keithbyrd View Post
You all have given some great responses! I really appreciate it - I am moving forward with the gift from my wife.
I won't even try to respond to each persons post just say Thank you to ALL of you!
We are in the process of selling our house and moving to PA in the next month or two - pray for my house to sell! But with this move it will probably be 2-3 months before I actually get to use it!
Where in PA if close to oxford or reading you can visit my shop in north east MD.
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Old 06-13-2017, 08:41 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Also, if you are moving to Pennsylvania, that is where www.precisionmatthews.com is located. They are highly regarded in the lathe business as far as I can tell. He gives a little longer warranty I believe and maybe bundles stuff in packages so you get more of what you need without piecing everything together.

I assume they are same lathes as the Sieg, but you might want to check them out.
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:51 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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A couple of suggestions:

First go to Mini-lathe.com. Read the reviews. Lots of good background info on metal lathes, accessories, and lathe work.

On Little Machine Shop's site, go here for a comparison of the available c3 lathes:
Mini Lathe Comparison - LittleMachineShop.com

The Micro-Mark and the LMS Hi-Torque are essentially identical machines. The main difference is that the MM controls are .050"/rev and the LMS controls are 1mm/rev. Prices are comparable; shipping from Micro-Mark will be UPS and probably be less.

FWIW

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Old 06-13-2017, 11:05 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leehljp View Post
I was around lathes and milling as a kid and I remember watching machining with oil cooling. But on the Seig, on Grizzly and on other small lathes, I don't see oil cooling and lubing.

IS oil cooling/lubing not necessary on small lathes? How do you keep the temps down and lube the cuts when turning machining aluminum, brass, steel, etc.?

Thanks for your insight on this.
Some lube is always best (IMHO) when cutting metals, especially aluminum. It can be 'sticky' and welds itself to the cutting tool at times. I keep a spray bottle handy with cutting fluid, especially for drilling. Light turning can be done dry without a whole lot of heat, but I still give a squirt every few seconds.
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