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Old 02-10-2017, 03:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Starter Lathe

I have looked at about 1000 lathes now and can't keep them straight.
What would you experienced guys recommend for a good starter Metal Lathe for less than 1K?

Thanks.
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Old 02-10-2017, 03:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I've heard good things about Grizzly lathes
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I have a 7x14 lathe that works well. There are a lot of modes you can do to make it easy to use. Little Machine Shop seems to have good lathe values.


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Old 02-10-2017, 09:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Thanks, I've looked at the one on Little Machine shop for 599 a lot.
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I have gotten good service from a microlux 7x16. Sold by micromark. If you are not in a rush, they periodically have sales at about $100 off.

Optioning up can drive up the price quickly. Things like digital readout, QCTP, collet chucks, indexed tooling are nice. But you can get by without them to stay on budget.

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Old 02-10-2017, 11:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I went through this over the summer with a budget of 3k and still couldn't find what I wanted. I figured it wasn't meant to be (for me). Continue the hunt, you will find one!

This is a very friendly site (of course, the IAP is the best) : http://www.hobby-machinist.com/portal/?page=3
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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I guess my biggest issue is not knowing what features I should be looking for. Horse power, tool holders, chuck size, just assuming I plan to do a bit of everything. I don't want to spend $800 on a machine and then find out I need to spend another $800 just to use it when I could have purchased a $1200 machine ready to go.

I'll check out that link -Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I guess my biggest issue is not knowing what features I should be looking for. Horse power, tool holders, chuck size, just assuming I plan to do a bit of everything. I don't want to spend $800 on a machine and then find out I need to spend another $800 just to use it when I could have purchased a $1200 machine ready to go.

I'll check out that link -Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I would start with what you plan on using it to make. Then try to imagine what you might also make say in the next 5 years or so.

I needed a small lathe to make parts for custom knives I make. Then started making pens and it's about all I use it for now. I have a HF 7x10. It does everything I need for pen making. Drilling long blanks and large diameters push me to the lathes limit on length. It works but I now wish I had the 7x14. I've spent about $300 in tooling, quick change tool post, centers, drill chuck, cutting tools, and measuring tools. If your total budget is $1000, your looking for a $600-&700 lathe. Little Machine Shop is a good resource for information, replacement parts, and tooling. Don't forget to look into parts and accessories that fit the lathes your considering.


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Old 02-11-2017, 11:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by More4dan View Post
If your total budget is $1000, your looking for a $600-&700 lathe.
I'm seeing that. I think I might wait a bit longer until i can afford to dump about 3K into a Machine, extras and tooling.

I've also been reading a lot about people spending a lot of time and money just getting the low end "cheap" lathes working properly and accurate. Something I don't have the patience for. If I buy a square, I expect it to be square, if you know what I mean. So maybe I should look into the 1K-2K range for a machine.
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