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Old 02-11-2017, 11:42 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Default Lathe

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeAMaker View Post
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.
I bought a 7x14 central lathe for 75 bucks used last year used out of a 2nd hand store.
Enco 9" x 20" Geared Head Toolroom Bench Lathe 3/4" HP 110/220V 1PH HBL-920E | eBay

To tool up for live cutting Indexer which you can make, veneer trimmer, trimmer tooling and mounting bracket add another 500.00 .

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Old 02-11-2017, 11:44 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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I agree with More4dan. Bed length can easily become a limiting factor. He is also correct that you are going to need to spend a few hundred on tooling to get started, but if you're careful you can spread it out.

Take a look at how the lathe is equipped. Here is a link comparing the various 7xwhatever lathes that are available today.

Mini Lathe Comparison - LittleMachineShop.com

I have had the MicroMark 7x16 for 3or 4 years now and am quite happy with it. here is the review that made me go with MicroMark:

Micro-Mark 7x16 Mini Lathe

Mini-lathe.com is full of reviews, tips, and opinions. A great resource.
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Old 02-11-2017, 06:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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I HATE metric. Did I say I HATE metric? I have always done my machining in inches and so thinking metric at my age is extremely cumbersome. When I sold my Bridgeport I still needed a small mill. I purchased a mini mill from Grizzly which has metric screws X and Y. I only do small things now for my clock repair but the metric feature is awkward so I am adding DRO. My only point is, if you prefer working in inches the lathe from MicroMark is the only one with inch lead screws. Any of the others will work if you are accustomed to working in metric. Whatever your choice in lathes you will enjoy it. Perfect opportunity to buy lots more cool tools.
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Old 02-11-2017, 06:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Quick chime in.
What diameter stock will you be using??? This will limit what you will buy. For example the little machine shop has a hi torque 7x16 with a 20mm through hole which is perfect for running fat kitless pens. But others I have seen are much smaller. So beware and be aware of what you plan on turning and how.

For me being able to load a 12" rod stick out an inch is nice so I can part it to length when need be and save on creating cutoffs.
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobS View Post
Quick chime in.
What diameter stock will you be using??? This will limit what you will buy. For example the little machine shop has a hi torque 7x16 with a 20mm through hole which is perfect for running fat kitless pens. But others I have seen are much smaller. So beware and be aware of what you plan on turning and how.

For me being able to load a 12" rod stick out an inch is nice so I can part it to length when need be and save on creating cutoffs.


The 7x and many of the larger mini lathes have a M3 taper in the headstock limiting the max thru diameter of about 0.8" The next limit on the 7x lathes is the 3" chuck with a thru clearance of about 0.625" but it can be bored out to 0.74". Or go with a 4" chuck that will match the M3 taper clearance. I bored my 3" chuck to 0.74". I can now turn my pen blanks round between centers and insert all the way into the chuck allowing me room to drill even on the short 10" bed.

Squaring up my head and tail stock took about 4 hours. It wasn't necessary for most work I do but in doing so I learned how to work on and adjust the lathe and justified buying a test gauge. No lathe in your budget is going to be perfect from the factory or after shipping or after you've used it a while.

I've been budgeting and looking for a mill for over a year, starting small scaling up features, pricing tooling and then punting on the cost. I shopped for a lathe off and on for 3 years. Saw the HF 7x10 on sale under 400 and just got it. Perfect no but I'm making chips and enjoying the heck out of it.

Danny


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Old 02-11-2017, 11:18 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockytime View Post
I HATE metric. Did I say I HATE metric?
I'm bi-measurement so I can use either :)
25.4 is the secret number. ;)

[/quote]
Whatever your choice in lathes you will enjoy it. Perfect opportunity to buy lots more cool tools.[/quote]

Well of course!!


Thanks everyone! lots of good info here.
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:33 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Through hole

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobS View Post
Quick chime in.
What diameter stock will you be using??? This will limit what you will buy. For example the little machine shop has a hi torque 7x16 with a 20mm through hole which is perfect for running fat kitless pens. But others I have seen are much smaller. So beware and be aware of what you plan on turning and how.

For me being able to load a 12" rod stick out an inch is nice so I can part it to length when need be and save on creating cutoffs.
Through hole ,,,, let me guess your a golfer too
Through hole = spindle bore ID .

Which is 1.3875 on 3of my cue lathes.
http://www.midamericapool.com/index_files/Page331.htm

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Old 02-13-2017, 09:45 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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I'll probably still wait until I can afford a bigger one, but this little guy is kind of cute!
Pros/cons any one have experience with it?
4" x 6" Micro Metal Lathe | Grizzly Industrial
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Old 02-13-2017, 10:27 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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About $25 less than my 7 x 10. You would not be able to drill on it. You could probably make a pen on it but not much else. I can't imagine turning steel on it with such low power.


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Old 02-14-2017, 11:30 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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YOu can always look for a used South bend 9", or an Atlas or Craftsman. Horse power is not going to be up there in any of these small lathes, but bed length on something other than a 7x will be better. Most of these have a minimum of 12". I bought a 6" Atlas/Clausing with about a 24" bed for about $500 a couple of years ago. Only thing to me that has a great advantage is a quick change gear box for threading. Having to change gear set ups is a slight pain, but otherwise not a huge deterrent. Small head stock hole is the other, but again can be worked around.
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