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Old 12-08-2017, 11:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default What all to budget for and what new metal lathe to start

I am seriously considering obtaining a metal lathe, I am looking for recommendations on how much to budget and what lathe you would recommend and what additional items are really needed.

I'm a buy once cry once kind of guy, so I'd rather stretch slightly, but want to keep it within reason. And Oh Yeah, I am planning to make pens out of stainless steel, aluminum and other metals--so it doesn't need to be extremely large....
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I have the grizzly G0602 , I use it to make the turning tools that i make.
I would recommended getting a variable speed wish I would of took that advice when i bought mine. Now I am spending more to convert it then it would of cost to buy the variable lathe from grizzly.

I added a 4 jaw chuck , quick change post bunch of different cutting tools and holders.

Drill chuck that doesn't require the chuck key.

I probably have at least $2-2200 in machine and tooling. Not counting the $-500 to upgrade to variable speed.
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Old 12-08-2017, 12:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I bought the same lathe as Hanau but got it with the DRO- vs. Then I bought a stand, lots of dies and taps, an extension, multiple mt3 drill chucks and adapters, deming bits, ss and brass stock for making jigs, and three different kinds of sets of cutting tools.....obviously more attachments than I needed but they were handy to have.

I think I have 32 to 3500.00 in it all. I am not sure I would have bought the DRO again...I really don't think it is all that handy.....but I am too new to really grasp what it is capable of. Also delivery was a PITA...but I am not sure what else you would do.
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Old 12-08-2017, 12:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for that fella's, I feel I have some more research to do, especially on cutting tools and chucks and so forth, bu that's good intel on the Grizzly stuff.

Appreciate it---Don
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Old 12-08-2017, 12:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Went through this exercise. I came up 4k, but didn't want to spend 4K on a overseas product. It appeared that the Precsions Matthews was a way to go if 4k is your budget. There are many folks delighted with a HF metal lathes as well as the Grizzly. Enjoy the journey...I didn't :-)
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Aluminium is easy to machine. Stainless and Titanium on the other hand need stouter machines because you can't take light cuts as they will work harden to the point of destroying the tool. The 10x20 lathes are the lightest you can work with. Heavier is better. Chucks, measuring tools, tool holders and bits will end up costing as much as the lathe or more. If you think there is any chance of making bigger things then size the lathe for that work. Used machines can help with the costs if you can find a good one. Another branch of the slippery slope.
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Be sure to visit LittleMachineShop.com ... great company to deal with but a little more expensive than Grizzly. . LMS has tons of accessories when you need them.

https://littlemachineshop.com/produc...cts&term=lathe

For sure, get electronic variable speed control right from the beginning ... it is so convenient for doing everything associated with pens

Get a 4-inch 3-jaw chuck, (and a 4-inch 4-jaw chuck ... this is not essential but a nice-to-have and perhaps can be left for a later purchase), both chucks of the self-centering type. . The lathe probably comes with a 3-inch 3-jaw but I find that is a little too small, especially when you want to drill pen blanks on the lathe. . The 4-jaw chuck allows you to put a round 3/4" blank in the jaws and spindle throat and have it held securely while you drill

IMO, there is no need to buy a quick change tool post, but you should get a couple extra of the tool posts that come with the lathe (they are only about $25 each).

You will also need a dead center for the headstock, and you will need a Jacobs chuck (5/8") with arbor for the tailstock. . I believe that a live center for the tailstock comes with the lathe.

Buy a cutting tool from hanau (he will know what you need) and a couple of extra round cutters (store until you need 'em).

And that's about it to get you going.

I have a 7x14 Sieg-style lathe (these all seem to come from the same factory in China) and I have trouble doing mild steel on it. . I have never tried stainless.

If you are serious about doing metals other than aluminum and brass, you may want to go up in size and quality (8.5x16 or 10x20) and in addition to LMS I think Precision Matthews is also worth a look.

http://www.precisionmatthews.com/pro...tegory/lathes/
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Old 12-08-2017, 03:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Magpens, thanks for that info--very useful--

Tony it sounds like you didn't like going to a metal lathe--what's the story there?
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Remember, you asked for the story (and I don't lie).

I was willing to spend the 4k or so. I spent 2 months researching and asking questions including those on the Practical Machinist forum (who really don't want to talk about Chinese lathes..several members sent me PMs with advice and named the lathes above) and The Hobby Machinist forum (they will talk to you about anything...real friendly folks). The IAP folks here were naturally forthcoming and generous with excellent advice. I also called re-sellers of the lathes (all were very happy to answers my questions over and over again). I even visited our good member, Ben Kelley, and I saw the nice work that he does with his metal lathe and made a pair of SS bushings. I really only wanted to turn stainless steel and I thought it would be fun to make bushings and learn metal turning or whatever it is called. So was I about to buy a PM or the TOL LMS model. After all of the above, the following hit me:

I don't want to make the time to learn metal turning (the right way).

My BIL's brother can make me all of the bushings that I want and as many as I want for free (I always send him unwanted gift cards, but he literally make me dozens). I also buy bushings from Nakita, Constant, etc.

I only really wanted to turn stainless quickly.

Being a newbie to this equipment, I would absolutely have no idea how to tweak it and maintain it. Many that I talked to mentioned what they did to theirs to get it just-so. I am delighted that I have removed the bearing from my Jet and replaced the belt...that is as much as I want to maintain or tweak anything).

Lastly, as arrogant and silly as this sounds, I didn't want to spend 4k on a tool that many believed (I know I shouldn't care, but I do) was not worth of being called a metal lathe. I told you this statement was going to sound silly and arrogant.

I have many higher priced "toys" that I don't touch, but they are have intrinsic and extrinsic value to me. This purchase would not given all of the above (time to learn, what I wanted to do, availability of bushings, unfamiliar with equipment, 4k. etc.).

That is this kook's story. I will repeat what I said earlier: many, many, many folks love their HF 7Xs to the PMs and "above" (in fact, there are FB groups just for 7X MLs) and turn some really neat things with them. The equation just didn't make sense to me.
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Tony, thanks for that, I may be headed down a similar path. I converted my Nova DVR XP lathe from 110v to 220v and have made a few other maintenance type repairs-similar to my Drill Press and few other tools, but that is the max of tool 'repair,tweaking' I want to do.

I have been thinking I wanted to make some pens out of stainless, and brass---as well as make some bushings for use on my current woodturning lathe--I don't have a relative that is a metalworker, but I also am a knifemaker and I was thinking if I bought a drill lathe combo, I might could mill slots in guard material and do some other knifemaking oriented stuff with it too.....so the research continues at this point.

Thanks again--Don
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