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Old 12-09-2017, 03:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
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You are welcome. I even looked at used American-made Southbends from the 40 and 50s. I drove everyone and myself nuts.
Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them? Abraham Lincoln



Member of Local IAP Georgia Chapter meets quarterly in Roswell, GA
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Old 12-09-2017, 10:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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You will need/want a collet chuck as well.
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:03 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default What all to budget for and what new metal lathe to start

I have a HF 7x10 and I have turned brass and stainless steel and even stainless Damascus steel that was so hard it could not be drilled with anything but solid carbide. For the harder materials I use a quality cutting fluid and carbide cutters. Itís motored through all of it. The only complaint is the bed length which my next project will be replacing with a 16Ē bed ($220). I spent about $400 in tooling for quick change tool post and tool holders, drill chuck, die holder, tap guide, cutters in HSS and carbide. Also dial gauges and a magnetic holder and some parts for tuning the lathe and some spare parts. Almost all from Little Machine Shop.

Iíve even used my little lathe to make specially taps for kitless fountain pens out of O1 tool steel.

I would have loved to have a bigger metal lathe but I couldnít justify the money for a new hobby at the time. The Little 7x lathes should be adequate for pens and most metals you might use. I have some Bronze and some titanium rod in my supply bin that may challenge my mini lathe next.


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Old 12-10-2017, 06:07 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by stuckinohio View Post
You will need/want a collet chuck as well.
To join the thread; I second that! Get a collet chuck and a set of collets. You can get a chuck for your wood lathe and another for your metal lathe. Get the same size chuck and the collets are inter-changeable. ER32 will meet most of your needs and is most common. Chucks come in two general classes. Preferred chucks have a thru hole so you can feed long stock thru the back of the chuck. If the chuck has an MT taper on it, the rear of the chuck is solid and stock can't be fed thru. For long stock you may want to make a "Lathe spider" Google that.

Get a set of METRIC collets. Fractional collet sets may have "gaps" above 1/2". A collet is labeled for the maximum size it will grip and the grip range is about minus 1/16" (~1mm).

I did an article awhile back about collets and chucks.

Randy S.
I got my WHOLE BODY tattooed, but I didn't want to be conspicuous, so I had them use invisible ink. ---- Stephen Wright
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Old 12-10-2017, 09:45 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Collets. Definitely. I have not even used the 3 jaw that came with the lathe. No matter what you think you might use the lathe for, there will be a lot of others that come up.
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Old 12-11-2017, 01:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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thank you Dan and Randy, that is good intel--I have a couple of sets of collets, one of them is still in the box, but I believe they are both MT-2 taper based sets....still plenty to think about!
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Old 12-13-2017, 06:34 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I would recommend a Precision Matthews machine because of the customer service. Being a first time owner you will need help if anything goes wrong and Matt( owner of company) will talk to you personally on the phone and walk you through whatever problem you have. There is also a PM sub-forum at the Hobby Machinist website that is VERY helpful, it's like the IAP of lathe forums!!!

I have the PM 1340 lathe and have nothing but good things to say about it.

I think their smallest lathe is a 1022 for about $2,000, it has a 1" bore, something you won't find on any other machine that size. It also has a camlock spindle mount, D1-3 I believe, so you won't need to fumble around with nuts and bolts every time you change the chuck, I have the camlock on mine and it takes about 1 minute to change chucks!

I would figure another $1,000 for tooling so for about $3,000 you'll have a machine that will serve you well for a LOOOOONG time!

Rick Herrell
Pilot Mtn.,NC

"The pain of using a cheap tool lingers long after the joy of saving money has passed"
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:35 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I have a friend who is an engineer and has used lathes all his life. A couple years ago he got a mid sized Grizzly and calls it the "cadillac" of all lathes he has ever used. I have a number of Grizzly woodworking machines and, IMHO, you can't go wrong with them. BTW, if you want American made, don't be fooled by labels. Many tools (Delta, Jet, lot more) come out of the same factories in China and Taiwan as the Grizzly's.
Mountain Home, Arkansas
"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." from Animal Farm by George Orwell
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:16 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I know I mentioned in an earlier post that I bought a Grizzly and was happy with it so far. I had been thinking about this post and the comments and decided to weigh back in.

I had decided multiple times to buy a metal lathe, then not, so on and so on. I was maybe a little different in my thought process.....my father was a machinist, a tool and die maker, lathe operator and a periodically a mill. He always said he preferred a lathe and a year before he retired, bid back from tool and die to engine lathes, which was a decrease in pay, because it was more enjoyable to him. He has been deceased for 17 years now.....I have his tools, tool boxes, and some various things he must have "acquired" ( reamers, carbide cutters, etc). I felt it might be some backward way ti re-connect to him. After deciding to not buy a metal lathe, I always seemed to come back to looking at them. So I had set aside some money towards it and one day, I got a notification that the lathe I was looking at came off of backorder, and I just ordered it before I could change my mind again.

Would I get a grizzly again? I think so.....is it the pinnacle of lathes?...certainly not.
Many years ago I had started to purchase Porter Cable cordless tools....at the time they were a very good brand, second to maybe Milwaukee. They were all 12 volt....well as you know things have changed...the batteries got tired and I was walking through HD with my wife and they had one of their famous Ryobi displays.....5 tools for whatever price...I made the comment, oh that's kind of cool. A month later I opened my Christmas gifts to discover that very kit. Being a tool snob, I thought OMG! Being a good husband, I said," Wow, this is great!" That was ten years ago...I now have a huge collection of Ryobi tools and have never worn one out (admittedly they were not as good until Lithium batteries came out) I really do not regret ever going with Ryobi.
Are they the pinnacle? Certainly not....but I look at it this way....I do not use them every day...they do not make my living for me...I have 1/2 to 2/3 the cost in their tools I would in Milwaukee or DeWalt....I have never worn one out.... I can have two of these for the cost of one of those, even if I do wera one out. I'm happy. I look at my Grizzly the same way.

Sunday I had a friend over that has a mini lathe and let him turn a bowl on my Laguana Revo lathe. But, I really needed to drill about 15 pens, so I used my PSI pen blank chuck on the Grizzly. I was done in about 3 hours. While the Laguana is an awesome machine, I was impressed by how precision and "tight" the grizzly was. The Laguana has a 4" reach to the tail stock and the Grizzly only 2.5, which I did miss, but re-positioning was easy and always dead-on. I am not sure I will go back to Laguana to drill from now on.

I do have this strange kindred feeling to my Dad when I use it, but all that aside, I really do like it. It's a great tool. Am I going to use it all the time? No.....I have sawstop that I paid over $3000.00 for and planer that was 1500....on and on....do I use this all the time...no, this is just another tool in my shop. ( I'm not bragging about tools I have...I am 61 years old and have been doing this since I was 21...I should have good tools by now)

Just my .02, it is not my intent to counterdict anyone else....
Mike aka: Moke


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Old 12-17-2017, 09:59 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Rick, I really appreciate you weighing in, your opinion means a lot to me--I have looked at PM and wasn't sure which machine to really look at-so Thanks. and thanks to all you other folks that have weighed in--I appreciate all the input.
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