Ok, now what...

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Aces-High

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Picked this up my local Craig's list for $350. Any suggestions for the basics I will need for kitless would be appreciated.

Jason


16059798778091530709747517697271.jpg
 
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skiprat

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Step one is to learn that machines and your capabilities. Practice sharpening the bits to get a decent finish on various materials. Understand how to use the gears. The ratios listed on the cover are just the common ones.
Taps and dies will always be easiest for threading but learn how to do external threads on various materials.
Small internal threads can be a pretty advanced job for a novice and even most pros will use a tap if possible.
Don’t be offended but the best way to learn is from your own triumphs and mistakes.
You guys have a phrase....Have at it...
 

magpens

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Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Congratulations !! . That lathe is in VERY good condition and I would unreservedly say that you got a bargain.

This lathe looks like it is probably a Sieg lathe (no name on outside, but probably on the printed circuit board inside).
Looks like it has a 3-jaw 4" chuck. ... That is very good, but a 4-jaw 4" chuck could be better ... keep it in mind for the future.
I have had my Sieg for over 10 years and it is still going strong.

First thing you need will be a couple of carbide cutting tools.

Contact .... rherrell .... (username on IAP) and ask him to make for you.

I recommend a round cutting tool (11 mm round cutter) on a 5/16" square "rod" holder (most suitable for the tool post on your lathe, I would think, but 3/8" might also work). . I have been using such a cutting tool made by him for 10 yrs. . The 11 mm round cutters can be bought from Global Tooling and I have ordered from them ( rherrell might not have any in stock). . I have been extremely happy with these. . They stay sharp almost forever.

So that will get you "doing something".

I do NOT recommend the triangular cutters that you can buy from general machine tool suppliers. . I think I see one of these (blue) on your lathe now.

One other thing you will need .... right from the start .... is a live center for the tailstock.

Soon you will find useful a "live" Jacobs chuck for the tailstock.

Start browsing the .... LittleMachineShop.com .... website.

Oh, couple of other things you will need are ... extra tool post and tool holders ... be careful what you buy cuz not all will fit ... plus parting tool blade

Contact me if you want to know more.
 
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Aces-High

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Jun 22, 2017
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708
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Boulder, Colorado
Congratulations !! . That lathe is in VERY good condition and I would unreservedly say that you got a bargain.

This lathe looks like it is probably a Sieg lathe (no name on outside, but probably on the printed circuit board inside).
Looks like it has a 3-jaw 4" chuck. ... That is very good, but a 4-jaw 4" chuck could be better ... keep it in mind for the future.
I have had my Sieg for over 10 years and it is still going strong.

First thing you need will be a couple of carbide cutting tools.

Contact .... rherrell .... (username on IAP) and ask him to make for you.

I recommend a round cutting tool (11 mm round cutter) on a 5/16" square "rod" holder (most suitable for the tool post on your lathe, I would think, but 3/8" might also work). . I have been using such a cutting tool made by him for 10 yrs. . The 11 mm round cutters can be bought from Global Tooling and I have ordered from them ( rherrell might not have any in stock). . I have been extremely happy with these. . They stay sharp almost forever.

So that will get you "doing something".

I do NOT recommend the triangular cutters that you can buy from general machine tool suppliers. . I think I see one of these (blue) on your lathe now.

One other thing you will need .... right from the start .... is a live center for the tailstock.

Soon you will find useful a "live" Jacobs chuck for the tailstock.

Start browsing the .... LittleMachineShop.com .... website.

Oh, couple of other things you will need are ... extra tool post and tool holders ... be careful what you buy cuz not all will fit ... plus parting tool blade

Contact me if you want to know more.
Do you have a good way of getting the cutting tool up to center? When I square the end it leaves a bump. I have just been using scrap segmenting bits to get it up.
 

Penultimate

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One way is to keep facing the end and raising the cutter until the nub is gone. Another way is to put a steel rule against the diameter of the stock and slide your tool against the rule. If the rule slants then you are off center. Adjust until the rule is perpendicular to the lathe bed.


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magpens

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Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Do you have a good way of getting the cutting tool up to center? When I square the end it leaves a bump. I have just been using scrap segmenting bits to get it up.

I use metal shims of well-defined thickness. . I use these to get the cutting tool edge up to center.
It is good to have a variety of thicknesses. . Some fairly thick ones you can make from steel stock ... 1/16", 1/8". . And some quite thin, which you can buy as a set from a machine tool store .... they might be called "Feeler Gauges" and will be 0.0015" thickness and up; you probably won't use the thinnest of these, but the ones in the 0.010" to 0.040" thickness are very handy.

There is an alternative to doing this, but it is a rather "dicey" approach in my opinion. . You can buy a tool post which has quick-change side pieces. . Some models give you side pieces which offer variable height. . They work up to a point but are a little difficult to adjust to accurate height. . The height adjustment is rather coarse and consists of a vertical screw which you adjust and tighten with a wrench, which is why I call it "dicey" ... it is not very accurate. . Shop around and browse at LittleMachineShop, but be careful what you buy ... I can advise to a limited degree.

By putting a slight tilt on your tool bit (use a shim at one end) you can get it so that it passes through the axis of your lathe when you use the cross-feed. . This will allow you to square your ends right to the center without leaving a bump. . I am not a machinist so I cannot vouch for this being an "approved" method.

One solution for pens (which require axial holes for most work) is to drill the hole (either partially or completely) first. . Then, when you do the squaring operation it does not matter if your tool bit passes exactly through center or not. . A little bit off is OK.

Of course, to drill the hole, it is best to already have a squared end .... but a "slightly" off square end is sometimes OK for drilling.
Not an ideal answer, I know.

Best solution is to accurately shim your tool bit up to height and then NEVER take the tool bit out. . Takes time to do the shimming.
This is one reason for having multiple tool holders.
 
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jalbert

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May 17, 2015
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Louisville, KY
Quick change tool post. It’s one of the best upgrades you can make, and it will solve your issues with centering the tool.

as far as tooling goes, I like both indexable carbide insert tools and standard hss tool bits that I grind.
Most important thing though? I would agree with skiprat and say to learn how to use the lathe completely. It will pay massive dividends (not to mention save you a ton of money) if you take the time to learn how to single point thread.
 
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Aces-High

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Boulder, Colorado
One way is to keep facing the end and raising the cutter until the nub is gone. Another way is to put a steel rule against the diameter of the stock and slide your tool against the rule. If the rule slants then you are off center. Adjust until the rule is perpendicular to the lathe bed.


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I have no idea what a “rule” is.
 

Jarod888

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Mar 11, 2012
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Brighton, Colorado
I have no idea what a “rule” is.
A rule is a metal ruler. Machinist rules are steel. On one side they are stamped or laser etched in traditional increments, 16th, 32nds, 64ths. On the other side the are etched in tens; not to be confused with a tenth, which is 1 10,000th of an inch, but rather 1, 10th of an inch and then also down to 1, 100rdth of an inch. They are for rough measurements only. Otherwise you would use a dial caliper for most things, or a micrometer for super accuracy. Machinist measurements are typically 1 - 1000th. For example 1/4 of an inch would be 250ths (250, 1000ths (.250)). Tenths are much smaller. In pen making, there is no need to be accurate to a tenth, in fact most Chinese lathes are only accurate down to 3 thou (3 thousandths of an inch) or less than the width of a human hair.

Now, an old Hardinge toolroom lathe could easily be accurate within a couple of tenths, but you would also probably be paying about 30000 for one, a wee bit different than 300.
 

jalbert

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I would appreciate any sites you guys buy this stuff from as well.
This “should” be the tool post set you need. This is what I got for my grizzly 7x14


I use something similar to this as far as indexable tools go. I would replace the inserts with ones made for milling aluminum (they are sharp and leave a nice finish on plastics. I’d just google them)


I like these for delicate internal work:

and these for heavier boring:

 

sbwertz

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Phoenix, AZ
Cool. I really need to use my metal lathe, or get rid of it. It is a South Bend 9" that I inherited from my grandfather, and used as a wood lathe until I got my real wood lathes. It is as big as a volkswagon and takes up a huge hunk of room.
 

Jarod888

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Brighton, Colorado
Cool. I really need to use my metal lathe, or get rid of it. It is a South Bend 9" that I inherited from my grandfather, and used as a wood lathe until I got my real wood lathes. It is as big as a volkswagon and takes up a huge hunk of room.
I'm sure you wont have any issues getting rid of it. People are desperate to find old iron like this. Depending on the features, etc., you could be looking at getting over 1k if you sell it.

More desirable features are a longer bed length, quick change gearbox and all the gears included for cutting threads.
 

sbwertz

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I have a bunch of collets for it, It is a South Bend 9A if I remember correctly. Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread!
 

Jarod888

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No worries, sbwertz. I'm sure you will be able to find it a new home when you are ready.
Ive been on the lookout for a metal lathe for some time. Phoenix is a long way away. Also, I dont really have the funds right now. Good luck when / if you decide to sell it.
 

bmachin

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Jul 28, 2013
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Owensboro, KY
Nothing at all to do with pen making, but if you are interested in learning to use a metal lathe from a hobby shop machinist point of view, take a look here and follow the lathe skills playlist:


Quinn's videos are down to earth, informative, and show her mistakes and failures as well as her successes. Well worth your time.

Bill
 

Pierre---

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Jun 10, 2012
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France
All this is fine, but I do think there is two things to get before everything else, that is a pencil and a paper, to draw the pen. No kidding.
 
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