I have a Birmingham lathe as well. Run it at all speeds for 10 or 15
minutes per and then change the oil to a straight 15 or 30 weight
mineral oil (NOT detergent oil). You would not believe the amount of
crap that came out of mine. I figured most of it was sand and junk from
the headstock casting and some burrs off the gears. Runs quiet and
I also dug the bondo off the removable section of the bed as a project
in itself so as not to aggrevate myself when I really needed to remove
it at a later date during a project. I also powder coated it red to
remind myself that if the carriage is in this area to be careful.
Did you get the quick change Aloris style tool post? How about some
carbide indexible tooling? Cool stuff and well worth the extra money.
Look on Ebay for deals on the tooling.
It is sooooo nice to have a tight and straight lathe. Did yours come
with a spec sheet that shows allowable dimensions vs actual
measurements. All measurements I made showed their measurements were
accurate. Nice to have confidence in the people that made your lathe.
I've done some really deep cuts in stainless, spring steel and aluminum
at just about every speed without bogging the lathe or starting the bit
chattering. Carbide tooling is cool as the hotter you run it the better.
Only thing that was difficult with this lathe was removing it from the
back of my pickup and setting it where it was going to reside. Dang,
that turkey is heavy for its apparent size.
I bought mine from Bills Tool Crib in Sparks, Nevada. 2 day shipping via
a local freight line and he supplies larger than normal 3 jaw and 4 jaw
chucks with this lathe. (Check his catalog on the net to see if he still
offers the same deal I got.)
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Bart D. Hull
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