HF Mini Lathe - Ready To Step up Already

I've got an HF 7 x 10 mini lathe and its actually done ok. Quite often it exceeds the workability of the materials, but I found it to be just a tad
under powered yesterday when I was roughing an injector nozzle out of aluminum. It could also stand a more rigid tool post / cross slide assembly. I don't plan to get rid of it as its very handy for some small work. In fact I plan to get the 14" bed for it from The Little Machine Shop, and if I can figure out a way to improve the rigidity of the tool post and cross slide I will.
However, I am looking for something a little better and a little bit bigger also. I'm not made of money and I was kinda wondering what a nice middle range machine would be without going to one of those names that is priced as much by name recognition as by quality.
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Bob La Londe wrote:

Logan , or it's Wards alter-ego Powr-kraft . Well supported , and they come up on eBay regularly , in all kinds of price ranges . Mine's a Wards 10X31 , and other than parting/form tools and some boring bar work it's as smooth as I could ask .
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Bob La Londe wrote:

The Harbor Freight 9x20 bench lathe would be the next step up at moderate cost. Wait for a 20% coupon and a sale and get a really good deal. It's light years ahead of the little 7x10 in terms of power and rigidity, and reported to be a decent machine if you spend a few days on the initial overhaul and setup.
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"Pete C." wrote:

Forgot to mention that it also gets you threading capability.
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Actually my little 7 X 10 claims threading capability and it came with a bunch of interchangeable gears for different thread pitches. My experiments with that so far have not been as wonderful as I would like, but I am a backyard machinist with zero education and zero professional experience in machine work.
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Bob La Londe wrote:

Ok, how about "easy quick change threading capability"?
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LOL. I can say that swapping the gears and getting everything lined up is not a snap on this 7X10.
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Bob La Londe wrote:

http://www.harborfreightusa.com/html/SingleMagLanders/americanprofile/images/20_c.jpg
http://www.harborfreight.com/9-inch-x-20-inch-geared-head-belt-driven-bench-lathe-45861.html
Yep, that lathe. The stand is sold separately. It's a big step up in capability from the 7x14, at a fairly small step in price.
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I guess I'll have to wander by the local store and see what the in store price is (if they have one), and if they will honor that coupon.
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Bob La Londe wrote:

Yes, the instant in-store gratification and lack of shipping hassle is a big plus. The fact that parts are available inexpensively, if slowly, from HF is another plus.
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The big headache for me with parts has always been finding the correct HF catalog number. Usually I resort to contacting HF customer service.
As far as gratification. Eh!. At $103 for freight and I have to pay sales tax whether I order it on-line or get it in the store even if it's a little more in the store the net is still sometimes cheaper.
Now to go visit some customers, the bank, and HF.
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Since when does _more than double_ constitute "a fairly small step in price"?
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Doug Miller wrote:

When the other options are 4x and up.
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Bob La Londe wrote:

Don't overlook used Taiwan-made Jet lathes. I have a 10x24 and I've made all sorts of stuff on it, including internal and external single-point threads. It's a little more noisy and a little more flexible than I'd like, but it has always gotten the job done.
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Is Jet better than other mid price models? I notice they cost a little more for tools the same size as some other manufacturers.
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Once upon a time Jet was Taiwan manufacture. My Jet items are a big band saw and a jointer. That is about 10 years ago, decent enough stuff.
Jet vs HF, I'd take a chance on Jet unless a bit of due diligence (googling your arse off) comes up with something otherwise.
Wes -- "Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
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wrote:

Ive worked on a fair amount of Jet machinery in the last 5-8 yrs..and its pretty decent right out of the box. Most of course is Chinese..but its a higher level than most. Not hugely better, but decent enough.
Gunner
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According to comments I've read over the years, the major difference between the Jet 9x20, and the generic models from various dealers, is that the spindle has an inch-thread, instead of metric. Another feature may be that the motor is UL approved, but I don't know how much that means when many domestic USA motor brands are now made in China.
The generic Asian 9x20 models are capable of cutting the metric spindle nose thread, although the thread chart doesn't show that they can. There is an expanded threading chart in an old Dropbox annual archive.
As far as getting the most for your money, the included accessories will probably be the best indicator.
After one makes a few improvements, and replaces the motor with either a DC drive or a 3 phase and VFD, the 9x20 models are a decent benchtop HSM lathe.
And I forgot to mench, the head/tailstock tapers are the same as the 7x models.
--
WB
.........


"Bob La Londe" < snipped-for-privacy@nospam.no> wrote in message
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Jim Stewart wrote:

I have a 10x24 Enco, made in the 1980s. Good machine. I use it most of the time rather than my Logan, which I just sold.
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