I'd like to buy a small lathe

Hi all, I had a Harbor freight lathe that I bought used. While I got some utility from it, it was rusted after a hurricane
damaged my shed roof. I sold it cheap letting someone else do the clean up. So, I want another lathe, I don't want anther HF unit, not even sure I want one of the larger Grizzly Lathes. Might be convinced though. I have looked at Bolton Lathes and they interest me, But I'm really stretching what I want to spend at $2,000 by the time I buy some accessories. I have looked for a used lathe, but I don't want to start with other people problems. Any suggestions what to look at?
Mikek
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On 4/12/2020 1:51 PM, amdx wrote:







They come with dead centers, would you add $35 for a live center? What other accessories would you add?
Mikek
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On 4/12/2020 11:51 AM, amdx wrote:







Ask Mark Wieber for one. He has dozens that mysteriously "appeared" in his "shop."
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On Sunday, April 12, 2020 at 4:26:37 PM UTC-4, Michael Terrell wrote:


up. sure I

lly



>

Yawn...........................
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On 4/12/2020 11:51 AM, amdx wrote: > Hi all, > I had a Harbor freight lathe that I bought used. > While I got some utility from it, it was rusted after a hurricane > damaged my shed roof. I sold it cheap letting someone else do the clean up. > So, I want another lathe, I don't want anther HF unit, not even sure I > want one of the larger Grizzly Lathes. Might be convinced though. > I have looked at Bolton Lathes and they interest me, But I'm really > stretching what I want to spend at $2,000 by the time I buy some > accessories. > I have looked for a used lathe, but I don't want to start with > other people problems. > Any suggestions what to look at? > > Mikek
I guess it depends on what you want to do with it. Any lathe similar to the HF lathes is going to need work to be passable. That being said I made parts with my little HF lathe.
Little Machines Shop has lathes from $699 to 2349. IN that small lathe category. Chris tends to have better stuff than Harbor Freight. They are in California so I don't know if they are shipping right now.
Grizzly also has low price smaller lathes, but they also sell bigger heavier beasts. They even have a smaller one at 4x6 for only $427. Their 7x14 is almost $100 more than Little machine shop, but they have lots of options to look at.
Personally I like Precision Mathews, but my PM lathe is a 14x40 that weighs in at 2K lbs and $5K. It came with a ton of options, better specs, and marginally better price than a similar size Grizzly or Bolton. Harbor Freight, and Little Machine Shop don't have anything that size. I have heard negative reports on some of the smaller PM machines, but Precision Mathews will stand behind what they sell and send you anything you need to make it right if you have a problem.
I can't really recomend anybody or any machine unconditionally in the smaller size. They all have need to be gone through to be decent. If you know that upfront and expect it then you are fine.
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"amdx" wrote in message
Hi all, I had a Harbor freight lathe that I bought used. While I got some utility from it, it was rusted after a hurricane damaged my shed roof. I sold it cheap letting someone else do the clean up. So, I want another lathe, I don't want anther HF unit, not even sure I want one of the larger Grizzly Lathes. Might be convinced though. I have looked at Bolton Lathes and they interest me, But I'm really stretching what I want to spend at $2,000 by the time I buy some accessories. I have looked for a used lathe, but I don't want to start with other people problems. Any suggestions what to look at?
Mikek ================================================What do you want to do with it? If it's to make model engines etc you can size the model to the lathe, but for repair parts and prototypes of your bright ideas you may need a larger capacity, perhaps 8", 9" or 10" diameter.
Mine is a 10" and I make machinery I designed and repair parts for old equipment. I mostly could have managed with an 8" lathe, maybe a 7", but probably not smaller. When I was building custom electronics I had a little Prazi clone which had enough capacity though I didn't appreciate the lack of half nuts to disengage the carriage from the leadscrew.
I turn enough 1" shafting and drill rod to appreciate my lathe's 1-3/8" spindle bore. A bore that won't take 1/2" rod would limit the load capacity of axles you could make. 3/4" is a decent size for loads of several hundred pounds and 5HP motor pulley shafts.
Welcome to 2020. Now go home.
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"amdx" wrote in message
... I have looked at Bolton Lathes and they interest me, But I'm really stretching what I want to spend at $2,000 by the time I buy some accessories. ... Mikek
=========================I used a Smithy lathe/mill when the CNC lathe was busy, which was most of the time. Though I sorely missed my 10" South Bend's smoother controls and better ergonomics it was quite adequate to turn robot parts. The mill section's drive was broken so I can't comment on how useful it is.
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rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    I'm assuming you want a metal turning lathe? (I have various plans for wood turning lathes which can be as simple or as elaborate as you can imagine. "Some day ....")
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On Sunday, 12 April 2020 14:51:38 UTC-4, amdx wrote:

p.

Maybe smaller than you have in mind, but I'm pretty happy with my Grizzly G 0602, decent quality and has done most I needed to do so far. I added a li ve center (like this one, but MT3
https://i.imgur.com/6TBDxh7.png ) and a b unch of other tooling including an AXA quick change tool post and carbide i nsert tooling. Even got some CBN inserts last year that I've not tried out yet.
25mm is listed as the spindle bore, but mine will take 1" (25.4) easy.
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
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wrote:

What's THAT say about Chinese precision, eh?? I suppose that allows for tolerance of 500 thou - at worst case 1 " will fit? <BG>

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On 4/13/2020 3:34 PM, Clare Snyder wrote:

I don't think that so much reflects on precision, as it does an accommodation to the American market and Imperial units. Mikek
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Ya didn't see the <Big Grin> at the end eh???
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[snipppp]
Misread as "buy a small latte..."
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On 4/14/2020 12:13 PM, Clare Snyder wrote:

I didn't, but there is a bit of truth in questioning precision on many Chinese products.
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"amdx" wrote in message

I didn't, but there is a bit of truth in questioning precision on many Chinese products.
=============================================The remaining precision on old American iron like mine can be questionable too. Fortunately if you measure and understand it you can correct or work around (or frequently ignore) many problems. For example you can measure the out-of-squareness of the crossfeed by facing a disk and testing across the far side with an extended dial indicator, which will read double the error. It won't matter for the average pulley sheave, custom spacer bushing or shortened bolt.
Indicating the surfaces of the chuck is another good easy test. I found the worn and unworn sections of my lathe's leadscrew with an indicator, and now cut non-critical threads with the worn section, and critical ones on the tailstock end of a long bar.
The limit to your attainable accuracy is what you can measure, not so much what the lathe can do by itself.
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Several home machinist friends talk about having bought a partly assembled lathe kit, or a partly assembled milling machine kit. When they got them home they dissassembled them, did remedial machining and fitting, then did final re-assembly. Had pretty decent machines when they were done
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On 15/04/2020 02:07, Clare Snyder wrote:

There was a good write up in IIRC Model Engineer some years ago about the purchase/dismantling and rebuild of a Chinese gear head lathe and it was the usual sand in castings, fettling, and proper assembly. The author thought the parts were of high quality and well machined but assembled by monkeys but after all the work the result was decent .
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"David Billington" wrote in message
There was a good write up in IIRC Model Engineer some years ago about the purchase/dismantling and rebuild of a Chinese gear head lathe and it was the usual sand in castings, fettling, and proper assembly. The author thought the parts were of high quality and well machined but assembled by monkeys but after all the work the result was decent .
==========================I generally agree, except that the tee slots on the RF-31 table weren't quite parallel with the dovetails so I had to machine an angled key to mount the vise with its jaws parallel to X. The tee slot needed a bit of single-cut filing to make the key a light friction fit all along its length.
I've heard/read that whatever work can be done at home by mothers tending babies is, for social rather than economic reasons, like the 18th century British cottage industries. The specific job mentioned was casting Toyota tail light lenses.
There is a low level WW2 aerial photo of a burned-out Japanese residential district with the only things standing being a forest of the ruins of drill presses. It was used to justify more firebombing.
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"Clare Snyder" wrote in message .................. Several home machinist friends talk about having bought a partly assembled lathe kit, or a partly assembled milling machine kit. When they got them home they dissassembled them, did remedial machining and fitting, then did final re-assembly. Had pretty decent machines when they were done
==================================That's a cynical joke, the machine is sold mostly or fully assembled and "ready to use" but might as well be a kit of parts that need more careful deburring, final fitting and perhaps better-grade hardware. I had to re-tap all the threaded holes in the 3-in-1 combo sheet metal machine I bought used. The original owner had given up on it and I spent a while fussing with its crude adjustments, but now it works well enough for a hobbyist.
In my opinion they are useful machine shop apprentice training as long as you aren't on company time. Identifying and fixing flaws is a valuable skill. Used industrial machinery can have similar problems from wear, and trade school stuff from abuse.
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"speff" wrote in message ...... Maybe smaller than you have in mind, but I'm pretty happy with my Grizzly G0602, decent quality and has done most I needed to do so far. I added a live center (like this one, but MT3
https://i.imgur.com/6TBDxh7.png ) and a bunch of other tooling including an AXA quick change tool post and carbide insert tooling. Even got some CBN inserts last year that I've not tried out yet.
25mm is listed as the spindle bore, but mine will take 1" (25.4) easy.
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany ================================Good, we need more positive reviews of decent-sized machines that are currently available. It seems quite well equipped for the price.
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