16 years ago
mini lathe and mini mill from Micro-Mark, and learned machining from
scratch. Since then I've made some neat little projects and learned a lot.
My very first Sterling engine worked! (until I tried to "improve" it) Now
I have an urge to move up to slightly larger machines, hopefully of a bit
better quality (more precise, better "feel", etc). I'm not sure if my minis
are getting sloppier, or I'm just noticing it more.
I have to stick to single-phase 110V.
So I'm browisng the Grizzly, Harbor Freight, and Enco sites, and there's a
lot to choose from.
I have a few questions:
- Will these larger machines have dials marked in inches (mils) like my
machines? I never see that in the specs.
- I'm going to have to get better at figuring out the correct speed to use,
because the larger machines don't have a variable potentiometer speed
control like I have on my little machines, right? If I find my speed is not
correct now, I just reach over and twist the dial a bit. Looks like on the
bigger machines I must shut down before picking a different speed.
- Will these generic China-made machines actually be any better quality
(hard to define) than my minis, or just a larger version of the same thing?
I expect they'll at least be stiffer overall, able to take a little bigger
bite out of the metal.
- If these sorts of machines aren't better quality, where else should I be
Thanks a lot