What is a lath good for

I found a 36 inch used metal lathe for sale for 350. What would this be
good for? I like working with metal. I have a couple of welders and am
wanting to increase my tools in my garage!
Reply to
stryped
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My very limited experience with lathes suggests that if this 36" lathe is in okay condition, you can sell it on ebay for more than $350. So, definitely buy it, if not for anything other than resale and quick profit. Maybe post more details about it and someone more knowledgeable would give you a more definite advice. Do not procrastinate on this...
I am seriously thinking of buying a 36" lathe for much more (no shipping though).
Some things you can do with lathes are, making various conical shapes, making threads, drilling holes along the axis of rotation, etc.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus16317
IIRC I've heard more than once that, "The lathe is the only (common) machine tool which can reproduce itself." - With a little help from a human.....
Given that you can turn, drill and mill with a lathe and some proper attachments, I suppose that's true for the machining steps.
Though I wonder if say a 36" lathe would have enough capacity to handle the parts needed to make another 36" lathe or whether you could only make a smaller size lathe on it. Sort of like most living things, except that baby lathes don't get larger as they grow older, huh?
Jeff
Reply to
Jeff Wisnia
IIRC I've heard more than once that, "The lathe is the only (common) machine tool which can reproduce itself." - With a little help from a human.....
Given that you can turn, drill and mill with a lathe and some proper attachments, I suppose that's true for the machining steps.
Though I wonder if say a 36" lathe would have enough capacity to handle the parts needed to make another 36" lathe or whether you could only make a smaller size lathe on it. Sort of like most living things, except that baby lathes don't get larger as they grow older, huh?
Jeff
Reply to
Jeff Wisnia
How do you drill with a lathe?
Reply to
stryped
Making round things, with or without threads. Some people make fittings, steam engines, brass cannons, telescope/camera adapters...
Reply to
Dave
you insert a drill bit into the tailstock and push the drill into a rotating part that you are drilling. That's partly what tailstocks are for. Think hand gun barrels. Another use of tailstocks that I have seen is to support the "other side" of the part being turned (you first drill a little conical thing and insert a special supporting cone, whatever it is called in english).
Lathes are very beautiful things.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus16317
Normally...a "36 inch lathe" means (at least in the USA) a lathe that will swing an object 36" in diameter. A huge monster of a lathe suitble for making battleship parts, locomotives and such.
Now if its a lathe that can spin a part 36" Long...then thats exactly what you can use easily at home.
You can make pins and bushings, bolts, threaded items, flashlights, earthworm shockers, clocks and watches, dead falls, blunt instruments, test equipment, diamond cutters, sex toys and sex machines,
Look around you. Virtually anything round can be made on a lathe. The uses are endless.
I just made a bunch of contact tips for my several MIG welders a few weeks ago. I think I now have a lifetime supply
Gunner
Rule #35 "That which does not kill you, has made a huge tactical error"
Reply to
Gunner
Can you "mill out" with a lathe? Like make a rectangle hole bigger in a pto yoke?
Reply to
stryped
They're excellent for making little metal bits& spirals that get stuck in the carpet in the house . Your wife will comment on the new toy often! Make sure you're wearing large tread boots for the bit transferral, bare feet don't work as well (and you'd also have to invest in an optivisor and fine tweezers to remove the bits from your feet) ;-)
Reply to
bart
Another simple project that can only be done on a lathe. I recently repaired the sintered iron bushings in the front wheels of an old riding lawn mower. First I removed the iron bushings and usin the lathe, bored out the inside to exactly 1" diameter. Then turned brass rod to 1" diameter. I cut off pieces of this rod to the length of the bushing and pressed them into the iron bushings. Then using the lathe again, drilled the brass in the bushings and then bored them to exactly 3/4" to fit the mower axel.
Took about 4 hours per side, 8 bushings total, done over two Saturdays and all the wheel wobbeling is gone.
Keep the lathe, buy lots of tooling. Find lots of scrap metal and go to work!
Paul
Reply to
pdrahn
Similarly, my project for the weekend is repairing the blower motor for the outside unit on my heat pump. It's a fairly unique GE 1/2 HP, which would cost about $125 to replace. Only thing wrong is the drive-end bearing is barking. I took the aluminum endplates off last night to see if the bearings were replaceable. Turns out the bearings are part of the aluminum endplate, bored out to the 1/2" shaft size. I am going to bore the hole furter and press in 1/2" bronze or oilite bearings. I'd use sealed ball bearings, but I don't think there is enough meat in the casting to support them. But that's one thing a lathe will be useful for.
- - Rex Burkheimer WM Automotive Fort Worth TX
snipped-for-privacy@co> Another simple project that can only be done on a lathe. I recently
Reply to
Rex B
I do that by holding the drill bit in the tail piece, (either a chuck with the right taper, or a drillbit with the right taper), and the piece being drilled in the chuck (or held to a faceplate, I suppose). Works very well for then tapping that hole, to make sure it's exactly aligned with the hole you just drilled.
Look at it this way - lots of metalworking is done by rotating one thing while another thing is held still. Either the tool rotates, or the work rotates. It doesn't matter which is moving, it's just the relative movement between the two that makes it work. Figure out how to hold the tool, figure out how to hold the work, and make some chips.
Reply to
Dave Hinz
Camera adapter plates for medium and large format cameras. I think my machines have been used more for that in the last year, than for anything else. Having a friend who is a semi-pro photographer, and who knows lots of people, probably has something to do with that. It's fiddly, one-off, very occasional work, which is the sort of thing I like. Want one or two? No problem. Want a couple dozen? I know a guy with a shop, here's his card...
Reply to
Dave Hinz
I bought a relatively expensive oscilloscope recently, relatively cheaply, because it had a knob broken. Otherwise it works fine. I am going to make a replacement knob, maybe from wood, on my lathe. Hopefully this weekend. It will glue nicely on the knob stem.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus16317
Holding a concrete pad down! Seriously tho, check the lathe out for wear and operability. If it is even a moderately well worn lathe, it will be a valuable item for your home shop. If you're in the Southern Calif. area, I'd love to come over and do some work on lens cells for my telescopes as well as eventually doing some mounts for those telescopes. A 36" swing lathe can handle the large parts that need to be swung without any problems. I'd also put a 1 HP. 115V motor on the lathe so that you can use it without needing 3ph. power although that will mean that you can't take the big cuts that the original motor would be able to do.
-- Why isn't there an Ozone Hole at the NORTH Pole?
Reply to
Bob May
Got a picture of the knob you want? I have a bin of 'em...
Reply to
Dave Hinz
Cool, I will make pictures tonight. I believe that the scope is tektronix 2465 or some such. The knob is the top knob from some double knob.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus16317
Stryped sez:
"What is a lath good for?"
A lath is a thin narrow strip of wood useful for building lattices or holding plaster to walls.
Bob Swinney
Reply to
Robert Swinney
With the right tool attachments and a little ingenuity, there is little you CAN'T do on a lathe. As for your specific question a little more detail is required. If you want to mill a rectangular hole with rounded corners, then yes, with the proper tooling attachment sit might be done on a lathe (it might be better done on a mill). If you want a retangular hole with square corners, then I can't think of any rotating machine that will do the job. You will need a broach or punch.
For shaping metal the three fundamental machines seem to be the lathe, the mill, and the bandsaw.
Reply to
Kelly Jones

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