Which would you choose?

The continuing saga of a miser looking for a "wonderlathe":
1)
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I have a motor and lots of 1/4" tools of uncertain provenance. Would need a
chuck for the headstock and probably compound slide from this selection:
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I have heard good things about this. It would take care of small parts
(steel, 3/4" diameter). I am not sure how specialized and therefore
obtainable the parts are.
2)
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The apparent cost is over double of the Taig, but it comes with a motor, a
compound, 3-jaw chuck etc. which closes the dollar gap considerably. Lower
speeds, therefore almost three times the diameter can be handled, screw
cutting, auto feed etc.
The nearest mini is $200 more. Why, oh why, the short distance between
centres?
All in all, it seems that No.2 will do everything the No.1 will and much
more for a slightly greater sum. Does this make sense?
Reply to
Michael Koblic
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Michael Koblic explained :
#3?
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Wayne D.
Reply to
Wayne
I recently bought a new 7x12 Clarke (Sieg) minilathe, because it was available locally (no shipping) and it was a reasonable price: $380US plus local sales tax 6%.
The differences you may find by looking at various vendors, is that certain features vary, and the number of included accessories vary. Other than these differences, almost all 7x10 to 7x14 models will essentially be the same except for the length of the bed/between centers dimension (and paint colors).
The Busy Bee B1979C shows a 2 year warranty. Vendor support may be a determining factor due to the location of the buyer.
Some models may have all plastic gears. On one model I saw, the internal headstock gear was steel/iron but the external change gears were plastic. Some accessory packages include the steady and traveling rests and a faceplate, or an additional chuck, so prices will vary.
The Taig accessories are fairly expensive, and as accessories go, the user will generally want or need another, and another.
Accessories for the minilathes are somewhat more commonly available, and usually more generic.
Reply to
Wild_Bill
At $1390 before it even crossess the border it is almost 2.5 times the price of No.2. Sadly, not an option...
Reply to
Michael Koblic
Get the metalworking version, and the accessories to add woodworking capabilities. The price difference between the two compared to the cost of the cross-slide alone says this -- *if* you want the Taig.
Yes -- but it would not single-point threads (that is, cut with a properly shaped tool bit to make threads). Otherwise, it is a nice *small* lathe.
Most of the parts are rather specialized. The chucks are interchangeable with Sherlines, FWIW. The 4-jaw chuck which is available for the metalworking version is very good for the price.
I don't see the three-jaw chuck with the soft jaws which used to be part of the setup.
Much more swing over the bed. 7" for this, vs 4-1/2" for the Taig. The riser blocks can increase the swing of the Taig, but at the cost of rigidity.
It can single-point threads, but the slowest spindle speed is a bit fast for threading up to a shoulder.
If it has a threading dial (not clear there) it will only work with one of the two series of threads -- either only for the metric, or only for the inch threads.
There is no *list* of what threads it cuts, so we don't know whether any particularly useful ones are left out.
I would like to see a much more detailed list of what it has and what it will do.
About the same as the Taig, FWIW.
How will it do for the woodwork? I think that the top speeds are a bit slow for small diameter woodwork. The Taig can reach frightening speeds which would be very good for woodwork.
It almost seems that you should consider both -- one for you with metal, and one for your wife for wood. (And get her dust masks, too, since hardwood dusts are generally bad things to breathe.
Actually -- both are a bit too small in my opinion for anything that *I* would be doing these days. If you consider them as simply first (learning) steps, that could be different.
Good Luck, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
[ ... ]
Much nicer -- for the metalworking. Not any better for the woodworking. Really you need two different tools I think.
And the motor horsepower is much more reasonable, too.
Good Luck, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
I recently bought a new 7x12 Clarke (Sieg) minilathe, because it was available locally (no shipping) and it was a reasonable price: $383US plus local sales tax 6%.
The differences you may find by looking at various vendors, is that certain features may vary slightly, and the number of included accessories vary. Other than these differences, almost all 7x10 to 7x14 models will essentially be the same except for the length of the bed/between centers dimension (and paint colors).
The Busy Bee B1979C shows a 2 year warranty. Vendor support may be a determining factor due to the location of the buyer.
Some 7x models may have all plastic gears. On one model I saw, the internal headstock gear was "metal" (possibly die-cast zinc alloy) but the external change gears were plastic. Little Machineshop sells steel gears for many/all of the 7x models.
Some accessory packages include the steady and traveling rests and a faceplate, or an additional chuck, so be aware of those differences.
The Taig accessories are fairly expensive, and as accessories go, the user will generally want or need another, and another.
Accessories for the minilathes are somewhat more commonly available, and usually more generic. Parts and accessories for the 7x models are available from numerous sources, although the prices vary considerably for certain items.
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Something I discovered while looking at minilathe accessories is that a MT3 to 3C adapter and drawtubes are available for using 3C collets with the 7x models instead of using Morse Taper 3 collets. These adapters are for use in any machine that has a MT3 spindle with a 3/4" (.750") thru hole. This includes 7x models, South Bend and the 9x20 series lathes. The 3C collets are self-releasing, so they don't need to be driven/tapped out like the locking MT collets do. Additionally, the 3C collets allow the material to pass thru the collet, which MT collets don't. This allows longer lengths of material to be fed thru the headstock.
There are several suppliers of 3C collets in round, hex and square sizes.
Reply to
Wild_Bill
Michael For a look at what the Taig is capable of, at least in the hands of a genius like John Bentley, go to his site here:
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see also the mods he made to a BusyBee lathe...just beautiful!
Peter M
Reply to
Peter Merriam
On Wed, 17 Dec 2008 02:01:24 -0500, the infamous "Wild_Bill" scrawled the following:
That's an excellent price, WB.
Taig is (over)charging folks for their "famous" name.
Great site.
His is an EXTREMELY interesting work history, isn't it?
Thanks for an interesting post. I'm still looking for a mini-mill, then a mini-lathe.
-- It is pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed. -- Kin Hubbard
Reply to
Larry Jaques
I had a look. Wow! I only wish there was more text in the Craftex section: I did not always appreciate what he did. What are the odds you would find a guy with *both* machines I am interested in? He does not seem to have anything bad to say about either of them. Thanks.
Reply to
Michael Koblic
Thanks. That is what I kind of figured. If I was in the market for a mini lathe and money was no object there are better ones (IMHO) available at just under double the price of the Craftex in Canada. I did consider importing one briefly, but the shipping, taxes, "brokerage fees" and sucky Cdn$ as well as lack of effective after-sales care and warranty make it unattractive.
I was only looking at the Taig because of the very low base price of $275. I suspect, however, that one should splash out on a DC motor to get a better speed control. That and all the facts you mention about the accessories kind of close the gap on the Craftex.
Reply to
Michael Koblic
Due to some unfortunate circumstances the wood-working part has been post-poned indefinitely. I guess that is the question: Do I want the Taig? It seemed like the only way to start turning something for under $400.
I had a look at the Taig web site and their combo's are different from the Lee Valley. E.g. two out of three did not include the tailstock!
See, this is the sort of thing I would not know to look for...
Yes. Initially I rejected the Craftex out of hand because of it but as the prices came closer I re-considered.
It is just another exercise in looking at various options.
Reply to
Michael Koblic
OTOH am I correct to assume that I could use my MT3 collet set from my mini-mill?
Reply to
Michael Koblic
Yes, the 3MT collets that fit your mill will also fit the mini lathe MT3 spindles. The length of the spindles will probably be different, so you will probably need to make a different drawbar for a mini lathe spindle. Fortunately, the drawbar is fairly simple to make with all-thread rod, just pick up a piece of it that matches the thread in your collets, and a couple of nuts.
Instead of just using a washer on the left end of the mini lathe spindle, you might want to consider a stepped bushing to keep the drawbar (threaded rod) centered while tightening the nut (the bushing is easily made on the lathe with just a chuck for workholding).
An example of the bushing can be seen in the lower half of this page
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You see now, it gets easier when you start buying more machines.. there are numerous pieces that will be of use on the next machine! Like those wrenches and hex/allen wrenches.
I'm considering getting the 3C adapters since the 7x12 spindle is the same as my 9x20 spindle (well, the length is probably different), even though I have a set of MT3 collets. I don't particularly like thumping the drawbar to release MT collets, even though these aren't ultra-high precision machines, hammer hits are delivered to the bearings. The additional bonus is that stock can pass thru the 3C collets, so the depth of the workpiece in the collet isn't limited, like with the Morse collets.
Reply to
Wild_Bill
In particular, follow the link to Nick Carter's page. He has a *lot* of information specific to the Taig. (It is also called the Peatol in the UK, and I got mine from a hamfest with no name on it quite a few years ago.
In particular, he has a link to a site offering a thread turning attachment for the Taig. (He used to post here regularly, FWIW.)
Enjoy, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
Yeah, the under-$400 sticker price was easier to justify than the almost-or-over-$500 prices elsewhere, and eliminating shipping charges made it even easier.
Spending $500 or more for the 7x didn't suit me, since I only paid $600 delivered IIRC, for my 9x20 (bought new also, but that was maybe 7 years ago). The next machine after that was $700 for a used 12x20 3in1. So having those 2 prices to compare to, a $500+ mini seemed a bit out of line.
I guess you'll need to keep your eyes peeled for a deal, although I think you'd be better off considering any sizes of machines that are affordable, not just minis. If you can get a bigger machine, the space needed for a bigger machine will magically appear. WTF, you can wash the dishes in the shower, or better yet, use paper (but be damned sure to recycle). Then put the microwave oven beside the couch where it belongs, and half of your kitchen is already free space.
Glad you found something interesting. BTW, dumb looks are still free.
Reply to
Wild_Bill
[ ... ]
If you want to see "overcharging for the famous name", compare the Taig's prices to the Sherline's prices. They are similar lathes, and I prefer the Taig to the Sherline, FWIW.
Enjoy, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
On 18 Dec 2008 03:30:21 GMT, the infamous "DoN. Nichols" scrawled the following:
Yes, Sherline is full of itself, too.
-- It is pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed. -- Kin Hubbard
Reply to
Larry Jaques
Oh!
The question is -- do you want to be able to cut threads? If not, then it could certainly do what you need for small things. (How big a circle do you need to handle to make your solar powered hourglasses. :-)
Another thing about the Taig is that the longitudinal finish will be purely dependent on the smoothness of your turning the crank on the carriage. There is no power feed -- in either direction.
O.K. It all depends on how much you plan to turn things which are about four times longer than their diameter. For that (or longer) you will need the tailstock.
You'll also find it very useful for drilling the initial central hole before boring it to larger diameters. IIRC, the tailstock chuck will hold 1/2" drill bits -- but the motor may have a bit of struggle doing it all in a single pass in steel.
This is the sort of reason why people suggest that you sign up for a metalworking class at a nearby school (if one is available) so you will learn what to expect from the tools. This will also give you access to larger tools for some of your own projects.
Of course, my own preference is for larger old machines, but then I know how to check them out and how to repair them if needed.
Enjoy, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
Yes -- though you might need to make a drawbar of the right length for the lathe's spindle. It is likely to be longer than that on the mill (or at least different).
Check the thread pitch on the drawbar for the mill, and see whether it is in the lathe's list of threads.
And -- what you *won't* have that the 3C with the adaptor would give you is the ability to pass long stock through the headstock spindle, turn a part, part it off, advance the stock, and repeat. The MT3 collets use a solid drawbar, not a hollow one as the 3Cs (and 5Cs) use.
The MT3 collets are supplied only in a few sizes -- to fit the common shanks of end mills. The 3C and 5C collet sets are available in 1/32" steps to handle almost everything you are likely to hold. (Though 1/16" steps are more common, since they are cheaper.)
Good Luck, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols

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