Which would you choose?



It's funny.
I build prototypes of advanced technology, such as http://www.aviationtoday.com/av/categories/commercial/1201.html and a gigahertz optical communications link that might have been used between Iridium satellites, etc, but at home most everything I depend on is old, simpler and ~repairable.
Next repair project - make a new steering sector gear for the tractor. Sears no hay.
Jim Wilkins
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    Interesting -- it must have the treadmill controller. There was a modification to the board which disabled that, so you could switch off to stop and then switch back on to return to the previous speed.

    We have the same commercials -- but lizards slow down significantly in cold weather. :-)

    [ ... ]

    Not familiar with that one.
    And I steer clear of web-based discussion fora. It just does not feel right not having my preferred editor and the ability to format the text as I wish. (I can't imagine trying to do ASCII graphics on one.

    Hmm ... too little horsepower for the viscosity of the lube. I wonder whether that was a gearhead lathe. They are very nice to have, but a crash tends to be more spectacular, because you don't have the belt slipping to make things less disastrous. :-)
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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DoN. Nichols wrote:

Well, you know the Chinese - mine is probably a re-painted treadmill...

And their body temp gets colder - hence colder breath, hence less condensation.

http://busybeetools.ca/cgi-bin/picture10?NTITEM 227L
I only went there because of the recommendation from here. But like anything on the 'net, you have to sift the data with care. The guy who bought it and started the thread thought it was "way better than a mini" yet seemed to have done little with it partly because of the said problem with oil. Having said that, at the price it is still in the running provided I can get the additional financing, find a space for it and get it home from Vancouver. I am still not sure about the speed-swing mismatch though.
Oddly enough this one:
http://busybeetools.ca/cgi-bin/picture10?NTITEM=CT039
is actually 22 kg lighter if their web site is to be believed (not always the case in my personal experience).

Yes it is - right as usual :-)
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Michael Koblic,
Campbell River, BC
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Regarding the Busy Bee 9x19 model, it's the basic 9x20 that's been around for years. They don't seem to offer it without the cabinet/stand, although most other sellers do.
Since the 9x19 lathe is a benchtop model, and not very heavy, you might ask someone at Busy Bee if you can get the lathe without the base cabinet/stand. I have read comments regarding that cabinet/stand, and several owners complaints were about the need to raise/block it up because it was too short.
I got my 9x20 without the cabinet, and found that a plywood and 2x4 table approximately 24x42" (glued & screwed) was adequate for placing it on. This table height is 32", and then the lathe bed was on two sections of 4" square tubing risers. This is a reasonably comfortable working height for someone about 6' tall. It could be better a little higher, to get the spindle at about elbow height.
Without the risers under the lathe bed mounts (shown near the bottom of the webpage), there isn't much space under the center of the bed for hand tools and miscellaneous stuff.
In comparing the 9x19 model to the 10x18 (without a stand), notice that the 9x19 has a quick change gearbox, while the 10x18 does not. The lever on the apron of the 9x19 has two feed rates/speeds for turning and threading.
When someone had mentioned the 10x18 earlier I thought the price they referred to was a fairly good deal (I for get who that seller was), and I checked to see if Grizzly had the 10x18 but they don't. That's when I noticed that it didn't have the QCGB. The 10x18 is a gear head lathe, so it would be fairly important to examine the number of ratios for the longitudinal feedscrew, and to see if the apron lever has two feed rates/speeds for turning and threading.
The 9x20 is a popular model, as I think you have already found out from the DC motor discussion, but has one big problem. The plate that mounts the top slide/compound feed is a bad design (which leads to a lot of tool chatter). This problem has been addressed in many ways (which are available on various personal webpages), and this was the wasy that I corrected that particular problem: http://www.kwagmire.com/shop/lathe/9x20/9x20_Lathe_Accessories.html
The second problem is the minimum speed being about 160 (Busy Bee shows 130 for the 9x19). I haven't converted the 9x20 to a DC motor yet, because I purchased a larger lathe shortly after getting the 9x20, and began using the larger machine which led to converting the larger model to DC.
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Wild_Bill wrote:

Given the current economic climate it is a thought. However, I am not holding my breath. Getting deals in Canada is notoriously more difficult than in US as is any sort of flexibility.
<snip>

Some people made big deal about the 3/4 spindle bore on the CT039 as opposed to 1" on the B2227L. OTOH I am not sure that I do not prefer the belts to gears.

Does this picture (about half way down the page) help? http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/showthread.php?t 4435

It is only 115 for the B2227L.
Still, thanks, this is all good food for thought!
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You are a good investigator/researcher Michael. Those pictures of the 10x18 reveal quite a bit.
I was a little suspicious that this model was lacking a few of the better features, especially when I noticed the handwheel on the right end of the longitudinal feed screw. The feed lever on the apron doesn't have two feed rate positions, which means it only engages and disengages the carriage. That's not as good as other lathe aprons that have two feed positions plus disengage (such as the 9x20 model and others).
That means turning the length of a workpiece will have to be cranked by hand, or by the use of changing gears inside the box on the left end.
The selector handles on the headstock only change the spindle speeds. For feedscrew ratios, changing gears in the box on the left end of the lathe is the only method of changing those ratios. This can be a nuisance, because there is no quick change gearbox, and there are not two feed rates on the apron.
So you end up feeding longitudinally by the handwheel for convenience, or you rearrange the change gears to get a fine feed when desired (if a fine feed rate can be set up).
I encountered these same limitations with my 3in1 machine, and they aren't easy to get used to, they will remain a nuisance. The other feature I want to add to the 3in1 machine is a reversible feed motor with variable speed and a clutch to engage/disengage it.
The lever below the headstock is the feed engage/disengage, and the 10x18 model doesn't appear to have a selector lever to reverse the feed screw. That's also inconvenient at times.
The dials show metric and inch increments, which is bogus because it can't be both. This isn't a major problem for making small adjustments, but when you go more than one full turn, one of the units of measurement is off, so you need to keep in mind which one is accurate, and convert those units when you're trying to attain the other units. So you gage the feedscrew threads to find out how far one rotation of the dial represents, and then measure the travel to make sure. Sometimes the divisions of the dial and the screw pitch aren't related, more like just a guesstimate.
Someone on the CNC forum thread (mentioned by malcomsmit) states that the longitudinal feedscrew is (an unusual) 7 tpi, so the dial is worthless. Another comment mentioned that for the compound and cross feed screws, one is metric and the other is inch.
So with all these shortcuts that the builder made, probably just for their convenience/cost, the 10x18 machine appears to be a project from the beginning IMO.
The owners say it has considerable weight, so it may be more rigid than lighter lathes, but there are too many inconveniences or lack of features to make it attractive to me, even at a lower price. It may be a good candidate for CNC conversion, for someone else, though.
The one owner said the compound adjustment screws stripped, I think, within days of purchasing it. So you see, there are many things that can and will fail on the cheap imported machines. That owner said it's a simple matter to replace those screws with a couple of 5/16" hex head bolts, but I know this isn't a good solution. The previous owner of my 3in1 machine had done that and the hex heads kept digging into the cast iron, making adjustment of the compound very frustrating. I smoothed up the slots the bolts travel in, and made some T-bolts with oversized curved heads so adjusting the compound is nearly effortless.
In general, it's a good habit to replace all of the very poorly made fasteners on many of the cheap imports, and AC motor failure rates are fairly common, not a high percentage rate, but not uncommon.
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Wild_Bill wrote:

Thank you.
<big snip>
I am going to save all this for my library. Things are never simple! BTW here is the manual:
http://busybeetools.com/manuals/B2227L.pdf
For all the help it was to me it might as well have been in Mandarin.
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Campbell River, BC
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    Well ... no reverse threading, no quick-change gearbox, no power feed on the apron (just using the half-nuts and the leadscrew, though some of the drawings seem to suggest that part of what is needed for fine feed is in there -- but there does not appear to be a separate control on the apron for that. Normally, there is one control for engaging or disengaging the half-nuts (normally just for threading), and a separate control for engaging power feed (which is transferred to the big crank wheel on the apron), and (on the better machines) also transferred to the cross-slide for steady speed facing. There are interlocks to keep both the fine feed and the threading half-nuts from being engaged at the same time, which could otherwise lead to noisy and violent self-disassembly.
    Oh yes -- it is now clear that 27 TPI is not available on this machine -- at least with the supplied change gears.
    I personally would now suggest that you skip both of these, and look for something like the South Bend which was posted somewhere in this thread as being on Craigslist.
    Good Luck,         DoN.
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DoN. Nichols wrote:

Holy S..t! I think I shall take up flower arranging...or drinking. Alternately I can try and build one from scratch, using nothing but my mini-mill and a dead blow hammer.
Happy New Year!
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My amateur opinion is that the Busy Bee has what it need, minimally. The South Bend would be a pleasure to use, the Busy Bee a chore.
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On Sat, 27 Dec 2008 08:47:31 -0500, Wild_Bill wrote:

I knew I'd seen this recently:
    www.finger.de-web.cc/info/Drehen/WebQCGB.pdf
a home-made, effective-looking QuickChange Gear Box for the 7x lathes. Haven't tried it yet, but it does look do-able.
Mike in BC
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Can you provide a URL where that pdf is located, Mike? I can't seem to find it, and there is no Save Target in this hack/spitWindowssucks crapVista Mail.
I saw a shop-made QCGB maybe 5 years ago, but don't remember where or what machine it was for. It was an open style gear selector added on to the left end of the lathe bed.
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On Sat, 27 Dec 2008 19:29:29 -0500, Wild_Bill wrote:

Here you go, Bill.
    http://homepage.mac.com/bhagenbuch/machine/pages/qcgb.html
If my Christmas dinner and goodies hadn't been sitting so well in my tummy I'd have put it in in the first place, wouldn't I?
Mike in BC
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Thank you very much, Mike. That appears to be the same one I referred to, but I didn't have a mini lathe at the time.
I was able to get the pdf from that page in the new/improved/less filling-tastes great version of hack/spitExplorer.
It's good to know that there are smart guys out there that figure these things out, then share them.
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The ratio between millimeters and inches is 25.4000000000, by definition of the inch. The prime factors are 254 are 2 and 127, which means that somewhere in the gear train a 127 tooth gear is needed. The 16 pitch one for my lathe is 8" in diameter, not easy to stuff into the limited space available..
47/37 = 1.2702702..., not perfect but compact and close enough for many uses.
To calculate gear ratios for threading you find a gear combination that turns the lead screw at the same speed as the spindle. Usually this is any 1:1 ratio. Those gears will give a thread the same pitch as the leadscrew. Then for any other thread pitch you find gears in the same ratio as the thread pitch to the leadscrew pitch. For example my little lathe's leadscrew is 16 threads per inch. To cut 32 TPI I need to halve its speed with any 2:1 pair that fits the available space. One thread pitch equals half a turn of the leadscrew.
I made a spreadsheet with all the threads my larger quick-change lathe will cut, and the corresponding metric modulus, none of which came out even. Next I referenced a cell with 127/100 or 127/120 etc in the formula, which shows the effect of those two compounded into the gear train, one driven and the other driving the next gear. Some of the thread pitch cells then displayed standard metric modulus values. 120 and 127 gave the largest number of fine lens threads so I bought them from Boston Gear. http://www.bostongear.com/products/open/change.html IIRC 100 was better for standard metric screw threads.
Then that laser optics job stopped abruptly and I haven't cut a metric thread since. My little gold and flat black precision mechanisms went into the company museum.
Jim Wilkins
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    [ ... ]

    One can use certain gear ratios (100:127 is the ideal, smaller ones come close) to provide a conversion between metric and imperial threads.
    *But* -- during most threading, it is common to use half-nuts in the apron -- engage them to start cutting the thread, disengage and quickly crank the carriage back with the large handwheel, then re-engage to cut the next pass of the thread.
    However -- there are multiple points at which the half-nuts can be closed, and only some of those will retrace the previous cut (which you want to do -- only deeper). For this, there is usually a "threading dial", usually on the right side of the carriage, though I have seen them built into the apron and flush with the top of the carriage.
    Anyway -- the dial tells you when to close the half nuts to retrace the same thread path.
    On imperial lathes with an imperal leadscrew, this works only with imperial threads.
    On metric lathes with a metric leadscrew the threading dial needs to have a selection of (typically) four different gears to engage the leadscrew to deal with the different ratios which metric threads require.
    In either case, you *can't* use a threading dial for an imperal leadscrew to cut metric threads -- even with the 100:127 transposing gears.
    And -- you can't use a threading dial for a metric leadscrew to cut imperial threads even with the 100:127 transposing gears.
    So -- the only way to cut threads on the other system (unless you are cutting a fine enough and shallow enough thread so you can cut it in one pass) is to halt the spindle before you reach the end of the thread, perhaps use a hand crank locked into the spindle, to crank the rest of the way to the end of the thread, back the tool out of the thread, crank in reverse to the starting end, crank the tool back in with the extra depth for the next pass, again use the power for a long thread but being sure to stop it before you reach the end, and crank again and again.
    So -- you *can* cut metric threads on an imperial lathe or vice versa with the transposing gears -- but is is a royal plain. So modify the statement to read "You can't *conveniently* cut X threads on a Y lathe" and it becomes true.
    The only exception to this is on CNC lathes, where there is no direct gear connection between the leadscrew and the spindle. Instead, the spindle has an encoder which gives one index pulse per revolution, plus a lot of incremental pulses ever few degrees. The computer handles turning the leadscrew the right amount for each incremental pulse to cut the threads. The computer then backs the tool out at the end of the thread, and reverses rapidly to reach the starting point, and then waits for the next index pulse to start the same thread pass again -- deeper. So -- it is a mater of telling the computer whether you want to work in mm or inches. (Oh yes -- and learning to program the computer. :-)
    I hope that this helps. It would have been easier if you had already had the practice of cutting threads on a manual lathe of one system or the other, so you would know what you would be missing.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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<snip>
DoN, Jim and Wild Bill, thanks for the detailed explanation. I watched this done on a DVD but it is clearly one of those things that one needs a hands-on. One day...
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    [ ... ]

    I missed that.
    [ ... ]

    Indeed so.
    [ ... ]

    That is about the ratio to expect running the same motor on 60 Hz in the US and on 50 Hz in Canada. (Or is it just the UK which has 50 Hz?)
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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wrote:

We used to have some areas of 25 cycle - I can remember visiting relatives in Toronto who had flickering lights - but no 50 cycle that I am aware of. OTOH the GE 1/2 HP motor on my little G-D compressor specs 50 cycle on the name plate, no Idea why, it is a yard sale motor I got for $1. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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    :-)
    [ ... ]

    That makes sense. But I don't sell insurance. :-)

    O.K. That is an interesting one. Pretty nice for a lot of reasons, though I don't know about the range of threads. Based on going back and forth between that and the other you pointed to, both have 27 inch threads (between 8 and 56 TPI), and probably the same quick-change gearbox.
    My Clausing has the same number of threads in that range, specifically:
    8    16    32     9    18    36     10    20    40     11    22    44     11.5    23    46     12    24    48     13    26    52     13.5    27    54     14    28    56
but mine has three more columns of speeds, one to the left of the above columns (starting at 4 TPI), and two to the right, finishing up with 224 TPI. Each column is double the value to the left, or half the value to the right, if you want to create the rest of the table for my machine.
    Now -- it is not certain whether these have the same threads in some of the more uncommon ones. For example the 13.5/27/54 is fairly uncommon, mostly useful for the 27 TPI when making mounts for US microphones (5/8-27).
    The first one is a gearhead lathe, which I consider nice. But while both specify power longitudinal feed, there is nothing about power cross feed (on either machine) -- and power feed can produce a more consistent finish when facing something.

    The oil which comes with it is probably planned for a warmer climate.

    If you need lower speeds, the solution is to replace the motor with a three-phase one and add a VFD to give you continuously variable speeds.
    However -- I don't know what the motor mount is on this beastie, which could affect the availability of other motors to fit it.
    It has a beefier spindle -- but still not large enough for 5C collets.
    I don't know what the spindle nose is. If it is not specified, it is probably threaded nose.
    It apparently does not come with the floor stand, unlike the smaller one which you also list. And if the smaller one is *still* lighter even with the floor stand, it must really be a lightweight stand.
    I would consider all of the listed accessories as things which you should also have.

    Of course it is significantly lighter. It is belt drive instead of a gearhead lathe, *and* it is 9" swing instead of 10". Both make it lighter. The stand should make it somewhat heavier, but when you see that the toolpost for it only handles 3/8" tool shanks, compared to the 1/2" on the gearhead machine, it suggests that the gearhead machine is significantly more rigid.
    Expect to change the lube to something more appropriate for your climate.

    Gearhead. I would like to have a Gearhead Clausing, but I'm happy with my belt drive Clausing.
    Good Luck,         DoN.
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