Advice on choosing a mini lathe

I'm finally ready to buy my first lathe. I need something small, and precise. I've seen some positive words about the 7x Mini Lathe, but also
Chinese imports derided. I'll modify and improve it over the years. Preferably I'll want a good second hand one to keep the cost down. What do people recommend?
Thanks,
Alan
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Scrim wrote:

First thought is 'Don't' as they are too small to do much with but if you are determined, there are yahoo groups that might help to find good brands from bad. Machines (new, Sieg brand) from Arc-Euro have a good reputation and back up from the company. Second hand is a double lottery A) you often don't know its history B) It could be one of the poor Chinese variants.
Try looking at least daily at http://www.homeworkshop.org.uk / Things on there sell fast and sellers tend to be reputable types.
Bob
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Thanks. I thought they were all made in China though?
Alan
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Scrim wrote:

Yes I think they are all made in China but at different factories and maybe even castings from differnet foundries. The end product quality depends of the relationship between the importer and the factory/foundry as well as in some cases the inspection/fettling done by importers such as Arc Euro.
Bob
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On Mon, 21 Jun 2010 12:28:14 +0100, Scrim wrote:

S7>kh±
Not all - think Cowells.
--
Neil - reverse 'ra' and delete 'l'.

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On Tue, 22 Jun 2010 05:05:33 -0500, Neil

Also Taig (Peatol) - made in USA.
Regards, Tony
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On Tue, 22 Jun 2010 11:20:06 +0100, Tony Jeffree wrote:

Isn't that a kit of parts? :-(
--
Neil - reverse 'ra' and delete 'l'.

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On Wed, 23 Jun 2010 10:16:45 -0500, Neil

Yes thats right - like the Chinese ones ;-)
Regards, Tony
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Cowells: Ouch! Look at the prices though! Alan
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You can have quality or you can have cheap. Rarely can you get both together.
If beer can size is too big for you, consider a watchmaker's lathe, though they aren't cheap either.
Cliff Coggin.
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It would help if we had some idea of how much or how little is envisaged.
Or is 'money' one of the things that polite people don't discuss.
N
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ravensworth2674 wrote:

I think it's somewhere around 7" for a mini lathe.
Though I recently learned that modern science says the mean human erect penis is just over 5" long, not 7" as I'd thought. Seems people lied to the scientists ...

... and it seems polite people don't discuss penis size.
juzt dirty gurlz :)
Talking of money and lathes, I want to buy a lathe about the capacity of a Boxford, but I'd prefer something better. Got a bit of money set aside, several hundreds but not thousands.
I don't have a lot of room though, 48" or so would be good, though I can go longer - how big is a HLV-H?
Anyone got any suggestions, summat for sale, whatever?
-- Peter Fairbrother
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I could go as far as 1000 if there was a good reason. That's assuming it includes the basics to get me started like tool bits, a 3 jaw chuck and a tailstock chuck. I'd also like a milling attachment, a 4 jaw chuck, perhaps a faceplate, some sort of convenient toolpost. Alan
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Scrim wrote:

Most will have these as standard, though the tool bits may be a bit cheapo.

Do you mean a milling slide? They are pretty rare on minilathes, I don't know anyone who actually makes one.
If you mean a combined lathe/mill thingy, again they are rare for minilathes, and the ones which exist aren't very good - I'd avoid.

Yep, about 60 +/- 20. May or may not need faceplate. 4" version is better than 3".

pretty cheap - about 18

I have both four-way and quick change tool posts for my mini lathe, but I seldom use either. Every tool has a holder made in situ from a block of mild steel and two or three screws, and shimmed to height. They stay together until the tool dies.
I need rigidity and accuracy, and having a QCTP hang over the top slide is bad news for both. A 4-way might be okay, except it's really a two-way, and that's not enough (and neither would 4 ways be).
Photos here - it's just a lump of metal, but it does a better job than the QCTP or 4-way, by far:
http://www.zenadsl6186.zen.co.uk/IMGP0545.JPG
http://www.zenadsl6186.zen.co.uk/IMGP0546.JPG
-- Peter F

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.
Peter, I note that the research into 2" Penis size is going well and that people are flying white flags with red crosses on them for the enumerators to record. OK- a grand!!!!!! Some weeks ago, I mentioned that a rather special ML7 which had been extensively restored( by a guy with a slideways grinder was on sale at 400. No goodies but the remaining 600 buys a LOT!
Frankly, I'd buy a new 918 complete with a bundled and quite decent set of accessories. Change the speed down to less than the 130 rpm by mechanical or electrical means and enjoy the accuracy. The guy may not be able to tote a Myford and saddle to a decent man and stump up only 250 more and have an all singing, all dancing Myford again. Again,the 920 Yahoo group has a pretty good 'blow, by blow' department on 920/918's if one is chosen( at 650)
Things have changed in China- and Myfords and Boxfords are mainly shagged out remnants of days that used to be.
Moi? I'd have a Clarkson and a clapped out mill and cheap pillar drill with such largesse
Meantime- Quite Interesting ( But it's not a Speckled Hen)
Norm
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Milling slide attachments for lathes feature in the catalogues of suppliers like Chester, Warco and ArcEuro eg www.chesteruk.net/store/vertical_slides.htm
The Chester Conquest small lathe that I bought from Chester 12 years ago is still going strong. (My workshop is in a loft conversion so weight was the main consideration). I got a special deal at a show and it included vertical slide, backplate, 80mm self centring 3 jaw and independent 4 jaw chucks, carbide tipped lathe tooling, centres for both head and tail stocks, tail stock revolving centre. Since then I've also added both 100mm 4 jaw independent and 3 jaw chucks with adaptors from ArcEuro.
On a small lathe you can only do very light milling with the vertical slide attachment. I got a Chester Conquest mini mill to go with the lathe about 9 years ago and that is also still giving sterling service.
The problem with a small lathe is that although you can turn a work piece up to 7in / 180mm in diameter attached to the backplate you have to think carefully about how to hold the cutting tooling because of the more limited amount of travel of the topslide/crossslide. eg you may have to use a boring bar attached to the front of the tool holder rather than a normal cutting tool attached to the left side of the holder that you would use to do the job on a larger lathe. Of course up to about 50mm 2in diameter no such expedients are necessary - the point being that even mini lathes can machine larger workpieces if you do a bit of lateral thinking.
One advantage of the mini lathe and mill is that there is a lot of help on the internet as these are very popular in the USA and there are a number of groups who are willing to help.
Alan
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Pretty sure the Sieg C3 has a vertical slide as an optional extra - I have one for my C6 and was told it would fit a C3
There is also a slotted table available for the C6 cross slide, don't know if that applies to the C3.
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..
The SIEG C6 vertical slide also fits the SIEG C3 without the adapter plate which is used for fitting it to the C6. There is not a standard factory issue slotted table for the C3.
Ketan at ARC.
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m...
There is a lot of mystery attached to vertical slides. Quite simply, if the size is right, most slides can be interchanged on lathes. I have a Zyto one which has done duty on several Myfords and a 918. All that changed was a subtable which was no more than a flat bit of sheet which was thick enough to take bolt holes! In fact, the 918 had a 'Myford rear parting tool' bolted on. A bit more advice is to obtain an even bigger chunk of metal to pepper holes ad lib- instead of a perhaps less rigid vertigo slide and vice. The idea wasn't new to small lathe use as some of the greats of the past used such things. It may sound like 'heresy' but I've long past such things! Oddly, I was looking at my fabricated vertical motor slide for a Stent tool and cutter grinder and noted that it would fit quite happily on my Myford- and thought- ah, I could fit it on the mill/drill Swopping about one's 'swag' does make things easier.
Cheers
Norman
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I'd like both, but I think 7x12 or 7x14 seem like the size for me Alan
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