Metalworking (rec.crafts.metalworking) Discuss various aspects of working with metal, such as machining, welding, metal joining, screwing, casting, hardening/tempering, blacksmithing/forging, spinning and hammer work, sheet metal work.

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Old January 3rd 05, 07:35 PM
W.E.Cole
 
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Default Recommendations for small hobby lathe

I'd like to get a small metal working lathe to use for my robotics hobby,
preferably a table top or workbench type. The parts I plan to make will be
small, typically less than 6", and I expect to mostly use aluminum, although
I'll also be working with plastic and maybe a little brass. I'd like a
quality product that won't break the bank but also won't fall apart after a
year or so of use. It doesn't have to produce NASA quality parts, but since
I'll mostly be making small parts, I don't want a cheap import that's real
sloppy. What would be a couple of good brands/models to look for?



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Old January 3rd 05, 07:38 PM
Robert Swinney
 
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Default

Sherline - see www.sherline.com
"W.E.Cole" wrote in message
...
I'd like to get a small metal working lathe to use for my robotics hobby,
preferably a table top or workbench type. The parts I plan to make will be
small, typically less than 6", and I expect to mostly use aluminum,
although
I'll also be working with plastic and maybe a little brass. I'd like a
quality product that won't break the bank but also won't fall apart after
a
year or so of use. It doesn't have to produce NASA quality parts, but
since
I'll mostly be making small parts, I don't want a cheap import that's real
sloppy. What would be a couple of good brands/models to look for?




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Old January 3rd 05, 07:59 PM
Charles A. Sherwood
 
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Default

I'd like to get a small metal working lathe to use for my robotics hobby,
preferably a table top or workbench type. The parts I plan to make will be
small, typically less than 6", and I expect to mostly use aluminum, although


If you really need to turn 6 inch diameter parts, a "small" lathe
isn't up to the task. Its difficult to turn 6 inch diameter parts
on a 6 inch lathe.

My advice is to buy a real lathe ( Clausing, Rockwell, South bend etc)
if you have the room. You will eventually end up there anyway. I started
with a tiny sherline lathe (www.sherline.com) and kept moving up in size
over the past 8 years.

I have owned seven lathes in 8 years. I currently own three (sherline,
myford super 7, rockwell 11x24). If forced to keep only one, I would keep
the rockwell. However this is a 1000 lb machine and my not fit your
living quarters.

A 12 inch atlas/craftsman is a good starting point, but it cannot compete
with an industrial lathe. On the plus side is that it only weighs about
300 lbs and would a lot easier to move and maybe cheaper depending on
the condition.

The import 7x12 or 7x20 lathes are useful and very popular too.

chuck
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Old January 3rd 05, 08:17 PM
Rex B
 
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Sounds like you are biased against the 7x12 Asians, but I'd expect this
to be the best bang-for-the buck with the conditions you specified. You
might also look at the 8x14 variants, such as Lathemaster.com and others
sell.
Next step up would be the 9-inch old iron. I have a Logan 9x17 that
does everything I've needed, and is a quality US machine. Other good
choices include Southbend.
Avoid the 9x20 Asians unless you find a bargain ($350)
I would also avoid the Atlas machines, again unless you find a
pristine machine at a great price. Beyond that almost any 10" to 12"
lathe in good condition will work well for you.

W.E.Cole wrote:

I'd like to get a small metal working lathe to use for my robotics hobby,
preferably a table top or workbench type. The parts I plan to make will be
small, typically less than 6", and I expect to mostly use aluminum, although
I'll also be working with plastic and maybe a little brass. I'd like a
quality product that won't break the bank but also won't fall apart after a
year or so of use. It doesn't have to produce NASA quality parts, but since
I'll mostly be making small parts, I don't want a cheap import that's real
sloppy. What would be a couple of good brands/models to look for?


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Old January 3rd 05, 08:50 PM
Ahernwill
 
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Default

Try Shopmaster for the 3 in 1 machines- may be just right for your needs-
following is a link about robotics work on one of their machines
http://forums.delphiforums.com/Shopt...es/?msg=1215.1

"W.E.Cole" wrote in message
...
I'd like to get a small metal working lathe to use for my robotics hobby,
preferably a table top or workbench type. The parts I plan to make will be
small, typically less than 6", and I expect to mostly use aluminum,

although
I'll also be working with plastic and maybe a little brass. I'd like a
quality product that won't break the bank but also won't fall apart after

a
year or so of use. It doesn't have to produce NASA quality parts, but

since
I'll mostly be making small parts, I don't want a cheap import that's real
sloppy. What would be a couple of good brands/models to look for?






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Old January 4th 05, 05:38 AM
Waynemak
 
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Default

where do you live??
"W.E.Cole" wrote in message
...
I'd like to get a small metal working lathe to use for my robotics hobby,
preferably a table top or workbench type. The parts I plan to make will be
small, typically less than 6", and I expect to mostly use aluminum,
although
I'll also be working with plastic and maybe a little brass. I'd like a
quality product that won't break the bank but also won't fall apart after
a
year or so of use. It doesn't have to produce NASA quality parts, but
since
I'll mostly be making small parts, I don't want a cheap import that's real
sloppy. What would be a couple of good brands/models to look for?




  #7   Report Post  
Old January 4th 05, 07:12 AM
W.E.Cole
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Dallas area (Texas).

"Waynemak" wrote in message
...
where do you live??
"W.E.Cole" wrote in message
...
I'd like to get a small metal working lathe to use for my robotics

hobby,
preferably a table top or workbench type. The parts I plan to make will

be
small, typically less than 6", and I expect to mostly use aluminum,
although
I'll also be working with plastic and maybe a little brass. I'd like a
quality product that won't break the bank but also won't fall apart

after
a
year or so of use. It doesn't have to produce NASA quality parts, but
since
I'll mostly be making small parts, I don't want a cheap import that's

real
sloppy. What would be a couple of good brands/models to look for?






  #8   Report Post  
Old January 4th 05, 07:20 AM
W.E.Cole
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I'm not personally biased against the imports, I just got the impression
that a lot of the Asian imports are not as good quality for the dollar as
other sources. If that was a wrong impression, speak up! I'm all ears -
that's why I asked. I want to make sure I have some facts to work from
before I start spending money.

"Rex B" wrote in message
...
Sounds like you are biased against the 7x12 Asians, but I'd expect this
to be the best bang-for-the buck with the conditions you specified. You
might also look at the 8x14 variants, such as Lathemaster.com and others
sell.
Next step up would be the 9-inch old iron. I have a Logan 9x17 that
does everything I've needed, and is a quality US machine. Other good
choices include Southbend.
Avoid the 9x20 Asians unless you find a bargain ($350)
I would also avoid the Atlas machines, again unless you find a
pristine machine at a great price. Beyond that almost any 10" to 12"
lathe in good condition will work well for you.

W.E.Cole wrote:

I'd like to get a small metal working lathe to use for my robotics

hobby,
preferably a table top or workbench type. The parts I plan to make will

be
small, typically less than 6", and I expect to mostly use aluminum,

although
I'll also be working with plastic and maybe a little brass. I'd like a
quality product that won't break the bank but also won't fall apart

after a
year or so of use. It doesn't have to produce NASA quality parts, but

since
I'll mostly be making small parts, I don't want a cheap import that's

real
sloppy. What would be a couple of good brands/models to look for?




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Old January 4th 05, 07:29 AM
Tim Killian
 
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Default



Several things you might consider before buying anything:

1) Tooling and accessories will cost you a lot more than you expect.
It's easy to spend $500 on tooling to set up and run a 9" lathe.
2) The most important part of a lathe is the tool holder. If it's not
solid, then nothing else really matters. This is the biggest problem
with many small imports.
3) Heavy old lathes are just that, old and heavy. Legendary cast iron
tends to lose its magic when it travels up or down a flight of stairs.


"W.E.Cole" wrote in message
...

I'd like to get a small metal working lathe to use for my robotics


hobby,

preferably a table top or workbench type. The parts I plan to make will


be

small, typically less than 6", and I expect to mostly use aluminum,
although
I'll also be working with plastic and maybe a little brass. I'd like a
quality product that won't break the bank but also won't fall apart


after

a
year or so of use. It doesn't have to produce NASA quality parts, but
since
I'll mostly be making small parts, I don't want a cheap import that's


real

sloppy. What would be a couple of good brands/models to look for?







  #10   Report Post  
Old January 4th 05, 08:03 AM
DoN. Nichols
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article , Rex B wrote:
Sounds like you are biased against the 7x12 Asians, but I'd expect this
to be the best bang-for-the buck with the conditions you specified. You
might also look at the 8x14 variants, such as Lathemaster.com and others
sell.


One consideration is how *long* the workpiece needs to be at 6"
diameter. While most of the above will swing 6" above the bed, check
the spec for how large a workpiece it will swing above the cross-slide.
This is *always* smaller than the swing above the bed, and sometimes as
little as half of that size -- especially on a strong machine.

Next step up would be the 9-inch old iron. I have a Logan 9x17 that
does everything I've needed, and is a quality US machine. Other good
choices include Southbend.


That sounds good to me.

Avoid the 9x20 Asians unless you find a bargain ($350)
I would also avoid the Atlas machines, again unless you find a
pristine machine at a great price. Beyond that almost any 10" to 12"
lathe in good condition will work well for you.


And what *I* settled on is a 12x24" Clausing, which I can
certify does allow turning a 6" diameter workpiece above the
cross-slide, as I have done so.

Good Luck,
DoN.

--
Email: | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
(too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
--- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---


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