Lathes

Help Support HMEM:

Peter Murphy

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
24
Reaction score
10
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Hi Stephan,
I am also fairly new also, but is is amazing what some people do with their mini lathes.
One thing that I would do if I was purchasing a new lathe ( mine is a 1985 Taiwanese copy of an Emco Compact 8) is find one that has the carriage handle to the right of the cross slide & compound. Not nice getting hot chips on your hand when manually turning. A power cross slide would be a nice handy feature if it is within your budget.
Cheers Peter from Oz
 

Richard Hed

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2018
Messages
995
Reaction score
219
Location
Seattle
right on.....Senor Priggs. i'd love to hear one or a few specific items you still like to make with the smaller one. I'll check that out right away. we used to buy things from USA and drive 100kms south of Ottawa Ogdensburg. i would need to look into recent rules. maybe with covid they don't allow cross border for non work related visits...and my passport is expired....shite
maybe they have shipping options. so complicated. and shipping fees......
any ideas?
About 15 years ago, I bought an Enco, the 9-20, having workt with larger machines, I did not notice the "lack of small print" which DID NOT say the machine would not cut left hand threads. Well, I bouth it in order to do left hand threads when I could not buy a left hand tap or die. So, I definitely blame my machine! a mere 2 months later, I discovered "GRIZZ", Grizzly and they had the same sized lathe for less and it CUT LH THREADS! Was I pisst. So whatever you decide on, try to learn what a lathe should have, what it should do, how you will use it and make a list of all the correct things. You might study what the larger lathes are capable of, then write down what is necessary for you and make sure that whatever lathe you buy has what you will be needing.

There has been a discussion on cut off tools and techniques on the back side of the cross slide. You cannot do this safely if you have a spindle nose that has threads. So be sure to check out what kind of spindle nose you get. My Enco was threaded which caused me a lot of trouble. I bout a Grizz in January which so far, I am very happ7y with. It cuts like a hot knife thru hot lard--it has a D1-5 spindle nose which will not unwind when doing reverse cuts. Don't forget to look into how large the spindle hole is, this will be the maximum size for a long rod to fit into your machine. I would have liked to have 2" but the price goes way up for larger spindle holes. Mine is 1-1/2" which is certainly OK for most projects. For the tail stock, try to get one that has a lever hold down and release, the Enco had a wrench lock down and un lock, what a pain in the oss. Some of the bigger lathes have a magnetic brake, one is feature on the large machine above in Hennie's post--it is the lever at the foot of the machine. Those are nice, especially in an emergency.

One of the most important items is lots of change gears and of course levers that change speeds and feed rates. The Enco had a grand total of 6 speeds, the slowest of which is 130RPM which is too fast to cut threads in a lot of cases. Also, I had to change the change gears too often. With the Grizz, I only have to make a change (so far) when changing from metric to imperial and vice versa. One of the bad things, as someone said above, is that the smaller the machine, the faster is the slowest speed. sometimes you want to go REALLY slow. *I read, years ago, that you can cut rock even on a lathe but yo0u need about 40 or even less RPMs. If you get a small machine, it is likely that they will give you a plastic drive gear which suprizingly is quite good. I wreckt my first one and they had a second one in the kit, so that workt out but now I am without a spare. I will eventually try to make an aluminum one or even steel if I can get the right sized disc.

There are lots of things you will want if you know what it is that you want. Problem is, that starting on a small "kiddie toy" as I call them, you will not find out the things you want to find out. A large lathe will have more features. My recommend is to get the largest lathe you can comfortably get into you shop that you can afford. This may abe going too far, as you might be ablt to afford a machine like a friend of mine just bought for his professional machine shop: it is about 18 feet long, has a 6" spindle, weighs in at a mere 22,000 lbs. The four jaw proably weighs in at about the same as my whole Grizz! I got to touch the lathe and of course I worshipped at it's 20 odd feet. MY friend thot that was pretty strange, bowing down to the Idol of Machines and kissing it's feets, but he gave me a whole lot of scrap from his scrap bin.

BTW, as for moving a machine without an overhead arm, you might just get the largest engine hoist you can find. I moved a lathe weighing 1400lbs with a simple engine hoist which I bought just for that reason by lifting the carton up off the pickup bed a couple inches, carefully moving the pickup, then lowering the hoist to the ground. then I put the carton on pipe rollers and moved it in the garage. My son helpt me, it's a two man job, not out of difficulty, but rather for safety reasons. I thimpfk you probably will not be getting a lathe that weighs in a t 22000 lbs, it might crush hyour pickup but something less than 2000lbs hyou could most likely do with an engine hoist.
 
Last edited:

goldstar31

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2010
Messages
3,269
Reaction score
1,136
Location
Twixt Tyne and Tees
I don't think that I want a Charles Atlas course in weighlifting- not having done anything violent for 35 years but the 918/920 lathe did interest me sufficiently to buy one. Mine was an Axminster 918 and had a Myford spindle which allowed me to transfer almost all my Myford accessories including onto a true lathe which my old Myford certainly was not.
Of course, it couldn't cut left handed- or a lot of other things but with the addition gear in Module 1 with a better banjo woukd do that and a lot more besides. The next snag wss the 100rpm lowest speed which in the UK is a frightening 130RPM. Don't ask why or how because my association with electricity id reasonably fat monthly pension cheque:) which arrived regularly for the last 36 years. Model engineer and Model Engineers Workshop abounded with sensible modifications to drop the revs but finally Axminster became weary of perspiring Brits and even my change over to three phase became tiresome=== and I sold it and bought a better Myford.
Concluding, the machine was good enough to contributed to making a very nice tool and cutter grinder- so few gripes from me.

An interesting machine spoiled by niggling faults because it had a great gearbox for the miserably low price

Nornan
 

ajoeiam

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2020
Messages
146
Reaction score
54
Location
MN
That would depend on the size of the "larger" lathe - most lathes in the 1 meter bed size have MT5-6 on the head, and MT3-4 on the tailstock. One could obviously use a MT2-MT3 adapter but personally I prefer to eliminate that potential "tolerance multiplier" whenever possible. I am not saying that a MT2 drill chuck will be totally wasted, though - it could quite possibly fit on the milling machine, and will likely also fit on a small pedestal drill - but in my humble opinion it will be wasted on the larger lathe...


Personally, I think that anyone who wants to use a lathe should learn the basic skill to grind his/her own tool bits. Not only will that become necessary when a "non-standard" bit is required, but it also helps one to understand how the lathe is cutting, which then helps one to figure out what went wrong if, e.g. the surface is not as smooth as expected, or the cutter just rubs and won't cut the particular metal. Using such a nonrigid little lathe one would like to get all the help one can, and a properly ground HSS-Co bit would likely take smoother, and thinner, cuts than a carbide insert, and with less stress on the lathe. Judging by Mrbugbums' previous posts, I get the idea that he is keen to learn as much as he can by using this little lathe, and it's my guess that he would thus also be keen to learn how to grind his own bits...


Very good idea 👍


Again, I totally agree - especially when working with brass - that just gets into everything 🤬
Your comment " . . . prefer to eliminate that potential "tolerance multiplier" whenever possible." - - - if you keep your adapters clean - - - - you're quite likely going to have a hard time measuring any possible problems. In fact I think I can bet you a nice steak dinner that you will have far greater issues in sharpening the drills that have the MT3 or 4 ends to the level where you might even be able to measure any 'additional' runout.

I would second your second paragraph. I was forced to learn quite a bit more than basic skills for sharpening tool bits.
There are some incredible things that can be done with even cemented carbide but would second even the HSS ones use as well.
Can move from a very soft brass and leave a mirror finish then move to a Ti (can't remember the alloy) also leaving that mirror finish and then to a
17-4 Ph stainless and be able to hog off 0.100" radius (need some power to do that!) without having to have some really expensive inserts in your collection.
The inserts most often need to be bought in groups of 10 which really can hit the wallet.
 

awake

Well-Known Member
HMEM Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
1,077
Reaction score
448
Location
North Carolina
Something I just stumbled across this morning - here is a video of a guy doing quite a lot of milling operations on a lathe, without a milling attachment. I don't know that I would recommend some of these - they are a wee bit scary - but I have to admire his ingenuity:

 

packrat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2013
Messages
194
Reaction score
57
awake. Specking of Standard Modern lathe {made in Canada} I think poster should look in to finding one up there {Canada} and forget that Chinese lathe
all it is going to be is a headache. Watch YouTube and see how bad they are.. People spend lots of time and money trying to fix them.
Other option look for a used South Bend, Logan, Rockwell, Clausing, Craftsman/Atlas, Remember Stephan Prystanski is new to lathes and machining..
 
Last edited:

mrbugbums

Active Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
37
Reaction score
9
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
i've been in contact with modern tool. canada. the sales rep quoted me between 12 and 16k for knee mills. i didn't ask about lathes yet. i see their website has quite a few new and used. i think they deal with commercial items mostly. quite expensive....
 

awake

Well-Known Member
HMEM Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
1,077
Reaction score
448
Location
North Carolina
Everything I've heard about Standard Modern suggest this would be a great choice!

As for the Chinese lathes - I can only speak for my own experience, which has been surprisingly positive. Maybe I just got lucky with the one I got ...
 

Richard Hed

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2018
Messages
995
Reaction score
219
Location
Seattle
Something I just stumbled across this morning - here is a video of a guy doing quite a lot of milling operations on a lathe, without a milling attachment. I don't know that I would recommend some of these - they are a wee bit scary - but I have to admire his ingenuity:

THis guy is a Rooski. The Rooskis and Indians are INCREDIBLE when it comes to this kind of stuff. Very ingenious. In the '30s, 40's and 50's people in the west had to do this too but now we just buy the stuff usually.
 

mrbugbums

Active Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
37
Reaction score
9
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
i almost posted that same build.... amazing. so inspiring. my parents first language is Ukrainian. i was raised by my great grandBaba who moved in with us when i was 4. why i became a RN.
so far the slaviks i've met are very hard workers. i noticed a lot of Russian videos of machining. Ever see that video of the russians who made a huge bolt threaded both ways clockwise and counterclockwise. same ginormous bolt and the nut would go on either way you spun it.... it took him a few tries. talk about a lathe video....
 

HennieL

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2020
Messages
64
Reaction score
41
Location
South Africa
awake. Specking of Standard Modern lathe {made in Canada} I think poster should look in to finding one up there {Canada} and forget that Chinese lathe all it is going to be is a headache. Watch YouTube and see how bad they are.. People spend lots of time and money trying to fix them.
I humbly beg to differ - that lathe photo I posted earlier on in this thread (the large lathe, not the little yellow one...) is a Chinese made machine, and after some two years of use I can honestly say that I'm impressed with it - especially given what I paid for it new. Yes, one of the American or British (not te even mention a German) lathe would be smoother and more accurate, but at more than 5 times what I paid for the Chinese lady...err lathe. The Grizzly G0776 13" x 40" is an exact duplicate of mine - made in the same factory, just with a better written English (and not Chinglish) manual. If I lived in North America I would most likely have bought the Chinese made Grizzly, given the positive feedback I've heard about Grizzly, but living in South Africa, a direct import from China is just so much cheaper...
 

Richard Hed

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2018
Messages
995
Reaction score
219
Location
Seattle
I humbly beg to differ - that lathe photo I posted earlier on in this thread (the large lathe, not the little yellow one...) is a Chinese made machine, and after some two years of use I can honestly say that I'm impressed with it - especially given what I paid for it new. Yes, one of the American or British (not te even mention a German) lathe would be smoother and more accurate, but at more than 5 times what I paid for the Chinese lady...err lathe. The Grizzly G0776 13" x 40" is an exact duplicate of mine - made in the same factory, just with a better written English (and not Chinglish) manual. If I lived in North America I would most likely have bought the Chinese made Grizzly, given the positive feedback I've heard about Grizzly, but living in South Africa, a direct import from China is just so much cheaper...
Another thing is that, if you remember Japanese stuff in the '50s, it was so bad that it got the reputation of "made in Japan" which meant it was krap. The stuff form Taiwan was the same, as a country develops ;i;t's industry, it gets better. The Chinese stuff today has a wide range of quality but there is a lot of good stuff really cheap. Another thing one has to be careful with Chinese stuff, if you buy direct, is their failure to offer a warrantee or if there is one, to honor it, not to speak of the problems of getting parts if they are not a well known dealer like Grizzs
 

fcheslop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
962
Reaction score
328
Location
The land of the Prince Bishops
In reply too Richard
There has been a discussion on cut off tools and techniques on the back side of the cross slide. You cannot do this safely if you have a spindle nose that has threads. So be sure to check out what kind of spindle nose you get. My Enco was threaded which caused me a lot of trouble. I bout
You can use a rear parting tool and the chuck dont fly off as the lathe is still running in the normal direction when the tooling is inverted
For my money the Sheerline is a cracking little machine as is the Cowells
cheers
 

Richard Hed

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2018
Messages
995
Reaction score
219
Location
Seattle
In reply too Richard
There has been a discussion on cut off tools and techniques on the back side of the cross slide. You cannot do this safely if you have a spindle nose that has threads. So be sure to check out what kind of spindle nose you get. My Enco was threaded which caused me a lot of trouble. I bout
You can use a rear parting tool and the chuck dont fly off as the lathe is still running in the normal direction when the tooling is inverted
For my money the Sheerline is a cracking little machine as is the Cowells
cheers
Yes, yes, you are correct. I forgot that.
 

oldengineguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2016
Messages
55
Reaction score
12
Location
Woodstock On Can
I thought the idea of using a rear tool post for parting off was to put the tool upside down and run the lathe in the forward direction therefore tightening the chuck onto the spindle. Because I didn't know you need a special lathe to make left hand threads I just went ahead and made them on my old SB Heavy 10. It does not have reverse. I just started at the headstock end and ran the carriage in reverse (toward the tailstock). Is this a machining no no? It certainly worked for me.
 

Richard Hed

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2018
Messages
995
Reaction score
219
Location
Seattle
I thought the idea of using a rear tool post for parting off was to put the tool upside down and run the lathe in the forward direction therefore tightening the chuck onto the spindle. Because I didn't know you need a special lathe to make left hand threads I just went ahead and made them on my old SB Heavy 10. It does not have reverse. I just started at the headstock end and ran the carriage in reverse (toward the tailstock). Is this a machining no no? It certainly worked for me.
That is correct, the spindle continues to run forward, but the carraige threading feed is reversed.
 

L98fiero

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2013
Messages
166
Reaction score
70
Location
Keswick, Ontario
The Chinese stuff today has a wide range of quality but there is a lot of good stuff really cheap. Another thing one has to be careful with Chinese stuff, if you buy direct, is their failure to offer a warrantee or if there is one, to honor it, not to speak of the problems of getting parts if they are not a well known dealer like Grizzs
Yeah, but you can send it back for replacement, at your cost! :p
 

HennieL

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2020
Messages
64
Reaction score
41
Location
South Africa
In fact I think I can bet you a nice steak dinner that you will have far greater issues in sharpening the drills that have the MT3 or 4 ends to the level where you might even be able to measure any 'additional' runout.
You mean drills sharpened like this:
4916.jpg

Probably done more accurately DIY than when bought new ;) (sharpened on a Tormek wet grinder)
 

Courierdog

Well-Known Member
HMEM Supporter
Joined
Dec 21, 2020
Messages
75
Reaction score
46
Location
Edmonton, AB, CA
Now you are talking, I just love my tormek with the DBS-22. My dormer index bought back in the seventies cost $53 which I thought was a lot of money. Now the same set starts at $250. these bits sharpened in the Tormek are better than new. I bought this jig as I have a lot of precision drilling to do on my Acute Tool Sharpening System Kit.
Drills are an essential to any home workshop, and the means to sharpen them easily and with 4 facet is a pleasure now.
DaveC
 

goldstar31

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2010
Messages
3,269
Reaction score
1,136
Location
Twixt Tyne and Tees
I don't think that the Acute System construction is necessarily as accute as suggested

There is a video with lots of drilling done on a hand drilling machine -- using the spotted centred 'spots'

already done

Bazmak made one his scrap box. Probably hitting centres is the easy bit because my chucks are not big enough and I've made them to accept larger diameters by adding soft jaws.
Again, an alternative is not to mill but to join( ? silver solder) two diss

Laughingly and not to be taken on oath of a stack of Bibles, I bought an assortment of £40 worth of round EN1A leaded to slice on my ancient 6 x4 old metal bandsaw.

Hells Bells, I've got rather high precision 'takel'. Geordie for tackle and basically I'm just keeping the grey matter with challenges

Cheers

Norman
 

Latest posts

Top