Little Adept lathe for my 5 year old

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Hi Guys,

The couple of wheels that I currently have are rated for a maximum speed of 5500 rpm. However its not difficult to adjust pulley sizes to get higher or lower speeds.
An update from me too.
View attachment 119114
Lathe is now painted up to match daddies myford. I forgot the tool clamp though so will have to paint that separately. Masking take and blue tack to bung the holes up.


Hi Jon,

Nice job.

I bought a 2.5 Ltr tin of supposedly Myford green, its much darker !
Anyway its not stopped me from using it on just about everything I built or refurbished. I've got a few scratches that could do with touching up but the colour difference stands out like a sore thumb !
The green enamel I've got I bought at 50p a tin, the red hasn't gone on too well, too much thinners but the green paints lovely and leaves a nice smooth surface over even the rough castings of the Adept. I decided not to fettle them smooth before painting as that's how they came from the factory so retains its cheap and ready charm. Others may disagree but still none the less it's for my little boy. At the moment he won't notice the difference. (I hope lol).

On with assembly today.
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I maybe doing something right or wrong but I got the hss lathe tool from it to cut vastly better than the CCMT 6020 carbide insert.
Have you tried the CCGT inserts? Yes, I know they are for non-ferrous but I've used them, at the appropriate speed, for 304 and 316 austenitic stainless where they work well for finishing cuts and boring and low power lathes should benefit from the reduced forces because of the top rake, they perform much like HSS.
Can these be bought through UK person/firm, plese?

I don't do payments to ''abroad' having been done before


If your asking about the inserts, they'll definitely be available pretty much anywhere. Just a quick Google search shows Chronos has a package of 10 inserts for £20
Thank you- I got my 8mm set of tools from Chronos. I'm very happy though with high quality hss tools-- driven by a Quorn etc

As you say, it will be worth an experiment

Thanks you, Best Wishes

Well, after an eventful day, involving my two boys, and the cat, and an even more eventful drive to drop the kids all home. I can finally get around to posting a pic.
Taken a test cut with the tools that came with it and not surprisingly the cut wasn't great, so I think a grind tommorrow and get a sharp tool. It was shiny but not cutting right. As for me long day, (+4hour drive) so turning in for the night.
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I'm going to sharpen the tool and cut slowly, plus get it on centre height correctly, seemed to cut better when slow, but seemed to chatter when faster. So first make sure the tools sharpened right, set right then look at new spindle ect if i still have issues.
If and I wrote 'if' the bed is flat--- and the tailstock is parallel to the bed, you could successfully use a boring tool to remove the wear and provide a new bearing surface. Then-- and 'Then' you make a new mandrel to fit.

i don't think that you have a hope in Hell of boring it held at 90 degrees on your Amolco.

My thoughts of course


The bore seemed good to be honest, spindle maybe worn a little. But considering the tools are an unknown I'll see what it's like after that. Needs a layshaft for more torque at low speed. It'll let the motor run at full RPM too which should mean less likely to burn stuff out.

I do take your point on the spindle boring, and there isn't a hope of boring it on the mill I have.


The snag with old age is that one finally throws out a lot of information-- and then neding it.
I DO recall David Lammas writing in Model Engineer about the ML4 restoration and illustrating the two types of wear etc on a plain spindle.

I have forgotten which was which.

Sad- isn't it

After having a quick think, it may be possible to bore the spindle, IF the bed is flat, by turning the milling head 180° and hanging it off the back of the ML4 bed, by bolting an angle plate to the tailstock end of the bed, would be a bit of a precarious setup though on a cantilever bed.
I'll look up the articles if I can.
Hi Jon,
I wondered if you would like to see the Wizard lathe I am just restoring. It is very similar to the Adept as you can see.
I've been following your posts with interest and they have been helpful to me in deciding about layout, motor etc. I have been wondering if there are any benefits from having a countershaft. Perhaps the motor speed could be higher for a given spindle speed and so more torque for the machning.

The 8mm square shank insert tools seem to be made for this size of lathe.


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The countershaft works as a gear train, a lot easier to drive your car up hill in 1st or 2nd gear than 5th. By reducing speed the torque is increased. The other benefit is there is less electrical resistance, so brushes last longer and potentiometer switches are under less load. So easier on the electrics for benefit of more torque to remove metal.

Your lathe looks very nice. Is it a brushless motor your using?

At the moment I've got some 1/4" tooling and packing. Which a larger tool would mean less packing but not so much in the range of adjustable centre height. Once I've tried the lathe with a known sharp tool then I'll be better able to gauge if it needs work elsewhere.

The lathe was given to me many years ago together with an Adept but the Adept needed much more work to make it serviceable.

The motor is just a normal 100w sewing machine type obtained via the internet. I understand that a reasonable upper spindle speed is around 1000rpm. so with a reduction pulley ratio of about 3:1 the motor is not near its max revs of 7000. The speed control is a triac phase angle type, not very sophiscated and I have also a no volt-release switch as a safety precaution. The use of a countershaft increases the lathe footprint quite a bit which is why I haven't used one so far.

I'll continue to watch your progress with interest.
After having a quick think, it may be possible to bore the spindle, IF the bed is flat, by turning the milling head 180° and hanging it off the back of the ML4 bed, by bolting an angle plate to the tailstock end of the bed, would be a bit of a precarious setup though on a cantilever bed.
I'll look up the articles if I can.

Hi Jon,

I wouldn't even think about boring the bearings for the spindle until you are absolutely sure that it is needed.

Make sure that your tools are as close to center height as you can get them. Check and adjust the cross slide gib for minimum play whilst still being able to move it smoothly. Do the same for the saddle ! Check the saddle at both ends of the bed, it will get tight as it moves towards the tail stock.

There are other things you can check but the ones I've mentioned should get you in the ball park.

Whilst I remember did you try the speed control ?
Hi John,

No I've not tried the speed control yet, although it is sat with the lathe. I only finished getting the lathe back together yesterday, before all hell broke loose with the boys and the cat. Then the afore mentioned 4 hour drive, which included two children feeling travel sick, an unplanned toilet stop, a diversion, and lack of a good meal beforehand meant a bit of a grumpy driver. I finished putting it all together late last night after getting home, and the pics above are as far as I got.

The Gibs for the slides were all adjusted, and although a little stiff, there is no movement of the compound now. The saddle moves the full length of the bed easily without getting tighter, so signs are good for little wear. Need to get a bottle of oil with one of those blunt syringe needles fitted to make lubricating the oil holes easier, I used a cocktail stick and just let a drip into all the holes. the oil dispersed gradually, in the spindle, so I imagine the spindle is fairly good fit. overall the strip down clean and paint has improved the finish of the work no end from my initial test cut with no work done, so I'll grind some tools, dig the feeler gauges out, and set it up and see if it works better a second time around when I aren't so tired and have more patients to try trouble shooting the poor finish.


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