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Wanted WTB: Unimat 3, BEGGING for help.

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Bazzer

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Completely agree about the Sherline, exceptional machine!

I have some Proxxon gear and they do make beautiful and generally very well designed tools, but the really big letdown for me is the ridiculously useless motor duty cycle on most of them. Do the PD250 and 400 suffer the same design issue, or they can run for longer periods?
There is a very good upgrade review of the PD400 on youtube

(61) Proxxon PD400 lathe review part I - YouTube

The reviewer is a perfectionist and in the comments section I managed to get him to comment upon duty cycle and the answer is quite encouraging, he has run the lathe for 3 hours.
 

Gedeon Spilett

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I do have a Sakai ML210, with the milling attachement, since more than 25 years, it is a clone of the Toyo lathe, I'm happy with it, you may extend your search to this model, and its many clones, very close to the Unimat 3 you desperately wish..
 

SmithDoor

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This lathe would be much better for you and less frustrating then a Sherline or Taig. This was just listed on Facebook Marketplace. It’s a South Bend lathe.
South Bend Lathe is great lathe and find a lot tooling but is larger and heavier than Sherline or Taig

Dave
 

markn1061

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I have the Unimat 3 lathe/mill, Sherline lathe and mill, and a min-lathe and try to use all three for what they were intended for. Whatever you choose, the three of the most important criteria I think should be considered are motor torque, rigidity, and available accessories. You'll likely be disappointed if your choice can't be met by all three.

I bought the Unimat 3 new back in the late 80s and have always been disappointed in the motor torque but impressed by the rigidity and design. In the past I only used if for very light work. I've upgraded it to DC motors within the last year so it has a lot more torque, variable speed, and very quiet. I intend to use it for the PM Model machines kits and other model building inside the house because of those advantages. If you choose the Unimat 3 expect to replace the AC motors with DC motors including new a power supply and associated electronics. Unimat 3 accessories are also very limited.

The Sherline is similar to the Unimat with a lot more power out of the box than the Unimat with a huge amount of accessories. I use the lathe and mill in the garage because of the size but rigidity suffers as the machine is pushed to it's limits causing damaged parts. It's also not as quiet as the Unimat with DC motors but is still quiet enough to use inside the house. Customer service is also available.

I use the mini lathe for larger work in the garage. It has quiet a few modifications to improve power and rigidity. The accessories are still plentiful but can't be used inside the house and not easily transportable. The handwheels are also a disappointment because they are not as smooth turning as either the Unimat or Sherline but the runout is better than either of the two at .0002" measured at the spindle.

Out of the three I would recommend the Sherline as a first choice. It can do everything the Unimat can do and more. The most significant advantage the Sherline mill has is the Unimat is limited 7" X axis, 2" Y axis and about 6" Z axis travel. Also keep in mind chips are thrown about a 10ft diameter. Another reason I keep these in the garage.

However, there's something about the compact size and footprint of the Unimat lathe/mill combination makes it too hard to replace with a Sherline for model building.
 

markn1061

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Motors are 24V 150W Model ZY6812GR that are 68mm in dia and 101mm long that fit in the existing mounts. RPMs are 0 to whatever pulley size you choose. I chose close to a 1 to 1 and gives me over 3000RPM. Both the lathe and mill use the same size. You'll also have to make your own urethane belts. Electronics are just a good 24V power supply and a couple of cheap electronic pots. All parts including the enclosure and switches were from Ebay and Amazon.
 

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Thanks for that. I think comparable to my Unimat SL conversion using a 220V DC PM motor rated 500W at 12000rpm. Dia 52mm x 68 long. At 6000rpm it gives the same torque as the original motor at 4000rpm, SO I use a cheap electronic variable speed control to halve the speed (sounds 1 octave lower than full speed). Then I use the belt gearing to select Mainshaft speed. I am making a new pulley too fit the 5mm motor shaft instead of the original 6mm shaft. The motor fits inside the original SL motor casing, after a few minor mods. and ventilation slots. I have added a 40mm computer fan to force cooling air through the casing to help keep it cool.
Works fine.
Cheers,
K2
 
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Fully agree with re-motoring a small lathe. For small components I got a TAIG lathe (I understand comparable to Sherline). As motor I mounted a 40 V DC motor of 155 Watt and 6.000 rpm max. With the belt gearing of 3:1:3 I get speeds of about creeping up to theoretically 18.000 rpm - in practice 10.000 rpm. This is very nice because e.g. the theoretical good revs for drilling a hole of dia 1 mm with a HSS drill is 8.000 rpm which is not attainable on my Schaublin 102 VM or Myford Super Seven lathes. This set-up works quite well for me. See pictures of the specification-plate, motor mounting on a simple hinge and controls in base.

DC motor for TAIG.JPG
Taig motor on hinge.JPG
Motor controls in base.JPG
 
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