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JSR wants a lathe/mill thread -> JSR buys Sherline

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JSR wants a lathe/mill thread -> JSR buys Sherline

Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Tue May 17, 2011 9:05 am

Does anyone have any experience of this deviceor similar unbranded knock-offs?

Image

It looks like just the sort of thing one would need to work with small parts with reasonable "spudgun grade" accuracy and materials. I will always remain a diehard enthusiast of epoxy casting, but I feel the time has come to add such a tool to my workshop - and at less than $400 posted, it's right within my budget.

My worry is that it's an all-in-one-not-particularly-good-at-anything sort of contraption so I'm keen to hear if anyone has first hand experience with these things.
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Last edited by jackssmirkingrevenge on Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Unread postAuthor: Labtecpower » Tue May 17, 2011 9:53 am

My brother gave me this Unimat 1 thing, and it’s really a piece of JUNK! It cost $449 new according to what I found on the net, which is INSANE. Anyways, I can’t see letting it sit around and do nothing, with what it sells for new. I figure I should sell it, probably for about 1/2 price seen as how it’s barely been used. I haven’t tried the lathe functions, but as a milling machine, it’s NOT capable of much. I bought a 6mm 4 flute solid carbide endmill, seen as how the only metal collet it comes with is that size, and it just hogs in and pulls the piece out of the vise, or sends the head out of tram. That’s trying to take a very light cut in a piece of PINE! Tried aluminum, and it makes the poor thing chatter so bad it sounds like it’s going to break at any second. I’ve tried varying the speed of the motor by using a variable powersupply instead of the powerpack that came with it, and it’s not much better. I’ve had it for a LONG time, just sitting there because I didn’t expect it to actually work and I was right. Then I tried some balsa wood, and found a material it can actually handle! I dunno if smaller endmills would help, or if there is actually a way to make practical use of this thing, but I don’t plan on doing anything with it. The $10 I spent on the 6mm endmill was enough. I have better things to do than fart around with a TOY machine tool. Does anybody know anything about this thing, actually own one, or know anybody that would want it??? Am I missing something or is this thing really as much of a POS as it seems??


Also, I have read the clamps that hold the (chisel?) for turning metal are made out of plastic. They claim an accuracy of 0,03 mm wich is really opportunistic. The plastic parts flex far too much for an accuracy like that.
I would say the accuracy of this machine should be in the 0,2 mm range.

It also has a 12v motor. To get any respectable turning power, I think you need at least 750 watt. The motor needs to draw about 62 amps to reach that, and that sounds a little too high. The lathes at my school use about 1,5 kW when turning nylon.

If you're wanting to turn very tight pistons and bolts, this isn't really the thing to buy. Especially not when you're planning on turning iron or brass.
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Unread postAuthor: velocity3x » Tue May 17, 2011 10:04 am

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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Tue May 17, 2011 10:05 am

Image

My dad has one that he inherited from his dad. They are known for small desktop models with small motors. They typically run off a sewing machine motor and use sewing machine belts of the old style (round not flat belts). Replacement belts can be found as larger o rings. They are popular with clock makers and model steam engine hobbists.

My dad's looks somewhat like the one in the photo but with lots more use so it has much less paint.

Due to the belt drive on the carriage lead screw instead of gears, they are not very good at making accurate threads on the old models. I don't know if they upgraded to direct gear drive for making accurate threads.
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Unread postAuthor: Heimo » Tue May 17, 2011 10:12 am

I looked at one of those in a store, and I agree with the above, it is a utter piece of junk....

Unimat used to make pretty decent mini lathes like This one one of those would be perfect for you, or if you can find one of these it would be perfect too...
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Unread postAuthor: Labtecpower » Tue May 17, 2011 10:22 am

Also take a look at this one. It looks pretty good to me. Respectable power, and pretty small. It also weighs only 20 kgs, so it should fit on a desk.

It's Dutch BTW.

I'll see if I can find some more info for you. I might actually get one myself if it proves to be good :roll:
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Unread postAuthor: Heimo » Tue May 17, 2011 10:41 am

Labtecpower wrote:Also take a look at this one. It looks pretty good to me. R


I actually had a look at a larger lathe of the same brand, I must say I was impressed by the quality of the workmanship, I won't put this under the category as those Chinese mini lathes...
did I mention machine tool stores are one of my favorite places to shop... :D
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Tue May 17, 2011 11:06 am

velocity3x wrote:Moreopinions found here


They pretty much concur with the opinions expressed here, thanks for the heads up guys.
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Tue May 17, 2011 2:58 pm

I had the exact model you pictured JSR. It was total junk. Why they get away with using the Unimat name I don't know but it's a crime for sure. Look at the Unimat Tech pictured, that is the real deal. You can get mill attachments for them as well. They are intended for a watch makers scale of work all though you can find them in old school jewelers shops as well. Hang onto that one Tech, it's worth more then the money it is worth... :wink:
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Tue May 17, 2011 3:36 pm

Thanks jrrdw, in the meantime I spotted a used myford lathe for not too much $$$, hmm...
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Unread postAuthor: LeMaudit » Tue May 17, 2011 3:47 pm

I'm late after the battle, but I agree with everyone :-D

This is not rigid enough for any serious job, and the motor lack the torque at low speed, which is mandatory. 20000 rpm is useless really. This is for grinding or drilling with sub-miniature carbide drills. Not for turning PVC or UHMW :-D

The old Unimat lathes were very different animals, much better and still in use (and loved) today by many modelers.

Taig and Sherline are the alternative for small work.
http://www.sherline.com/
http://www.taigtools.com/
The problem with Taig was the lack of tooling attachments, but recently retailers offer more and more adapters to use Sherline line on them, which is the best really on the market. I would go for Taig if I had to machine steel more often because the machine is more rigid, but for aluminum brass and plastic I never regretted my choice for Sherline.

Now, in Europe there's also Proxxon, which make I think very nice machines. They will not be less expensive, but maybe more adapted to the metric tooling that can be found there.
http://www.proxxontools.com/
http://www.proxxon.com/us/html/34104.html

It is certainly cheapest to buy an old lathe + milling attachment, but for that you need the space. You would have a larger better more rigid machine for the same price as a miniature one, but you need a garage or workshop to keep it. With a machine like the Taig or Sherline, and in a certain measure Proxxon, you can put that in a closet when you're done.
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Tue May 17, 2011 4:09 pm

MYFORD LATHE YeeHaa! :D
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Unread postAuthor: LeMaudit » Tue May 17, 2011 4:12 pm

myford lathe


Now you're talking... I might even be a bit jealous :D
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Unread postAuthor: Heimo » Tue May 17, 2011 4:53 pm

myford made some very nice lathes... that would be a good bet....

if you have the opportunity to inspect the lathe before buying, I would check for excessive wear to the ways, damage to ways(like dings, deep scratches .etc), play in the spindle and also something very important to check is for broken gear teeth, or excessive wear to the gears, make sure all the change gears (also called change wheels) are present and accounted for (that is the gears that are used for cutting screw threads) the lathe can be used without the change gears, but there it will limit functionality if I think of any more things you should look out for, I will add them here...
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Unread postAuthor: irisher » Tue May 17, 2011 4:56 pm

Like Heimo said; it is very important to look at the bed, especially near the chuck because their may be a dip from excessive use. Also check the lead screw for wear.
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