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Lathe anyone?

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Lathe anyone?

Unread postAuthor: brogdenlaxmiddie » Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:39 pm

I have got a good amount of funds to buy a metal working lathe. I was wondering if any of you guys knew where to get a good one that isn't costing an arm, leg, and first born.... Also, any tips on lathing?
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:08 pm

I got mine from Harbor Freight, it's the 8X12. A great starter lathe. Go to cnczone.com to study operations and usage. :wink:
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Unread postAuthor: judgment_arms » Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:14 pm

jrrdw wrote:I got mine from Harbor Freight...

Funny, I was about to recommend he check harbor freight and/or northern tool.
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Unread postAuthor: Gippeto » Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:27 am

Two books that will come in handy (repeatedly) are;

The Home Machinist's Handbook by Doug Briney (the basics, set ups and use)

Machinery's Handbook (Pretty expensive, but try ebay or download it)
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:36 am

The Home Machinist's Handbook by Doug Briney (the basics, set ups and use)


Yes, I have this one myself. I'll have to check out the other one.
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Unread postAuthor: THUNDERLORD » Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:03 am

Thanks for the book info. I am going to check on those myself at the library nearby me. They have a lot of stuff and computers with internet.

I worked in a machine shop one year after H.S. but i used to leave there all covered with metal chips and machine oil,ironically mostly too tired to want to tinker. I'd love to get back into that and learn some more welding.
Just don't be scared to try stuff on it. Don't wear gloves because they can get caught on the spinning parts.

Milling machines are great also, I think they're the only machine considered to be able to reproduce itself without any other machine.

BTW, I heard a story once that a guy went in to the shop (first day) and put on a hard hat because the sign said Hard hat area.(but noone else wore them). So everyone was looking at him.

There was another guy on the lathe in front of him filing a piece of revolving metal with a file without a handle.
And right when the new guy leaned over to adjust his lathe the file shot out of the guy in fronts hand and went into his hard hard.

Story goes that he stood up straight with the file sticking out the top of his hard hat, removed the hard had and set it down and walked out the door and never came back!!! :wink: 8)
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Unread postAuthor: brogdenlaxmiddie » Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:00 pm

well hopefully, thunderlord, that doesn't quite happen w/ me :wink:
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Unread postAuthor: Launch-Tek » Thu May 01, 2008 8:20 pm

Try grizzlyindustrial dot com. I've been happy with the lathe and mill I got from them. I've found some of the same machines that northern caries for less at Grizzly. They have different paint and stickers.

As for tips:
Safety first.

Don't stick your fingers where they shouldn't be. It doesn't feel good. :cry: Stop everything before using fingers.

A small air line can be used to help keep the work clear of shavings.

No long sleeves and keep long hair back unless you like looking like hamburger.

Always keep the e-stop in when the key is in the chuck. Sounds simple but can be a hard habit to keep. Pain is a good reminder when you get hit by a flying key. :oops:

Get a QCTP (Quick Change Tool Post) and extra tool holders. They will save you tons of time and is well worth the money. I was spending so much time shimming and changing tools that the QCTP paid for it's self in a few days.

Have fun!
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Thu May 01, 2008 9:33 pm

A good place for tooling is Enco. They have good prices and a huge web site. I buy tool bits bulk rate, well bought once pack of 15. Made a bunch of different shaped cutters.
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Unread postAuthor: THUNDERLORD » Thu May 01, 2008 10:59 pm

jrrdw wrote:A good place for tooling is Enco. They have good prices and a huge web site. I buy tool bits bulk rate, well bought once pack of 15. Made a bunch of different shaped cutters.


Imagine what this site would be if everyone learned machining.
Hello Spudlandia!!!! :wink: 8)
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Unread postAuthor: bluerussetboy » Fri May 02, 2008 8:39 am

THUNDERLORD wrote:Milling machines are great also, I think they're the only machine considered to be able to reproduce itself without any other machine.

BTW, I heard a story once that a guy went in to the shop (first day) and put on a hard hat because the sign said Hard hat area.(but noone else wore them). So everyone was looking at him.

There was another guy on the lathe in front of him filing a piece of revolving metal with a file without a handle.
And right when the new guy leaned over to adjust his lathe the file shot out of the guy in fronts hand and went into his hard hard.

Story goes that he stood up straight with the file sticking out the top of his hard hat, removed the hard had and set it down and walked out the door and never came back!!! :wink: 8)


Not all milling machines can reproduce themselves. Bridgeport was highly regarded as the only milling machine that could for the longest time.

As for your story, I've heard it or variations from several different machine shops over the years. So I'm gonna say BS.
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Fri May 02, 2008 9:05 am

THUNDERLORD wrote:Milling machines are great also, I think they're the only machine considered to be able to reproduce itself without any other machine.

I can think of another... but you do need two for the task, and it normally takes just over 9 months.
(Yes, I know, very out of character for me that kind of joke.)

About the story - it may well have elements of truth in it, but it sounds rather embellished over the years.
I somehow doubt that a lathe would be able to throw a file so violently it could penetrate a hard hat though (have you any idea how tough those are?).

Most likely something of that essence has happened once or twice, but the file probably didn't pierce the hat, and when someone retold the story, they ramped it up a bit to make it sound more impressive to their mates.
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Unread postAuthor: Gippeto » Fri May 02, 2008 9:19 am

It's a story designed to scare children, with little or no basis in reality.

Please note, powerful spinning tools can hurt you easily.

If you were DUMB enough to use a file near the chuck, the spinning chuck would drive said file (sans handle yet) through your hand.

Those who do this are simply warming up for their own darwin award.
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Unread postAuthor: bluerussetboy » Fri May 02, 2008 9:23 am

Somewhere back in '03-'04(?) Cornell University created a proof-of-concept robot that could actually reproduce itself. If I recall it used magnetic building blocks, named after molecules.
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Unread postAuthor: THUNDERLORD » Fri May 02, 2008 10:02 am

Ragnarok wrote:I can think of another... but you do need two for the task, and it normally takes just over 9 months.
(Yes, I know, very out of character for me that kind of joke.)...


Had to read the fine print to get that one. That was funny Ragnarok.
You have a very intelligent "wit" sometimes and it makes me consider you very intelligent. :wink:

I was reading over the recent replies. I did state it's a "story I heard" and
"I think" I wouldn't write something with out explaining that.

As far as the file story, I think it's possible.
Also it was told to me by my machining teacher (who also explained it's just a story) so I think it's a good story to repeat for entertainment purposes.
BTW most hard hats are just plastic here.

I've heard a true one about someone wearing gloves (in the shop I used to work in) and slapping the alum. shaving from a drill bit in a mill and their glove snagged twisted the guys whole arm around the bit and chuck and broke several bones from his hand through his arm!!!
(that's why I stated "don't wear gloves...")

I heard the one , before it was ever on mythbusters, from an OSHA inspector about the worker who was holding onto a 4x8' foot plywood sheet on the 8th floor was blown by wind out the building and hung on to the sheet and was blown back into the building on the 5th (?)or 3rd floor.
That STORY also goes that he left and never returned.

I remember one my junior h.s. shop teacher told (probably true) about a
guy working on a car who set a metal nut on top of the radiator and it vibrated off, hit the fan blade on the radiator and shot out and put one of his eyes out.

The Osha inspector told us a true story (w/ photos) about a guy driving a truck with a board sticking out the back and the board smacked a guy walking and took his head off and the man driving didn't even know until later!!! (That one goes that he got sick and then called his wife)

Those are just the type stories you never forget that's all. 8)
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