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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:39 pm

john bunsenburner wrote:ARG! tht is WAY out of my price range. Also i found a CNC on ebay that costs 1000$, there must be something that would be better for me. I just can't believe that this is the only thing i can get... :cry:


This is the reason I don't have a lathe.. I want one.. I really do.
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Unread postAuthor: john bunsenburner » Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:55 pm

I found lots of lathes for around 100-200£ on ebay.co.uk, how come those are no good?
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Unread postAuthor: POLAND_SPUD » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:03 pm

in poland everything is dirt cheap... well everything apart from lathes and drill presses.. they are almost 4 times as expensive when compared with prices in the US
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Unread postAuthor: john bunsenburner » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:06 pm

Great, the only country i go to besides my own is useless for lathes! So, what do i do now? I really want a lathe, i really need it, where do i get one?
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:26 pm

john bunsenburner wrote:I found lots of lathes for around 100-200£ on ebay.co.uk, how come those are no good?


For the same reason a printed circuit board mini drill is useless in cutting the hole in a concrete wall for the new water main. It's under powered and under size to make the larger stuff.

Look at the specs. What size chuck is on those. What is the power of the motor. Most of the mini lathes have the power of a sewing machine.
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Unread postAuthor: john bunsenburner » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:34 pm

ok what power do i need? then i can search more specifically
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:54 pm

john bunsenburner wrote:ok what power do i need? then i can search more specifically


Many lathes don't specify the power, but just like buying electric drills, the motor is sized for the chuck. A 1/4 in drill is generally lower power than a 3/8th drill. For arm twisting torque, use a 1/2 inch drill.

On a lathe, they are sized by the chuck, the swing and the length.

The swing is the biggest space you have to turn for example a hydraulic pump case that needs a crank journal turned. It doesn't always mean it can turn the surface at the outside of the swing. A compound gear head for slow high torque turning is a feature needed to do that. Not all lathes have a compound head. It quickly adds cost.

Chuck, Diameter of the chuck. Some 3 and 4 jaw chucks have removable and reversible jaws. Nice feature. Instead of clamping on the outside of the work, they can clamp from the inside. Nice for turning castings for valve bodies. To reverse these, simply open the chuck all the way until the jaws fall out, swap them end for and and put them back. Now the steps face out instead of in. A nice feature on better lathes. This is often not included on cheap lathes which sometimes come with just a Jacobs chuck.

**Edit, many of the Harbor Freight ones have a spindle bore size specified. It's the size you can fit in the chuck.**

Length. how long of a piece will fit between the tailstock and chuck.
**edit**:oops: Length is the bed length. The tail stock sits on the bed. Maximum work length is shorter. ***end edit***

A mini lathe is often too small to chuck a short piece of 2 inch pipe and too underpowered to machine the surface at cutting speed.
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Last edited by Technician1002 on Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: Sparkie » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:47 pm

http://users.tpg.com.au/users/p8king/tl4000.htm

Here is a site I found just googling here in Australia.
Has US prices so maybe they can ship to where you are.
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:07 pm

John I've been a mechanic for 28 years, I been in a lot of shops and different types of shops. I'm telling you right now every thing Technician1002 is saying is spot on! Now understand everything everybody else is saying has it's merit as well. Different people can work with different tools and come up with great work it's simply amazing, know what I'm saying.

About the CNC Lathes, They cost way more because they have high precision step motors to control EVERTHING. I have the Harbor Freight 8X12 Manaul Lathe and have about $900.00 wrapped up into it and tooling now. When you buy any mini-lathe like mine you have to invest in tooling. Centers, steady rest, cutters, parting tools, calipers ect...

For your budget you might be able to get a pretty sweet drill press and the vise shown in Techs picture (with I have myself and love it), it's a great vise!

Hope this helps. :D
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Unread postAuthor: john bunsenburner » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:28 pm

Ok, so what CANT i do with a drill press that i cna do with a lathe? maybe the drill press full fills my needs...?
I know soem of my questions are simple or stupid but i have no experience with machining and want to get a full picture.
Also really i don't mind spending bit by bit but i would like to keep the lathe's price down a bit, tooling and so on i will get with time and the need to get it.
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:35 pm

Go to www.mini-lathe.com and check it out.
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:44 pm

john bunsenburner wrote:Ok, so what CANT i do with a drill press that i cna do with a lathe? maybe the drill press full fills my needs...?
I know soem of my questions are simple or stupid but i have no experience with machining and want to get a full picture.
Also really i don't mind spending bit by bit but i would like to keep the lathe's price down a bit, tooling and so on i will get with time and the need to get it.


The drill press lacking a tailstock doesn't do long items well. Again, like mini lathes, they don't turn large hollow items as there is no practical way to chuck them or gear it to low RPM to keep the cutting speed right.

My piston on the 2 inch cannon was about the max limit for my drill press.
A slight taper is in the piston as the work bent away from the tool when working away from near the chuck. The work chattered badly when working far from the chuck.



See my Quick Dump Valve video to see the mess it made of the 2 inch
piston. The side isn't pretty. Smaller stuff turns out nice.

To turn my future 3 inch piston, I'm planning on just cutting layers of 1.25 sheet and turning the layers and then assembling it much like the plywood ones seen elsewhere. It isn't practical to turn a 3 inch long piston on the drill press.

The photos posted of the shorter stuff are my good work. The little pistons shown in my o ring video are simply reversed and machined twice, once from each end. Creativity is used to overcome the tool limitations.

Go to www.mini-lathe.com and check it out.

Too bad you have to join to even read posts :(
It may be a good place to lurk for a while without stepping in as a total noob.
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Unread postAuthor: Gippeto » Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:56 pm

John, even the cheapest hobby lathe you can buy will turn plastic, aluminum, brass, and even mild steel if you keep the depth and feed of cut within the rigidity and power limits of the machine.(And use a sharp bit.)

How large of a diameter did you have in mind?

Optimum cutting speeds are just that. It doesn't mean you MUST run at that speed or it won't work. You can still machine things if you're running at lower speeds.

Spindle bore size has nothing to do with chuck capacity. It is the largest size of bar stock that will pass THROUGH the spindle.

That being said, $430 is not much of a budget to be shopping for a lathe, even a cheap one. But you could watch the classifieds and maybe find a used one in good shape, often with tooling you'll need.

Perhaps you should post a link or two to the lathes you're considering.
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Unread postAuthor: twizi » Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:38 pm

i have the same problem but im look into this one

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/d ... mber=5980e [url]
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Unread postAuthor: Hotwired » Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:50 pm

I can understand the problem of the workpiece and tool chattering with the increased torque at the further end of the material because quite frankly drill presses aren't meant to be used like that...

...but what's preventing the securing of the other end of the piston by drilling straight through and allowing the hole to fit over a fixed pin or cone to hold the bottom end central as its being worked on.

Perhaps invest in another vice ^^
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