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Lathes.

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Lathes.

Unread postAuthor: warhead052 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:18 am

What is the best lathe in your opinion? Should I buy one from harbor freight or what? I don't need a gigantic lathe, just one that works. Another question is how hard would it be to build one (scale of 1-10)? I know these are newbie questions, but please don't troll/flame me about it. I looked around and people seem to like the sherline alot.
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Unread postAuthor: urgle the danish cow » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:24 am

building one would sure be a challenge but the harbor freight ones are a nice investment. just remember the cost of all the tools and attatchments that are needed to perform successful lathe operations
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Unread postAuthor: cammyd32 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:35 am

A Sherline I think would be your best option if you want to do anything to do with metal, from reliable sources I can also tell you that they last a very long time.
Trying to make one I don't think is going to be easy, I considered it once I saw the price of a new lathe but after a bit of thinking I disregarded the idea as not worth the effort. ( I am thinking 8/10 on this one) if you did decide to build one you would probably need a lathe to make the parts anyway!!! :D
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:37 am

Even a basic and cheap-o lathe like this one will cost you around $500, throw in at least another $100 worth of tools to be able to use it. Do you have these moneys?

As to building your own, there are plenty of online guides like this one. It be cheaper financially but will take a measure of skill and dedication, you decide if you can see it through ;)
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Unread postAuthor: Gaderelguitarist » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:38 am

If you're looking for a midi lathe, I would suggest Delta. For a precision machining lathe, go with Sherline.

There are several people who have built lathes using a power drill and a home made tail stock attachment. It doesn't look too terribly difficult, but it doesn't look like a viable option as far as I'm concerned.
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Unread postAuthor: Demon » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:16 pm

I went over an exceptionnal bargain and got my 7x12 (The one in Jack's link, but a little bit longer) for 350$ and enough tools to make my 6mm .43g carbine and my M82A1.

So dont expect any lower in price.
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Unread postAuthor: jor2daje » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:26 pm

Id look at what you want to do with it and decide if you really need it, with a little creativity you can do alot with just hand tools. If you are serious about getting a lathe and dont just think it's something neat you've seen a couple videos of, you should start doing some research. Theres tons of info online, I read through hundreds of pages before I got my lathe, by the time I got it I was comfortable in its operation and could use it safely and effectively.

If you do that and still want a lathe then you need to look at what you want to do, sherline is a great lathe, but it's very small so if you thing your going to turn large pistons or fittings (4+") youre going to want something bigger. You could go for a harbor freight lathe but they're considered preassembled kits that you have to take completely apart then clean, polish, smooth and lubricate before the work acceptably. I personanly would recommend something like an atlas or a south bend, they're a about 8 or 9 in. Swing so you'll have more room for larger diameter work than a sherline or harbor freight. And since they can be over 100 years old they are built very solidly, and there are enough of them that they can be had very cheaply. In my area a 9" model A (the model with all power feeds and quick change gear box) goes for about $600. It's. Bit more than a harbor freight but you get a much better tool and chances are that the previous owner will include any tooling that they have specifically for that lathe so you will end up saving money there.

If you're looking at building your own lathe it is doable there's a few instructables and such on it, but if you build it on a budget (what I'm guessing you're planning on doing) you will not get much precision and you will still spend quite a bit on tooling like chucks bits. If you want to build a lathe because you want it to be better than some commercially available alternative, it will end up costing more and you will. Need tools like a large mill and lathe in order to make it, and because of your lack of knowledge, tooling and funds this clearly isn't an option.
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Last edited by jor2daje on Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: warhead052 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:28 pm

Ok. Well it looks like I need to start saving up. I have an idea for a home made lathe, I will post it when I finish it. I have most of the parts right now and you guys are going to laugh when you see it.
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Unread postAuthor: irisher » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:31 pm

In order to help you out we need to have more information. Do you want a metal lathe or a wood lathe. What do you plan to do with it? A sherline is good for small metal stuff but if you want to do large things check craigslist for used lathes or look into 9x20 or 10x22 imports.
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Unread postAuthor: warhead052 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:39 pm

Metal/wood. Mostly metal though.
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Unread postAuthor: jor2daje » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:47 pm

What are you hoping to make? Looking at some of your projects you definitely haven't reached the limit of what can be done with hand tools.
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Unread postAuthor: warhead052 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:01 pm

I have a few ideas in my head, and I know my projects are perfect, but I feel that I have reached the limit. PVC just doesn't do the justice any more.
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Unread postAuthor: Alster370 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:59 pm

Would anyone be able to give some views on the axminster lathes? Ive got my sights on them at the moment.
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:21 pm

Alster370 wrote:Would anyone be able to give some views on the axminster lathes? Ive got my sights on them at the moment.


Sieg is a good lathe. Just like the 7X10 in JSR's link... :wink:

They want to much for it though, you can get them else where cheeper...
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Unread postAuthor: Alster370 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:24 pm

How about the C0? its the only one i can actually afford. :oops:

http://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-si ... rod559017/
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