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Micro lathe - Where to start

A place to ask general spud cannon related questions.
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Unread postAuthor: D_Hall » Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:25 am

I was given a Unimat several years ago. I agree that it doesn't have the torque to do more than about an inch in diameter in mild steel (actually, I've never attempted something like steel at larger than about 1/4"), but for softer materials (soft aluminum and plastics) I've done to about 2" diameter. For somebody on a severe budget, I don't think it's that bad. You could argue that the buyer will soon want something bigger but that will always be true. I have access to a lathe that can turn 30" diameter stock.... And I've wanted things turned that wouldn't fit that lathe(*)!

But if your budget really is constrained.... Even if your designs outgrow your lathe, so what? A lathe that won't do everything you want is still a lot better than a larger lathe that won't do anything you want because you can't afford to buy it in the first place.

(*) Vera parts, actually. Gotta give my crew full credit for turning a Bridgeport mill into a very slow lathe... Worked great!
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Last edited by D_Hall on Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: qwerty » Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:21 am

Ok, after reading the link JRRDW gave me i think i have found some that might be up to the job.

I don't really mind that i won't be able to turn larger pieces of steel as i probably won't even use it that often. I want to make things like small, inline HVs and small pistons ect, maybe a few chess pieces.


The C0 model is cheaper and more basic but i think i could afford more spares and tools.


The C1 model is over £100 more than the C0 but looks more complex. If i bought that i doubt i would be able to afford any tools at all.

Thanks for the tips. :)
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Unread postAuthor: ilovefire » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:44 am

what about a full size vac motor? i think we might have a spare one somewhere ill have to see if my mum will let me take it apart... again... :lol:
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