Thread: Advice Sought for Lathe
I have a Myford ML7, and I would recommend it if you are tight for space. Otherwise I would go for a Colchester with a DRO, if you are doing production stuff a dro is an absolute must.
The best thing I ever bought for my lathe was one of these diamond tool holders. Diamond Tool Holder
Its all I ever use for basic turning and it leaves a great finish and its super easy to sharpen which is a time and money saver over carbide inserts or complicated/skillful hss sharpening with a grinder.
As jonathan says, chuck size refers to the diamter of the main body. Depending on jaws, you can hold stuff bigger than the chuck diameter, but it's not always advisable. 85mm parts should be quite comfortably held in a 4" chuck.
Lathe capability is more important that chuck size. Lots of smaller lathes rely on electronic speed control, so are pretty useless for dealing with larger diameter parts as at low speed they lack the required torque to handle decent cuts. I'd personally look for something where speeds can be changed via belts (gear change is probably out of your price range) to make the lathe more versatile.
If you're wanting the lathe urgently, I'd be checking Arc Euro Trade, Axminster, Warco, and Chester to see what models they do that would suit your requirements, then making some phonecalls to see how quickly they could deliver.
Quick update guys and firstly thanks for all the advice.
I had a look at what's out there and in the end went for a Sieg SC4 lathe, as a. it was in stock and b. whilst not as sturdy or precise as some of the bigger/more traditional makes and models does have some nice features i.e. T-Slotted cross feed/carriage etc.
It arrived yesterday and after bribing the wife and daughter to help lift it onto its stand (would not recommend this as its junk, but fixable and was available) I did a quick and dirty setup and started on my first piece. Not having used a lathe since I was at school (iirc Blondie or The Police were in the charts back then ;) ) I quickly got down to feeds and speeds - isn't it always?......
After a bit of digging about I grabbed some formulae from Wikipedia and came up with the attached spreadsheet and so far it has worked OK, but would like a second opinion if anyone has the knowledge and/or time and feedback if I've made a cockup. It maybe useful for someone else......
Off to start my second part and hopefully I'll see the results on a GT racing car in future, which is where all the CNC and engineering stuff is going towards :)
Congrats on your new purchase, just had a quick look to see what you had bought and it is similar to my Elliot Emcomat 7,but seems better in the saddle department, i believe there is no dedicated drive shaft on the machine(mine's the same) so i would not take too much notice of of the feeds ect, what i have been doing over the years is using the rack and pinion to traverse the sadlde(while rough cutting ) and only engaging the leadscrew for the finishing cut,this way it cuts down wear on the leadscrew and nut,Copious amounts of oil applied to the length on the leadscrew you will be using, this will mean you can manufacture a half decent screw thread if you need to, whatever happens the leadscrew is going to wear nearer the chuck end of the bed, but i have had mine in service for thirty odd years and its still performing well, using the rack and pinion for feeding you can get a better feel for how the material is cutting.
Hope that helps
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