Thread: Lathe suggestions?
I'm being slowly drawn into buying a metal working lathe, although I'm struggling to think of why I want it and what I'd make with it!
Anyway, enjoying doing the research, plus hope to look over the Warco lathes at the Engineering show tomorrow. Anything in particular I should ask or look at?
I'm drawn to this sort of model:
Or may stretch to this:
I've looked at the used Colchesters, Myfords etc and keep coming back to a new Warco. Possibly helped by the Warco pillar drill I bought last year which I'm really pleased with.
I also looked at the small introductory lathes at £500-£800 but have decided that I can still cut small stuff on a big lathe and that it will probably generally perform better and be a bit nicer to use.
So what sort of features do I think it should have? Well this is where I'm at:
Bench top mounted (no space for floor standing) up to 1300mm long
Reasonable quiet so I can run it without upsetting the neighbours (invertor spindle would be nice)
Swing of >240mm sounds good
Control of feed speeds slightly independent of spindle speed (i.e. A B C selector)
Thread cutting popular metric threads, plus thread dial indicator
Spindle bore of >20mm so I can feed ballscrews through if I need to machine the ends
I'd also like to upgrade to a quick change tool post plus DROs at some point.
So there is it, any thoughts on the above? Any experiences of similar spec Warco models? Thanks
Thread dial indicator not much use for metric threads I think. QCTP IMHO indispensable from the start. You may get more feedback on these lathes over on the Model Engineer website where there has been a couple of threads on them.
These lathes are are basically made by Weiss Machinery in China http://www.weiss.com.cn/ and I have the 290VFF in the livery of Amadeal.
Now I am not an expert machinist and my previous experience of owning a lathe was a Clarke CL300, so the new machine was a hell of a shift upwards. I am glad I did it, it is a great new toy.
I have fitted a QCTP and had to make a new mount for it, as the QCTP would not fit on the cross slide. It just means I have to put the cross slide back for taper turning, although I have since found a type of QCTP that would have fitted on the cross slide.
I think whoever you buy from, you have got to look at the price and service offered and I found Amadeal fitted my requirements.
Thanks John, Rob that's useful feedback.
I'll have a look at the model engineer website as well.
John, I thought that the thread dial indicator rotated around and told you when to engage the feed to start in the same place? If the lathe is metric with metric leadscrew wouldn't this make the indicator OK for metric thread cutting? Never done this so am not sure. Can you expand on that ?
Thanks for the link. If these machines are all generic re-brands then I have no issues buying from Warco - previous experiences of their customer service were excellent, and I like their prices.
Edit - just gone to the Weiss website and their model names are all WMxxx (Weiss Machinery). In the Warco catalogue they are also WMxx which I assumed was Warco Machines but clearly not.
Last edited by routercnc; 16-10-2015 at 06:54 AM. Reason: added info
I've got the WARCO 1322 gear head lathe in Metric and the indicator works OK on thread cutting for me so see no reason why it wouldn't on the smaller lathe? their customer service is good, had to use it a couple of times although it can be quite hard getting hold of them sometimes but then they're a small company.Neil...
My only advice really is make sure you get one with a separate drive shaft for the saddle and cross slide. you are better of saving wear on the leadscrew so you can produce accurate screw threads.
Go for the largest through capacity, swing and length that fits your budget which is still suitable for the projects you currently have in mind, with consideration for the fact that a cunning machinist can always do jobs which are too large for the spindle through capacity over the bed, if he has the length to work with.
Keep in mind that to "fully tool" a lathe can easily involve greater expenditure than the initial machine purchase price ;-)
Since we are on the topic of lathes anyone familiar with this company http://www.epple.co.uk/turning-machi...8n1qlvv0irj5b5 ? I found one local company which deals with them and might get a lathe in the future and want to know if this is a good brand?
"Epple UK, are the exclusive UK stockists and distributors for Epple Maschinen – Germany"
I've never heard of them but I've never seen poor German engineering equipment so I can't see you going wrong if they are entirely manufactured in Germany.
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