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  1. #1
    It's getting to the point now where I have to admit defeat & seriously consider shelling out for a mini lathe (her indoors isn't going to see the funny side of this one at all).

    To justify the purchase to myself, I need to be convinced that it is possible to turn Stailness A2 rod.

    i'm talking here, skimming (is that the right term?!) 2mm off M10 diameter ...to a length of about 20mm.

    Someof the more recent mini lathes have decent sized motors (by mini lathe standards).

    here's one at 400W I'm thinking about....

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Mini-Lathe-Bra...lenotsupported

    or a slightly larger model for 50 more...

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Mini-Lathe-Bra...lenotsupported

    In the main, I'll likely only be turning acrylic, aluminium & perhaps a bit of brass ...but just wanted to know if stainless is do-able in small bite size chunks approach?!

  2. #2
    Hank

    If all you want to do is turn small pieces i would consider second hand. Save yourself a fortune. i have a tiny unitmat that will only take up to 20mm in the chuck that does well enough. Decent cutters and cooling (bucket, small bore hose and a windscreen washer motor with sponge over the end) is priority. The lathe you see there is the same as clarke, axminster and sealey in the same clothing. I must admit i do have a bigger lathe but by the time you buy all the other tools to go with it-----phew fortune blown.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by 2e0poz View Post
    Hank

    If all you want to do is turn small pieces i would consider second hand. Save yourself a fortune. i have a tiny unitmat that will only take up to 20mm in the chuck that does well enough. Decent cutters and cooling (bucket, small bore hose and a windscreen washer motor with sponge over the end) is priority. The lathe you see there is the same as clarke, axminster and sealey in the same clothing. I must admit i do have a bigger lathe but by the time you buy all the other tools to go with it-----phew fortune blown.
    The problem is that I need to turn up to 3"-4" lumps of acrylic...so I do need the larger chuck size.

    Have you a pic of that cooling system? I'm curious how the sponge fits into the equation (what's its purpose)
    Last edited by HankMcSpank; 08-07-2009 at 12:38 AM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by HankMcSpank View Post
    I'm curious how the sponge fits into the equation (what's its purpose)
    Filter, goes over the pump pickup.
    Sounds overkill to me on a small lathe, ran one for years with nothing but a coffee can and a paint brush, at least you get it where you need it which isn't in your boots :heehee:

    .
    John S -

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Kip View Post
    .tip's are expensive at around 18 for 10.

    That's cheap, not expensive, some of mine are nearly 10 per tip and only one cutting edge.
    John S -

  6. #6
    Hank i wish had one to show you as it was only a suggestion to improvise. Like John said it is to stop cutting being sucked back up. We have a chap here in Swindon selling a lathe for 150 from his business workshop, sounds great till you see it. Its huge and would require a forklift to shift it and no room for that???? One place people forget for cheap secondhand are the papers like 'Loot'. Hope you find one for the right price.

  7. #7
    Tom's Avatar
    Location unknown. Last Activity: 30-11-2016 Has been a member for 7-8 years. Has a total post count of 172. Referred 1 members to the community.
    Hank,

    Either of those lathes are the ones to go for (i'd go for the larger motor). They're a different manufacturer that the Axminster, Chester, Clarke, etc.

    Differences (improvements) over the Chester, etc include:
    Heat treated ways (if you believe the sticker)
    Rectangular saddle (Chester etc has rough-cast "H" shaped saddle)
    Way oilers in saddle
    Way wipers
    More powerful motor

    I have a 4yr old Chester, and would buy the one you've linked to next time.

    I've never cut stainless, but it work hardens so you need to take as big a bite as you can each time. I've turned 5inch diameter alu before (bolted directly to the spindle face), so they're pretty flexible. Motor power would be a problem if you tried steel in the same diameter.

    It almost certainly won't cut stainless "out of the box". I was very disappointed with my lathe to begin with. I even struggled with (small diameter) steel until I'd done a fair bit of adjustment. With a sharp bit now though I can take 2mm off a steel diameter without too much bother (I changed the spindle bearings to taper rollers before doing this). They're great lathes as long as you treat them as kits for finishing, rather than production-ready.

    Enjoy!

  8. #8
    Hi 2E0poz ...alas whatever I buy has to go through a loft hatch!

    Tom, thanks for the input - I think they're from the Real Bull factory in China (SPG tools is slioghtly cheaper, but out of stock for a week or two ...plus he's in the Midlands whereas this seller I linked to is only 20 mins drive away here in London.

    The seller has been very clever with the lathe price points.

    Yes The 340 lather is the better buy, but he also does a lathe with some useful accessories deal for a sneaky 395 (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Mini-Lathe-Bra...lenotsupported) ....it can all end up getting a little more than I'd expected to pay!

  9. #9
    I spent weeks looking at what i could buy. Scoured Ebay etc and ended up for piece of mind going to Machine Mart and buying the Clarke 430. A lot of people would not rate it but for my needs it was fine. If it goes wrong i can pop round the corner and bang on their door. If you've ever pick one of these up (it take two very strong people) you would NOT even consider trying to get it through a loft hatch. pop along to a tool place for a proper look before you do. A hurnia would seem like a child's ticlky throat in comparison...........If you was to look at machine mart and compare the size between the models they have, at least you would be able to see what you et for your money. All said and done they are a good price for they can do. Ask about the version with the milling drill? do forget they dont always include a table though :-)

  10. #10
    hank almost forgot, don't forget to check what the diameter of through hole is behind the chuck. If it is not wide enough it can be limiting. my friends small lathe has a good size chuck but can only fit up to 6mm diameter through.

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