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Thread: mini lathe opinion

  1. #1

    mini lathe opinion

    I'm looking for some insight into mini metal lathes, I hope someone here had some experiance with them.

    I'm looking into making some odd small parts and to have them made its about 3 times as much as to picking up one of those machines http://cgi.ebay.com/Bolton-5-X-7-Min...item3a673e9cdf

    just wondering if any one used one of them or someting similar in size and if you would recomend in getting something like it

  2. #2

    Re: mini lathe opinion

    I haven't used one myself, but am looking to buy one from Harbor Freight a bit cheaper.

    7x10
    http://www.harborfreight.com/7-inch-...the-93212.html

    7x12
    http://www.harborfreight.com/7-inch-...the-93799.html

    Grant

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Re: mini lathe opinion

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying_Roadster
    I haven't used one myself, but am looking to buy one from Harbor Freight a bit cheaper.

    7x10
    http://www.harborfreight.com/7-inch-...the-93212.html

    7x12
    http://www.harborfreight.com/7-inch-...the-93799.html

    Grant

    Those are just lathe's his ebay link also has a mill as well. Really doesn't seem like a bad deal. I'm always a big fan of getting a tool if it even comes close to the cost what what I'd have to pay someone else to do stuff. Only thing I'd say is to look for more expensive ones to make sure there isn't some option that you'd realyl want to have (or a larger one etc), since you dont want to buy this and then be upset that you could have spent 50$ more or whatever, and now you cant do something that you want to.

    Certainly is a tempting item there

  4. #4

    Re: mini lathe opinion

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey078
    Those are just lathe's his ebay link also has a mill as well. Really doesn't seem like a bad deal. I'm always a big fan of getting a tool if it even comes close to the cost what what I'd have to pay someone else to do stuff. Only thing I'd say is to look for more expensive ones to make sure there isn't some option that you'd realyl want to have (or a larger one etc), since you dont want to buy this and then be upset that you could have spent 50$ more or whatever, and now you cant do something that you want to.

    Certainly is a tempting item there
    What could you use the "mill" for? It is basically a drill press in which I have. (This is an honest question not a snide remark, don't take it as one).

    Grant

  5. #5
    Senior Member MacGyver's Avatar
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    Re: mini lathe opinion

    I would like to have one as well but all those china ones are made on the crude side. I would like to find a used USA made multi machine that would be better quality, more accurate and powerfull. Those mini ones from HF are really small. Not practical for automotive use. My 2 cents

  6. #6
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    Re: mini lathe opinion

    Grizzly tools are very well made and very good for the price.

    http://www.grizzly.com/products/cate...spx?key=465000

  7. #7

    Re: mini lathe opinion

    good point guys.
    All I'm looking for is to turn round stock and masage it a bit to smaller sizes and give some flanges to create crush incerts into tubes that I can weld in. I will need a chuck on the tail end but thats the extend of add ons to the machine. If I can produce all the parts that I need and have it fried at the end when I'm all done I will be happy with the investment as it still will be less expencive then having it done my hight end ones. Call me cheep if you like, I just like to be more echonomical and have the difference to spend on other parts.
    I have done some parts by profesional machine shops but for this purpose this will suffice as it does not need 0.001 tolerences.
    My thing with those tiny machines is durability to make 150 small parts

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dangerrous's Avatar
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    Re: mini lathe opinion

    Ahh I think I may be able to give some advice, I'm building a 430 replica and have always been around metalwork fabrication. Mills, lathes, welders, cutters etc.
    I bought a kerry 13" swing lathe for all my automotive needs. This has been a godsend for the build, I looked at various sizes and found that the "student" lathes are of particularly good value, I would not recommend any of the small chinese lathes, they're okay BUT only for light work, ie. the model hobbiest.
    The advantage of a secondhand lathe is that you normally get all the tooling with it, this will save you a fortune, just check for wear on the machine.



    Just an example:
    I made a bespoke flywheel for my engine gearbox combo, saved 300 plus I was able to tailor it too my specific requirements

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWzZcZh6PlQ
    Ps that's the flywheel in the chuck, hope it gives you an idea of the lathe's size

    This is where you appreciate having your own tooling
    D

  9. #9
    Senior Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: mini lathe opinion

    I have the harbour freight similar lathe (same maker just a different seller name), I think 12", lathe and I am using it to turn down the bolts for the headlight bucket builds I am doing. I also turned down my brother's wheel spacers. I also have the mill of the same maker.

    I am finding the lathe is getting pretty loose and the tool head is moving around a bit. I have tightening lugs I can adjust but I have already busted one on the lateral plate not tightening very hard so they are pretty cheap.

    My mill keeps dropping the chuck out of the sleeve so I think there is some imperfections in sleeve or on the chuck so I don't use it much right now. I will be using the mill more soon on a new project I will be starting up but I haven't been overly impressed with the mill so far.

    I would go for a slightly larger lathe and mill set if I was to buy these again. They are doing what they need for me at this time overall but I would like a slightly larger diameter capability in the lathe at a minimum.

    Good luck with your decision.
    Don
    308 Ferrari replica
    Prova Countach 5000QV

  10. #10

    Re: mini lathe opinion

    Don thats the kind of feed back I'm looking for though you have not mensioned how much have you used it .

    Dangerrous, I would have loved to get something bigger and keep it as a fixture in the garage but I do have a bit of space issue in house garage. Secondly I'm looking at this as disposable tool. If it survives the build great, its small enough that I can stash it somewhere.

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