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Old 02-09-2010, 07:00 AM
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Default mini bench lathe

anyone on here have one. I have been thinking of getting one but not too sure if it worth it. we dont have access to the power required for a worcester..ect metal lathe, i have to go to school if i want anything machined.

What do you think, would it be worth getting one?

could anyone recommend any good makes
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:46 AM
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do you have a river, creek or other watersource? how about wind, do you get a lot of it? hookup something to harness what you do have.
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:31 AM
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I wanted a lathe too cos I'm in the same situation. I would go for the higher one
if you have the money.
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Old 02-09-2010, 12:58 PM
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Get the biggest machine you can afford. Run it at reduced power, through a phase converter, or use a smaller motor if you must.
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Old 02-09-2010, 01:00 PM
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i am pretty sure they make single phase metal lathes
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Old 02-09-2010, 01:34 PM
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i heard that those phase converters are not up to it.

mike. thats alot of work, i dont think home-made devices to harness wind are very successful with out the right materials. it reminds me of a dynamo that i made for my bike from a small 6v motor. i would have to be hitting 20-30mph before it would kick in to power a 2.6v bulb. disaster.
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Old 02-09-2010, 01:42 PM
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? example...
http://www.woodzone.com/Merchant2/me...de=Woodworking
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:07 PM
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yea thats it. if i could find a second hand one in mint condition closer to me i would be sorted. did anyone ever hear of making a lathe from a pillar drill /drill press/drilling machine?
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:08 PM
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you could, it would be less accurate though

and you would have to make a carriage (the hard part)
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:40 PM
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Years ago I considered purchasing a mini-lathe and talked to several friends who had one. They all said the same thing - whatever size lathe you buy, you'll always find a project that's just a hair too big to fit.

I took those comments seriously, and instead I bought a used, 1959 Clausing 12"x24" Lathe.



The unit came with a 5 HP 3-phase motor in the unit but as part of the sale came a 120V240V 5HP Baldor single phase motor. A little rewiring and a few bolts and I was in business - I used the 3-phase fwd/rev switch to achieve the same thing with the single phase motor.

I am very glad I purchased a older, larger unit for this machine has become a workhorse with my metalworking. I've made spindles, axles, hubs, wheels, pulleys, tensioners, mounting plates, pistons, bored the cylinder in small lawnmower engine blocks, made valves, rollers. I've even turned acme-style threaded rod out of round stock with decent success for converting a friend's plasma cutter to a CNC cutting machine. I've turned many, many brake rotors and drums over the years for various cars I own, even though sending it out for $10 was entirely doable and far less work. It's a fun machine to use, and I enjoy using mine.

I'm really glad I bought the 1959 Clausing - cast iron everything, rigid as heck, and the one I got was barely used - the prior owner bought it new and passed away in the mid 60's, and it sat in his son's garage for about 35 years before I bought it from him.

Phase converters do work however you have to size them appropriately - not too large, not too small, otherwise you'll get little power and make a lot of heat. I would convert the machine over to single phase with a new motor. You can buy quality single phase motors on ebay typically less than a motor supply house. Another option is to find a motor/alternator repair facility and see if they have any rebuilt motors - you'll save about 40-50% that way off the cost of a new, equally sized motor.
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:33 PM
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you might even be able to break even if you sell them the old motor
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