need lathe advice, again.

hydin

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
looking for a good cheap mini lathe to learn to turn acrylic out on.

found a few online, looking to spend around 100 or so.

need advice, good makers of lathes and eqp, and also places to stay away from.

also, need to know what RPM most acrylic turning gets done at, if possible

thanks
chris
 

replicaprops

Official Licensee
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Turning acrylic does not require anything special if it is done with good bits. Any lathe will do it. The key is to use good sharp bits, and keep the melted roll off from getting back in the cut path.

If I were just getting into a lathe for that purpose, I would go with a sieg from grizzley of HF.
I got mine frome homier http://www.homier.com/detail.asp?SessionKe...&cat=&sku=03911

If you absolutly never intend on doing any metal turning, then get a wood lathe that has a clamping tool rest.

I find my self needing my metal lathe almost every week for one project or another. I even use it as a buffer from time to time.
 

Bluewolf

New Member
Originally posted by darthscifi@Feb 6 2006, 01:49 AM
If I were just getting into a lathe for that purpose, I would go with a sieg from grizzley of HF.
I got mine frome homier  http://www.homier.com/detail.asp?SessionKe...&cat=&sku=03911


Jeezz, that looks like a nice lathe, I paid well over $300 for all the various parts to my Taig lathe...and I had to put it together. Frankly it can't cut well, how does this one do? I used to love doing turning, but I hate to even turn on the taig lathe.
 

wizardofflight

Well-Known Member
That is an excellent price. That type of lathe normally runs $400 + I got mine for $350, but I was able to pick it up, so no shipping, don't know what shipping would run.

As for small lathes check out this site, everything you'll need to know.

http://www.mini-lathe.com/

Alan
 

Megatron

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
if you watch eBay you can be a nice used Unimat SL 1000 Metal Lathe. Made in Austria...
This is the original Unimat before they became the plastic crap they are now.
Jewelers love them. I got mine from my teacher and can tell you it worth every penny. Plus you can reconfigered into a mini drill press or mill.


If not maybe one of the sears mini "wood" lathes will do.

Harbor Frieght ?
 

hydin

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
the only real reason i wanted to get a lathe was to do 1 or 2 projects i have had in mind for a while. one other that needs to be in metal, but the others are strictly acrylic.

im in talks with someone to see what they would charge me to do the project ideas i have, and if it turns out its easier to send them money and have them do it than it is for me to buy a new lathe, learn to use it, finish my projects and sell it..... im probably going to go that route :lol

i can pick my bro's harbor freight and tool set up for probably 200 or so, but for something thats just going to be acrylic, i really would rather not spend 200 or so for something i will barely use.

hell, im still trying to talk myself into a bandsaw from a few months back. still need to get it, just waiting for good news from work first :)

thanks for the replies guys.
chris
 

replicaprops

Official Licensee
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The one I got from homier for $299 is a Seig. It is the same lathe that HF, and grizzley sell. The design is just older, thus the lower price.
I cut ball screws on this little lathe and it performs like a larger lathe. The motor and gears are strong and smooth. It is just big enough to do a light saber and has gear cutting features as well. I bought a milling machine last year from Seig as well and it is also top notch.
China is starting to become a good source for machine shop tools.
 

cayman shen

Master Member
OT-I've been seriously considering a lathe for months now. I've looked at Harbor Freight, etc. The usual suspects. Honestly, can a regular guy pop one of these out of the box and be turning saber blanks within a few days, or does it require an advanced degree or something? Mini-lathe.com has got me slightly scared of the whole process.
 

wizardofflight

Well-Known Member
Check out this site:

http://www.littlemachineshop.com/default.php

They have a lot of info and the CNC conversion plans and I would recommend downloading their Mini Lathe Users guide. I walks you through every step needed to get it out of the box and turning with the least amount of trouble. Here is the link to the guide:

http://www.littlemachineshop.com/Info/Mini...eUsersGuide.pdf

I just wish they had one for the mini mill as well. They also have any tool you will need and their prices aren't bad.

Alan
 

cayman shen

Master Member
I actually already downloaded that, thanks. I guess I need to stop being a wussy and dive in. Anyhoo, back on topic...
 

wizardofflight

Well-Known Member
I had mine open of the box and turning a chunk of PVC as a test in less than 20 minutes, now I didn't do any clean up or adjustments, but I had to try it out.

Just let the chips fly, it's a blast.

Alan
 

wamser_e

Well-Known Member
Might not be a bad idea to take a basic machining course at a local community college. I took metal shop in high school and they taught us the basics of using a lathe, milling machine, band saw and drill press. You will also learn good safety practices by taking a class. Just remember it is easier to take metal off than it is to put it back. :) Always double check your measurements.
 

Jimbo890

Well-Known Member
Have you tried using a drill press, and some good sharp bits. Turn it on it's side, make a tool holder from scrap wood, and go slow. If all you need to do is turn a couple of parts, and assuming these parts are not too complicated, the poor mans lathe might just work. I've seen these at local tool sales for $50 range.
 

replicaprops

Official Licensee
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I use my lathe frequently, but for the hobby, nothing beats a Mill, especially a CNC mill
Here is my CNC mill
 
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