Metal Lathe

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Since you folks have helped to cultivate me into a "tool junkie", I have the following question. Which, if any, of the metal lathes/mills on the following page would you buy, and why (what would you make?)? I assume at the very least one could make some cool drawer pulls, though I think that it would be difficult to justify ownership on that.
http://www.grizzly.com/products/category.aspx?keyF0000
I made a center punch and a screwdriver handle on one in h.s. So just barely knowing how to use a lathe, I haven't much of a clue what to do with a mill. I'm interested though. A hadtobe "50 year old" beautiful metal lathe sold for auction here for about $400 last week. Probably weighed 1 T or more. If I had the means to get it home I would have made a bid. I made an extra trip back to the auction that day just to see it go. I think the brand name label started with a 'K' and it definitely said "Cincinnatti and Indianapolis" underneath the brand name. It's gone. Just the leftover ramblings of a tool junkie... : )
Bill
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To be honest Bill, I think you have to have some sort of idea of what you need to make before deciding on the size of your lathe. It also depends on the size of your shop and your wallet. It is generally agreed by metal workers that if possible you should get separate lathe and mill, not a combo, for all sorts of reasons.
Around a year ago I bought a lathe similar in size to the G8688 and I am pleased with it but have had no-where near the amount of time I would like to spend on it.
So far, apart from pure exercises in turning, I have made new swivel feet for some old "G" cramps, a replacement swivel for an adjustable spotlight (I lengthened it at the same time) which is over the vice end of my bench and a bit of turning for a friend.
I don't have a wood lathe so I also bought the wood turning rest, which comes with a drive dog, and there are many plastics which can be machined also.
There are two main manufacturers of these lathes in China, Sieg and Red Bull. They are pretty well identical and are said to be derived from an original Russian design. They are imported by various companies who put their own badge on them and, depending on the precision you require, need a certain amount of work to "get right".
Do allow in your budget for the tooling you will need, which can amount to a sizable amount.
I recommend subscribing to
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/7x12minilathe /
Where you will find a great deal of help and useful advice.
Stuart
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On 9/28/2010 4:39 AM, Stuart wrote:

Done. Thank you for your post!
Being familiar with the difference between wood and metal, I also subscribed to rec.crafts.metalworking newsgroup right after I sent my post last night (thanks Joe). I saw some Wrecker's names there too! :)
Bill

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wrote:

<waves hand> Also see the mini website. Great stuff. www.mini-lathe.com which also covers mods to the mini-mills.
-- You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. --Jack London
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Stuart wrote:

Stuart, You are definitely right. This is the first forum/site related to metalworking I've seen that had posts I could relate to. Thanks, Bill
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Bill,
Another great place to ask these questions would be the rec.crafts.metalworking newsgroup.
--


Regards,
Joe Agro, Jr.
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Joe AutoDrill wrote:

I've enjoyed following several of your posts there.
I thought it was worth reporting that they appear to have a more difficult time staying on topic in that newsgroup then we do here in the Wreck! : )
By the way, I ran across a seemingly "great" book yesterday, "Modern Toolmaking Methods", by Franklin T. Jones, 1915. It's available for free download via Google (books). I think it transcends woodworking or metalworking. I'll leave it to someone who's actually read it to comment further if they want to. It left me with a "I wish I had found this sooner" sort of feeling.
Bill
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Bill

I came up empty on this. Any suggestions?
Bob AZ
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Bill

I came up empty on this. Any suggestions?
Bob AZ
****************************
http://www.craftsmanspace.com/free-books/modern-tool-making-methods.html
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http://alturl.com/942av
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That they do! There are some metalworkers who double as survivalists who think posting to multiple newsgroups at the same time is acceptable and fun. Pfft.

I'll check out the links posted in the follow-ups. Thank you.
--


Regards,
Joe Agro, Jr.
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On 9/30/2010 9:04 AM, Joe AutoDrill wrote:

FYI, I noticed that the author also has published a number of related books.
Having spent a bit more time with the book, I mentioned, I was curious whether it has been succeeded by a more modern one that someone might recommend?
Bill
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wrote in message

After looking around a while, you will see that the most informative books on machine work were written before the mid 1900's. When I was in tech school for machine work, some of the books we used (in particular the math book), were written in the early 1900's. The school had them reprinted. Even the Machinery's Handbook has gotten less and less informative over the years. My 21st edition is the one still in my toolbox, published in 1980. Shows you where this trade has gone when a 30 year old engineering book is better than a new one.
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CW wrote:

I wondered whether something like this was true. Thanks for your post.
Bill
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I looked at the link and the Grizzlys were sorted by price. So determine your budget and see f you can live with whatever. I bought a Birmingham 13 X 40 about 4 years ago. Been pleased with it. Went through billsmachineshop.com I think it is. What made the final determination was the space I had for it and I did want the 40" center to center.
As another said allow for tooling. I probably have spent $1000.00 for tooling. I did luck out and got a real load of stuff at an auction. Have sold what I did not need for almost the $1000.00 I paid for tooling.
Bob AZ
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Bob AZ wrote:

<snip>
I looked at your lathe. Very nice! I've got a lot to learn. I found someone as work who is willing to give me a short lesson. Basicially, I learned about a project he had, and I asked if I could watch! : )
Bill
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At an estate sale, I ran across a collection of a few DOZEN 3/8" tool bits mostly ground to various shapes, some unground, and quite a few pieces of cylindrical stock (probably steel, too hard?).
Might this be worth collecting for use on a mini-lathe later? Browsing at Amazon, it appears that the cutting bits go for less than I might have guessed--but maybe I'm comparing apples and oranges. Bits like this aren't too big for use on a mini-lathe, are they? I think they are surely old (but no rust). Think they are worth chasing down? I will try unless you talk me out of it! : )
Of course, I'm the same person who was (almost "out of his mind") seriously considering buying a 50 year old metalworking lathe a few weeks ago. After doing a little research, I now realize that would probably have been a mistake--surely well-worn and "impossible" to get parts for. A mini-lathe would probably serve me fine, with probably a lot less headaches! There are some "one of a kind" parts I would like to craft for a 19th-century style banjo.
Bill
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Perfect size. If you get them at a good price, do it.
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Lots of folks think 50 is a magic number- doe a search for Old Woodworking Machines, and then down to Old Metalworking machines. All sorts of folks rebuilding, using them Anne

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"Bill" wrote:

Assume they all have to be sharpened.
$1/pound sounds about right.
Lew
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