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Tabletop Mini Lathes- Ideas


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  #1  
Old 01-02-2005, 02:12:20 PM
Dale Dale is offline
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Default Tabletop Mini Lathes- Ideas

I was thinking of getting a table top mini lathe.I am in Canada and was wondering if there is anywhere in grand Forks,Fargo ,or Minneapolis area where i could pick one up on my way to Le Seuere in April.I want a 7 x 12 mini lathe.I seen some from Cummins,Homier ,grizzly,Harbour Frieght on the net but frieght would kill me to Canada.Not much available in Canada either. Any help or ideas appreciated.Thanks Dale
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Old 01-02-2005, 02:53:49 PM
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Default Re: Tabletop Mini Lathes- Ideas

There's a harbor freight store in Minneapolis. Just south of 694 on Central(65) easy to get to.
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Old 01-02-2005, 03:24:15 PM
Dale Dale is offline
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Default Re: Tabletop Mini Lathes- Ideas

Hi thanks for the reply,Unfortunatly harbour freight does not list a 7 x 12 only a 7x 10.Any other ideas??? Thanks Dale
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Old 01-02-2005, 05:54:02 PM
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Default Re: Tabletop Mini Lathes- Ideas

Northern tool carries a 7x12 (northerntool.com) they have a store in Rogers which is the NW corner of the metro. Near the interstate. Probably have to pre-order though.
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Old 01-03-2005, 10:02:43 AM
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Default Re: Tabletop Mini Lathes- Ideas

I have a small craftsman lathe and it works ok if your touching up some soft brass or aluminum or plastic . If you plan on cutting on any steel, its slowww going.

Scott
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Old 01-03-2005, 10:10:50 PM
George Andreasen George Andreasen is offline
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Exclamation Re: Tabletop Mini Lathes- Ideas

Take a word of advice from someone who has owned 7 lathes in the last 10 years....a table top machine is cute and will fabricate metal toothpicks for mosquitos all day long, but the time WILL come when you want to do something bigger and realize that you're "underlathed". I have owned everything from a Unimat to a huge 18' antique from the 1850's. At this point I have a very nice 1880's Putnam and an Enco 13"x40". If this is your first machine, I would suggest a 9"x20"... larger if you have the room. Enco has them on sale (pretty reasonable) from time to time and they are a solid machine backed up by Enco's warranties. Since most of their machines are drop shipped, would it possible for you to have it shipped to the location of your visit and just pick it up?
I promise you this.....a whole new world will open up. Parts that had you baffled before will suddenly become available through your own efforts. You'll also walk with a bit of a swagger..........Best, George
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Old 01-03-2005, 10:52:48 PM
Chuck Woycke Chuck Woycke is offline
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Default Re: Tabletop Mini Lathes- Ideas

i know i'm going to get flamed for this but hear goes.why waste your time and money on cheap imported lathes when you can find a good used american lathe if you look around? the trouble with the mini lathes is you outgrow them real fast.you find you need to turn a part/drill something a little bit more than your lathe will handle. find a good used southbend toolmakers lathe 8-9" swingx3-4 ft long you will not regrett it.there are many good used lathes for sale power feed/grinder attach/mill attach.and you can still get parts for them.a couple years after you buy your imported lathe if you are lucky the co. you bought it from my still be in bussiness,most often your model was made 1-2 years and you can,t get parts/ i'm not saying there junk some people are happy with them.but if and when you try to sell it to upgrade see what you get for it? my 2 cents worth
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Old 01-04-2005, 01:47:59 AM
Tooldie Tooldie is offline
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Default Re: Tabletop Mini Lathes- Ideas

As my username implies I am a tool and die maker and have been working in a machine shop for 25 years. For the most part these guys are right, if you get one of those toy lathes you will out grow it in less than a year. I have an Atlas Lathe 9"x4foot in my cellar and don't use it because I can cut more on the 3 phase lathes at work than my own is able to but I'm close to retirement and I will still use a lathe then. You should look for a South Bend, Atlas, Craftsmen , maybe even the heavier model Smithy" Lathe and Mill combo" for space saving. That's my two cents, let your wallet be your limit. Chuck
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Old 01-04-2005, 02:59:29 AM
Bill Schaller Bill Schaller is offline
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Default Re: Tabletop Mini Lathes- Ideas

Northern Tools has a few stores around MPLS, and a warehouse in burnsville.
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Old 01-04-2005, 12:42:03 PM
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Brian Triebner Brian Triebner is offline
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Default Re: Tabletop Mini Lathes- Ideas

I bought a new 12" X 36" Grizzley 5 years ago after looking for a good used one for 10 years, they don't seem to exist in Canada. I had it shipped to my closest border crossing, Port Huron, and went there and picked it up. Only had to pay the GST. Yellow Freight wanted $40 and they loaded it on my pickup free. I was less than 30 minutes in the US. King Tools and Busy Bee in Canada have similar machines and they have finally got their prices down to being competitive with the US companies. When I got mine it was cheaper to pay +30 % in US $ than to shop at home! Brian
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Old 01-05-2005, 10:32:01 PM
CharlieBiler CharlieBiler is offline
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Default Re: Tabletop Mini Lathes- Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tooldie
As my username implies I am a tool and die maker and have been working in a machine shop for 25 years. For the most part these guys are right, if you get one of those toy lathes you will out grow it in less than a year. I have an Atlas Lathe 9"x4foot in my cellar and don't use it because I can cut more on the 3 phase lathes at work than my own is able to but I'm close to retirement and I will still use a lathe then. You should look for a South Bend, Atlas, Craftsmen , maybe even the heavier model Smithy" Lathe and Mill combo" for space saving. That's my two cents, let your wallet be your limit. Chuck
I second the motion. Buy a used South Bend,Logan, Atlas, etc and you will be happy. At work I run imports and spend all day fixing the machine. At home I run South Bend, Bridgeport and Haas and don't know how to fix them. I cut metal and save the fixing for work. There are many reputable shops that will sell you a used lathe for a little green. HWF in Cleveland comes to mind.
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Old 01-05-2005, 11:56:38 PM
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Default Re: Tabletop Mini Lathes- Ideas

Well.... I bought one of them 12 X 36 Horible Freight lathes about 12 years ago.... It's Crude, Sloppy castings, A Few things Weird about it. BUT it is a LOT more Rigid than the 12 X 36 Atlas or Sears, It has V Ways instead of the flat ones and you can take heavier cuts. I made a valve for my 25 - 45 Rumely out of a IHC truck axle and ended up with a 5 gallon bucket of Blue Shavings. Try that with your Atlas... It never has gave me any serious problems... And Yes I have used the 12 X 36 atlas...

No Doubt there are buys on used american lathes out there But you have to be at the Right Place at the Right Time... I wouldn't even consider anything smaller than a 13 X 40....
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Old 01-06-2005, 01:18:19 PM
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Default Re: Tabletop Mini Lathes- Ideas

Tabletop is good for making brass bits for model boats, but that's about it IMO, unless you can get a small computer-controlled EMCO or something similar on which you can turn out parts and make some money with it. There are lots of good lathes out there - put an advert in your local free ad paper ("Buy & Sell") Ask around. Some of the Taiwanese lathes are very good if you pick the right one - they have hardened ways unlike some of the older North American models. Also the ways are usually too worn on older lathes for really accurate work, unless you are one of those skilled folks who can do accurate work on inaccurate tools Make friends with a retired machinist or T&D maker and get their help choosing a lathe. Most of us like to be asked to give our opinions
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