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K: Tools Do I need a metal turning lathe?

Comet Rider

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Danno,
I don't know where in Hertfordshire you are, but there are a number of us in the area who will always help for beer tokens.
I'm just north of Royston, there is John Coates in Old Welwyn who might help, there is Bob Culver in Letchworth.

If I can be of help just shout.

Neil

PS
I've a Colchester Chipmaster 5x20 with both 3 and 4 jaw chucks plus a Harrison baby universal Mill
 

danno

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Danno,
I don't know where in Hertfordshire you are, but there are a number of us in the area who will always help for beer tokens.
I'm just north of Royston, there is John Coates in Old Welwyn who might help, there is Bob Culver in Letchworth.

If I can be of help just shout.

Neil

PS
I've a Colchester Chipmaster 5x20 with both 3 and 4 jaw chucks plus a Harrison baby universal Mill
Thanks.
I’m near Duxford.
I’ve been to Bob’s place. My father had some Vin work done there years ago when
he was in the process of doing the engine.
 

powella

Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi
I’m currently trying to make some sort of workshop out of my single garage. Got 3 bikes including a C Rapide.
I had to sell a rather dated pillar drill, a wood turning lathe and a large free standing circular saw
due to house move.
Now sort of starting again as regards useful machines an I’m down to an electric grinder
and free standing disc/belt sander.
Have managed so far without a metal turning lathe but I do need another drill or mill drill.
There’s quite a few hobby type machines that would fit the bill and a fairly small footprint is important.
Someone suggested that the Clarke CL500M lathe and mill drill from Machine Mart is good value and would save getting seperate machines. Could just about accommodate one.
Otherwise just a hobby mill drill would do as I’ll have a solid bench and vice for basic thread tapping and general use.
I guess many Vin owners are kitted out with lathes.
Any ideas appreciated.
Hi
I have a Myford ML7 with loads of tooling and has had a brand new Screw Cutting Gearbox fitted.
Has done many a job over the years and saved a fortune in parts.
Would you like Photo`s ?
Regards Alan Swansea 01792234598
 

danno

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Hi
I have a Myford ML7 with loads of tooling and has had a brand new Screw Cutting Gearbox fitted.
Has done many a job over the years and saved a fortune in parts.
Would you like Photo`s ?
Regards Alan Swansea 01792234598
Thanks. That’s a good solid lathe but will have to pass on it I think. Got too much stuff at the mo and need to get a workshop designed with bench, shelves etc.
No doubt it would be capable of a better finish than a modern mini lathe but I’d probably ‘make do’ with one of these.
 
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danno

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Danno,
Have a look at
All the mini lathes seem to be made in China but the ones supplied by Arceurotrade have got quite a reasonable reputation & the company seem quite good if you look on any of the model Engineering forums.
A friend has the SC6 & it seems far more robust then mine.
Cheers
Dave
Thanks.
The Sieg lathes look good. The SC3 is the right size for my workshop. 7” swing,16”
between centres and Hi- torque would be a better bet than the Clark CL300M (12” centre to centre).
Half the price and weight of the SC4.
 

highbury731

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Lathes are indispensable in my opinion. Couldn't live without one truthfully.



When I was in High School if my metal shop teacher, Mr. Thomas Peters, noticed a student leave a chuck key in any machine, he would take the key, walk out to the football field and throw the key as far as he could. Then he would return to the shop, take the offending student out to the edge of the field and tell him not to return to class until the key was found. Failure to return to class with the key after three days meant a failure for that semester. If he didn't catch you before you started the machine and the key went flying, well that was a instant failure for the semester. Mr. Peters explained all this in the first week of class so you had plenty of time to look for a new elective. Failing a semester in the first year meant you couldn't get a co-op position during your senior year. Failing more than a single class in any semester or failing more than one semester of a year long class meant repeating that year of high school. With that hanging over your head you become conscious of where the chuck key is at, better to forget where you put it on the bench than have is tossed into a field or fly across the shop. Mr. Peters would let us make all sorts of mistakes, get away with all sorts of things, but that was the unforgivable sin. It didn't matter if it was a key in a drill chuck in a tail stock, same rule applied.
Draconian, but with good reason.
I had a metal-work instructor explain to the class about his own instructor. The man lacked his left thumb, because he had left the key in the chuck, and started the lathe. His hand was on it at the time - not something you do more than once. He also explained about ties. His own was always worn, but ALWAYS tucked away, so that it couldn't get caught in a lathe. A co-worker once got his caught in a machine, and he had managed to stop it JUST before it started chewing his head up. That's what the large STOP button is there for....
Paul
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I have never worn a ring since I was 17
When I was an engineering apprentice at a switchgear firm we drilled a lot of copper bus bars when I did my month on the drilling line the guy next door had a ribbon of copper swarf complete with one ragged torn and hot edge get between the ring and his finger I was surprised how small the finger bone is....
 

Chris Launders

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
At technical college I had a friend nearly have a finger stripped bare with leaving a chuck key in a lathe. Beware the woolly jumper and exposed lead screws as well.
 

BigEd

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
When I left engineering I went to uni to do a B.Ed Degree to go into teaching. We had to do some placement in schools as part of our teaching practice. I was in a school workshop one lunchtime making parts for one of my assignments. There were a few pupils in there trying to finish projects that had got behind on. One lad was using a small pillar drill and his school tie got caught by the drill and was being wound in. Fortunately, he was a strong lad and held himself back and the tie ripped. He got away with it and hopefully, it taught him a good lesson. It could have been bad for him and also bad for the teacher who was supposed to be supervising.
When I finished my degree and got a teaching post I always wore a shirt and tie to set some kind of standard. If I was taking a lesson in the workshop I wore a bow tie to lessen the chance of getting tangled in machinery. If a pupil asked why I wore a bow tie it was a good cue to relate the tie in the pillar drill story.
 

danno

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I’ll need to be careful being a pianist.
I think I left the key in the chuck once on that old drill in the pic.

I need something to replace that first and the Sieg SX2P looks just the thing. At the moment, any drilling is done with a Bosch hand drill and workmate.
It may even be ‘either or’ as regards hobby mill/drill and seperate lathe. 3 in 1 combis are neat and space saving but I would miss being able to offer up larger
stuff to the drill for general DIY.

I read that ability to interchange tools between mill and lathe can save a lot of money as they’re expensive.
Not sure if that’s possible with same brand Chinese machines ie Sieg SX2P mill and SC3 lathe.
 

oexing

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
. . . . . wearing a tie in a workshop and at a machine . . . . . . never wore ties all my life . Would have been a reason for me to look at another job and profession to avoid this. When looking at old photos from last millennium it amuses me to see lots of workers in production to wear ties - seems to me like having been a status symbol - in olden times.
Danno,
looking at the Sieg lathe I would not be so positive about "high torque" claims. It has no gearbox so don´t expect too much of it. Anyway, try to lay hands on some before buying, ergonomics can be a nuisance all the time , even more so with very small lathes. Your hands get in your way with handles too close to each other. So have a look at ALL components of likely buys.

Vic
 

danno

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Anyway, try to lay hands on some before buying, ergonomics can be a nuisance all the time , even more so with very small lathes. Your hands get in your way with handles too close to each other. So have a look at ALL components of likely buys.

Vic
Good idea. Someone who reviewed a Sieg SX2P mill mounted it on 20mm wood batons to make wheel adjustment easier.
I have a local Machine Mart so can at least have a look at the Clarke range.
 

Glenliman

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Threads like this are excellent for long overdue machine tool maintenance.
I did some reading about my free Tida lathe and learned that it was sold as Jet, Enco, and about ten other brands all made in Taiwan in the Tida factory. The factory shut down in 1987. All these years later, these machines are quite well liked. At 650 pounds they are fairly skookum for a small lathe (12x36). Unlike the little Atlas or Sears Craftsman lathes, these lathes have hardened beds with V ways and gears made from decent steel, not pot metal.
There were very few complaints about these lathes even after 40 years of use, albeit hobby type use, which is most of us.
One issue that cropped up was lack of lubrication to the back gear shaft. This could result in seizure of the shaft and a difficult repair.
The lubrication is done by removing set screws in the housing and filling the holes with oil. The set screws on my lathe were painted in with factory paint, so they had not been out since new in 1979.
Luckily the back gear shaft was ok as the back gear hadn't been used much. There are lube points like that in several spots on this lathe.
I counted 11 set screws in oil holes. The manual suggests monthly oiling of these with full time use. Once a year would work for occasional use.

I thought about painting the old thing and in the end just gave it a good cleaning. Some of the brown gunk in the earlier photo was original packing grease from 1979. I even straightened out the bent up chip tray.
This lathe doesn't get much use now, but it seemed worthy of a day of maintenance.
Then another half day doing similar with the Monarch after finding the carriage sump full of shavings and gunk. The shavings must have gotten in via the sump filler, which I suspect was left open while operating for a few years.
The 1944 Monarch has a much more modern lubrication system than the 1979 Tida, or maybe just a much more expensively constructed lubrication system. The lathe has 3 Bijur pumps, one of which is in the carriage and pumps throught copper lines to 14 orifices. All great except the carriage sump was full of swarf and oil sludge. Somehow it was still pumping nicely. The pump has a very effective filter, which was about 50% clogged.
About half of a day was spent on cleaning the pump and sump. At the end of it the sump and pump were both clean, but I was soaked in solvent, while my hands looked like black bear paws.
All because someone asked " Do I need a lathe?":)
Glen
 
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Glenliman

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Too late, I'm cleaned up now. :)
Also spent a week in May going over and gussying up the K&T mill. Covid has been good for maintenance!IMG_20200612_134731.jpgIMG_20200613_092126.jpgIMG_20200613_092537.jpg
 

Comet Rider

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
My old lathe (before I got the Chipmaster) was an ex WW2 Lease Lend Lablond from Cincinnati, that probably had so much play in the bearings that it used oil by the gallon
 

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