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Should I?

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:08 am
by cvoinescu
Image
(from here).

Should I?

Re: Should I?

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:18 am
by Marty M.
I have a small lathe from MicroMark. It's nice to have but not as accurate as I'd like. It's good for turning wood parts and brass. I've never had great results on steel, but I imagine that's more my fault than the lathe.

Re: Should I?

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:44 am
by cvoinescu
One review I read compares this one favourably to the MicroMark.

I'd be happy to be able to turn brass, aluminium alloy and plastic (acetal); steel would be nice. This came about because I'm designing an extruder for my new 3D printer, and two of the parts I need must be turned on a lathe. I'll probably ask for someone to help me with those, because that'll be quicker than me buying the lathe and tools and learning how to use them, but, for many parts, it would be very handy if I could make them myself.

Re: Should I?

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:03 pm
by WillAdams
I'm surprised that you haven't considered just adding a fourth axis to a machine.... Except of course for the steel requirement....

Re: Should I?

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:10 pm
by Improbable Construct
I have one very similar. If you get it you will want the quick change tool post. I wish I had saved my money and bought a larger and higher quality used lathe.
Even after extensive lapping of the ways I still have more play than I would like. That being said having a lathe is awesome!

Re: Should I?

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:13 pm
by criznach
I say go for it! Seems like a very useful tool in the right hands. If I had a space suitable for it I'd consider it.

Re: Should I?

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:56 pm
by cvoinescu
WillAdams wrote:I'm surprised that you haven't considered just adding a fourth axis to a machine.... Except of course for the steel requirement....
I have considered it. I still want a lathe. :)
Improbable Construct wrote:I have one very similar. If you get it you will want the quick change tool post. I wish I had saved my money and bought a larger and higher quality used lathe.
Even after extensive lapping of the ways I still have more play than I would like. That being said having a lathe is awesome!
Quick change tool post, yes, got that from the reviews. Thanks.
criznach wrote:I say go for it! Seems like a very useful tool in the right hands. If I had a space suitable for it I'd consider it.
I don't have the space yet, but I'm working on it.

Re: Should I?

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:49 pm
by criznach
Would you add CNC capability? I find that option interesting, but I could stand to learn manually for a while too. My lathe experience is very limited. I made a metal ball peen hammer and a gear puller in high school. :) I wish I'd taken metals classes throughout, but at that time I didn't see the value in it.

Re: Should I?

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:01 pm
by cvoinescu
criznach wrote:Would you add CNC capability? I find that option interesting, but I could stand to learn manually for a while too.
I don't plan to add CNC capability to it, although I agree that that would be interesting. But no, I just want to make parts for prototypes and one-offs. For production, I'd contract them out, and let the guys with machining centres do it.

Re: Should I?

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:27 pm
by criznach
True. One of the biggest things I've learned since starting this journey is that these hobbyist machines are not for production. They're great for prototypes, one-offs, personal stuff. But you can't crank out anything in volume. But if prototypes and one-offs are your business, they may be perfect!