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Member postings for James Bennet 1

Here is a list of all the postings James Bennet 1 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Mini-Lathe setup for an absolute beginner?
22/05/2019 10:49:06

> Standard domestic stairs are about 80cm wide. Risers and going are usually around 20cm. I expect that stairs in flats are necessarily wider? So I see no good reason why a machine of this diminutive size should present any great logistical problem of moving it from one floor level to another. Likely easy enough to move it one step at a time with the machine able to perch on each step without support.

So, i've got the tape measure out and there are 14 stairs which are each 9" or so deep, and 37" across (though the front door opening is only 30" across), which means I should be able to take it in this way, with a bit of manouvering.

I think I should be all good now, thanks everyone! - I'll surely have more questions in a few weeks time once I order an recieve the machine - I might take you up on that offer then, too, Martin.

21/05/2019 16:38:12

Thanks again, everyone, for your great insights.

> Ketan at ARC.

It's really nice to see sellers engaging with the community here. Excellent customer service! I will be in touch in 3 weeks once I get paid, to place an order

> I don't remember my mini-lathe being bolted to the pallet. It was in a plywood box secured with steel-tape (don't throw it away - good for shimming tools to centre-height.) I think I took the top off, checked everything was present (other boxes on the same small pallet), and then removed the sides. Not difficult, no tipping.

> Mine only needed a light clean. It wasn't covered in the dreaded 'Chicken Fat'.

This is good to know, as those were the parts I was thinking would be a hassle. I was thinking about using razor blades as shims as I have loads, but I was hoping as I was going to buy 8mm tools I might not need them anyway.

I've seen the ruler trick before for checking the tool height, good tip! But I read motor oil was bad due to the detergents in it?

> A cheap DIY store hand truck

You mean something like this (**LINK**), plus maybe some ratchet straps to stop it falling off?

21/05/2019 15:37:41

Thank you to Thor, Mick, Dave, etc... for your kind replies.

Good to hear that many people use these sorts of Mini-Lathes successfully. And that Arc are a reputable company (I will indeed be going with them, then). The SC2-300 from ARC I am looking at is currently listed at £575 down from £675. I checked the specs and it seems to be exactly same as the Axminster one at £749.

In terms of noise, this was one of the reasons I was leaning toward the SC2 over the C2, was I heard that the brushless motor and associated drivetrain was quieter. Though I guess most of the noise would still come from the leadscrew gears and of course the actual cutting action.

I live in an ex-council block-of-four type flat and my neighbours are pretty loud (dogs, football, etc) so they probably can't complain too much about that so long as I'm not doing it at midnight

Good point on swarf though. The back room is currently dedicated to other hobby stuff (electronics workbench with radios etc) and storage, and just has a cheap laminate floor, so I should be able to sweep it pretty easily, or, as you suggest, use an old hoover as a shop-vac. I have a hefty table which I intend to bolt it down to for stability, which will probably help with excess vibration and noise, too.

I'm just west of Edinburgh. I'm a young(ish) guy but not terribly fit so i'll maybe have to see if my (tiny!) girlfriend can help me manouver it up the stairs - There are 14 and they are each about half the size of the lathe, so I figure so long as I can get it off the drive with her help then with the help of some books I can try and lift it up one one at a time then slide it along the floor into the room.

I've got various books on lathework from the "Workshop Practice" series and have been watching a lot of YouTube, so think I understand the basics, but it's the specifics of the unpacking and initial setup (oiling etc) which i'm more worried about. I'll also need try and find budget for a grinder (and learn how to use it) for HSS tools, I guess.

This is what I have in my head based on the videos I have seen:

  • Remove loose bits from the packing crate and knock off one of the sides?
  • Get under it / tip it (?) to undo the bolts securing it to the base of the crate.
  • Lift it (hands under the ways at each end, avoiding the plastic gearbox?) up into the house and onto the bench.
  • Bolt it down securely.
  • Clean packing grease from all the surfaces with wd40 or some sort of solvent (remove chuck and tailstock or dissasemble even further?)
  • Oil (3 in 1? Or any specific reccomendation?) all of the surfaces and ways?
  • Grease (white lithium?) the dovetails, leadscrew, gears?
  • Put a centre in the chuck and tailsock and check for alignment.
  • Check tool hight.
  • Try and turn down and face something and check for uniformity along its length with some calipers?
  • Adjust anything as required i.e. "gib strips"?

Sound about right?

I'm not looking for airtight tolerances, nor turning scaffold poles - The sorts of things I will be turning would be i.e. a tapered lightweight widget to fit onto/into the top of a fiberglass mast, with some threaded bits for wingnuts on each side for attaching antennas to.

21/05/2019 00:04:23


I am a radio amateur, and am interested in buying a small lathe on which to produce small antenna parts (predominantly in aluminium or nylon). And also to learn some new engineering skills while I am at it.

I've been looking at a number of different lathes in my budget (Total budget of £750 including tooling), such as the Sieg C0 and C1 Micro Lathes, the Proxxon FD 150/E, etc... but they seem to be quite limited, and overpriced, so finally I'm leaning toward the Sieg SC2-300 Mini-Lathe from ArcEuroTrade, as I figured one is probably best buying the biggest machine you can afford/fit, right? It would also still leave me a fair bit for some tooling.

I don't have any previous experience with turning, so I wanted to validate a few points - Any feedback on these would be greatly appreciated

  1. Is this a sensible choice of machine, in the first instance.
  2. Is ArcEuroTrade legit? I ask as they seem significantly cheaper than both Axminster and Warco for broadly the same machine. Would that imply a lower level of quality control on the machines they import?
  3. I don't plan on turning steel, so the 500w brushless motor should be fine, correct?
  4. How reliable are these machines - I read some older models had issues with faulty PCBs? How much preperation and fettling do they need out of the box, and in order to produce reasonable results?
  5. Is metric the way to go?
  6. Carbide vs HSS tooling?

My second query is around the installation of the machine.

I live in a (first floor) flat, so I would need to get it up a single smallish flight of stairs. I figure this machine is about the largest that I could fit through the door and up the steps, but at perhaps 45-50KG, what are my chances of lifting that up myself anyway? Can anyone share any experiences? I assume the delivery guy will just drop a pallet at the bottom of the drive?

Any other advice would be most welcome - I don't want to buy a lemon

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