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Advice on Choosing A Mini Lathe

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Neil Wyatt30/03/2019 23:27:37
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I should clarify, my original post was aimed at people trying to unpick the confusing abundance of 3 1/2" centre height Min Lathes all variants on the one design, rather then the various other slightly smaller lathes that are available.

Neil

Neil Wyatt03/09/2019 12:55:11
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<bump>

Bo'sun16/02/2020 18:14:58
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Hello All,

I'm not clear quite how you define a "mini lathe", but next week I shall be visiting the Warco showroom in Chiddingfold, with the intention of buying a WM240 lathe (nothing like inspecting the hardware before you buy).

I have a list of questions to ask, but Is there anything I should pay particular attention to?

Thank you

Bill Chugg16/02/2020 18:55:41
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Posted by Bo'sun on 16/02/2020 18:14:58:

Hello All,

I'm not clear quite how you define a "mini lathe", but next week I shall be visiting the Warco showroom in Chiddingfold, with the intention of buying a WM240 lathe (nothing like inspecting the hardware before you buy).

I have a list of questions to ask, but Is there anything I should pay particular attention to?

Thank you

Mini lathe - generally less than 20 inch between centres.

Worth checking backlash.

Bill

old mart16/02/2020 19:40:15
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I bought mine, a 7 x 12 Warco about 10 years ago in almost unused condition. Included was the milling slide which has one shortcoming. It attaches to the cross slide where the compound sits. So it is too far from the centreline of the lathe without a modification before you start.

There is a wealth of useful information and useful modifications and improvements on www.minilathe.com

Bob Stevenson16/02/2020 19:51:28
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Just because a lathe is under 20inch bed length does NOT automatically denote it as a 'mini-lathe'... Neil went to considerable trouble to detail the type in his earlier posts but the message did not appear to get thru....

 

To reiterate; a 'Mini-lathe' is a particular type of Chinese lathe made in two (formerly three) factories to more or less the same design (which may have originally been of Russian origin) and are described (in /American parlance) as the 7x12 series which is currently up to 7x14 now.... With a bit of study one can quickly identify the mini-lathe in the products of all the usual importers.

 

Thus, Warco offer Chinese 'Mini-lathes' in their smaller lathe types and also offer the 'WM xxx' types which are mainly larger...although the smallest of these, WM180 overlaps the mini-lathes in size BUT SHARES THE LARGER FEATURES of the WM250 and series... I had a 'mini-lathe' and now use a WM180 which is not remotely like a mini-lathe being much better designed and engineered etc. Also Wm180 comes with chucks, rests, tools etc

 

This is a 'mini-lathe';  https://www.warco.co.uk/metal-lathes/302922-mini-hobby-lathe.html    The 'Conquest' from Chester is very similar as it's also a 'mini-lathe'.     The drawbacks of the type include the top slide being a touch too thick and the bed a touch too narrow..the usual rubber feet don't help but can be removed/replaced.

 

.....Hope this helps!

Edited By Bob Stevenson on 16/02/2020 20:00:00

Bill Chugg16/02/2020 20:27:16
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Posted by Bob Stevenson on 16/02/2020 19:51:28:

Just because a lathe is under 20inch bed length does NOT automatically denote it as a 'mini-lathe'... Neil went to considerable trouble to detail the type in his earlier posts but the message did not appear to get thru....

 

I think you need to tell Warco that., not me, as what I quoted is what WARCO told me when I asked the question.

Also, I cannot see any reference to dimensions in Neils earler post in this thread 

Is there another thread that you are refering too please ?

Bill

 

 

 

 

 

....

Edited By Bob Stevenson on 16/02/2020 20:00:00

 

Edited By Bill Chugg on 16/02/2020 20:40:30

Steviegtr17/02/2020 00:53:32
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Just to bump what Neil has already said. I watch Quin from Blondihacks on yoube. She did a piece on Chinese / Asian lathes. The point she made & Neil has described, was mostly they all look the same but.

The companies that assemble & distribute them all use there own parts , like the bearings for instance. Some cheap Chinese bearings, you can file the outer cage they are so soft. I agree some are pretty good for the money & should last a long time . While others that look identical, will need much work & maintenance to keep them running accurately. I have watched many revues of out of the box models & some require a huge amount of work just to get them up to scratch. YouTube is full of revue's for anyone considering buying a new Lathe. No matter what it is a cheap way to get into small engineering work.

Steve.

Edited By Steviegtr on 17/02/2020 00:54:45

Edited By Steviegtr on 17/02/2020 00:55:44

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