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Hobbymat MD200

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Haggerleases19/05/2019 17:42:58
71 forum posts

Hi all. As a beginner I've been considering several lathes. The Sieg C1, the various Mini lathes, and now the Hobbymat MD200 .They are all in my price range, but the Hobbymat seems to have quite a high 'lowest' spindle speed. 560rpm. As I'm wanting to make some of the smaller Stuart range of steam engines, and pehaps up to a 2 1/2 in gauge loco, would this be too high for cast iron? I should think I could get 'in there' with a file first, but I think lack of ability with cast iron would strike this one from the list of potential machines.

A penny for your thoughts?

Edited By Haggerleases on 19/05/2019 17:45:12

SillyOldDuffer19/05/2019 18:00:16
4263 forum posts
878 photos

Um, not sure the Hobbymat is a good choice for loco building. It lacks screw-cutting, and as you've spotted, has a high minimum spindle speed. It also has a small motor (120W) and only weighs 24kg. Compare with a mini-lathe which will have a 400 to 600W motor and weigh about 40kg.

The HobbyMat looks to be good for small railway modelling / clock making type fine work - anything where the small size and high spindle speeds are an advantage. Whatever it's other virtues, like that desirable 'very quiet running' I think it's too small for you.

Best advice I ever got on the forum: buy the biggest lathe you can manage. The exception is when you only do tiny turning.

Dave

Nick Clarke 319/05/2019 18:46:47
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245 forum posts
3 photos

I would also suggest that if all are within your price range, the fact that most mini lathes are larger capacity and a more powerful motor than the Sieg C1 might direct you towards them, perhaps.

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 19/05/2019 18:48:02

Haggerleases19/05/2019 19:12:27
71 forum posts

The Hobbymat looks a nice bit of kit, but the mini lathes seem to win every time on specs. Hmmm it's not easy making that first plunge.

Andy Carruthers19/05/2019 19:44:45
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227 forum posts
23 photos

Having bought a second-hand WM180 a few years ago to see if I would like tinkering with a lathe I managed to stumble upon a decent lathe at the right price. Somewhere on this forum I put my thoughts down, I am certainly no expert, best advice is to try a few lathes and see what suits you best

Warco have an open day soon where they will have 2nd hand lathes available

SillyOldDuffer19/05/2019 20:19:49
4263 forum posts
878 photos
Posted by Haggerleases on 19/05/2019 19:12:27:

The Hobbymat looks a nice bit of kit, but the mini lathes seem to win every time on specs. Hmmm it's not easy making that first plunge.

Nothing wrong with the Hobbymat for what it is, though a serious enthusiast might go up-market with a Cowells. The Cowell's is a very nice machine indeed, but based on what you've said you're interested in, it's too small. Andy mentions his WM180, whist not better made or more accurate than a mini-lathe, it is bigger. Difficult to describe why larger lathes make life easier, but they do! And sooner or later you will probably want to cut threads.

I learned a lot from my mini-lathe and don't regret buying it. It got me hooked and I had loads of fun with it. But now I have a bigger machine I'd not go back...

Dave

Jim Nic19/05/2019 20:42:17
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181 forum posts
98 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 19/05/2019 20:19:49:

Difficult to describe why larger lathes make life easier, but they do!

Dave

For one thing, as has oft been said on here in response to the "What lathe?" question, you can make small parts on a big lathe but not big parts on a small lathe.

Jim

Haggerleases19/05/2019 20:53:56
71 forum posts

Hmm. Lacking a dedicated workshop (rented house) I can imagine hefting the thing around a fair bit, so it would need to be portable. Perhaps I'd be better with a smaller machine for the time being, doing smaller projects, and upgrade to a bigger machine and the much wanted locomotive later on. I have a lot to learn anyway before destroying pricey castings...

It seems they don't make the size of lathe I'm after. The ability to machine castings is vital to most of the projects I have in mind. Then again, I like clocks too....

Part of the attraction is the machine itself, the tool being the thing, that's why I'm attracted to the older machinery. The Chinese gear is very functional, but not at all beautiful (to me).

I don't want to rush the purchase, but then again I'm keen to get started.

Andy Carruthers19/05/2019 21:04:58
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227 forum posts
23 photos

Have a look at Warco WM150, might suit your need

Naturally there are limitations with smaller machines - but we all start somewhere and (almost) any lathe is better than no lathe at all - I say almost because a badly worn lathe won’t deliver the results you are looking for

Haggerleases19/05/2019 21:15:57
71 forum posts

Hi Andy, The WM150 is no longer advertised on the Warco site, and the next one up, the 'super mini lathe' is out of stock, and seems to have been for some time. I would have thought it would be their most popular machine (perhaps why it's out of stock?)

Andy Carruthers19/05/2019 21:24:53
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227 forum posts
23 photos

I can’t comment on what Warco machines are most popular - I saw a WM150 on eBay recently. Give Warco a call - there are several machine agents with stock worth calling too. If I were in your position, I would want to try first, I got lucky and don’t regret my purchase.

Heres the thread I alluded to earlier: https://www.model-engineer.co.uk/forums/postings.asp?th=141354

Edited By Andy Carruthers on 19/05/2019 21:30:30

SillyOldDuffer19/05/2019 22:35:22
4263 forum posts
878 photos
Posted by Haggerleases on 19/05/2019 20:53:56:

Hmm. Lacking a dedicated workshop (rented house) I can imagine hefting the thing around a fair bit, so it would need to be portable. Perhaps I'd be better with a smaller machine for the time being, doing smaller projects, and upgrade to a bigger machine and the much wanted locomotive later on. I have a lot to learn anyway before destroying pricey castings...

It seems they don't make the size of lathe I'm after. The ability to machine castings is vital to most of the projects I have in mind. Then again, I like clocks too....

Part of the attraction is the machine itself, the tool being the thing, that's why I'm attracted to the older machinery. The Chinese gear is very functional, but not at all beautiful (to me).

I don't want to rush the purchase, but then again I'm keen to get started.

A mini-lathe is an easy two-person lift and the maximum I would move without mechanical help. I'm on the weedy side and well past my best-before date. A fit or younger man could manage on his own and the lathes are light enough to plonk on an average table. They don't need to be bolted down, and are fairly quiet.

I regret the amount of time I dithered before buying a lathe. I wish I'd just bought a mini-lathe rather than dancing around the Chinese vs second-hand debate. Condition is everything with second-hand lathes unless you want a doer-upper and at the time I didn't have the skills needed to tell good from bad. Now I know more, I'd give an older lathe a careful inspection and want to see it cutting metal before buying it.

Back in the day buying a lathe was often a lifetime purchase. I don't see my workshop that way; all my tools are disposable. Not everyone is comfortable with that and I respect their reasons. Horses for courses.

Enjoy,

Dave

Nicholas Wheeler 119/05/2019 23:21:21
239 forum posts
13 photos

Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 19/05/2019 22:35:22:

A mini-lathe is an easy two-person lift and the maximum I would move without mechanical help. I'm on the weedy side and well past my best-before date. A fit or younger man could manage on his own and the lathes are light enough to plonk on an average table. They don't need to be bolted down, and are fairly quiet.

I regret the amount of time I dithered before buying a lathe. I wish I'd just bought a mini-lathe rather than dancing around the Chinese vs second-hand debate. Condition is everything with second-hand lathes unless you want a doer-upper and at the time I didn't have the skills needed to tell good from bad. Now I know more, I'd give an older lathe a careful inspection and want to see it cutting metal before buying it.

Back in the day buying a lathe was often a lifetime purchase. I don't see my workshop that way; all my tools are disposable. Not everyone is comfortable with that and I respect their reasons. Horses for courses.

My mini lathe lived under the bench. It is an easy one person lift.

I looked at several knackered Myfords before I bought it and although their condition was obvious, I'd never used a lathe before. I wanted a tool to make parts, and learning on a poor machine is not an intelligent approach.

Hopper20/05/2019 06:25:50
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3589 forum posts
72 photos

Minilathe such as the Seig C3 seems to be the new "standard" entry level model maker's lathe. Big enough to do the usual run of Stuart beginner level engines and should handle your 2.5" gauge. Does screwcutting etc. I would not go with the smaller C0-C2 machines as from what I have seen of them they are a bit small and light duty in comparison to the C3.

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