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Help choosing my lathe

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Swarfy22/01/2020 17:33:33
25 forum posts

Hi

I’m about to buy a lathe and after deliberating for days I think I’m settled on the warco 250v now I’m 67 years old and have been a precision engineer since I was 15 I served my apprenticeship at MK electrics in Southend then after that a plugboard setter at a local engineers for 30 years then a CNC programmer setter running my own shop working on everything from automotive ,medical, aerospace motor sport etc .i did spend a few years machining high pressure fittings for oil and gas which were mainly American imperial sizes

my question is the lathe I want is only available at the moment in imperial metric will be available mid feb ,now I’m not bothered about the wait but do I get the imperial model it does both threads anyway and I still think in thous my mics are imperial although I have metric as well so not a big problem just I’m inches man ! Can anyone see a problem me getting imperial or should I wait and get modern and go mm any advice one way or the other would be appreciated

cheers mick

Nick M0NPH22/01/2020 17:41:04
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24 forum posts

If you have / get a DRO fitted it wont matter as that will work in both

just an idea

Swarfy22/01/2020 17:52:10
25 forum posts
Posted by Nick M0NPH on 22/01/2020 17:41:04:

If you have / get a DRO fitted it wont matter as that will work in both

just an idea

Trouble is that’s more £s and the wife only just agreed to the stand to go with it ,

Brian H22/01/2020 17:57:30
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1854 forum posts
106 photos

If you'r more at home with Imperial then I'd go for that. If a metric job comes along then there's always the calculator.

You could always fit the DRO at a later date, when your wife has forgotten about it.

Brian

Former Member22/01/2020 18:00:42
1329 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Swarfy22/01/2020 18:00:53
25 forum posts
Posted by Brian H on 22/01/2020 17:57:30:

If you'r more at home with Imperial then I'd go for that. If a metric job comes along then there's always the calculator.

You could always fit the DRO at a later date, when your wife has forgotten about it.

Brian

When I was working I always had 25.4 and .03937 programmed into the calculators memory

Nigel McBurney 122/01/2020 18:17:48
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761 forum posts
3 photos

I am a bit older than you and trained on imperial machine tools , after early retirement 25 years ago I expanded my workshop from an imperial myford s7,a fobco drill ,and an old round head Colchester, I then in addition aquired an all metric Colchester triumph ,and a Colchester master with dual dials, plus an imperial turret mill I have a good selection of micrometers imp and metric and a lot of other mixed equipment ,at my last job I pushed a desk and the company changed over to metric.,and i got on well with metric drawings and measurement After retirement I I took on a few jobs ,a mix of imperial and metric and I found I was far quicker on an imperial machine,and one time I was very tempted to convert the triumph cross slide to imperial. so I would buy an imperial lathe particularly if you have the imperial micrometers etc..I have never been tempted to buy a dro ,electronics always seem to play up,and get in the way if machine capacity is pushed to the limit. I would go with what you are used to though in future a metric machine may be more saleable,though at the moment the hobby trade new and used sells both types,

I rarely use the metric dials on my dual dial Master 2500

Ian Johnson 122/01/2020 18:24:53
293 forum posts
83 photos

If you are used to imperial get the imperial lathe. I've got an imperial mini lathe with dials reading 0.001" & 0.025mm per graduation, any error is not worth worrying about, and the final dimensions and finishing cuts will be measured anyway so with a bit of experience you will know how much to turn the dial.

My little milling machine is metric with dials only reading 0.025mm.

Six of one half a dozen of the other.

Good choice of lathe by the way, the 250V is a versatile machine, I was looking at the Chester DB10 which is similar.

Ian

Swarfy22/01/2020 19:26:15
25 forum posts

Thanks for your replies im erring towards metric as the resale value on imperial might be affected dont get me wrong i had 5 cnc machines and all but one were programed by me in metric the hardinge lathe i kept imperial as that was my first machine and all my jobs at the start were imperial pipe fittings

Mick

Neil Wyatt22/01/2020 20:53:48
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Moderator
18316 forum posts
718 photos
77 articles

Hi Swarfy,

It really depends on what you want to make.

If you make model steam engines from old plans dimensioned in inches of scled from imperial sizes,imperial is easiest.

If you are making things to go with modern metric parts, then metric.

If you make your own stuff, whatever you enjoy using most.

Don't worry about resale, at that level it makes little difference and a few quid each way is nothing compared to the convenience of having a machine you are comfortable with.

Neil

Philip Powell22/01/2020 20:58:58
66 forum posts
15 photos

Mick. Have you considered if the leadscrew is different in metric or imperial machines? You might find one has a more useful range of thread pitches or tpi than the other.

When I did my apprenticeship in 1975 to 1979 everything was imperial. I soon left engineering to work in IT and returned to engineering as a machinist in 2010, what a shock, everything had gone metric, drawings are third angle projection, machines are nearly all CNC or if manual have a DRO. But I much prefer to work in metric, everything is much more logical no messing about with fractions or number/letter drills etc. Oops! Opened a can of worms there.

Phil.

Former Member22/01/2020 21:03:35
1329 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Michael Gilligan22/01/2020 21:15:47
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16611 forum posts
723 photos
Posted by Philip Powell on 22/01/2020 20:58:58:

[…]

Oops! Opened a can of worms there.

.

... or perhaps millipedes devil

MichaelG.

Vic22/01/2020 21:57:25
2641 forum posts
20 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 22/01/2020 20:53:48:

Hi Swarfy,

It really depends on what you want to make.

If you make model steam engines from old plans dimensioned in inches of scled from imperial sizes,imperial is easiest.

If you are making things to go with modern metric parts, then metric.

If you make your own stuff, whatever you enjoy using most.

Don't worry about resale, at that level it makes little difference and a few quid each way is nothing compared to the convenience of having a machine you are comfortable with.

Neil

Yes, good advice.

I’m a bit younger and much prefer inches for woodwork and metric for metalwork! laugh

not done it yet22/01/2020 22:04:13
5120 forum posts
20 photos

I’m metricated but have used umpteen (it feels like) scientific measurement systems, so imperial is easy. My lathe and larger mill are imperial and the smaller mill is metric. I nearly always measure in metric unless I am using my limited range of micrometers - some imperial and some metric - but I nearly always aim for a metric size. 0.01mm target is more than close enough for most things I do and 0.04mm would usually be perfectly adequate.

As more and more goes metric, buying new would be a no-brainer for me. Long threads will be correct, with no approximations for the metric machine. Fewer and fewer imperial threads will be used as time progresses. DRO’s certainly take away those calculations, but I still find it easier to add cut by the turn of the handle for roughing cuts.

Gear cutting is similar - most of mine, because they are ancient machines, are DP - in that MOD will eventually take over. Depth of cut, if the gear is to be cut in one go, is currently imperial but eventually will be metric only.

Think here your old housing stock. 15mm copper pipe is the same as 1/2” but the rest need converters every time the pipes are altered.  Bricks are metric.  Everything is metric like large sheets of ply.  Think vehicles - they are all metric now.

Yes, metric is so much easier than imperial measurements. The only ones out of step are the Americans.

Edited By not done it yet on 22/01/2020 22:06:17

noel shelley22/01/2020 23:19:01
116 forum posts

NDIY, is not a plumber or he would know that 15mm most certainly is not 1/2" Nor does he work with RSJs etc where the size may be expressed in metric but is really inperial. The imperial system is far more used the world over than most realise. My apprenticeship was in the days of feet and inches but I use both systems. I would lean to an imperial machine ! Good Luck Noel.

Ian Johnson 122/01/2020 23:55:16
293 forum posts
83 photos

I only buy metric milling cutters for my metric milling machine nowadays. I've got loads of 3.175mm cutters which fit quite nicely in a 1/8" end mill holder laugh

Michael Gilligan23/01/2020 00:14:29
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16611 forum posts
723 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 22/01/2020 22:04:13:

[…]

Think here your old housing stock. 15mm copper pipe is the same as 1/2” but the rest need converters every time the pipes are altered.

.

dont know

I wonder why they make a special ‘Slip Adapter Coupling’ then

**LINK**

https://www.pegleryorkshire.co.uk/MEDIA/Downloads/CC_004/61632585_Yorkshire_Solder_Ring_Fittings.pdf

MichaelG.

not done it yet23/01/2020 05:54:14
5120 forum posts
20 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 23/01/2020 00:14:29

dont know

I wonder why they make a special ‘Slip Adapter Coupling’ then

**LINK**

https://www.pegleryorkshire.co.uk/MEDIA/Downloads/CC_004/61632585_Yorkshire_Solder_Ring_Fittings.pdf

MichaelG.

I have never made a 15mm/1/2” copper coupling with a “special’ connector, but I do know that 1/2” is 12.7mm, not 15😉. They are close enough, for a solder joint, to be compatible. 3/4”, and above, are a different story. You carry on paying out for the expensive connectors and I will carry on just as I have for the last thirty years, and I will also continue with the generalisations. Most sheet material is now 2400 x 1200mm - steadily changing from 2420 x 1210mm. Builders build at 400mm centres for roofing, etc, not 16” as they used to do. I’ve not come across a double glazing company still using inches for manufacturing details - perhaps you know different? No imperial gas meters are installed these days? - even though my supplier seems to take my metric meter readings as though they a cu ft - but charge me by the cubic metre.🙂

They likely make these expensive couplings for people like you to purchase?

I am aware that threaded pipe connectors are BSP - virtually worldwide. But get real, metric is here and here to stay. Some luddites will continue to use imperial units (I meaning beyond the generation that ‘grew up in that era&rsquo. That era has gone. Schools do not teach in imperial units (although converting to old units is part of the syllabus, still).

Yet some students only know their height and weight in imperial numbers - many unaware of manipulating those units mathematically. But these are becoming fewer, thankfully.

As someone from that era when imperial units were rife - but metric scientific units were rapidly becoming universal - I know which system is the sensible one. The only other old unit still commonly used these days is likely calories - but that is still a metric unit (but not SI) - nobody but nobody uses British Thermal Units per ounce (as far as I know). Let us know if you do.🙂

It’s like other things that have been standardised - like our domestic grid voltages - the same as the rest of Europe but not really quite the same. Yes, there will be odd-balls and some compromises (fudges) but metric is the sensible system and is steadily becoming more universal (apart from the Americans and some minor ‘buddies&rsquo.

Have a nice day. Go and cut some imperial metal - if the sizes are easily available or only at a premium.🙂 Even woodworking has now virtually gone metric (softwoods have been traded in metric units for decades, but hardwoods have only mostly changed to metric dimensions much more recently (possibly that was to clarify, to some lesser mortals, which timber type they were using?🙂.

Gerard O'Toole23/01/2020 06:50:09
89 forum posts
7 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 23/01/2020 05:54:14:

I have never made a 15mm/1/2” copper coupling with a “special’ connector, but I do know that 1/2” is 12.7mm, not 15😉. They are close enough, for a solder joint, to be compatible.

I believe the 15mm pipe is 15mm outside diameter. The 1/2" pipe (1/2" inside diameter ) is 14.7mm outside diameter. So even less difference

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