|Jonathan Covell||22/11/2020 10:48:45|
4 forum posts
Just signed up as I have been generally thinking of getting some form of lathe after doing the whole "If you are still wanting something a year after you initially thought about it". So I have saved up some budget a month for a lathe over the year (well...it is the my big spend hobby money fund I guess) with about a £700 budget to date.
5578 forum posts
Hi there. Good engineering area to be in and probably plenty of lathes around second hand. Good too that you have taken the trouble to do some research rather than whacking yet another request for the advice that has been given countless times before. That should mean you have also seen the advice to join a club, even in these times many are still active by zoom, email, and restricted meetings when allowed.
Has your software interest steered you towards or away from CNC type thoughts?
|Brian H||22/11/2020 15:03:13|
1865 forum posts
Hello Jonathon and welcome. There will likely be fellow members in your area willing to help looking at any lathe you wish to buy to ensure it's a good 'un.
What sort of thing are you considering to be making with you lathe, that will help in determining the size of machine that you need, along with the space required, a very important consideration.
All the very best with your quest and, you know where to come for any help and advice.
|Harry Wilkes||22/11/2020 15:46:28|
1005 forum posts
Welcome to the forum
|Howard Lewis||22/11/2020 16:59:57|
|3799 forum posts|
Do find a local Model Engineering Society, and join. You will meet a lot of fellow enthusiasts and expertise, face to face. many will be happy to give face to face, and hands on demonstration if you have an immediate problem, as well as pleasant social contact (One happy day, not too far away, we hope )
As already said, what you want to make / repair will have a great influence on which lathe you need.
As examples, you can't skim brake discs on a mini lathe, but you would not want to make parts for a watch on a machine capable of swinging something 18" in diameter.
Equally, if you want to refurbish the tele forks on your motorcycle, you will need a lathe with a large bore in the Headstock, and a reasonable centre distance.
A worn old lathe may let you make the odd nut and bolt, but may cause you problems if you want to make a 1.5 cc engine for a model aircraft.
If you want make O gauge locomotives, a mini lathe would probably suit, but not if your ambition is to produce a half scale Traction Engine..
One person can just about manage moving a mini lathe, but anything larger will need at least two people, especially if the machine is unbalanced by a hefty motor hanging off the back.
Also where do you plan to have your workshop?
Hauling a 300Kg lathe up two flights of stairs, or down into a cellar will not be much fun. (Not impossible, but there are easier things to do )
Nor will your neighbours be impressed if you make a lot of noise, just when someone is trying to sleep, or watch TV.
If you fancy a second hand lathe, do take someone knowledgeable with you to see it, try the machine and check that all the accessories are there and in reasonable condition.
Just a few thoughts!
6469 forum posts
Dig around enough on the forum and you'll find several posts from me regretting the time I wasted dithering about which lathe to buy. Unless you have an unusual requirement, I suggest just buying one! Tonight.
New hobby lathes will be a bit rough. Buy from a British seller and they will back you up if you happen to get an actual lemon. Buying cheap direct from abroad is painful if it goes wrong. While duds certainly exist, all my Chinese kit worked out of the box. Don't expect high-end machine tools at hobby prices. All my machines required minor fettling (small assembly errors) except for my milling machine which was good enough. Far eastern lathes are capable of good work.
Assuming general purpose hobbying, bigger is better because small jobs can be done on big machines but not vice versa. But don't buy a giant machine if clockmaking or tiny modelling is your main interest because big is also clumsy. Size is also set by budget and space.
I started with a mini-lathe and learned much from it. Main problem was it's too small for about 20% of what I do. I bought a Warco WM280, which is bigger than a Myford. The WM250 is smallest member of the same family and a considerable improvement on a mini-lathe. Rather similar machines are sold by a number of vendors. You can agonise endlessly about the minor differences between them, but seller support is more important than the kit.
Many prefer second-hand western machines but they're second-hand. Condition is everything. As a beginner I was nervous of buying second-hand partly because of a bad experience in my youth, fortunately wasting time and petrol rather than money. After a couple of years mini-latheing I was more competent about what to look for, good and bad.
If money isn't a problem, a number of non-far-eastern sellers advertise on this site. No direct experience of them myself. Another possibility is a new Far Eastern industrial grade machine. Sit down before looking at the prices: anything from 5 to 20 times more expensive than the hobby equivalent.
My mini-lathe wasn't ideal but it got me started without breaking the bank and I had a lot of fun and interest with it.
Come on in, it's a fantastic hobby.
|Jonathan Covell||23/11/2020 13:55:18|
4 forum posts
I know of the grbl opensource project but with it being in C/++ I couldn't really do a meaningful PR unless I really spent some time reading all the wonderful work they've done. I would of course love to maybe one day have enough knowledge of it to maybe try do some PRs to fix simple issues etc.
It is on the to-do list and would probably be easier as a first venture (especially after building a 3D printer) and the software is similar I guess (being grbl based).
My thought was buying a router off fleabay and simply using that with enough hose clips to secure it (till I made something better). I do have a plunge router but I'd rather keep that separate from any Frankenstine creation I make. I am sure I've seen cheap makita second hand 800W+ working routers on fleabay and marketplace to experiment with and I am sure it would be a better designed
|Jonathan Covell||23/11/2020 14:27:54|
4 forum posts
Hey thanks. Yeah I can see me mainly making smaller items. So far it was thinking bits like chess pieces (brass/alu/steel/bronze?), small engineering items like bushings and threaded engineering pieces and maybe bits like custom kitchen items.
As far as "the workshop" I have the back of a double garage. I have another side room with shelving off the side of the garage where I can store tools, leaving the main area left for the existing bench and vise (~ 6ftx3ft). I have quite a lot of basic tools and a few power tools (plane sander/mouse sander/dewalt drill/circular saw/jig saw).
|Jonathan Covell||23/11/2020 14:52:35|
4 forum posts
Thank you. This is more the advice I need.
Thanks for the help .
|Howard Lewis||23/11/2020 14:57:53|
|3799 forum posts|
If possible, isolate your workshop from the garage, and insulate the walls if you can. Not only will it be more cosy, but decreased temperature variations will reduce the risk of rust. Don't make it air tight though, allow a small high level vent and another at floor level. Tye lower one should allow moist air to escape, ant the higher one will allow drier air to replace it.
n You exhale moisture, so the air needs to be kept as dry as possible.
Heating should not be by any combustion source, so electric heating is the optimum, probably.
The floor can be cold, so rubber, plastic mats, or good old fashioned duck boards, will save your feet a little!
The lighting needs to be good, generally, and on the machine. Shadows over where you are trying to view the cut, or to measure are, to say the least, a nuisance.
Edited By Howard Lewis on 23/11/2020 14:59:02
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