|70 forum posts|
I think i'm realising my little mini lathe isn't really upto the tasks i want of it, so it may be time to sell it on and get a bigger lathe,
Any lathe i get will have to be a bench top model,
And i want power cross feed, and ideally a quick change gearbox, i dont mind change gears, but i do like the idea of a few twists of a lever or 2 to alter feed speeds and that, any threading i do will be metric, and nothing exotic, i can't even see me ever needing to turn a left hand thread really.
But what is there out there?
But i know they are apparently to be avoided, the mill is more a drill it seems, and i already have issues holding what i want in my realbull cj18's 100mm chuck, and that thing has the same chuck (tho room to swing a much larger one, but there's a reason it comes with a 100mm chuck i guess)
i know people will say 'buy an old british machine' and that, but i have room for a bench top model only, and i haven't got a clue when it comes to working in anything other than metric.
i really just need more chuck capacity than the mini lathe has, i've not found any issues with length capacity yet.
|773 forum posts|
There are dozens of theads on "what lathe". Just do a search in the box just above any post will get you plenty of answers.
|Ian Johnson 1||17/01/2021 22:41:03|
|347 forum posts|
Not a lot wrong with the Mini Lathe, although it could do with a bit more grunt to take bigger cuts. I have one, and also a small mill, but I do have the use of a Colchester Triumph lathe and a much bigger mill to cover the bigger jobs.
I have also been looking at upgrading to a larger lathe like you, and the Sieg SC4 (as sold by Arc Euro) is my realistic choice. It has cross feed, hi torque brushless motor, benchtop etc fits your requirements quite nicely. But it hasn't got a quick change gearbox, it has change wheels.
Personally I wouldn't go for the combined lathe/mill combo, because you will inevitably need to use the lathe when you are set up for the mill or vice versa.
|1361 forum posts|
In addition to the Sieg SC4 you could also consider the Warco WM 250V with an inverter driven AC motor or a WM 280/290 lathe if you want a larger lathe.
20458 forum posts
The gearbox will be the problem on a benchtop machine unless it's an older design like a Myford. However the likes of the 250, 280 & 290 mentioned above do have a small gearbox on the front will will give 3 different feed rates or pitches depending on how the change gears are set up.
How much thread cutting are you likely to do? I don't do a lot so am happy to spend a couple of mins to change the gear train when I do need to screwcut something but if I was doing several different pitches a week it may become a pain.
|not done it yet||18/01/2021 09:59:37|
|5864 forum posts|
I think your order of replacement is the wrong way round. You have a lathe so have plenty of time to cast around for a replacement before selling yours.
I looked around for several months before finding a good replacement when I decided I would ‘like’ to change from my Raglan Little John to the improved 5” model.
While it does now sit on a stand, it was on a bench when I bought it. 5” centre height, decent between centres size, variable speed (between min and max) at full power, QCGB options, power feeds on both axes, delightful auto feed trip on the long-travel, separate power feed shaft. It will see me out. Far better value for money than most myfords, IMO.
|Chris Evans 6||18/01/2021 10:06:34|
1902 forum posts
Just a personal view but I always wonder about the attraction of power cross feed. Most of what I do is sub 70mm diameter, only if I am skimming a car flywheel do I use the power cross feed.
5428 forum posts
Cross feed is one of those things you dont absolutely NEED all that often, but it sure is nice to have on many occasions..
|Ron Laden||18/01/2021 10:33:52|
2188 forum posts
Before I fitted a cross feed to my 918 I wondered I'f it was worth the effort. Having fitted it I use it a lot even on all but small parts and always use it when parting of where it really shows its worth.
5428 forum posts
I used my old Drummond for many years, as did my Dad, with not even any power longitudinal feed, due to lack of change gears to suit. You just developed a steady touch turning the leadscrew hand wheel by hand. But having now bought the change gears and added a toothed belt fine feed reducer there is no way i would go back to hand feeding. You get used to luxury pretty darned quickly.
5861 forum posts
A battery drill/screwdriver will provide power cross feed so not really a feature to cross the road for.
|70 forum posts|
Re; the cross feed, having arthritic fingers, it took me weeks to machine a simple lump of steel about 75mm diameter,
So i figured if i get a bigger lathe i really do want powered cross feed,
the gearbox is something that would be a luxuary tho, and yes change gears would be perfectly acceptable, reality is i do not do much threading on the lathe, i'll use taps and dies.
But the 2 or 3 selectable feed speeds would be nice, so i can rough the part, then switch to a finer speed to get close to finishing before hand winding the axis.
I do sometimes wonder about cnc, but most of the things i make are designed in my head, if i had to draw out plans other than a quick scribble with a few dimensions to aim for, i'd never make anything.
So, i think i'd be looking at the Seig SC4, Warco WM 250V, or Chester DB10VS, are there any others?
A google search also shows the Amadeal AMA280VFF, but it links to a page that is not accesable from the main site, so it's not a stock item... not sure if they even sell that anymore.
So the Seig is the cheapest as £1571, (or the blue painted axminster version for over 2 grand!)
and the Warco and Chester are around the 2 grand mark... this is all new prices, and i would prefer a second hand one...
BUT, chuck capacity is something i must upgrade on from the 100mm chuck in the minilathe i have, and the SC4 seems to have the same darn 100mm chuck the others come with a 125mm chuck, i'm sure a 125mm chuck can be fitted to the seig tho?
|Howard Lewis||18/01/2021 15:17:36|
|4744 forum posts|
My first thought was the Sieg SC4. Although it does not have a Norton gearbox, so pitches / feeds need to be changed by altering the changewheels.
Not a fan, based on comments that I have read about it, of the combined Lathe/Mill. Opinion seems to be sharply divided, either bad or good.
Myford Ml7 etc are not much bigger than a mini lathe, and is a design dating back to 1947. A lot of very good work has been produced on them, but tend to be overpriced for what they offer. You would pay form the name.
Boxford is another popular choice, and well respected..
Shiny paint could disguise a very costly door stop!
How big do you want to go?
You could look for a secondhand Warco BH600 (Were sold in either Metric or Imperial form ) The Chester Craftman is Metric only and is still sold. Rarer is the Engineers ToolRoom BL12 -24 (Metric but dual dialled ) All the same machine, but in different paint schemes.
They have a 5 MT Headstock bore, induction hardened bedways, a feed shaft separate from the Leadscrew, and power fed for both turning and facing. Standard 3 jaw is 6" and 4 jaw is 8" These are bench top machines, although usually sold with a stand. Hefty at 300Kg, but strong and capable machines, able to do fairly heavy work, and cut a wide range of threads.
Sometimes, one comes up on the Warco Used Machines list.
These were belt driven, but have been superceded by gear head machines.
|70 forum posts|
i cant go too big, i made room in my shed for my mini lathe, and a space for a mill... of the mini variety.. was looking at something the size of a WM14 or 16 for a mill...
But just before xmas i got into tig welding, so have stolen part of the mill space for my little welding table...
It's just a slab of 10mm steel plate 500mm square on little legs that sits on the workbench, it can be put under the bench when not in use... but i'd rather not do that too often, so it would be right against a mill when welding (but that's not too bad, it's why i went to a tig over the mig welder i had... at least tig you get no shower of molten metal balls flying 2 meters in every direction)
So the lathe area can be over 2 meters long if it uses the mill space up, for depth i have about 600mm i think, but it can't be one of these half ton monsters, as the bench it will live on is made of 90x45 CLS timbers, but has the cheap ikea worktops that are only 28mm thick,
|Howard Lewis||18/01/2021 16:49:27|
|4744 forum posts|
With regard to flooring, mine is 18 mm ply on 8 x 2 bearers. (Five unequally spaced under a span of 2 metres )
The BL12-24 sits on ex warehouse racking, with a shelf above, and below, all carrying weight. Beneath the feet of the foot of each end frame of the racking, to load spread, is 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 angle iron.
So a LOT of weight on the floor and the external bearers.
|23 forum posts||
Went through similar thought process last year. Thing to remember, which was pointed out to me at time, is you've got to compare like for like. Eg SC4 looks cheaper but by time you've added a drip tray, fixed and travelling steadies, faceplate and four jaw your in the same ballpark as Chester and Warco offerings. Amadeal 250 size also doesn't include accessories so you need to factor it in.
SC4 has a smaller spindle bore, at 20mm, than Warco wm 250v,Amadeal and Chester db10vs which have 26mm bore and MT4 taper hence bigger chuck as standard. SC4 and Amadeal are brushless motor, Chester is older style brushed motor and Warco is ac with inverter.
I pretty much decided to go with Warco wm250v as I like the idea of the electronics being a bog standard VFD which I can easily replace with an off the shelf item rather than a propiertary board, plus the slightly bigger spindle bore. Only problem is its been out of stock since last July. TBH if Warco dont get stock soon I'll probably settle for the SC4.
|973 forum posts|
If you could find one, a Boxford ME10 would meet all your requirements as would a Model A (not AUD).
Both had the motor mounted behind the headstock & had PCF and a screwcutting gearbox. Metric and Imperial versions were made. Neither is very popular, though, so coming across one would be the biggest problem.
|70 forum posts|
Thankyou for the very useful information,
I thin the Sieg SC4 is off the list then, unless i can find one at a very good price.
Seems now is not the best time to be buying things like this new, so many 'out of stock' notices on all the websites,
The amadeal AMA250AVF-550 i have found out will be 3 to 4 months before another is got in to sell,
The warco 250v.. out of stock and bod knows when more will come in.
But i am wondering about lathes that use the leadscrew to power the cross slide, the amadeal AMA250 and chester DB10vs use a second rod to power the cross slide... i believe they power the carriage feed too that way? and the lead screw is used just when screw cutting?
If someone was selling a chester craftsman second hand, i'd go for that for sure, but i am thinking if i have to go for new, it'll likely be a slightly smaller lathe,
|Howard Lewis||19/01/2021 10:36:07|
|4744 forum posts|
You could place an ad in the "wanted" section of the classifieds on here.
But remember that the Warco BH600 and the Engineers ToolRoom BL12 - 24 are the same machine in different colour schemes.
Warco "Used machines" site is "sold out".
T'internet doesn't seem to show up any of those, used.
|Dave Halford||19/01/2021 11:20:45|
|1446 forum posts|
Lathes powered by the lead screw use a slot cut the length of the screw, they do not use the thread for power transmission.
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