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James Perry 127/06/2021 17:25:28
2 forum posts

Hi all, I'm James from Sheffield. I'm just getting started with metalworking. I've wanted to get myself an engineers lathe for the past 5 years and am just about to bite the bullet. Wish me luck!

John Hinkley27/06/2021 18:34:49
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1306 forum posts
424 photos

Welcome, James, from just up the M18 near Doncaster. Doubtless you'll have some questions, so ask and ye shall find! We're a friendly bunch on here for the most part.

John

Steviegtr27/06/2021 18:45:13
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2422 forum posts
336 photos

Welcome James.

Steve.

Brian H27/06/2021 18:45:52
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2312 forum posts
112 photos

Hello James and welcome from just down the M1 near Mansfield. What sort of projects are you hoping to tackle with a Lathe?

Whatever it is you will find people on here who will be only too happy to offer help and advice you have but to ask.

Brian

noel shelley27/06/2021 19:22:25
1284 forum posts
21 photos

welcome to the party James, I'm in N Norfolk. What sort of lathe are you after ? Noel.

Howard Lewis28/06/2021 10:38:46
6024 forum posts
14 photos

Welcome James!

Before you part with cash, may I suggest:

Decide to what use the lathe will be put. Then buy one a little larger, to accommodate your horizons when thet expand; as they surely will.

You can't turn a big flywheel on a baby lathe, but you don't to make parts for watches on a 12" swing lathe.

You can do small work on a big lathe, but the opposite can be more difficult!

Read up on using a lathe. It will save you frustrations and problems, and help you when you ask questions about a difficulty. If you phrase the question badly, you won't get the answer that you need.

(Recently a neighbour said that a family bike had a loose pedal. When it arrived, the crank was loose, not the pedal! )

You will find a set of Zeus charts helpful. I still regularly use mine, bought in 1958!

Choose from

Ian Bradley "The Amateur's Workshop" (covers setting up the lathe, tool grinding, as well as other workshop practices which you will find useful )

L H Sparey "The Amateur's Lathe"

Neil Wyatt and Dave Fenner have each written books on the mini lathe.

Harold Hall "Lathe Work"

For later, you will find Tubal Cain "The Model Engineer's Handbook" a very useful reference book.

As you gain experience and want to increase the range of work that you do, books in the Workshop Practice Series can be bought, to cover specific features, such as Drills, Taps and Dies, Screwcutting, etc.

A good way to gain experience is to make small workshop tools. They will also be useful for years to come.

One of the first, would be a Centre Height Gauge (Look in my Albums. PM me if you want detailed instructions on how to make ) A set of Die Holders can be made, rather than bought, as a means of gaining experience.

Some can be bespoke tools specifically for your machine or workshop, but useful all the same.

As you gain experience, you will gain confidence.

You will make mistakes, Learn from them, but make them on a bit of steel bar rather than an expensive casting from a kit, or something that is not replaceable.

HTH

Howard!

James Perry 129/06/2021 20:14:39
2 forum posts

Thanks everyone for your warm welcome!

Noel, I've got my eye on the SC4 from Arc. Just working out the best combination of tooling and accessories. I've been keeping an eye out on classifieds for nearly a year now, but haven't seen anything good come up, so I've decided (and saved up!) to buy new.

To many of the others, I have an interest in model rocketry, so I want to be able to create jigs and tools for that hobby. I suspect and hope that will pave the way to many other projects.

Howard, that is an incredibly detailed response - I am very grateful for you sharing some knowledge (especially as it helps me find sources to get even more!).

I look forward to speaking with you all much more,

James

Meunier29/06/2021 20:36:03
448 forum posts
8 photos

If you do go for the SC4 from ARC, editor Neil ran a series in MEW for beginners 'using a lathe' using that very lathe and that led to a book also available from ARC, might be useful.
DaveD

Howard Lewis29/06/2021 21:58:50
6024 forum posts
14 photos

From what I have seen of a friend's SC4, it bis very capable machine.

If I had the need, it would high on my list.In my experience ARC will be most helpful.

Enjoy yourself!

Howard

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