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How do I set up a Sieg C2 lathe ?

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Brian John16/04/2014 06:42:55
1456 forum posts
579 photos

I have recently purchased a Sieg C2 lathe ; it is still sitting in its box on the living room floor as I have not yet purchased a suitable workbench for it. It is much heavier than I thought it would be !

Once I get it on the workbench, can I use it straight away ? Are there certain things I have to do before using a new lathe ? I have never used a lathe before and the local TAFE college does not have a lathe course so I will have to learn from books and youtube.

Oompa Lumpa16/04/2014 08:02:20
888 forum posts
36 photos

Well, first off, good on you for just going for it. Most people sit around asking the "Should I? Shouldn't I? questions until time has passed them by.

A picture paints a thousand words as they say so go look at a load of youtube videos and this will give you some idea as to what to expect when you switch the machine on. As for a stand and backsplash and so on - It doesn't matter what you do, you won't cover all your bases, especially with little experience, so be prepared to modify whatever it is you cobble up as a stand. May I suggest, in lack of anything else, a sturdy bench constructed of "2x4" 's and the top a chunk of kitchen worktop. All these bits can be bought cheaply and it will be no great loss if it doesn't work out and you need to radically modify it.

There is nothing to stop you getting it out of the box, plugging it in and getting on with it. However, I would try to get the surface it is going to sit on as flat and as level as possible as this will give the machine a fighting chance of producing it's best. With your lack of experience I wouldn't obsess with too many of the niceties, this will all come with experience and you cannot get that without first using the machine. I would of course clean all the protective gunk that is present and oil lightly. Again, at this point and with this machine I wouldn't be buying any specialist oils, just clean oil.

Then make something. Something simple and useful would be best. Do not jump in with both feet, take your time with a small project, this will give you experience and this you will need for some of the more ambitious projects. If you get stuck, just ask. There are plenty of people here willing to help.


Gray16/04/2014 08:28:54
1040 forum posts
13 photos

Hi Brian,

It would be good to say where you are, there may be folk near you willing to help/advise. Also someone may know of a local club where you can get practical help etc.

The bench construction described by Graham is a good starting point. My first lathe bench was constructed from 30mm thick wall square tube ( because I had some to hand), and a couple of surplus metal desk drawer units for storage, you'll soon find you can't have enough storage.

There are no end of books available, one worth a look is metal lathe for home machinists by Harold hall.

Michael Cox 116/04/2014 08:42:29
536 forum posts
27 photos

Hi Brian,

First stop for anyone buying a mini-lathe is the website

Here you will find a large a mount of good information about setting the lathe up and using it.

It also has a good set of links to other sites that you might find helpful.


Brian John16/04/2014 13:49:34
1456 forum posts
579 photos

I have already cleaned off most of the heavy grease. I intend to purchase this folding workbench :


It is rated to hold 180 KG so it should do the job safely. Plus it should fit in the back of my two door Starlet !

I still canot find anybody near me who knows how to use a lathe. There are no model engineering groups in the area but is a great website. Thank you for that.

Edited By Brian John on 16/04/2014 13:50:56

Robbo16/04/2014 14:15:10
1504 forum posts
142 photos


If you go to the ArcEuroTrade website you can see 2 pdf files of Dave Fenner's article on setting up a C3 mini-lathe, published in MEW no 133 ( was the start of a series on using the mini-lathe, now published as a book in the Workshop Practice series).

Try this link **LINK**

The Workshop Practice book would probably be a good buy for you

Ian S C16/04/2014 15:04:21
7468 forum posts
230 photos

Brian, I hope that work table is high enough, or if not you can place your lathe on something to get it up higher, you don't need to be stooping, and bending to get down to it. Some of these work tables are OK for sawing wood and that sort of thing, but a bit low for a lathe. To find the correct hight, stand up straight, arms down, bend an arm at right angles, the distance from the elbow to the floor is the hight to the top of the topslide. Ian S C

Brian John18/04/2014 05:20:23
1456 forum posts
579 photos

The mini lathe website is great. My lathe is still in its box on the floor but I have now cleaned off most of the heavy grease. The lathe is enclosed in two pieces of foam ; the top half of the foam box lifts off and the machine rests very snugly in the bottom half. How can I lift this machine out ie. what can I safely grab hold of on the lathe ?

It may sound like a silly question but the lathe is very heavy (The consignment note says 50 kg) and I do not want to damage anything by using the wrong part of the machine as a lifting point. I also do not want to drop it on my foot !

Thor18/04/2014 05:52:08
1321 forum posts
40 photos

Hi Brian,

I don't have the C2 lathe, but a lathe of similar size - just over 50kg. When I moved it to its new location we were two guys. I removed chuck, topslide and tailstock. We put slings down between the bedways with a piece of 2 by 2 underneath. One sling near the headstock, one near the tailstock end. Adjusted the position of the carriage (and locked it) so the lathe balanced nicely.

50 kg can be a bit heavy to lift alone unless you have some kind of hoist. On the front of the bed there is a leadscrew, take care so you don't bend it. Good luck with you new lathe.



Edited By Thor on 18/04/2014 05:52:53

Bazyle18/04/2014 10:21:36
5689 forum posts
208 photos

That wobbly plastic abomination isn't even a decent base for handsawing. You could do just as well as that with a couple of plastic buckets and a plank - which you wouldn't do obviously.

You might find a temporary expedient at a local second hand furniture shop - plywood desk, plywood chest of drawers, metal finling cabinets, etc. Note no mention of chipboard which can give way suddenly. ok the lathe weighs less than a modern fat kid but it is still too much for susstained support by yukboard.
Reinforce the top of whatever you get with 1 in quality plywood, or two layers of 3/4 in would be better. If you find space to make the top 2ft x 4ft it will be big enough to last usefully for ever whereas if you only make it big enough for today's requirement you will end up thowing it away in a few years.

Rather than maiking a bench out of traditional 2x4 legs etc which then need loads of bracing I suggest now using sheet material front and back like a kitchen cabinet but using strong 3/4in ply not chipboard and 2x2 screwed along the joints.

LIfting the lathe. - NOT the chuck despite its convenient position. Remove it if possible to geve better access down to the bed for a rope or sling but beware as you lift from the bed it becomes top heavy. 50kg is a two man lift if you can find a neighbour without back trouble. Otherwise it is one end at a time lifted onto ples of wood blocks or even books. (now I come to think of it I have enough back issues of ME to make a bench sized pile!)

ps nice to hear I'm not the only one storing a lathe in the living room.surprise

Edited By Bazyle on 18/04/2014 10:23:07

Neil Wyatt18/04/2014 10:22:20
18404 forum posts
718 photos
78 articles

I can lift my mini-lathe in one hand, although I'd be stupid to do so! Out of the box it's more like 30kg, I'd guess.

According to the web the C2 is 33kg net (66lbs), the C3 is 40kg.

I lift mine one hand under tailstock end, one under headstock end, and have no problem swapping it between a bench and a stool in the middle of the workshop for maintenance. But I'm a fairly big chap and still only a youthful 51, if you have any doubts about being able to manage the lift, get in a neighbour and bend your knees (to lift it, not to beg the neighbour to help).

Make sure you don't try to lift it by the gear cover or metal guards.

Make sure you have plenty of space to move in and no trip hazards. If it's awkward, slit down the sides of the box first. Rehearse the lift in your mind first - don't lift it up and think 'now what?' or find the benchspace is too small!

In contrast, the X2 mill really has to be split in 2 to be moved. the column and head together weigh about the same as a mini lathe.



Edited By Neil Wyatt on 18/04/2014 10:27:25

GaryM18/04/2014 17:15:26
314 forum posts
44 photos

Hi Brian,

If the lathe is surrounded by a wooden packing case I would dismantle the case rather than trying to lift it out of the foam. Once you've got the case and foam out of the way it is an easy 2-man lift. As Neil says you might be able to lift on your own but safer with two. Most of the weight is at the headstock end. I lifted mine with the wife. Remove tailstock to lose a bit of weight.

I built a bench to put mine on, but as others have said it really needs to be higher than your average desk and even some workbenches are too low. Unless you are happy with backache. wink

Once you are ready to have a go at using it you might find some useful info on these sites




frank brown18/04/2014 19:53:09
436 forum posts
5 photos

It would be worth looking at a car drip tray to sit you lathe in, it curtails the spread of swarf and coolant. I do not know what size you want your stand to be. it should be high enough to be able to work at comfortably and have a wide and deep enough base so the stand is stable. Problem with a 2' X 1' X 30" high stand is that it will require ballast in the base to make it stable. Good idea to have at least little legs that can be packed out/ have adjusters to suit the floor, a straight bottom edge might rock on any roughness on the floor.


Robbo18/04/2014 23:33:37
1504 forum posts
142 photos


Before unpacking the lathe, check that it is not bolted to the bottom of its crate - they sometimes are secured that way.

Brian John19/04/2014 10:40:08
1456 forum posts
579 photos

I suspect that it is bolted to the wooden pallet on which it sits. I still cannot budge it.

Perhaps I might go back to my original idea of placing the lathe on thick plywood or timber which is bolted across two good quality saw horses. I will sit when I use it.

Michael Gilligan19/04/2014 16:12:27
16991 forum posts
753 photos

It seems a great pity that the seller[s] can't spare the trivial cost of including some "unpacking" instructions.


JasonB19/04/2014 16:18:38
19512 forum posts
2131 photos
1 articles

Its hard enough getting decent opperating instructions let alone ones on how to get it out of the packing. Maybe you will find some unpacking instructions at the bottom of the boxwink


Brian John20/04/2014 09:55:55
1456 forum posts
579 photos

Yes, there is a bolt passing right through the bottom of the pallet up into the lathe : no wonder I could not lift it out ! I will turn the whole thing on its side tomorrow and see what can be done.

Edited By Brian John on 20/04/2014 09:56:31

Ian S C20/04/2014 12:58:15
7468 forum posts
230 photos

For a bench, steel in the form of angle iron, or box section, preferably welded, but bolting would do. A heavy wooden top, and a light steel sheet under the lathe to protect the wood from dents. Ian S C

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