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lwalker
01-01-2006, 09:57 AM
My wife and I are moving to a much larger property soon and I decided that my housewarming gift to myself should be the Harbor Freight 8x10 lathe. Finally, my first lathe :-)
It's currently $529; does anyone know if it ever goes on sale? I'm going to have to wait at least a month or two before purchase, so I can be patient if it'll save me a few bucks that I can spend on tooling instead.

hoffman
01-01-2006, 02:32 PM
Anytime I'm spending more than $100 I ask the manager what's the best deal he can give me. Usually they can knock a lot off the price and sell you the extended warranty and still save you some $$.

litman252
01-01-2006, 03:39 PM
I believe this is a simular lathe on sale from Northern Tool for $399.
http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=6970&productId=130704&R=130704

This is the same price as the Cumins from what I've learned from the 7x12 group.

Tony

------------------
I'm Learning, have a long way to go

lwalker
01-01-2006, 05:01 PM
litman252: I don't think it's the same one as the HF 8x12 is almost 3x the weight. It looks similar to the HF 7x10, though.
I live about 3 miles from Northern's main store in Burnsville, MN so I will definitely hoof it down there tomorrow and see if there's anyone knowledgeable I can talk to about it. I have never seen one there, so I don't think it's an in-store item. But I do appreciate the prompt response, thanks.

BTW everyone: my main reasons for choosing the 8x12 over the 7x10 are the 3x greater mass (260 vs 90 lbs) and larger motor. I doubt I will ever tax the capabilities of a 7x10 lathe, but I'd rather work well within the machine's operational envelope than at the edges. Does this seem like a wise decision, or am I better off just saving myself the $100 and getting the smaller lathe?

Happy New Year!!

John Garner
01-01-2006, 05:19 PM
lwalker --

A cliche, but true: It's easier to make little parts on a larger lathe than the other way around.

I've not seen the 8 x 12, but if it's a scaled-up derivative of the 7 x 10 it will be well worth the $ 100 price differential.

John

BillH
01-01-2006, 05:23 PM
I suggest you go for one of the 12" lathes if not a used southbend 9". But since its your first lathe you'll probably be better off with something thats new.

Your Old Dog
01-01-2006, 06:10 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by hoffman:
Anytime I'm spending more than $100 I ask the manager what's the best deal he can give me. Usually they can knock a lot off the price and sell you the extended warranty and still save you some $$.</font>


Hoffman's right. I had money knocked off my mill and hardly had to dicker at all. I've had several occasions where they've knocked money off for any lame reason. Sometimes just telling them it's showed in another catalog at a cheaper price is all it takes. They seem to have a lot of latitude to drop teh price a tad.

litman252
01-01-2006, 07:17 PM
Nothing wrong going with a bigger lathe, I need to get my first before I get a bigger one :-) .

BillH
01-01-2006, 07:50 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by litman252:
Nothing wrong going with a bigger lathe, I need to get my first before I get a bigger one :-) .

</font>

Thats what I did, I wish I went to the 9" southbend directly.
Depends if you rather spend more and buy once, or spend more and buy twice.

In my future I do see myself getting a 12" or larger lathe. Too far away though to give it any serious thought at the moment.

Mcruff
01-01-2006, 08:17 PM
If you want to find out about the different versions of the mini-lathe check out this website:
http://www.mini-lathe.com/Mini_lathe/Versions/Versions.htm
There is a bucket load of info on this site for the sieg mini-lathe versions sold by all the different companies. And yes the one you are looking at from Harbor freight is far bigger than the one posted from Northern.

sauer38h
01-01-2006, 08:21 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by lwalker:
I doubt I will ever tax the capabilities of a 7x10 lathe</font>

Don't sell yourself short, there. If you're doing anything bigger than clock repair, you'll be working at its limits constantly.

BillH
01-01-2006, 09:31 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by sauer38h:
Don't sell yourself short, there. If you're doing anything bigger than clock repair, you'll be working at its limits constantly.

</font>

You wont see a more true sentance. It is all about Mass. Mass Mass Mass. I had a micromark 7x14, turning 1018 steel train wheels, about 3.5" in diameter, I would get tons of chatter. It turned a fun project into living hell. Yes you can do things to reduce chatter like bolting the lathe down to a piece of channel iron, sharper tools, less overhang, more attention to tool geometry, etc.

What I have learned is that you NEVER want to be near any tools limits to be efficient. If you want to make a live steam locomotive who's driving wheels will be 6" in diameter, I say get a 12" lathe. For my needs, the smallest lathe I'd get is a 9" south bend, which I own http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif Yes, I'd love a 12" lathe.
With that said, there are quite a few guys on this forum who use their mini lathe and defend it furiously. Hey maybe you'll be one of them. For a new guy, its hard to tell what you need at first, need expirience to judge that well.

lwalker
01-02-2006, 10:34 AM
Not only is this going to be my first lathe, but it's going to be the lathe I learn on. I've been kicking myself for a long time for not taking the "Manufacturing Processes" course in college (it was required for ME's, but an elective for EE's) and I can't find any community colleges around here that have machine shop classes at night: just a few Ag courses that offer it during the daytime when I'm at work.

Thanks for all your help guys. I'm going to get the 8x12 as soon as I can after we move.
I have looked on eBay for used lathes, but never see anything I can afford closer than 400 miles or so.

rcheli
01-02-2006, 09:57 PM
Yes, they do go on sale. I just bought one in late October for $439.99. It is a catalog only item. The stores carry the 7x10 and 9x20. I got mine to replace a Unimat SL that I have been using for 40 years.

John