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Ed Tipton
08-29-2006, 10:03 AM
Good Day to All!
I am fortunate enough to have a shop which I have leased for about fifteen years and will be able to stay in for as long as I want. I currently have a fourteen inch Clausing lathe, a very nice and accurate Gorton Mastermill, and my newest pride and joy, a vintage 1943 16" Monarch CW toolroom lathe. I will readily admit that my skills as a machinist are very modest, but I try hard to do it "correctly". My problem is this: My shop is located about a half mile from my home. I am considering purchasing a smaller lathe that I can set up in my basement where I can keep busy on smaller projects that dont require the size and mass of the machines in my shop. I have looked at some of the smaller offerings out there that pretty much make up the current market. I have also become interested in the realm of watchmakers lathes. The problem I have is deciding on which one I really want. The older watchmakers lathes are very attractive to me, but tend to be expensive, and usually not very well accessorized, (not that the accessories were not available). I guess what I'm looking for is a basis for comparing the current offerings with the older more attractive versions of watchmakers lathes. I welcome all responses and I am completely open to all opinions and ideas. Thx, Ed

thistle
08-29-2006, 11:20 AM
http://www.cowells.com/

heres a small watchmaking lathe and also ME lathe still being made (in the UK)

topct
08-29-2006, 11:34 AM
You did not say what you might want to use it for. But for what it's worth, here's my opinion.

If you you want to do just very small, watchmaker size things, then get one of those. However they are most definately limited to just that size of work.

Or you could get either a Taig or a Sherline. They each are available with a WW spindle to take that type of tooling if you want or need to use it. At that point they will also accept those machines regular chucks/face plates etc., for larger work. I believe they will. I should look that up.

What's neat about them is they work just like a full size machine, with a crosslide, compound whatever. And there would be little if any learning curve.

I have the Taig and a friend has a Sherline. The Taig is made with a more basic approach to finish this keeps the price down on it's parts and acc. The Sherline is very nicely finished but the price reflects that. They are equally accurate.

I really like my Taig. I have had it for about 18 years. I do not baby it and the only thing that has gone wrong in all that time is a $4 spindle bearing (my fault) . Got a little aggresive turning some inch and 1/2 dia 304 stainless.

What has turned out realy cool is that with an aftermarket drawbar adapter I can use all my Taig chucks and collets on my SB9. With a little touch up it would take the Sherline stuff also.

I'm sure others will offer up thier thoughts, again just my $.02.

ASparky
08-29-2006, 07:27 PM
Do check for compound slides. I was in the same situation of needing a small lathe for home. One thing that showed up a lot when hunting, was most had just a "Y" slide and no angled ie. compound slide.

Rif
08-29-2006, 09:02 PM
Hello,

Some comments from my experiences with my Sherline lathe....

For around $1500 you can get a Sherline lathe with many of the attachments, though, this number is probably 4 years old.

Bear in mind, it is a very light lathe. If I remember correctly, the motor is 1/3 horsepower. On mine, the deepest cut I can take is about 0.005 in steel and 0.010 in aluminum. YMMV. Turning a 1 inch piece of steel can easilly be an all day project. Turning a piece of steel greater than one inch is very tricky and easilly stalls the lathe.

The Sherline also has a huge assortment of attachments. The only things that I can think of that it doesn't have is a shaper or a toolpost grinder.

To turn long tapers, you have to turn the headstock because the tailstock cannot be offset. I've never had to turn long tapers.

It comes in either an 8 inch or a 17 inch version. In the 8 inch version, the zero re-settable hand wheels are optional. Given that the difference in price between the two lathes were about $100, I'd recommend the longer version. A drill bit, chuck and arbor eat up a lot of space.

It has a lead-screw. The Taig doesn't. However, I have seen where some people have put a leadscrew on a Taig. I think the Taig has a heavier, concrete-filled bed. I wouldn't mind having a Taig; but, I would want a longer bed. I would guess that you can remove metal faster with a Taig; but, I don't have any experience with them.

Though the threading set uses a hand-wheel to turn the spindle, it is possible to power-thread shallow threads by mounting the change-gears towards the front of the lathe.

Regards,

Rif

mitchell
08-29-2006, 11:10 PM
I know I will get bashed for this. You might want to consider a 7x12 import lathe. There only a few hundred and there is a good suplie of attachments and parts availble. I own a 14x40 rockwell lathe and a 9x49 Lagun milling machine along with a china mini mill and mini lathe. The lathe has a suprising amount of power I was impressed the first time I used it. To be honest alot of people put these machines down ( more a china against america debate) but to be honest when used withing there working envelop they work just fine. You will find several yahoo groups to support you on these 2 machines. I have them for the same reason you want them .My big machines are at my shop 37miles away . The little machines are set on a 1.5'x5' bench in my kitchen in my apartment works great. Infact I have brought stuff home to machine as it was easier on the little machines rather then the big stuff at my business. Are these as good as a Prazi well no but then again not nearly as expensive. What works for you will depend more on how much you want to spend ,what your doing with them, and how much space you have to work with.

machine_rookie
08-30-2006, 01:54 AM
I'm currently using a unimat in my hooch here in Baghdad, Iraq. It is easily transported, is also a mill amd works get for making aluminum prototypes. I looked at the Clisby machines for a similar "machine shop in a box" concept.

I'm also looking at a Proxxon PD230E for the simple reason that it may still be small enough to be "mailed" to me vice "shipped." It won't be as protable as the other two but has features the other's don't without spending a lot more money.

<http://www.emachinetool.com/new/categories.cfm?DestinationCategory=Mini%20%26%20CN C%20Mini%20Lathe>

<http://www.clisby.com/>

V.

tdmidget
08-30-2006, 05:47 AM
What is a "Y" slide?

topct
08-30-2006, 08:47 AM
"What is a "Y" slide?" That would be the crosslide. The Taig and Sherline come with just that. A compound would be an accessory.

Rex
08-30-2006, 11:34 AM
Mitchell, I could have written your post myself.
My shop is also 37 miles away (or 30, if I want to deal with traffic and stoplights). I have Logan and enco lathes there, shopping for a mill.

But I often need to do small jobs at home. So I bought a minilathe and minimill, and a nice bench on wheels that holds both. Nice little machines once you get them cleaned up and adjusted, and replace some of the small hardware, and correct some minor faults.

thistle
08-30-2006, 11:43 AM
I'm currently using a unimat in my hooch here in Baghdad, Iraq. It is easily transported, is also a mill amd works get for making aluminum prototypes. I looked at the Clisby machines for a similar "machine shop in a box" concept.

I'm also looking at a Proxxon PD230E for the simple reason that it may still be small enough to be "mailed" to me vice "shipped." It won't be as protable as the other two but has features the other's don't without spending a lot more money.

<http://www.emachinetool.com/new/categories.cfm?DestinationCategory=Mini%20%26%20CN C%20Mini%20Lathe>

<http://www.clisby.com/>

V.

I love it , it the trenches -got lathe , need milling machine !

what are you making ?- pictures man, pictures..........

mitchell
08-30-2006, 10:27 PM
Mitchell, I could have written your post myself.
My shop is also 37 miles away (or 30, if I want to deal with traffic and stoplights). I have Logan and enco lathes there, shopping for a mill.

But I often need to do small jobs at home. So I bought a minilathe and minimill, and a nice bench on wheels that holds both. Nice little machines once you get them cleaned up and adjusted, and replace some of the small hardware, and correct some minor faults.

I woudnt be a bit surprised if you have the same bench I have , While my bench does not have wheels it was availble that way just at the time the homedepot didnt have that one in stock so I took the one without wheels. Both machine set very nicely on this bench with some workspace inbetween.

matador
08-30-2006, 10:40 PM
FWIW,the "clisby"is the original Australian prototype for the Sherline lathe.
Likewise I thinkTaig is virtually the Cowells without the precision setting up work done.I used to have a little chinese lathe about the size of the 7x12's,but a bit more basic.
It did everything i asked of it,and at the time got me started.I did have to replace the switch at some stage,but that's why you get them cheap.
So if money is no object,a "Schaublin",a bit lower down the scale Sherline/Taig,and bottom the 7x12 in whatever brand a local distributor has it.

Nick Carter
08-31-2006, 04:11 PM
FWIW,the "clisby"is the original Australian prototype for the Sherline lathe.
Likewise I thinkTaig is virtually the Cowells without the precision setting up work done.I used to have a little chinese lathe about the size of the 7x12's,but a bit more basic.
It did everything i asked of it,and at the time got me started.I did have to replace the switch at some stage,but that's why you get them cheap.
So if money is no object,a "Schaublin",a bit lower down the scale Sherline/Taig,and bottom the 7x12 in whatever brand a local distributor has it.
As far as I know, the Clisby is a later lathe designed by the guy who designed the Sherline.
The Taig while looking somewhat similar to the Cowells (in that it has a cantilevered bed), is really nothing like it at all in construction.

PTSideshow
08-31-2006, 04:54 PM
My vote is for the sherline as that is the one I own. Along with the 8 axis knee mill both with DRO's. They do have a lot of stuff for them. Along with the watch making lathe tools. you can find wood working acces also for small turning ect.
I have had them for a number of years. I have the riser blocks and can turn light weight 5"dia items.:D

Dr. Nick
08-31-2006, 05:47 PM
I'll toss in my 2 cents here. I personally like the Taig a lot. I've never used a Sherline but hear good things. I went with the Taig because it's more like me, a work in progress. The way I describe Taig lathes is that they are basically like kit lathes where you can add or subtract to make whatever you want (and you really can make it whatever you want as long as it's small)

Another really nice thing is that just about any part on the lathe can be replaced for about $50. Headstock, crossslide, compound, tailstock. The bed is a little bit more but not a lot. I like that because if something ever breaks (mine travels alot) it's cheap to fix (another reason I think it's a great beginner lathe too).

Rob

topct
08-31-2006, 06:28 PM
Dr. Nick,

I truly believe that the Taig is the " Erector Set" of lathes.

The cost of the parts and pieces are just......you know what I mean.

motomoron
08-31-2006, 08:53 PM
How about a good old fashioned Atlas 618?

Weston Bye
08-31-2006, 09:23 PM
I have both an Atlas and a Sherline. for the kind of things I have been doing, I perfer the Sherline.

Al Messer
08-31-2006, 09:37 PM
Have they started making the Atlas 6 x 18 again?

Weston Bye
08-31-2006, 09:44 PM
Have they started making the Atlas 6 x 18 again?

Not that I'm aware of. I bought mine new from the factory back in 1980 for about $400.

Dr. Nick
08-31-2006, 11:18 PM
I have an Atlas 618 too but I will generally try to do my work on the Taig to save wear and tear on the Atlas. Replacing parts on the 618 is much more of a bother (not to mention expensive) versus the Taig. There are some operations I prefer to do on the Atlas because of it's size but the Taig can handle a lot considering. Having both lathes setup at the same time is also great as I can retain setups for different operations when I need.