View Full Version : Moding Draper Mini-lathe

12-01-2014, 09:27 AM
Hi. Great forum. I've been reading different posts and find it very interesting.
I have a personal question though. Iam in a prosess of buying a Draper metalwork 250w mini -lathe. From what I have red on other forums think it's made in Asia possibly by Seig but I'm not 100%. Does any one have any experience with this particular lathe? The main problem I was reading about this mini lathe lack torque at low rpm's and many people fit DC motors others fit a jack shaft to reduce spindle rpm while still running high motor rpm. Any thought on any of the above. It would be great to hear from some one that has actually tried or did this mods. I'm overwhelmed with all different pulleys and shafts people use. I have the lathe ordered but won't have it for another 2-4 weeks. Thanks very much in advance.
By the way. It will mainly be used for making spacers, bushes and so on, mosy aluminium and occasionally mild steel.

loose nut
12-01-2014, 09:34 AM
If you can post a pic of the lathe then members may recognize it IE: if it is a Seig and then give their experiences with them. If it is a Seig there are web sites that have how to info on them.

12-01-2014, 10:45 AM
The main problem is I suppose is the fact that I can't find any info related to this exact draper lathe online, as far as modifications go. So im trying to find out which one of better known mini lathes is identical to this draper one. Thanks very much.

12-01-2014, 12:07 PM
I have the USA variant of this lathe. It's made by Seig and it's not bad, but you'll want to replace the saddle clamps with thicker hard brass ones. There is a ton of info out there on how to modify the compound for more travel, which I strongly suggest you do.

Welcome to the forum! Please put your location in your profile- you might find a forum member near you.

12-01-2014, 12:46 PM
Thanks very much for your reply. I'll update my profile. Would you know what exact Seig model it is?

12-01-2014, 01:16 PM
I saw a really neat belt drive conversion on the Hobby Machinist forum - it geared the spindle down by about 1/2, so that some top speed was lost but torque increased at lower speeds with a lower slow speed. The guy that did it was very happy with its performance. I think you can buy kits for $70 or so.

12-01-2014, 01:21 PM
Great. I'll look into that. Reduction pulley is the way to go I think.

12-01-2014, 05:22 PM
Google is your best friend, why not try it ?


It appears that it could be just an ordinary C2 Mini Lathe from Sieg, just another badge engineered chinesey lathe, watch the pricing as some sellers claim that their 'named' lathe is far superior, to the exactly the same cheapest one. It's called 'gouging the sucker' with loads of BULL$HIT.

Oh, heaps of information freely available out there on the web.

12-01-2014, 05:27 PM
Thanks very much. I did a lot of searching but could only find remote relevance to a newer seig lathe with a new brushless motor. Thanks very much.

12-01-2014, 05:48 PM
It is definitely a Sieg C2 minilathe. I have the same model badged Clarke.
I have a website that has many modifications and tooling projects for this lathe that you might be interested in, see:

12-01-2014, 05:50 PM
Thanks very much drmico60. That's brilliant. Exactly kind the info I was looking for. How do you find the stock motor on this lathe? Is it usable?

12-02-2014, 04:09 AM
Hi Areaboi,
I used the lathe for a couple of years with the standard motor and it is fine for turning steel, aluminium etc up to a diameter of around 50 mm. However, for larger diameters it lacks torque. It can be used for large diameters but the depth of cut must be small and then progress is very slow. I made a speed reducer, as described on the website, that reduced the speed by half and doubled the torque. This is a big improvement when turning large diameters.

Mike Amick
12-02-2014, 09:50 AM
Some really nice mods there Mike .. I mean realllly nice.

Mike A

12-02-2014, 11:23 AM
There are lots of mods out there starting with our website's host pub, Home Shop Machinist. Look up the ongoing series by Ted Hansen.
Then, there is www.mini-lathe.com.
For parts, tooling, etc look at littlemachineshop.com (usual disclaimers).
The British magazine, Model Engineers'Workshop (MEW) ran a series a few years back by Dave Fenner. you can view The C3 Mini-Lathe part 1 at: http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/projects.aspx. Also included on this website are dis-assembly & assembly instructions for some mini-lathe variants, bearing upgrade how-tos, etc.

The Fenner articles are also reproduced as a book, The Mini-Lathe (http://www.amazon.com/Mini-Lathe-Workshop-Practice-David-Fenner/dp/1854862545/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417537248&sr=1-1&keywords=fenner+workshop+practice)
He also has a book of projects.

12-02-2014, 11:24 AM
Ya the Web site is amazing to say the least. Thanks Mike. You have golden hands.

12-02-2014, 12:21 PM
Thanks very much Dunc. I'll add them links and sources to my reading list. Thanks again. I'm really excited.

12-02-2014, 12:52 PM
Mike, would you be able to point me in the right direction for getting 35T pulley, original motor pulley and the additional belt that was used to hear down the spindle speed please? I have found a lot of different once but it would be great to get same parts a in your project knowing that everything fits well. Thanks in advance

12-02-2014, 01:07 PM
Mike, would you be able to point me in the right direction for getting 35T pulley, original motor pulley and the additional belt that was used to hear down the spindle speed please? I have found a lot of different once but it would be great to get same parts a in your project knowing that everything fits well. Thanks in advance

Hi Andrei,
Have a look at the technobots website:http://www.technobotsonline.com/. This is a good source for gears, timing belts pulleys etc. Fast efficient service and resonable pricing.

12-02-2014, 01:07 PM
Thanks Mike. I'll check it out. You are a gent.

12-02-2014, 01:27 PM
On of the best things I did with my lathe was install a DRO. It started out as just a cheap digital caliper modded to fit the cross slide. However, since then I've added a Z axis digital scale and am running the whole thing using TouchDRO (uses an Arduino and an Android tablet). It just makes the lathe so much nicer to use.

TouchDRO: http://www.yuriystoys.com/

Set up on my lathe: http://benchtopmachineshop.blogspot.com/2014/10/lathe-arduino-touchdro.html

12-02-2014, 01:38 PM
Thanks Zoltan. I have no knowledge in Arduino but I used to program Picaxe chips. So i might be able to look into that.

12-02-2014, 03:56 PM
The necessary Arduino sketch (program) is available for download and if you have a Windows computer you can program the Arduino.

It's hard for me to emphasis enough how much nicer having a DRO is.

12-02-2014, 03:58 PM
I'll put it on my list for sure. Won't be one of the first mods but I'll get it done next year for sure. Thanks again. This forum is full of knowledge