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Thread: Mini-Lathe Improvements, A WIP Thread

  1. #21
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    Jul 2017
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    Springfield Mo
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    Appreciate the encouragement guys! I'll have more work stories posted soon, I'm still trying to decide if I want to replace mill the Dovetails. I did do some checks, and the top of the saddle where the tool post sits was not ground to be parallel to the base, there's a pretty considerable slope to it. I'm probably going to blue up the ways a little more and see just how close everything is, then decide if I want to kill the ways or just bring the top parallel with the bottom

  2. #22
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    Dec 2004
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    East Coast, USA
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    How does the MicroLux 7x14" lathe compare to the others out there? I picked mine up at an auction not knowing much about the mini lathes.



    Work hard play hard

  3. #23
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    Jun 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMinMN View Post
    ... The second site I discarded has a rule that small lathes and mills are never discussed because they aren't used by a practical machinist. I have used my mini lathe for a practical purpose more than once ...
    The site you're referring to does not allow discussion of said machines because they normally aren't used by professional machinists, which is its target demographic.

  4. #24
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    Mar 2015
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    I had a microsux mini lathe, sorry to say, that’s where my bad taste comes from. They are all made in the same factory by the same unskilled craftsman not doing proper checks.


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  5. #25
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    Dec 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by RB211 View Post
    I had a microsux mini lathe, sorry to say, that’s where my bad taste comes from. They are all made in the same factory by the same unskilled craftsman not doing proper checks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    What problems did you have with yours? I'm disappointed by the lack of power as it stalls it stalls very easily but when taking very lite cuts it seems to function really well for such a small lathe that you can basically carry away under one arm for a few seconds
    Work hard play hard

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    SF East Bay.
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    6,172

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3 Phase Lightbulb View Post
    How does the MicroLux 7x14" lathe compare to the others out there? I picked mine up at an auction not knowing much about the mini lathes.

    The Microlux brand is often considered to be top of the class. Rumor is that they commissioned their own beds, making them a bit stiffer than normal. They were one of the first of the asian machines to provide leadscrews based on imperial threads.

    Having a second lathe is really handy. You can use it for second operations without disturbing the setup on the other lathe. You can also use it to make parts for your other lathe if something breaks.

    The key to working with all of these lathes is to properly adjust the gibs and check that everything is lubed and aligned. Use sharpened tools that are properly aligned and they will work as well as any other lathe (within their work envelope).

    Dan
    Last edited by danlb; 12-23-2017 at 03:52 PM.
    There is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

  7. #27
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    Oct 2016
    Location
    Maine USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
    Appreciate the encouragement guys! I'll have more work stories posted soon, I'm still trying to decide if I want to replace mill the Dovetails. I did do some checks, and the top of the saddle where the tool post sits was not ground to be parallel to the base, there's a pretty considerable slope to it. I'm probably going to blue up the ways a little more and see just how close everything is, then decide if I want to kill the ways or just bring the top parallel with the bottom
    I have one of the Grizzly mini lathes, it was my first. It's not the most able piece of equipment but for making small parts it is adequate. I have made enough money with that toy lathe to pay for itself and buy a turn-of-the-century Southbend and a mill drill and then some 3 times over. I'm going to use the mini lathe to make bushings for the Southbend in a lathe rescue. So yeah, it has it's uses and limitations. Better to not be impaired by a lack of imagination that some here have expressed. More power to you if you have the money to buy the biggest and best lathe. It's not the quality of the metal tool that makes the machinist, it's the quality of the grey matter that matters most.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    2,592

    Default Mini-Lathe Improvements, A WIP Thread

    Because I was asked, my own lathe is a Lathe Master 8x14 which is the same as the HF 8x12. It is not a Sieg product and it’s a FAR better lathe for a slightly larger foot print. I rate its capabilities to that of a South Bend 9” model C lathe, but without being clapped out.
    Listen, I fully respect the skills needed to bring this mini-lathe back into square, my problem is the “WHY”. It has design flaws that cannot be corrected.


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  9. #29
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    Mar 2005
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    Toronto
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    Learning scraping to get things mating and aligned properly is a fantastic skill. If you think about it, a failure of the manufacturer to create the proper fit and alignment just about is what puts a machine into the poor quality catagory. Epic, I would encourage you to approach the lathe as a reconditioning situation which means everything gets fixed, you have to plan and think through a sequence. You'll learn a ton and quite possibly end up with a great little lathe.

    I've also encouraged people before to pick a machine that is worthy of the full monty, as its a heck of lot work....makes more sense to do so on a Porsche than a Chevette. While I think that is still good advice, you go with what you've got. Its a small lathe so won't take the time a bigger one would. You can for sure improve it and what you will learn about accuracy, fit and alignment will serve you well with any project....so have at it and ask away if you have questions.
    .

  10. #30
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    Now that you have scraped in the bottom of the compound, has it changed the original issue? If I recall, it was that you could not adjust the gibs for easy movement without unwanted slop.


    Dan
    There is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

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