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Thread: Mini-Lathe Improvements, A WIP Thread

  1. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by markx View Post
    This looks rather familiar The problem with these types of machines seems to be that the visible parts on first glimpse are rather well machined and seem to possess at least some degree of functionality (like the main bed and ways), but all of the hidden parts like underside of tailstock, the cross slide and compound are just in a horrible state regarding flatness. I've had blind luck with my unit: despite the hacksaw machining job on the hidden parts, the machine has actually performed rather well over long years. So I've not really done much to rectify the uneven surfaces, just the occasional tightening and some adjustments. I can not justify the amount of work involved in a full scale improvement job. On a bigger more rigid machine it would make sense to me, but on these little ones I'm not up to it really.
    I do not mean to say in any way that one should not go through with all of this....it is a great project that I follow with interest and there is much to be learned from these activities. So keep up the progress and let us know !
    Weirdly I've never actually had much of a problem with lubrication. Wipers and oil cups are on the to do list, but so far I've no had an issue just squirting some way oil on. In all honesty, the lathe worked just fine as-is when I got it, there's a reason I haven't been upset about some of the shoddy machining, despite the shoddiness it gets the job done. I just wanted the job done a tiny bit easier, hence this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by RB211 View Post
    Million dollar question. After putting all of this work into the lathe, would you do it all over again? Or buy a slightly larger lathe that was ready to go, like the 8xXX series?
    Million dollar answer; an 8x22 lathe I can afford would be in the same initial state as this one, so yeah, I would do it all over again. I have no trouble spending time to save money, I have more of one than the other. It'll be a very long while before I have to worry about it though, the 7x12 work envelope fits nearly everything I need to do

    Quote Originally Posted by markx View Post
    I guess this more of a learning curve enhancement and recreational topic than actual intention to improve the performance of this little machine to such an extent as to be worth the effort

    For example I rebuilt an old rotten BMW once for similar purposes and had a lot of fun doing it (ended up driving the thing for over 120000km too). In retrospective it was a fun and educational project, but hardly worth the work and effort I put into it. In retrospective I would not find it in me to do it again.
    Dunno that I'd view it that way, as far as I'm concerned the improvements have already been worth the effort. I've spent a few hours of time turning an okay tool into a good tool

  2. #152
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    Good job, Epic! What's next?

  3. #153
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    Springfield Mo
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    Quote Originally Posted by chucketn View Post
    Good job, Epic! What's next?
    Whelp, first Im still in the process of making the new base for the tailstock. Had to order in a chamfer mill, so thats briefly on hold, but once i have that in-hand ill be doing a writepup on making that part and finishing the tailstock alignment.

    After i get the tailstock sorted out, i havent decided what the next tweak is going to be. Wipers and oil cups for the carriage are tied for first, with the other option being a camlock system for the tailstock. Unrelated to the lathe, ive also been making some tweaks and improvements to mini mill, in the same vein as what ive been doing to my lathe

  4. #154
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    Jul 2017
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    Buffalo NY USA
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    Just wanted to say to Epicfail, thanks for the inspiration. I'm kinda in the same boat. Got some decent machines at work but not so much at home. Not much money but some free time on the weekends. If you got time, you spend time; if you got money, you spend money. Usually its just a little bit of both, combined with some ingenuity.

  5. #155
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    Mar 2015
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    When I said 8xXX, was referring to the Horror Fright 8x12(Lathe Master 8x14), not another Sieg product. Catch it when it is on sale, plus another 20-25% off coupon.

  6. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by RB211 View Post
    When I said 8xXX, was referring to the Horror Fright 8x12(Lathe Master 8x14), not another Sieg product. Catch it when it is on sale, plus another 20-25% off coupon.
    You mean the Seig C4 with Harbor Freight branding?

    Honestly, ill probably skip over that, ive already decided that my next lathe is going to be one of the larger benchtop ones, somewhere in the 10x22 range or a touch bigger. Bells and whistels, power cross feed, quick-change gearbox, the fun bits. Thats way down the road though, and one of the reasons im enjoying tweaking this mini-lathe is because im also building the skills needed to work on one of those larger machines and get it trued up. Opens up the market a bit more, and saves money to boot. My price range will likely never encompass the old American high-grade iron, or even a higher end import. If i can take a mid-low range import and throw some elbow grease at it, well, that i can afford. Can also go for one of the old, slightly beat up bits of American iron and know that no matter the problem, i can fix it

  7. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
    You mean the Seig C4 with Harbor Freight branding?

    Honestly, ill probably skip over that, ive already decided that my next lathe is going to be one of the larger benchtop ones, somewhere in the 10x22 range or a touch bigger. Bells and whistels, power cross feed, quick-change gearbox, the fun bits. Thats way down the road though, and one of the reasons im enjoying tweaking this mini-lathe is because im also building the skills needed to work on one of those larger machines and get it trued up. Opens up the market a bit more, and saves money to boot. My price range will likely never encompass the old American high-grade iron, or even a higher end import. If i can take a mid-low range import and throw some elbow grease at it, well, that i can afford. Can also go for one of the old, slightly beat up bits of American iron and know that no matter the problem, i can fix it
    It's NOT a C4. Different manufacturer. I own the Lathemaster 8x14(same lathe) that I am going to convert to CNC.
    It's a serious step up in terms of rigidity, fit and finish, but has fewer bells and whistles.
    But yes, I too would hold off for a larger lathe.

  8. #158
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    Whelp, went to get to work on the new tailstock base tonight. Was getting the block-o-iron set up in the mill vise, checked the vise tram, went to tighten down the clamps just to be sure and this happened:


    More torque on a smaller bolt on the other hold down didnt cause any new issues. Dont use cheap t-slot bolts... Shouldve known better than to trust the ones that came with the vise. Throws a spanner in the works, and puts things on hold until i can get to grizzly and get some proper t-slot nuts on Tuesday. Thought about making some, but thats somewhat difficult when you cant hold things on the mill table!

  9. #159
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    Jan 2004
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    Missouri
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    A hacksaw and a file should suffice..... Bootstrap your way up to what you need rather than waiting...
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  10. #160
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    [QUOTE=epicfail48;1216402

    More torque on a smaller bolt on the other hold down didnt cause any new issues. Dont use cheap t-slot bolts... Shouldve known better than to trust the ones that came with the vise. Throws a spanner in the works, and puts things on hold until i can get to grizzly and get some proper t-slot nuts on Tuesday. Thought about making some, but thats somewhat difficult when you cant hold things on the mill table![/QUOTE]

    Proper T nuts, stud and other clamp hardware: Jergen: Gibraltar, Teco, etc., avalable at MSC, Grainger, McMaster, etc.

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