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Thread: Get me over the hump

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    9

    Default Get me over the hump

    Hey all,

    I am new to machining and could use some opinions.

    I am trying to justify purchasing a lathe for my hobbies, mainly building classic cars. But, because of my ignorance with the use of a lathe, I canít picture what I would use it for other than making spacers, bungs, and parts for creating or fixing tools. Not sure how often I would actually use the lathe.

    Looking at the Little Machine Shop 5100 HiTorque 7x16 Lathe and the Precision Matthews 1022v lathe. I have toyed with spending the extra $100 to get the PM 1030v but I donít know if I will need the extra length.

    Anyway, could use some knowledge dropped on me to help me get over the hump on whether to make the purchase or not. Machining is fascinating to me and I know I would enjoy it but only if I actually do it / use it to support my main hobby in any shape or form.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    East Coast, USA
    Posts
    7,453

    Default

    Take the swing capacity, divide that by 2. Pretend that's the size of your pecker. Is that enough?

    Or ask your wife if she would be satisfied
    Work hard play hard

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Somerset UK
    Posts
    1,846

    Default

    The 1022 is a better size than the 716, as for the extra 8 inches with the 1030, can you think of anything on a car which would need that length? How much space do you intend to reserve for machinery? If you enjoy using a lathe, then the itch to have a mill as well will become unbearable. For making your own goodies, both types of machine are really needed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    SF East Bay.
    Posts
    6,174

    Default

    What you use it for will be dictated by the lathe that you buy. A 7x16 will turn a 7 inch disk (shallow brake drum???) without hitting the ways but will only let you pass a 2 or 3 inch rod (axle???) over the cross slide. The same limits apply to the 10x30, where the height of the cross slide will determine the maximum size that you can work on.

    The smaller lathes do a good job on things like brake cylinders, fittings, threading things and just making things in general. If you want to make a 5 inch bezel for your spedo, you can do it on a 7x lathe.

    One of the things that may surprise you is the ability to make fasteners that match proprietary nuts and screws for your antique toys.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    San Antonio TX, USA
    Posts
    2,353

    Default

    pfft, it's like any tool - once you have it, you'll find a use for it. I used my lathe to fix an outdoor sock drier the other day and the mill to make a bracket to hand the washing line (from an old padlock shank of all things). If you're into classic cars you already have waaaaay more of a use for a lathe (and mill) than I do!

    I'd go for the larger lathe too. For me it's not the length or swing that's important, it's the diameter of the hole through the spindle that makes a big difference to usability.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Chilliwack, BC, Canada
    Posts
    4,640

    Default

    A lot of the bushings, parts you clean up or other things you modify or make for your car restoring hobby could be done on a lathe. But the 7x16 is only a giant among a family of dwarves. Watching some videos of the 7x machines running and trying to make larger diameter pieces it's clear that the motor simply has very little power. And it lacks the back gear needed to run at low spindle speeds with a proper motor speed to develop the power it should have.

    The 10x lathes lack the back gear too. I was a bit surprised at that since I thought they would have one. But apparently not. But at least it's got a big 1HP motor to make up for that.

    I'd say that for roughly 1.5x the cost that you could easily do more like thee times the parts on the bigger machine. So if buying the 10x22 or 10x30 won't see you having to eat Ramin noodles for two months to pay for it I'd say that you won't regret buying the bigger machine.

    On the other hand if you could spend that money on a nice good condition old South Bend 9 lathe that has a lot more of the big lathe features over these neutered Asian machines you would be world's better off. And I don't usually recommend new folks to the hobby buying used. But both of these lathes have enough similar shortcomings that in this case I'd say that a used South Bend or Logan would be way better.... With either of those if you can fit it in teh chuck and it doesn't hit anything as it swings around then you can machine it decently well and in a reasonable time. The 10x PM lathe may hold some things but due to the lack of the back gearing feature in some cases it may be a case of trying to empty out a dump truck full of sand with a teaspoon.

    Keep in mind also that the machine is only the beginning. There's a rather large box full of tooling and measurement instruments and other accessories you'll need. And that ain't cheap either.

    Any other goals for a lathe other than car bits?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    San Diego, Ca *** Please let us know where you are from too.
    Posts
    1,705

    Default

    I'm not even close to being a machinist, but I have the tools and play a lot. Personally, I use my milling
    machine way more than my lathe. You really need both, but if I could only keep one it would be my mill.
    John Titor, when are you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    SF East Bay.
    Posts
    6,174

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    Watching some videos of the 7x machines running and trying to make larger diameter pieces it's clear that the motor simply has very little power. And it lacks the back gear needed to run at low spindle speeds with a proper motor speed to develop the power it should have.

    On the other hand if you could spend that money on a nice good condition old South Bend 9 lathe that has a lot more of the big lathe features over these neutered Asian machines you would be world's better off. And I don't usually recommend new folks to the hobby buying used. But both of these lathes have enough similar shortcomings that in this case I'd say that a used South Bend or Logan would be way better.... With either of those if you can fit it in teh chuck and it doesn't hit anything as it swings around then you can machine it decently well and in a reasonable time.
    I find this statement to be odd. A little research shows that a

    From the factory, you could order one of two motors with a 9"South Bend lathe.

    A 1/4 Or a 1/2 HP motor, 120/240 Volt AC, 1725 RPM for the US market.

    Both of those are smaller than the 500 watt BLDC motor on the 7x16 lathes. Sometimes the "venerable old iron" is not as superior as it appears.
    There is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,542

    Default

    You live in Burma? Alaska? Pender Island? Maybe put your location in your profile.

    You are thinking of dropping 3 large on a machine and you have no idea what you'll do with it? On the upside, if there are faults with the quality, you may not even know the difference. Except for oil leaks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    9,071

    Default

    I played with hot-rods all my life, and never really needed a lathe. As soon as I got a lathe, it opened up a whole world of polished knobs, brackets, coil holders, etcetera for "bling" on a hotrod. Best advice when buying a lathe is buy the biggest one that you can afford. If you start with a small lathe I can almost guarantee that after two years you will be wanting to upsize it.---Brian
    Brian Rupnow

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