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Thread: Precision Bench Lathes

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    115

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    Will narrow your choices some,

    I do a lot of Rod work, fishing, rifle and shotgun cleaning & some fancy canes, most of the handles on a old Powermatic 90 wood lathe with fittings drilling and tapping on a Logan 11. Have a homemade wrapping lathe sewing machine motor powered with a foot pedal, and a slow turn expoxy drying set up too. Can’t quite call it a lathe.

    You really need through the headstock capability which means 5C collets. They will go to 1 inch and with a outboard spider you can work on any Rod. The Logan will chuck even larger using the 3 or 4 jaw chucks. 4 is very useful at times. I used to have a Atlas 12 inch, very limited by its #2 M/T collets, did ok with its chucks and a outboard spider. 5C was a major upgrade .

    Through the tail stock is useful too I have homemade hollow tailstocks.

    Other thing is speed control. My old Powermatic has the split pulley speed, only goes down to 800 rpm. Logan In back gear ablity to go slow is very useful . Foot control variable wrap lathe will turn about 10 RPM

    On a budget and what I did was start with a small Atlas some home made workarounds keeping my eyes open for headstock capability’s later

    Boats

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Barrington, NH
    Posts
    986

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    As a hobbyist and lathe nerd, I can't recommend a plain turning precision bench lathe enough to someone looking for a joyous turning experience. They are just wonderful to use. On the other hand, you probably don't want to get mixed up with one that isn't already pretty well tooled up (that's when the prices really start climbing for some of them). The combination of proprietary collets, proprietary or oddball tailstock tapers, and oddball spindle threads can make the hunt for tooling and accessories quite frustrating and fruitless.

    To the OP, it sounds like you just want to get going making some parts and in that case I really think a small but decent quality import is the way to go, especially for the type of work you're talking about (for example, it sounds like a lack of true back gears isn't going to be a problem for you). You can get a new 10" Precision Matthews for what decent used machines sell for in some areas. Grizzly has some 10" options for a few hundred less, and they also have smaller swing options (7", 8", 9") if you need something a bit more compact or movable. I've heard some fairly unflattering things about Grizzly's 7" models, so probably do some research there first.

    Bear in mind, this is coming from a guy with an almost nonsensical love for plain turning precision bench lathes.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Somerset UK
    Posts
    2,177

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    If you get a lathe which does not have its own collet system, there are various work rounds, this is one of several types that could be fitted to a chuck backplate: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ER25-Lath...kAAOSwTORa4bHt

  4. #14
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    Jan 2008
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    115

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    Precision small large spindle and donít need threading Hardinge DV 59 be a good choice. Considering rods and handles are long through the spindle is essential. While most rod building lathe work is on hardware before it goes on the rod have needed to chuck finished rods for repairs.

    Boats

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,708

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    Quote Originally Posted by boats View Post
    Precision small large spindle and donít need threading Hardinge DV 59 be a good choice.
    I think a lot of people overlook that amazing option, and other similar lathes from Hardinge. They're often dirt cheap and can be amazing.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    3,011

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glug View Post
    I think a lot of people overlook that amazing option, and other similar lathes from Hardinge. They're often dirt cheap and can be amazing.
    Hardinge "Speed Lathe"? They are even available in FL for a decent price.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    115

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    I suspect lack of threading ablity keeps the small Hartridge prices low. Honest I have never needed to thread rod building. Taps and dies do it all. I do thread other jobs and would not do without power feed, Rods only Hardinge be a very good choice. I think most are 5C too, big advantage, indispensable in my opinion.

    Boats

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    115

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    Quote Originally Posted by boats View Post
    Precision small large spindle and don’t need threading Hardinge DV 59 be a good choice. Considering rods and handles are long through the spindle is essential. While most rod building lathe work is on hardware before it goes on the rod have needed to chuck finished rods for repairs.

    Boats
    Yes, I had the same thought and have been keeping my eyes open. The only downside for me is that they require the stand, and I'm not even going to attempt to get that into my basement. Maybe if I can find one with a bad motor, remove the lathe from the stand, and set it up on a bench with a variable-speed DC motor.

    Just to clarify as well, I have a small wood lathe set up with a steady rest to do my cork turning on, so I don't plan on chucking the rod segments in this lathe. This would be more for ferrules, trim rings, and reel seats. Reel seat threads would be cut via tap and die, I want to use Whitworth threads anyhow to eliminate sharp thread edges.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Chilliwack, BC, Canada
    Posts
    5,180

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    Seriously, for working on stuff to "split a thou" you do not NEED a Hardinge or similar second operation precision lathe. Any of the 9 or 10" swing machines around will do what you want and provide other features that these specialty machines do not give you. The ability to work to a half thou is more on you than it is on the machine. On the other hand the same mistakes that will fight you on a common 9 or 10" current import or a Logan or a 9" South Bend will also stop you from doing well with one of the collet based "precision" lathes.

    Having said that a Hardinge or other toolroom collet machine WOULD be a nice start on a lifetime workshop.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    115

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    Before detachable Fly Rod extension butt reel seats were easily available I made several by drilling out the end on a regular seat. Then turning a rod with O Rings & building the extension on it. Lot you can do with a nice lathe.

    Never thought about the seat threads thought they were Acme. You have a good source for seat thread dies ?

    Boats

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