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Miniature lathe options?

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  • #31
    +1 on the LMS. I have had a half dozen or more minilathes over the years - Enco, HF, Clarke, Grizzly, MicroMark. The MicroMark was the best of them, possibly because the previous owner had spent a lot of time on it. But the last one I got was a used LMS Hi-Torque. It is far and away the best of the breed. All it needed was cleaning. I keep it on a corner bench just for those small, quick parts that are a pain to make on my Logans. In fact, I bought a LMS HiTorque mill to go with it. They are keepers.

    For small parts, the only drawback to this (and most others) is the true-ness of the 3-jaw chucks. You can slot the mounting holes and make it run true if you are patient. You can also just mount a collet chuck. What I did is mount a 4" Adjust-true chuck and dial it in. For really small stuff I use a 1/2" shank collet chuck, either ER11, or DA100/200/300 for tiny screws and pins.

    I can also endorse the Emco. They are lighter, and a bit Euro-unorthodox, and accessories can be pricey, but they are nice little machines. Sears once sold a version of that under their Craftsman brand. The stock 3-jaw is a tommy-bar chuck, but their collet chuck uses ER16

    For small parts that need to be accurate, these would be my choice.