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  • #16
    It runs on 110 volts, the biggest part I've turned is about 8" diameter. It has about 11 1/2" total swing. If you want it to cut threads there is a lot of screwing around with change gears. If you want to do a lot of threading, buy the Busy Bee gear head lathe. It has handles and a crap load of internal gearing that lets you select the thread pitch you want using the handles in various holes without getting into changing a bunch of gears. It is also very noisy.---Brian
    Brian Rupnow
    Design engineer
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Bds60 View Post
      Hey Fellas, looking pick up my first machine. I want to buy a new import machine, simply for the fact of learning on a new machine with some support. Later down the road I’ll consider buying a vintage engine lathe, after I learn the functionality on an import.

      if you could suggest one, what would you pick. I’ve narrowed it down to the Modern Tool 11x26, or the Craftex 12x36.

      Any help would be greatly appreciated, I’m located in Calgary AB.
      Welcome to the forum.

      Are the lathes you refer to the Modern Tool 11x26, sold as the model CX6128X660A, and the Craftex 12x36, sold as model CX707? If so then I would go with the Craftex. Boiled down to two reasons, spindle and bed length. When choosing a lathe it's almost always best to go with the longest bed length machine you can fit into your shop now, and looking forward to space available allowing for other machine purchases. As to the spindle, the Craftex has the D1-4 camloc. That's a tried and true chuck mounting system that has held up in terms of accuracy, repeatability, and durability. There are plenty of aftermarket accessories available for it. Not just the camloc, but the spindle hole taper when mounting a collet adapter. You can easily retrofit 5C collets to this lathe which is a priceless feature when working with smaller parts. As to the Modern Tool, I'm not sure what kind of Chinese experiment it's using for a spindle.

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      • #18
        Hi Bds, and welcome to the forum.

        I think BCRider layed it out very well. To me, I'm not a big fan of the Modern. I am a fan of large lathes, so I'm of course biased towards the larger option, but there is a few things I really don't like about the modern. For one, headstock belts are no fun to change, and tend to lead to beginners running at the wrong speed to avoid a change. Understandable. No such issue with gears. Second, the QCGB is very limited, which means a lot of change gears swaps. Also not much fun. Third, I see no feed engagement on the carriage. Meaning all the feeding is done by the half nuts. That is not desirable. It puts a lot of wear on the half nuts, and leadscrew, which compromises it's accuracy for cutting threads. Probably not a noticeable amount after years of steady use (with appropriate care), but it is a factor. But it also means no power feed on the cross. Cross feed is a very important feature to me, not just for convenience, but for smoothness of cut. All lathes deflect some in use. Whenever you feed unsteadily, you'll get little ridges where you slowed down and the tool dug in, and high points where you sped up and tool pressure was increased. It's even noticeable with power cross-feed lathes sometimes if you rub a part on sandpaper on a surface plate. In automotive work, you'll come across a lot of flanges that need to be pretty flat, and you'll appreciate that feature.

        So tl;dr, while I'm sure the bigger lathe is much more expensive, it is a much better suited machine to your purposes (IMO) and will allow you to go much longer before upgrading, assuming that you ever need to with such a machine.

        GL,
        MB
        21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
        1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration

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        • #19
          I am nof thinking sliding a 12 x 36 down a ramp on stairs should be a huge problem.... easier than a bridgeport and oeople put them in basements..

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Bds60 View Post
            Thanks Brian, your re assurance have really helped me in making this decision. What is largest size of stock you've comfortably chucked up and turned on your 701? Also would you suggest running carbide tooling? I keep hearing that these machines are not suitable for carbide tooling and just want to know the straight facts.

            Cheers,
            I was cutting a thread yesterday with carbide at 20 RPM and it did just fine cutting wise. I think Mickey summed it up very well:

            I think the executive summary is that carbide is most efficient at higher speeds, in production situations, and if you are a hobbyist it doesn't matter so much that you can't milk maximum efficiency out of it. No reason you can't use carbide tools with pretty much any machine.
            It's true that a dead sharp HSS can often cut with less tool pressure than a carbide tool. But (certainly the 12x36) isn't baby lathe territory like a unimat or 7x12 lathe. It is very capable of using carbide. I find a productivity increase from carbide on just a 10x36 lathe, even when it only had 3/4 HP (1 now). Yes, I would absolutely suggest carbide when you are comfortable running it. HSS as said is more forgiving and teaches one the basics better. But if you just want to get to making stuff, a Christmas list full of Shars tooling goes a long way...
            21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
            1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration

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            • #21
              Well that was all very good information, thanks! There’s enough support here to go with the Craftex 701. There appears to be a back order on these, so hopefully it won’t take long to receive.

              Can anyone recommend an affordable DRO for this specific machine? Or should I invest money elsewhere.

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              • #22
                I'd leave it alone as far as a lathe is concerned.

                Where you want a DRO is with a mill, which you will want to have soonish. Save the money for that.

                Oh, yeah, you will start hearing about "milling attachments" for the lathe. They are mostly "kinda Ok if you have no alternative", and I'd not waste any money on one if I were you. Almost any mill is better than a "milling attachment", If you can get some form of mill, do that instead.
                2730

                Keep eye on ball.
                Hashim Khan


                It's just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Bds60 View Post
                  Well that was all very good information, thanks! There’s enough support here to go with the Craftex 701. There appears to be a back order on these, so hopefully it won’t take long to receive.

                  Can anyone recommend an affordable DRO for this specific machine? Or should I invest money elsewhere.
                  Agreed with Jerry. A mill without a DRO kinda sucks. You're constantly doing linear hole patterns, radial hole patterns, or cutting out internal squares or the like where backlash is not your friend and you can't go past to remove it, meaning you have to know what your backlash is to compensate, and if you screw is worn unevenly (they always are on a used machine, especially on the Y), then your backlash is constantly changing. You can use dial indicators of course, but craning your neck to see the one on the rear of the saddle is no fun and you've got to remember it's there so you don't crash it. It is a serious productivity gain for a mill, makes life easier, and prevents mistakes.

                  On a lathe... eh. Long length dimensions are rarely super critical and can generally be scaled out. If they are critical, scale them out, cut short, then set up a micrometer stop or a DTI and face off the remnant shoulder. That works... really good. You're almost never worrying about backlash on the cross-slide as most cuts are in one direction. The only time I could see it being an issue is a face groove. And even then you just cut in one direction to fix that. Wear on the screw is generally negligible as the difference due to wear in the small amount dialed in for a finish cut isn't appreciable. Most machinists get by just fine with a DTI on the ways and the Y axis dial. I know I do.

                  I'd try it for a while before you make that jump. You might find it completely unnecessary. Also, while on a mill where they are almost completely out of the way, they have a serious downside on the lathe. Mounting the Y axis rail generally pushes the tailstock back 1.5-2", which is a major loss on smaller lathes. I saw one fellow who had a huge DRO cover on a tiny little lathe, and as a result had to have the tailstock ram out basically all the way (~4") to do any work with a tail center. Not so great on a lathe with a small tailstock ram. Alternately you can put it on the headstock side, but then you have to contend with it hitting the chuck or workpiece prematurely, which isn't so hot either.
                  21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
                  1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    I couldn't live without the DRO on my lathe.
                    Brian Rupnow
                    Design engineer
                    Barrie, Ontario, Canada

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Hey Bds60! Welcome to the forum. I’m your neighbor up here in Red Deer. I have a LuxCut 11X36 lathe for 8+ years now & have been very pleased with the size as I’ve found it to be up to pretty much anything I’ve needed it to do. On the question of using carbide tooling, that’s all I have for it and have been very happy with the functionality & results.
                      Again, welcome to the forum - you’ll really enjoy it.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        A mill without a DRO kinda sucks. You're constantly doing linear hole patterns, radial hole patterns, or cutting out internal squares or the like where backlash is not your friend and you can't go past to remove it, meaning you have to know what your backlash is to compensate, and if you screw is worn unevenly (they always are on a used machine, especially on the Y), then your backlash is constantly changing. You can use dial indicators of course, but craning your neck to see the one on the rear of the saddle is no fun and you've got to remember it's there so you don't crash it. It is a serious productivity gain for a mill, makes life easier, and prevents mistakes.
                        Essentially, the dials tell you where it's supposed to be, the DRO tells you where it actually is.
                        "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

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                        • #27
                          I don't doubt that a two axis DRO for the lathe would be nice. But many of us get by just fine without one. Later on? Sure, upgrade it to a two axis setup. For now though spend any extra money on tooling.

                          You're going to want a few things right off the bat. First is an AXA size quick change tool post and a good number of tool holders. Using shims in a four way post (which never does hold four tools unless you cut them down) gets old REALLY fast. Especially once you find out how much better the cutters perform when precisely at the center height.

                          Next is a drill chuck on an MT3 arbor for the tail stock to allow all manner of drilling into the end of your pieces. I'm a big fan of my keyless chuck. But others have a hate for keyless and prefer keyed.

                          To go with the drill chuck get a "universal set" of drills. That's fractional, number and letter sizes. You'll need them all for doing proper sizing before threading or sizing just the right amount under before reaming. And you WILL use them all at some point.

                          After that there's a whole lot of other things like sliding tail stock die holders, dial gauge holder and many other bits and pieces which you will find handy as heck to use. But these are things best made by you as training items to learn more about machining before you start dialing in a rare camshaft for a bit of cleaning up. Between us I'm sure we can give you at least a dozen items to make which you'll quickly find essential to making your lathe time easier.

                          One place where you could save a bit of money and perhaps give yourself a boost in machine performance is to make your own base for the lathe. The sheet metal base it comes with will hold it off the floor but unless major modifications are done to it and it is made a lot heavier with sandbags or something it will not do much to enhance the mass and rigidity needed during heavier cuts and more demanding operations like parting off. Going with more of a heavy rigid base for my own lathe is without a doubt the single biggest improvement I've done for any of my machines. Any "bench style" lathe will benefit hugely by mounting it to a heavy and rigid beam. If you're game for this I and a few others here which have done this could give you a hand with the design and making of such a base.

                          The only two downsides to doing this right out of the gate is that it's fair bit more work to start with. And the other downside is that you will never have a proper appreciation for just what a gain it is over the sheet metal base
                          Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                          • #28
                            A few things ., people got along without DRO for over a... century., i still do commercial work without one.. a new tight mill helps.
                            carbide allows you to cut HARDER materials .leasily. try and learn basuc skills rather than let machine figure it out.. better for you.
                            milling attachments..l gotta say.. if most of your stuff is cigarrette pack size or smaller....i would be looking at them.
                            good luck and have fun..

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                            • #29
                              couldn't live without a DRO? Now there a bit of hyperbole. I've added 3 dRO's to two mills and a surface grinder but only after acquiring about every other tool/machine over twenty years. Its a wonderful convenience I really like but I've yet to discover some new door that its opened that I couldn't do with dials. The lathe? I plunk down a Mit digital tenths/micro indicator when I need lots accuracy or metric. Armed with that little trick, I haven't seen a need for one on a lathe. When starting, there are lots and lots tools I'd allocate funds for above a DRO insofar as increasing workshop capabilities goes
                              in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                              • #30
                                Before they had DRO,s they had machinists.,

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