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  • Improving Chinese Lathe question

    I've just got my brand new "Made in China" 12x36 lathe and currently in the process of setting it up.

    I have a surface grinder and wonder if any parts of my lathe will benefit from some surface grinding. My surface grinder magnet chuck is only 10"x5" so I am limited to relatively small parts.

  • #2
    I would first determine which parts, if any, require improvement.

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    • #3
      I have a Chinese 12x36 lathe and there is nothing to my unpracticed eye that looks like I could improve it.

      OK, there are a few clunky bits, for instance the chunk of metal that clamps the tail stock is rather roughly formed and maybe a bit of attention there would make it feel 'nicer' when moving the tail stock.

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      • #4
        One thing you need to do for SURE is drain the oil and clean the metal chips out of the gear boxes! Other than that I found nothing but just a few adjustments that needed to be made, the adjusting and check procedures were in the manual (HF 14X40). Others had warned me about the chips in the gear boxes and sure enough when I drained the oil and looked inside it was scary what they had left in there! One more thing I did was to take the feed screw out of the cross slide and deburr it, sure made manual feeding smoother.

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        • #5
          No matter how much time you invest into these re-cast wogs, it will always be what it wonce was: A wobbling wog!
          It's best to accept the quality you bought and use the lathe as is. As soon as you start improving it, you're lost.


          Nick

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MuellerNick
            No matter how much time you invest into these re-cast wogs, it will always be what it wonce was: A wobbling wog!
            It's best to accept the quality you bought and use the lathe as is. As soon as you start improving it, you're lost.


            Nick
            Excellent advice Nick, save those renovation efforts for the worn out lathe your grandfather made wagon axles on.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by The Artful Bodger
              Excellent advice Nick, save those renovation efforts for the worn out lathe your grandfather made wagon axles on.
              No No... You can simply just buy a new Emco V14 or Wabeco 6000e, just take out a 2nd mortgage.

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              • #8
                As already stated, run it for a while first and you may be pleasently surprised!

                The odd oil leak to be tracked down, Gibs to be tightened and Tailstock to be aligned.

                Check the gears inside the big end cover. some may need a washer behind or a mounting bracket adjusted to make them mesh a bit better.

                Remove and replace the supplied chucks a few times to check that the Camlocks operate ok. Also don't to forget mounting and removing the Face Plate. I had to wind one of the Camlock pins in or out part of a turn to make it attach properly.

                Sometimes the cross slide and Top slide locking screw might just be a set screw that requires an Allan Key.
                Look at replacing these with a screw with a head or knob you can grab hold of.

                All little stuff!

                Do run the machine in all speeds in both forward and reverse
                then change the oil in the Headstock. You may be surprised at the crap that comes out in that old oil

                The more you put it through it's paces you will see if anything is amiss.

                Enjoy. How about a picture???

                Rgds
                Michael

                Australia

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                • #9
                  Excellent advice Nick, save those renovation efforts for the worn out lathe your grandfather made wagon axles on.
                  You can keep your sarcasm!
                  I can show you photos of fitting or gliding surfaces that were chiseled, or, as "they" call it, scraped. They'll make you *cry*!
                  I had two "Optimum D330 * 1000" lathes (and still have one). I have taken it apart completely only to discover that there was no single piece that was OK. Faked "precision"-bearings, misaligned spindle-bores, rough surfaces, casting-sand in the gearbox that had to be removed with the power washer and a chisel, ...
                  I've also seen other Chinese mills and helped to improve them. They are not worth the efford.

                  Buy some old US iron (or British, Swiss, or German) and repair that. The result is a lathe, not a wog.


                  Nick

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                  • #10
                    If it is the same as mine (generic number cq6230a-1) there are a few things that you might like to attend to.

                    In addition to the rough casting used to clamp the tail stock there is an oil leak in the apron you might be able to fix. The bracket that holds the forward/stop/reverse handle assembly is fixed to the saddle with two bolts that are tapped into the sadle gear box. The holes go all the way through and oil seeps out the threads.

                    If you wind the cross slide fully over you will reveal a short section of the screw which goes through a hole into the saddle gear box. If you use flood coolant it will find its way under the cross slide and some will get into the saddle gear box via this hole. I have not done anything yet but I am thinking of packing this hole with felt.

                    The chip tray has no deliberate depression towards the drain so coolant tends to pond on the tray. I fixed mine by placing a 4x2 over the drain hole and jacking against the rafters. This deformed the tray enough to get reasonable drainage.

                    The leg at the tail stock end has no provision for coolant to drain away if any gets in there.

                    No doubt there are a few other things that could be attended to but all-in-all I am very pleased with this lathe, one years ownership.
                    Last edited by The Artful Bodger; 02-01-2010, 05:00 PM.

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                    • #11
                      I feel so dirty what with my owning a Chinese "Wog". (What's a Wog?) I only looked at junky old American lathes for five years before I was forced to break down and go Asian.

                      That was 15 years ago and it's still running. Where did I go wrong?

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                      • #12
                        (What's a Wog?)
                        That Chinese cooking bowl. Seems it has a different name over here. Couldn't find a translation for it.

                        That was 15 years ago and it's still running. Where did I go wrong?
                        Maybe it was made in Taiwan, not China?


                        Nick

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                        • #13
                          I think you are referring to a "wok".

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gnm109
                            I feel so dirty what with my owning a Chinese "Wog". (What's a Wog?) I only looked at junky old American lathes for five years before I was forced to break down and go Asian.

                            That was 15 years ago and it's still running. Where did I go wrong?
                            You didn't go wrong. As far as I am concerned there are no good US made lathes left. Not in my area anyway. I looked at old used lathes for a few years and all I saw was stuff that should have been scrapped. I went with an import. No regrets here.

                            Nothing is more miserable than trying to do precison work on a worn out lathe.
                            Last edited by Richard-TX; 02-01-2010, 05:14 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Ooops! Sorry! "wok" That's it, but I wouldn't try to use it as a lathe anyhow.


                              Nick

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