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  • Mini Lathe

    Hi guys, im looking for a large bore(preferably with mt4 spindle taper) mini lathe. I have searched the Internet and only found some big machines with this size. I cant have one that's too heavy as its going into an attic where my workshop is and i cant spend a lot on it(max budget about £700)
    I would also be very interested in a pool cue lathe if anyone has one for sale.
    Thanks.

  • #2
    Richy,

    I'm guessing you are from the UK? If you fill out your profile so your location show up in postings, it will be easier for people to help you on geography specific requests, such as "I want to buy an X."

    (It's under User CP -> Edit Profile -> Where you live)
    Hemi-proprietor,
    Esoteric Garage

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    • #3
      Problems, I think

      While I won't say "never" I believe that this is extremely unlikely. Mini-lathes are built to a formula. While bed length, built in tach, paint scheme can be negotiated with the manufacturers I expect that the bore size in the headstock is pretty much one size fits all.

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      • #4
        except for things like oilfield lathes, every lathe I've seen has a spindle size that scales with the rest of the machine size.

        I myford is probably as heavy as I'd want to carry up to the attic - what are they, MT3?
        .

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mcgyver
          I myford is probably as heavy as I'd want to carry up to the attic - what are they, MT3?
          Nope MT2.

          Best regards
          Bryan

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          • #6
            The last incarnation Myfords had a "short" MT4. Essentially it allowed the use of a 4C reduction bush for collets and a 1" thru-capacity. I don't believe they are available to buy just yet, but the new South Bend "8K" would likely fit your requirements. http://www.southbendlathe.com/lathes/SB1001.aspx It is surely one of the smallest lathes with as large a spindle bore.
            [EDIT]Eh - except price.
            Last edited by Arthur.Marks; 11-29-2011, 10:34 AM.

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            • #7
              My recently purchased Craftex lathe has an 1.5" bore. Not really a small lathe though and would be tough to move up to an attic. Don't know if a similar unit is available over there.

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              • #8
                I have a 10x27" Chinese lathe with 1.125 inch bore and MT4 spindle taper. I bought it from Matt, at machinetoolsonline.com for about $1k, a few years ago. It's probably 250-300 lbs, total.

                I don't know about getting one in the UK, but it's from China, so I'm sure there's a way to find something similar.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for reply guys. I could use a 7x14 if i could extend the bed or open up the spindle. Do any of you know if this is possible and how?

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                  • #10
                    Hi,

                    This guy did a stretch of a 7x14 to 7x20. http://web.archive.org/web/200208091....net/7x20.html It seems pretty straight forward. So it can be done.

                    Opening up the spindle can also be be done to an extent. The problem gets to be the need for redesigning and redoing change gears/gearboxes and drive. You will probably need a bigger motor to handle the increase in capacity.

                    The thing to keep in mind, with mini-lathes like the 7x and 9x series machines they have been modded six ways from Sunday by somebody somewhere. So a dedicated web search can often turn up excellent websites on what you maybe interested in doing.

                    dalee
                    If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

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                    • #11
                      The problem with larger spindle bores is larger bearings.... that cost a lot more, and run at lower speeds

                      So a small lathe with a huge spindle bore makes little sense, it would be limited to low RPM (Bad for small turnings), and have very expensive bearings (Or very poor ones)
                      Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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                      • #12
                        I've often had the same thought- larger through hole, but no need or want or room for a larger lathe. There's more than one way to do this- one of them is to make your own headstock to fit an existing bed. You make a tubular spindle yourself and fit whatever bearings you can come up with that will suit the various factors (size, cost, etc). The headstock is basically two identical fabrications that are machined together so they are identical. The bearing bores and the areas that touch and mount to the bed are identical in placement and spacing, etc. One of the mounting areas is made to locate these fabrications precisely on a v-way, so you can't go wrong with alignment.

                        The area between these bearing holders is totally open- you get to mount whatever drive pulley mechanism you want around the spindle there. A belt drive would make it particularly easy to couple up to a motor. A link belt or a pair of link belts would be particularly easy to fit since you would not have to undo anything mechanical to fit the belt(s) on. Once you have the bearing holders made and secured to the lathe bed, you can add whatever cross bracing would be suitable between them. At the very least you would want a guard to keep you and foreign materials away from moving parts, but some substantial bracing would certainly help in the rigidity department.

                        The tubular spindle is just that- a tube. Once you have the bearing seating areas machined and the thing is all mounted to the bed and ready to go, you then machine the tube to give you a trued-up mounting area for a custom faceplate or whatever holding device you intend to use.

                        This is just an idea that has been floating around in my head for some time. I don't think it's a bad idea. Obviously your choice of bearings is going to have a direct effect on how smoothly and accurately the spindle will turn, and on how well it will take both axial and radial loading with acceptable rigidity. Your needs will determine how cheaply you can go with this method. As someone mentioned, the rpm range you will have will be less with larger bearings, but if your most crucial need is the large bore, then you accept the other limitations.

                        Personally, I'd like to be able to slip a 2 inch diameter workpiece through the spindle, so I'd want the bore to be 2 inches +. I'd want the tubular spindle wall thickness to be substantial, probably at least 1/4 inch, so the bearings ID would have to be 2-1/2 inches or more. The tube for the spindle would probably have to be some kind of stress-proof steel, and you'd have to just trust that it will remain true with age once you have accurately machined the bosses on it.

                        I don't even want to think about how much decent bearings would cost in this size range. Besides deciding whether the project would be worthwhile to whomever might build it, you would have to decide whether it's feasible to use an existing lathe bed for it. In my case, the idea would be to use twin solid hard chrome rods for the ways and make the bearing holders to mount those onto. These then would be embedded in epoxy on a sacrificial surface plate of suitable size. Everything would have to be from scratch in this case- the carriage, tailstock- where does it stop?
                        Last edited by darryl; 11-29-2011, 11:46 PM.
                        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                        • #13
                          One could buy an old lathe that is cheap because it is too big for the home user then cut the bed down to the length that you have available!.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Artful Bodger
                            One could buy an old lathe that is cheap because it is too big for the home user then cut the bed down to the length that you have available!.
                            I see the big grin smiley, which usually means it's a joke - any particular reasib why it wouldn't work? Cut down an older SB or Craftsman?
                            Hemi-proprietor,
                            Esoteric Garage

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                            • #15
                              Hmm- why cut the bed down- just cut a hole through the garage wall and stick the end out.
                              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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