Getting a lathe, need advice

trivergata

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Well, my work is finally putting up for a small shop, and I've said I can learn what I need to for prototyping, but I have a question. I think I'm going to go with the Jet GHB-1340, as it seems to be the best lathe in my range, but my knowlage is limited, and I've never done any threading. As I'm sure you could guess, my practice/learning projects will involve alot of lights, and I want to make sure that this lathe will alow me to do any of the threading I may need for making bodies, heads, ect. I know that a fair amount is possable with taps, but what about cutting threads for Surefire/Aleph type stuff. Will this do it? Are there any other attachments I need? Any advice on where to get them?

I've got alot to learn, but my job is paying for the tools now, so I need to get everything I need and learn as I go along.

Any other advice?

Josh
 

gadget_lover

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Holy Moley! That one will do most of what you will want. The only drawback is the size of the spindle. 1 3/8 is just a bit too small for a D cell maglight to fit through. The common dimensions thread ( https://www.candlepowerforums.com/threads/51647 ) has the OD of the mag D cell at a bit more than 1.5 inches.

The lathe you are looking at should be capable of many threads. I found a list at http://asuwlink.uwyo.edu/~metal/ghb1340_lis.txt as referred by
http://asuwlink.uwyo.edu/~metal/ghb1340_threads.html


Daniel
 

modamag

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Josh for that amount of $$$ and the size I recommend you look into used these lathe. Monarch 10EE, Clausing 13", Standard Modern, Takisawa.

If you cant hold out (like I did), then get what cmac got Grizzly G4003. Mac already did the homework for you, the spindle bore is 1-5/8".
 

trivergata

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Thanks, guys!

Modamag, my job requires that it is new, so used is not an option........

As far as the spindle bore, I could still work on full-sized mags, just not feed them thru the spindle all the way, right?

Like I said, kinda a newbe at this!

Josh
 

gadget_lover

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trivergata said:
Thanks, guys!

Modamag, my job requires that it is new, so used is not an option........

As far as the spindle bore, I could still work on full-sized mags, just not feed them thru the spindle all the way, right?

Josh


You can do that. but remember that something that long needs to be supported on the end away from the chuck. This is not difficult BUT the support may mar the finish of the light.

Daniel
 

trivergata

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Cool - thanks for the advice guys.

MoonRise - you'd blow most of my budget with that one alone!!! Nice machine though.

I'm sure you guys will be getting all kinds of basic questions from me - thanks in advance for being patient!

Josh
 

will

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If you are going to thread the inside of of D cell mags, get one that the body will fit into the chuck, it will make life so much easier and safer, Plus - any threading you do will be done close to the chuck.
 

gadget_lover

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Bill,

The HF is a much bigger machine than the MM (MicroMark). The HF is 260 lbs vs 90 for the MM. In theory, it should be stiffer and therefor able to make heavier cuts. That's a good thing. :)

On the other hand, the MM has variable speeds and hand-crank screws marked in inches, so one turn is .050.

The HF has a bigger chuck (4 inch VS 3 inch on the MM). This can make life easier. I just now did a 2 inch piece and had to change the chuck from 3 inch to 4 inch to hold the short part.

Welcome to the "I need more tooling" club.

Daniel
 

modamag

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Bill you'll be better off with the 8x12, they copied the design from the Emco Compact 8 (famous Austrian machine). You won't break as much gears or have to do all the upgrade. Just ask JimH who recently is using his.

BTW: I saw some nice machines that were really cheap up in your neck of the wood. Too bad it's too far for me to transport to the Bay Area. It seems like a good oldies increase in value by $10 per miles as it gets closer to the Bay Area.

Here's what I found
9x20 probably import but it have been owned so probably refined
The genuine Emco Compact 8
Jet 10x24 although Asian, but one of the better ones
Jet 10x24 although Asian, but one of the better ones


------------ ++++++++ --------------

Daniel, I'm no longer in the I need more tooling club. I'm in the "I need another lathe club" :D
 

bwaites

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You in a rush, Jonathan? I'm coming that way sometime this summer, I could bring it with me!

Thanks for the pointers, guys! 90% of the work I'd do, at least initially, would be small pieces, and I REALLY have no room for a full size lathe. The small MM machine could actually be put in my flashlight room, whereas all the others would be consigned to the garage, which, in my neck of the woods, gets REAL cold this time of the year!

Bill

Bill
 

kenster

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bwaites, I have looked at both of those Lathes for a long time. Micro Mark does have some nice features like gadget_lover mentioned but the Harbor Frieght is a much heavier duty build with a wider stiffer bed that will give cleaner cuts and it has more power too. The LatheMaster 8 x 14 is the same Lathe as the HF which is actually an 8 x 14 and not 8 x 12. LatheMaster claims to be ready to go right out of the box and that is what I have read posted at Forums as well. Hf is covered in grease that needs to be cleaned off and needs some time spent adjusting and dialing it in. LatheMaster costs more but I have read someone will actually help you if you buy your there if there is a problem with your Lathe and even answer questions to help. Harbor Frieght has left people waiting weeks for a response to a problem and months for parts. That would suck having a new Lathe sitting there you couldn`t use. I ordered the Micro Mark Mini Lathe & Mill a while back and the payment got messed up(also my Visa credit card & PayPal account!:ohgeez: ) so they never sent it. Even though Micro Mark has a sale right now and I talked to them yesterday about ordering again, I believe I will go with one of the 8 x 14`s. I would love to have a larger Lathe and I have the funds for it but don`t have a place to put a big one right now.:awman: I would really like to hear what you decide on buying since it looks like we will be starting our Lathe fun the same time and maybe with the same Lathe.:) Good luck with your machining education and pay attention to these guys if one of them posts a ... DON`T DO THAT!!!:twak: For myself, I realize they have been there and done that so they know what they are talking about and can help prevent destroying work or breaking Lathe parts. Maybe even prevent broken or missing people parts.:huh: My fingers and whatever are old and worthless but I would like to keep all of them anyway!:grin2:

Ken

BTW Modamag mentioned the Emco compact 8 and there is a used one for sale on Ebay if anyone has an interest in a used small Lathe.:shrug:
 
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tino_ale

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Kenster, I understand the LatheMaster 8x14 and the HF 8x12 are in fact the very same lathe. Which is much better compared to the 7x12, heavier and etc, worth the extra money.

As the LatheMaster is more expensive, could you please develop or give some link explaining why one should choose the LatheMaster and not the HF one...

Is there a difference in the performances? The overall buiding/assembly quality/tight tolerance between the two? Are the accessories the same and same quality?

Thanks for clarifying that, coze the HF 8x12 is basicly the lathe that everyone seems to advise for lathe newbies...
 

will

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I have an ENCO 7x10 mini-lathe. I bought this used off ebay for $250 a few years back. I got the lathe mainly for small woodworking projects that I do. I have since used it a lot for metal ( aluminum ) The main thing with lathes is the size of the things that you are going to be working with. Mine has a 3" chuck. I couldn't even fit the body of a mini-mag into the chuck. There is enough material on the inside and I was able to bore out the chuck enought to get the mini-mags to fit in. I can do some work on D cell mags, limited to 2 D, and only outside work. The bed is not long enough to do threading on the inside of the D mags, plus the fact that the entire length is just hanging out.

Things I don't like - the tailstock requires a wrench to tighten in place. Threading requires changing gears on the back - not really a big deal, just inconvenient.

speed is changed with a dial - nice feature. forward and reverse is a switch, high speed and low speed is a lever.

I have a small shop and the lathe gets put on shelf when not in use.

All in all - it does what I got it for. If I had the room and the money - I would definately get bigger.
 
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kenster

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Tino_ale, the Harbor Frieght Lathe will save you money but the Lathemaster will save time. The HF will need the thick layer of grease on everything all clean up. I have read they come not ready to use condition so you have to take them apart, remove burs you find and then reassemble using all the right measuring tools. The Lathemaster comes dialed in and ready to go and has a few extras the HF doesn`t come with. When you get to the link below click on where it says PRICING and you will find a list of what the Lathmaster comes with as well as what it would cost to outfit the HF the same way. The prices are old I guess since the Lathemaster costs $50 more dollars than it shows. There is other stuff to read for more information on the 8 x 14 Lathes at the site.

http://www.fignoggle.com/machines/8x12lathe/index.htm

Go to this link and you will find all kinds of reading as well as links to more stuff to read. If it isn`t enough for you send me a PM. Have fun!:)

http://www.mini-lathe.com/


Ken
 

bwaites

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Guys,

Man, I wait and wait for the MM sale, and then you guys pop up with all these alternatives! And then I've got to come up with a few hundred more dollars, too!

I like the Lathemaster, but size and weight are issues.

I really hoped to use this in my flashlight/hobby room, not in the garage because of the cold winters here. Standing in the garage in a coat trying to get work done doesn't sound fine.

Right now, I'm leaning towards the Lathemaster.

Kenster, maybe if we order at the same time we can talk them into a 2 for 1 price deal!

The Lathemaster does seem to come with the options I planned on ordering with the MM, so the difference isn't that great and it's a bigger machine to boot.

Bill
 

tino_ale

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Thanks Kenster, great link here!

It looks like the 8x14 is the way to go for the newbie who has a limited budget but want a decently rigid lathe... I didn't know there was such a gap betwen the 7x12 and the 8x14 ! Seems to worth the price difference.

Do you have any alternative in mind? Or is the 8x14 lathemaster the best to get for the price?
 

jch79

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Quick semi-related question: What about a table-top/small (1x123) lathe that's Made in USA?

Researching these things can be quite the daunting task!

:) john
 
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