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Advice in whether to return this lathe?

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Flam98

Plastic
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
HELP….

Folks,

I am building out a machinery workshop etc. I recently bought an affordable (for me) mini lathe. The brand name is Vevor in Australia. It is a Chinese made unit, but I don’t know which area or factory in China that it comes from. Here is a link to it. VEVOR VEVOR Mini Metal Lathe Bench Top 220x600 1100W for Turning Brushless Motor Metal Gear | VEVOR AU

I have had the machine a few days but unpacked it today and put it up on a temporary bench to go over what I might need to improve based on watching many YouTube videos.

After sitting the lathe in position I started to twist the dials and there seems to be a lot of ‘slop’ or ‘play’, play is the term I would feel is most comfortable. By play I mean the adjustment dial will rotate both clockwise and counter clockwise within an indiscriminate margin (sometimes a small amount, sometimes large) without the bed moving. This seems wrong to me. The last time I used a lathe was 20 years ago, so I am not 100% on what’s right to expect.

This ’play’ is not just with one dial, this is with all the dials on the machine (to a lesser or greater extent). I have taken 4 short videos that demonstrate what I am talking about.

https://youtu.be/ibISTpAFcfg
https://youtu.be/VbrEB7ew2fg
https://youtu.be/A7Bz6Y7xBzc
https://youtu.be/djMLq2h6bjc

While I was not expecting a marvel of perfection when I purchased this unit, it has to be accurate. I am afraid that the play in the machine that I can see is a bad sign, and I’d be wise to return the lathe for a refund if that is the right option. As you will see from the video’s I will post the delivery grease is still on the machine.

People here with more experience than me might say, don’t panic, a few adjustments will tighten everything, or “send it back it’s junk”. I bought to my budget and I did a respectful amount of research before buying, but I am worried now that even with all that research I’ve bought a dud.

I bought the lathe a week or so ago and I would be within my rights to return it if I can explain why it’s defective (if it is). I feel I lack the technical knowledge/language to speak to what is wrong with it and I would be grateful for comments and help with this.

I feel that if it is supposed to operate within a margin of tolerance that based on what I have seen it won’t do that without a lot of modification. I am happy to upgrade the machine with the type of upgrades that would extend it’s life, like swarf guards, measuring upgrades or ’upgrades’ that would help it operate better, but I do not want to have to spend time and money getting the machine to work within the tolerances advertised by the manufacturer.

Can anybody advise on if I should return the lathe, and for what reasons?
 

michiganbuck

Diamond
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Location
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
A good chance everything about the lathe may be a little sloppy.
You might have to spend 4 times that price to get a better lathe.

QT": {if I can explain why it’s defective (if it is)] They may not address free-play/backlash in their advertising and say that is normal for their lathe.

A shame that you did not ask here on PM about what lathe to buy.
 

Joe Gwinn

Stainless
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Location
Boston, MA area
We don't discuss these kinds of Chinese machines (which are termed LSOs (Lathe Shaped Objects) here.

The backlash you are seeing is perhaps a bit large, but isn't the real problem. Such machines have many maddening limitations. You are generally better off with an older manual machine of good manufacture, even if it will require some work. These used machines can be quite reasonable because industry has gone to full computer controlled machining centers.

Also needed is a lot of background reading on how to use a lathe.

This question is better posed on a home shop forum.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Location
Airstrip One, Oceania
If you start sending machines back because they have backlash, you're going to be a busy man. Every manual machine on the planet has backlash.

btw, it has nothing to do with accuracy. Nothing whatsoever.
 

dalmatiangirl61

Titanium
Joined
Jan 31, 2011
Location
BFE Nevada/San Marcos Tx
Backlash is perfectly normal, for an inexpensive machine that amount looks about right, you can spend more to get less backlash, but there will always be some. You learn to deal with it, be it by feel, dial indicator, trav a dial, or dro.
 

PDW

Diamond
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Location
Australia (Hobart)
HELP….

Folks,

I am building out a machinery workshop etc. I recently bought an affordable (for me) mini lathe. The brand name is Vevor in Australia. It is a Chinese made unit, but I don’t know which area or factory in China that it comes from. Here is a link to it. VEVOR VEVOR Mini Metal Lathe Bench Top 220x600 1100W for Turning Brushless Motor Metal Gear | VEVOR AU

I have had the machine a few days but unpacked it today and put it up on a temporary bench to go over what I might need to improve based on watching many YouTube videos.

After sitting the lathe in position I started to twist the dials and there seems to be a lot of ‘slop’ or ‘play’, play is the term I would feel is most comfortable. By play I mean the adjustment dial will rotate both clockwise and counter clockwise within an indiscriminate margin (sometimes a small amount, sometimes large) without the bed moving. This seems wrong to me. The last time I used a lathe was 20 years ago, so I am not 100% on what’s right to expect.

This ’play’ is not just with one dial, this is with all the dials on the machine (to a lesser or greater extent). I have taken 4 short videos that demonstrate what I am talking about.

https://youtu.be/ibISTpAFcfg
https://youtu.be/VbrEB7ew2fg
https://youtu.be/A7Bz6Y7xBzc
https://youtu.be/djMLq2h6bjc

While I was not expecting a marvel of perfection when I purchased this unit, it has to be accurate. I am afraid that the play in the machine that I can see is a bad sign, and I’d be wise to return the lathe for a refund if that is the right option. As you will see from the video’s I will post the delivery grease is still on the machine.

People here with more experience than me might say, don’t panic, a few adjustments will tighten everything, or “send it back it’s junk”. I bought to my budget and I did a respectful amount of research before buying, but I am worried now that even with all that research I’ve bought a dud.

I bought the lathe a week or so ago and I would be within my rights to return it if I can explain why it’s defective (if it is). I feel I lack the technical knowledge/language to speak to what is wrong with it and I would be grateful for comments and help with this.

I feel that if it is supposed to operate within a margin of tolerance that based on what I have seen it won’t do that without a lot of modification. I am happy to upgrade the machine with the type of upgrades that would extend it’s life, like swarf guards, measuring upgrades or ’upgrades’ that would help it operate better, but I do not want to have to spend time and money getting the machine to work within the tolerances advertised by the manufacturer.

Can anybody advise on if I should return the lathe, and for what reasons?

It's a cheaply made, low quality, feeble POS lathe-shaped object and discussion of those machines is banned on this site.

Fellow Aussie here, I'm sure this isn't what you want to read but that's the way it is.

I'd ditch it ASAP and come to grips with the FACT that there is no such thing as a cheap, good lathe. Unless you find a mythical deceased estate sale anyway, and get there first. Good luck with that.

PDW
 

L Vanice

Diamond
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Location
Fort Wayne, IN
In my view, you got what you should have expected, so getting a refund is doubtful. The dealer sent you what you ordered, so they do not want to pay for return shipping or a refund.

The carriage feed wheel play is caused by clearance between the bed rack and the carriage gear. Some gear tooth clearance is unavoidable and what you have cannot be lessened, though it will get worse with wear. That play does not affect the accuracy of the lathe.

Cross slide, compound and tailstock feed screw play is the result of clearance between the feed screw threads and the mating nuts. Some thread clearance is unavoidable and what you have cannot be lessened, though it will get worse with wear. Very expensive CNC lathes will have precision ball screws that have zero backlash between the screw and nut, but you will not get that feature on a manual lathe. Some of the play will be from the fit of the feed screw collar in its housing, and it might be possible to improve it by refitting. Feed screw play, to some degree, is present in all manual lathes. Some expensive lathes are fitted with two-piece feed nuts that can be adjusted for minimal axial play, but localized wear on the feed screw will eventually make it impossible to eliminate all axial play. Those lathes will also mount the crank end of the screw in preloaded ball bearings, eliminating the secondary source of axial play. On the whole, machinists learn to operate the lathe in such a way that feed screw play has little effect on the accuracy of the work.

Work accuracy is much more a product of the overall machine rigidity, spindle bearing design, and accuracy of the bed way/carriage interface and sliding ways of the cross slide and compound. All of those features cost more to do well, so they suffer when cost is minimized.

The 1100 W motor will only have 1100 W of power at the maximum speed, if then, and will be reduced as the speed is electronically reduced.

I got my first metal lathe in 1954. It was a 6" x 12" engine lathe, made in USA, and cost US$50 new, plus a few additional accessories, bench and motor. It was a piece of junk, very badly designed, but I still managed to make things with it and learned what to look for in seeking a better lathe. I think you are now in a similar position.

Larry
 

GregSY

Diamond
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
Houston
The most disturbing thing is the play is sometimes small and sometimes large.

But, as noted, it's a Chinese lathe of the exact sort that inspires hatred, so not surprising.

I feel sorry for the entire country of Australia....a lot of good people who have absolutely no way to towo their land someplace farther away from China.
 

michiganbuck

Diamond
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Location
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
My brother spent his R&R in Australia. He said Aussies are mostly top guys.
Toy china lathes are a world problem and are perhaps a good learning experience for a guy who can't afford
a real lathe. Still with a How-to-Run-a-Lathe book they can make parts.

QT:.[that Australia is too close to China]

U.S. guys get suckered into buying toy lathes. My brother bought one and made a needed plastic part for his swimming pool.

Having a machine shop make the part might have cost the price of the lathe.
 

Flam98

Plastic
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
Larry,

That was an excellent reply, and while others have felt the need to wag a finger or be negative I am very grateful for your patient reply.
 

Flam98

Plastic
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
I won't get involved in knocking a people, but I understand how Chinese made products are viewed, and while I understand it, I do think companies in China are trying to make better products. I have used a lathe in my younger years, but that's been a while and the outlay of 5000+ for a lathe seems a lot when I am tinkering at the moment. I think a few of the examples here where people have spoken to "I bought a cheap lathe and it informed my good lathe purchase" is the most positive feedback I've gotten. That said I am grateful for your reply.

Flam.
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
I d suggest you use it as much as possible before the statutory warranty runs out,and eliminate any actual failures of the mechanism,such as the variable speed drive ,which is reputed to be unreliable.
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Ohhh boy. Vevor should not be allowed to do business in the US (or anywhere for that matter). Go ahead and read a few third party reviews (not the fake ones they plaster on amazon) and check out the "reasons for refund" on their own website (item received does not match description, is listed as NOT a reason). I can't speak to the quality of your lathe, but god help you if you decide to seek a return or support.
 

52 Ford

Stainless
Joined
May 20, 2021
HELP….

Folks,

I am building out a machinery workshop etc. I recently bought an affordable (for me) mini lathe. The brand name is Vevor in Australia. It is a Chinese made unit, but I don’t know which area or factory in China that it comes from. Here is a link to it. VEVOR VEVOR Mini Metal Lathe Bench Top 220x600 1100W for Turning Brushless Motor Metal Gear | VEVOR AU

I have had the machine a few days but unpacked it today and put it up on a temporary bench to go over what I might need to improve based on watching many YouTube videos.

After sitting the lathe in position I started to twist the dials and there seems to be a lot of ‘slop’ or ‘play’, play is the term I would feel is most comfortable. By play I mean the adjustment dial will rotate both clockwise and counter clockwise within an indiscriminate margin (sometimes a small amount, sometimes large) without the bed moving. This seems wrong to me. The last time I used a lathe was 20 years ago, so I am not 100% on what’s right to expect.

This ’play’ is not just with one dial, this is with all the dials on the machine (to a lesser or greater extent). I have taken 4 short videos that demonstrate what I am talking about.

https://youtu.be/ibISTpAFcfg
https://youtu.be/VbrEB7ew2fg
https://youtu.be/A7Bz6Y7xBzc
https://youtu.be/djMLq2h6bjc

While I was not expecting a marvel of perfection when I purchased this unit, it has to be accurate. I am afraid that the play in the machine that I can see is a bad sign, and I’d be wise to return the lathe for a refund if that is the right option. As you will see from the video’s I will post the delivery grease is still on the machine.

People here with more experience than me might say, don’t panic, a few adjustments will tighten everything, or “send it back it’s junk”. I bought to my budget and I did a respectful amount of research before buying, but I am worried now that even with all that research I’ve bought a dud.

I bought the lathe a week or so ago and I would be within my rights to return it if I can explain why it’s defective (if it is). I feel I lack the technical knowledge/language to speak to what is wrong with it and I would be grateful for comments and help with this.

I feel that if it is supposed to operate within a margin of tolerance that based on what I have seen it won’t do that without a lot of modification. I am happy to upgrade the machine with the type of upgrades that would extend it’s life, like swarf guards, measuring upgrades or ’upgrades’ that would help it operate better, but I do not want to have to spend time and money getting the machine to work within the tolerances advertised by the manufacturer.

Can anybody advise on if I should return the lathe, and for what reasons?

Honestly, compared to a lot of the import hobby lathes I've seen, it doesn't look too bad. I was surprised to see it had an 1,100 watt motor. The backlash in the controls looks fine.

I haven't used a hobby lathe, BUT from what I understand, bolting it down to a heavy stand makes a HUGE difference.

Make sure you use sharp tools - small lathes like that don't have the torque to drive negative cutting geometry.

I don't know that I could recommend a QCTP on that lathe. You'd be adding overhang and loosing much needed rigidity.

Mineral spirits does a good job cleaning off the ear wax (rust preventative) that the factory coated it in.
 
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