Help choosing a mini lathe
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  1. #1
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    Default Help choosing a mini lathe

    I am trying to decide on a decent mini lathe to get. I require:

    (1) Customer service/parts availability
    (2) Dual direction rotation
    (3) Fairly precise stock chuck

    What I am grinding is graphite, so a 3/4 HP motor should be fine as I don't need the torque. Our manufacturing process requires the motor to run at low speeds for 10 minute intervals with a 1 minute break between intervals. It would be handy if I could get accessories for it (such as milling bed attachment), but not necessary. I am trying to spend about $1000, so my options are fairly limited. What I do not want is to buy "more machine than I need". I do not want something with a large footprint. I only need a 6" swing and about 12" between centers. Does anyone have any recommendations?

    Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
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    This Sheldon looks pretty good:
    12” Atlas lathe, Quick Change gear, taper & milling attachments, 3 /4 Jaw chucks | eBay
    Despite the A-word, its actually a Sheldon.

  3. #3
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    Try posting this instead:

    Our commercial manufacturing process involves shaping graphite. I have a $1,000 budget for a new machine and require: 1) Customer service/parts availability, 2) Dual direction rotation, 3) Fairly precise stock chuck.

    Perhaps a 3/4 HP motor should be fine as I don't need the torque. Motor will typically be run at low speeds for 10 minute intervals with a 1 minute break between intervals. It would be handy if I could get accessories for it (such as milling bed attachment), but not necessary.

    My options seem fairly limited but I do not want is to buy "more machine than I need". I do not want something with a large footprint. I only need a 6" swing and about 12" between centers.

    Does anyone have any recommendations?

  4. #4
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    Thanks Cranium. Unfortunately I was looking for something with a smaller footprint. I have a SEW Eurodrive motor with a MOVIMOT inverter capable of a wide variety of speeds all the way to zero, eliminating the need for gears(less parts to break, easy PLC control). I may just buy spindle/tailstock and use my linear actuators(also easy PLC control) as the bed. As nice as it would be to have this degree of automation, I was hoping to find something that I would not have to spend an entire week wiring and programming. That Sheldon DOES look good though!

  5. #5
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    Have you considered making your own lathe? Perhaps fabricated of aluminum plate, even,?

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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    Have you considered making your own lathe? Perhaps fabricated of aluminum plate, even,?
    Get with the times Greg...."composite" is the new way.

    Driveway gravel, Bondo, and a HF mini cement mixer.

    Add Mach3 and your all set.

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  9. #7
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    What about a 9" South Bend. You can pick up a fairly nice and very usable one around here for well under $1K. If I remember they came with a 3/4 HP motor installed.

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    You don't tell part size or actions need to be cut. But a little bigger than a mini like a decent 8, 9 or 10-24 lathe gives a little more room for dust containment, bigger hand wheels, greater selection of holding device and yet takes little more room/bench space.
    Wade 8" x 24" Tool Room Lathe, Model. 8A | eBay

    Agree some likely over $1,000 but likely better chance of getting your money back at selling time.

    Agree that A...s - Sheldon looks like a great deal. again easy to get you money back at selling.Way too far away to ship to Washington.

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranium View Post
    This Sheldon looks pretty good:
    12” Atlas lathe, Quick Change gear, taper & milling attachments, 3 /4 Jaw chucks | eBay
    Despite the A-word, its actually a Sheldon.
    Sorry. That is not a Sheldon.

    Best Regards,
    Bob

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjs44032 View Post
    Sorry. That is not a Sheldon.

    Best Regards,
    Bob
    So what the heck is it? I see tags indicate [email protected], but it has prismatic ways??????????

  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
    So what the heck is it? I see tags indicate [email protected], but it has prismatic ways??????????
    Most likely Atlas/Clausing

    Look Here: Clausing 12-inch Models 100 & 200 lathes

    Scroll down that page to the Mk.3 info. You'll see pics of it there. Hope this helps.

    Best Regards,
    Bob

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