I have a big lathe but need a small one too????
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  1. #1
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    Default I have a big lathe but need a small one too????

    Recently I have been needing to make some small parts. It is a pain on my lathe as I don't have the speed and some parts are too small for my chucks to even hold.

    Trying to turn something 1/16" diameter or smaller that is 1/2" long on a big lathe that only goes to 1200 rpm is not working. I have considered using a collet but none I have go this small and sometimes have an odd diameter part and still won't have the speed I need.

    I DO NOT WANT A CHINESE MADE PIECE OF JUNK!

    What is out there that will fit my needs and is of good quality? Threading would be nice but is not critical. Am I asking a stupid question and chinese made hobby lathes from Harbor Freight are my only option?

    This is not for production parts and often will be only making one or two of the part.

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    What size lathe are you using? Why dont you just tool up the lathe you have for small parts? I have a 14x40 and had the same problem. I found a new pair of 4 inch craftsman chucks(3 and 4 jaw) that close down to basically nothing, I just put the 4 inch chuck into my 8" 6 jaw. Same thing for the tailstock, I have a tiny jacobs chuck that goes down to 0 on a straight arbor. I just put the tiny jacobs chuck into my larger 16n. This lathe will go to 2500 rpm but I am not sure the max speed on the 6 jaw chuck so I keep it at 1250rpm.

    Just finished making some parts 3mm(.118") in diameter, 2 inches long with a 1mm(.039") hole 1 inch deep out of 17-4ph. The problem I have is I need a sensitive quill for the tailstock to drill.

    People still made small parts in 1920 with hss tooling

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    My suggestion is an old Hardinge in decent shape or, if you have the budget, a current clone of same. I have a well-tooled DV-/DSM-59 on which I run small, not too complicated, parts. The HLV and HC, somewhat larger and definitely more capable, are also worth consideration.

    For the price of a used Hardinge, you can buy a new custom-made collet closer system for your lathe. That would eliminate all issues with parts holding, but do nothing for speed. You could get some of the benefit by buying a $200 5C collet block kit and centering the block in your 4-jaw or AdjustTru chuck. (Note: The makers spec parallelism on these collet blocks, but not concentricity. I have seen some collet blocks off center as much as 0.040.) The downside of using a collet block is that changing parts takes forever when you can't access the back of the block because it's gripped in the lathe chuck.

    They haven't been made in years and years, but there were several really nice toolmaker lathes in the 10x20 class. Rivet 1020, Monarch 10EE, etc. But they usually carry price tags commensurate with their legends, even thoroughly worn out.

    If your parts are "watch" sized, you might pick up a table-top watchmaker's lathe. They operate nothing like a modern engine lathe, but certainly have no difficulty doing precision work on small parts.

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    I use Levin and Derbyshire watch/instrument lathes for tiny work. New ones are priced out of reach, but there are used ones on eBay. Mine were new around 1960-70, but both companies are still in business in the USA. Mine use standard American 10 mm collets made by both companies, with a maximum round capacity of 5/16" or 8 mm. The spindles go up to around 5000 RPM. Both companies also made lathes that take 3C collets (1/2" round capacity) in the spindle.

    For the somewhat larger work, with 5C collets or 6" chucks and up to 3500 RPM, I use a couple of 1940's Hardinge lathes.

    I say you cannot have too many lathes, although I should be selling some of my spare watch lathes.

    Larry

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    I keep a Wade 94 integral drive for all these reasons.

    With it's 5C spindle and a small assortment of small scroll and independent chucks, It gets quite a bit of use. Quiet and friendly as well.

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    Can't help with a brand but highly recommend a second lathe. Saves on setups or if you need to make a part for the big lathe.

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    Why only two lathes?

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    You not only need a second smaller high speed lathe, you also need to have one with a 4 jaw chuck, another with a 3 jaw, a third with a collet setup...

    Watch local technical colleges and military bases, there is often surplus machines coming out of them. I've bought from both and the conditions are all over the map. Some you can tell an instructor babied, and others were apparently abused by whoever wandered by and with no maintenance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laverda View Post
    Recently I have been needing to make some small parts. It is a pain on my lathe as I don't have the speed and some parts are too small for my chucks to even hold.

    Trying to turn something 1/16" diameter or smaller that is 1/2" long on a big lathe that only goes to 1200 rpm is not working. I have considered using a collet but none I have go this small and sometimes have an odd diameter part and still won't have the speed I need.

    I DO NOT WANT A CHINESE MADE PIECE OF JUNK!
    Smallest, cheapest "lathe" for that sort of work may not be.

    A lathe.

    Ancient sliding-head MILL that Cataract (Hardinge) made used their small lathe's head, directly. 3C collets was it?

    Scarce puppies.

    But any of many small horizontal mills, Hardinge, Burke, Barker, etc, - CAN be easily modified into a lathe for short work, chuck or collet, single-ended, no centre required. An angle plate becomes your "tailstock" for drilling and boring.

    I happen to have B&S #9 collets for my Burke, Gorton as well, but can as easily use ER system.

    No threading capability, but taps and dies are more practical in small sizes than large in any case.

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    I have both a JFK 5C collet closer and a Jacobs flex collet chuck. The main issue is rpm to turn the small parts. And I don't want to have to buy round, hex and square 5C collets to handle whatever small size I need that day and the rest of the time they collect dust.

    A little precision lathe that can spin fast and has a 4 jaw and could do threads would be perfect. And not cost an arm and a leg.

    I see mention of using a small horizontal mill as a lathe. I do have one and will investigate that option.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohio Mike View Post
    Why only two lathes?
    It can get out of control, generally a small lathe first then you need a little larger lathe then the next thing you know there's lathes all over the place, some people just can't turn down a good deal on a good old American made lathe.
    Don't ask me how I know this...………………………….

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    Something like an emco 10 would be nice...

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    I figure a well appointed repair shop needs 3 lathes. A small one like a 10EE, a general lathe like like a 13x54 Series 60 and a big old bastard just in case you need to work on locomotive axles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole2534 View Post
    I figure a well appointed repair shop needs 3 lathes. A small one like a 10EE, a general lathe like like a 13x54 Series 60 and a big old bastard just in case you need to work on locomotive axles.
    And at least one vtl to round out the collection !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laverda View Post
    Recently I have been needing to make some small parts. It is a pain on my lathe as I don't have the speed and some parts are too small for my chucks to even hold.

    Trying to turn something 1/16" diameter or smaller that is 1/2" long on a big lathe that only goes to 1200 rpm is not working. I have considered using a collet but none I have go this small and sometimes have an odd diameter part and still won't have the speed I need.

    I DO NOT WANT A CHINESE MADE PIECE OF JUNK!

    What is out there that will fit my needs and is of good quality? Threading would be nice but is not critical. Am I asking a stupid question and chinese made hobby lathes from Harbor Freight are my only option?

    This is not for production parts and often will be only making one or two of the part.
    Yes, you need more than one for sure. I have an 18 x 54 L&S, a 13 x 40 SB (1308) and a light SB 10k. I do 50% of my work on the 10k. The 10k I bought new from SB in 1980 fully loaded. It is still like new today. It has a flame hardened bed.

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    Find a small SB or clone- I have the Boxford with Timken bearings. Have full compliment of 3C collets,will take anything as small as you like.

  21. Likes M.B. Naegle, henrya liked this post
  22. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    And at least one vtl to round out the collection !
    Yup. No point in doing axles if yah can't do and fit the wheels. Galis' 8-footer came from the age of steam, so yah could get by with a smaller one, Diesel/Electric age as it has come to be.

    Now.. if yer into hydropower.... seagong propellor shafts.. mill rolls..


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    I second the South Bend, inexpensive and parts are abundant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohio Mike View Post
    Why only two lathes?
    Kinda like guns. You need one for big mammals, one for small mammals, one for far away mammals, one for close up angry mammals, one for 2 legged drug-crazed animals, one for big birds, one for small birds.... and that's just long barreled needs....

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.B. Naegle View Post
    Kinda like guns. You need one for big mammals, one for small mammals, one for far away mammals, one for close up angry mammals, one for 2 legged drug-crazed animals, one for big birds, one for small birds.... and that's just long barreled needs....
    "Mammals"? Why shoot anything with tits?

    I'm in Metro DC.. it's the reptiles we hafta stand ready to deal with, here!


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