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Vintage Test Gear and Workshop Equipment For discussions about vintage test gear and workshop equipment such as coil winders.

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Old 28th Oct 2020, 9:26 pm   #1
Bufo Bill
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Default Modeller's lathe?

I would like to add a modellers lathe to my work room and wondered if anyone here uses one and could advise me on what to look for, or maybe suggest a book or website where I can learn about these things?
Bill.
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 8:06 am   #2
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Default Re: Modeller's lathe?

I bought a small lathe with an 80mm chuck for the same reason.
http://www.siegind.com/product_detai...374269280.html
This worked and was useful but I kept finding jobs that were too big for it, if I managed to fit the piece in the chuck I could stall it far too easily. Its really only good for very small work.
I sold it and upgraded to one like this:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/165013-Digi.../dp/B01N3VJNGZ
(I did not buy this actual one, I got it second hand)
This has a 4in chuck and is really useful. It came with a 4 jaw chuck but I quickly bought a 3 jaw, much quicker to set up.

Peter
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 8:59 am   #3
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Default Re: Modeller's lathe?

Peter's 2nd suggestion is very good value for a new machine. I think (though I could be, and often am, wrong ) is that there is no 'back-gear' on these, so for slow speeds you are relying on running the motor slowly, which means not much torque at all for big jobs. Also some of these have plastic change-gears, which won't stand much abuse. But 500 is unlikely to get you a used Myford or Boxford unless you're lucky, and it will probably be worn. A used Atlas 10F (TV42?) is more likely to be about that sort of money, but again is likely to be worn. Really old things like round bed Drummonds might be less, and might be solid...but might be worn!

Have a look at youtube; ThisOldTony makes lots of good machining videos, and he's funny too. There's definitely one which is an intro to Chinese mini lathes.
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 9:45 am   #4
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Default Re: Modeller's lathe?

It depends what exactly you want it for but when I was intending to produce parts (rollers etc) for a film recorder I was recommended a Myford ML7 - that was 46 years ago and my only regret is that I didn`t spring for the Super 7 instead with the gearbox and powered crossfeed.

Apart from about ten minutes instruction at school I learnt most from a series called Lathe Lore in the early fifties magazine Model Maker.
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 10:30 am   #5
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Default Re: Modeller's lathe?

They have a slow and fast gear and can run very slow indeed. Mine has a brushed motor the new ones have a brushless one. This lot https://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/ do them.
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 10:53 am   #6
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Default Re: Modeller's lathe?

Well what ever you get it won't be big enough very soon. There are plenty of second hand lathes on the market, remember model engineering like amateur radio is a dying hobby. Have a look on Model Engineer site, recently a lady in Norfolk was selling her brother workshop and was seeking advice on how to do it. Also contact your local Model Engineering/railway club, as they often are disposing of a members workshop who has gone to the final QTH in the sky. Regarding been badly worn well some are but many are nursed all the way and well looked after as they were costly thing to buy for a working chap. Incidentally our local retired blacksmith is selling his Southbend lathe on ebay, which is in need of a lot of TLC but cheap I'm told. Ted
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 10:58 am   #7
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Default Re: Modeller's lathe?

Bill
I use the popular East German Hobbymat MD65 Lathe still plenty available and spare parts on the popular auction sites.
There are quiet a few Youtube videos to watch on this lathe to get a feel for it.
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...hobbymat+lathe
and a review here http://www.lathes.co.uk/hobbymat/
I bought mine secondhand with a slection of tools, chucks etc. Expect to pay 200-400 depending on condition and what is included.

Good Luck
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 11:00 am   #8
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Default Re: Modeller's lathe?

Try lathes.co.uk for info on just about every machine tool ever made, also has a sales and wanted section.

I had a South Bend, dad had a Myford 7, the two things that made me scream were the screwed on chuck, had to jam the backgear and use a large steel bar to unscrew it, and the limited size through the headstock, an inch really is the minimum. This does of course make for a larger machine, mine is a 5.1/2" Harrison.
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 11:18 am   #9
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Default Re: Modeller's lathe?

you will never regret buying a Myford, Ive had mine for years now and its paid for itself over and over again. mine doesn't have the clutch or motor reversing switch but does have the screwcutting gearbox. Ive made a mandrel handle for the back of the chuck and for small screwcutting I wind the lathe round by hand.

I recommend investing in a set of carbide tipped tools, they aren't expensive and I have a quick change toolpost which is useful


have a look here, its a good source of genuine items.

http://www.lathes.co.uk/page3.html/

tooling/accessories here

https://www.rdgtools.co.uk/#:~:text=...tional%20sales.

not professing to be an expert, more an enthusiastic amateur but feel free to pm or reply if you require further advice
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 11:23 am   #10
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Default Re: Modeller's lathe?

I have a small lathe, a Taig/Peatol micro lathe II, got it from an antiques fair for 50. Its a really useful bit of kit, used it for all sorts of things, the latest being some rough brass inserts for some Ekco A22 knobs. I could do with some new tools for it as I only have the one it came with, and the belt needs replacing now too.

The ones in the second post look similar to the one we had at my last workplace, which I believe came from Axminster Tools, it was a very good little lathe, Id have liked one in my workshop!

My Grandad had a Myford Super 7 in his shed, Id have loved to get my hands on it, but annoyingly after he had passed away, my Nan sold it to the gardener for 150.... along with a load of tools, a bench grinder, several chucks of various sizes, and whatever else he happened to fancy! I was not happy..

Regards
Lloyd
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 11:39 am   #11
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Default Re: Modeller's lathe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_in_manc View Post
Peter's 2nd suggestion is very good value for a new machine. I think (though I could be, and often am, wrong ) is that there is no 'back-gear' on these, so for slow speeds you are relying on running the motor slowly, which means not much torque at all for big jobs. Also some of these have plastic change-gears, which won't stand much abuse.
The plastic gears are for screwcutting so do not get much use on mine.
There is a mechanical speed change, the lever is at the back and selects High or Low, after that its the electronic motor speed control.

Some reviewers say that you should strip a new one down, clear out any remaining manufacturing swarf, grease it and set it up before using.
I bought mine second hand and the previous owner had done just that, it runs well.

Peter
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 12:13 pm   #12
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Default Re: Modeller's lathe?

Have a look at 'Warren Machine Tools' at Chiddingfold. They do a good range at a very fair price. I last had dealings with them a few years back. John.
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 1:20 pm   #13
chriswood1900
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Default Re: Modeller's lathe?

You also asked for some book recommendations, I have used;
The Mini Lathe by Neil Wyatt
The Amateurs Lathe by L H Sparey
and the Workshop Practice Series particularly no 48
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 1:44 pm   #14
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Default Re: Modeller's lathe?

I would highly recommend The Amateur's Lathe by Sparey as mentioned by Chris. Although it was first published in 1948 it is very readable and easy to follow. It's been reprinted a number of times and the latest paperback print can still be bought new at a very reasonable price. Well worth getting hold of a copy.

Alan
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 2:06 pm   #15
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Default Re: Modeller's lathe?

you will never regret buying a Myford, Ive had my super 7 for years, its on a steel stand with a splash back. This fit very well in my workshop. I have added a 3Z VSD so that when I wind coils or decanting cable reels I can run the head stock down to about 4 - 5 rpm with nearly full power. Myuford still make new Super 7s, thay also do a refurb service.
Bob.
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 3:12 pm   #16
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Default Re: Modeller's lathe?

Cheers guys, thanks for that wealth of advice, I will look into all of it.
Thanks from Bill.
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 3:58 pm   #17
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Default Re: Modeller's lathe?

It's not just the lathe you need, but a collection of tooling to go with it.

3-jaw chuck
4 jaw chuck (more precise and can mount odd shaped things)
Face plate
Dial gauge for centring things in 4-jaw chuck
Selection of gears for screwcutting.
Selection of cutting tools
Tailstock chuck for holding drills

These are the basics, so don't just look at a lathe alone, pay attention to what comes with it, these things can be expensive. The ideal is someone clearing out a workshop and lumping a lot of tooling in with a machine.

I've made miniature brass hinges for a case, numerous spacers and standoffs, a complete soldering iron holder to turn one into a heat-staking machine - it got used in radio production.

Add a dividing head and a milling attachment and you could clean up in little brass gears to replace frangible plastic ones in 8640 signal generators.

So a lathe is only the thin end of the wedge!

David
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 7:37 pm   #18
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Default Re: Modeller's lathe?

Very useful list David, many thanks for another in-depth response.
Bill.
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 7:45 pm   #19
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Default Re: Modeller's lathe?

You'll find Tony's lathes.co.uk site rather good if not overwhelming. There is a buy/sell section that might turn up what you want. It's certainly the place to read up on the history and capabilities of anything you're considering.

You could join your local model engineering club. There will be equipment circulating and as a member you'll get treated more seriously than drop-in visitor.... once microbiological things are more normal. You'll also be likely to get hands-on guidance which is rather valuable.

PM me for a direct email and then we can keep OT stuff off of the group. I could bore innocent victims to death...

David
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Old 30th Oct 2020, 9:35 am   #20
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Default Re: Modeller's lathe?

I'll give a 'thumbs up' for 'The Amateur's Lathe' by Sparey (MAP publications) I can't remember where mine came from. MAP also did a range of manuals for Myfords.
Tony at lathes.co.uk is a mine of info, and nice to deal with in person.
If looking at Myfords I would beware of the ML10 as it was a 'bottom of the range' model. The swing is less than the ML7 etc, and the cross-slide cannot accept any form of indexing toolpost because of the dimension from the centre. That shortcoming drives me nuts each time I use mine - I like to have the cutting tool and a parting off tool instantly set up.
BC
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