In need of a small metal lathe.

Intlwaters

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Terry Keeley

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The 7" x 12" mini lathe is where a lot of guys start, when you're ready for something bigger/better they're easy to dump:



Being in the Midwest you'll have lots of options on Craigslist & FB Marketplace and probably pick something like this up for a couple hundred bucks.

Or you could jump right in and get something in 9-11" swing, Southbend 9A, Emco Super 11 etc. The big question there is does it havta go in the basement as some older toolroom lathes in this size are 2K lbs. or more.
 

Wasted wages

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Well aren't you in luck Chris.....o_O



Would probably cost a small fortune to have it shipped....
 

RobertDoak

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Sep 14, 2018
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I went to trusty harbor freight and got mine...works fine...it's all about the set up and tooling...also Check "little machine shop"...from all the searching I have done...all are made in China by the same manufacturer branded under different names and configurations....
 

Wasted wages

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Many years ago, when shipping was still reasonable and items were still available, Shoptask and Smithy were common names for inexpensive mills and lathes..

I purchased a Shoptask combo mill and lathe, and it wasn't a bad little setup..
It was more machine than I was a machinist, so I couldn't fault the quality of the tool over how my projects turned out !!

I found it easy to spend a fortune in tooling and set up parts and cutting bits... often spending way more than the part I ended up making, than if I had just bought the part online..

I had a lot of fun modifying engines,,
again, engine parts were cheap and plentiful, so carving up a piston and sleeve was no big deal.. but I learned a lot about what works and what didn't..

I kept my machine for about 15 years, and ended up selling it to a guy that was a gunsmith... of course now I wish I hadn't,, but you know that old saying about "hindsight"...
To me, with so much stuff being mass produced today and available online,, it's hard to justify buying another lathe, unless
of course, I came up on one for pennies on the dollar... :cool:
 
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