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8" x 14" mini-lathe spindle mods?

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Swarf
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I just bought the 8" x 14" bench top mini-lathe $150 at a warehouse flea market, after I brought it home I cut 3/4" 316 stainless (light cuts) to test, and it seems a work horse compared to its smaller counterparts, I've done some commissioned work off of it, and I'm pretty surprised at how good this basic lathe holds up, but I'm getting a squeak in the spindle, and had to adjust the thrust nuts, it seems the nuts were too tight, after which it ran like a champ making metal wool, beautifully, when the squeak returned, so now the question is can I replace the race bearings supplied to this lathe with tapered roller bearings (preferably Timken or equivalent quality) if so, would anyone have an idea what size tapered rollers, or like bearing numbers? Also, I'd like the same for adding thrust bearings. The info of this lathe is as pictured.
 

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silence dogood

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You must have the Harbor Freight 8x12. I have the Lathemaster 8x14. Same lathe but mine is painted ford grey. Nice machine. The bearings are single row taper 35x36x17mm. Before you buy new bearings, I'd try relubing them. They might be low on lube. I have not done it so check with others on how to do it. I have not had any noise problem, so I'd be interested in what you find out.
 

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You must have the Harbor Freight 8x12. I have the Lathemaster 8x14. Same lathe but mine is painted ford grey. Nice machine. The bearings are single row taper 35x36x17mm. Before you buy new bearings, I'd try relubing them. They might be low on lube. I have not done it so check with others on how to do it. I have not had any noise problem, so I'd be interested in what you find out.
 

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Thanks for replying, and info. Yeah, after I did some checking about my particular lathe, turns out mine is actually an 8" x 14" also, and after you said your is a lathemaster, I cross referenced both and it's exactly as you said, it's a rebranded lathemaster. I couldn't seem to find anything mods or repairs on these lathes, but I think I'll do what you suggested and give the bearings a look over, rebuild them. It'd also give me a chance to hardness test them. I'll use the ID of the bearings you gave to look up roller thrust bearings, that will fit the spindle size via McMaster-Carr. Have any suggestions on a better type of grease to pack the bearings with? Incredibly, it's a good lathe. I'm thinking of gutting the two pulleys, and replacing everything with the full compliment of the tread mill electrics and electronics. I'm debating on improving the gear system, something similar to the 7"X - gearing system, giving me forward reverse, forward, gearing, manually, also. Thanks for the reply, I'll post pics on the spindle tear down, bearing re packing. Share the info and all.
 

silence dogood

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I got the impression that you don't have the owners manual. If not, just type in harborfrieght 8x12 bench lathe. You should be able to down load the manual. A couple of easy mods that you can do right now is 1) replace the 3 allen bolts that hold the chuck with hex heads. They are m8, can't remember the length. 2) replace that screw for opening the gear cover with a thumb screw or what I did mounted a latch ( the kind that are on small metal tool boxes). Funny that mentioned the tread mill motor. I just bought a used tread mill for less that $25 and it works just fine. The motor is the right diameter but 3" longer and has a large flywheel, so I'm going to have to think on how to mount it.
 

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I got the impression that you don't have the owners manual. If not, just type in harborfrieght 8x12 bench lathe. You should be able to down load the manual. A couple of easy mods that you can do right now is 1) replace the 3 allen bolts that hold the chuck with hex heads. They are m8, can't remember the length. 2) replace that screw for opening the gear cover with a thumb screw or what I did mounted a latch ( the kind that are on small metal tool boxes). Funny that mentioned the tread mill motor. I just bought a used tread mill for less that $25 and it works just fine. The motor is the right diameter but 3" longer and has a large flywheel, so I'm going to have to think on how to mount it.
 

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First and foremost: if you didn't know it already, the flywheel on the treadmill motor is a "righty loosey", clamp the other end if the motor shaft in a bench vise, or if you have rubber vise jaws clamp the motor to snug, and twist the flywheel off counter clock wise.
 

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Yeah, when I purchased the lathe everything came with it, except a chuck key and the lathe manual, hell, the 4 PTP had a lantern style tool post tool holder in it, which didn't make sense, considering this tool holder was 1/2" above lathe center. And a part in the chuck. Thanks fir the info on getting a copy online. Here's the lathe at the flea market, before purchasing. Everything was true when I tested for run out and slop. Run out was 1/2 thou, easily remedied with a rubber "persuader". Headstock And railstock were true and I led me to believe that out [someone's] box it was ready to go, except that "someone" wasn't as ready. Lucky for me. After I get my mini-lathe running, installing another tread mill motor and electronics, I'll work on the the 8x14, even painting a glossy gray.
 

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As for the tread mill motor mounting, I think I'm going to go with pivoting mount on an eccentric shaft, with an extended lever. I want to keep all the pulleys on the lathe for higher RPMs when necessary, but I want to be able to do so, quickly. Something like the old atlas lathe speed change system., which I also just picked up for $300.
 

silence dogood

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First and foremost: if you didn't know it already, the flywheel on the treadmill motor is a "righty loosey", clamp the other end if the motor shaft in a bench vise, or if you have rubber vise jaws clamp the motor to snug, and twist the flywheel off counter clock wise.
Thanks for the info. I just got the motor and electronics out but have not done anything with it(too many irons in the fire at the moment). Did not think that you needed the flywheel but was not totally sure. It will make it a lot easier to mount it. The Lathemaster came with a backsplash that HF did not include. So I may have to cut out a section on the backsplash or just take it off.
 

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#11

9t8z28

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I believe the headstock is the same as the Sieg SC4. If so I replaced my rear bearing with a tapered roller. It made a huge improvement to the spindle
 

Metalmill

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#13
I just bought the 8" x 14" bench top mini-lathe $150 at a warehouse flea market, after I brought it home I cut 3/4" 316 stainless (light cuts) to test, and it seems a work horse compared to its smaller counterparts, I've done some commissioned work off of it, and I'm pretty surprised at how good this basic lathe holds up, but I'm getting a squeak in the spindle, and had to adjust the thrust nuts, it seems the nuts were too tight, after which it ran like a champ making metal wool, beautifully, when the squeak returned, so now the question is can I replace the race bearings supplied to this lathe with tapered roller bearings (preferably Timken or equivalent quality) if so, would anyone have an idea what size tapered rollers, or like bearing numbers? Also, I'd like the same for adding thrust bearings. The info of this lathe is as pictured.
There have been several cool build threads on this model of lathe. Here is one where the entire spindle was replaced in order to have a larger throat :

https://www.cnczone.com/forums/mini-lathe/95419-cnc.html


Here is a link to a video I did showing how I cleaned and regreased my bearings on the Lathemaster version of this lathe:


Hope that helps you!
 
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