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Brand-new offering by LMS: an 8.5"x20" bench lathe

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cazclocker

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#1
I got an email last night from Little Machine Shop. It was basically saying it was getting ready to put on a display booth at the annual GEARS show in Portland OR, and also to announce a new offering in their lathe line, the HiTorque 8.5 x 20 Bench Lathe. I don't know if it's replacing the 8.5 x 16, or just "in addition to". Pretty cool. First thing I noticed is they used the old picture of the 8.5 x 16 for the 8.5 x 20 illustration. Seems like they should at least show the actual machine.
 

Rbeckett

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#2
Did you read the disclaimer on the bottom of the page? They have shipped but they do not have any in stock at this moment to show a picture of. It was a little notice about truth in advertising on that ad. I think they did pretty good explaining why the pic was an 8.5X16.

Bob
 

cazclocker

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#3
Did you read the disclaimer on the bottom of the page? They have shipped but they do not have any in stock at this moment to show a picture of. It was a little notice about truth in advertising on that ad. I think they did pretty good explaining why the pic was an 8.5X16.

Bob
Bob, you're absolutely right - it's right there at the bottom. DOH!
 

cazclocker

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#5
Looks like a nice lathe - but for the same price you can get a Precision Matthews 11x27 - I've owned one for a few years and am happy with it - and it is a lot more lathe for the money.

http://www.machinetoolonline.com/PM-1127-VF.html

/Greg
http://www.blowsmeaway.com
Excellent point, Greg. The name of the game is to get the most for our hard-earned bucks. But for my application (clockmaking), an 11x27 would be too much lathe for me. I wonder what PM lathe would be the direct competition for the LMS 8.5x20? A quick look at their website shows PM's smallest swing at 10", and then it's a choice between 27" & 30" between centers. I bet it just sounds weird to you guys to hear someone complain about a lathe being too big..:headscratch:
 

Rbeckett

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#6
Looks like the vendors are discontinuing the 9X20's. I have a 9X Enco and other than the known weaknesses it does a great job. I have already gotten the cross slide upgraded to the 4 bolt style and the Phase II QCTP took care of tool flex and chatter. so it does pretty respectable work now. One possible advantage that you might see on the larger swing machines is more rigidity and that usually translates to better position holding and more accurate parts. I have never run into an issue making small parts on a big machine, but big parts on a small machine do have all kinds of chatter, flex and work holding issues that creep into the mix. As a general rule I try to work at approx. 75% of the stated work envelope to avoid over stressing the machine. That gives me a reserve of power for those Awwww Heck cuts that always seem to come along at an inopportune time... Usually right after my poor planning shows me where the error is..

Bob
 

cazclocker

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#7
Bob, it's no secret around here that I'm just a newbie, except for my having a Rivett watchmaker's lathe for the past few years, and a new (still not plugged in yet) LMS 3960 mini mill. What you say about lathes makes perfect sense - about large machines doing well making small parts, but not the other way around. Sigh...I guess I have to confess that my dream lathe for the type of work I'd like to do would be an old Rivett 8" Precision or a 608. Rivett only made 1,800 of the 8" Precisions but the 608's were much more plentiful.
 

Rbeckett

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#8
Caz,
We were all new at this at one time or another. I have to admit that I am still a babe in the woods when it comes to a lot of the best practices and procedures that yield the better work. I started out as a dyed in the wool tinkerer and do my best to maintain that ability at all costs. I dabble with a CNC Plama cutter, Tig welding exotic alloys, ornamental iron work and machining perfectly good material into scrap. So don't get discouraged or be afraid to ask a question if you get stuck on something because we all get hung up on something or another eventually. I am also pretty partial to Matt over at Precision Mathews and his approach to customer service as well as generally much higher quality machines than you will ever get from any other vendor in his price range. So if you get a decent looking candidate don't hesitate to put up a pic and some one will be glad to help you decide if it is suitable for your particular application. As a watch and clock guy I would think you will be cutting a lot of gears and wheels too, so maybe a rotary table to go along with your machines would be a good addition to the arsenal too. Hope we can help when you need it, some one is always available so don't be afraid to ask.

Bob
 

cazclocker

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#9
thanks a bunch, guys......:happyhappy:
 

salindroth

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#10
My LMS 8.5x20 arrived earlier this week. It's a decent upgrade from my mini-lathe and yet fits nicely in the limited space I have. The power cross feed is a nice feature. I'm getting mirror-like facing cuts, something that gave me all kinds of grief on the mini-lathe. You can also adjust the speed on both the carriage power feed and cross feed for roughing and finishing (i.e., the roughing speed is still much slower than a threading speed). The brushless motor is also great -- amazing torque at slow speeds (100 rpm).

I bought 5" 3- and 4-jaw chucks but have not installed them yet. The adaptor has some problems, so I'll have to get a new one.

Otherwise, so far so good!

Scott
 

cazclocker

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#11
My LMS 8.5x20 arrived earlier this week. It's a decent upgrade from my mini-lathe and yet fits nicely in the limited space I have. The power cross feed is a nice feature. I'm getting mirror-like facing cuts, something that gave me all kinds of grief on the mini-lathe. You can also adjust the speed on both the carriage power feed and cross feed for roughing and finishing (i.e., the roughing speed is still much slower than a threading speed). The brushless motor is also great -- amazing torque at slow speeds (100 rpm).

I bought 5" 3- and 4-jaw chucks but have not installed them yet. The adaptor has some problems, so I'll have to get a new one.

Otherwise, so far so good!

Scott
Way to go Scott! I'm glad you're having good luck with the 8.5x20. The power crossfeed looks good to me, too...
Let us know how you get on with the chuck adapter, would you?
...Doug
 

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#12
Sounds like you're the first one here with the new lathe... got to post up some pics of the new tool!
 

cazclocker

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#13
I agree - please POST PICTURES!
 

salindroth

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#14
OK, folks, here are some photos. Apologies if the formatting is awkward.

lathe.01.jpg

A few initial observations:

Runout: No measurable deviation! I put a piece of drill rod in the chuck, made sure it was centered at the chuck, and measured 5" away from the chuck. Zero! I turned an 8" length of 1" aluminum down to to 0.875", supporting the end with a dead center. Total change in diameter from end to end: 0.0015" Not too bad.



motorControl.jpg

Motor: what a beast! 1.34 hp (according to LMS) with super torque at low speeds. The motor controls are nicely laid out and easy to operate. The electronic speed control runs from 100 - 2000+ rpm. A plastic cover over the chuck is interlocked with the motor in such a way that you can't start the lathe up if the chuck key is still in chuck. The lathe is big enough that the cover does not obstruct the view of the cutting action.



carriage.02.jpg

Carriage, Cross Slide, and Compound: heavy (carriage) and smooth. The power feed on both X and Y is a nice feature. Excellent finishes on facing and turning. My only complaint is that the carriage gibs are on the back, which makes them a pain to adjust. I haven't done this yet, because I'll have to turn the lathe around (carefully!) to gain access. It's still less fuss than removing the carriage to adjust the gibs on a mini-lathe. The carriage crank has a scale with 0.002" increments, which will be handy for quick and dirty X-axis measurements while turning. There's an easy adjustment to center the carriage half-nuts on the lead screw -- takes just seconds to do.



powerFeedLever.jpg

The power feed lever has three positions: up for powered cross feed, middle for neutral, down for power carriage feed

handFeed.jpg

The carriage hand crank has a scale (my mini-lathe did not) which I will find handy for rough measurements.

The covered lead screw is a nice idea, but I somehow managed a couple times to get the lead screw wrapped up in big tangles of swarf that fell between the ways. Because the lead screw is covered, I don't notice this until there's a huge blob of swarf spinning around the lead screw. No big deal, I'll just have to periodically clear the swarf away while turning.

changeGears.jpg

Change gears: The lathe ships set to the "fine feed" speed. I swapped the gears to obtain a faster power feed -- the "coarse feed" speed -- which still seems a little slower than the default speed on my mini-lathe. Consequently the finish in turning aluminum has been very good. I probably won't switch back to the fine feed gears. Haven't tried threading yet.


ways.jpg

Fit and Finish: Everything looks well made. Very little packing grease, so clean up took just a few minutes. I haven't taken apart the carriage or head stock and hope it will never be necessary.

I am not inclined to stress test the machine. I tried turning 0.015" (0.030" diameter reduction) on aluminum and it was just fine, though the finish was a little rough. A second finishing pass cleaned it up nicely. Parting is a lot easier than on a mini-lathe, though it still took a while to part the 0.875" stock mentioned earlier!

I really liked my old mini-lathe from Big Dog Metal Works and learned a lot working with it over the last four years. It is now in the hands of a very capable new owner. I'm still pretty green in this hobby, but it's likely that this is the last lathe I'll own.

Now, about that mill...


Scott

changeGears.jpg handFeed.jpg lathe.01.jpg motorControl.jpg powerFeedLever.jpg ways.jpg carriage.02.jpg
 
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cazclocker

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#15
Wow, great pictures and comments! Thanks salindroth. That lathe is a frontrunner for my next purchase.
 

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#16
Congrats!

The new lathe seems well thought out and looks well done. I'm drooling for one of my own.

Can't wait to see some of the finished new bits that come off of it.
 

mattthemuppet2

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#17
beautiful lathe! It's at or near the top of my wish list if the necessary funds ever come up. It's certainly all the lathe I can imagine needing, has all the bells and whistles, yet can be moved around by a couple of guys without too much effort. Don't forget to post pics of it in action!
 

salindroth

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#18
This isn't too exciting, but you can see the LMS 8.5x20 making a 0.005" finishing cut on aluminum.

turning.jpg

Nice finish. The difference in diameter over 7 inches is 0.002". The cutting tool is sticking out so far so the compound does not hit the tailstock, which is supporting the workpiece with a dead center.



turningDramatic.jpg

My son prefers more dramatic lighting.



caps.jpg

I still have to drill a hole across the diameter of these parts on the mill.



IMG_1294.JPG

They will the replace wine bottle corks in a "percussion machine" I'm building. I think it sounds better than it looks, but both sound and looks will improve.

Some will find this strange... :nuts:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4oznoev6b76oc55/percEns8mics3.MP4

All the metal came from a recycling center. There will be live musicians playing as well as a laptop.

Scott

turning.jpg turningDramatic.jpg caps.jpg IMG_1294.JPG
 
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mattthemuppet2

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#19
that is really cool and great finishes on the pieces too. I should stop reading this thread, it's making me itchy for something I can't afford :)
 

salindroth

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#20
A brief update: I discovered a couple of burrs around the bolt holes on the spindle plate that holds the chuck. After facing them off, the lathe now performs even more accurately than before. Using a 5" 3-jaw chuck, there's no more than 0.0005" difference (if any at all) from end to end after turning 1" rods extending several inches from the chuck.
 
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Vegemitesandwich

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#21
Sorry if I necro'd an old thread. Who actually makes the LMS 8.5 X 20?
 

salindroth

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#22
I think it's a Sieg, but I'm not positive. It looks like the other LMS mills and lathes are made by Sieg, though now that they are also selling Sieg machines directly (red instead of blue + cream paint), I'm less certain.
 

Vegemitesandwich

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#23
You are indeed correct. It's a SIEG as well as marketed under several other names throughout the world. I like it in spite of the fact that my dumb ass managed to break the power feed before it made it's first chip. Fixed now, spinning away.
 

salindroth

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#24
You are indeed correct. It's a SIEG as well as marketed under several other names throughout the world. I like it in spite of the fact that my dumb ass managed to break the power feed before it made it's first chip. Fixed now, spinning away.
I nearly did the same thing on the first day by engaging the threading lever AND power feed simultaneously, despite the clear warnings not to do so in the instructions! Those first few days of owning a machine are the most perilous -- for the machine...

Scott
 

markba633csi

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#25
Only three things I would change: The handwheels look like cast iron (I'd rather have polished alloy), membrane buttons on the headstock may not stand up to oil and grease, and the tailstock lock is on the back instead of the front.
MS
 
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