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HF mini lathe lead screw

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Registered Member
Jan 25, 2017
Have been around lathes and machine shops most of my life.
Was actually born in a shop.
My Mother was my Dads bookkeeper and went into labor in the office
At 79 years old I bought a used HF mini lathe.
It does all I ask of it but I foresaw several problems.
Have fixed most of them but have one I need someone with more knowledge of them than I to answer a question.

W hen I had the apron off of the lathe I noticed that it had only 1 half nut so ordered a set from LMS.
Unfortunately they will not work due to the lead screw having a cover over the top half.
Removed the cover and the lead screw gets filled with chips real quick.

Never had the problem on any production lathe I ever used so need advice on the use of only 1 half nut.
As it is used for carriage feed as well as threading how quickly will it wear out the half nut or lead screw?
Is there a alternative way to cover the lead screw that will allow the use of both half nuts?
Or am I just wasting my time worrying about it



H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
Aug 23, 2014
Little machine shop has a telescoping lead screw cover kit available for 7x10 and 7x12 mini lathes I have not tried it yet but it looks good:

I installed the two part nut on my HF lathe and just leave the lead screw open And clean it often. The 1/2 nut version uses that curved upper bracket to keep the lead screw in contact with the 1/2 nut and can take normal use if kept lubed well.




Registered Member
Sep 18, 2014
I bought the lead screw cover kit from LMS.
It works as advertised keeping the lead screw and half nuts clean
I used to have a problem with debris sticking to the lead screw lube and ending up in the half nuts/
Two issues
THe directions called for installing the end fixtures tabs down.
I had to install the end fixtures tab up. No big deal.
I lost a bit of travel at the right side, not a big deal. If I need the extra bit of room I can remove the right side cover kit.
Good luck with the mini lathe "Kit"
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