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I am looking for materials that will turn easily on a Chinese mini lathe

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TQA222

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This material will be used on small working engines which will only have to run a few times before getting retired to a display case.

This is what my reading has come up with

Aluminium grade HE 30 TF............ 6082 T6 or T4. [ This is the one that I did not find a clear answer on ]

Brass grade C 360 [ or C36000 IS THIS THE SAME ?]

Steel grade 12L14

Are these the best choices ?
 

pontiac428

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C360 turns very nicely. So does 12L14, which is a machineable steel with Pb added. T6- heat treated 6000 series aluminium is nice to work with, too. All three of these are great choices for running in your mini-lathe. All are good for HSS or insert cutters. You should be able to work with these materials well!
 

pacifica

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Delrin, -Steels: 11l37 or 11l41( can be tempered and heat treated),1215. 2011 is alum designed for machining. Possibly 303 stainless.
 

Bob Korves

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Foam, butter, wax, and balsa wood. Seriously, it can do work on ordinary metals, just needs to be light cuts with the proper tooling and setup -- speed not too fast or slow, small radius tip, positive rake, SHARP, tool presented to the work on the center line and with the correct orientation, and a proper feed rate. The details depend on the details...
 

bill70j

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Delrin, -Steels: 11l37 or 11l41( can be tempered and heat treated),1215. 2011 is alum designed for machining. Possibly 303 stainless.
Agree with 303, and 304L stainless for sure
 

benmychree

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I have machined a lot of 303 SS, it machines very easily, call it screw machine stainless, only thing, is welding it, it tends to undercut, use 308 filler rod.
 

homebrewed

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In my experience, the cutter you're using is a significant part of the machinability equation. For best results it has to be matched to the material being shaped -- rake(s), choice of cutter material (carbide, HSS, cobalt, etc.).

Example: enlarging a hole when step drilling brass. Most drill bits have an effective positive rake on the end, which will cause problems in this case. The brass can grab the bit and either auto-feed (pull the bit in) or break the bit. I know this for a fact, having experienced it myself! Modifying your bits so the cutting end has a neutral rake (called 'docking') makes this exercise much less dramatic. I was incorrectly cussing the brass, but it was the drill bits.
 

magicniner

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The Chinese make some of the best machine tools in the world, the wholesale and retail trade in Europe and the Americas don't buy them.

Is it a Cheap Import Chinese Lathe?
 
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