SELLING MINE NEEDING BIGGER

riversidedan

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Am sadly selling my grizzly 4x6 micro lathe go to another home thats been a great learning tool but just isnt big enuff anymore for other projects in mind........so am looking for something like the infamous mini lathe and thinking 7x14 would fit the bill but am open to suggestions.

If your familar with my post I like to do small modeling type things with 6061. so dont need anything big. rather a small bench type setup.
Have seen a jillion mini lathes online " that are mostly asian "and kind of have an idea what to look for but am open to suggestions as to what brand and would like to keep it under $1000. so again, am looking for "Good and Bad" opinions re asian or otherwise mini lathes. all comments welcome :cool:
 
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Aukai

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I'm leaving work, but we just had this discussion recently, maybe you can find it with the search function.
 

Aukai

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Was this it by you?
  1. DECIDED ON A 7X14

    No doubt thiers a jillion mini lathes out thier good and bad and cant rack my brain anymore:concerned: so decided a 7x14 would fit my needs. I wont talk price cuzz at this point doesnt matter but something under 1K would prolly work for my applications. Everyone sez bigger is better but not in...
 

Aaron_W

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What were your issues with the 4x6?

Is it really size or maybe just quality? I Ask because in your other posts you are reluctant to go much bigger. There are other small options than the 7x14 but much depends on how the 4x6 failed to meet your needs.
 

riversidedan

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like I said>>>>>>the 4x6 was great for learning and small projects however am wanting to do bigger and better things needing more power and tooling options so time to move up. Thiers a jillion asian machines out thier but all I read about is "thier garbage or BUYER BEWARE! is thier not a couple that are doable?? if so I welcome your comments and which ones your refering too.
 
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matthewsx

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So, more swing? more length? higher quality?

How much room do you actually have? is your space limited to a small tabletop or just don't want a monster in your garage? The standard advice of get the biggest you can fit and highest quality you can afford applies to you just like everyone else who has asked this question.

If you're not in a huge hurry and can stretch your budget a little you might be very happy with an Emco machine http://www.lathes.co.uk/emco/

Lots of folks on here also do nice work with Sherline lathes https://www.sherline.com/sherline-benchtop-precision-lathes/

Beyond that you are already familiar with the various Chinese offerings and there are a multitude of other makes out there, one of which might be perfect.

Things to consider beyond size and price are how much threading will you do, accessories needed, can you take on a project or needing something ready to go, do you require factory support, and what kind of tooling will you use (carbide inserts require high speeds on small diameter workpieces).

There are always trade-offs involved in this kind of decision so if you're not afraid to do a little work you might be able to get a really nice machine. Conversely, if you want something right away go ahead and buy the 7x14 and have at it. Just be prepared to see the perfect machine come up for sale right after you place your order;)

John
 

silence dogood

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Grizzly has a store in Bellingham that is close enough for you to drive there. They have a 7x14 that is less than $1000. I don't know what tooling that includes, so you may have to spend a little extra. You will be able to actually see the machines.
 

Aaron_W

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John's post gets to what I was asking about.

The Sherline and Taig lathes are about the same swing (diameter) but have more length, are much higher quality and there is a lot of tooling available for them. Either can easily work aluminum or brass and can handle mild steel or even harder materials. Both are made in the USA (CA and AZ), and have good customer service.

If you want to consider used lathes the 6x18 Atlas / Craftsman lathes are popular small lathes, as are the Emco Unimat's. Both of these can usually be found for $300-1000. Used can be a bargain, but also a project in their own right. Both of these went out of production by the early 80s so the youngest are 40-50 years old. Emco also sold small 5" and 8" lathes (Compact 5 and Compact 8) that are popular, but even used unlikely to fit your $1000 budget. The Compact 8 is very similar to the Chinese 9x20 lathes, which copied the basic design. Emco were made in Austria, and is no relation to the easily confused Chinese brand Enco (m vs n).

Atlas / Craftsman 6" lathes

Emco Unimat

Emco Compact 5

Your other threads have pretty well covered the Chinese 7x10-16, 8x16 and 9x20 options. Probably the biggest thing to consider with the Chinese lathes is quality control varies. Some people can buy one that is good right out of the crate, and another gets one that has to shipped back 3 times.
That is one of the really nice things with Taig and Sherline, 99% of the time it is right from the start, and for that 1% that isn't these companies are super responsive and will make it right. The downside is they are not a lot bigger than your 4x6". The Sherline is 3.5x8 or 17" and Taig 4.5x9.75" just more capable. If you need a larger swing, they probably won't work for you, but if you mostly just need a better quality lathe they could be an option.

Sherline

Taig

Honestly Taig's company website is not very user friendly, Nick Carter is a Taig reseller who has much better website, also a little closer to you (Oregon I believe)

Carter tools, a Taig reseller


Sherline and Taig are similar, but approach things differently. Sherline stuff is very refined, but that comes at a cost (literally, it isn't cheap). Taig is a little cruder (design not quality), but substantially cheaper. Both are available with a 3/4-16 spindle thread and can use 3/8-24 threaded tooling in the tail stock much of their tooling can be used on both. Both can get you a nice starting set up for less than $1000.
 
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riversidedan

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No disrespect to others but John has hit the nail on the head re the info I was needing thanx for that......
 

Nogoingback

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Have a look at this:


One piece of advise that you've received already, but needs emphasis is only buy a machine from
a US based company with a reputation for good customer service. Grizzly. and Little Machine
Shop are both companies with a good reputation. PM has one as well, but they don't sell what you
want. I have no idea about Micromark and as for Harbor Freight, well that's your call.

It's interesting that in the LMS comparison, above, they say they don't see a quality difference
between the suppliers listed. If that's true, then it's down to features and the reputation of the
seller.

Personally, looking at the machines shown, I would ignore the price differences and focus on features
alone. A more fully featured machine is worth a few hundred bucks more. And while I'm aware that
you don't feel the need for the longer bed, it won't hurt and some day you may be happy you bought it.
 
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