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Upgrading Mini-Lathe Motor

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D_Harris

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I have a Micro-Mark Microlux 7 X 14(#82710) mini-lathe.

I've been doing some reading and I've come to the conclusion that it would be desirable not to have to shift between high and low gears and more importantly for me, have a machine that makes less noise.

So I was considering upgrading to a newer mini-lathe with a brush-less motor.

But first, I know mods and upgrades are common on lathes like mine and I wanted to ask if it was plausible to change out the present motor instead of buying a whole new lathe. (Specifically, is spending $1300 plus shipping for the Micro-Mark Microlux 7 X 16 (#84631) really worth it?).

Any advice would be appreciated.

Darren Harris
Staten Island, New York.
 
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markba633csi

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It's certainly possible to change the motor but is there really a good reason to do so? Plumes of smoke would be a good reason LOL
Hard to justify 1300$ for a slightly longer lathe even if it has a better motor
mark
 
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Z2V

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Where is the noise coming from? Can you tell that the noise is actually coming from the motor?
 

SamI

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Certainly on my old mini lathe with a brushed motor, if you disconnect the drive belt and run the motor it is very quiet indeed. The majority of the noise comes from the gears.

If you are not using the lead screw for power feed or threading this can be disconnected which makes a slight difference. Most of the noise on mine however comes from the Hi-Lo hear inside the headstock. That was one of the side effects of upgrading to a metallic gear in there. I suppose if I had access to grease it that would quieten it down a little. I did have the foresight to drill and tap an oil port above the gears when I installed them but I ran out of spray grease quite some time ago!
 

Aaron_W

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For $1250 you could get a Grizzly 8x16 or 9x19 which would be more of an upgrade. More weight (8x16 166lbs, 9x19 250lbs) but not a great deal more space required. The 9x19 has a foot print of 37x16" vs 30x9" for the 7x14 so basically half a foot longer and wider, the 8x16 splits the difference.

The 8x16 lathes appear to me to have a little higher quality and the 9x19 would give you a quick change gear box vs having to swap gears around.


I'm really not sure what you would gain by essentially just buying the same lathe again, unless your 7x14 is dead beyond repair. I doubt there has been much improvement in the basic 7x lathe over the past 10-20 years.
 

Duke

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A new motor will not make a huge difference - like Saml said - the noise usually comes from the gears. Or something else.



Some things you can try: in order of how intrusive the surgery will be

Keep the lead screw disengaged.

On mine it makes a big noise difference. The motor also runs better not having to turn all those gears.



Check the alignment of the motor:

1. Carefully remove the control panel and the cover for the change gears. Also remove the big back shielding plate.
2. Disengage the lead screw.
3. Run the motor and very carefully press something like an eraser against this part: marked in red:

motor.JPG


Listen for a change in noise.

On my mini lathe it is a white floating plastic disk that keeps the belt from slipping off.

The horizontal alignment of the motor will determine whether the belt presses against this disk.

On my lathe this little disk can make a lot of noise - it sounds like something is loose or rattling.

If this turns out to be the problem, you can then tweak the horizontal alignment of the motor a bit until the noise stops.


At this stage you can also remove the drive belt entirely and run just the motor. If there is still a weird noise, then it is the motor but this should be highly unlikely.





Grease the gears

This will involve removing the headstock. Takes a bit of time but not difficult to do.
 

D_Harris

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Thanks everyone.

Unlike my HF Mini-Mill this lathe is brand new and hasn't yet been used. I picked it up from the company owner's son years ago.

I've read that the brush-less motors of the newer models were quieter, and with the kind of neighbors I have I thought I'd try to err on the side of caution.

Anyway, thanks for all the advice.

Darren Harris
Staten Island, New York.
 
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