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Old 02-21-2008, 10:21 PM
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Central Machinery 7" x 10" Precision Mini Lathe

I was just wanting to know if any body out there has one of these mini lathes, http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=93212 . I was thinking about getting one to machine small parts, big parts I can take to a machine shop around the corner to get machined.

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Old 02-21-2008, 10:27 PM
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Check out these two forums.

http://www.mini-lathe.com/

http://www.littlemachineshop.com/

Lots of people using them. Lots of How-To articles. Even some about reducing the slop in them.
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:01 AM
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It depends on how precision you want it to be. For $369.00 it will be about as precision as trying to work on your watch with winter gloves on. It will have quite a bit of backlash or will end up with a lot of backlash which will make it very hard to make accurate parts. How do I know. I work with precision everyday either on a mill or one of two lathes. The other department has one of the Chinese lathes and to be truthful, I wouldn't have it in the garage if it was free. If you shop around and keep your eye in the trading papers and the local papers, you can end up with a real lathe for $1500 or so, and get a lifetime of use out of it. The HF lathe...expect it to last maybe 2 years before something goes wrong and you can't get parts.
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Old 02-22-2008, 04:07 AM
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[QUOTE=Kevin45] I wouldn't have it in the garage if it was free./QUOTE]


That about sums it up, simply put it is junk. Those cheap HF lathes give a new meaning to the word "fustration" and to call that one precision is a joke. Check out the recent thread on this very subject.

Need Some Feed Back On A Lathe.


At least with that lathe you won't need to spend a lot of money on expensive measuring tools, all you will need is a tape measure.
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Old 02-22-2008, 04:13 AM
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:08 AM
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don't waste your time with that little thing unless all you want to make is buttons. you shouldn't be able to pick a lathe up and carry it around. a machine that small is going to chatter so bad you'll loosen your fillings.for instance my lathe weighs somewhere around 2000 pounds, at 89 pounds the only thing that machine is going to do well is take up space on your bench...like stated in the previous thread try to find a south bend, for a small lathe they are great. i have a heavy ten myself and it works nearly as well as the big lathe.
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:38 AM
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I agree.I have a Smithy 1220 and it is a mill and lathe combo.It is a nice machine and I have had it for about 5 years.That lathe from HF is just too small. You say you just want it for small parts but once you get used to using it you will wish it was bigger. Do like the others said and get a bigger and better one the first time.You will be surprised at how many small parts are just too big for that size lathe.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:13 AM
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I have the somewhat larger 8x12 mini (#44859-4) and I've never ever used it. I thought I'd have all sorts of need for a lathe in my fabrication work but I couldn't even wade through the directions in the manual to get it set up. It's always been easier for me to just find an alternative way to fabricate something. Maybe someday I'll get it going but it's too bad you don't live down the block from me. I'd have been happy to let this out the door at a very reasonable price to somebody who wanted to see if they could make it work for them.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:15 AM
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lathes

Hi,i bought a south bend lathe on E Bay for $300.00 complete with all tooling. very nice lathe. look on E Bay for a deal,those lathes youre talking about are JUNK............
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:18 AM
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I had one and gave it away. It was the HF 7x10...the same lathe as all the other 7x10's made in china and sold by HF, enco, grizzly etc.

It was an exercise in frustration to make parts, it had no power, any time you'd try to take any more than a few thousandths cut it would blow an internal fuse, the backlash was horrendous, cutting steel or stainless was close to impossible unless you wanted to spend all day making something as small a dash knob.

It is a toy. Look at the specifications. The motor is rated at .34 HP. My shop fan has a bigger motor.

If you want to rebuild the thing to try to get the backlash and slop out of it, you will be rewarded with a tool that still needs constant attention, nothing on it is hardened, so it will wear continually.
None of the graduated dials are close to right, (I'm not sure what they read in, it isn't any standard measurement that I am aware of... ),so you need to manually measure your part every pass to see if you are close to what you want.



I let my daughter use it at home for a while making wind chimes out of 1/2" extruded aluminum hex stock. She'd turn little designs on the ends. Even she got frustrated with it's slowness.

I had one and gave it away. (I know , I said it twice)

The guy I gave it to....he doesn't use it for all of the same reasons I just gave.

Save your money, buy a real lathe.


Later, mikey
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:46 AM
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I got lucky and found this nice young man that can take care of any minor machine work I need..

Just gotta take care of the Taco Lady...

Sam
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:32 AM
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Looked at one once. A half turn on the cross and nothing moved convinced me I didn't really need it. If you are thinking buying chinese, shame on you. There are so many experienced lathes of good quality looking for a home it is Unecessary toeven consider buying this junk.
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:57 AM
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If you're looking for this one, there are a few things to keep in mind (besides the above comments like "it's junk", or "not worth the trouble". I'm not contradicting them, just pointing out some stuff I've also seen/read about).

First and foremost - for me, at least - the dials don't read like standard. Meaning that one turn of the dial doesn't equal 0.10", it actually measures 1/16" (0.125") of an inch. This can trip ya up if you don't realize it, but the leadscrews can be changed to standard later, at more cost of course.

Second, that lathe doesn't come with any tooling - you'll have to pick up the rest separate. Now, Cummins Tools has a similar lathe available, here: http://www.toolsnow.com/browse.cfm/4,876.htm
This one is 7x12", comes with a boat-load of extras, and currently costs $400 on sale. I was thinking about getting this one in the future (lack of space being the big reason), but we'll see if I can get around to getting any of these.

Now, if you really want to get a new machine in the 7x series, hands down one of the best ones to get is the 7x14 from Micro Mark: Micro Mark lathe . This one is more expensive at $620 currently, but it also has better built-in features. I'll probably hold off until I can get this one.

Usual disclaimer: I haven't bought any of the above machines (I've only looked at the display model of the HF one), but I've been doing a lot of reading and researching in the past couple years cause I would like to eventually have my own small lathe and mill.

- Mike
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Old 02-22-2008, 06:57 PM
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My Grandpa got his lathe from a Vo-Tech School. He has used it for years and no problems and it was used when got it. It was a reasonable price and it was taken care of and serviced very well on a scheduled maintanance. Its some where you might check to see if they have replaced any of their machines or are planing to replace any in the near future and get your name in for one for them to let you know its going to be sold. That is if you have the Vo Tech Schools around your area.
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brimstone
If you're looking for this one, there are a few things to keep in mind (besides the above comments like "it's junk", or "not worth the trouble". I'm not contradicting them, just pointing out some stuff I've also seen/read about).

First and foremost - for me, at least - the dials don't read like standard. Meaning that one turn of the dial doesn't equal 0.10", it actually measures 1/16" (0.125") of an inch. This can trip ya up if you don't realize it, but the leadscrews can be changed to standard later, at more cost of course.

Second, that lathe doesn't come with any tooling - you'll have to pick up the rest separate. Now, Cummins Tools has a similar lathe available, here: http://www.toolsnow.com/browse.cfm/4,876.htm
This one is 7x12", comes with a boat-load of extras, and currently costs $400 on sale. I was thinking about getting this one in the future (lack of space being the big reason), but we'll see if I can get around to getting any of these.

Now, if you really want to get a new machine in the 7x series, hands down one of the best ones to get is the 7x14 from Micro Mark: Micro Mark lathe . This one is more expensive at $620 currently, but it also has better built-in features. I'll probably hold off until I can get this one.

Usual disclaimer: I haven't bought any of the above machines (I've only looked at the display model of the HF one), but I've been doing a lot of reading and researching in the past couple years cause I would like to eventually have my own small lathe and mill.

- Mike

If you are saying that all those little annoyances like the odd dial calibration and sloppiness can be overcome by adjusting, changing or just getting used to it you are overlooking the fact that it hardly has enough power to turn wood never mind steel plus the thing will wear out with hardly any use at all.

It is junk, simple as that!
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