Author Topic: Advice on small lathes  (Read 4207 times)

Offline nats

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 16
Advice on small lathes
« on: February 02, 2019, 07:13:01 PM »
Hello,
Some news because I didn't give up ! :)
I bought few book about motor 3 especially about model engine and one about the theory of ICE and I started doing
some design in Freecad.
In the mean time I realize I'll need a tiny lathe at home because the hackerspace is far and it's not a good way to work
by small time slot.

I saw few tabletop lathe on this forum, I was wondering if Sherline one could be a good choice.

Have a nice week end ! :)

Offline b.lindsey

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13367
  • Dallas, NC, USA
    • Workbench-Miniatures
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2019, 07:34:57 PM »
Mehdi, there are several Sherline and Taig users on the forum including me. I have done a lot with my sherlines, lathe and mill and as long as you understand their sire limitations they are good little machines. Not sure how available they are in France, you would know that better than me of course. What I like most about them is the number of accessories available for them which you can add over time as budget allows.

Bill

Offline fumopuc

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2328
  • Munich, Germany, EU
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2019, 07:24:16 AM »
Hi Mehdi. welcome to MEM.
Kind Regards
Achim

Offline nats

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 16
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2019, 11:31:29 AM »
Mehdi, there are several Sherline and Taig users on the forum including me. I have done a lot with my sherlines, lathe and mill and as long as you understand their sire limitations they are good little machines. Not sure how available they are in France, you would know that better than me of course. What I like most about them is the number of accessories available for them which you can add over time as budget allows.

Bill

Thanks for the advice, it can be sourced at robotshop in France thanks for all advice :)
I have one more question: there is a currently running ebay auction for a unimat 3, is it a good lathe ? It's in a really good shape with few tools.

Offline b.lindsey

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13367
  • Dallas, NC, USA
    • Workbench-Miniatures
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2019, 01:58:56 PM »
Mehdi, I also have a Unimat 3 that is recently cleaned up  after years of little if any use.  It is a nicely built machine but perhaps a bit smaller than the Sherline. The downside is that they are no longer made to my knowledge an not as many accessories are available as for Sherline. Again, it ill largely depend on what kind of parts and sizes you envision as both are small machines.  Do you have a link to the ebay posting? What tooling is being offered with it?

Bill

Offline Flyboy Jim

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1526
  • Independence, Oregon
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2019, 03:11:54 PM »
Welcome to the forum Mehdi.

Since you posted about the desire to have a small lathe, I'll approach my post from that point. Here's the link to the first engine I built with my newly purchased Sherline lathe and mill: http://www.modelenginemaker.com/index.php/topic,5886.0.html It was done with minimal tooling (but still needed some) and required both a lathe and milll. Subsequent engines have needed more and more tooling and accessories (for example: a rotary table).

The other thing you'll notice in that thread is the wonderful support and encouragement you'll receive on this forum.

Best Regards, Jim
Sherline 4400 Lathe
Sherline 5400 Mill
"You can do small things on big machines, but you can do small things on small machines".

Offline crueby

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8563
  • Rochester NY
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2019, 04:15:17 PM »
I used to have a couple of the Unimat lathes, of different models, and wound up upgrading to a Sherline lathe and mill, been very happy with them. As others have mentioned, if you want to do very large parts it gets limiting, but with a little ingenuity and patience it is still adequate - I've build one of Kozo's locomotives, the MEM Corliss engine, a large Lombard Hauler, and currently am making a huge model of a Marion steam shovel with that setup. I like them since they take up little table space, so I can do everything in a small back room. Still, there are larger parts that are not feasible, but you can do a whole lot with them. My largest flywheel was 6" diameter, when done the current model will be 4-1/2 feet long.

Chris
 

Offline simplyloco

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 220
  • Lots of Rebuilds in progress!
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2019, 04:45:39 PM »
I have an original Emco SL, which is a lovely machine, but more suited to clockmaking and jewellery  than real lathe work. For that I have an EMCO Maximat V10P with an FB-2 milling head!
John
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 06:29:01 PM by simplyloco »

Offline steamer

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10143
  • Central Massachusetts, USA
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2019, 04:59:44 PM »
The Sherline is a very capable machine, is readily available new, and has parts and accessories that interchange.    If I was to move into a small living space and had to give up my current shop, I would definitely buy Sherline.

Dave
"Mister M'Andrew, don't you think steam spoils romance at sea?"
Damned ijjit!

Offline nats

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 16
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2019, 10:38:47 PM »
Thanks a lot for all your advice I'll try to get a Sherline set with a lathe and a mill.
I may start by a "basic package" and upgrade with tools I need.

Really thanks for all advice ! :)

Offline b.lindsey

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13367
  • Dallas, NC, USA
    • Workbench-Miniatures
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2019, 10:47:13 PM »
Good luck Mehdi. Sometimes their "packages" at least have some of the basic accessories and can save you a bit of money. Just be aware that you will want/ need more over time. If you have any questions about accessories, please ask here as most of us will know what we have used or not found useful.

Keep us posted on your progress please.

Bill

Offline steamer

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10143
  • Central Massachusetts, USA
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2019, 10:47:43 PM »
Great plan!   Keep us posted!
"Mister M'Andrew, don't you think steam spoils romance at sea?"
Damned ijjit!

Offline Kim

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3540
  • Portland, Oregon, USA
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2019, 05:53:59 AM »
You're getting a lot of votes for Sherline, and it's a great machine.  But I thought I'd mention that there's also the Taig machines that are quite good.  They are very similar to the Sherlines in sized and capability.  The Taig's are a little less expensive, and the mill has a slightly larger envelope (and I think is a bit more rigid).  But the Sherlines are a little nicer in the finishes they put on the parts (everything is anodized or painted, where as Taig has many bare metal parts (though not all).  The Taig accessories are less expensive than the Sherline counterparts, but there aren't as many of them as there are for the Sherline.  On the plus side, you can use most of the Sherline accessories on the Taig machines.

Initially, I just got the Taig lathe, with a 'milling attachment' that provided an additional axis.  That was great for my first few projects.  But it wasn't long before I wanted a dedicated mill and upgraded to that.  But the milling attachment is a $65 upgrade, compared to a $800 machine.  It was a good compromise for me initially as an introduction into the hobby.

Anyway, they are both good machines with slight differences.  I don't know Taig's availability in Europe.  I think its available in the UK as Petol or something like that.

You won't go wrong with a Sherline, but I just wanted to give you some other options to consider if you're so inclined.

Best of luck as you select your machine!
Kim

Offline nats

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 16
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2019, 01:53:58 PM »
I took a look at Taig lathe, the one you're talking about is a Micro-Lathe-II ? Because they also make a TaigTurn which is heavy and seems like an hybrid between a lathe and a mill.
The Micro-Lathe-II seems really cool, I'll try to see if it's possible to have it in Europe to compare.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 02:15:02 PM by nats »

Offline gerritv

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 539
  • St Catharines, ON
    • Gerrit's Hobbies
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2019, 02:36:37 PM »
I have a Taig, nice machine. Easy to make add-ons such as ER32 collet chuck as they have spindle mount blanks available.
I think in EU (at least in UK) they are branded Peatol.

The Taig is very suitable to condo/apartment living.

Gerrit
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 02:41:16 PM by gerritv »
Don't confuse activity with progress

Offline Kim

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3540
  • Portland, Oregon, USA
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2019, 05:48:32 PM »
I took a look at Taig lathe, the one you're talking about is a Micro-Lathe-II ? Because they also make a TaigTurn which is heavy and seems like an hybrid between a lathe and a mill.
The Micro-Lathe-II seems really cool, I'll try to see if it's possible to have it in Europe to compare.

Yes, I was talking about the Micro-Lathe-II (http://www.taigtools.com/mlathe.html), which is the one Gerrit is showing in his picture.

The milling attachment I was talking about is much simpler (and less expensive) than the TaigTurn.  It can be seen here: http://www.taigtools.com/c1220.html.  This is an attachment that attaches to the Micro-Lathe-II and gives you some nice milling capability, but with a fairly small work envelope.

Their micro mill can be seen here: http://www.taigtools.com/mmill.html

And based on what Gerrit said, I googled Peatol and came up with this: http://www.peatol.com/

Again, I'm not trying to sell you on one or the other, just provide you some alternatives so you can make the best decision for what you want.

You'll enjoy either of those machines, I have no doubt!
Kim


Offline Roger B

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3854
  • Switzerland
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2019, 06:48:29 PM »
Where in France are you? I am near Zürich and have a Chinese mini lathe that I am not using. You are welcome to borrow it to see what you think. It is bigger than the Taig/Sherline but is easily liftable//carryable.
Best regards

Roger

Online Florian Eberhard

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 430
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2019, 09:28:01 PM »
Hi Mehdi

If you also consider buying a slightly larger lathe than a sherline, a Hobbymat would be a very good aquisition.
This still also qualifies as a tabletop machine though it has quite some weight already.
They show up sometimes here and there.

Or if you can find one - a Technika lathe. I think they come from russia but they are built pretty simliar to the hobbymat  and they are very rugged - at least from what I heard about them (and what they look like)

Florian

Offline nats

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 16
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2019, 10:29:28 PM »
I have a Taig, nice machine. Easy to make add-ons such as ER32 collet chuck as they have spindle mount blanks available.
I think in EU (at least in UK) they are branded Peatol.

The Taig is very suitable to condo/apartment living.

I bookmarked your blog a lot of interesting resources  :)

Where in France are you? I am near Zürich and have a Chinese mini lathe that I am not using. You are welcome to borrow it to see what you think. It is bigger than the Taig/Sherline but is easily liftable//carryable.

That's really nice of you ! Sadly I'm a little too far (I live near Paris).

Yes, I was talking about the Micro-Lathe-II (http://www.taigtools.com/mlathe.html), which is the one Gerrit is showing in his picture.

The milling attachment I was talking about is much simpler (and less expensive) than the TaigTurn.  It can be seen here: http://www.taigtools.com/c1220.html.  This is an attachment that attaches to the Micro-Lathe-II and gives you some nice milling capability, but with a fairly small work envelope.

Their micro mill can be seen here: http://www.taigtools.com/mmill.html

And based on what Gerrit said, I googled Peatol and came up with this: http://www.peatol.com/

I was looking at the UK catalog but I got hit by an "important" question, I don't find reference about a metric version, does it exists ?
[Edit: I have a few dial indicator so if I find a way to fix them on the build it could be even better]

If you also consider buying a slightly larger lathe than a sherline, a Hobbymat would be a very good aquisition.
This still also qualifies as a tabletop machine though it has quite some weight already.
They show up sometimes here and there.

There is a currently a yellow hobbymat on the french craigslist (leboncoin) @ 500€, my main concern is about compatible tooling.

At that point I'm considering a good occasion like a schaublin if by chance I find one at an incredible price ;) otherwise a Taig if it exists in metric (the kit concept and the modularity are really cool) and if not I think it'll be a sherline.

Obviously I'll let you know ! :)

Thanks again for all the great advice !
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 11:13:04 PM by nats »

Offline Kim

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3540
  • Portland, Oregon, USA
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2019, 05:27:22 AM »
Hmmmm Taig in Meteric... I've not considered that.  I've never seen any reference to metric either.  I did a quick google search and came up with nothing.  Looks like the recommendation from people is to use a DRO or just measure in metric.  If this is important to you (which I can certainly see) then that may answer your question about whether a Taig is the right choice for you!

You can always write to the Peatol dealer and see if they have a metric version.  Though I didn't see it listed on that site either, and everything was referred to in inches.

Does seem like a bit of a gap for Taig there, doesn't it?

Best of luck in your search, Mehdi!
Kim

Offline Roger B

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3854
  • Switzerland
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2019, 07:25:05 AM »
Best regards

Roger

Offline nats

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 16
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2019, 08:42:56 AM »
I think I can use dial to turn the Taig metric.

I found that: https://www.leboncoin.fr/vi/1559710495.htm/ it's an used hobbymat near my home but I don't know what to ask in order to see if it worth it.

Offline Roger B

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3854
  • Switzerland
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2019, 09:16:51 AM »
From the pictures and description that Hobbymat has been modified with a new motor and variable speed drive. There are none of the normally supplied accessories shown such as, tool holder, change gears for screw cutting, tailstock center, internal jaws for the chuck. You could ask if these parts are included, but I don't think that it is worth EUR 500.

I paid GBP 600 for a Hobbymat with 'everything', four jaw chuck, faceplates, rotating center, drill chuck, collet chuck, quick change tool holder, steadies, etc.
Best regards

Roger

Online Florian Eberhard

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 430
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2019, 09:46:38 AM »
Proxxon also sells Hobby Lathes by the way. Although they are rather expensive for what you get.

Offline Flyboy Jim

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1526
  • Independence, Oregon
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2019, 02:30:55 PM »
Mehdi,

Good work on the research you're doing. As you're finding out there are some great choices out there for small machines. However, in evaluating them it can be a problem of "not knowing what you don't know".

In a "perfect world" one would have each of those machines set up in your shop and then do the same simple project on each of them. By the time you got done, I'm betting you would know which machine and tooling was going to work best for you. Short of that I can recommend the late Joe Martins book "Tabletop Machining" :https://www.sherline.com/product/5301-tabletop-machining/ as a way to gain some insight into the operation of these small machines.. Joe Martin was the owner of Sherline, so it's obviously slanted toward Sherline machines and accessories. Not altogether a bad thing, since it does provide a baseline for evaluating your other choices. Also spending time looking at applicable build threads here on MEM will really help.

disclaimer: I have a Sherline lathe and mill with lots of accessories that I'm totally happy with. At this point I can't imagine starting out my machining journey (as a complete novice) with any other system. But then again I also "don't know what I don't know".

Jim
Sherline 4400 Lathe
Sherline 5400 Mill
"You can do small things on big machines, but you can do small things on small machines".

Offline steamer

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10143
  • Central Massachusetts, USA
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2019, 05:35:13 PM »
"......not knowing what you dont know".....

None of us do!.....lol.
"Mister M'Andrew, don't you think steam spoils romance at sea?"
Damned ijjit!

Offline nats

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 16
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2019, 09:41:33 AM »
Hello,
Sorry for the late response but I took few days to dig and read more :)
I think I made my choice and I'll try to explain why, it may be useful to an other newbie down the same road !

I quickly ruled out used lathe on ebay and craigslist, why ?
Because I'm a newbie and it causes a lot of problem, the first one is how to know if the lathe is indeed in a good working order. It's hard to check that especially in case the  bed or the leadscrew is slightly damaged like twisted bed. Second point, in case of problem I'm still unable to fix it and I don't know how to use a lathe to make tooling for old lathe.
Final point, an used benchtop lathe in a good shape is often still expensive (close to the new price).

I ruled out hobbymat and similar lathe, why ?
Because of space :) I live near Paris so in a small apartment and I wanted something heavy to use without much noise and that can be enclosed in a small space. For someone with a small basement or a dedicated room it could be a good solution.

So here we are basically Sherline vs Taig, for what I saw on Internet it can quickly turn into rumble, not the nice one at the end of the rugby match more the religious rumble :)
So keep in mind it's what i'm thinking with my knowledge on that field being ZERO :)

I think I'll go for the Taig, I have a lot of reason for that. The first one is the price, it's low for an apparently really good quality, and if I quickly realize I need something more than a micro lathe it'll be less money lost, but that reason is far from being the main one. I like the look and feel of the Taig, mainly because it gives me plenty of idea for modification like a lot of Taig user, and I agrees with something I red, it's easier to modify a Taig than a Sherline, the Sherline is so clean and beautiful you don't want to drill holes in it :)
The main drawback I see in Taig now is the lack of metric version, but I think I can use dial and caliper to compensate for that, and i'll certainly try to change their leadscrew to a metric one later.
Again as a newbie I don't know what I'll need in the future and I think on that, Taig is better because it's sort of an evolving tool, so let's see how it goes I'll try to contact peatol in UK to see what I can get !

Thanks all for all your advice, I'll keep you posted about my journey in that passionating world :)

Offline b.lindsey

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13367
  • Dallas, NC, USA
    • Workbench-Miniatures
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2019, 12:49:34 PM »
That sounds like some logical decision making Mehdi. Keep us posted on what you find out as to availability.

Bill

Offline Flyboy Jim

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1526
  • Independence, Oregon
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2019, 03:47:56 PM »
Mehdi,
That's good you're spending the time to research this.

I'll throw this out. Remember this is just my personal opinion. The lack of a metric version would be a deal breaker for me. I tried to imagine using my inch lathe in the metric system and it would be a real hassle for me. Way too much conversion. I'm surprised that Taig doesn't have a metric version. The other thing I'd miss (that the Sherline lathe has) is the zero adjustable dial on the carriage handle. I use it all the time for moving the carriage an exact distance for cutting shoulders, etc.

That said the Taig looks like a sturdy unit. I'd love to work with one sometime for comparison. I've also heard that their mill is a little heavier duty than the Sherline mill..........although my Sherline mill has done great for everything I've asked of it.

Here's a link to Carter Tools with lots of Taig information (if you haven't found it already):  http://www.cartertools.com

Jim
Sherline 4400 Lathe
Sherline 5400 Mill
"You can do small things on big machines, but you can do small things on small machines".

Offline b.lindsey

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13367
  • Dallas, NC, USA
    • Workbench-Miniatures
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2019, 04:07:21 PM »
Mehdi, When I bought my Cowells lathe I knew it was a metric machine even though I do mostly inch work. To solve that problem I fitted it with an inexpensive DRO set-up documented here:
http://www.modelenginemaker.com/index.php/topic,7177.0.html

Something you might also consider even though your situation is the reverse from mine...inch machine that you want to do metric work on.

The DRO allows easy switching between metric and inch regardless of the machines basic set-up.

Bill

Offline nats

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 16
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2019, 10:10:29 PM »
Hello,
I made a list of what I want in my "Taig kit of dream !"  and will contact peatol to see if it's ok and what are their opinion.
I guess I'll buy the lathe next month (I need to save a little because it'll not be cheap).
I'll let you know :)

Offline Kim

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3540
  • Portland, Oregon, USA
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2019, 12:26:25 AM »
These are exciting times! :)
Make sure and keep us posted.  And show pictures of your new additions!!!
We all like new tools!

Kim

Offline b.lindsey

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13367
  • Dallas, NC, USA
    • Workbench-Miniatures
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2019, 12:32:32 AM »
That is great.i hope the supplier can fulfill your dream machine. Excited for you.

Bill

Offline MJM460

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 828
  • Melbourne, Australia
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #33 on: February 13, 2019, 11:04:36 AM »
Hi Nats, our local supplier of Sieg machines has metric lead screws on the C2 and SC3 series.  I don’t know if this is something special he orders for sale here, but got to be worth asking.

It’s worth saving up to get the best lathe you can afford.  In my experience, over a few years you can easily spend more than the lathe cost on accessories and tooling, even without going overboard, so might as well have as good a lathe as you can get.  It is quite hard to upgrade for most of us, other than total replacement. 

Just my 2 cents worth.

You are in for an exciting time, and we are all interested to see how you go.

MJM460

The more I learn, the more I find that I still have to learn!

Offline nats

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 16
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2019, 04:13:24 PM »
Hello,
While digging on the internet I found that: https://www.leboncoin.fr/vi/1567266474.htm/
I'm wondering what it worth, the price is low and it seems in good shape, but I red that unimat 4 is a low quality copy of unimat 3...
The price is tempting...

Offline b.lindsey

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13367
  • Dallas, NC, USA
    • Workbench-Miniatures
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2019, 04:35:14 PM »
For what it's worth, I would stay with one of the known brands, be it Taig, Sherline, or Seig, mainly for the availability of accessories which will be needed as already noted. Make the decision based on capabilities and what you desire to do with it and not on price alone. All of the brands mentioned are what I would call moderate for getting started. But again I would stay with one that can grow with you as your skills and needs develop.

Bill

Offline Roger B

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3854
  • Switzerland
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #36 on: February 14, 2019, 05:40:18 PM »
That doesn't look too bad. From the picture the bed looks ok and there is some tooling to get you started. For that price you could always sell it on later if you find the need to upgrade.
Best regards

Roger

Online Florian Eberhard

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 430
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #37 on: February 15, 2019, 01:53:27 PM »
. For that price you could always sell it on later if you find the need to upgrade.
Just what I was going to say. Also, you will get a feel for what you need and you didn't spend lots of money to get there if you buy this one.

Florian

Offline Flyboy Jim

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1526
  • Independence, Oregon
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #38 on: February 15, 2019, 05:04:52 PM »
For what it's worth, I would stay with one of the known brands, be it Taig, Sherline, or Seig, mainly for the availability of accessories which will be needed as already noted. Make the decision based on capabilities and what you desire to do with it and not on price alone. All of the brands mentioned are what I would call moderate for getting started. But again I would stay with one that can grow with you as your skills and needs develop.

Bill

I concur with Bill.

As you can see there's different opinions on how to approach this. To reinforce what Bill said, I'd urge you to spend some time defining the sort of projects you'd like accomplish with a lathe (and hopefully a mill). That will help define the sort of accessories you'll need and you can evaluate your lathe and mill needs based on that. What I tend to do with purchases like this is start from the end of "money is no object" and work backwards. This lets you then learn what the capabilities of "top of the line" equipment are and then can evaluate what of those capabilities you want and need. This will let you evaluate if the lower priced equipment will be able to do the operations that you want to do.

OH yeah............one last bit of input.............when looking at prices I've discovered that if you say the number (price) real fast it's easier to swallow!  :ROFL:

Jim
Sherline 4400 Lathe
Sherline 5400 Mill
"You can do small things on big machines, but you can do small things on small machines".

Offline steamer

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10143
  • Central Massachusetts, USA
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #39 on: February 15, 2019, 05:16:41 PM »
For what it's worth, I would stay with one of the known brands, be it Taig, Sherline, or Seig, mainly for the availability of accessories which will be needed as already noted. Make the decision based on capabilities and what you desire to do with it and not on price alone. All of the brands mentioned are what I would call moderate for getting started. But again I would stay with one that can grow with you as your skills and needs develop.

Bill

What Bill said   The Taig and Sherlines lif cared for well, rarely sell for a loss, so the risk is low
"Mister M'Andrew, don't you think steam spoils romance at sea?"
Damned ijjit!

Offline Neil-Lickfold

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 66
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #40 on: February 15, 2019, 07:56:07 PM »
The biggest issue I have seen with the Taig type lathes, is the roundness of the bearing assembly on the small lathes.
At best they are not as good as they could be, the one I saw had a roundness error of about 0.008mm  which really is quite a lot.
The new bearing set it was about 0.006mm . Still not that great really. The problem is, a precision set of spindle bearings cost nearly as much as the base machine does. A real catch 22 for sure. For a lot of people, the 6um roundness is not an issue to them. It would just drive  me nuts . That is why so many people need to make laps or other bore or shaft correcting measures, is to compensate for poor bearings.The rest of the Taig and Sherline gear is actually quite reasonable stuff. Easy to adjust and set up and you can take small cuts with quite good control. Sherline make some really nice accessories and great little 4 jaw chucks and small rotary tables, and indexing heads.  The taig type systems are used as the basis for a lot of cue making lathes. I made my own spindle pack for a cue lathe. Used some taper roller bearings in one headstock, and was not happy with the roundness of it. So made another and used good angular contact bearings in that one. It is not perfect but is within 0.003mm for roundness. I replaced the timken rollers and put angular contacts in the spare spindle. Now I have a long bed lathe with 2 work heads. 
Anyway, buy the machine with the biggest through spindle bore hole you can afford. If you can only afford 1 chuck with it, get the 4 jaw 1st. Some 4jaw chucks come with a set of T slots on the face, and can double up as a faceplate as well. The T slots are actually for adding balancing material for odd off centre turning.
Any lathe is always better than no lathe.  Thread cutting , although is a nice to have , is not always totally necessary. Good taps and dies are in my view the cheapest they have ever been, and most are of very good quality.  Sherline and others make really great tap and die holding attachments as well. These allow you to hold by hand the tap or die, as it feeds in. When it gets to depth,just let it go and it stops feeding and will rotate with the workpiece.
As for the power needed, it just determines the volume or metal removal rate. Drilling 4340 for example is not easy on a low powered spindle.  Something with 500w to 750w will do a hang of a lot with sharp tools. The ability to run it in reverse is also extremely handy. If you buy a lathe with thread cutting ability, adding a VFD, Variable frequency drive, has just so many advantages, especially when thread cutting.
Often slide ways can be adjusted etc , so in my view the headstock spindle assembly is the most important part to look at .
Neil

Offline steamer

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10143
  • Central Massachusetts, USA
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #41 on: February 15, 2019, 11:56:41 PM »
OK    enough...

Listen everyone.    This post should be about helping a new person get into this hobby, to get started...Not a dissertation on high end machine  tool design and construction.

A new person to this hobby has the unenviable task of sorting the real from the esoteric.   That's not fair.  Unfortunately...its reality.   

People are not taught the basics of machining anymore.   As a person with no experience, you don't even know what you don't know!!  How do you choose?

Well  Listen....it's not that hard.   I'll Show what can be done with the tools that are affordable, and available, and don't require a masters degree in machine tool design and three decades of experience

The Sherline and the Taig have and will continue to be great lathes to get started with.    Many wonderful engines have been made with both.  Many of those engines can be found here on the pages of this forum.

Are they a Schaublin 70 hand scraped by the trolls of the black forest?   NO!    That' doesn't matter!

What matters is learning to use the tool!  Case in point the following I present as exhibits of proof to my argument.   

Bill Lindsay's Briggs and Stratton  in 1/2 scale done nearly exclusively on his Sherlines    Yes it does run quite nicely   There's a great video of it running on the front page

 http://www.modelenginemaker.com/index.php/topic,350.msg2247.html#msg2247

Bill Lindsay's  "Tiny" Engine... done on his Sherline and Cowells   It's a little thing!!!

http://www.modelenginemaker.com/index.php/topic,6908.0.html

The Taig and Sherline work just fine, hold their value, and have parts availability and frankly are very affordable.

You need a Headstock for either?   Call and it's be shipped ....Over night if you like!.    Try that with a Southbend, Lorch, Myford, Logan, Monarch,.......don't bother   it's not happening.

If you decide to get into this hobby, they're a great jump off point.   You can have a full machine shop, and have money left over for the books you SHOULD have to further your education.

LIKE

https://www.amazon.com/Tabletop-Machining-Joe-Martin/dp/0966543300/ref=asc_df_0966543300/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312021262032&hvpos=1o5&hvnetw=g&hvrand=6581675120559184749&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9001782&hvtargid=pla-584692406815&psc=1

And the "Good Book" itself

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=machinery%27s+handbook&i=stripbooks&crid=3M4FNPO7HP66T&sprefix=Machinery%2Cstripbooks%2C132&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_9


If you grow with the hobby, at some point, you will decide you want bigger, badder, more power super duper assembled by the "Chief Wizard"at the Voldemont Lathe works!!!!....GREAT!    by then you'll know enough to know what you want to do with the hobby, and what you will need.

The Flip side of this argument, is you decide that you DON"T want to pursue this hobby, and you'll sell the equipment.    the Sherline and the Taig hold their value well...and there for, you have very little to loose.

Ive not used the Seig lathes.    I can't speak to it.    So I won't.  No disrespect.

Listen  Nats    this is a very rewarding hobby.   It will try your patience, it will challenge you to be better!  It will teach you new skills and abilities that you never thought you would every know about,  its so cool when you finish the last part, and all of a sudden that pile of parts starts!..and Runs...   It's hard to put words on that.  but it's satisfying I can tell you!

So Lots of advice here.   My biggest piece is invest in your education,    Buy the books.   You won't regret it, regardless of which one you go with..  It will teach you the basics....then...KEEP READING!

Respectfully,

Dave   aka steamer    Global Moderator.....and just another guy who started 35 years ago not knowing much, but was just too stupid to quit.   8)

"Mister M'Andrew, don't you think steam spoils romance at sea?"
Damned ijjit!

Offline 10KPete

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1559
  • Nordland, WA, USA
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2019, 12:06:01 AM »
Thank you Dave!!!

Listen to the man, he knows.

Pete
Craftsman, Tinkerer, Curious Person.
Retired, finally!
SB 10K lathe, Benchmaster mill. And stuff.

Offline b.lindsey

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13367
  • Dallas, NC, USA
    • Workbench-Miniatures
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #43 on: February 16, 2019, 12:44:19 AM »
Well said Dave. I agree wholeheartedly. Most of us started with lesser equipment and still use it effectively. Heck, I would love to have a factory fresh hardinge or monarch but that ain't happening anytime soon if ever. That said, I have had many years of happy and productive use of what I started with. As much as I love the little Cowells, the sherline in my case is still the go too machine for many things. I feel sure the Taig folks feel much the same.

Bill

Offline steamer

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10143
  • Central Massachusetts, USA
"Mister M'Andrew, don't you think steam spoils romance at sea?"
Damned ijjit!

Offline Flyboy Jim

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1526
  • Independence, Oregon
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #45 on: February 16, 2019, 03:24:05 AM »
Good input Dave. The only thing I'd add to that, when it comes to reading, is to read as much as you can on this forum. I learned early on, when I started my journey several years ago, that there is a complete machining education buried in these pages. Find build threads that use the equipment you're looking at and give therm a thorough read. That's what I did.

Jim
Sherline 4400 Lathe
Sherline 5400 Mill
"You can do small things on big machines, but you can do small things on small machines".

Offline nats

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 16
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #46 on: February 16, 2019, 10:20:22 AM »
Hello everyone !

I didn't want to start a rumble, I must say all your advice are helpful, I see some of them useful in the short term, and other in the long term.
I realize that a Taig is not a Schaublin 70/102 but I also realize that I'll not need that schaublin for what I want to do at least at start.

Thanks a lot to all of you really, because it helps to have a lot of advice, and thanks for your last post Dave it gives a good idea of what can be done !

In the same idea I found that channel yesterday evening while youtubing in bed: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMHn1eQLofbEeOczp7qCsBw (I don't know if working with clothe on the lathe bed is the best idea in the world...) it also gives a good idea of what sherline/taig can do and what are their limits (and also how to correct some problems !)

So now I'm convinced that Taig/Sherline is certainly what I need for a start and as all of you said it's not a loss because either i'll resell it or keep it for small work later :)

I keep this thread as a reference because you indeed find a lot of "Cazeneuve/Mori Seiki or die" on the interweb and this one can help for a beginner.
So Taig it'll be (I'll also learn how to assemble it)

Look at the book link I'll certainly get some :)

PS:
The reason I'm interested in micro ICE is because I needed a reason to learn machining (and especially using lathe) because I have an ongoing project of different kind of motor. Initially I wanted to be able to machine a Macor block to make a tiny Ionic Thruster. But I think I'll keep doing the two now/

Offline steamer

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10143
  • Central Massachusetts, USA
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #47 on: February 16, 2019, 11:21:57 AM »
Hello everyone !

I didn't want to start a rumble, I must say all your advice are helpful, I see some of them useful in the short term, and other in the long term.
I realize that a Taig is not a Schaublin 70/102 but I also realize that I'll not need that schaublin for what I want to do at least at start.

Thanks a lot to all of you really, because it helps to have a lot of advice, and thanks for your last post Dave it gives a good idea of what can be done !

In the same idea I found that channel yesterday evening while youtubing in bed: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMHn1eQLofbEeOczp7qCsBw (I don't know if working with clothe on the lathe bed is the best idea in the world...) it also gives a good idea of what sherline/taig can do and what are their limits (and also how to correct some problems !)

So now I'm convinced that Taig/Sherline is certainly what I need for a start and as all of you said it's not a loss because either i'll resell it or keep it for small work later :)

I keep this thread as a reference because you indeed find a lot of "Cazeneuve/Mori Seiki or die" on the interweb and this one can help for a beginner.
So Taig it'll be (I'll also learn how to assemble it)

Look at the book link I'll certainly get some :)

PS:
The reason I'm interested in micro ICE is because I needed a reason to learn machining (and especially using lathe) because I have an ongoing project of different kind of motor. Initially I wanted to be able to machine a Macor block to make a tiny Ionic Thruster. But I think I'll keep doing the two now/


Good!   Im just glad all this didn't turn you off.  If you need any help putting the taig together, please feel free to reach out to the team here, and we'll help with advice.

Dave
"Mister M'Andrew, don't you think steam spoils romance at sea?"
Damned ijjit!

Offline Roger B

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3854
  • Switzerland
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #48 on: February 16, 2019, 03:14:03 PM »
"Initially I wanted to be able to machine a Macor block to make a tiny Ionic Thruster." Interesting  :thinking: What sort of voltage are you thinking of using? (my day job is with Megavoltage industrial electron accelerators)
Best regards

Roger

Offline nats

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 16
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #49 on: February 17, 2019, 06:09:33 PM »
I found some paper with micro thruster at few hundred Volt, I'll try to work on that (few mm thruster opening).
I never worked with plasma so a lot to learn in the way, the first one being able to work on prototype to test :)

Offline nats

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 16
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #50 on: March 10, 2019, 05:36:32 PM »
Hello guys !
So finally some news I just received my Lathe and I'm making some stand for it :)
But as usual you search for something and end with something different, I got a proxxon PD250E in the end because I had a good deal for a new one
and it's "ready" out of the box :)
I also got some raw material to work on, I'll post the first test :))

Offline gerritv

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 539
  • St Catharines, ON
    • Gerrit's Hobbies
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #51 on: March 10, 2019, 06:08:58 PM »
Congratulations. That looks very capable. And lots of attachments available.

Gerrit
Don't confuse activity with progress

Offline sorveltaja

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 84
  • Finland
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #52 on: March 10, 2019, 06:56:22 PM »
Nats, congratulations. I have a similar model, PD210, although it's 20 years old. Still in working condition, but I haven't enough room to use it at the moment.

Looking forward for your future projects.   

Offline Kim

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3540
  • Portland, Oregon, USA
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #53 on: March 10, 2019, 09:31:30 PM »
Looks like a great machine, Nats!  Be sure and let us know how the first swarf goes :)   :ThumbsUp: :ThumbsUp:
Kim

Offline b.lindsey

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13367
  • Dallas, NC, USA
    • Workbench-Miniatures
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #54 on: March 10, 2019, 10:54:22 PM »
Congrats Nats. New machines are always fun, and I wish you many hours/years of productive use from it.

Bill

Offline steamer

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10143
  • Central Massachusetts, USA
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #55 on: March 10, 2019, 10:55:36 PM »
Congratulations!
"Mister M'Andrew, don't you think steam spoils romance at sea?"
Damned ijjit!

Offline nats

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 16
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #56 on: May 06, 2019, 11:03:25 PM »
Hello,

I'm sorry to have been away for so long but I had a lot of work. Anyway I continued my adventure in the mechanical engineering world :)
I did some test and got few interesting results (just lathing no motor for now).
I got a good deal for a set of Horn Supermini (Tool holder + 30 differents tools !), I had to make a toolpost for it because the proxxon toolpost is for 8mm tool only !
It was the first things I ever made on a big mill (in the hackerspace), so the toolpost is not totally clean but level and surfaces are ok :)
I'll redo it later to learn more about working with exact measure and dimensions.

I post few pictures here.

On a side note I think I'll try to get also a small bench mill because I feel like I need it for almost 90% of what I want to do, it spread like a virus :D

Offline Mcgyver

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 151
  • Toronto
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #57 on: May 06, 2019, 11:50:03 PM »

Hello everyone !

Whats need go to do with anything? :)  If it was just about need I'd be able to fit two cars in the garage and not have sprawled over two rooms in the basement

congrats on the lathe, have fun with it.

Online Admiral_dk

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1301
  • Søften - Denmark
Re: Advice on small lathes
« Reply #58 on: May 07, 2019, 11:53:10 AM »
Fine toolholder - should serve you nicely  :ThumbsUp: