Author Topic: Optimum lathes and mills  (Read 866 times)

Offline Moper361

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Optimum lathes and mills
« on: June 26, 2019, 12:16:05 PM »
The possabilities of me relocating from Thailand back To perth Australia are starting to be a reality. I have a12 36 lathe and a zf45 mill at the momment in Thailand however if i move i dont think they will be riding along with me unfortunatly. If i move i will be limited to the room i have now .I I have a lot of tooling etc i am looking at taking with me and will sell my lathe and mill and look for new if we shift.I have been looking at optimum BF 20 LV mill and optimum TU 2506 and TU 3008 lathes as these are available around Perth also various other makes of chinese stuff. Is there any fellow members running these machines or have experienced them ? They seem to look reasonable as far as chines lathes and mills go .Im lead to believe they are of german background and made in china .

Offline b.lindsey

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Re: Optimum lathes and mills
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2019, 01:02:18 PM »
Hi Nat coming along and welcome to the forum. I am sure there will be some advice coming along shortly on your question. In the mean time please take the time to post an introduction in the "Introduce Yourself" section so that you can be welcomed to the group and so we may know something of your model engineering interests.

Bill

Offline cnr6400

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Re: Optimum lathes and mills
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2019, 07:40:58 PM »
Hi Moper361,

There was a guy from Australia last year on a UK forum "Model Engineer" who had major problems with an Optimum lathe. One issue I recall was that the leadscrew hole in the tailstock end frame was drilled about 8 mm out of position and this caused a major bind-up of the leadscrew. He also had problems with quality of cut which I recall was traced to excessive play in the cross slide to toolpost joint ie nearly 0.5 mm wobble. He was able to get the thing working but it was a battle. No support from Optimum in Germany, either. They seemed to just be the sales agents, all work done on the machines is in the China factory, and not every machine is inspected by a German technician representing Optimum before it goes out either. Based on this gent's experience with Optimum I'd say there's no advantage to that brand over other China machines I have seen, and they are not worth any price premium over other brands. Might be wise to look up his experiences on the "Model Engineer" forum before buying.

Offline Jasonb

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Re: Optimum lathes and mills
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2019, 08:18:02 PM »
That was one of their smallest basic machines and it was certainly not 8mm out, more like 0.8mm. They do have a higher quality control than some of the other sellers of similar machines

I get one of the German model engineering magazines and they are popular in that with some good work being done on them. Take this chaps models as an example, he made them with an Optimum lathe

Models http://www.vollmer-pb.de/4.html
Workshop tools http://www.vollmer-pb.de/5.html

Offline fumopuc

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Re: Optimum lathes and mills
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2019, 09:20:36 PM »
Hi Moper361,
Welcome to MEM.

My models are all made with the help of an OPTIMUM BF20L mill and a D250x550 Vario lathe of them.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 09:24:32 PM by fumopuc »
Kind Regards
Achim

Offline cnr6400

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Re: Optimum lathes and mills
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2019, 10:16:56 PM »
Hi JasonB, I clearly remember the picture from the gent's thread on "Model Engineer" where the hole was offset by more than the diameter of the leadscrew. It was much more than 0.8 mm off. I believe another gent from up the road from the poster, called "Hopper" as I recall, went by to help out the poster.  That particular lathe was WAY out of whack, and an obvious build error.

Offline Jasonb

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Re: Optimum lathes and mills
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2019, 07:41:48 AM »
The bush with an offset hole to correct the error, does not look like it was offset by 8mm and a quote from Hopper

"But the solution is not too hard. The problem appears to be that pesky bushing at the right hand end is located about .060" (1.5mm) too far out away from the bed."



The owner was a complete beginner and did not even know which way up to mount a lathe tool yet with a bit of fettling was soon making engines on it, even a sterling engine which needs to be built quite accurately.



« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 08:07:36 AM by Jasonb »

Offline cnr6400

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Re: Optimum lathes and mills
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2019, 01:17:17 PM »
Hi JasonB, sorry I remembered the offset wrong.  :facepalm: Thanks for posting the quote and pic from the forum. Glad to hear the lathe owner was able to get his lathe working well. His models are looking great!  :ThumbsUp: :ThumbsUp: :ThumbsUp:

Offline pgp001

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Re: Optimum lathes and mills
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2019, 07:39:25 PM »
This might be worth a look, his you tube video's are quite informative.


Phil

Offline paul gough

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Re: Optimum lathes and mills
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2019, 04:37:37 AM »
A comment from a friend of mine, a fitter and machinist, who has both the Optimum 2506V and an AL 336, (as well as considerably larger machines), both of which he sourced from Hare & Forbes (Machinery House) some years ago. His opinion is that the 2506 is good for 'small work' and as accurate as one can expect for its price. He considers the cross slide to be a little light and does not use the machine near its capacity, preferring to use the 336 with it's heavier cross slide and greater overall mass. He considers the chucks as only O.K. and thinks an ER collet essential for holding small diameter stuff. If you order the four jaw self entering chuck you need to order a backplate for it. He looked at Seig C4 & C6 but preferred Optimum machines. On the small side he has machined things on the Optimum of Gauge One proportions, axles, pistons, bushes etc. but mostly uses it for machining smaller parts for his collection of Talbot vintage cars and small odd jobs. Also stated the reversible lead screw is useful for cutting left hand threads. Hope this is helpful. Regards, Paul Gough.