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Precision Lathe

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I want to make small precision things within 0.001" accuracy, the diameter of the TEFLON rod is only 3/8". I have been looking for a precision lathe for three months! I don't know which lathe I should buy, WABECO D2000, Schaublin 102, EMCO compact 5,.... could you please help me to find a suitable lathe? I'm really frustrated after three months!
(I have found several Schaublin 102 but all of them are plain lathe, I mean without any leadscrew.) I have checked most of YouTube videos and other forums but I need to finalize my decision.

This is an instrument which I should make, as you see there are two 1.5mm grooves within 0.025mm accuracy around the rod.


I am not sure what lathes are available in the States: One that can easily do what you are asking is a Hardinge but the three lathes you have quoted are bench top lathes. Which makes me ask: Do you want a bench top lathe? Or do or have space for a floor standing one?

"Small precision" to me implies watchmaking lathes but to a marine engineer they would have a different concept of small. Threads under about 4mm tend not to be cut by the lathe but using dies. I have known engineers thread cut threads on bar stock below 0.5mm diameter :paranoia: just to prove it could be done then another made a matching nut by thread cutting inside the nut... prove his skills were better  :ShakeHead:. Which reminds me I need to cut a 22mm diameter thread for my Schaublin 70  :thinking:

If you are looking for repeatability  you will require some sort of accurate measurement readout on the lathe and if you are looking for 0.025mm repeated accuracy you may also have to consider a level of temperature/humidity stability (model engineers tend to have their lathes in cold damp sheds then put a heater on while working and wonder why things change their sizes  ::) )


In the right hands they will all be capable of working to that accuracy as will many others, I can even do it on my Chinese one.

Yes any old lathe can be made to work accurately in the right hands.

If you want to do the same turning time and time again have you considered a form tool?


Dan Rowe:
It might be helpful to know where in the world you are located. Most folks add their location in the Personal Text box of their Forum Profile.

I agree with Jo small precision lathe to me means a watchmaker's lathe. The names I would consider in this class would be Levin or Derbyshire in the US or Pultra in the UK. This type of lathe is usually a split bed type of lathe and is rarely equipped with a leadscrew that is geared to the spindle. These lathes are usually 50mm lathes so if you want to make things larger than that diameter you need to look elsewhere.

Plastic cuts with a continuous chip that makes a rat nest that will flip around and causes trouble. I took my Sherline outside in the wind to fix this on one job. The long chip just sailed away in the wind.

What other type of work do you plan? You mentioned a lead screw do you want this for power feed or thread cutting or both.

Cheers Dan


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