Author Topic: Is this lathe worth buying for constructing small engines.  (Read 5799 times)

Online gipetto

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It's hard for me to buy stuff because i've no credit card but this site takes bank transfer and i figure i can make my own chisels from old metal files, so i won't get stuck without parts. should i go for the first one for 1000 euro or the second for half that. I don't know anything about lathes, but i've found that tools tend to pay for themselves over time so might as well.

https://www.reichelt.de/ie/en/drehmaschine-micromot-pd-250-e-proxxon-24002-p358376.html

https://www.reichelt.de/ie/en/drehmaschine-micromot-fd-150-e-proxxon-24150-p358460.html

the description mentions the 1000 euro lathe can cut threads. is this important for engine building, since threads can be tapped by hand. i have often done so. its it worth shelling out for that extra feature.

Offline ShopShoe

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Re: Is this lathe worth buying for constructing small engines.
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2024, 02:57:44 PM »
gipetto,

Since no one else has responded to your questions I will take a stab at answering your questions.

You have to learn somewhere and you have to start with something, so I commend you for looking for a very basic place to begin. The lathes you have selected are in the “micro” category and only do very small things. I am familiar with Proxxon tools and have some myself, but not one of their lathes and I think they might work if you consider small projects and realize that cutting metal with small lathes and mills must be done in small bites and will take longer than can be accomplished with larger tools that have more power.

You say that you do not know anything about lathes, but you can learn about basic terminology and working techniques online. As a start, realize that “centre height” (“swing” in the US) is the radius of the largest item you can put in the lathe. (swing is the diameter, or twice the radius.)

“Centre Distance” is the longest item you can turn between the headstock and the tailstock. If you use a chuck for work holding, that measurement will be less than center-to-center distance.

So, the basic difference between the two machines is the “!000-euro” lathe will handle larger projects.

As far as threading, it is always useful to have as a feature and single-point threading is considered a basic skill for a metal turner. It would allow you to make odd-sized threaded parts that you might not find a die for or collecting “all” the dies you would need cost quite a lot.

Be aware that you will need accessories and tooling to start using your lathe, so make sure that you can also afford to buy what you need to get started.  Some may come with the lathe, but my German is not good enough to get that information from the links you posted.

You will need:  Headstock and tailstock centers.
        Chuck: 3-jaw for holding round stock, a 4-jaw independent chuck can be used to hold              round or not-round stock, but needs a dial indicator to center the work. (Most own             both types of chuck.  You can start with the 3-jaw)
         Tailstock chuck for drilling.
         Toolbits for cutting: several profiles are used for specific types of cuts.
         Boring bar(s) for internal turning.

If you do buy a lathe, post your learning experiences so that others may learn from you and so that we might be able to help you develop your skills.

By the way, you can practice turning with materials other than metal, so you save wear and tear on your tooling and save money. There are plastics and there is also (at least here in the US) what is called “machinable wax.” These materials are often used in introductory machining classes.

ShopShoe

Online gipetto

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Re: Is this lathe worth buying for constructing small engines.
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2024, 03:25:40 PM »
i translated the german parts of the thread cutting lathe on google translate. it says the 3 jaw chuck is included, but i see no mention of a chuck for the tailstock. i suppose one could be fashioned, as chucks are common, and there are several engineering businesses nearby. i understand the need for a stationary drill bit as it is more accurate in finding the center of a shaft.
I guess that when building an engine from scratch it is only necessary to use the same thread everywhere, widespread compatibility is overkill.
I have heard reference to crashing the head on a lathe. does that mean that the support is moved into the head chuck preventing it from turning and bending the shaft?
also does the threading lathe have tapered bearings, i have seen articles that mention how that is important.

Precision lathe PD 250/E

For face, longitudinal and taper turning, thread cutting.
For processing steel, brass, aluminum and plastic.
Mounting flange for attaching the drilling and milling device PF 230.

Center width 250 mm. Center height 70 mm. Center height above support 43 mm.

Machine bed: Made of machine cast with wide prism guide. For vibration-free work even under high loads. Flange on the back for attaching the milling machine PF 230. Covered lead screw.

Headstock: Made of die-cast aluminum. Precision-bearing main spindle (concentricity without chuck 1/100 mm) with 10.5 mm passage. Hollow drilled 70 mm to 14 mm on the chuck side. With MK 2 recording. Rotary switch for switching on the automatic feed via the lead and pull spindle (either 0.05 or 0.1 mm/rev).

Tailstock: Made of die-cast aluminum. Quill Ø 18 mm, extendable up to 30 mm. With millimeter scale, MK 1 mount and rotating center punch.

Support: Bed carriage made of die-cast zinc. Cross slide and top slide made of steel (adjustment 60 or 45 mm). Reversible steel holder for turning steels size 8 x 8 mm.

Drive: Quiet DC special motor with 3-stage belt transmission for 300 - 900 and 3,000 rpm. Thanks to additional speed control (full-wave electronics), it can also be continuously adjusted to 100 - 300 or 1,000 rpm depending on the belt ratio. Right and left rotation. Relay switch with emergency stop function and restart protection.

Lathe chuck: High-quality 3-jaw chuck according to DIN 8386 Class 1 (concentricity tolerance 0.04 mm). Clamping range thanks to reversible jaws from 2 - 75 mm. In addition, lathe chuck protection with safety shutdown.

Handwheels: Made of aluminum, with adjustable scale ring (1 graduation = 0.05 mm, 1 revolution = 1 mm).

Thread cutting device: With change gears for left and right-hand threads of the most important pitches (0.5 - 0.625 - 0.7 - 0.75 - 0.8 - 1 - 1.25 - 1.5).

Other technical data: 230 V. 50/60 Hz. Size L 560, D 270, H 170 mm. Weight approx.

Offline crueby

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Re: Is this lathe worth buying for constructing small engines.
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2024, 04:12:28 PM »
I don't have any experience with the Proxxon lathe, but I recall there are some others here who have one. Try searching for Proxxon Lathe on the forum?

Offline Roger B

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Re: Is this lathe worth buying for constructing small engines.
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2024, 05:31:38 PM »
I have the smaller FD150. It is fine for the tasks I bought it for but has too many limitations to be the first lathe for building engines.

The PD250 I think would be suitable. It has all the accessories you would need and can be expanded with the milling attachment. It does offer a tailstock chuck. The Proxxon website gives a lot of detail.

https://www.proxxon.com/en/micromot/24002.php
Best regards

Roger

Online Jo

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Re: Is this lathe worth buying for constructing small engines.
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2024, 05:55:48 PM »
The Proxon machines are well made but I wish their electronics are more reliable.

For the budget a Hobbymat MD65 would be a better buy ... Ask Roger, he has my old one  ;)


Just trying to remember when I used a small lathe to cut a thread  :noidea: Nope I use dies up to about 6mm/ 1/4" threads.

Jo
Enjoyment is more important than achievement.

Online gipetto

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Re: Is this lathe worth buying for constructing small engines.
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2024, 07:34:14 PM »
that's it though, even if i never used the screwcutting function i'd still need to purchase the high end model to have the expandability for milling machine functionality, extra bed length and extra horsepower. and i know even less about them than about a lathe. I know what a lathe looks like but i was never allowed use one in woodshop.

what advantage is a milling machine on a lathe over a standalone milling machine. it looks very wobbly as there's little support is it to allow you to cut channels for a woodruff key in a crankshaft.

Offline Roger B

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Re: Is this lathe worth buying for constructing small engines.
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2024, 07:43:01 PM »
If you have the space and money a stand alone milling machine is a better option. The combined machine allows you to use the lathe carriage and cross slide as milling slides. I have a combined machine due to lack of space.
Best regards

Roger

Offline Jasonb

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Re: Is this lathe worth buying for constructing small engines.
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2024, 07:44:42 PM »
Although you may not have that much need to cut threads on a small lathe the big advantage of the 250 over the 150 is the fact it has a leadscrew which will also provide automatic feed which is a big advantage over hand feeding. The 150 does not have a leadscrew

If you want to make small IC engines then the ability to cut fine pitch threads of reasonable say 20mm diameter is also an advantage should the design have the cylinder screw into the crankcase

Nothing will be as good as a stand-alone milling machine but the rear column is going to be better than milling with a vertical slide and the cutter held in the lathe chuck. really comes down to your budget and available space.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2024, 08:16:18 PM by Jasonb »

Offline steamer

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Re: Is this lathe worth buying for constructing small engines.
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2024, 08:13:32 PM »
For my ONLY  lathe I would.buy the largest you can afford.    Buying new.lets you buy the accessories which are important.   

Dave
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Online Jo

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Re: Is this lathe worth buying for constructing small engines.
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2024, 08:47:33 PM »
There are lots of variables here... So back to basics:

What do you want to build?
What sort of funds do you have to spend?
How much space do you have for a workshop?

and do you have other constraints on model making? (Like have you ever used lathe/milling machines before? As such constraints may suggest that you need to build up your skills before taking on something more challenging)

We know other people in Ireland who might be able to point you towards somewhere local to buy second hand tool/machines (who take cash  :-X )

Jo
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Online gipetto

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Re: Is this lathe worth buying for constructing small engines.
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2024, 10:44:03 PM »
I'd like to build a v5 ohv petrol engine. i know that will most likely be too large to fit on the lathe and it's beyond my skill level currently and possibly permanently, due to deteriorating cognitive deficits. for me it is use it or lose it. I would start with a single cylinder. I have a notion of building it like the holt 75 with separate crankcase, that would keep the size down.

i would like to keep spending on tools under 2k euro, i don't mind spending more on materials, because that is the nature of the beast, and possibly i would have something to sell resulting from the input costs that i could recoup. i have little hope of that though from past experiences.
In a previous life i spent about that much over a decade on radio equipment, and i was satisfied with the budgetary economics of it.

I would like to put the lathe in my bedroom as the heating would keep it from rusting. there is a space 2mx1m i could put it. if i welded up a tray to catch the shavings it might be possible to live in the room without drawing blood. if it does not work out there is a 17th century dwelling house without doors but with electricity and rats, pigeons, a room 5mx5m that was recently roofed. everything rusts in it, but it can be slathered with oil after use.

constraints: I don't know how to use vernier callipers or a micrometer. i have a aldi digital calliper though that i doubt still works. one of my favourite subjects in school was technical graphics and i was good at it for a while. i could draw ellipses, divide lines with arcs or divide a line into equal lengths and so on. i have the basics. I also designed some levels for quake 1 in worldcraft, it's quite similar.

I have never used a lathe, or milling machine. I am proficient with a welder hand drill, drill press and angle grinder, i have built numerous trailers from angle iron and wood. i am frequently employed to do roofing repairs on the farm, hanging gates, making gates and so on. I have also rebuilt several diesel engines.

There is an irish site adverts.ie that has a few lathes, though most adverts are drop shipping companies. I no longer use facebook so can't check there. i prefer to buy locally as it is less disruptive to my routine. I am terrible with people so it is easier to buy a new lathe from a faceless website. it will not be questioned, and it avoids confrontation. when i buy used equipment i tend to buy from a friend that i know i can trust. also since i am not good with navigation if i asked a parent to travel with me they might get cold feet without telling me creating a stressful situation in the home. this has happened in the past.

Offline pirmin

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Re: Is this lathe worth buying for constructing small engines.
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2024, 03:48:29 AM »
i recommend you honestly to look for a used but good condition EMCO Lathe ! there are many models from compact5 and compact 8 up to bigger models! i use one and they are made to a superb high quality !!!!

Offline steamer

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Re: Is this lathe worth buying for constructing small engines.
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2024, 04:08:52 AM »
There are lots of variables here... So back to basics:

What do you want to build?
What sort of funds do you have to spend?
How much space do you have for a workshop?

and do you have other constraints on model making? (Like have you ever used lathe/milling machines before? As such constraints may suggest that you need to build up your skills before taking on something more challenging)

We know other people in Ireland who might be able to point you towards somewhere local to buy second hand tool/machines (who take cash  :-X )

Jo

i recommend you honestly to look for a used but good condition EMCO Lathe ! there are many models from compact5 and compact 8 up to bigger models! i use one and they are made to a superb high quality !!!!

All excellent advise.    The most important thing right now is knowledge.    Getting some help, first hand is going to be important.
I stand behind my advise.   I also think you need a lathe that is not a project, but a tool that behaves itself, and acts predictably.   That will help your learning curve.    That is why I suggested a new lathe, but a Good used one is completely reasonable, and the lower price doesn't hurt either.    Right now is not the time to learn how to buy a used lathe, so this is where getting some help, first hand,  would be a good thing!. 

This is a great hobby, and I hope you take it one step at a time, ask questions ...lots of questions!     and have fun.   Glad to help If I can.


Dave
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Damned ijjit!

Offline Zephyrin

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Re: Is this lathe worth buying for constructing small engines.
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2024, 07:40:30 AM »
I would say that the proxxon 250 is a good choice to start with, if the models you will intent to do are small, ie under 10 cm3....a good drill press is also a mandatory equipment, the vertical milling attachment seems therefore a good option.
if you plan to built larger model, with larger tooling, the aloted 2x1m is basically too small; hence you will have to install your bedroom in the old dwelling house, with some mousetraps. it’s all about where we call home!
« Last Edit: May 21, 2024, 07:43:50 AM by Zephyrin »

 

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