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Best resasonably priced lathe for mods?
clockworks Offline
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Post: #21
RE: Best resasonably priced lathe for mods?
I've been thinking about getting a bigger lathe for a while now. I currently use a mini lathe (Cowells CW90). It's a great little lathe, but not really up to machining stainless, unless the cuts are very shallow. I'd also need a proper workshop, as I don't want coolant flying around the spare bedroom.

The things that concern me about "cheap" lathes are poor accuracy, and they all seem to be dramatically under-powered. My little Cowells is fitted with a 200 watt (input) motor, which is rated at 125 watts output. These table top lathes are much bigger, but still only fitted with 250 or 350 watt motors. How do they cope without stalling?

My lathe has a variable thyristor drive. Other table-top lathes now seem to use the same thing, but the bigger stuff seems to stick with gears. Pain in the butt for changing speeds, and takes a lot longer to spin down for re-chucking. Noisy, too.
01/11/12 11:34 AM
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RocketScientist Offline
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Post: #22
RE: Best resasonably priced lathe for mods?
Jim, yup - completely understand the issues with engineering & know it won't be easy as pie.

I've been a design engineer for 20 years working on.... (guess) so not exactly ecigs, and unfortunately not on such a small scale either, & not with my own gear that I have to pay for Wink

I have a long standing relationship with a decent machine fab / engineering house that would deal with larger scale stuff, my thinking is to come up with a few small scale things which will probably take a while & then look to move out the actual production if it ever became a chore to deal with quantity.

Very early stages - I'm gonna flesh this out over the next few days & put together a website (just registered). Let's see what happens from there.

Rocket

01/11/12 11:51 AM
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Robzki Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Best resasonably priced lathe for mods?
I like oil/grease/dirt, it's why I only buy broken, rusty and damaged tools, tractors and machinery. If anything round here works when I turn a key or press a button then I know it's a dream and time to wake up soon
01/11/12 01:49 PM
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Jim532 Offline
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Post: #24
RE: Best resasonably priced lathe for mods?
(01/11/12 11:34 AM)clockworks Wrote:  I've been thinking about getting a bigger lathe for a while now. I currently use a mini lathe (Cowells CW90). It's a great little lathe, but not really up to machining stainless, unless the cuts are very shallow. I'd also need a proper workshop, as I don't want coolant flying around the spare bedroom.

The things that concern me about "cheap" lathes are poor accuracy, and they all seem to be dramatically under-powered. My little Cowells is fitted with a 200 watt (input) motor, which is rated at 125 watts output. These table top lathes are much bigger, but still only fitted with 250 or 350 watt motors. How do they cope without stalling?

My lathe has a variable thyristor drive. Other table-top lathes now seem to use the same thing, but the bigger stuff seems to stick with gears. Pain in the butt for changing speeds, and takes a lot longer to spin down for re-chucking. Noisy, too.

The Cowells CW90 is a clock makers lathe so they never thought that it would need a powerful motor. Its not really suitable for stainless. I went for the Chinese one because it has a 550w motor & can handle stainless. The pic below is of the threads & grooves I cut in 304 stainless today using that Chinese lathe. I don't have the appropriate gears to use the Portass lathe for screw cutting so thats why I got that little lathe. So carbide cutting tools with plenty oil & it handles stainless no prob. I would be having an easier time if I used 303 stainless considering the amount of machining that those small parts need as 303 is much easier to machine than 304. Those rods in the pic are 12mm. So I now need to cut the ends off & some more machining & attys will be born.
Although the mini lathe has high & low gears most work will be done in low gear as that gives you up to 1200 rpm so no worries about changing gears all the time.
Enough power to cut threads in 304 stainless & I can take the speed down to 30 rpm & still have enough power. I have been cutting them at around 60 rpm only as its faster & an easy speed to handle.

İmage
01/11/12 02:53 PM
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clockworks Offline
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Post: #25
RE: Best resasonably priced lathe for mods?
So it uses electronic speed control, plus a 2-speed gearbox? You got the CJ18 from Amadeal - yes?

I got the Cowells lathe originally for clock work - a previous employer paid for it as part of my "retraining" package when I was made redundant 15 years ago. Being belt drive, it doesn't really like running at very low speeds - the belt slips, or the motor stalls. It's great for it's intended purpose, but, as you say, not really suitable for working larger diameter hard materials.
01/11/12 06:49 PM
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Jim532 Offline
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Post: #26
RE: Best resasonably priced lathe for mods?
(01/11/12 06:49 PM)clockworks Wrote:  So it uses electronic speed control, plus a 2-speed gearbox? You got the CJ18 from Amadeal - yes?

Yes thats the one. When I desrtoyed the gears in the headstock I had the option to send it back for them to repair. I chose to do it myself as I wanted it fixed ASAP. If I failed to repair it they would still honor the warranty as they had given me permission to dismantle it. They phoned me at 4.30 as soon as the got my email & the new gears arrived the next morning. So their aftersales service is spot on.

I have turned stainless + aluminium in it & never needed to use high gear yet (other than to test). 1200rpm is enough for most jobs. I am not cutting stainless as fast as 1200. Its very powerful & doesn't stall at low speeds when cutting those threads. I have just had it drilling a 9.5mm hole in that 12mm 304 stainless. No using several drills to do that. Just a starter hole 3mm deep with the centre drill then a 9.5mm colalt & in it goes to s depth of 18mm. Sprayed plenty lubricant on it & plenty smoke as it cools the drill & metal down. Done that at around 600rpm http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Black-Decker-P...3a4fc9af38

The variable speed is very controllable & you have digital display so its straight forward. Once you have those lathes set up & modded to your needs you will have a decent little machine.

Its not a myford but it depends what you intend to use it for. I would be confident turning larger rods of stainless in it if needed. Amadeal also fit a 100mm chuck as standard so its about the best deal around at the moment. I was up at 5.30 today & once I had it set up for the thread cutting I have had it working for several hours today. I have only used the big lathe once & that was just for convenience.

To make these lathese very accurate you can fit tapered bearings to them. I know that it costs around £100 to do that but unsure what the charge would be to have it done for you. So if you consider one of these machines & have a bit more to spend then it would be worth asking them what deal they can give you to supply it with tapered bearings fitted. If they change them remember to ask for the original bearings as they are new. Unless they give you a discount to keep them.

So it will take you a day to set it up to be accurate when you get it as far too much play to use as it comes. I wouldn't try to use it as a mill even though there is a milling attachment available for these lathes. If you need a mill buy a seperate milling machine. I have a milling attachment for the Portass but thats another thing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVxP-D0eQnA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVG4CTNWQIY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dq-ZUqMlQlk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53D61AYmaOs
(This post was last modified: 02/11/12 06:18 AM by Jim532. )
01/11/12 09:46 PM
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clockworks Offline
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Post: #27
RE: Best resasonably priced lathe for mods?
Tapered bearings sounds like a good upgrade. Is it tapered roller bearings, or plain conical bearings?

Screw cutting is another thing that my Cowells can't do as standard, although I think that there's an (expensive) upgrade kit available. I never tried screw cutting when I had access to the big lathes at school, either. Is it relatively straightforward - fit correct gear set for required pitch, set spindle speed, stop point and tool depth, and press the button?
02/11/12 08:16 AM
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Jim532 Offline
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Post: #28
RE: Best resasonably priced lathe for mods?
(02/11/12 08:16 AM)clockworks Wrote:  Tapered bearings sounds like a good upgrade. Is it tapered roller bearings, or plain conical bearings?

Screw cutting Is it relatively straightforward - fit correct gear set for required pitch, set spindle speed, stop point and tool depth, and press the button?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ValCayOT...re=related

I had to do the part he shows in the links below without the luxuary of a bearing extraction kit

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vwkc68doF6U
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar3LuDbGM...ure=relmfu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvrY1dpB-...ure=relmfu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PSNYry8t...ure=relmfu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOmJkvK3q...ure=relmfu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89yrWLlXa...ure=relmfu

http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/projects/p...0Guide.pdf

BTW there is no "button" for screwcutting lol. Push the lever down & the carriage will begin autofeed. Push lever up to stop. Just set your compound slide to an angle of 29.5% & make several passes moving the compound control forward a couple of notches each time. I move it 5 notches as the lathe has the power to make big cuts even at low speeds. You can order the metric or imperial version & it comes with a full set of cutting gears. I wouldn.t say that this is a lathe for a complete novice as it needs some tweeks therefore some knowledge of lathes & the ability to modify mechanical things is required. If you can rebuild an old car or bike engine or even fit new rings then you will have no problem tweeking this lathe to suit your needs.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OTLaweoYQ4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuAgIw2JK...ure=relmfu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlBjI9HZA...re=related

I also do internal tapping on it but I just fit the tap in the tail stock & tap the hole at low speed. Then into reverse to extract the tap. So tapping is simple.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAZSGoKh7Ug

Parts
http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/...3-Upgrades

So hoping the above info is of some help so someone. If you intend to buy one of these lathes & think you would consider fitting taper bearings then best to download the above links to your pc for future reference.

If you are really adventurous then you could always get a dream cutter for it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-vBznUtrUg
(This post was last modified: 05/11/12 09:13 AM by Jim532. )
02/11/12 09:34 AM
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clockworks (06/11/12)
clockworks Offline
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Post: #29
RE: Best resasonably priced lathe for mods?
Fitting the tapered bearings looks fairly straightforward - as long as you've got all the required tools to pull the old ones and press on the new ones.

Is it possible to buy a kit with all the required parts and tools, or do you have to hunt around for the right bits?
02/11/12 10:32 AM
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Jim532 Offline
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Post: #30
RE: Best resasonably priced lathe for mods?
(02/11/12 10:32 AM)clockworks Wrote:  Fitting the tapered bearings looks fairly straightforward - as long as you've got all the required tools to pull the old ones and press on the new ones.

Is it possible to buy a kit with all the required parts and tools, or do you have to hunt around for the right bits?
Best to send Amadeal an email with that question. They must have the bearings as they suggested that I fit them whilst I was in there. I thought they would cost much more than I have just discovered
http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/...3-Upgrades

So what accessories are available for this lathe?
http://littlemachineshop.com/products/pr...ccessories
http://littlemachineshop.com/products/pr...rsion+Kits
http://thehobbyistmachineshop.com/shop22.html


Look what this guy is doing to one of Amadeal's mini lathes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mbqzr6ouufc
02/11/12 12:04 PM
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