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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hubbard View Post
    could any of this have to do with the fact that us boomers didn't spend every waking hour trying to get noticed on a chinese communication toy? I spent my childhood making models and building other shit using my imagination as a tool. From what I have seen from the new crowd at work they have no imagination whatsoever.
    I think that's kind of the root of it, actually.

    IMO, previous generations spent their time doing real things. Some out of necessity, (I'm the last generation that unloaded coal from a pickup truck with a shovel to heat dad's house) and some of it for leisure. But, very little of it was mindless. It required some degree of thought. Previous generations seemed better with reading and comprehension. Better attention spans. Maybe this is a byproduct of being raised in the print age?

    The world was different also. The Soviet Union was a major force in world politics and it had a dramatic effect on our domestic politics also.

    I think it was just harder to have your head up your ass then, generally.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by confab View Post
    As I said, i've been looking at larger machines lately and I will get shunned and have my man card taken away for saying this, but the truth is - I also have a Chinese mini lathe and I like it a lot. I've done a ton of stuff with it.

    The powerfeed makes for a nice finish. It takes the patience of a saint to use it, but it was new. It plug into any outlet I want. I've made some really, really nice parts for my bike with it and I did it with carbide index tooling from Amazon and Harbor Freight that the real machinists say isn't good for small machines like mine. It is a larger one (7x14) and most of what I want to do or tune fits in it. They do threading.

    I wish I had bought a slightly bigger one (like a 16 or a 20 inch) with power crossfeed now, but that's it. I won't get rid of it if I buy a bigger machine because it is just too handy and the proportional speed control makes it fabulous. I have no other regrets about buying it. It is perfect.

    There's a kid on youtube named "Tim Nummy" who isn't a machinist either, and he does a lot with one.. Including motorcycle stuff, if you want to see someone new really use and modify one of these on the cheap. It may be edifying?

    Good luck, bro! Let us know what you end up doing! This kind of stuff fascinates me.
    There's nothing wrong with having chinese/budget tools in my eyes (I do stay far away from the bargain tools you find at flea markets however like those super cheap screwdriver sets in the plastic with like 25 drivers for $10) I have tons of harbor freight stuff and mostly stuff I inherited from my grandpa. (Some snap on, Craftsman, also lots of HF tools) so I was lucky as far as hand tools go he was a Trucker and a hobby auto mechanic/car flipper so he had the basic stuff like socket sets and ratchets, wrenches, etc. Anyway its what you do with the tools you have that matters, though ik tools have they're limits. That's why I'm trying to start with something nice and sturdy to give me a little edge.

    I saw you posted about that "Tim Nummy" dude. I was watching his video about the cheap mini mill last night before making this thread.

    I will keep this updated if I can find the time to go pick it up. He said delivery in his post but I should probably go inspect it before forking over the cash for it without testing it. And see about some tooling.

  3. #23

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    Unfortunately the lathe has been sold, he just didnt have the listing removed. I learned some stuff from this thread and I'll keep my eye out for one. No rush anyway. My uncle is a machinist and I'll ask him if he can keep his eye out for a mill and a lathe if he hears of one coming up for sale. I'll update if I spot anything that catches my eye.

  4. #24

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    Alright guy's, I've found a 6x18 Atlas lathe, it looks like it comes with, a tool post ( not quick change) I saw some cutting tools/ tooling, a 4 jaw chuck, has the tail stock, some thread cutting gears I think, and it has some other tools that I'm not familiar with. Here's some pics of them? I

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    He wants $1000 is that a fair price or what should I offer him? Or should I hold out for a larger one?

  5. #25
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    The clamp things are for turning on center, I think. There's a rest. Price should be commensurate with condition, and that is probably on the higher end in this market. Here and for 1k? It should be very nice.

    As far as the size, it depends on what you're doing. You can figure on losing several inches of bed length by the time you load a live center and actually go to work.

    Personally? I think it is a good size. I wouldn't want something over about 24 or 30 inches because they take up too much space. But that's just me.

    Think about the power and if you want a Variable Frequency Drive also..


    Good luck!

  6. #26
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    I would think that's about twice what such a small lathe with out a quick change gear box would be worth to me.
    Dusty

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by DustyDave View Post
    I would think that's about twice what such a small lathe with out a quick change gear box would be worth to me.
    Dusty
    Yeah I dont know much about maching or tooling and stuff but I think I'll wait it out for a 9x13 with some more features and comes with tooling, unless this guy wants to go down on the price. Also hes kinda way outta my way. Thanks for the opinions! I'm in no rush to buy, I need to save anyway. I just like to ask in case I'm missing out on a good deal.

  8. #28
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    3 times what its worth. and for someone starting out wrong machine. no quick change gear box for a novice is a no-no. find a south bend with a quick change like the 1st one you posted. without a quick change every thread pitch or feed speed takes a different gear that has to be calculated and installed. I have an atlas,built many scooters on it. the south bend will run all over it. and keep asking questions, thats the diff. between a broke fool and a successful person.
    Last edited by Hubbard; 09-02-2021 at 1:47 AM.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    This thread survived: http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=49394

    Machine tool prices are highly regional so be happy when ya live where the early variety are long obsolete for production. My bros WWII era American Pacemakers make him money every week because of their size but the small manual stuff isn't profitable enough to keep except for specialty toolroom lathes and much of it doesn't spin fast enough for modern tooling in production use where time is money.

    OTOH I live in the Southeast which never industrialized except in a few small areas and prices remain silly though we did well scoring during the last recession.

    Re shelving and benches, it's worth making the benches roll tool (wood prices are silly these days but steel remains reasonable, get multiple quotes when buying new). If everything that touches the floor is mobile it makes life much more convenient. Shelves work better with lips so mine are upward-facing angle with plywood inside (you can have steel sheared to size where it's worthwhile).

    Study how machine shops store tooling, which is usually on carts near the machine. Also note typical practice for power is drops from the ceiling (add outlet then use a drop or a cord reel as ya like). SOOW cord is typical for drops. Refer to electricians for advanced info.

    Keep an eye out for used forklift jacks. They're easy to rebuild and the very common OTC style works great for machinery. Ya can rent them if ya need one immediately.
    I'm so enviros of you guys the know how to use these machines and then can afford to set them up.

    Kudos to all of you..





    I wish

  10. #30
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    They just had an on-line auction where I work... They sold a Jet 13x36 lathe which went for $820. It made me sick. I've used that very lathe a good bit over the years, and someone got a hella deal. I wanted to bid on it so bad just because of the thought, but I have no where to keep another lathe and I have a 5 year old Grizzly 14x40.

    One piece of advice I will give to anyone looking to purchase a machine (lathe, mill, it goes for everything) is to try to procure as much tooling as possible with the aquisition. If you're buying new, its a moot point, but lots of times you can score big buying used.The machine itself will be your minimal cash outlay in the grand scheme of things, you will end up with much more invested in tooling than the machine itself 10 years down the road.
    One other thing... go as big as you can possibly go. Make room for it, borrow some extra money if you have to. You can do tiny shit on a big machine, but you can only do small stuff on a small machine. Plus the bigger machine will cut faster, and make better cuts with fewer passes.

  11. #31
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    When you get down to it, they're junk but I like my 12x48 atlas (craftsman). No hardened ways, no rigidity, no quick change. That's fine. I mounted it to a concrete bed and the lantern works fine. Setup to grind using a starrett or equiv. protractor and the South Bend "how to run a lathe" and grind your own tooling. Gear change: fixed is fine if you have the OG manual and all the gears. The gears are cheap.

    I make all my cuts then final thousandths use a file, then sandpaper. That center fixture is worth $250 on ebay (although that's the smaller one, I think it's only $80-150). I paid $800 for a 10x48 atlas some five years ago, tried to sell it it went nowhere but don't have the heart to part it out. Came with that cast center rest, 4 jaw, 3 jaw, some chucks, some tooling. It's fine but slow, guys hate them because they don't grind their tooling correctly.

  12. #32
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    Watch TUBALCAIN on youtube for best at home lathes, mills. He has a ton of really useful info on small lathes and other home shop machines, the cheap American machines.

    My big problem with the "at home" shit (and that's really what it is, shit) is that it's not repeatable when working. I've thrown out probably a grand in lost parts because of my south bend mill--that's probably 60% the mill's fault and 40% mine. And it's still leaps and bounds better than any chicom or taiwan crap made by JET. I hate my Jet spindle sander, it's been junk from day one.

    What I'm saying, you move a five thou cut on the dial. It may cut three, five, or eight. So you measure and gauge accordingly. Say it cuts a four. Next part you're right back at square one--it may cut a three, 5, or eight! That's when you start throwing parts out and it's infuriating. Especially when you're learning. I have YEARS in getting to know my equipment, it's taken me years to find out it isn't reliable. I make it work, but I hate it and I still throw out parts however it's far less. It leads to insanity; that may make someone quit or lose a lot of money. Honestly there is no real opportunity to learn on your own, how do you know it's not the machine, it's you?

    That's why you see these atlas or non hardened way lathes mounted on wood or nothing for sale. Down the bed, as it cuts, you may have it set to five--but it could cut at 3, 6, 4 say as you move down the part. Alignment and rigidity, tool setup is key and you'll take a lot longer to set up on a junk lathe. I have mine set up on a concrete bed and it's still difficult.

    If you want to buy a lathe, minimum bed length should be 48in. Minimum bed length for a mill should be 36in. Greater is always better.

    Good mills: wells index, cincinnati, bridgeport (no. 1), don't buy a drill press and try to use it as a mill. Good lathes: Clausing makes a really nice home setup (same manf as Atlas), Leblond, Sheldon.

    Call around to machine shops, tool and die and ask if they have a small lathe they'd like to sell. Sometimes these old guys are sold on a small package and never use it. Sometimes retired guys take those small setups home and again don't use them. Esp. if your uncle is in tool and die he should be pointing all this out to you. You aren't going to get good advice on here, check on Practical Machinist.

    The heavier the better, it should at a minimum come with its own stand.
    Last edited by seaking; 09-03-2021 at 9:34 AM.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by golfish View Post
    I'm so enviros of you guys the know how to use these machines and then can afford to set them up.

    Kudos to all of you..





    I wish
    We're all born with just a dick and 2 balls, the rest you have to learn. Some just want to know how more than others.

  14. #34
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    Crack a book and stop cracking so many beers is my advice.

    This is what I'd read first and what most shop classes required to read:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013PXEDG0...ng=UTF8&btkr=1

    There's a documentary on Studebaker and their workers, during WWII a line worker picked up a South Bend Lathe and had his girls read that book, they all took turns producing contract parts for the gov't. My mom hand sanded dies for money when she was a kid, it's really not that complicated work--just don't screw it up! I know it's all intimidating work (and dangerous), I wish there were still people in my family that were in trades but they're all dead and gone so I had to pick it up myself, it didn't take much more than patience and a little bit of reading 10-15 minutes a day.

    I also have tried to go to the library and look up good books on woodworking, specifically pattern making but usually come up short. I think it's best to go to a really large library in an industrial area and look there for books on the trades, like pattern making or tool and die, foundry practice. And don't worry about whether you understand or comprehend it all-just read it, the necessary info will come out of the woodwork once you buy the tool and operate it. What got me into pattern making was just bumbling into tools at local estate sales, visiting the local foundry, buying some cheap woodworking tools (scroll, band saw, whittling knives, some other carpentry tools was all I needed maybe $1000 total over 5 years). Here's my bible:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=O9...page&q&f=false
    Last edited by seaking; 09-07-2021 at 8:05 AM.

  15. #35
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    Any edition of machinerys handbook is a must have. It will help you design a part, pick the material you need, understand the process to machine it,how to grind any tooling you may need. I'm an idiot but the handbook showed me how to do trigonometry and do algebra so I could make adapters to mix and match brakes,hubs and wheels.Want to save money on tools? Build your own laps, pullers,special sockets and wrenchs.Need to know which welding rod or process to use? It's in the book. Wanna make gears or sprockets?It's in the book. Any edition either from the 40's or the 90's has the info. you need. Machinists handbook from Audells is good too.

  16. #36
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    Saddletramp, you're in ky right? there is a LeBlond lathe on facefuck marketplace in lawrenceburg ky(?) I ran one of these for years and you will not need any other lathe than this.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hubbard View Post
    Saddletramp, you're in ky right? there is a LeBlond lathe on facefuck marketplace in lawrenceburg ky(?) I ran one of these for years and you will not need any other lathe than this.
    Yep, that's about an hour away from me, and where my dad lives. Problem is it's a little out of my budget at the moment, I dont have a trailer, my dad probably wont help me move it and I probably dont have time to source up the stuff to make a rigging set up like Farmall has. I dont a have a phase converter and dont know much about them or how they work either. I'm running 110v only at the moment.

    I just need to do some more research on machining and get a trailer bought here soon and work on getting a rigging kit going. There's a machine shop auction going on near here as well and they have some lathes, mills, head resurfacing machines stuff like that. buckets of sockets, wrenches and handtools, taps, drill bits, tooling cutters. I may bid on some of the smaller lots I can fit in my truck. They'll probably go pretty cheap.

    That Machinery handbook sounds great I'll have to see about getting that. I bought a welding handbook and it's pretty basic, most of the stuff I learned already watching youtube but its good to have I guess.

    Thanks for all the info everyone I've learned alot just from this thread, I need to get on the practical machinist forum one of these days.

  18. #38

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    When clarifying the size of the lathe ask about the swing from the center to the bed. Not everybody measures the same way. They may be talking diameter and not swing. Found this was the case quite a few times!! Also the craftsmen / atlas 101 lathes usually have a bushing in the headstock. These, at times can, be problematic, Also the y looking thing in the 3rd pic is the rack for the thread cutting gears
    Last edited by flatman; 09-07-2021 at 12:11 PM.

  19. #39
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    contact l.s.starrett and they will send you a small pamphlet on tools and rules. also ask for any literature they have. ask them for a tap drill and decimal equivelant chart. used to be free,,,,,,,another couple of books are Machine Shop Practice volumes 1&2 by k.h.moltrecht. look 'em up used or some kind of download.vintage machinists and toolmakers books are plentiful on ebay

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaddleTramp98 View Post
    Yep, that's about an hour away from me, and where my dad lives. Problem is it's a little out of my budget at the moment, I dont have a trailer, my dad probably wont help me move it and I probably dont have time to source up the stuff to make a rigging set up like Farmall has. I dont a have a phase converter and dont know much about them or how they work either. I'm running 110v only at the moment.

    I just need to do some more research on machining and get a trailer bought here soon and work on getting a rigging kit going. There's a machine shop auction going on near here as well and they have some lathes, mills, head resurfacing machines stuff like that. buckets of sockets, wrenches and handtools, taps, drill bits, tooling cutters. I may bid on some of the smaller lots I can fit in my truck. They'll probably go pretty cheap.

    That Machinery handbook sounds great I'll have to see about getting that. I bought a welding handbook and it's pretty basic, most of the stuff I learned already watching youtube but its good to have I guess.

    Thanks for all the info everyone I've learned alot just from this thread, I need to get on the practical machinist forum one of these days.
    When I bought my mill the owner put the mill in the truck with a forklift, then I pulled it off my truck using a wrecker. He extended the boom lift, it was just enough to pull it off the bed and place it on the ground with the machine resting over the lip of the garage slab. Then I moved it into the garage with 1in pipe.

    I would rent a car hauler (full trailer) local from uhaul and do the same, have a wrecker come pull it off the back, it cost 75 dollars for the wrecker.
    Last edited by seaking; 09-07-2021 at 1:07 PM.

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