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Cool tool lathe Unimat (moved by admin)


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I'm sure others will be much better qualified than I to answer this question. I'm only chipping in because I was at one time very interested in getting one myself and in MSW1 there were lots of discussions about this.

 

Most of the comments I saw were fairly negative about it, citing lack of precision, the business of re-assembly every time you wanted a new function and its lack of power. The general opinion seemed to be that it was better to go for individual cheap tools. Thus some Chinese-made lathes were touted as being worth-while.

 

On the other side, I have noted that Bernard Frolich in his book 'Art of Ship Modeling' used a Unimat jigsaw, and others have used it quite happily. It may well be that for irregular use and small jobs (such as the ones we generally have in modelling) it is more than adequate.

 

When I was looking at it, I thought more of buying the slightly more expensive metal line set. However in the end I spent my money on a circular saw as I thought that was what I was going to use the most. I'm still hankering after a lathe, though, but there's no room. And that's one good reason for a Unimat -- when there's not much room.

 

Looking forward to the heaps of replies you're going to get!

 

Tony

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Thanks Jerome and Tony,

 

I will use it alone for model building.

Not me alone but also Anja when she starts at her scratch build.

So we will see if there is coming more feedback.

I have still two months before I spend my money

 

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I'm not familiar with the Unimat in your link.  I have a Unimat, but it is an old one produced by EMCO.  I think the one in the Frolich book that Tony mentioned is one of the old EMCO ones as well.  The EMCO Unimats are great tools:  extremely well built and precise.  The one in the link has the same name, but is otherwise completely different.  

 

I think a lathe is a great tool, and I used mine a fair amount (gun barrels, ships bell, pedestals, etc).  If you are planning on only turning wood, there are probably less expensive alternatives.  If you plan to turn brass, you probably want to invest in a better machine. 

 

I don't have any experience with the machine you are considering, but would be careful to make sure that any recommendations you follow are based on the same "unimat" machine you are considering.

 

Dave

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Sjors,

 

I bought one of these Cooltool I classics several years ago. It is ok for turning down masts,spars and other small wood items only. As others have said it is underpowered and also inaccurate in its other applications. Much better to look on Ebay or similar sites for a good second hand Unimat SL or similar lathe.   

 

Dave :)    

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Sjors, I notice that when looking at the screen you seem to be writing your signature over and over again. Is this a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder? It seems to be a hazard associated with model ship-builders.

 

By the way, I reviewed the research I'd done before and if you do an internet search you'll find the same range of opinions which verge to: ok for wood, not for brass but ok for aluminium, expensive for what it is, ok for infrequent small jobs.

 

Also Dave is quite right. The Unimats now sold have no relationship whatsoever to the original Emco versions of their lathes. The new 'classic' is made predominantly of a moulded plastic, whereas the originals were entirely metal. I hadn't realised that Frolich was using the earlier version, so thanks for that info, Dave!

 

Tony

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I have read all the things about the Unimat and I don't buy it!

I have looked further and the decision is made.

It's gonna be Proxxon.

I have look around on the Internet and I think this is the best option for my money...

I pay a little bit more but then I have solid machines and not plastic. 

At the end of next month I can maybe showing you what I've got.

 

Thanks all.

 

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Hi, Sjors! The correct decision to refuse Unimat purchase. A few years ago I bought its version 8-in-3, but already in half a year started raising money for purchase of the small-sized lathe, allowing to process metal, a tree, plastic and other materials. The PROXXON lathe (not only for a tree) - a good thing, but expensive, it is possible to find machines with similar characteristics, but is cheaper.

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EMCO Unimat lathes used to be good when they were manufactured in Austria but manufacture has now, I believe, been moved to Taiwan and the quality/accuracy of the tool appears to have deteriorated.

 

I had a Unimat 3 Millenium which I was happy with. However it required special belts which were hard to come and when the motor failed a couple of years back I decided it would be cheaper to get myself a replacement EMCO Unimat 4. For a variety of reasons (including a spell in hospital) I did not use the new lathe for some time. When I did I had a lot of problems with it - if it hadn't been for this delay it would have gone back.

 

Subsequent to my buying this tool I found a lathe comparison site in the US which showed that others shared my experience.

 

The main problems.

 

1) The tail stock clamp did not work. Easy to fix - the slot in the side had been cut too short.

 

2) When I came to do some end drilling I put a slocum (centre) drill in the tail stock but found that instead of drilling in to the work piece it scoured a circle with a 1.5mm diameter on the end. Putting centres in the head and tailstocks and bringing them together revealled the two were seriously out of line. If you turned between centres on this lathe you would get a tapered work piece. There is no adjustment in the lathe as supplied so I got an adaptor to go on the tailstock which allows me to correct this error.  

 

3) I can't work out what thread the leadscrew has. I assumed that it was as per my Unimate 3 ie a 1mm pitch. It isn't. Rotating the leadscrew handle once advances the carriage by about 1.3mm - neither an obvious straightforward metric nor imperial scale. I am going to fit a digital readout to improve this.

 

The quality of these lathes may have improved since I bought my lathe but I would suggest caution.  

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Concerning Unimat lathes on the Internet there is a lot of information, in particular and at different model forums. The majority of modellers consider that these machines are suitable for production of various wooden details for models of small scales (1:90 and less). From the experience of application of Unimat lathes I can tell that production of a mast with a diameter more than 4-5 mm and more than 200 mm long already a problem. Therefore at a machine choice everything depends on that the modeller is going to build.

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The 'original' Unimats (models DB200 and 1000) are a better bet: no plastic parts. They are available on eBay. My Unimat (from 1970!) is still going strong. It's not quite as accurate as a watchmaker's lathe, but it is just fine for ship modlemaking. You can use it s a mill/drill press and there are many available accessories. I used the miniature circular saw unit for cutting planking on my earlier models.

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Thank you all guys!

 

I found a store close at my home who have all those stuff from Proxxon.

So I bring them a visit to see what they have and what I can use.

I'll take my drawings with me so they can see what I'm doing and what I need.

I'll keep you posted on this.

 

animaatjes-sjors-94584.gif

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Thank you all guys!

 

I found a store close at my home who have all those stuff from Proxxon.

So I bring them a visit to see what they have and what I can use.

I'll take my drawings with me so they can see what I'm doing and what I need.

I'll keep you posted on this.

 

animaatjes-sjors-94584.gif

 

Hi, Sjors, You will show them drawings of that you do, and they will suggest you to buy only that they have  :) 

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