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I have never owned or used a lathe before and before I start my next project I would like to get my first power tool (excluding my fine drill).

 

Can you offer your thoughts on what I should be looking for/ or avoid!, I am hoping to find a second hand one as there is no immediate rush.

 

Thanks Guys

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I was hoping just a couple of hundred UK pounds as it will only be for turning down yards extra as I have no training on using it for anything else, but a good business case could get me to spend lots more :)

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Hi Ian,

 

The key question to ask on the lathe is potentially what is the max between centres, IE what is the longest item you would wish to turn in the lathe.

 

2 examples from ARC Euro trade would be the C0 baby and C3 super

 

C3  is just shy of £600 but has a centre distance of 400mm (see Link)

 

The C0 is £255 but only has a centre distance of 125mm (see Link)

 

regards

Ian

Edited by peewee
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Take a look at the Proxxon DB250.  I used it on my Badger and really liked it.  It was very well made, stable and easy to use.  I sold it after getting my hands on a Sherline, but if you are planning on staying with wood turning, I don't think you can go wrong with it.

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thanks Mike. I'd been musing over a little proxxon lathe for months and that website is cheaper than anyone else I'd found previously by a third - even taking the shipping from Germany to New Zealand into account.

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Ian,

 

Found a few links on this forum which may help

 

http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/5479-which-lathe-to-buy/ 

 

http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/4925-proxxon-fd150e-metal-lathe-review/ 

 

http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/1242-cool-tool-lathe-unimat-moved-by-admin/

 

In the downloads section of this forum there are some good articles in the tools and materials section. A particularly good one is:

 

http://modelshipworldforum.com/resources/materials_and_tools/LatheWork1.pdf . It is by Eric Tilley and contains some very helpful info - including DO's and DO'NTs. Well worth reading for anyone new to lathes.

 

When I first started with lathes I bought myself a book titled Introducing the Lathe by Stan Bray. It cost £5 and still sits next to my workbench.

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I also have been looking at metal lathes. 

I am a rank beginner and it would be my first metal lathe.  My hesitation about buying a used one from ebay is not knowing if any of the parts are damaged or set incorrectly.  I have read some of the problems faced by others who bought used ones and ran into problems.  Especially for those not experienced enough to spot problems.

Also, I have found that companies like Sherline or Little Machine Shop have extensive support which has been very helpful as I start out.

 

Richard

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello! :)

I was thinking of getting the Proxxon DB 250.

Started wondering though if it isnt a bit too small? The centre distance is 250 mm.

Isnt that a bit too short for many yards and masts?

I might be wrong though, because I havnt studied my drawings yet, as I stumbled over this thread just now.

 

Cheers!

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I don’t know how anyone turns masts in a lathe.  The main top mast I just made is .156 (4mm) dia and 9” (223mm) long.  If I put that in the lathe the center would vibrate off center so much I would not be able the put a tool against it.  I use my lathe for parts under 4” (100mm) long. 

 

Bob

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Bob

What an invaluable piece of common sense info!!!

I've been following this discussion as I have a hankering to pick up a lathe down the road but, like so many, it seems I don't have a clue.

Thank you

Alan

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I have the Proxxon Lathe too. It's great for small jobs like masts, spars and pedistals.  I have successfully used it to shape masts and spars on half a dozen builds. Dowel slides right through the main body of the lathe so you can work on reasonably long lengths.  I tend to do my shaping with various grades of glasspaper checking constantly with my vernier calipers. I have my lathe mounted permanently on a tray that has a lip around it.Tthis means I can pull it foward and back depending on whether I am using it or not - it also minimises dust. I also made a perspex cover for the chuck (sold separately) so I don't take the skin off my knuckles when working close to it. 

 

post-1505-0-64724200-1406598318.jpg

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If space is at a premium buy a metal working lathe as you can turn both metal and wood on it. Not so easy to do the other way round!

 

Seek out suitable websites or buy a book on using the lathe, something like "The Amateur's Lathe" by LH Sparey. You'll be amazed at what you can do with a Lathe!

 

 

 

 

PS. Save some space for a Milling Machine... :-)

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Just a thought.  If you can find a good Unimat 3 lathe you might want to consider it.  It isn't made anymore but I think it was one of Unimat's best offerings.  If you can get the complete set it also has a milling column that is great.  Here in the US they show up on eBay regularly for a couple of hundred U$.

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If you're only looking to turn spars, mast, etc, I would check out the Grizzly Hobby Lathe.

 

http://www.grizzly.com/products/Hobby-Lathe-Disc-Sander/H2669

 

I have one and it's come in handy for turning mast and spars and other small turning projects. It's easy to setup and use all need is the drill motor that fits the collar. You can attach it to your work bench with some clamps or mount it directly.  I used it to turn the mast for my Enterprise.

 

 

post-306-0-23768400-1406673193_thumb.jpg

 

post-306-0-35822900-1406673575_thumb.jpg

 

post-306-0-91763900-1406673190_thumb.jpg

 

post-306-0-99033800-1406673191_thumb.jpg

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Hello i also got the DB250, the limitations are the centre distance of 250mm (25cm) and the fact you can only insert 2-4-6-8 and 10 mm round wood in it. You need the 4 claw chuck to insert small diameter round wood of another diameter (1-3-5-7-9 mm) or use tape or something to extend the diameter. If your work is bigger you have a few claw plates that are good enough.

 

But turning small diameters, your work does tend to break.

 

But its really small and will not take up your entire workplace. If you have alot of room i'd go for a complete secondhand (metal) lathe, but the db 250 is really nice if you can accept its limitations.

Edited by hlipplaa
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