Mini, i.e. affordable, hobby lathe?

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Derby Dad
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Mini, i.e. affordable, hobby lathe?

Post by Derby Dad » Mon Jan 05, 2004 4:48 pm

This Mini Hobby lathe seems like it would be useful for PWD construction. I can see using it on the body as well as turning the wheels to achieve better roundness.

Does anybody use it or have any opinions on it?

Cost is $40.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/D ... umber=3173

Thanks.



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Re: Mini, i.e. affordable, hobby lathe?

Post by gpraceman » Mon Jan 05, 2004 7:57 pm

Derby Dad wrote:This Mini Hobby lathe seems like it would be useful for PWD construction. I can see using it on the body as well as turning the wheels to achieve better roundness.

Does anybody use it or have any opinions on it?

Cost is $40.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/D ... umber=3173

Thanks.
Seems like a pretty good and inexpensive deal, if it works out. My concern would be securing the wheel without damaging the hubs.


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Re: Mini, i.e. affordable, hobby lathe?

Post by Stan Pope » Mon Jan 05, 2004 8:25 pm

Speed seems much too high for working wheels. 10,000 rpm!!!

Axles don't need the precision ... hand drill suffices.


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Re: Mini, i.e. affordable, hobby lathe?

Post by terryep » Mon Jan 05, 2004 8:39 pm

I like to use a Dremel in a vice for the axels... it chucks down nicely on them. If you are ginger on the pressure it works well but any pressure at all look out! Use brass shim stock to protect the axle surface while working the inside of the head.

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Re: Mini, i.e. affordable, hobby lathe?

Post by MaxV » Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:17 pm

For casual lathing, including wheel and axle work, I recommend a Taig lathe (http://www.taigtools.com/). I used one for many years before getting a real machinists lathe.

It costs more than $40, but has variable speeds, a nice chuck, tooling, and more.



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Re: Mini, i.e. affordable, hobby lathe?

Post by BluesFish » Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:07 pm

I also use the Dremel. I mount the flex shaft thing in a bench vice for axel work and sand the wheels in it too using a mandrel. You must wet sand in the dremel because heat build-up will melt the wheels.

Looks like a neat little tool but I doubt it would have the torque needed for turning the block.

$0.02

:mrgreen:



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Re: Mini, i.e. affordable, hobby lathe?

Post by Beecher » Wed Jan 28, 2004 9:45 am

Don't waste your money! I purchaced the exact lathe at our local Harbor Frieght store and it is a poorly constructed unit. The two points dont even line up! I took it back for a refund.



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Re: Mini, i.e. affordable, hobby lathe?

Post by milleta3 » Fri Jan 30, 2004 9:45 pm

I actually purchased the mini hobby lathe from Harborfreight about two weeks ago hoping to use it for turning my wheels. Quickly found out that it did not have the percision that I needed. Simply, I could not get the wheels perfecly aligned.



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Re: Mini, i.e. affordable, hobby lathe?

Post by AV8OR » Thu Feb 12, 2004 11:38 pm

Image

For turning wheels and turning nails a minilathe is the way to go.

http://www.mini-lathe.com/Default.htm

http://www.littlemachineshop.com/

Both are good places to start your search. Be careful though once you get a lathe then you will want a mill, once you get a mill you will want a welder, once you get a welder you will want..........



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Re: Mini, i.e. affordable, hobby lathe?

Post by Stan Pope » Fri Feb 13, 2004 12:20 am

milleta3 wrote:I actually purchased the mini hobby lathe from Harborfreight about two weeks ago hoping to use it for turning my wheels. Quickly found out that it did not have the percision that I needed. Simply, I could not get the wheels perfecly aligned.
Are you referring to the one pictured above, or the "under $100" lathe based on a high speed "dremel style" motor?


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Re: Mini, i.e. affordable, hobby lathe?

Post by Big Dirt » Sat Feb 21, 2004 11:04 am

I use one from Homier, also the mill, fun to play with :D



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Re: Mini, i.e. affordable, hobby lathe?

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Feb 26, 2004 3:36 pm

FWIW ...

Harbor Freight has marked their 7X10 Precision Mini Lathe down from 399.99 to 329.99.

Hmmm enough reduction to cover a drill chuck, face plate and some cutters!

Argh! They have overcome my resistance!

Ref http://www.harborfreight.com/


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Re: Mini, i.e. affordable, hobby lathe?

Post by ExtremePWD » Thu Feb 26, 2004 5:28 pm

Stan Pope wrote:FWIW ...


Argh! They have overcome my resistance!

Ref http://www.harborfreight.com/

Do I interpret this correctly as you are now, or will be soon, the proud owner of a new lathe?



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Re: Mini, i.e. affordable, hobby lathe?

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Feb 26, 2004 6:11 pm

ExtremePWD wrote:Do I interpret this correctly as you are now, or will be soon, the proud owner of a new lathe?
Dunno how "proud" I'll be, but you got the "owner" part right when/if they send it on. :)

I gave the display model the "feel test" a few weeks ago, and started salting away some Christmas $ and making my goal know to the CFO (perhaps you met her... she was at the registration desk on Saturday). Finished the $400 accumulation a couple weeks ago, but had not had time to figure out what accessories I should include. (Been "preoccupied" for the past few weeks. :) )

Now, to get on with the long overdue rearrangement of my basement work room!


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Re: Mini, i.e. affordable, hobby lathe?

Post by ExtremePWD » Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:00 pm

I did have the opportunity to meet the nice lady at the registration table. She recognized my name when my Tiger was checking in. We had talked a few times leading up to the district race.

I have already started working on my CFO for approval. I suggested she had a birthday coming up but she didn't go for it. I'll have to try a different angle.



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