Hi, I'm thinking about making my own dzus screws for a project I'm doing. What sort of lathe would I be able to get away with in order to make these? I know nothing about lathe brands, quality, what to look for etc... nothing, so any useful information that you may have will be much appreciated.
P.S. I would like something as cheap as possible but at the same time something that will produce excellent results so CNC isn't isn't a requisite i.e. a manual lathe would be acceptable as long as replicability of parts is possible.
P.P.S. I had a look on ebay and there appear to be some serious looking machines even for 1000 dollars, I think that these might be a bit extreme to just make screws? Well at least from a financial perspective... I don't think I can justify this cost to just make screws.
P.P.P.S. Lastly, would anyone have any ideas on how to make the cutout on the screw itself? The U cutout for the cable? Hand drilling it is obviously out of the question so would this be something that one would do possibly on a mill? Or perhaps one would take a cube of material... create the slot and then use the mill to shape the cube into a circle? Although I think that has a high risk of fracture around the points of the groove.
To make a dzus fastener, I imagine you would want a CNC mill with a fourth axis to cut the slot and a lathe to shape the head and some kind of device to slot the head (could be done on the lathe with a cross slide mounted slotter).
However, of all the wonderful things one can do with a lathe and mill, why on earth would you want to make commodity fasteners that are a) cheap to buy b) complex to machine. By all means get a lathe and learn how to use it, get a mill and learn how to use it, but use them to make fun/high value parts not to crank out commodity bits that you can buy for a buck.
I think a 10x18 or 10x22 lathe is a nice size for a home workshop though a 7x(10,12,14) is a great little lathe to start with.