I have been hanging out in the Wood Router Table Machines section but I'm also interested in a small metal lathe mini-lathe?. I built a 33x22x6 inch grantry style router from 80/20 and I really like it. Hooked as you would say, I'm looking at the small 7x14 Lathes on eBay or BigDog mini-lathe. They are not CNC but could I not upgrade them to CNC? Is the bigDog2 lathe a good purchase, I was thinking about making my own spindle and other small parts.
Thanks CR, the big one looks nice but I don't know what I would make longer than 12"
I really like the HF one, add to wish list...
I have converted a 7x12 to CNC.
I agree with CR. Get the 10x or bigger. It is not so much the length of the bed, but the weak motor, lack of rigidity and general quality of the 7x lathes which make them a pretty limited machine. The only reason I got mine was lack of space (inner city apartment - it is on the balcony). Better than nothing, but far from ideal.
I agree, I would love to have something more rigid than a 7 X. You can take a .015 or .020 cut, run the tool back over without going deeper, and it will take a few thousands off again. You can make good parts with it, but it weak on heavier cuts. Works great for modeling with Al, brass and plastics. It's still a lot of fun, and if you check e-bay, you'll see they have decent resale value if you want to move up later. I'm just waiting on the money tree to grow up.
absoloutly...either get a 10x or the HF 8x14..i have the 8x14 with alot of posts here on what you can do with it...blows any ANY, 7x away in ability, bulk, and with a 20% coupon you can take it home for about 432.00.
hf 8x12 is a great lathe. A great candidate for CNC. its a pain to have to change the gearing manually. it took me like 45 minutes to change gears (only tried twice) and got really over that aspect of it. But it is a rigid beast. I ended up selling it because i bought it new for $375 or something, didn't use it as much as i wanted so sold it for $475 on cl.
The 10x is a vastly superior lathe at well over twice the price. i think its a different ballpark. as a HS student i can muster up $500 not too hard, but 1k is a lot harder.
It has been a long time since I have been in HS but even 500 can be tough to come by when you have 3 kids and a wife. Even the the small mini-lathes will be tough to sneak by the wife! The trunk of the car can only hold so much, pretty soon the kids will have to find their own car-trunk to live in.
Wait 'till you track chips in the house