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Old 11-09-2012, 09:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Questions on picking up a mini lathe

Well, after becoming more technically inclined I figured it would be fun to pick up a mini lathe and play around with it during my free time. What do you all think of this lathe here? Any recommendations (I am on a budget!).
Micro Mark 7 x 14 mini lathe

Should this be placed somewhere else?

Thanks!
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would be cautious of buying one that are no longer made, without checking on replacement parts availability. And for not too much more you can buy a new one.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by laxpro69 View Post
Well, after becoming more technically inclined I figured it would be fun to pick up a mini lathe and play around with it during my free time. What do you all think of this lathe here? Any recommendations (I am on a budget!).
Micro Mark 7 x 14 mini lathe

Should this be placed somewhere else?

Thanks!
I have one of those. They are good for small parts, polishing, and light duty. The variable speed drive is really nice, as is the over-torque lock-out (like when a part strips out of the chuck). It's hard to keep it very tight and it has a good bit of play in the travel, but it is repeatable in any one direction, so it will teach you some decent habits about cutting precision. The reverse is nice as is the threading capabilities (considering gear set changes).

No big bites. I run lower speeds with HSS tools and buy stock close to what I'm after in the end. I got mine used with lots of accessories, some not worth anything, but fun to try out. I run aluminum, stainless, wood, delrin, other plastics, and just a bit of carbon steel. I have a 1" dia rod of graphite from the original owner that I haven't messed with yet.

Headstock bore is small, so no easy barrel work. I use a little steady rest, but it's not easy. I bought the milling attachment to play with, but it has been useless so far. It works with soft stuff, but I haven't given it much time.

I might get something larger eventually, but I won't get rid of this little one. It is too easy to use for screws, pins, valves, pump arms, bolts, ... stuff. Another nice thing it can do is turn down rod stock for threading with a die. You can make pump rods and guides, custom bolts and screws, sleeves, etc.

If you consider them a lathe for proportionately smaller parts, they are great. Don't ask them to do the job of a larger lathe.

Oh, regardless of what it's designated (HSS, carbide, coated, etc.) I've had terrible luck with asian cutters. I have a set of US HSS inserts that have been great.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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a couple good brazed-on carbide tools will make life so much easier with mini lathe... I've got 3 micro-100 bits for mine and I haven't re-sharpened them in years

PS, I have some Kennametal carbide tools you guys could buy off me... I have several boxes. they are pre-ground for right-hand (conventional) turning, and I think, 5/16" height... good size for tiny lathe. There's a few mini-lathe threads lately so I'll see about doing a sale thread to help you guys out (they are very high quality cutters).
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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a couple good brazed-on carbide tools will make life so much easier with mini lathe... I've got 3 micro-100 bits for mine and I haven't re-sharpened them in years

PS, I have some Kennametal carbide tools you guys could buy off me... I have several boxes. they are pre-ground for right-hand (conventional) turning, and I think, 5/16" height... good size for tiny lathe. There's a few mini-lathe threads lately so I'll see about doing a sale thread to help you guys out (they are very high quality cutters).
I'm in!
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Craftsman 12 inch metal turning Lathe not sure how close this is to you Its same as the atlas lathe make sure you get the chuck, toolpost and what ever you can. Its a good price for a lathe with a gearbox.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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^^close enough to get, only he didn't add any contact info..
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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lame i didn't notice that. U can get a craigslist pro app to notify you when someone lists a lathe probably the only way to respond quick enough to get a free one or a real good deal.
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