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  1. chevyrsss's Avatar Active Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    84
    I have not touched a metal lathe since I was in highschool-30 years ago. I am planning on using it for modeling ( 1/8th scale and smaller), but might find some uses for it around the house(I haven't really needed one so maybe not). I hear that the sherlines are good to learn on and are easy. Any suggestions on other lathes. The sherlines are on the pricey side.
    QUOTE QUOTE #1

  2. gbritnell's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    George
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    Jul 2006
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    214
    Sherlines are great machines, good support and accessories. I don't know that it's any better to try and learn on but it's good for making parts. If you have the room I would look for something a little bigger mainly for the fact that it's easier to set up on something bigger and all the tooling doesn't have to be special sized. Look through ebay, craigs list or your local classifieds.
    gbritnell
    QUOTE QUOTE #2

  3. Tage's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Daniel
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    Jun 2008
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    605
    I went with the Unimat SL, the DB model is cast Iron, I would have preferred the DB for cast irons ability to dampen vibration. They are all available on e-bay, all the parts and manuals. They were made in Austria some time ago, but they are perfect for modeling.
    The unit is a lathe and a milling machine.
    They are somewhat underpowered, but you can carry it from room to room. Just my 2 cents.
    QUOTE QUOTE #3

  4. Jim Nunn's Avatar Member
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    James
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    Dec 2009
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    5
    I have also been giving some serious thought to purchasing a small lathe. I have a copy of a Unimat I now and it is about useless for working with metal.

    What I have been considering is the typical 7 x 10 to 7 x 12 mini lathe that you see at the Import tool stores like Harbor Fright and Grizzly. From what I have been reading on the web the most common lathes of this size are built by Seig machinery in China. Run out on these is a respectable 0.0002 for the ways and the spindle. If you keep an eye out for the sales the cost will be less then a Sherline or a Taig. They have several features that the micro lathes do not have such as power feed and they can chase threads and there are lots of reasonably priced accessories you can purchase. Best of all these lathes use standard tooling including carbide inserts which is what really adds to the cost of one of these machines.

    Here is a great run down on these lathes from a source that sells several of the add-ons and parts for these lathes.

    I would really like to here the opinion of the forum members who are using one of these.


    Jim Nunn
    QUOTE QUOTE #4

  5. xken's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
    Name
    Kenneth
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    Aug 2008
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    2,330
    I agree with George's comments above. The having a 7 x 10 Central Machinery the real difference I have found is in how fine/small a part you will be cutting. For what I will call micro turning you just cannot beat Sherline for the precision on tiny parts; their other advantage is a full range of accessories available.

    If you are going to purchase one I would recommend buying the longest you can afford, I wish I had a 14" which were not available when I bought mine. Reason is for wood turning, a metal lathe works great for turning small wood items; in my case spokes for the T wheels.

    Watch for sales from Harbor Freight.

    Ken
    QUOTE QUOTE #5

  6. Nortley's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
    Name
    Buck
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    Jan 2008
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    341
    Jim, I bought a bigger - 13" x 40" Grizzly years ago, and have added a number of their accessories. The only problems it has had were the compound slide breaking, which Grizzly replaced with a phone call, and after many years the coolant hose hardened and broke. It's done everything I've asked of it, and has been real good value for the money.
    Last edited by Nortley; 01-08-10 at 01:16 PM.
    Scorpio - Builds models the way the prototype should have been built.
    QUOTE QUOTE #6

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