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Lathe help needed.


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#1 Dayton_King ONLINE  

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Posted October 30, 2017 - 06:13 PM

I am looking at buying a lathe. All it will be used for is making bronze bushings. Majority 7/16 od 1/4 id and 1/4 thick. Maybe some 1/2 in bushings. I am looking at an old craftsman table top with metal gears for 400 or a south bend for 1,200. I am leaning towards the craftsman because of the size. What will I need to get set up to make bushings. They are not flanged

#2 SupplySergeant OFFLINE  

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Posted October 30, 2017 - 09:31 PM

Take a look at a Taig, http://www.taigtools.com/mlathe.html . A brand new one runs under $400, and can handle steel up to 1". I'm in the middle of trying to get one approved for my university machine shop, to handle stuff too small for my 14" Mondial lathe. If you are even minimally handy with electronics, it can be easily made into a CNC.


Edited by SupplySergeant, October 30, 2017 - 09:34 PM.

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#3 SupplySergeant OFFLINE  

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Posted October 30, 2017 - 09:34 PM

Making bushings is both simple, and difficult. You will be well served with a set of carbide lathe tools, a parting blade and holder, and a boring head will make precision easy.

 

PM me if you need specific links.


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#4 Bill 76 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 30, 2017 - 11:09 PM

You may only want to make bushings right now but when you find out how useful a lathe is you may want to do more with it. 

I started out with a small craftsman lathe and had fun with it and made a lot of small parts with it , Then realized some off the short comings of it. A heavy 10 southbend came along at a good price and the craftsman was sold.

The prices you mention are about right 

The south bend is a much better machine then the craftsman and the price reflects that. 

If the southbend has a quick change its much more fun and easer then changing greasy gears in the craftsman when you want to change feed speeds 

  The small craftsman's uses the half nuts to engage the power feed and their made out of pot metal and wear out quickly , the southbend uses a clutch system to drive the power feeds and it lasts forever , it only uses the half nut for threading.

Check the back gears on the south bend to make sure there are no broken teeth from misuse (rare)

If it comes with a taper attachment , buy it  you can sell that for $400 on ebay if you don't want to cut tapers

If it comes with a threading dial that's a bonus

I prefer to grind my cutting tools from HSS blanks much cheaper then carbide and you can make them sharper then carbide and you need a diamond wheel to sharpen carbide tools .

What ever you do stay away from them god awful carbide bits from Harbor freight.

That said if all your making is 1/4 id bushing all you will need is a facing tool,parting tool and a 1/4" chucking reamer or a really small boring bar. 


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#5 Cvans OFFLINE  

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Posted October 30, 2017 - 11:28 PM

Think about this,  "you can do small work on a larger lathe but you can't do larger work on a small lathe". 

If you have the room I'd go with the larger lathe. 

A lathe with the head stock running in ball or roller bearings is better than bushings. 

Roll the carriage under the chuck and place a piece of wood on it, Then place a bar on top of the wood and under the chuck. Try raising the chuck to see if there is slop in the bearings. If there is it is going to be difficult to do accurate work with the lathe.  

Good luck with your search. 


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#6 secondtry ONLINE  

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Posted October 31, 2017 - 02:00 AM

There were many lathes sold over the years with the craftsman name on them. The Craftsman 109 lathe was manufactured by Dunlap. They are small compact units that are capable of doing good work. The spindle is tiny and prone to bending. I have seen people recommend if you purchase a 109 your first project should be to produce a replacement spindle because you can't make one after you bend the original. It was sold in various bed lengths. the longer the bed the less ridged. The Craftsman lathe made by Atlas was a much more robust machine, more ridged so less chatter and the chatter is easier to control. Sold with 6" 10" and 12" swing, I don't recall an 8". I believe the longest bed was 54" which gave a 48' center to center. I don't believe there has been a craftsman badged metal lathe made in many years. They were never industrial quality and most were sold to small private shops and home owners. They are now obsolete and getting harder by the day to get parts for. The 109 lathe group on yahoo has nearly died of. the Atlas Craftsman lathe group is still going fairly good. For nearly every lathe manufacturer there seems to be a group. Do some research before you chose. I started out with a Unimat which could be uses to make your bushings. After several years I purchased a 109. next came an Atlas craftsman 12x48. Then came 2 Chinese made,  a Shop master 9x12 and a Harbor Freight 7x10. They have all earned their keep but none are turning much profit. Could be the operator. Don      


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#7 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted October 31, 2017 - 05:42 AM

I've always wanted a lathe but only a looker lol .    I did come to the conclusion that when I would get one it would be a name brand, even if 50 years old  , at least one common to get parts if ever needed , it should have both 3 and 4 jaw chucks , face plate , drill chuck , quick change gearbox . Then for any extras like milling attachment , collet set , taper attachment would be a bonus.  Now here's the part that make me tear ,,,, EVERTHING I listed including the extras PLUS inside outside mics boring tools , bits , South Bend 13" lathe was for sale on CL $800 about 6 months ago . I saw it was just listed before I went to church , GONE when I came home :(    


Edited by Alc, October 31, 2017 - 05:42 AM.

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#8 Dayton_King ONLINE  

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Posted November 02, 2017 - 07:26 PM

Well I have a professional machinist friend, so big stuff gets out sourced. I would like to make bronze bushings and at the most a more deck spindle. I rebuild Carter model N carbs for people. Each carb bushing costs me 5 bucks. I think I am at 40 or 50 carbs alone this year. The price does ad up. So it might cost me more to buy a lathe but in the long run it will pay for its self.

I was looking and the new ones on ebay but I heard the habe plastic gears. So I will start focusing on Atlas or south bend lathes on my search
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