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Mini Lathes

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Andy Hubbard 101/12/2016 17:25:57
1 forum posts

Hi, can anyone help. My father is currently working on his 3rd wooden model ship but is looking for a mini lathe to help make life easier. Can anyone suggest a good, reasonably priced mini lathe to get him started.

Much appreciated

Andy

Banjoman01/12/2016 17:30:24
avatar
1145 forum posts
2423 photos

Andy,

Are you looking for a micro lathe for turning wood (e.g. masts and spars) or for turning metal (e.g. gun barrels)?

Mattias

mike farrell01/12/2016 19:43:04
378 forum posts
6 photos

Hi Andy ,Just had a look on ebay and numerous watchmakers lathes if he wants miniature turning . All can be used for metal and wood

Hope that helps Michaelwink

Dodgy Geezer01/12/2016 21:10:19
818 forum posts
59 photos

I run with a Sieg S3 from here - they do a baby size if you want something smaller...

**LINK**

David Marks 101/12/2016 22:48:43
255 forum posts
44 photos

Regarding the comment made by DG. I purchased a milling machine from the same supplier (Arc Eurotrade) and found them an excellent company to deal with. Also the build quality of the machine and the way it was presented were also excellent. My own lathe is a bigger beast (Chester Centurion). You will find all these machines originate from the Far East so look at people like Chester and Warco and you will most likely find an identical machine(s) but possibly painted a different colour or with the switches and controls in a slightly different position. In my opinion they are all excellent value for money. I trained originally as a tool/gauge maker.

Banjoman02/12/2016 08:16:36
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1145 forum posts
2423 photos

Andy,

The machines mentioned in the last few posts are all for metal turning, and if that is what you are looking for, although I haven't yet tried one myself, I too have heard very good things fromk people whose judgement I trust about the Sieg machines from Arc Eurotrade (**LINK**), and am even likely to buy one some day.

If, however, you and your father are rather looking for a small wood turning lathe to help with tapering masts and spars on a wooden ship model, the metal turning machines are likely to be less ideal. Yes, it is possible to turn wood on a metal turning lathe, if one can replace or turn the toolpost into a tool rest for wood turning chisels (or, possible, find or make up cutting tools suitable for wood that fits the orignal toolpost), but this is not what these machines have been made for, not least in that they usually cannot provide the higher revs that you want for really fine wood turning. Also, they are much heavier and need to be properly set up and, not least, they are more expensive!

For model ship spar and similar wood turning work, I use and have been very happy with the Proxxon DB 250 Micro Lathe (**LINK**). For an example of the kind of turning to which I've been able to turn (ha!) it, have a look halfway down this page of my Eilean Mòr thread on this forum: **LINK**.

Please note, though, that it is a micro lathe, i.e. there are limits to the available power, and also to the size of stuff you can fit in there (the maximum through-size of the tailstock spindle is 10 mm, the swing over the bed 40 mm and the centre distance 250 mm).

If one decides to get one, I would also recommend some of the optional accessories, in particular the headstock chuck and (in order not to be too limited by the range of the collets included in the standard package) the three-jaw tailstock chuck. I also have the four-jaw tailstock chuck, but have hardly ever used it.

I have likewise bought the five HSS mini chisels sold by Proxxon, and find them quite alright for the money, although one day, when I have some cash to spare, I shall probably splash out on these: **LINK** ...

Mattias

Edited By Banjoman on 02/12/2016 08:17:33

Dodgy Geezer04/12/2016 15:25:45
818 forum posts
59 photos

Of course, if you are only interested in turning easy shapes like spars, a very simple lathe will do. Scroll down this page... **LINK**

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