Clishay Lathe size

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Glenn Brooks
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Location: Back in Washington, Alas

Re: Clishay Lathe size

Post by Glenn Brooks » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:15 pm

Iam with Charlie regarding Grizzly lathe and round column mills for first, or any size machine tools for your shop work. Doesn’t matter where they were made. Grizzly stands by their specs and requires their manufactures to produce machines that are acceptable to the US market.

I have a grizzly round column mill that is going on 20 years old and it still is my go to machine when I need to quickly get something done. Bought it used, and have had no problems thus far.

Good luck on your tool quest!

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

Crashbig
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Re: Clishay Lathe size

Post by Crashbig » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:54 am

All good info, once the holidays are over I think I'll get started on the plate and frame and go from there, work on the pieces I have the tools for and start saving my pennies for the ones I don't. The grizzly's do look better than the harbor freight stuff, have to keep an eye on craigslist for any used ones out there.

rkcarguy
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Re: Clishay Lathe size

Post by rkcarguy » Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:31 pm

I played with the display model of Harbor freights little 6x12 lathe and came to the conclusion it's a $500 boat anchor. It's got all kinds of slop in the screws, loose knobs, slop in the ways, tiny through hole in the spindle, just total junk.
The other issue is, I find I am severely limited in what I could make on one of them, because the diameter through the spindle is so little on so many of these smaller lathes. I'm almost thinking If I were to find a full size 3-phase lathe for cheap(not much demand for them in home shops because they require a phase converter $$$$), that I'd put a used Briggs on it and exit the exhaust outside.

RET
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Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Clishay Lathe size

Post by RET » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:58 pm

Hi,

If you are just starting out in this hobby, I would recommend that you look for an old belt driven, non-gear head lathe like a 9" South Bend or bigger. A big, heavy, old machine that has been looked after will be much better than a "modern" one (for instance, I use a 13" South Bend lathe that was built in 1942, it weighs 1500 lbs. and sits on the floor. My Bridgeport was made in 1955 and weighs 2,000 lbs.). For our purposes, 3 phase motors offer no advantage over single phase; if you happen to have a machine with a built in 3 phase motor, use a variable frequency drive to control it. It may take some looking to find this kind of thing, but it is certainly worth it.

Also, remember none of this is any good if you can't reliably measure what you are doing. A GOOD quality dial vernier and at least one micrometer are essential. Reserve the good quality vernier for measurements that count and have another for everyday use.

I have lots of measuring equipment, a complete set of Starrett mikes from 1" to 16," a Master level, etc., but you can do a very good job with just what I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Lots of taps & dies also help a lot. Most of this stuff comes over time, it certainly makes things easier, but you can usually figure out how to do what you want to do without it.

Just my 5 cents.

Richard Trounce.

RCRR
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Re: Clishay Lathe size

Post by RCRR » Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:26 pm

I actually own one of the little HF lathes and honestly love it. You're extremely limited to what you can make with it due to its size, but what it can make it does quite nicely. I have larger machines at work and usually use them for most of my big projects, but i keep the little HF at home. It's quiet, portable, and has an excellent electronically variable speed spindle.

It works especially well on brass, steel, and plastics, but I have had trouble turning cast iron with it.

Harold_V
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Re: Clishay Lathe size

Post by Harold_V » Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:25 pm

RCRR wrote:It works especially well on brass, steel, and plastics, but I have had trouble turning cast iron with it.
That's interesting, as cast iron is typically quite easy to machine. Certainly easier than steel of almost any stripe. That, of course, assumes it's not chilled, or that it doesn't have a lot of sand in the skin.

What particular problems have you experienced?

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

RCRR
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Location: New Hampshire

Re: Clishay Lathe size

Post by RCRR » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:48 pm

I tried turning out G1 wheels from gray cast iron rod. They seemed to require a rather heavy first cut to bust through outer slag, otherwise the stuff work hardend and dulled the tool. I managed one or two decent wheels. For the rest, I ended up using either a SB heavy 10K or an Enco 13in which gave me a bit more confidence in taking the appropriate cuts.

Maybe the issue is less with cast iron in general and more so cast iron "stock" bars and rods?

Harold_V
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Re: Clishay Lathe size

Post by Harold_V » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:28 am

Cast iron is not inclined to work harden, although it may display qualities that lead you to believe it's doing so.
The common problems I already outlined. If the material is slightly chilled, or if it has sand in the skin, yeah, it readily dulls tools, and often cuts with intermittent and random shiny spots, or even one continuous shiny cut. The resulting surface tends to be rather irregular. It is generally recommended that the first cut be beneath the skin, which often requires no less than a .050" cut, per side. That could overwhelm a fractional horsepower lathe.

You didn't make mention if you used carbide. While I often suggest it not be used on small machines, there are exceptions. Cutting cast iron, at least the first pass, is one of them. Because it has the potential to be hard, or because it may contain excessive sand, carbide will out-perform HSS. However, if your choice is C5, you may not enjoy the same degree of success you'd enjoy by selecting a more appropriate grade, which, in this case, is C2. C5 tends to fail rapidly, and may not perform any better than HSS.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

John Hasler
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Re: Clishay Lathe size

Post by John Hasler » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:07 am

I use the angle grinder on cast iron with a really ugly crust. My machines can cut through it but it uses up cutters. This is speculation, but it seems likely that some white iron is formed in a thin layer at the surface when the iron is chilled by contact with the sand.

RCRR
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Location: New Hampshire

Re: Clishay Lathe size

Post by RCRR » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:42 pm

Thanks Harold,
Yes, I was using HSS and didn't feel I could break all the way through in one pass...plus the rod wasn't completely round. The bigger lathe with heavier tooling seemed more appropriate and worked nicely with carbide. You're right though, the HF lathe even with HSS tooling would have been fine once the skin was broken through...but why bother when the big machine can do it all the way.

I guess the whole point of this is that the HF lathe is not so bad...but you have to have realistic expectations for what it should be used for.

Pontiacguy1
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Re: Clishay Lathe size

Post by Pontiacguy1 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:50 pm

Apparently your lathe didn't have the problems that my father in law's did when it arrived brand new. Also, those HF and no name brand machines, which are the same thing, have ball bearings in the spindle. One of the things that he did to help his lathe to be stiffer and more rigid was to convert it to tapered roller bearings. He also ordered a different gear set and belts to slow it down about 15% , which has helped a lot.

Buyer beware! These things have spotty quality and will likely be very dissapointing to the buyer. My father in law says that if he had it to do over again, he would have spent the extra $250 to 300 and gotten the Grizzly one instead, no question.

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gwrdriver
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Re: Clishay Lathe size

Post by gwrdriver » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:23 pm

RCRR,
Just a wild guess, but was your material by any chance old window weights? The irregular out-of-roundness prompted my guess. That's a tempting source for cast iron, and every once in a while you might get a soft one, but at best they are patchy and many of those old weights are still glass hard even after 100 years in a wall.
GWRdriver
Nashville TN

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