Newbie - Buying first metal lathe

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dbfletcher
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Re: Newbie - Buying first metal lathe

Post by dbfletcher » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:17 pm

Thanks for the explanation. So back to my comment above.... Since I am just going to be learning how to use a lathe, I'm safe putting off purchasing a collet system until I gain some experience (and have a need). I'll be lucky to make 1 of anything.. and in all honesty, I image the first few months I will really just be making chips.

Doug

pete
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Re: Newbie - Buying first metal lathe

Post by pete » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:18 pm

Collets are generally used to speed up the work holding and for multiple parts of the same diameter and do so with much better run outs than most 3 jaw chucks can "IF" the collets and what there mounted into are accurate enough. I've seen run outs shown on Youtube for cheap ER collet sets that my drill chucks and even a few of my 3 jaw lathe chucks can beat by quite a bit. So inaccurate collets are pretty much worth less.There's little to maybe nothing collets can do that a 3 jaw, 4 jaw independent, face plate or working between centers can't do. And even after hundreds of years, working between centers is still the most accurate and repeatable method if the work has to be removed and/or swapped end for end. Collets are better if the work is thin walled or easily damaged by a chucks jaw surfaces, or of very small diameter.

rrnut-2
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Re: Newbie - Buying first metal lathe

Post by rrnut-2 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:22 pm

Another point on getting the 5C collet closer, it is generally cheaper to get it with the lathe than it is later on. You can always get a chuck, collet closer? Not always.

I bought my Clausing Colchester lathe with only the 5C collet closer and no collets. When they delivered the lathe, a 6" 3 jaw Buck chuck was thrown in.

Jim B

jcfx
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Re: Newbie - Buying first metal lathe

Post by jcfx » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:44 pm

SteveM wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:56 pm
A 4-jaw allows you to dial a part in, and once you get the hang of it, it's pretty quick, but if you have to do a bunch of parts the same size, collets win hands down.
Steve
Just wanted to mention/ clarify that there are two flavors of four jaw chucks, self centering and independent
which leads to a lot of confusion in threads, I myself use a four jaw self centering.

What SteveM talks about when "dialing in" it's in regards to independent four jaw chucks.

Self centering 4 jaw chucks work the same as 3 jaw .

Jim

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SteveM
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Re: Newbie - Buying first metal lathe

Post by SteveM » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:47 pm

jcfx wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:44 pm
Self centering 4 jaw chucks work the same as 3 jaw .
Much rarer than an independent jaw 4-jaw, but nice for holding square things.

My dad had his on a spigot that he would mount in his set-tru 6-jaw. Then he would chuck up the work and dial the 6-jaw in. That way, for that one size, he could work on multiple parts and they would be pretty close to concentric.

Steve

jcfx
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Re: Newbie - Buying first metal lathe

Post by jcfx » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:54 pm

SteveM wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:47 pm
Much rarer than an independent jaw 4-jaw, but nice for holding square things.
I don't find them rare at all, they're just as ubiquitous as independent 4 jaws.

pete
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Re: Newbie - Buying first metal lathe

Post by pete » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:28 pm

Uh at the size of lathe the OP is looking to buy a 5C and through spindle closer system is going to be impossible to fit. That leaves him with a front spindle mounted 5C collet chuck like Bison and others are now making, a limited size range of Morse Taper collets to fit his spindle taper, or ER collets with either a commercial ER collet chuck machined to fit his spindle nose or shop building one. There's other much rarer/ possibly more expensive collet types from the watch maker WW collets on up like 3C etc. 5C would likely be the best all round usable system because of the range of sizes, collet internal shapes and all the accessories they make for them as a work holding collet system. In a non production shop where getting good repeatable concentricity is much more important than speed of use an ER system while far slower and less adaptable is a whole lot cheaper.

The self centering 4 jaws are probably less well known by many, but as jcfx mentioned there out there if you know about them and go looking. My guess is more lathe owners probably own 6 jaws than own a SC 4 jaw. I've got a good but smaller Emco SC 4 jaw. But there not quite as useful as one would think since most off the shelf square stock isn't made accurately enough for both sets of jaws to get an even grip as the jaws close. So the work has to be shimmed or machined to fairly close limits first for that to happen. They do add better and more even grip on round stock as well. But unless I was doing a lot of second op. square work I doubt I'd buy another one.

RMinMN
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Re: Newbie - Buying first metal lathe

Post by RMinMN » Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:13 am

Time for my 2 cents worth (not worth much these days). The OP is new to lathes. This discussion has devolved to ideas that are more suited to experienced users and to being able to make use of the precision and speed of different lathes and work holding.

Lets back this up a bit. Starting this user with a mini lathe may be better for him. Less HP, smaller work envelope, smaller dollars. With smaller HP, the lathe will be safer. Smaller work envelope will be fine for learning on. One of the 7X14 mini lathes will be much less money and a good place to start. The OP will have to learn how to get (semi) precision by taking the lathe apart for cleaning and to adjust it. That can be important. The OP will also have to learn how to sharpen the lathe bits because with the lack of HP and rigidity of a mini lathe that is the only way to get (semi) precision. The (relatively) small dollar investment means that it can be abandoned or resold if they find that it isn't a hobby they want to pursue and it takes a much smaller area to fit one into. It also doesn't require a truck and hoist to get it into the location.

Once the OP has had some time learning on the mini lathe, everything learned can be transferred to a larger, more powerful lathe and the OP is likely to still have all their fingers. I have a mini and a 10X24 and find that for some jobs it is easier to use the mini while others need the bigger size to accomplish.

dbfletcher
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Re: Newbie - Buying first metal lathe

Post by dbfletcher » Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:33 am

Time for my 2 cents worth (not worth much these days). The OP is new to lathes.
Thank you for your response. I did start out looking at the 7x14 mini lathes for all of the reasons you mentioned in your reply. I had posted my questions on several lathes forums that I had found. This journey started a few months ago. It seemed all of the advise I received basically said the same thing... the 7x14 were more of toys and you cant do real work on them. I did bring up that I had watched a lot of youtubes that showed some ppl making some really great things on the mini-lathes... but most comments were that only a really experienced lathe operator could maintain any type of precision on the toy lathes.

They recommended that you get the largest machine you can comfortably afford. For me, that puts me in the 3K range. As I stated in my original post. I have no projects in mind for this lathe... just something for me to screw around with in the garage and hopefully learn a new skill. I do have a wood turning lathe, so most of the concepts are not totally foreign to me, but im sure the actual operation is also world apart.

I have ordered the Precision Matthews 1022V with DRO because the Grizzly G0752Z was back-ordered until at least the middle of August. I do want to thank everyone who posted to this thread. Some of it was well advanced of anything i'll be doing in the near future, but I did find it a very interesting read.

Doug

FRED DADDI
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Re: Newbie - Buying first metal lathe

Post by FRED DADDI » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:53 am

Am using the Bolton and although adequately made is not well design or easy to use. At all costs steer clear.


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spro
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Re: Newbie - Buying first metal lathe

Post by spro » Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:21 pm

I was reading that the Bolton was rather good. Maybe it was a larger model.

dbfletcher
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Re: Newbie - Buying first metal lathe

Post by dbfletcher » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:56 am

Just wanted to post an update. I received my PM 1022v on Friday July 19th. It took my wife and I the better part of a day to figure out how we were gonna get it lifted on to it's table. I didn't tear it completely down for cleaning... but I did disassemble the compound/slide/saddle because I had read that a lot (most?) of the Chinese lathes would have a lost of grit and gunk left over from the manufacturing process. To my surprise, it was actually pretty clean. I did come across a little grit in places, but it was nothing like pictures posted on other forums showing Grizzly tear downs.

After getting it all cleaned back up, I plugged it in and was ready to see it come to life. Emergency Stop... disengaged, direction set to forward, speed set to lowest setting. Pressed the "on" button.... nothing happened. My heart sank for a few moments... then started going thru a mental checklist of what could be wrong. Checked obvious things like... plugged in... power to outlet, fuses, etc. All of that checked out.

Then I recalled reading another post about the 1022v that when you removed the gear cover (which I did), there is also a small tang that gets inserted in a safety switch when the cover is reinstalled. When I put the cover back on, I seemed to be a little more difficult to get back on than I expected, but the two studs that protrude the the cover and have knurled nuts to secure it seemed to line up and go thru without too much effort. But when i too it back off, that is when i noticed, I had not lined up the tang for the safety switch correct. Made sure I did it right this time... and she powered up! Whew.... that was a huge relief for me. I'm not sure about everyone else, but it is an aweful feeling when you plunk down a fairly large chunk of cash for something.... and it doesn't work when it arrives. I was fairly certain that Precision Matthews ran it at least a little before it shipped out because I'm assuming they are the ones who install the DRO and the QCTP. Not that you need to run the lathe for either of those, but it just kinda of "felt" like they did.

In any case, like I stated in my initial post, I have absolutely zero experience with a metal lathe. Absolute beginner... but I have watched way to many YouTube videos over the last 6 months (at least according to my wife). It took me another full day to work up to courage to chuck a piece of 1.5" Alum Round bar to attempt to make my first cut. The previous day, I had mostly just played around with the controls trying to understand how/what each level/knob/switch did (yes I did have a small chuck of alum chucked up so the jaws would be loaded), but i dont think i ever took it above maybe 200 rpm. In any case, my first facing cut was pretty much exactly like all those YouTube videos showed. I did have a little nub, so I knew my tool height wasn't quite right... but it was still pretty exciting to see the first chips coming off the tool and falling to the chip pan. After a few adjustments, the nub was gone.

I know a lot of you will think this sounds kind of silly... but I was ecstatic. Baby steps.... but I have started my journey of learning a new skill. I'm sure I will have lots of questions in the future. Many of which will probably be very obvious to all of you have that years of experience under your belts... but will escape me and my limited knowledge.

I just wanted to give a quick update.

Doug

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