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My newest tool! What you see cost me a total of $525 shipped. Not in the picture are the 4-jawed chuck, another Jacobs chuck, and the 5 other bits.
The motor shield was not included. I fabricated that from 22 gauge mild steel I got from OSH.

I bought this lathe from Carter Tools. After doing some comparison shopping he had the best prices and the best service (all though right after
purchasing it, Jason K informed me he was selling a used one with all the stuff for much cheaper
" align="absmiddle" border="0" /> )

I'm very pleased with the performance of this lathe and the ease of assembly, but in retrospect, I should have spent the additional 30 bucks to have Nick carter assemble it.
It takes about 15 minutes to assemble, but about 2 hours to lap the table and the cross slide.

This operation is necessary if you want the gibs to glide smoothly with no vibration, and thats just what they do.
The break down of the price

K1019 $159.50 Unassembled Micro Lathe II kit

1022 $5.25 Motor mount bracket with necessary hardware

1023 $7.70 Mounting board 12" x 18" used for No. 1021W motor, use 3M 500

belt

1162 $25.80 Pulley set 1/2" shaft 3M 500 belt included

1150 $39.50 Drilling tailstock

1050 $64.10 3 Jaw 3 1/4" dia. self centering scroll chuck

1090 $37.80 0-1/4" Jacobs drill chuck, industrial quality

1092 $10.80 1/16-3/8" Jacobs drill chuck, commercial quality

1095 $28.75 6 piece high speed steel tool bit set

1030 $64.75 4 jaw 3 1/4" dia. chuck

subtotal $443.95, less 10%, $399.55

1021W $106.40 Marathon Motor 115v 60 HZ 1725 RPM 1/4 HP, 1/2" shaft, net

price

S&H $20.00

Total $525.95



Probably the handies piece I got was the tail stock and the two Jacobs chucks for the tail stock.



Once centered, you can precission drill and tap like nobodys business.

I've worked on huge wood lathes in the past but this is the first metal working lathe I've ever used, so I bought the basics set because I had no idea what it could do.

After using it for a week though, I realized that I really needed some of the accessories that I didn't order, and that Mark Scrivner recommended.

So yesterday I ordered:

1171 $5.10 Back tool post

1152 $16.50 Die holder for tailstock

1052 $7.80 Full circle soft jaw set for 3 jaw chuck

1040 $30.80 Collet set

$60.20, less 10% and $7.00 S&H $61.18

Bringing my total to $593.13

I could have saved myself 7 bucks in shipping if I had followed Mark's advise and bought the accessories above to begin with.

The Back tool post is great as an auxilery tool post and for the parting tool (The recommended way to part the work from the stock)

Its great to be able to tap a threaded hole, but cutting threads is also an operation you can do better on the lathe.

I got the Full circle soft jaws because I like to work with a lot of thin stock.

And the collet set is esential if you are going to turn smaller diameter stock or for doing some limited milling.



PROS and Cons

  1. The bed is ground steel with dovetailed ways on an Extruded aluminum chasis filled with concrete.

    This makes the bed very durable, but proned to rust while the base is heavy but can be marred or damaged if you are careless
  2. The swing over the bed is about 4.5" which is more than I will ever need for the scale I'm working with, but I can imagine that if you are working in larger scales than 7/8ths or maybe even in 7/8ths that might be too small.
  3. The crossslide swing is 2.75" again, that's enough travel for my needs.
  4. The overall lenght of the lathe is 18" and that includes the mounting board which is 12" deep. In my small shop that's an asset not a liability.
  5. The pulleys provide six speeds; 525-5300. Those can work on most soft metals provided you use the right cutting fluid, but I think I would like to engineer a second pulley to reduce the speed a little more for working with steel of various dimensions.
  6. In the specs, the carriage material is listed as aluminum, but neither the carriage or the crossslide feel like aluminum to the touch or by the weight.
  7. There are plenty of T slides on the carriage, the crossslide, the tailstock and the headstock for mounting other accessories but I'm having a hard time finding the 3/8" x 1/4" nuts that fit at OSH, Home depot or Ace in Santa Cruz.
  8. The tailstock is extruded aluminum, and quite rough on the edges. The gibs are machined right into the aluminum. This is ok I guess if you don't move the tailstock around a lot, but I use mine a lot as a stop and move it back and forth to drill holes, so I am a little concerned about the wear.


I've still got a lot to learn about turning metal, but so far this lathe has met all the challenges I have thrown at it and I'm very satisfied with its performance.

I'm looking forward to seeing what else I can do with the other attachments ;)" align="absmiddle" border="0" />
 

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I didn't see that you listed it, and I'm blanking on the correct technical name for it, but the rotary tool holder that lets you cut at angles is another "must have" for this tool. You'll also want to get some extra jaws for the 3-jaw chuck, as you'll want to machine steps into them to hold larger bits and pieces. I also got the milling attachment for it. It doesn't turn it into a "proper" milling machine, but it's good for small projects. (I actually have yet to use this.)

Mine doesn't see a whole lot of use, but when I need it, it's a great thing to have.

Later,

K
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the tips K :) I looked at that rotary attachment, but haven't gotten to that point yet. What I would like to get is that ball maker, not the one on Nick's site, but the one he has to the link too.
 

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Glad to see you have a gotten a machine to help in the build process. I have an older Unimat 3 I have had for 27 years and it is just great. It is a little on the small side for making big parts , but I can manage for most of the work I do on my live steamers. I you plan to do very accurate machining of wheel centers, a 4 jaw chuck is a must . I only use mine on occausion but when you need it , you need it. Have created a new stack ,a burner and centered drilled the sand dome on my Mimi with the lathe. I also milled a new headlight bracket for a box headlight for Mimi with the milling attachment. I made all of the radio control brackets useing the milling attachment too ! Enjoy your new tool .

Charles M SA # 74
 

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Discussion Starter #5
BTW,
I just found a cheap replacement for the square nuts that fit in the T-slots 10-24 machine screws and nuts work just fine and are about 8 cents a piece :)
 

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I've had mine for over 25 years and have used it a lot. The only real negative (keeping in mind its size) is the absence of driven lead screw for thread cutting. Rumour had it that these originated decades ago as "jig lathes" for the aircraft industry - used right at the build sight for fine tuning the fit of small parts, and were used originally as collet lathes.




  1. The bed is ground steel with dovetailed ways on an Extruded aluminum chasis filled with concrete.

    This makes the bed very durable, but proned to rust while the base is heavy but can be marred or damaged if you are careless
This shouldn't be an issue. The steel is quite resistant to rust, especially if you use cutting oils (which you should). Mine hasn't rusted or dented and I'm not particularly careful with it. The gibs allow very precise setup of tolerances. The lathe is capable of very high machine tolerances in skilled hands. My only complaint has been the amount of lash in the drive screws assemblies, which takes a little getting used to for microscopic movements.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sorry I didn't respond sooner Paul; I've been messing around with my new lathe too much :) Anyway, you are right about the lash. Its not so bad on the carriage, but I have to hold a thumb on the cross slide a little to keep it from moving back towards me.
I've seen some taig sites where folks have carrected the lash, but I'm not at that stage yet and a thumb seems to work just fine.
I've also seen a jig for cutting lead screws on the taig, but its a home built unit and I'm not up to the task yet.
 

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Posted By rkapuaala on 03/04/2009 10:58 AM
Sorry I didn't respond sooner Paul; I've been messing around with my new lathe too much :)" align="absmiddle" border="0" /> Anyway, you are right about the lash. Its not so bad on the carriage, but I have to hold a thumb on the cross slide a little to keep it from moving back towards me.
I've seen some taig sites where folks have carrected the lash, but I'm not at that stage yet and a thumb seems to work just fine.
I've also seen a jig for cutting lead screws on the taig, but its a home built unit and I'm not up to the task yet


If the carriage is moving under cutting pressure, you're either taking too big a cut (remember, these are little lathes), or the gibs on the side of the carriage track need to be tightened down a bit. Carriage shouldn't move under normal cutting.
 
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