High Torgue Mini Lathe Purchase

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  • Last Post 19 June 2018
OU812 posted this 04 January 2017

After watching videos and reading all reviews the Little Machine Shop 5100 mini lathe is currently the best Chinese mini lathe available. $899.00

 

 

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OU812 posted this 05 January 2017

 All Chinese mini lathes are made in the same factory, but this is there latest improvement. The 3” three jaw chuck has been increased to 4” and spindle bore is slightly larger .800". The 4” independent Four jaw chuck (optional) would be good for turning down bullet molds to shorter length. There are a few things I would like to make such as better fitting punches for lee sizing dies and bumping dies to preload bore ride bullets for better, more round fit. Lots of fun to keep my mind working and busy.

Lathe weighs about 80lbs for easy lifting. Fun Fun Fun 

Here he will be testing the machine for overload. This is vdeo 10 of a ten part video.

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OU812 posted this 17 January 2017

The lathe came well packed in wooden crate.

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RicinYakima posted this 17 January 2017

Really hope you enjoy your lathe! I have spent many hours playing with my 6” Atlas. Ric

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 18 January 2017

always like to see boys and their toys ... be sure to show us some gadgets as you turn them out .... i think most of us like shiny metal objects ...

if you got a 4-jaw one real handy project is a pair of knurled adjustment wrenches so you can adjust opposing jaws 2 at a time ...  make handles for cut-off hex keys to fit .

if you need some play stock i have a ton of aluminum round left ...mostly 2 inches y under ... 6061 mostly; good stuff .  i have made a few aluminum bump dies .. seems to hold up for a few hundred bumps at least ..... oh, i also have 12l14 steel, mostly 1/2 inch about ... decent push punches and can be torch-case-hardened with kasenite , but i usually don't bother  ...

ken

 

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JeffinNZ posted this 18 January 2017

I have a Chinese mini lathe that a friend in California gifted to me complete with tooling.  He scored in 2nd hand and thought of me in NZ so I arranged shipping and have a ball with it. 

Cheers from New Zealand

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OU812 posted this 18 January 2017

Ken, You are a good generous person...I may contact you about the 12L14.

I purchased some cold rolled rod (3 foot, 5/8” diameter) from Home Depot, but I do not know what type of steel it is? I think it is 1018. Is this stuff easy to machine?

From the factory the 3 jaw chuck run out was .005", but I got run out to less than .002” by switching jaw locations. The tail stock appears to be VERY CLOSE to center and stays centered when extended. This is good enough for when drilling holes.

 

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 19 January 2017

ou:   the cold rolled is not as nice to cut as 12l14 .... 12l14 is as good as steel gets  for easy cutting.  but cold rolled can be cut patiently with usual cutters , high speed and carbide.  btw old school likes to say that carbide doesn't work well with manual feed ... that is because they are not using the new high rake ( sharp ) inserts.  if you got chinese carbide with your tooling, it probably is not sharp and does further that argument.  carbide needs sharpened with a diamond wheel ......but good to learn with high speed, and learn to grind the edges ... sharpen often, also.   a good trick is to keep some cheap roughing tools handy for first cuts then also some nice sharp tools for the last 0.020 or so ....steel often has a surface scale that is hard on tools

thinking about it, watch for delrin ( acetal ) ... for making plastic gadgets ... it is pretty stable and grins to cut .

remember on your 0.003 chuck runout ... when you spin and cut the part the result will be concentric with the spindle ... the runout only hurts when you need to rechuck a part  . 

bet you have some fun with your machine .

ken

 

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OU812 posted this 20 January 2017

Ken, The steel rod I purchased at Home Depot is A36 hot rolled steel and is not the most machine friendly steel I should be learning on. The cheap Chinese insert seemed to dull some like you said, but I did manage to make a small part without too much difficulty. Cutting off was a real pain using the thin 1/16" blade...I need a better cut off blade.

I purchased a cheap Ryobi 6” grinder to sharpen some High Speed Steel bits. What are the best stone grits to rough sharpen and finish sharpen bits with?

Thank you !

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OU812 posted this 20 January 2017

This guy uses a 60 grit and 100 grit.

http://tomstechniques.com/

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OU812 posted this 20 January 2017

Facing bit angles.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 20 January 2017

re:  parting off ::

for the most ” part ” ( g ) ... small lathes are not rigid enough to do a good part ... cut-off ....  but it is always fun to keep trying .... you will find that rarely the cut goes just like you wanted ... but then for mysterious reasons the cut-off blade will  just chatter, squeal, and break blades and/or ruin your work.

kinda like shooting cast bullets, :  just when you think you got it ... you don't got it .

here is my normal parting method ::    grit teeth   ......sharpen blade .....try teensy above center .... try teensy below center .... more rpm ... less rpm .... ..... then go get hacksaw and let spindle run while you saw off workpiece ... ( protect lathe bed when saw breaks through ) ...  

if you have room, usually cutting over-lapping slots helps ... because in a single narrow slot the chip tends to force the blade sideways  .... especially if the blade tip is slanted to cut off the drop-off cleanly .  don't try for much if any tip slant , just de-pip the work later .

hope this helps .

ken

  

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 20 January 2017

re:  grinding tools :

don't overthink this ... angles for home shop are not critical ... just remember that the tool ” cuts ” by violently fracturing the metal as it spins ...the smaller the edge ( sharper )  the more pressure per area the tool develops .... the tradeoff is that the sharper edges will also break ( dull ) easier .

all tools actually cut in a similar manner :  set on center ... make sure only the edge touches the work ... and the work surface is going by the cutting edge at a tangent ... thus on center setting ...

leave a small radius on any cutting edge corner ... if not enough radius the tool will    scratch     ( thread )    the workpiece . the radius should spread over 2 or 3  threads ... so as to leave a smooth finish .

try to practice with aluminum ... mainly to get some successful early results to encourage you to try steel later ... many gadgets can be made from good aluminum .  also you can usually cut aluminum od without lube ... less mess .  you need lube for deep drilling in alum. tho.  always lube with steels , it clears chip buildup .

ken

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OU812 posted this 21 January 2017

Ken, What is the best way to bore a precise diameter hole (.2205) without reaming? Would I have to bore hole smaller then finish sand larger using sandpaper wrapped on rod?

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 21 January 2017

precision holes ...   tolerance is our friend ... 

drilling a starter hole will result in some ” run-out ” error ...  the deeper the hole the worse the angle ....

a reamer will tend to follow a drilled hole ...error and all ...

boring will create a hole straight ...concentric ...  with the spindle .... so usually for a precision hole to +/- 0.0003 we drill then bore then ream ...    closer than that requires ...grinding, polishing, honing ...and gauging as you go .  or, of course::  luck ...

you might try::  cutting a tapered button on the end of a push rod ... put axial slits in the button and fill with polish ... polish out to final size with drill motor power.  

 

here is a reasonable source for cutters 

https://drillsandcutters.com

ken

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OU812 posted this 22 January 2017

I returned the Ryobi bench grinder because of too much vibration. The stamped flanges that hold the 6' stones to 1/2” arbor were very inaccurate and caused wobble. Went to Harbor Freight and purchased another with same problem...cheap stamped flanges. So to fix the problem I will be making better flanges to help make stones run truer with less vibration.

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John Alexander posted this 28 January 2017

Ken,

Thanks for the free lessons in machining.  I suspect a few others appreciate some basic reminders as I do. 

John

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rmrix posted this 29 January 2017

I love reading all these posts on Lathe and machine shop.

I am in my 47th year as a beginner.  Started in High School shop.

There was a lathe and mill at home, dads and I was not allowed to touch them.  He wasn't being a jerk, he was just off making money running a business and told me  ” go learn in the school program, I'm paying for it and when you prove you know what you are doing you can use mine"

 

Dad would be 103 years old and is long gone. His lathe and mill are mine and I think of him every time I use them - and, wish I knew a fraction of what he did. He was 25 years in the machine shop world including WWII USN Navel Gun factory.  I wish I made recordings of the stories.

Okay - enough!

 

Thanks for all the good info!  Every tip and pointer adds to the collective wisdom.

And Ken - THANKS for the metal you made available to me!

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OU812 posted this 06 February 2017

I just purchased a collet die conversion for my mini lathe. It will clamp small work more accurately.

http://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=4231&category=

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Geargnasher posted this 19 June 2018

I know this is an old thread, but I love to see what others are doing with these little machines.  Good tutorials there on basic tool grinding, too.  These things make the best high-speed case prep tools in the world as far as I'm concerned.  Make an outboard spider, get an extra test indicator, and you can do more than most people think on one of these if you take your time and use very sharp tools (NOT the cheap brazed carbide like here!)

mini-lathe

Square tenon threads

 

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OU812 posted this 19 June 2018

Good sharp bit is most important.

The mini lathes are not as rigid as larger lathes, but will do OK for my smaller projects. The thru hole in my 4" chuck will not fit a larger Varmint profile barrel, but smaller diameter Sporter type barrels can fit.

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