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Talking of Lathes...

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Talking of Lathes...

Postby Robert » 18 Oct 2020, 12:49

Mikes friend being interested in a woodturning lathe set me thinking.

I have an Axminster Perform white lathe that I hardly ever use...but i do sometimes. Not measured it but the thing is 4 or 5 ft long and most of the time is just in the way.

What I think would be more useful is a small metal working lathe. What would be even more useful is if I could occasionally turn wood on it. Maybe up to 6" diameter or a foot long.

So is there a small bench top lathe that could do that or is wood out of the question on the smaller ones?

What to look at obviously comes next..
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Re: Talking of Lathes...

Postby Mike G » 18 Oct 2020, 13:29

I have a buddy with a metal working lathe, and he spins up bits of wood quite regularly, so I've had this conversation with him. It works perfectly well turning wood in an engineering lathe (you might have to adapt a tool rest to suit hand tools), but it doesn't work the other way (trying to turn metal on a wood lathe. The big deal, though, is the waste. Engineering lathe waste is oily swarf, and when sawdust mixes in with that the resulting concoction is alchemy worthy of the devil himself.
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Re: Talking of Lathes...

Postby DaveL » 18 Oct 2020, 13:44

A way to control the shavings when turning wood on a metal lathe is to drape an old curtain over the bed and drip tray.
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Re: Talking of Lathes...

Postby Robert » 18 Oct 2020, 14:09

Thanks for the replies - more or less what I would have guessed.

Next problem then is what to look at. Needs to be no more than a 2 man lift onto a bench in terms of weight but big enough to be useful.
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Re: Talking of Lathes...

Postby Woodbloke » 18 Oct 2020, 14:18

I've often thought that a small m/w lathe might be quite useful; something that's not too heavy and could be tucked under a bench but I'm not sure I could justify the cost as the amount of metal spinning I need to do for my projects is minimal. A few years ago I did have a pal (since passed away) who used to do all my turned stuff when required - Rob
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Re: Talking of Lathes...

Postby Woodster » 18 Oct 2020, 14:21

I’ve got an old BV20 MW lathe that I bought from Axminster tools and sometimes turn wood on it.

Something like a used 920 lathe might suit you if you want to google the type?
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Re: Talking of Lathes...

Postby Robert » 18 Oct 2020, 14:40

Woodster wrote:I’ve got an old BV20 MW lathe that I bought from Axminster tools and sometimes turn wood on it.

Something like a used 920 lathe might suit you if you want to google the type?


Found a place selling that 920. Looks the style but possibly a bit large. Seem to be quite a few new on ebay around the 6 or 8" swing x 16" ctrs but all made in China. Not that that means much now as most machines for hobby use come from china.

Not seeing the Chinese ones offered used much so maybe people keep them. Lots to think about...
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Re: Talking of Lathes...

Postby SamQ aka Ah! Q! » 18 Oct 2020, 22:12

I can recommend a Myford ML4. Just the size you are considering. Only trouble is, no integral motor and speed control by gears.

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Re: Talking of Lathes...

Postby Trevanion » 18 Oct 2020, 22:26

As a woodworker, the best thing I've ever invested in is my CVA MK1A lathe, but I've never used it for turning wood as I don't want to get wood dust mixed in the coolant tank or in anything mechanical. Bought it as an apprentice joiner for what was at the time 20 weeks wages and in that time it has been an absolute lifesaver on the woodworking machinery side of things for repair work. I love it with all my heart, it's my favourite bit of equipment that I own.

Image

There's no real reason you couldn't turn wood on one though (Although I'd recommend covering places where it may get in somewhere important), you could even rig up some kind of tool rest on the carriage so that you could use regular turning gouges and the like.
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Re: Talking of Lathes...

Postby Mike G » 18 Oct 2020, 22:37

Blimey, that's a beast.
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Re: Talking of Lathes...

Postby SamQ aka Ah! Q! » 21 Oct 2020, 00:43

Trevanion, I learned to turn metal on a lovely big Colchester not unlike yours in size and layout. Once you've experienced the solidity and accuracy of one, you never want anything else. Nice sharp, properly shaped, HSS toolbit and judicious choice of revs, smoootthhhh.

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Re: Talking of Lathes...

Postby Woodster » 21 Oct 2020, 11:25

I should have mentioned earlier but I too had one of the large Axminster Perform Lathes as well. Mine took up much too much space and spent half the time in bits stacked up somewhere. As a result of this but still wishing to turn wood I bought an Axminster AT1416VS which is a much more compact machine. It’s on a mobile stand so I can move it around if it gets in the way.
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