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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I'm putting together a home shop so I don't have to rely on taking my personal horns to work to get them fixed up, next tool on my list is a mini-lathe.
I'm on a really tight budget so the cheaper the cost the better, but I don't want to buy just any old cheap lathe, I want it to last a while. I'll be using it for most things a bench motor would be used for, straitening/making rods, minor fabrication stuff, etc...

Thanks!
-Scott
 

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I would recomend a sherline 4000 lathe, its fantastic and sherline make all the tools you would ever want, also there is a book called tabletop machining which is great. I see them on ebay going for great prices sometimes.
 

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I have been quite happy with a Micro-Mark that I bought last year. They are currently HAVING A SALE.

I buy all my tooling and supplies from http://www.littlemachineshop.com/. They don't sell a lathe because they have an agreement not to compete with the suppliers of the tools that they accessorize. (don't bite the hand that feeds you). Their prices are better and quality is very high.
 

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If you don't need a big one, and you can live with not having the most precise lathe out there, you can usually get a "Unimat" pretty cheap on ebay. Do some research on it first to see if it fits your needs.

I myself am going to be saving up for a Sherline lathe and mill for my home shop, and eventually convert them to CNC (drool).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions, though it looks like the mini lathe purchase (and all other sax/shop related things) will cease for the moment (aside from selling), some medical bills are popping up...

When I do make a purchase though, I'm pretty sure what I'll go for now.

Thanks!
-Scott
 

· Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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For instrument repairs, apart from making tools, the most common use for my lathe would be for tenon work on clarinets.

Unless I have it wrong, you have 8" between centres for the Sherline 4000, which could be pretty frustrating, as it won't take a clarinet section.
 

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You could get the other model from Sherline which I think is the same but with longer distance between centers. If I was looking for a lathe (I will buy one eventually) that's probably what I would buy (but for reasons that are irelevent for others on this forum).
 

· Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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I consider myself very lucky to have what is seen in the first photo here, but with most accessories (eg 4-jaw chuck, face plate, change gears, dividing head, milling table steadies etc), and quick-change tool holder system, with a variety of tools mounted in about 15 holders. A beautifully made metric, Austrian machine.

http://www.lathes.co.uk/emco/page8.html
 

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FWIW, I'm not a big fan of the sherlines. Just don't like the setup. Coming from a south bend (my big lathe) and going to a sherline is just frustrating.

Taig makes quite a few of these lathes and the Micro Mark is a nice little lathe and big enough for tenon work. The OTMT from Travers looks decent as well. I hear the bearings in the bigger lathe are more than adequate for our purposes. Have tried the mini Encos and EMco's and they are all decent.

Right now I'm in the process of acquiring a new lathe for another shop and am looking at both of these models.... Micro Mark and OTMT (I "think" taig makes both).

Joe B
 
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