miller lathe?


militaryoperator
 

Having too much time and such I was thinking of a little miller/drill/lathe. 

Saw this:  SEALEY SM2503

Has by any chance anyone got one, knows if its worth the £1600 or so?

Ben

... Yes, I know its not CNC, not everything needs to be connected to a pc.


Paul G8AQA
 

Hi Ben,

Cheaper from
https://www.rapidonline.com/Sealey-SM2503-Mini-Lathe-and-Drilling-Machine-89-2770?utm_source=AffWin&utm_medium=Affiliate&awc=1799_1623524046_6555171c12b59b611f70f66727baeb83.

These cheap tools are often best bought from Axminster. They do good quality control.
https://www.axminstertools.com/

Much better to get a more robust machine secondhand. Getting good results is easier with a more rigid machine. You will be very limited with a machine of this sort. Don't expect to do milling with it unless you can replace the drill chuck with some sort of collet chuck.

Rule of thumb. Expect to spend as much or more on tooling.

I have a small lathe which I never use. The big one ( a Colchester Student) is more accurate and easier to use.

Ring me if you want a chat on the subject.

73
Paul G8AQA

On 12/06/2021 19:47, militaryoperator via groups.io wrote:
SEALEY SM2503


Virus-free. www.avg.com


militaryoperator
 

Hi Ben,
Cheaper from
https://www.rapidonline.com/Sealey-SM2503-Mini-Lathe-and-Drilling-Machine-89-2770?utm_source=AffWin&utm_medium=Affiliate&awc=1799_1623524046_6555171c12b59b611f70f66727baeb83.
These cheap tools are often best bought from Axminster. They do good quality control.
https://www.axminstertools.com/
Much better to get a more robust machine secondhand. Getting good results is easier with a more rigid machine. You will be very limited with a machine of this sort. Don't expect to do milling with it unless you can replace the drill chuck with some sort of collet chuck.
Rule of thumb. Expect to spend as much or more on tooling.
I have a small lathe which I never use. The big one ( a Colchester Student) is more accurate and easier to use.
Ring me if you want a chat on the subject.
73
Paul G8AQA

Thanks Paul. I hear what you say and do appreciate you only get what you pay for but as its really only drilling small holes accurately and facing off waveguide etc, not milling out solid blocks for high power amplifiers and the like I thought something like this might be handier than a battery hand drill and a Dremel.

Yes, a local pickup of a much better spec item would be great, just a matter of being in the right place at the right time, hi. 

cheers, Ben 


Mark GM4ISM
 

This is almost a clone of my Axminster micro lathe. I have a 2 axis slide attachment  as well  that allows  milling  using the main lathe chuck. I get good results on small projects.

If you understand it's limitations  and don't try to cut  too deep, you can do a good job on smaller pieces. You have to be prepared to take your time to achieve this. I have used much bigger and more robust machines and they sure make life easier.  I don't have room for that sort of machine but couldn't do without my trusty little Axminster machine. If you need to machine anything of any size, these machines are of little use

Mine was bought second hand and cost a LOT less that £1600

Mark GM4ISM


On 12/06/2021 20:21, militaryoperator via groups.io wrote:
Hi Ben,
Cheaper from
https://www.rapidonline.com/Sealey-SM2503-Mini-Lathe-and-Drilling-Machine-89-2770?utm_source=AffWin&utm_medium=Affiliate&awc=1799_1623524046_6555171c12b59b611f70f66727baeb83.
These cheap tools are often best bought from Axminster. They do good quality control.
https://www.axminstertools.com/
Much better to get a more robust machine secondhand. Getting good results is easier with a more rigid machine. You will be very limited with a machine of this sort. Don't expect to do milling with it unless you can replace the drill chuck with some sort of collet chuck.
Rule of thumb. Expect to spend as much or more on tooling.
I have a small lathe which I never use. The big one ( a Colchester Student) is more accurate and easier to use.
Ring me if you want a chat on the subject.
73
Paul G8AQA

Thanks Paul. I hear what you say and do appreciate you only get what you pay for but as its really only drilling small holes accurately and facing off waveguide etc, not milling out solid blocks for high power amplifiers and the like I thought something like this might be handier than a battery hand drill and a Dremel.

Yes, a local pickup of a much better spec item would be great, just a matter of being in the right place at the right time, hi. 

cheers, Ben 

Virus-free. www.avg.com


ian hope (2E0IJH)
 

Often use Axminster for tools as they have a shop locally near Sheppey, https://www.axminstertools.com/stores
 
Very handy
 
Ian
M5IJH

 
 
Sent: Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 8:21 PM
From: "militaryoperator via groups.io" <Military1944@...>
To: "UKMicrowaves@groups.io" <UKMicrowaves@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] miller lathe?
Hi Ben,
Cheaper from
https://www.rapidonline.com/Sealey-SM2503-Mini-Lathe-and-Drilling-Machine-89-2770?utm_source=AffWin&utm_medium=Affiliate&awc=1799_1623524046_6555171c12b59b611f70f66727baeb83.
These cheap tools are often best bought from Axminster. They do good quality control.
https://www.axminstertools.com/
Much better to get a more robust machine secondhand. Getting good results is easier with a more rigid machine. You will be very limited with a machine of this sort. Don't expect to do milling with it unless you can replace the drill chuck with some sort of collet chuck.
Rule of thumb. Expect to spend as much or more on tooling.
I have a small lathe which I never use. The big one ( a Colchester Student) is more accurate and easier to use.
Ring me if you want a chat on the subject.
73
Paul G8AQA
 
Thanks Paul. I hear what you say and do appreciate you only get what you pay for but as its really only drilling small holes accurately and facing off waveguide etc, not milling out solid blocks for high power amplifiers and the like I thought something like this might be handier than a battery hand drill and a Dremel.
 
Yes, a local pickup of a much better spec item would be great, just a matter of being in the right place at the right time, hi. 
 
cheers, Ben 
 


g4zod@btinternet.com
 


I have both a Mill and Lathe made by the usual Chinese Company.

As long as you allow for "non tool room quality" and do some fine tuning of the machines, they can do a reasonable job. They will never have the feel of a decent machine, but for the price, they are adequate.

If you buy one of the smaller machines they can be a bit flimsy.

You will need to invest in decent cutting tools, collets and drills.

Julian

G4ZOD



------ Original Message ------
From: "militaryoperator via groups.io" <Military1944@...>
To: "ukmicrowaves@groups.io" <ukmicrowaves@groups.io>
Sent: Saturday, 12 Jun, 2021 At 19:47
Subject: [UKMicrowaves] miller lathe?

Having too much time and such I was thinking of a little miller/drill/lathe.

Saw this: SEALEY SM2503

Has by any chance anyone got one, knows if its worth the £1600 or so?

Ben

... Yes, I know its not CNC, not everything needs to be connected to a pc.


Neil Smith G4DBN
 

My Bridgeport cost less than that, but takes up a *bit* more room, weighing almost a ton and being 7ft tall and 5 x 5 ft footprint. Tiny lathes usually work pretty well, tiny mills rarely so, because of poor stiffness of the column.  As Mark says, a two-axis slide is a good way to get light milling facilities on a decent lathe.  The SIEG lathes from Arceurotrade.co.uk are supposed to be OK, and there are lots around like the Chester DB7 and larger https://www.chesterhobbystore.com/shop/metalworking-machines/lathes/db7vs-lathe/ as well as the Axminster and Warco. Most of them are made in the same couple of Chinese factories.

Variable speed without belt changes is convenient, but you get less torque than on a gearhead or multiple-pulley machine.  Make sure you can cut metric and imperial threads without too much messing with gears. A quick change tool post is very useful, and if there is an affordable 4-jaw independent chuck available, that is a very useful addition.  You can even turn rectangular cuboids if you have one of those as well a self-centering 3-jaw.  I find I use a collet chuck almost more than the big 3 and 4 jaw jobs. Mine has an ER40, but if you can get an ER32 chuck, that would be very useful for smaller parts.

The general rule is "work out how much you can afford and how much space you have and see what is the biggest lathe you can get.  Then buy a bigger one".

Another general rule is that once you set a price for the lathe/mill, you should expect to spend about the same again on tooling, accessories, chucks and all the other paraphernalia. I've probably got £6k worth of tooling and accessories for my £1500 mill and £3k worth for my Colchester 1800 lathe, which was around £2200 including a serious Newall digital readout system. Zero use for most home workshops of course, which is where the mini-lathes really shine.

Hobbies eh?  Money-pits the lot of 'em

Neil G4DBN


g4zod@btinternet.com
 

 My Chinese Mill and Lathe  were purchased with Metric settings. However on occasions I am still forced to work in imperial  units. If you can digitise the machine(s), it will make life easier. Cheap digital read outs are available. 
I have variable speed controllers on both machines. Very much a mixed blessing as they lack torque at low speeds and when the control boards burn out they are expensive to replace. 
As one contributor pointed out, a machine like a Bridgeport is the ideal, but it all depends on the footprint available. I buy metric tooling in preference  to Imperial types.
G4ZOD



Sent from my Galaxy


-------- Original message --------
From: Neil Smith G4DBN <neil@...>
Date: 12/06/2021 23:43 (GMT+00:00)
To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io
Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] miller lathe?

My Bridgeport cost less than that, but takes up a *bit* more room,
weighing almost a ton and being 7ft tall and 5 x 5 ft footprint. Tiny
lathes usually work pretty well, tiny mills rarely so, because of poor
stiffness of the column.  As Mark says, a two-axis slide is a good way
to get light milling facilities on a decent lathe.  The SIEG lathes from
Arceurotrade.co.uk are supposed to be OK, and there are lots around like
the Chester DB7 and larger
https://www.chesterhobbystore.com/shop/metalworking-machines/lathes/db7vs-lathe/
as well as the Axminster and Warco. Most of them are made in the same
couple of Chinese factories.

Variable speed without belt changes is convenient, but you get less
torque than on a gearhead or multiple-pulley machine.  Make sure you can
cut metric and imperial threads without too much messing with gears. A
quick change tool post is very useful, and if there is an affordable
4-jaw independent chuck available, that is a very useful addition.  You
can even turn rectangular cuboids if you have one of those as well a
self-centering 3-jaw.  I find I use a collet chuck almost more than the
big 3 and 4 jaw jobs. Mine has an ER40, but if you can get an ER32
chuck, that would be very useful for smaller parts.

The general rule is "work out how much you can afford and how much space
you have and see what is the biggest lathe you can get.  Then buy a
bigger one".

Another general rule is that once you set a price for the lathe/mill,
you should expect to spend about the same again on tooling, accessories,
chucks and all the other paraphernalia. I've probably got £6k worth of
tooling and accessories for my £1500 mill and £3k worth for my
Colchester 1800 lathe, which was around £2200 including a serious Newall
digital readout system. Zero use for most home workshops of course,
which is where the mini-lathes really shine.

Hobbies eh?  Money-pits the lot of 'em

Neil G4DBN









Dave G6HEF
 

Hi Ben,

Such a difficult subject. I looked at all sorts of options but then become unlucky enough to have two parents die from Covid. The only sensible thing to do was invest that money in something at least my Dad would approve of.

I ended up splashing out on Warco machines and the only real complaint I have is that they took an age to arrive. I have both a drill/mill and a lathe. Can’t remember which models off the top of my head but obviously I can check.

My thoughts are if you are really serious about machining for microwaves you will regret anything less. There are other makes and models but I would advise to aim high otherwise you’ll end up with a toy that won’t do what you want it to do.

It isn’t cheap though and I understand not everyone has got the budget. Including tooling, (index table, lots of slotting bits, boring bars, mill vice, clamping t-bolts and plates, full sets of taps, dies and all the correct drill sizes, DTI, slotting saw and arbour - I’ve used them all and still *need* more ;))  I’ve probably spent about £4K on the machines and approaching that in tooling in the 6 months I’ve had the machines.

I don’t regret it, but I’m lucky to have the budget and I did think long and hard before making the initial purchase.

Very happy to expand on my experiences if you need further info and help try and work out how you can achieve what you want within you own budget.

Mostly though, I agree that CNC isn’t needed unless you intend to make lots of the same thing and indeed may detract from enjoyment, skills and creativity. I rarely think “damn, wish I had a CNC machine, but then I was thought old school!

Hoe that helps

Dave
G6HEF


John Lemay
 

Ben

 

I too have a Chinese milling machine – badged Warco. It’s now 11 years old and is in use roughly every other day. Nothing major has failed, although the digital readout of speed failed a couple of years back but I’ve not felt the need to replace it.

 

Machining stuff can be quite addictive, and while I note you comment about only wanting it for small pieces, that can easily change once you get a machine, so it really is worth buying as big as you can afford/fit in your workspace. Size isn’t everything, but mass is, in my opinion. Heavy machine parts leads to more rigidity and less vibration, which will make for a better quality of your output.

 

John G4ZTR

 

From: UKMicrowaves@groups.io [mailto:UKMicrowaves@groups.io] On Behalf Of g4zod@... via groups.io
Sent: 13 June 2021 08:32
To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io
Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] miller lathe?

 

 My Chinese Mill and Lathe  were purchased with Metric settings. However on occasions I am still forced to work in imperial  units. If you can digitise the machine(s), it will make life easier. Cheap digital read outs are available. 

I have variable speed controllers on both machines. Very much a mixed blessing as they lack torque at low speeds and when the control boards burn out they are expensive to replace. 

As one contributor pointed out, a machine like a Bridgeport is the ideal, but it all depends on the footprint available. I buy metric tooling in preference  to Imperial types.

G4ZOD

 

 

 

Sent from my Galaxy

 

 

-------- Original message --------

From: Neil Smith G4DBN <neil@...>

Date: 12/06/2021 23:43 (GMT+00:00)

To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io

Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] miller lathe?

 

My Bridgeport cost less than that, but takes up a *bit* more room,
weighing almost a ton and being 7ft tall and 5 x 5 ft footprint. Tiny
lathes usually work pretty well, tiny mills rarely so, because of poor
stiffness of the column.  As Mark says, a two-axis slide is a good way
to get light milling facilities on a decent lathe.  The SIEG lathes from
Arceurotrade.co.uk are supposed to be OK, and there are lots around like
the Chester DB7 and larger
https://www.chesterhobbystore.com/shop/metalworking-machines/lathes/db7vs-lathe/
as well as the Axminster and Warco. Most of them are made in the same
couple of Chinese factories.

Variable speed without belt changes is convenient, but you get less
torque than on a gearhead or multiple-pulley machine.  Make sure you can
cut metric and imperial threads without too much messing with gears. A
quick change tool post is very useful, and if there is an affordable
4-jaw independent chuck available, that is a very useful addition.  You
can even turn rectangular cuboids if you have one of those as well a
self-centering 3-jaw.  I find I use a collet chuck almost more than the
big 3 and 4 jaw jobs. Mine has an ER40, but if you can get an ER32
chuck, that would be very useful for smaller parts.

The general rule is "work out how much you can afford and how much space
you have and see what is the biggest lathe you can get.  Then buy a
bigger one".

Another general rule is that once you set a price for the lathe/mill,
you should expect to spend about the same again on tooling, accessories,
chucks and all the other paraphernalia. I've probably got £6k worth of
tooling and accessories for my £1500 mill and £3k worth for my
Colchester 1800 lathe, which was around £2200 including a serious Newall
digital readout system. Zero use for most home workshops of course,
which is where the mini-lathes really shine.

Hobbies eh?  Money-pits the lot of 'em

Neil G4DBN








Peter G3SMT
 

Ben,

May I suggest looking at    https://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/   as their range of machines is good value for money and they have an extensive range to tooling available.

73

Peter   G3SMT



On 12/06/2021 19:47, militaryoperator via groups.io wrote:
Having too much time and such I was thinking of a little miller/drill/lathe. 

Saw this:  SEALEY SM2503

Has by any chance anyone got one, knows if its worth the £1600 or so?

Ben

... Yes, I know its not CNC, not everything needs to be connected to a pc.

--
Peter G3SMT


militaryoperator
 

The general rule is "work out how much you can afford and how much space
you have and see what is the biggest lathe you can get.  Then buy a
bigger one".

Hobbies eh?  Money-pits the lot of 'em

Neil G4DBN



Thanks Neil. Luckily, its only space that is my constraining factor. Just put up a new 8 by 8 shed, when empty it looked big. 

Now the wood out of the old shed has been put back, plus the floor standing tool chest, gardening stuff, several masts, a bench put up and power installed, its not quite so big. 

If I got rid of all this old radio junk in the West wing I could have a full length lathe, piller drillers and millers, and all hosts of things. 

Anyone want to buy some old radios? 

Cheers, Ben G4BXD


Dave G6HEF
 

Oh, and don’t forget cooling! I spent about £600 on recirculating cooling for my machines after struggling with material removal at a sensible pace, finish quality and tool life. Soon pays for itself. The finish is now lovely.


Neil Smith G4DBN
 

I use a Noga-Cool mini mist coolant system most of the time, with soluble oil with anti-fogging additives. Less mess than full flow coolant, but then it needs a compressor. Another money-pit.

I want a CNC mill so I can do compound and arbitrary curves and 3D forms, arrays of holes, non-circular holes and other stuff that is very tricky or impossible on a manual mill. If I want a run of 30 things, I'll push it out to Xometry or similar CNC services, using the putative CNC mill only for prototyping or very short runs.
Neil G4DBN

On 13 Jun 2021 10:19, Dave G6HEF <hardknottdave@...> wrote:
Oh, and don’t forget cooling! I spent about £600 on recirculating cooling for my machines after struggling with material removal at a sensible pace, finish quality and tool life. Soon pays for itself. The finish is now lovely.


Raymond Brooks
 

The question on which mill to get is a tricky one as it depends how big the materials you intend to machine. I remember an article in a model engine mag that pointed out there’s more flat matching than turning when making a locomotive,  the suggestion was that a good milling is more desirable. One solution is a sturdy lathe with a milling table attached to the cross slide as good solution. There are some good used machines available. I have a Colchester student lathe and a Herbert OV mill (1941) both can produce good accuracy with good technique.

On 13 Jun 2021 11:05, Neil Smith G4DBN <neil@...> wrote:
I use a Noga-Cool mini mist coolant system most of the time, with soluble oil with anti-fogging additives. Less mess than full flow coolant, but then it needs a compressor. Another money-pit.

I want a CNC mill so I can do compound and arbitrary curves and 3D forms, arrays of holes, non-circular holes and other stuff that is very tricky or impossible on a manual mill. If I want a run of 30 things, I'll push it out to Xometry or similar CNC services, using the putative CNC mill only for prototyping or very short runs.
Neil G4DBN

On 13 Jun 2021 10:19, Dave G6HEF <hardknottdave@...> wrote:
Oh, and don’t forget cooling! I spent about £600 on recirculating cooling for my machines after struggling with material removal at a sensible pace, finish quality and tool life. Soon pays for itself. The finish is now lovely.



--
Raymond G8KPS


Paul G8AQA
 

I don't use cooling pumps. Too much mess. I use carbide tooling and get a good finish. I can take big cuts and get good surface finish. Coolant feed is only needed for high production rates. Tool wear is insignificant for amateur use.
Recirculant coolant need plenty of looking after. It can get infected if just used occasionally.  Cleaning out old coolant is a horrible job.

A dob of coolant from a brush is all that is usually required.

Paul G8AQA


Chris Wilson
 

Hello John,

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Absolutely, I used a friend's Chinese mill a while back and a job that would have been no issue, chatter wise, on my elderly Bridgeport became a nightmare on his machine. I also favor digital read outs on all old machines, mainly because they help with eliminating backlash from measurements, but also they give me a sanity check from peering at verniers.

The thing I would really have liked on my Bridgeport was dial control of speed, fiddling with pulleys and the belt became tedious early on in my ownership and has become more so as time's gone on. 2E0ILY


Best regards,
Chris 2E0ILY mailto:chris@chriswilson.tv


JL> Ben

JL>

JL> I too have a Chinese milling machine – badged Warco. It’s now 11
JL> years old and is in use roughly every other day. Nothing major has
JL> failed, although the digital readout of speed failed a couple of
JL> years back but I’ve not felt the need to replace it.

JL>

JL> Machining stuff can be quite addictive, and while I note you
JL> comment about only wanting it for small pieces, that can easily
JL> change once you get a machine, so it really is worth buying as big
JL> as you can afford/fit in your workspace. Size isn’t everything,
JL> but mass is, in my opinion. Heavy machine parts leads to more
JL> rigidity and less vibration, which will make for a better quality of your output.

JL>

JL> John G4ZTR

JL>

JL> From: UKMicrowaves@groups.io [mailto:UKMicrowaves@groups.io] On
JL> Behalf Of g4zod@btinternet.com via groups.io
JL> Sent: 13 June 2021 08:32
JL> To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io
JL> Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] miller lathe?

JL>

JL> My Chinese Mill and Lathe were purchased with Metric settings.
JL> However on occasions I am still forced to work in imperial units.
JL> If you can digitise the machine(s), it will make life easier.
JL> Cheap digital read outs are available.

JL> I have variable speed controllers on both machines. Very much a
JL> mixed blessing as they lack torque at low speeds and when the
JL> control boards burn out they are expensive to replace.

JL> As one contributor pointed out, a machine like a Bridgeport is
JL> the ideal, but it all depends on the footprint available. I buy
JL> metric tooling in preference to Imperial types.

JL> G4ZOD

JL>

JL>

JL>

JL> Sent from my Galaxy

JL>

JL>

JL> -------- Original message --------

JL> From: Neil Smith G4DBN <neil@g4dbn.uk>

JL> Date: 12/06/2021 23:43 (GMT+00:00)

JL> To: UKMicrowaves@groups.io

JL> Subject: Re: [UKMicrowaves] miller lathe?

JL>

JL> My Bridgeport cost less than that, but takes up a *bit* more room,
JL> weighing almost a ton and being 7ft tall and 5 x 5 ft footprint. Tiny
JL> lathes usually work pretty well, tiny mills rarely so, because of poor
JL> stiffness of the column. As Mark says, a two-axis slide is a good way
JL> to get light milling facilities on a decent lathe. The SIEG lathes from
JL> Arceurotrade.co.uk are supposed to be OK, and there are lots around like
JL> the Chester DB7 and larger
JL> https://www.chesterhobbystore.com/shop/metalworking-machines/lathes/db7vs-lathe/
JL> as well as the Axminster and Warco. Most of them are made in the same
JL> couple of Chinese factories.

JL> Variable speed without belt changes is convenient, but you get less
JL> torque than on a gearhead or multiple-pulley machine. Make sure you can
JL> cut metric and imperial threads without too much messing with gears. A
JL> quick change tool post is very useful, and if there is an affordable
JL> 4-jaw independent chuck available, that is a very useful addition. You
JL> can even turn rectangular cuboids if you have one of those as well a
JL> self-centering 3-jaw. I find I use a collet chuck almost more than the
JL> big 3 and 4 jaw jobs. Mine has an ER40, but if you can get an ER32
JL> chuck, that would be very useful for smaller parts.

JL> The general rule is "work out how much you can afford and how much space
JL> you have and see what is the biggest lathe you can get. Then buy a
JL> bigger one".

JL> Another general rule is that once you set a price for the lathe/mill,
JL> you should expect to spend about the same again on tooling, accessories,
JL> chucks and all the other paraphernalia. I've probably got £6k worth of
JL> tooling and accessories for my £1500 mill and £3k worth for my
JL> Colchester 1800 lathe, which was around £2200 including a serious Newall
JL> digital readout system. Zero use for most home workshops of course,
JL> which is where the mini-lathes really shine.

JL> Hobbies eh? Money-pits the lot of 'em

JL> Neil G4DBN









JL>


Neil Smith G4DBN
 

My Bridgeport has three axis DRO plus quill DRO. It is a varispeed model with cone pulleys rather than stepped, but the 3phase inverter also has variable frequency speed control, regenerative braking, soft start, jog controls and reversing like the Chinese mills. Lots of nice inverters around now to turn old iron into a good solid and usable tool.

You can of course use a mill as a lathe by fitting lathe tools in the vice or a custom ñxture, but small lathe as mill is usually better.

On aluminium and brass and plastics, polished carbide insert tooling upsets the "grind yer own HSS tools" purists, but can produce decent finishes with careful selection of positive rake, chipbreaker style, depth of cut, feed and speed. Watch Quinn Dunki of Blondihacks on YouTube to get a flavour of the challenges of small machines and confined spaces.
Neil G4DBN





On 13 Jun 2021 16:14, Chris Wilson <chris@...> wrote:

Hello John,

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Absolutely, I used a friend's Chinese mill a while back and a job that would have been no issue, chatter wise, on my elderly Bridgeport became a nightmare on his machine. I also favor digital read outs on all old machines, mainly because they help with eliminating backlash from measurements, but also they give me a sanity check from peering at verniers.

The thing I would really have liked on my Bridgeport was dial control of speed, fiddling with pulleys and the belt became tedious early on in my ownership and has become more so as time's gone on. 2E0ILY



Peter Howson
 

What a pleasant surprise to see so many swarf producers coming out.

From my schooldays I have been lucky in having workshop facilities open to me, my initial apprentice placing was in the toolroom where everything was measured in tenths (.0001") It was a sad day when I had to rush through placements in the heavy m/c shop and the fitting shop before moving up to the drawing office. A career move into hospital maintenance meant that there was always a lathe and milling m/c in the fitters workshop then my father and his two brothers set up a contract machining workshop. This was heaven, lathes galore from a Model A Smart & Brown to a Dean Smith & Grace with a 48" faceplate, the purchase of a brand-new Harrison M300 was even better, but almost Impossible to get more than 10 minutes on it. Unfortunately, the company had to be sold and I moved on. Then around 20 years ago I became the owner of a Smart & Brown Sable, probably one of the best British lathes of this size ever made. With a Myford vertical table I could mill anything (as long as it was small) I wanted. With retirement my eyes were drawn to a mill, after spending a long time looking at the market I chose a Chester Lux model - this has a heavy square column and whilst not in Neil's league is far better than the lighter bench top models if you have space and can manage the weight. Fitting a two axis DRO plus a separate one for the quill was a major leap forward. My latest purchase, three weeks ago, was a 6", Indian made, rotary table. That's 60 years to get where I am today and there are still items on my to buy / make list.

Apologies for using inches but it was what I was brought up with; the lathe is an imperial m/c but the mill is metric and I can & do work equally with both. The DRO couldn't care less, just one button push to swap between them.

My latest project, photos in this month's Scatterpoint, was taking a basic 30" pf dish (bought nearly 40 years ago) and a surveyor's tripod and making a portable, fully functional 10G antenna system. I am part of Neil's transverter project.

73, Peter
GM8GAX


Robin Szemeti - G1YFG
 

I have a Colchester Student Mk 1.5, nice lathe that will do most things, Dickson toolpost. Like Neil said, expect to spend as much on tooling as you do on the lathe. The actual lathe tools were not too expensive, but the various collections of drills, machine reamers, floating reamers etc all add up.

My weakness is measuring equipment, if I see something with "Moore & Wright", "Shardlow" or "Mitutoyo" written on it, I HAVE to buy it ;)


On Sun, 13 Jun 2021 at 18:01, Peter Howson via groups.io <gm8gax=tiscali.co.uk@groups.io> wrote:
What a pleasant surprise to see so many swarf producers coming out.

From my schooldays I have been lucky in having workshop facilities open to me, my initial apprentice placing was in the toolroom where everything was measured in tenths (.0001") It was a sad day when I had to rush through placements in the heavy m/c shop and the fitting shop before moving up to the drawing office. A career move into hospital maintenance meant that there was always a lathe and milling m/c in the fitters workshop then my father and his two brothers set up a contract machining workshop. This was heaven, lathes galore from a Model A Smart & Brown to a Dean Smith & Grace with a 48" faceplate, the purchase of a brand-new Harrison M300 was even better, but almost Impossible to get more than 10 minutes on it. Unfortunately, the company had to be sold and I moved on. Then around 20 years ago I became the owner of a Smart & Brown Sable, probably one of the best British lathes of this size ever made. With a Myford vertical table I could mill anything (as long as it was small) I wanted. With retirement my eyes were drawn to a mill, after spending a long time looking at the market I chose a Chester Lux model - this has a heavy square column and whilst not in Neil's league is far better than the lighter bench top models if you have space and can manage the weight. Fitting a two axis DRO plus a separate one for the quill was a major leap forward. My latest purchase, three weeks ago, was a 6", Indian made, rotary table. That's 60 years to get where I am today and there are still items on my to buy / make list.

Apologies for using inches but it was what I was brought up with; the lathe is an imperial m/c but the mill is metric and I can & do work equally with both. The DRO couldn't care less, just one button push to swap between them.

My latest project, photos in this month's Scatterpoint, was taking a basic 30" pf dish (bought nearly 40 years ago) and a surveyor's tripod and making a portable, fully functional 10G antenna system. I am part of Neil's transverter project.

73, Peter
GM8GAX










--
Robin Szemeti - G1YFG