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Help buying a metal lathe

Posted on 2013-11-17
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Last Modified: 2016-09-30
Hi,

I have been watching some videos online on youtube and have become interested in machining metal. I don't know if someone could recommend a metal lathe to get me started.
I also do a good amount of work on my car so something that could be used for skimming brake disc / drums would be advantageous.

If you are aware of any good books / videos to get me started then this would be appreciated.

I stay in the UK and I found the following on ebay: http://www.mini-lathe.com/Mini_lathe/Reviews/Big_dog/bigdog2.htm

I am looking for spending about £400. The above is £420 + £45pp.

Knowing not a lot about lathes I thought I was better asking the experts!

Regards,

Ross
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Question by:ross13
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Expert Comment

by:QuinnDex
ID: 39654580
good lathe for small jobs, you would struggle to do brake discs and drums on it as clearance between chuck and lathe bed would be your limiting factor.

If your main aim is learning it isnt a bad place to start, but hanging on for something that you would also be able to use in your work could mean it pays for itself in time
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Accepted Solution

by:
Michael-Best earned 500 total points
ID: 39655822
Being a qualified tool & die maker with much experience in the automotive industry, I can confidently say that the 7x14 Mini-Lathe is a low-cost hobbyist-class lathe and not suitable or accurate enough to do automotive parts needing high accuracy.
The standard chuck diameter for this lathe is 3", it will also accept optional four- and five-inch diameter chucks, which are too small to do brake discs and drums.

Brake disc and drum skimming and resurface is not something you should do yourself due to possible run-out and the high accuracy required.

See:
http://exhaustdiscounts.co.uk/garage-services/brake-disc-drum-skimming/

Machining Brake Rotors:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_eLYVUEo4s

On car brake lathe:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUD2sGythwY

Spending about £400, I recommend that you shop for a larger more professional second hand lathe that has sufficient chuck diameter and sufficient clearance between chucks spindle and lathe bed for the type of work you plan to do.
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Author Closing Comment

by:ross13
ID: 39689328
Thanks,

Ross
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Expert Comment

by:David Bizjak
ID: 41824240
You want to start a project with metalworking lathe but you don't know a lot about metal lathe. First of all i think you should know about metal lathe a lot. I am giving you a article link that help you out with  a vast of knowledge about metal lathe project.
Here is the link : https://ourask.blogspot.com/
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