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first lathe

(15 posts)
  • Started 1 month ago by alexnc
  • Latest reply from derfatdutchman
  1. alexnc

    alexnc

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    I'm researching laths for turning stems and found amateur rails with hand drills clamped, etc
    Trying to to spend a ridiculous sum on it until I know I'm all in
    Does anyone have recommendations or examples?

    Goo Goo g’joob
    Posted 1 month ago #
  2. sasquatch

    sasquatch

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    Basically there's a cost in involved in setting up to do this, and "ridiculous sum" may or may not be involved. The smallest useable stem-turning lathe is probably the Taig mini, but it is real small and still a few hundred bucks to get into - even if you get a lathe for free you need some tooling, and you need to be able to buy or build some way to spin a pre made stem or rod stock. So there's a few hundred bucks to get this moving.

    If you want to be able to make pipes en toto, you need a bigger lather, bigger chucks etc, to the tune of 1000 bucks or so, or a lot more.

    I have a 10x27 metal lathe and a Jet Mini (6x14 I think) and those are both great. But between them, there's 4,000 bucks worth of lathes and chucks and tooling sitting there...

    Posted 1 month ago #
  3. chilllucky

    chilllucky

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    If you live in a dense enough area, look into "maker's spaces". Collective/co-operative shops for all sorts of crafts/trades that rent the use of equipment and project storage space by the hour or for a subscription. This should put you in front of a tool where you can decide if you are "all-in" or not in pretty short order.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  4. alexnc

    alexnc

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    thanks - I was noting $400 or $500 might do a basic mini, but was not going to entertain thousands. The coop would be perfect if I can find one.

    the Jet Mini Lathe 1015 looks about right for me, I need to add a chuck then - would the Teknatool Nova 1 x 8 do it? - LINK

    How would this Central Machinery do? -LINK

    Posted 1 month ago #
  5. alexnc

    alexnc

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    I did find coops near me - need to check out that avenue too - thx for the tips

    would something like this fit a drill mounted on a jig? LINK

    Posted 1 month ago #
  6. chilllucky

    chilllucky

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    It could be made to work, but it would take so much time to set up with any amount of rigidity that you would be better off getting apart-time gig for those hours and put the money into a better tool.

    If you can get to a pipe show, there are sometimes pipemaking classes ahead of them where you could talk with folks about various solutions and learn about drilling, stem-making, or what not.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  7. fishfly

    fishfly

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    Most people who use Jet lathes like them. Just note that it isn't variable speed, which I find a very useful feature. Another one to consider is the Nova Comet II (which is variable speed).

    Nova Comet II

    I have one and love it. With the inclusion of the chuck and tools, the cost is pretty similar. It is also 3/4 horse compared to the Jet 1/2 horse. Be warned that you will probably need different jaws for the chuck and the Nova has many available.

    The Central Machinery/Harbor freight lathe, on the other hand, I can't praise. Mine, albeit an older mode, was less than sturdy and didn't even have standard headstock threads.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  8. alexnc

    alexnc

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    Thanks - checking things out. Hate buying things twice

    Posted 1 month ago #
  9. alexnc

    alexnc

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    I really appreciate all of the input! I was worried no one would be here to lend advice!

    Posted 1 month ago #
  10. sasquatch

    sasquatch

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    My JET is variable speed, just flip a belt from spindle to spindle, probably identical to the Nova.

    Forget drill mounting anything. Forget it. You need rigidity and repeatability and even these little lathes are just barely good enough for that.

    I made lots of pipes with basically just a drill press. Buy delrin at a tenon-size and use that. There's lots of ways to skin this cat. Depends on if you are making or repairing too....

    Chucks again depend on what you want to do. I use the 3 jaw self-centering my metal lathe came with, and I use a 4 jaw Oneway Talon (like the nova) with 2 jaws removed for briar.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  11. fishfly

    fishfly

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    My JET is variable speed, just flip a belt from spindle to spindle, probably identical to the Nova.

    The Nova has three belt positions for low, medium, and high ranges. Plus there is a speed control knob that varies the speed within those ranges, even while the lathe is running. I've gotten used to the variable speed control and miss it when I use one of my turning club's lathes without it. It's not necessarily better, but it is quicker.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  12. weezell

    weezell

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    You need to go to Reborn pipes...

    "the weez"...
    Posted 1 month ago #
  13. danimalia

    danimalia

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    Love the idea of the co-ops if those work for you.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  14. anantaandroscoggin

    anantaandroscoggin

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    I once owned a Unimat lathe, bought in the late '70s. I had it mounted on a 14"x24" (approx) chunk of 1/4" steel I came across, just to help with the whole rigidity thing.

    Never used it for pipe related things, though.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  15. derfatdutchman

    derfatdutchman

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    I don't make pipes, but I've cut my share of metal on a lathe. No matter what you buy mounting and set up are your two biggest factor for accuracy. To cut with any repeatable accuracy a lathe needs to be mounted on a rigid base and be properly leveled. If its bouncing around and/or out of level you can expect to turn tapers, work that is not concentric and a host of other problems.

    "The value of tobacco is best understood when it is the last you possess, and there is no chance of getting more."
    Bismark
    Posted 1 month ago #

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