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Thread: How's this lathe?

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Old 10-30-2007, 11:32 PM   #1
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Default How's this lathe?

I am once again looking for a lathe, and wanted some feedback. I had been looking at the 7x12 from Harbor Freight (still am if I find one cheap enough), but now, I'm looking at buying this 4x5 lathe new http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=95012

I know it is tiny, but I really won't be using a lathe all that much. I wanted to find out if anybody has one, or knows anybody that does. If you do, what's the largest diameter piece you can hold in the chuck? Are the chuck jaws reversible? And, does the turret/tool holder swivel to cut angles? I wouldn't mind stopping the machine to turn the turret by hand. For $260, I think it looks pretty good, but they don't carry them at my local Harbor F. Any input is appreciated.
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Old 10-31-2007, 06:47 PM   #2
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Howdy John,

I don't own one. I've never seen one, other than right now looking at your linked picture, and I
don't know anyone with one. That being said. I like it. I think it would be a perfect way to try your hand at turning the cranks, so to speak.

On your linked page just below the price there is a little green bar that says. "Download Product Manual" That's a link to a PDF. file , that contains product information on the chuck, tool size, travels, etc.

The most important basic criteria for a lathe, is the ability to:

1) Turn
2) Face
3) Drill
4) Bore

The only one that I didn't see anything on was Drilling. I would find out exactly what kind of drill chuck mounts up to the tail stock. That is a must have item for any lathe. Just my thoughts.

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Old 10-31-2007, 09:21 PM   #3
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Ooops, I overlooked that. Thanks. If anyone has tried it, seen it in person, or has it, tell me about it, please.
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Old 10-31-2007, 09:24 PM   #4
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I think jason has the same lathe, it seems decent for home/hobby projects that are smaller in diameter. I've never actually used it though.
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Old 11-01-2007, 01:42 AM   #5
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I have one like it, some more options on mine. I use a mini lathe, It does just fine for what I do. You may want to go with one that has a few more options and goodies on it. Also think about replacement part availability! You will at some point need something! Is the gearing plastic or metal. If you go cheep you will regret it the more you use your machines. Im not saying you are going cheep, just be carefull what you buy because as you get better with your lathe skill you will find yourself building more precise and complex things and when something you are working with on a cheeper lathe turns out wrong you will be kicking yourself later.

Here is what I use and I love it!

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Old 11-15-2007, 08:50 AM   #6
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I went to HF the other day, and although tools aren't supposed to be cute, that little lathe was the cutest tool I have ever seen! It is about half the size of the popular 7x10 or whatever size it is from HF. Jason has the 7x10. The chuck-jaws don't seem to be reversible (I tried), so the chuck seems a little small.
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