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Thread: Initial LATHE purchase

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Old 05-12-2005, 08:32 AM   #1
RCC Addict
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,437
Default Initial LATHE purchase

Alright, the mill purchase thread went so extremely well, I need to do the same thing with a lathe now.

I am looking at the Sherline here


and the Harbor Freight one here


HF is a lot cheaper, is there a reason? Is there a better one?

Also, what additional parts will I need for it that I am not already getting with the mill?
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Old 05-12-2005, 11:22 AM   #2
Rock Crawler
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Longmont, CO
Posts: 901

Right on Blue, pulling out all the stops!

I have a Sherline lathe and love it. I also have a Southbend 9" lathe.

The sherlines are a lot more expensive. They are very precise for there price.

The HF lathe is much cheaper and lots of guys swear by them. It also has a bigger swing and can thread, Sherline needs an attachment.

I think either would work well... Sherline or HF 7"

Would I trade my sherline for a HF 7" No way. Would I blame someone for saving a lot of dough going with the HF, Nope.

Lathes are more forgiving than a mill. A lathe with shot ways and 2 miles of backlash can still make really good parts. A lot more operator dependent.

A mill with shot ways is called a drill press.

Take your pick.

Never having a HF 7" some questions I'd have to answer first:

1. Are the dials calibrated in english? By that I mean what is one full crank? .100" or .050" (good) or like metric machines usually are .039" or I've seen .0625" per turn. This would drive me crazy. How do you travel 1.483" with .039 dials?

2. Does it metric thread?
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Old 05-12-2005, 05:01 PM   #3
Rock Crawler
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: SW, Connecticut
Posts: 685

If you do decide on a sherline, you might want to get the 4400, just in case you need to turn something larger. Also, you might want to get an A or B package. They include lots of very usefull stuff, like a drill chuck and a 3 jaw chuck. The 4400 A or B includes larger drill and 3 jaw chucks.
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Old 05-12-2005, 06:21 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Land of the Free, because of the Brave
Posts: 891

I'm not too familiar with either model, but like mentioned earlier, make sure you get a three-jaw chuck that is self-centering, or you'll just drive yourself nuts trying to center it manually. And (like custom crawler said) make sure you get the drill chuck for the tailstock...very handy for making links and whatever.

-just my 2 cents
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Old 05-12-2005, 08:19 PM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,437

Wow, I got some crappy news. I will still be getting these, just not as soon as I had hoped. The money that was coming has suddenly become a lot less. (dammit!) For that reason alone, I will be looking a lot harder at the HF late.

Thanks for the tips, I will see what info I can get on it.
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