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· Al Schwartz
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3,416 Posts
QUOTE (hawkwind @ 6 Oct 2004, 17:34)Having never worked with a lathe before can you guys give a list of things you use the lathe for in the context of slot cars only. I can think of a couple things but not enough to justufy buying one.

Yhanks,

Brent
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I have a Unimat PC fitted with modest CNC facilities (which I rarely use) I find mine to be absolutely essential to the type of building that I like:

Machining special sized wheels (for 30's GP cars)

Modifying wheels to accomodate different types of tires - either "rib" fitting tires or full cross section tires such as Ortmanns and EJ's

Cutting the inner diameter of wheels to fit inserts

Machining inserts from plastic wheels - Ninco wires in particular

Resizing Pittman motor shafts to accomodate modern pinions (0.093" > 0.078")
( I use a flexiible shaft tool with the handpiece held in a block attached to the tool post as a tool post grinder)

Boring plastic wheels to take 0.125" OD, 0.093" ID tubing so that they run true!

I have a lot of tooling bought with the lathe but the most used bits are:

3 jaw chuck standard jaws

3 jaw chuck reversed jaws

4 jaw chuck

collet set : 1/16", 3/32"/ 1/8" 5/32", 3/16". 1/4"

quick change tool post with 5 tool holders - I usually keep a cut-off tool, RH and LH turing tools, a threading tool and a small boring bar mounted

A nice thing to have is a small set of lathe files - these are like regular files but the teeth are cut at a much steeper angle designed to work by holding against a rotating part.

My lathe also came with a small milling head that could be attached to the back to be used with a milling table attached to the tool post slide - it was absolutley useless! I now have a Grizzly Mini-Mill which is a typical, rather crude Chinese bargain tool but it gets the job done.

EM
 

· Al Schwartz
Joined
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3,416 Posts
The mini lathes like the Micro Mark are very well covered in a number of web sites and forums. (do a Google search on "mini lathes") There is also a wealth of accessories available for them.

My only specific objection to these lathes is that the headstock is not threaded but has a flange to which the chucks are bolted. This makes changing headstock workholders a bit of a P.I.T.A.

EM
 
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