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Chip Hacket

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#1
Hi Fellow Gadgeteers,

As you all know I have a Taig Lathe and Mill along with other misc stuff. I really like my lathe and wouldn't get rid of it. Problem is that it's pretty small and I think a larger unit would be a welcome addition to the shop to help. A larger spindle bore would be great as I have a bunch of these 2 inch pieces left over that were used for work holding. Kinda wasteful.

Ok so I'm wondering about the HF8x12. I know the Lathemaster is the same but appears not to be around any longer. Do you guys think this is a viable option? I've read the motor/capacitor historically have been a problem but I'm ok with that as I would ultimately prefer my own motor control system anyway (I have an electronics junk pile). But I wonder about replacement parts/gears etc. I wouldn't want to be stuck with something I couldn't fix if need be down the road.

As far as price is concerned I think $750 with the HF coupon is pretty low compared to some of the others. Although it does not come with the necessary 4 jaw chuck. But I could pick this up later as budget allows.

I know this kinda question gets worn out here but there are many options out there, but there is no way I would buy anything without you guys input.

Thanks,
--Chip
 

Bob Korves

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#2
If you have enough room you can get a much larger used lathe for that price. Yes, it will be a project, but so will the HF...
 

tincture500

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#3
Have you looked at the grizzly 0768? This is an 8 x 16 and comes this a 3 & 4 jaw Chuck, steady rest and follower. This lathe is all metal gears and change gears. Variable speed, reverse and well built
I'm a home hobbist, I looked at the tiag, but did not offer me what I was looking for. Too small, but very capable .
I spent about $1000 on the 0768, including the shipping. I've owned it about 2 years and when bought it was on sale for $895. Been happening with the machine ,especially the variable speed. Tom
 

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tincture500

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#4
Oops wrong PDF. The water timer is not it never less go to grizzley.com and look at the manual. Tom
 

silence dogood

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#5
I bought a Lathemaster 8x14 same as the HF 8x12, because Lathemaster offered such things as 4 jaw chucks, rests, etc. that you would have to get though Lathemaster anyway at the time. I like my lathe even though it is a plain jane compared to the 8" siegs appears to be pretty robust. After much research, I found out that these lathes are made by Dazheng in Chizhou, Anhui, China. The model number of this lathe is HD210. Now if anyone knows who else beside HF sells Dazheng lathes and or tooling, I'd sure be interested. In your case, Chip, perhaps the grizzly G0768 would be the best bet. Little Machine Shop sells a 8 1/2 by 20, but it is pretty expensive. Either way, the tooling would be fairly easy to get.
 

Dorn

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#6
My son has a HF 8x12 and I have a SB light 10. If I had limited space I'd be reasonably happy with the smaller machine. Comparing the 7" lathes I've seen in the HF store with the 8x12, one gets the impression of a toy versus a real lathe. I know the 7" machines can be made to do wonderful work but I bet it would be much easier to get those results on the 8" lathe. It is so much more massive and stiffer. One person can pick up the 7" machines. The 8" machine takes an olympic weight lifter or 2 average guys.
 

Chip Hacket

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#7
Plane Jane besides cost was another reason I've been considering the 8x12. I reason that there are fewer things to break. But Dogood brings up a good point, what about tooling? I noticed the G4000 has the same simplicity yet comes with more accessories although cost more. What ever happened to Lathemaster anyway?


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silence dogood

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#8
Chip, I'm beginning to see where you are going. I have the same question about Lathemaster, what happened to it. That is why I researched on who made the lathe. Again, it appears to be Dazheng. I also have been trying to find the review site "Annisquam Granite" site. Excellent review on the 8x14 but I can't find it right now. However, it is a lathe and you sound like a guy that would be able to make your own tooling and/or adapt. If you look at the weights of the different lathes, you will see that the 8x12 (about 260lbs) is heavier with more cast iron that many of the other 8"and even one of the 9". Also I've not had any problems with the motor, even though I'd like to switch to a DC. The Grizzly G4000 appears to be on the light side but still capable of good work. I believe that is the one that Steve Beldare rebuilt parts of the carriage. Hope this helps.
 

silence dogood

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#10
Chip, I read the site that you have referred to. The original one was about 3 pages long. He wrote about such things as spindle run out(mine measured way less then a thousand). It has hardened ways. He also wrote about mods. Such as get rid of the Phillips screws that the gear cover shut and replace them with thumb screws ( I used a spring hasp). Also replace those allen head screws with hex head for changing chucks. If I had known that the original review was to disappear , I would had down loaded it.
 

cs900

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#11
Guess it's safe to assume the lead screw and dials are metric?
My first lathe was a HF 8". I was a great lathe, and the only reason I upgraded was because I got a killer deal on a logan 10"

the leadscrew and dials are imperial and it's set-up to do standard threads, but I believe it did a limited amount of metric threads as well.
 

herrwood

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#12
I had tired to look at the hf 8" lathe I called the local store not only did they not stock it but told me it could only be shipped which adds another $100. to the cost.
I eventually spent a little more and purchased the Griz 0602 10 x 22 lathe
 

Chip Hacket

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#13
Just received my new 8x12 lathe from Harbor Freight . I can't wait to get her into service. I struggled mightily about which machine to buy. I have a limited budget and I also prefer to upgrade the drive system to VFD myself as time and cash allows. Here is the crate as it arrived.
Crate.png
I made me a little dolly with some wheels I had so I could get it from the driveway to the basement
 
Last edited:

Chip Hacket

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#14
I have certainly put way more time into looking at lathes than I care to admit. From Craigslist to Ebay and all the web sites. I for sure am no expert as many of you are, but if I didn't pull the trigger on this I never would. I was waiting on the %25 coupon and just a few days ago one came in the mail so I jumped.

I communicated with Dan Sherman about this lathe and his recommendation. I really enjoy watching his videos and honestly that is where I got the idea originally. Dan was kind enough to spend the time to give me his thoughts on various machines. One thing he mentioned about the 8x12 was that the new machines didn't have the 2 V ways. It's difficult to see but looking at the machine on the HF website you can indeed see that there is only one V way. Investigating further it sounds as if they changed the design around 2007. Ok so being the stubborn sort that I am, I convinced myself I could live with the single V way. The 7x lathes only have one.

Well after opening the shipping box this is what I found.
Hardened.JPG
Do you guys know what Induction Hardening is?

--Chip
 

Chip Hacket

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Front.JPG
So I most definitely have some cleaning to do. Do I need to remove the saddle and clean there as well?
 

Chip Hacket

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#16
Ad.PNG
The dead center was wrapped in this newspaper. As you can see they are running a 50% off sale. Trouble is I don't know on what. Maybe you guys can help me out :)

--Chip
 

cs900

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#18
you won't regret your purchase. It's a great little lathe for the money.

Induction hardening is a localized heat treat. It reduces wear on the ways.
 

Chip Hacket

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By the way, what is the best for cleaning this stuff off the lathe? Mineral spirits? I've read about this but never used it.
 

Bob Korves

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#22
A previous discussion on H-M led me to this posting which cleared up much of my confusion with the various cleaning solvents:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_spirit
Jim Dawson is correct. I now buy the cheapest mineral spirits or paint thinner I can find.
 

Silverbullet

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#23
Years ago they carried and sold several different types of machinery. Even surface grinders why they don't now I don't understand , there's still money to be made from them. Good luck with your lathe
 

silence dogood

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#25
As you know, Chip, I have the Lathemaster 8x14 now for several years. She's a tough little lathe and done every thing that I wanted her to do. When you take apart the lathe to clean it from the grease, have a file and some emery cloth handy. You may find some flashing and paint overspray. Also when you pull the screws out, clean the threads with a tap.
 

Chip Hacket

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#26
Thanks Dogood. Might need to get me some metric dies.

By the way Bob, I've been under the impression that mineral spirits wouldn't necessarily be a strong smelling substance. Just a mild solvent I reasoned. Something my machinist buddies knew about that I would get around to one day. Didn't really know what it was. But paint thinner! Brings meaning to the phrase ignorance is bliss. :)
 

KenS

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#27
Chip,

You won't regret your lathe. It's an excellent lathe to learn on with the major drawback being that it has manual gears for threading rather than a quick-change gear box. As has already been pointed out in this thread, this is not a toy, but has enough mass -- at least for a small lathe -- to do some serious work in steel.

Two suggestions:

1.) Get an AXA Wedge Quick Change Tool Post kit (QCTP and five tool holders) from CDCO http://www.cdcotools.com/ for about $120 plus shipping. The wedge-type QCTP costs a little more than the piston type, but in my opinion is far superior and well worth $9 difference. Also spring for $27 plus shipping and get a spare Compound Rest from Little Machine Shop https://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=2820&category=

Have the LMS compound milled to the specs below. Also, you might need to get a different gib than stock. LMS was able to help me. The QCTP enhances the lathe so much, you'll never go back.

AXA-8x12-Lathe-QCTP-Mod.jpg
Here is how my lathe looks with the QCTP. (I also made the top QCTP screw clamp with a black knob to match the tool holder clamp lever with red knob.

Bostar_QCTP.jpg


2. Another great enhancement that greatly expands the lathe's capacity is the addition of a 5-inch three-jaw chuck. LMS has both the chucks and the backplates, but you can find both cheaper with a little searching. (You can get a 5-inch three-jaw chuck from CDCO for $69.00 plus shipping. A 6-inch chuck is a little overkill, but has been done. If you go that route, be sure the jaw ends don't hit the ways.) The 8x12 spindle bearings are quite robust and easily handle the larger chucks.

One more suggestion is to remove the threading dial and store it except when you need it for threading.

You can buy spare parts and gears for this lathe from Harbor Freight, but they take about six months to ship.

Enjoy your new lathe!
 
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Dan_S

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#29
Well after opening the shipping box this is what I found.
View attachment 142024
Do you guys know what Induction Hardening is?

--Chip
It's interesting that you have the smaller back v way. The website and some other new models I have seen online didn't have the back v way.


induction hardening is the use magnetic fields to heat up a part.
 

Chip Hacket

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#30
Yes I was very happy to see the little v way.
Unfortunately work is getting in the way. It's still sitting on the flat cart I made. I haven't even finished the work bench to put it on. Hopefully this weekend.


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