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Why no small high-quality lathes?

Discussion in 'QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (Get Help Fast Here!)' started by keithd, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. ddickey

    ddickey United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    My first and current lathe is a 13 or 14 x 40. It's okay.
    I saw a smaller lathe a week or so ago. It was a made in Taiwan generic model I think probably a 12 or 13 x 30 so smaller than mine.
    You could tell the mass and rigidity of the thing. Quite frankly it looked pretty awesome, really wide bed and big flat ways.
     
  2. bobshobby

    bobshobby Australia H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    If PM won't do the LD 1216 then contact LD directly in Taiwan see what they can suggest. They also do a 1224 if you have room I got the 1216 as it was all I could fit in the space I have, but its a great machine. available in metric or imperial both come with 120x127 change gears to enable cutting the other threads. should be available for under $5k. mine cost me just under $5k delivered.
     
  3. hanermo2

    hanermo2 Spain Active Member Active Member

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    Fwiw..
    Re: economics/quality/tir..
    What happens is that a bigger lathe, say a 12x24 vs a 10x, will be much more rigid, and much more basically accurate, with the same basic manufacturing-quality level, IF it maintains the same mass/length, +/-.
    This is why no small good lathes exist.

    It is very, very expensive (not really hard, just extremely tight tolerances on very short contact areas/wear pads, etc) to make a superb quality 9x lathe, or a 200 kg mass 9x, like The Schaublin 9x, 54.000 € new , now, 3rd company after 2 bankruptcies.
    It is quite cheap and easy to make a more rigid, more inherently precise, lathe of say 12x24 size, or more, at 450 kg mass, or more.

    When You go from a 9x to a 12x, especially a more industrial 12x, the ways are (very much) wider.
    The bed casting is (much) taller in the vertical direction, leading to 2-3-5x more rigidity off-hand.
    The saddle h-shape is wider, and deeper, by about 30-50% (and has more surface area).
    Cube it for rigidity 1.5 (wider, deeper) pwr 3 == > 3.375 times more rigidity and vibration dampening x surface area, PER AXIS, == 5-6x better, for the same build quality.

    Example:
    If a 9x lathe has 0.01 mm slop, on the z axis guideway, at say 200 mm ends.
    12x, 260 mm. 0.01 mm, 20% wider (mine == 300 mm, => 50% wider).
    1.2 pwr 3 =1.728 more rigid, just on ends.
    == 20% wider,
    => 2.07 more rigid, on z-endpoints analysis only, ..
    Add depth in x or width of ways, similar 205 (or more), another 2.07, => 4.3 x more rigid overall.

    Also, on oil-lubricated surfaces, the surface area has a huge vibration = finish quality, effect.
    The oil film has dampening effects that go up pwr 4 by pressure and area.
    So a 12x vs a 9x has inherently about 4-10 more dampening from the oil-film effect, with typical lathes as made today.

    Of note..
    All the famous best manual lathes,Monarch10EE, HLVG, Sharp (copy) etc..
    have had much longer and heavier headstocks, heavier construction, wider ways in x, wider saddle in z, by about 30-50%, as compared to typical ones.
    This leads to about 20x more dampening, and maybe 10-30x more rigidity (hard to quantify).
     
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  4. bobshobby

    bobshobby Australia H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Makes sense, even without the maths, but that is basically why I always say go the biggest and best you can afford, and have room for. unless all your work is on miniature stuff. You'l almost always find a job that's bigger than you anticipated when you bought that little lathe. BTW Intricate and delicate work can be done on a big lathe. It's still just cut, measure, cut etc.
     
  5. Downwindtracker2

    Downwindtracker2 Canada Active User Active Member

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    Chinese lathes can be very good, it's just that the importers aren't bringing them over. Cheaper the lathe, more the profit. A lot of manufacturers make same basic lathe but the quality levels can vary widely. Almost 10 years ago, my son and I went together and bought a heavily discounted clearout 250mmx550mm (commonly but incorrectly called 10x22 ) at a local tool store, KMS, that they had had imported. This design is an improved copy of the Maximat8 . It has steel gears instead of plastic. It was pretty bare so I tracked down the maker and another importer, Lathemaster, to finish it out. That's when I found out most, like Grizzly were made by SEIG. These were merely assembled and show it. However XIMA lathes are carefully fitted . And the dials of the guys testing them showed that. In order for the XIMA to be competitive, they stripped it when they sold to KMS. Even with the heavy discount, when finished flushing it out, we ended up paying more than BusyBee/Grizzly. But we did it in steps.

    I would like to say what a great little lathe it has been, but when my son moved out I told him I'll buy him out. He said "No dad, I'll buy you out." Now I have '92 Taiwanese DF1224g . The foot print isn't that much bigger. It will be a better lathe when I finish it.
     

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