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Jeff Krieger

mini lathe recommendation for making buttons

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I am looking for a recommendation for a mini lathe to make buttons for bows. I believe the Sherline brand comes with high recommendations, but there are several models. I am on a budget so a lathe under $1000.00 would be ideal. Recommendations would be appreciated.

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Ten grand is a nice budget, you could get a lot of capability for that, not just a mini lathe..  What are your power and weight limitations?  That's what puts the brakes on a lot of people at surplus sales.  Few of us have access to 240V 3-phase and a fork lift.  :)

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17 minutes ago, Jeff Krieger said:

I am looking for a recommendation for a mini lathe to make buttons for bows. I believe the Sherline brand comes with high recommendations, but there are several models. I am on a budget so a lathe under $10000.00 would be ideal. Recommendations would be appreciated.

One of the small Schaublins, like a "70" or a "102". Here's one :

http://veltmanmachines.nl/en/vm/lathes/draaibankje-schaublin-70/

I think there were ( are ?) forums for those. I'd discuss in detail with knowledgeable people in particular re. attachments, threading , workholding ( W20 seems most popular ) etc. Taken care of it's value will keep increasing and you'll resell at a hefty profit. Buy ex Switzerland or Germany. You don't want abused rubbish i.e. local :). Check Mueller Machines in Ch.

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14 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

Ten grand is a nice budget, you could get a lot of capability for that, not just a mini lathe..  What are your power and weight limitations?  That's what puts the brakes on a lot of people at surplus sales.  Few of us have access to 240V 3-phase and a fork lift.  :)

:) ?!???

Three phase power can be made cheaply using this :

http://www.phaseperfect.com/p/t/overview

 

Lathes and mills need 3 phase only for the motors :o. A cheap ebay vector inverter will B)do up to 7.5 hp. The :lol::Pmore sophisticated units will drive anything, similar to the Phase^_^:mellow: Perfect products.

:lol::P:ph34r:B)B)

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I got an Emco Unimat in virtually new condition on eBay, complete with milling head and tooling, for €375. It's very accurate, and adequate for making buttons and the like. 

I also have a Myford ML7. I enjoy it immensely, and wouldn't be without it. I use it for splining heads, but it has no place in a violin workshop - it's an oily beast.

As long as it's fairly tight, an old machine can be really good value, and many hobbyist lathes can have had very light use.

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I'm not a "bow guy," but I am a "lathe guy".... my thoughts for what they are worth.  Sherlines are excellent, the difference between the models has mostly to do with bed size and whether you want metric vs. imperial. They have reasonable rigidity for their size, however if you plan on making custom cutters light cuts might be in order.  For a lot of the bow makers/restorers that I know the ability to pass a stick through the headstock is an important one.  I believe the sherline will do that if you have the factory make a custom headstock for you.  I believe Josh Henry has specs on that.  Otherwise, I think there might be an after marked headstock maker that is producing a custom collet headstock  that has a large enough through bore.  A number of bow makers that I know also have Emco lathes, the compact 5 & 8 are beautiful machines.  The sieg mini lathe that Carl posted a pick of is close to the size of a compact 5.  There are various importers of that lathe that have them made to various specs.  A colleague in Michigan has said good things about the Little Machine Shop Hi-Torque version of that lathe.  

I also know a number of bow makers that use peerless watch maker lathes to turn buttons.

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You dont need to spend much money at all if you only intend turning buttons,as long as the lathe has not much run out. I do prefer older machines though not toys like a unimat or sherline :)

What i use for buttons

 

 

DSC_0004.JPG

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15 minutes ago, Jerry Lynn said:

  The sieg mini lathe that Carl posted a pick of is close to the size of a compact 5.  

 

Well, that was a Schaublin. The Rolls-Royce of the Swiss fine mechanical industry. :)  I mean, the gentleman said $10k.... 

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20 minutes ago, Conor Russell said:

I also have a Myford ML7. I enjoy it immensely, and wouldn't be without it. I use it for splining heads, but it has no place in a violin workshop - it's an oily beast.

They're rubbish - no Camlock. Get a Harrison. :)  Then get a Pratt-Burnered EC chuck and set of collets. :)  Though the small Myford cyl grinder is a beauty - wish I had one.

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17 minutes ago, carl stross said:

Well, that was a Schaublin. The Rolls-Royce of the Swiss fine mechanical industry. :)  I mean, the gentleman said $10k.... 

Sorry, I should have been more specific: carl1961 posted a pic of Sieg mini lathe, judging by the color one from harbor freight.  

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25 minutes ago, fiddlecollector said:

You dont need to spend much money at all if you only intend turning buttons,as long as the lathe has not much run out. I do prefer older machines though not toys like a unimat or sherline :)

What i use for buttons

 

 

DSC_0004.JPG

Those things are beautiful, they don't show up much on this side of the Atlantic. 

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39 minutes ago, Jerry Lynn said:

...I also know a number of bow makers that use peerless watch maker lathes to turn buttons.

Do you know what they use for work holding?  Collets to hold the screw?  A chuck to hold an ebony dowel?  Both?

I've been using a 9 inch South Bend, but I was just given a Peerless with collets.  I haven't had time to try it out yet.  With the motor, it's small enough to carry in one hand.

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15 minutes ago, carl stross said:

They're rubbish - no Camlock. Get a Harrison. :)  Then get a Pratt-Burnered EC chuck and set of collets. :)  Though the small Myford cyl grinder is a beauty - wish I had one.

Strong words! I am affronted.

Actually, I'd like something bigger, but you can do a lot on an Ml7! My fear is that if I got a big lathe I'd start needing a pillar drill, and then a mill, and then a shed....

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Just now, Brad Dorsey said:

Do you know what they use for work holding?  Collets to hold the screw?  A chuck to hold an ebony dowel?  Both?

I've been using a 9 inch South Bend, but I was just given a Peerless with collets.  I haven't had time to try it out yet.  With the motor, it's small enough to carry in one hand.

Unfortunately, I'm not certain.  

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6 minutes ago, Conor Russell said:

Strong words! I am affronted.

Actually, I'd like something bigger, but you can do a lot on an Ml7! My fear is that if I got a big lathe I'd start needing a pillar drill, and then a mill, and then a shed....

Good... :)  Get a Harrison, a late one 30" between centers. Here's a pretty decent one on eBay :

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Harrison-M250-11-x30-Engine-Lathe-Loaded-From-Technical-School-Clausing/371930126394?epid=1313280305&hash=item5698c3583a:g:D-0AAOSwvihY~0qi

Then get a Deckel FP2 and for drilling holes Mueller Machines in Switzerland has a couple of near mint SIP jig borers. What's 10 tones for a man with a passion. :)

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20 minutes ago, Jerry Lynn said:

Sorry, I should have been more specific: carl1961 posted a pic of Sieg mini lathe, judging by the color one from harbor freight.  

My fault - pics were not showing up on my tablet.

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4 hours ago, carl stross said:

:) ?!???

Three phase power can be made cheaply using this :

http://www.phaseperfect.com/p/t/overview

 

Lathes and mills need 3 phase only for the motors :o. A cheap ebay vector inverter will B)do up to 7.5 hp. The :lol::Pmore sophisticated units will drive anything, similar to the Phase^_^:mellow: Perfect products.

:lol::P:ph34r:B)B)

All as it may be.  Or there are many options for 110V single-phase.   Now, Hercules, please pick up the cute little 650 lb. Hardinge HSL-59 on it's pallet on the flatbed, and move it 50 yards to the shop.   Oh, and don't forget there's an only 29" wide door on the way................ :P

My point was that many wonderful finds in an auction list or a catalog have issues beyond their listed prices to consider.  Before I started glibly reeling off alternatives beloved of machinists, I wanted to know what limitations the OP might have to worry about.  I was also giving him a chance to go, "Oops, typo, I really meant $1000".

I originally learned to "cut iron" on a Hardinge collet lathe.  Loved the darned thing.  :)

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44 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

All as it may be.  Or there are many options for 110V single-phase.   Now, Hercules, please pick up the cute little 650 lb. Hardinge HSL-59 on it's pallet on the flatbed, and move it 50 yards to the shop.   Oh, and don't forget there's an only 29" wide door on the way................ :P

My point was that many wonderful finds in an auction list or a catalog have issues beyond their listed prices to consider.  Before I started glibly reeling off alternatives beloved of machinists, I wanted to know what limitations the OP might have to worry about.  I was also giving him a chance to go, "Oops, typo, I really meant $1000".

I originally learned to "cut iron" on a Hardinge collet lathe.  Loved the darned thing.  :)

Isn't the '59 a TINY machine ? I'm sure it'll fit through a door. But I won't carry it - I'm married. This is the kind of work my wives do. Yes, in general is a BIG mistake to buy a machine which you have not seen used, particularly in the US. Fine machines, particularly small ones have appreciated a lot in price over the past 15-20 years. New ones are not being made and when they are, they cost an arm and a leg. The Hardinge was a superb lathe save for the 5C collet which I never liked. I think it's very hard to beat an American lathe and I'd be at a loss to name something European better than a Rivett. But then American machine tool enthusiasts will spend obscene amounts of money on German rubbish like Deckel FP1, Aciera, Macmon and the like - milling machines long due for  scrap yard retirement. Too small, too light, too complicated.

By the way, you do realize women intimidate me a lot...

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1 hour ago, carl stross said:

By the way, you do realize women intimidate me a lot...

You should be Carl, having them carry a heavy lathe ! and you said wive's meaning more than one, know that's scarry

 

 

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