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General all purpose lathe?


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#1 nzoomed

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 03:23 AM

Whats a good lathe for truing comms on armatures and truing tyres?

 

I know these are only cheap chinese lathes, but i guess they can do the job, im not expecting ultra precision here but better than nothing.

 

A friend of mine found a nice old mini lathe that he uses but they are hard to come by.


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#2 mreibman

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 05:34 AM

I would suggest you look at Taig or Sherline. I looked at Taig, but a used one got away before I got an old Unimat. THe unimat is ok, but the old ones like he db200 and sl1000 run $500 and up. I believe a new Taig with what you need is in the $600 range.
http://www.taigtools.com
https://www.sherline.com


You will need a collet chuck, a diamond tool for comms, although HSS seems to work nice for me. A carbide tool if you want to cut/true stacks. For tires, you can cut them with something small and pointed, I.e. a small nail.

For tires, you will need either a flat sanding block and a way to hold it, or a rotating drum.

Bottom line: a hudy tire truer and a hudy comm lathe together cost less than the base model of a good small lather. So consider what else you need to do before you spend your hard earned money.

Avoid the cheap Chinese made 6in1 units. They will not do arms. They do not do anything precise. Good for practice on wood, or as a sander.
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#3 nzoomed

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 05:57 AM

OK thanks for that.

I had just been looking at these on ebay, but I dont expect them to be anything spectacular.

https://www.ebay.com...auwKK:rk:2:pf:0

 

Biggest problem is im in New Zealand and anything I import needs to run on 230V or else i will have to use on a stepdown transformer.

Nothing much like this on the market here.


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#4 mreibman

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 10:05 AM

PM sent.


Mike Reibman
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#5 Ecurie Martini

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 02:11 PM

Per the listing, the lathe motor is 12VDC.  The power supply is most likely a "wall wort" and they are often 120/220/240V units.

 

EM


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#6 wbugenis

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 02:37 PM

Unless you are using ULTRA precision collets ( sounds as if you are FAR from it), a hobby lathe will give you  way too much runout

for commutators.   Better to use the ground  v- blocks like on a Hudy commutator lathe.

 

Tires and commutators are worlds apart in their requirements for precision.

 

A commutator with runout is a real performance killer  


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#7 havlicek

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 03:19 PM

Unless you are using ULTRA precision collets ( sounds as if you are FAR from it), a hobby lathe will give you  way too much runout

for commutators.   Better to use the ground  v- blocks like on a Hudy commutator lathe.

 

Tires and commutators are worlds apart in their requirements for precision.

 

A commutator with runout is a real proforemance killer  

 

What Bill said.  Just the probable misalignment between the tailstcok and the chuck alone here would make "truing" coms no bueno.  Throw in the runout of the headstock itself, and you very well might be machining-in more errors than the ones you're trying to correct.


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#8 nzoomed

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 05:05 PM

Yes im going to avoid the chinese lathes, i know they are not the greatest quality and have learned they cant take a tailstock chuck.

 

I figured it would have been better than what i had, as ive just been making do with a battery drill for doing wheels. Nothing exciting, but its all we had.

 

I think if i can find a unimat locally it would be ideal, or else i will import one off ebay and use a stepdown transformer to power it.

 

Was looking at other lathes locally and this is something much larger with a mill added.

https://www.trademe....x?id=1795912165

 

It looks chinese but i would think its reasonable quality.


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#9 Phil Hackett

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 12:25 AM

Look for a *used* Levin lathe...although they tend to be pricey. They're what Sonic's balancing service used. They are made for production of small and critical parts. They *are not* toys. If you find one for a fair price with tooling jump at it! Levin lathes are in a another galaxy compared to everything mentioned in this thread. (and some would say priced like they're in a another galaxy). Just look around and you might find one at a reasonable value.

 

Here's a link: Levin

 

The new stuff is unreal expensive.


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#10 nzoomed

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 03:46 AM

Look for a *used* Levin lathe...although they tend to be pricey. They're what Sonic's balancing service used. They are made for production of small and critical parts. They *are not* toys. If you find one for a fair price with tooling jump at it! Levin lathes are in a another galaxy compared to everything mentioned in this thread. (and some would say priced like they're in a another galaxy). Just look around and you might find one at a reasonable value.

 

Here's a link: Levin

 

The new stuff is unreal expensive.

thanks, ill take a look, either way if i go for anything like this, I will probably need to import it.


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#11 havlicek

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 08:01 AM

Look for a *used* Levin lathe...although they tend to be pricey. They're what Sonic's balancing service used. They are made for production of small and critical parts. They *are not* toys. If you find one for a fair price with tooling jump at it! Levin lathes are in a another galaxy compared to everything mentioned in this thread. (and some would say priced like they're in a another galaxy). Just look around and you might find one at a reasonable value.

 

Here's a link: Levin

 

The new stuff is unreal expensive.

 

Yikes.  At like $15,000 new, it seems as though even used would be expensive as heck...maybe they tank in cost on the used market!?  It seems as though a com lathe is a pretty great value considering how well they work and what they cost.  I got the XiPP years ago for significantly less than the Hudy, and it has never failed to produce very good results, but unfortunately, I haven't seen them around for years.  Still, a used Hudy for tires and a used one for coms would be cost effective and space-efficient, although neither would work as a general purpose lathe for turning out small parts.  Used Sherlines do come up on eBay pretty often though.


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#12 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 08:57 AM

Are you planning on turning things OTHER than tire and armatures?  I bought a Sherline many years ago after having a 6 inch bench lathe to use for general lathe work.  The investment in the Sherline is about the cost of BOTH the Hudy tire and commutator tools together.  Each has precision for their jobs.  I need a tailstock collet for the Sherline to make it do as good a job on armatures than the Hudy.

 

The Sherline cannot go to the track to do the raceday tires.


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#13 havlicek

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 09:49 AM

 

 

The investment in the Sherline is about the cost of BOTH the Hudy tire and commutator tools together.

 

True, although in used or refurbed condition, you can do much better than new for the Sherline.  In any case, setting up the Sherline to cut coms could add cost.  I think a com lathe is a better way to go, and there would be no "changeover" from normal lathe stuff to cutting coms...so it would be convenient.  **Of course, if you ONLY want to cut coms and size tires, the two Hudy machines make more sense, although doing tires on the Sherline (*or similar like the Taig) would be fine...although messy.  :)

 

 

 

The Sherline cannot go to the track to do the raceday tires.

 

Certainly not, although it is a compact machine.  For general lathe work though, the machine should be bolted securely to a table or stand anyway.


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#14 Phil Hackett

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 10:00 AM

 

Yikes.  At like $15,000 new, it seems as though even used would be expensive as heck...maybe they tank in cost on the used market!?  It seems as though a com lathe is a pretty great value considering how well they work and what they cost.  I got the XiPP years ago for significantly less than the Hudy, and it has never failed to produce very good results, but unfortunately, I haven't seen them around for years.  Still, a used Hudy for tires and a used one for coms would be cost effective and space-efficient, although neither would work as a general purpose lathe for turning out small parts.  Used Sherlines do come up on eBay pretty often though.

 

This is why I said look for a used machine. The new prices are insane and if you're looking you might jusst find one for a decent price. There are old versions of this machine that aren't as desirable as the newer models but would be perfectly useful for slot motor usses.

 

BTW, the Sonic lathe was bought used at an auction and we had the factory go through it and it was still FAR less than list price for a new machine at the time. No way a new machine would have been a viable purchase.

 

Again... look for used.


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#15 havlicek

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 11:44 AM

 

This is why I said look for a used machine. The new prices are insane and if you're looking you might jusst find one for a decent price. There are old versions of this machine that aren't as desirable as the newer models but would be perfectly useful for slot motor usses.

 

BTW, the Sonic lathe was bought used at an auction and we had the factory go through it and it was still FAR less than list price for a new machine at the time. No way a new machine would have been a viable purchase.

 

Again... look for used.

 

Understood Phil, but that is why I said:

 

 

 

Yikes.  At like $15,000 new, it seems as though even used would be expensive as heck

So, can this machine actually be purchased used and in good condition for $500 or so?  That's around the cost of the two Hudy machines new.
 


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#16 nzoomed

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 04:27 PM

Are you planning on turning things OTHER than tire and armatures?  I bought a Sherline many years ago after having a 6 inch bench lathe to use for general lathe work.  The investment in the Sherline is about the cost of BOTH the Hudy tire and commutator tools together.  Each has precision for their jobs.  I need a tailstock collet for the Sherline to make it do as good a job on armatures than the Hudy.

 

The Sherline cannot go to the track to do the raceday tires.

Im thinking I will possibly need it to also machine bushings for motors and also could be useful to machine my own wheel hubs.

 

I had been wanting to get a lathe anyway, but had been looking at much larger lathes, not so suitable for the small parts on slotcars, but had been wanting to convert one to a CNC lathe as a project, along with a CNC mill to cut out brass for scratchbuilds


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#17 Dallas Racer

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 09:26 PM

I just don't see how you can beat V blocks for accuracy. I never understood why Hudy had the ball bearing option. Seems like more money for less accuracy.


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#18 Ecurie Martini

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 02:01 AM

 

I had been wanting to get a lathe anyway, but had been looking at much larger lathes, not so suitable for the small parts on slotcars,

 

An inventor/machinist friend once told me: "You need a large machine to do small work"  In essence, size and weight confers rigidity and freedom from vibration.

 

EM


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#19 nzoomed

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 03:06 AM

 

An inventor/machinist friend once told me: "You need a large machine to do small work"  In essence, size and weight confers rigidity and freedom from vibration.

 

EM

well maybe so, but there is a point where its too "large" , the chucks on some lathe would have trouble taking a small armature.


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#20 wbugenis

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 06:36 AM

Need to get away from using chucks.

 

Get a dial indicator setup to measure runout and you'll soon be questioning your colletts


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#21 Dallas Racer

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 09:41 AM

 

An inventor/machinist friend once told me: "You need a large machine to do small work"  In essence, size and weight confers rigidity and freedom from vibration.

 

EM

 

This is true. If commercial real estate is all about location, location, location, machining machines are all about rigidity, rigidity, rigidity. 


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#22 Phil Hackett

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 10:00 AM

well maybe so, but there is a point where its too "large" , the chucks on some lathe would have trouble taking a small armature.

 

Collets, not chucks.. and *good* collets not the $8 no-name specials.


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#23 nzoomed

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 05:15 PM

 

Collets, not chucks.. and *good* collets not the $8 no-name specials.

Collets, thats quite a good idea. Not really done much machining, so have never used them on a lathe before.


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#24 swodem

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 08:02 PM

I have a Taig lathe
It’s really good, but I wouldn’t do comms on it unless there was no other option
It’s not the precision of a Hudy just by the way it supports an arm collet and Tailstock chuck holding a bushing
So I use the Hudy

Get a proper comm lathe for doing comms? Being supported in a vee block is extremely precise (as precise as the roundness of your arm shaft)

For doing foam tyres, I have tried a few options and settled on the BSV FITT as being the best - USD250 plus shipping from Ukraine

What cars are you racing and where??


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