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    • February 15, 2019 1:14 PM EST
    • Devon, once you set the speed close to what you want with the pulleys/belt, you should be able to adjust the speed with a variac.

    • February 15, 2019 11:55 AM EST
    • As a PS to Ross, mine is the square aluminum stock bed... in red as Devon pictured. edit; also German or Austrian make, a precision toy.

      I turned a 4" On3 hollow boiler, in wax for casting.

      It did what I wanted to do.

       

    • February 15, 2019 3:32 AM EST
    • I have a small  Austrian made variable speed  Unimat3..bought many years ago

      https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=unimat+3+lathe&tbm=isch&source=hp&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjezJWiqr3gAhV3QhUIHQOaD90QsAR6BAgDEAE&biw=1366&bih=625

       

      It was the cast iron base type...... (new are -  or seem to be - plastic,    which on the original was just the knobs)

      Turned up parts for live steam  3.5 inch and  some for a 5 inch loco...Could remove the motor and fit to a pillar turning it into a drill/milling head.also came with a fitting for a sturdy jig saw..

      Auto feed included.

      Still have it.  Probably cost an arm and a leg today but some  small  ( altho expensive ) all metal  precision lathes are still around. 

       I recently saw a 2nd hand Unimat 3 for sale  at a 1/3rd more than I paid for mine new! 

      I would suggest if you see an all metal  one for sale..snap it up!

       Probably be a good investment!!

       

      (Just  noticed Bruce's Proxxon drill stand...Yep..nice tools.  Their table saw is quite neat.

       

    • February 14, 2019 11:04 PM EST
    • Hi Devon and group,

      I have a Grizzly mini mill and mini lathe and generally happy with both. I bought them at a Grizzly store that was in Muncy, PA near Williamsport while on railfan trips with club members. Years back I had bigger machines but wasn't using them much so I sold them.

      If you are interested in these machines, LittleMachineShop.com has great support for this group of machines and some newer units that have come out. I have many upgrades on both machines which came from littleMachineShop. I do like the variable speed that both machines have. I have both machines on stands that came from Grizzly and I can move them around my shop as needed.

       

    • February 14, 2019 9:52 PM EST
    • I saw the blocks and figured that would be a good thing 

    • February 14, 2019 9:35 PM EST
    • Joe,

       

      they do now offer auto feed on newer machines. I agree that the hole thru the headstock is a limitation. when you need to hold larger items you use the outer ends of the jaws, typically by machining features in them to hold the part. that is why they are "soft jaws". if you need more space vertically the do offer riser blocks for both headstock and tailstock.

       

      Actually the biggest limitation I have had to work around is the limited cross slide travel.

       

      AL P.

    • February 14, 2019 4:40 PM EST
    • Devon,

      That is the machine I have.

      The cons I have found are:

      • No auto feed. This means you can't cut threads.
      • The bore through the head stock is only about 3/8th (too small).
      • The 3 jaw chuck (I also have a 4 jaw) is too small.
      • The swing over the bed is too small (see above).

    • February 14, 2019 4:05 PM EST
    • Craig Townsend said:

      I've always heard its not the machine that kills the bank, but all the tooling....

       

      I semi casually check estate sales for machine tools, but I doubt I will ever have the room for a mill or a lathe. 

       

      I thought I also have been told that if you can only buy one machine, buy a mill. A mill with the proper tools can do the work of a lathe, but you can't do it the other way around. 

       

      Just my 2 cents.

      You probably posted this prior to me posting the milling attachment for the Lathe. But with a 68 dollar add on you can do some basic milling.

    • February 14, 2019 4:00 PM EST
    • I've always heard its not the machine that kills the bank, but all the tooling....

       

      I semi casually check estate sales for machine tools, but I doubt I will ever have the room for a mill or a lathe. 

       

      I thought I also have been told that if you can only buy one machine, buy a mill. A mill with the proper tools can do the work of a lathe, but you can't do it the other way around. 

       

      Just my 2 cents.

    • February 14, 2019 3:53 PM EST
    • While more than I really wanted to pay for such a thing I think I could convince the wife to let me have this if I save my lunch money. Would this be a sufficient machine? Is there some must have that this does not have? Am I plain stupid?

       

      You can also buy a milling attachment for this lathe which would be handy

       

      $68.

    • February 14, 2019 3:44 PM EST
    • Well looking it over I think if I were to drop the cash today I would likely buy the Taig 1017 package. For those in the know about machining equipment would this be a good machine for what I want to do.

      m1017

      Collet set

      Chuck

      1091 Jacobs Chuck

      tool set

      Tailstock

       

      Pulley set

       

      Package #3 (1017-3) Just about everything you will need


      1017
      1040
      1050
      1091
      1095
      1150
      1023
      1022
      1162
      1021wired
      Total

      - Micro lathe assembled unit
      - Collet set with 8 collets and closer
      - 3 jaw self centering chuck
      - 0 to 1/4 inch Jacobs chuck
      - 6 piece tool bit set
      - Drilling tailstock with 3/8-24 thread
      - 12 x 18 mounting board
      - motor mount bracket
      - 1/2 inch pulley set (3M 500 belt)
      - 1/4 hp Marathon Motor (1725 RPM) wired with switch and cord.

      $214.10
      $36.70
      $70.40
      $12.30
      $33.10
      $44.60
      $8.65
      $5.95
      $30.25
      $123.10
      $579.15

      Internet special
      with free shipping
      in the U.S.A.
      $544.40

       

      Now the only thing that I can see is the speed is controlled by pulleys and not a variable speed control, but is this a problem for an amateur hobby guy.  Anything else I should be seeing, needing, or knowing.

    • February 14, 2019 2:54 PM EST
    • Greg Elmassian said:

      I went Sherline, they are about a mile from where I work, very nice stuff, but they do not make a combo machine.

       

      Greg

      Thanks I will have a look at them as well. The Taig that Al is recommending is not a combo tool either. The mill is far less important to me at this point than the lathe is. While I am sure I would use a mill if I had one, I can't thin off the top of my head why I would need it given the modeling I am doing already. A lathe is a whole other ball game, I know I will use that the minute I get it. So I am not opposed to buying a lathe and then later buying a mill.

       

      looking at their website, while not truly making a combination machine they make a vertical milling attachment for the lathe. That could be a real deal maker there. They are a little spendier than the Taig but add that option and they become a whole lot less and it would seem on the outside they are roughly equivalent machines.

       

       

    • February 13, 2019 9:21 PM EST
    • I went Sherline, they are about a mile from where I work, very nice stuff, but they do not make a combo machine.

       

      Greg

    • February 13, 2019 9:12 PM EST
    • Devon,

       

      I have had this lathe for many years. pickup new accessories from e-bay sellers from time to time. while they advertise the 1/8 cut it is all relative to the material you are cutting. one project I did early on was to make some 0-80 bolts from square brass. I needed longer than was available and once a plan was developed I made a bunch of them. it is a machine that will take some time to get used to, like any fine machine they all have quirks. I think there are support forums out there for these as well but beyond my scope.

       

      Al P.

    • February 13, 2019 3:23 PM EST
    • Okay Al, thats what I need to know. How do you like this unit. I assume you have the micro lathe? $456.00 for a package deal for basically a complete starter set. I can do that with a little saving.

    • February 13, 2019 11:31 AM EST
    • Devon, have you looked at Taig tools? I have a lathe with a milling attachment. only downside on the mill is limited travel of  two axis's is around 1" or so. largest thing I have turned is 26" wheel sets, 1:20.3 of course.

      http://www.taigtools.com/

      Al P.

    • February 13, 2019 11:03 AM EST
    • John Caughey said:

      Good luck, many years ago my frugality led me to the Unimat.

      I heard so much negativity regarding the Chinese knock offs that like you the price shot up to the never gonna happen range.

      I'll be interested what is suggested on the open market or if somebody decides to sell you an old one they have ... my money is on the second...

       

      Should I survive my latest challenge, I've been thinking of turning some brass, jut to see.

      That's the conundrum isn't it. Don't buy this tool because it sucks and won't do what you want, which then leaves you with no tool for the job and you still can't do what you want. Until a rich uncle that I don't know I have leaves me a large sum of cash, I will never ever have good small hobby tools. $1500 for a mini metal lathe or a brand new drum sander. Another 1500 for a mill and I can instead have a shaper. I have limited income and too many hobbies. And if I am going to get a divorce over buying machinery it will be wood working tools.

    • February 13, 2019 10:36 AM EST
    • Good luck, many years ago my frugality led me to the Unimat.

      I heard so much negativity regarding the Chinese knock offs that like you the price shot up to the never gonna happen range.

      I'll be interested what is suggested on the open market or if somebody decides to sell you an old one they have ... my money is on the second...

       

      Should I survive my latest challenge, I've been thinking of turning some brass, jut to see.

    • February 13, 2019 9:49 AM EST
    • So since I got talked out of this purchase I will be getting me a little drill press. So that then brings up the question what would be a good, non budget breaking, mill and lathe to start saving for considering that I am not going to be doing much more than small projects in soft metals and plastic. Turning and milling steel would be nice and if that doesn't jump up the price to horrible then I would go the extra to have a more stout machine. $1500 for a lathe and another $1500 for a mill are not gonna happen. Just not. So what, if any, are the alternatives. I see lots of less expensive machines but where to we break the "toy" and "cheap tool" barrier and move into real hobby level equipment at an affordable price point (I know affordable is relative)?

    • February 12, 2019 8:19 PM EST
    • Devon Sinsley said:

      Again thanks all. Gonna pass on it. Just afraid it isn't gonna work well enough. 

      Smart choice Buddy :).