These few pages are about the minilathe I owned a while back. If you want to know more about these exellent little machines, you should visit Frank Hoose’s site: http://www.mini-lathe.com/
I like to tinker about with robots and motors and stuff. Rarely does anything actually get made. Instead, I there is a collection of unfinished bits. Once I have figured out how to do something, I am usually quite happy and don’t have a deep need to see a finished product. Anyhow, I needed some wheels. That was all the excuse needed to consider buying a lathe.
Pretty soon I was the proud owner of a variant of the Asian 7×10 minilathe. This version is sold in the UK by Machine Mart as the CL300M and appears to be closest to what is known in the US as a 7×12, sold, I think, by Grizzly.
Everything they say about it is true. It is more an almost ready to use kit rather than a polished gem. It did not take much work to get things working in a fairly satisfactory fashion and I have made a surprising amount of swarf in the first few weeks.
Purists will no doubt tell you that you should have this or that second-hand machine for this or that reason. They are almost certainly right. I would probably be happier with a recent Myford Super 7 in very good condition. However, that would have cost me five times as much and I couldn’t have lifted it out of the way when I want the bench space. One day, if this all becomes that serious, I may well change my toys. In the meantime, I am having fun with an inexpensive tool that will do more than I am capable of.
The wheels turned out just fine. There are plenty more to make. I can think of many variations now that I am appropriately tooled up.
Funny how things work out. Soon after getting my lathe, I realised I finally had the means to repair our folding garden chairs. These had hinge pins that were seated in nylon inserts. They were also too far out from the frame and so had begun to bend and destroy the inserts. No problem – soon had some brass bushes to replace the nylon. Looks better, removes the play and should be much stronger and more durable. of course, the frames are a bit loose so I think I will make some cross-dowel fixings, also out of brass, to draw them together.
Nothing like a few successful domestic jobs to help make your toys more family friendly.