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Lathe Project

SomeGuy

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So, picked up a used metal lathe a couple months ago, it's a Craftex CX701 12x28, so nothing fancy but decent enough for my first time doing any machining. Have been slowly chipping away at building a stand for it and some rearranging the garage to make space for it.

Lathe was pretty dirty when I picked it up, the guy definitely was using it and wasn't exactly the most neat/tidy/clean type unfortunately but the price was right for what I got. Beyond just the lathe and it's normal accessories it also included a DRO, quick change tool post with a bunch of extra holders, small milling attachment and rotary table, some insert and hss tooling, a mid grade dial indicator, and couple other odds and ends.

PXL_20211002_144906090.MP.jpg


Got it home and started cleaning it up...

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Then started building a stand. It's 22x58" top and around 34" tall (leveling feet) and is built primarily out of 2x2x0.125 square tubing, along with 1.5x1.5x0.100 tubing for the tool box shelves. The intermediate chests were fairly cheap but decent enough (think Harbor Freight toolbox quality) and gives me some small storage right at the lathe for tooling and calipers/micrometers and whatnot.

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Then just this past weekend got the lathe lifted up onto the stand...used the engine hoist but still is kinda weird having ~500lbs hanging that high in the air. Drilled the plate and it's bolted together. Total thing is somewhere in the 800-900lb range and is rock solid. Casters just bolt on and will be normally removed when it's in its spot, but gives me the option to easily move it if I ever need to.

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So starting this week I need to rebuild some shelving (not pictured) on the other side of the garage. Right now it's floor to ceiling just out of 2x4's and only 4 foot spans but will be building new custom shelving out of steel tube that will start at around 6 feet off the ground and full 8 foot span, so there's clear space underneath for the lathe to go. Trying to leave a bit of room in the corner under the shelves for a future small bench top mill.
 

Bacho

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I like that table, looks nice and clean. Good score on the tooling that came with it.

I would suggest though to consder a small lip of some sort around the lathe to contain oil/coolant.
 

aczlan

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So starting this week I need to rebuild some shelving (not pictured) on the other side of the garage. Right now it's floor to ceiling just out of 2x4's and only 4 foot spans but will be building new custom shelving out of steel tube that will start at around 6 feet off the ground and full 8 foot span, so there's clear space underneath for the lathe to go. Trying to leave a bit of room in the corner under the shelves for a future small bench top mill.
You might look at picking up some pallet racking rather than building the shelves from scratch.

Aaron Z
 

SomeGuy

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You might look at picking up some pallet racking rather than building the shelves from scratch.

Aaron Z

I have some very specific space constraints I need to work around, specifically needs to be 22 inches deep...I have looked at everything commercially available and nothing quite fits. I'm only working in a 18x20 main area + 6x12 bump out garage and I still squeeze two SUVs in there. I've already bought steel to custom build to fit the space.

I like that table, looks nice and clean. Good score on the tooling that came with it.

I would suggest though to consder a small lip of some sort around the lathe to contain oil/coolant.

Yeah, was considering at least adding a backsplash but might go further. I also have the OEM chip tray I could stick underneath.
 

aczlan

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I have some very specific space constraints I need to work around, specifically needs to be 22 inches deep...I have looked at everything commercially available and nothing quite fits. I'm only working in a 18x20 main area + 6x12 bump out garage and I still squeeze two SUVs in there. I've already bought steel to custom build to fit the space.
Makes sense, 24" deep is possible with pallet racking, but 22" not so much.

Aaron Z
 

SomeGuy

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Makes sense, 24" deep is possible with pallet racking, but 22" not so much.

Aaron Z

Yup, lots of 24" deep stuff I found but I need this to align with a few steps into the house which is 22 inches deep. It's no biggy, I like building stuff and can optimize the shelving to have it packed as dense as possible with what's going on it.
 

[486]

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you can gain a lot of rigidity in lathes by bolting them to something stiff, next time you build a bench for a lathe that size get you some 1/2" wall 4" square tube, two running the length of the lathe bolted tight, weld the rest of the bench up around that backbone
 

SomeGuy

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you can gain a lot of rigidity in lathes by bolting them to something stiff, next time you build a bench for a lathe that size get you some 1/2" wall 4" square tube, two running the length of the lathe bolted tight, weld the rest of the bench up around that backbone

With a lathe like this I doubt I'd gain much by doing that....it's a small hobby lathe and there is more lost in the tool post/top slide/cross slide than I'd ever gain by having a stronger base connected to the fairly decent size casting. The mass can help sure, but this stand does weigh in the 300-350lbs neighbourhood already, so I suspect I've added plenty.

I always hear this though, make base really strong because it will make things "better"...but when you look at the construction of the stands that the manufacturers sell with these lathes, they're pretty pathetic in comparison to what I just built in terms of strength. I wonder if anyone has actually measured where the point of diminishing return is on a stand. If I doubled up the weight/tube size of the stand I built, would it even gain me a tenth more in accuracy?

More than anything, the actual original lathe construction is probably always going to be the real limiting factor.
 

[486]

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With a lathe like this I doubt I'd gain much by doing that....it's a small hobby lathe and there is more lost in the tool post/top slide/cross slide than I'd ever gain by having a stronger base connected to the fairly decent size casting. The mass can help sure, but this stand does weigh in the 300-350lbs neighbourhood already, so I suspect I've added plenty.

I always hear this though, make base really strong because it will make things "better"...but when you look at the construction of the stands that the manufacturers sell with these lathes, they're pretty pathetic in comparison to what I just built in terms of strength. I wonder if anyone has actually measured where the point of diminishing return is on a stand. If I doubled up the weight/tube size of the stand I built, would it even gain me a tenth more in accuracy?

More than anything, the actual original lathe construction is probably always going to be the real limiting factor.
def plenty of flop in the fit on everything, any idiot can make a lot of improvement in the carriage slides and the compound swivel regions
the reason the bench they sell with the lathe is paper thin is that they don't care how the lathe works, they care how the lathe sells

more mass is always better, and heavy steel like that is always overpopulating the drop rack
 

SomeGuy

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def plenty of flop in the fit on everything, any idiot can make a lot of improvement in the carriage slides and the compound swivel regions
the reason the bench they sell with the lathe is paper thin is that they don't care how the lathe works, they care how the lathe sells

more mass is always better, and heavy steel like that is always overpopulating the drop rack

Did some searching on the machinist forums out there after posting...seems general consensus for stands on lathes this size is that I'm pretty well right in the ballpark (use square tube and 1/4" plate is good) for as much as worth doing. Anything more is a waste. Only thing was to fill the tubes with sand and bolt to concrete...I'd have to make some adjustments to seal the leveling feet from the rest of the tubes if I wanted to sand fill this and I'm not really feeling like putting holes in my slab for this, so I think I'll probably see how it goes first. The guy who owned it before me had it on a pretty lousy wooden stand and it ran quite smoothly there when we did some test cuts.
 

[486]

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Did some searching on the machinist forums out there after posting...seems general consensus for stands on lathes this size is that I'm pretty well right in the ballpark (use square tube and 1/4" plate is good) for as much as worth doing. Anything more is a waste. Only thing was to fill the tubes with sand and bolt to concrete...I'd have to make some adjustments to seal the leveling feet from the rest of the tubes if I wanted to sand fill this and I'm not really feeling like putting holes in my slab for this, so I think I'll probably see how it goes first. The guy who owned it before me had it on a pretty lousy wooden stand and it ran quite smoothly there when we did some test cuts.
yes, fill the sand with tubes and lead shot and unicorn farts to dampen the vibrations of something or another
along with carpeting your shop and installing a pinball machine

forget I said anything
 

WaterH

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Nice score. I got one of those giant old lathes. I like the big chuck, but don’t like 8’ of room gone. (Not to mention 6000lbs. to move) I think the perfect lathe would be bigger chuck (maybe 2.25” through) than yours on that size lathe.
 

arse_sidewards

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I wouldn't worry about getting extra accuracy out of that lathe. It will be fine for the tolerances that automotive stuff runs at.

If I didn't own a stupid big lathe I'd probably own a small one like that. As long as you're not planning on refinishing flywheels and stuff it will do 99.999% of what a 12"-16" floor standing machine will while taking up a fraction of the space.

Nice score. I got one of those giant old lathes. I like the big chuck, but don’t like 8’ of room gone. (Not to mention 6000lbs. to move) I think the perfect lathe would be bigger chuck (maybe 2.25” through) than yours on that size lathe.
I'd kill for 2ft of swing, 3.75 through (so I can bore the weld out of 3" nominal pipe) and 3ft between centers.
 

SomeGuy

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My pallet racking is cut down to be narrower and custom depth as well. May be easy to do that than build from scratch

S'ok, I've already got materials and don't mind building...gives me an excuse to spend a few days in the garage.

I wouldn't worry about getting extra accuracy out of that lathe. It will be fine for the tolerances that automotive stuff runs at.

If I didn't own a stupid big lathe I'd probably own a small one like that. As long as you're not planning on refinishing flywheels and stuff it will do 99.999% of what a 12"-16" floor standing machine will while taking up a fraction of the space.


I'd kill for 2ft of swing, 3.75 through (so I can bore the weld out of 3" nominal pipe) and 3ft between centers.

If space was no issue a 14x40 would have been ideal for me. I mean sure a bigger machine would be fun too, but I would probably almost never use that capacity.

I can flip this lathe for at least the price I paid, if not make a bit of money on it. I'm noob to machinist work, so best to learn on something that I can only do so much damage lol. I will run it for a while and if I out grow it, then I'll buy a larger/heavier/higher quality machine.
 

TTMotorsports

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Yeah I have an old southbend model A 9x36 lathe and it's been awesome BUT i need a larger than a 7/8" through hole so I'm gonna get a larger 14x40-60 so I can get a 2" through hole to thread tubing and such for links which I do fairly often and pay a local machine shop to do that for me.
 

arse_sidewards

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Yeah I have an old southbend model A 9x36 lathe and it's been awesome BUT i need a larger than a 7/8" through hole so I'm gonna get a larger 14x40-60 so I can get a 2" through hole to thread tubing and such for links which I do fairly often and pay a local machine shop to do that for me.
Talk to the oil field guys. They should have some trick solutions for cutting internal threads on the end of a tube that doesn't involve sticking the tube in a machine tool.
 

WaterH

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I'd kill for 2ft of swing, 3.75 through (so I can bore the weld out of 3" nominal pipe) and 3ft between centers.

Yes, I’ve mentioned this to several guys and they all agree. I wonder why some mfg doesn’t do it. Of course, to make one brand new would probably be out of my price range.
 

bgaidan

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Yes, I’ve mentioned this to several guys and they all agree. I wonder why some mfg doesn’t do it. Of course, to make one brand new would probably be out of my price range.
They're out there, but even 40 years old and half clapped out they're way more $$ than your average lathe. Search for "driveshaft lathe" on google and you'll see these:
Dial%20Model%202040-G%20TubeMaster.jpg
 
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