I agree with the previous assessment of the mini lathe's. Good for cutting your teeth with but it is what it is. If I had to replace my entire lathe/mill setup and all the goodies that go with it I'd be well over 12K.
I was taught 80% of what I know about machining by an old german man who was absolutely awe inspiring to watch work. I was 15 and had the luxury to learn on an industrial Bridgeport & Rockwell setup that was probably worth half a million even back then.
Cisco is dead on, it's all about rigidity and unfortunately rigidity means size and weight. Size and weight means $. You could probably build some pretty decent mods with a mini, but atty. connectors and tight tolerances will be problem. Not the end of the world and it is only $500.
I have to force myself to walk away from the garage. I have more ideas than time and find myself continually looking for a way to build a better mousetrap.
Thanks for all the comments and encouragement, as soon as the clear-coat dries I'll put up finished pics of "CHUCK".
Then I'll build a "LITTLE CHUCK".
Thank you Jeff for your insight , very interesting info and I see your point about spending only $500 to get started on something that seems so rewarding.
That also takes me to another question since you mention how much $$$ it could cost...
If you decided to part with it, would you be able to get a decent part of your investment back?
I can't wait to see the little Chuck.
CHUCK AND LITTLE CHUCK
and some others laying around the garage
That was fast!
I love them , they look really good wow!
Amazing job Jeff
Jeff, nice job, absolutely beautiful.
Take a look at used South Bend lathes. They can often be found for affordable prices, and as long as the ways are good, you should be fine. That said, I purchased a 9 x 20 grizzly about a year ago, and there are certainly problems with it, but it does work. For me it wasn't the price that was the issue, but size. I couldn't fit a large lathe in my Brooklyn apartment. Everything that has been said about the small guys is true, it does take a bit longer, there aren't near as many bells and whistles, but tolerances aren't bad. Resale value on large American lathes is pretty decent.
C'mon Jeff , those look really nice to me on the pics.