Tools, all the Tools, I'm a Complete Tool for Tools

I'm trying to decide whether to pull the pin on buying a mini "desk" lathe. One of these...

cheap $250 lathe

Yes, I know, a lathe is usually a thousands-of-bucks piece of workshop kit, and the average serious machinist is screaming "NO!" at me, at the top of their lungs. But I'm not a machinist, I'm a hobbyist. I'm on a really tight budget, most of my tools are "toys." I'm not dependent on reliability for my livelihood. I just hack about in a workshop to "squander" my retirement on making stuff. And I've always wanted a lathe, but never been able to muster the scratch with all my other expensive hobbies, and I don't have space for even a small workshop lathe. A 10" seems like a great option for the odd, brass bush, or a pully or two.

Things like spinning up a knobbed lever from an M12 bolt by machining the hex head into the knob. Turning up a model rocket fuselage in matched, push-together segments, turning and cutting a precise length and internal diameter of aluminium tube for a bass reflex port for a speaker bin, tuned to the tenth of a millimetre and the precise hertz resonance. And my latest hobby, model rail. HAVE YOU SEEN the prices of spare parts! Making my own wheels and axles would be super cool, especially as finding the precise scale wheels for my currnet project, a TGR DP class rail motor, is nearly impossible! 30" and 31.5" wheels! I ask you

This lathe is built from aluminium v-slot extrusions, it'd be stiff enough and strong enough for me. The 24 watt motor is a belt drive, so that could be upgraded by addition of an old sewing machine motor. It's small enough to store on a shelf when not in use, and bolt to my mobile workbench with T-nuts when I need it.

I may have just talked myself into it, but I'll wait and see if the listing renews, first. Just to regulate my spending with a little superstition, perhaps...


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