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Mini Lathes

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default Mini Lathes

Post by WoodTrol on 7th January 2011, 9:29 pm

I noticed Wigan Pixie was talking about mini lathes on her introduction so I thought i would dig this out of the main Workshop thread and give it a life of it's own.
Picking up the 'I fix it' thread I have finally gotten to looking for some drive belts for a mini-lathe I was give by a friend clearing out for a house move. I am glad to say the drive belts are available for twelve pounds fifty a meter (makes about 5 belts).

The lathe is an EMCO UNIMAT SL1000 (rebranded as Elliott for the UK market) about fourty years old and, apart from the above, working fine. From what I understand it is worth between one and three hundred pounds depending on the extras it has. It is nickmaned the 'Nine-in-one' because of the variety of purposes it can be put to. Just got to get it working now.


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default Re: Mini Lathes

Post by Wigan Pixie on 8th January 2011, 12:48 pm

I don't really know anything about lathes, I inherited my large one. It looks about 300 years old but works fine. I've been looking at mini lathes and micro lathes, and will probably end up with a micro lathe, which will be small enough and light enough to take in the truck with us, so we can make them at festival workshops. I would have preferred a mini one though, but they are just too heavy to lug around. If anyone has any experience of micro lathes, I would love to hear it.

I do intend to make a pole lathe at some point, but I've not been able to turn anything as slender as a crochet hook on one.

Wigan Pixie

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default Re: Mini Lathes

Post by WoodTrol on 8th January 2011, 6:27 pm

Hi Wigan,

I thought you might be interested in a thread about lathes.

If I understand things correctly the terms mini and micro lathe are very blured, a lathe of that size could be described in either category.

The Unimat seems to be about the right size for what you want to turn (up to 3" diameter and 5" length) and is under 2' long with a good rigid bed. Be careful though there is bad imitation one of the same name about that is useless!

The problem with pole lathes and small items is that there so much directional force created by the cord on the work piece that anything small is either snapped or pulled out of the centers.

Can we have a picie of the old lathe?


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default Re: Mini Lathes

Post by Mike on 9th January 2011, 2:03 pm

Wood Troll wrote: .......
The problem with pole lathes and small items is that there so much directional force created by the cord on the work piece that anything small is either snapped or pulled out of the centers.......

I've already commented that I thought "pole lathes" outdated. But if that's what you want but working "micro" to deal with the described problem you should look at the design of jewlers'/clockmaker's lathes from several hundred years ago. At one time powered centers simply did'nt exist.

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