Mini-Lathe: First Cuts

Despite the craptastic way finishing and the cross slide DRO malfeature, the Little Machine Shop 5200 lathe works well enough for my simple needs. I really like the quick change toolpost:

LMS Mini-lathe - first cuts
LMS Mini-lathe – first cuts

The QC post and tool holders have very nice machining and surface finish; they evidently come from an entirely different production line than the lathe components. I can definitely get used to using carbide inserts, although I ordered some HSS inserts for interrupted cuts.

The HSS cutoff tool does what you’d expect:

LMS Mini-lathe - first cut - drilled and slotted
LMS Mini-lathe – first cut – drilled and slotted

The holes in the end came from short (“screw machine”) drill bits I got for the Sherline’s painfully limited Z axis travel. Even so, chucking one in the 1/2 inch capacity LMS drill chuck shows why a 16 inch bed isn’t excessive:

LMS Mini-lathe - drill chuck vs bed length
LMS Mini-lathe – drill chuck vs bed length

The 6 inch = 150 mm scale on the bed (to the right of the tailstock) extends to the limit of tailstock travel, so you could have another half foot of stock sticking out of the 3 jaw chuck. A collet in the spindle would give you another two inches, but it’s snug in there.

On the other paw, this is a little lathe intended to make little things. It’ll do fine…

3 thoughts on “Mini-Lathe: First Cuts

  1. Agree about the tool post. The one that uses the wedges is superior to the ones that used a friction button. I have a chipped tooth on my high-speed drive gear, so a gear-change and tapered roller bearing upgrade is in my future. I hear the roller bearings practically eliminate run-out (for my ability to care about run-out.)

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