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  1. #21
    Lachlan Young's Avatar
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    I'm surprised no one has mentioned Dave Gingery's backyard foundry lathe - the one made from bits of scrap aluminium melted down and built up into something surprisngly accurate!

    Anyway for those in the UK WARCO have a good range of far eastern machines which are built to their quality controls and which have gained a reputation in the UK as sturdy well made machine tools at good prices.

    Hope this helps,

    Lachlan

  2. #22
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Even Gingery enthusiasts will tell you that if you just want a lathe, buy a Chinese made 7x or start looking for a used South Bend etc. If you want the experience of making a lathe, you want a Gingery, because those books teach you everything from how to make a furnace to cast scrap metal into useful items, to how to make accurate machine tools with nothing more sophisticated than a file and some basic homeowner power tools (electric drill, mostly).

    I started a Gingery style lathe, because I didn't have the money for a 7x, but when I came into some money, I bought the 7x12 and sold off the completed Gingery type bed. At no point was I ever interested primarily in building a lathe -- I wanted a lathe, but had money only in small increments. I figure I would have gone a couple years working on that bolt-together variant design -- and still not had thread cutting capability. I cut my first thread on the Seig-built mini-lathe a couple days after UPS dropped the machine off (had to clean it up and get a suitable tool bit).
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by nsmith01tx
    Can the Sherline do the larger rings like, say, for a #5 shutter? Pardon my ignorance of this stuff, but what's the largest diameter work a small lathe like that can handle?
    Thanks,
    Nathan
    Nathan:

    Just to answer your specific question, yes, you could do it on a Sherline, but not as easily as on a larger machine. I once cut a retaining ring for an 18" Verito (about 4.75") on a Sherline, as that was all I had at home. I had to make a special jig for it, though.

    I can't add anything to Don's excellent advise, except to mention to newbies that buying a lathe can be compared to buying a camera body - it's a start, but you still need lots more equipment before you can make what you want.

    In the US, a good way to learn about machining is to take a course at a community college or technical high school.

    Be warned, though, that GAS is not photography-specific!

    Charley

  4. #24
    Curt's Avatar
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    Thanks Donald, I checked the sites out. The Micro-Lux looks like a good one, I hadn't hear of it before but it has all the accessories that are needed. the LittleMachineShop has a ton of accessories for all of the machines. It's a lot to digest. I'll have to add it up and see what I am going to get.

    Regards,
    Curt

  5. #25
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c.d.ewen
    Be warned, though, that GAS is not photography-specific!
    True, but home shop machining GAS is a lot cheaper than camera GAS -- you can buy more machines than will fit in your house for less than the price of one upper echelon film camera body (if you have a means to haul them, you can often get BIG machines cheaper than small ones, because they cost too much to ship). Where machining gets you is in consumables (like photography, to some extent), but also in electricity -- doesn't take much before you start needing 3-phase power for your machines, which costs quite a few dollars a month just to have the wires connected (and a bundle to get installed), and some aspects you can see the electric bill ratcheting up when you turn on certain equipment (like, say, an electric foundry). And then there's the cost of storing the consumables -- a $50 used freezer will store a lifetime supply of film, but you'll be out a couple grand for a shed to protect your machining metal stock...
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

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