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Old 03-29-2009, 06:55 AM #1
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Default Will this lathe work for copper?

Well, you heard me:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=93212

Is this lathe a good idea for machining copper and aluminum?
Is it a good idea for this hobby?


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Old 03-29-2009, 07:51 AM #2
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Default Re: Will this lathe work for copper?

Yes you could machine copper with this. Aluminum will be a walk in the park. It may even be rigid enough to do light steel work. The only thing to think about here capacity. For $50 more you can get the 7X12 lathe. You might not need the extra capacity. But when you do need it, you really need it.
I will be getting the 7X12 later this year when I have enough funds to get it as well as a CNC retrofit kit for it and the software to operate it.
I have looked at these at the local Harbour Freight and believe them to be well made machines. Will know more when I actually get to use one for a few days. Google some reviews and I think you will like what you see.
Copper is not much fun to machine at times. Be sure to keep the chip shields in place ans keep your safety glasses on because the copper chips fly really well and will get in your eyes fast. I work with this stuff 2 or 3 times a week and am very happy when those jobs are done.
Hope you get some benefit from all that.
Later
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:38 AM #3
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Default Re: Will this lathe work for copper?

I agree with letzrok, also because the 7x12 declares a sufficient engine power for small works... ; the only question that you have still to ask to yourself is you foresee to make threads too....in this case take care that this lathe makes SAE threads only, while the 8x12 makes SAE and metric....

I haven't seen any emulsion refrigerating device, but anyway this is not difficult to realize....

Just my 2 cents....
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:23 AM #4
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Default Re: Will this lathe work for copper?

It depends a lot on how anealed the copper is, it can be like turning putty if it is fully anealed.
It can be turned and that lathe would be ok at doing it, I avoid copper if aluminium will do

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Old 03-29-2009, 05:44 PM #5
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Default Re: Will this lathe work for copper?

If you can swing it, get a lathe bigger than you think you need. Having said that, the lathe you referenced is fine, for a small lathe. It will also allow light cuts in steel. I know that a few years ago, the change gears on this model were plastic, and some guys on the machining boards were complaining about the plastic change gears breaking occasionally. As has been mentioned, copper can be less cooperative to machine. It can be sticky and gum up the tooling. Aluminum and brass are very pleasant to work with.

Allow yourself a tooling budget for the lathe. You will need HSS blanks for grinding your own cutting bits, a boring bar set, a parting tool and holder, a jacobs chuck for the tailstock, maybe a knurling tool, letter, number, and fractional drill bits. Taps and dies in imperial and metric are useful too. All of these items and more can be had at Harbor Freight Tools, for example. You will need measurement tools such as micrometers, calipers, center finding square, dial guages and stand, depth guage. Again, available at Harbor Freight.

A lathe or lathe/mill combo are massively useful for this hobby and enable the production of custom hosts, labbies, c-mount diode laser heads, lens and optics mounts and holders. You can also make laser heads for 5.6mm can diodes so that you can get away from the aixiz housing and the infamous "lens slop", also no problem adopting and incorporating new lenses into your designs.

Welcome to the small but growing community of lathe owners here.

Bill.
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Old 03-29-2009, 07:31 PM #6
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Default Re: Will this lathe work for copper?

Wow!!!
Thanks for all the help
You guys are a powerhouse of information 8-)
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:22 PM #7
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Default Re: Will this lathe work for copper?

That is the lathe I have along with it's brother milling machine. I hace done everything from plastic and wood up to steel. It comes pretty well stripped and you will need to get tool holders, bits, center etc etc. Using a good carbide, mine will take steel easily but it may take a few more passes than a bigger machine. I only had room for that on on my bench.

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Old 03-29-2009, 11:14 PM #8
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Default Re: Will this lathe work for copper?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancoRob
I agree with letzrok, also because the 7x12 declares a sufficient engine power for small works... ; the only question that you have still to ask to yourself is you foresee to make threads too....in this case take care that this lathe makes SAE threads only, while the 8x12 makes SAE and metric....

I haven't seen any emulsion refrigerating device, but anyway this is not difficult to realize....

Just my 2 cents....
So will I be able to machine my own hosts using SAE threads?
Will I be able to cut threads for AixiZ lenses?

What is the difference between SAE threads and metric threads?
Will I be able to get by just using SAE threads?

Can I have a list of everything I will need to get started with a lathe?


Thanks guys, I appreciate it.
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1x DX 532nm 10mW Laser
1x 780nm NIR Dorcy Jr. 250mW Laser
KES-400A PS3 405nm Blu-Ray 10mW
PHR-803T Mini 4 inch 405nm Blu-Ray 140mW

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Old 03-29-2009, 11:30 PM #9
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Default Re: Will this lathe work for copper?

You can buy a 7" X 12" from ToolsNow for the same price. http://www.toolsnow.com/browse.cfm/4,876.html

Not only do you get an extra 4" between centers ( the 7' X 10' actually has only 8" of usable space) but a set of external jaws for bigger pieces of stock, *a Tailstock Drill Chuck , a Moving Steady, a Fixed Steady, a 6 1/4" diameter Face Plate, and some cutting tools to get you started.

I also have to mention that Tools Now has excellent customer service. They replaced my circuit board and then the switches free of charge under warranty. *[smiley=thumbsup.gif]

If you are lucky, you can some times find one at their traveling "Truck Tool Sale" and not have to worry about shipping charges. [smiley=happy.gif]

**********
The next thing I bought was the Mini Lathe Tooling Package from the littlemachineshop.com
http://www.littlemachineshop.com/pro...ID=3486&ca tegory=

~ A2Z CNC quick change tool post set : turning tool holders accept tools with 1/4" to 1/2" shank. The boring tool holder accepts boring bars with up to 3/8" round shanks. The cut-off tool holder holds 1/2" tall parting blades.
~ 1/2" capacity drill chuck is mounted on a short 2 Morse taper shank
~ indexable turning tools includes 5 tools (TAR, TAL, TBR, TBL, TE), inserts, a wrench, and extra screws
~ carbide tipped 9-piece boring bar set
~ P1 parting blade is 1/16" x 1/2" x 4-1/2" .
~ 4 different sizes of combined drills and countersinks

all for $159.90 *

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Old 03-29-2009, 11:45 PM #10
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Default Re: Will this lathe work for copper?

Quote:
Originally Posted by T_Warne
You can buy a 7" X 12" from ToolsNow for the same price. http://www.toolsnow.com/browse.cfm/4,876.html

Not only do you get an extra 4" between centers ( the 7' X 10' actually has only 8" of usable space) but a set of external jaws for bigger pieces of stock, *a Tailstock Drill Chuck , a Moving Steady, a Fixed Steady, a 6 1/4" diameter Face Plate, and some cutting tools to get you started.

I also have to mention that Tools Now has excellent customer service. They replaced my circuit board and then the switches free of charge under warranty. *[smiley=thumbsup.gif]

If you are lucky, you can some times find one at their traveling "Truck Tool Sale" and not have to worry about shipping charges. [smiley=happy.gif]

**********
The next thing I bought was the Mini Lathe Tooling Package from the littlemachineshop.com
http://www.littlemachineshop.com/pro...ID=3486&ca tegory=

~ A2Z CNC quick change tool post set : turning tool holders accept tools with 1/4" to 1/2" shank. The boring tool holder accepts boring bars with up to 3/8" round shanks. The cut-off tool holder holds 1/2" tall parting blades.
~ 1/2" capacity drill chuck is mounted on a short 2 Morse taper shank
~ indexable turning tools includes 5 tools (TAR, TAL, TBR, TBL, TE), inserts, a wrench, and extra screws
~ carbide tipped 9-piece boring bar set
~ P1 parting blade is 1/16" x 1/2" x 4-1/2" .
~ 4 different sizes of combined drills and countersinks

all for $159.90 * *
Ever thought about shipping?
There is a Harbor Freight 5 minutes away from me.
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1x 20x 650nm 250mW Burning Mini Laser
1x 20X Open Can 280mW Mini Pocket Burner in 4" Host
1x DX 532nm 10mW Laser
1x 780nm NIR Dorcy Jr. 250mW Laser
KES-400A PS3 405nm Blu-Ray 10mW
PHR-803T Mini 4 inch 405nm Blu-Ray 140mW

Are you a beginner, wanting to build a DIY laser, but do not have a clue about how? Well, then look here!


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Old 03-30-2009, 12:01 AM #11
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Default Re: Will this lathe work for copper?

I just checked, and for me shipping would be $66.90... making the total just under $517.00. The Harbor Freight 7' X 12" is $499.99, so for an extra $18 you could get a comparable lathe that has a bunch more accessories.
Shipping to you might be less... :-?
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:13 AM #12
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Default Re: Will this lathe work for copper?

i need to learn how to thread things but dont no where to start/things i need :-[ and copper is not fun to machine
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:27 AM #13
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Default Re: Will this lathe work for copper?

Quote:
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i need to learn how to thread things but dont no where to start/things i need :-[ and copper is not fun *to machine *
Get a tap and die set, sherlock
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The Copperhead: 330mW Copper Heatsinked Pocket Pal w/ Meredith Glass Lens and Open Can Diode! See Here
1x 20x 650nm 250mW Burning Mini Laser
1x 20X Open Can 280mW Mini Pocket Burner in 4" Host
1x DX 532nm 10mW Laser
1x 780nm NIR Dorcy Jr. 250mW Laser
KES-400A PS3 405nm Blu-Ray 10mW
PHR-803T Mini 4 inch 405nm Blu-Ray 140mW

Are you a beginner, wanting to build a DIY laser, but do not have a clue about how? Well, then look here!


"its cool dont worrie about it its under controle"
-Jake21, 2009
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:27 AM #14
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Default Re: Will this lathe work for copper?

Quote:
Originally Posted by T_Warne
I just checked, and for me shipping would be $66.90... making the total just under $517.00. The Harbor Freight 7' X 12" is $499.99, so for an extra $18 you could get a comparable lathe that has a bunch more accessories.
Shipping to you might be less... :-?
Hmm...
I'll check it out.
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Spyderz20x6

The Copperhead: 330mW Copper Heatsinked Pocket Pal w/ Meredith Glass Lens and Open Can Diode! See Here
1x 20x 650nm 250mW Burning Mini Laser
1x 20X Open Can 280mW Mini Pocket Burner in 4" Host
1x DX 532nm 10mW Laser
1x 780nm NIR Dorcy Jr. 250mW Laser
KES-400A PS3 405nm Blu-Ray 10mW
PHR-803T Mini 4 inch 405nm Blu-Ray 140mW

Are you a beginner, wanting to build a DIY laser, but do not have a clue about how? Well, then look here!


"its cool dont worrie about it its under controle"
-Jake21, 2009
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:24 AM #15
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Default Re: Will this lathe work for copper?

Hey Spyderz, that tooling package T_Warne listed is a pretty good bargain. It has most everything you would need for quite a while. But dont forget you will need centerdrills or spot drills and at least a basic set of SAE drills from about 1/8" up to about at least 1/2" or 3/4" stepping up by 1/16" or 1/32". That drill chuck will not hold drills over 1/2" so any drill above that will need a 1/2" shank. As for threading, most of the lasers we work with use metric threads, but there is no reason you would have to build your own custom hosts that way. Another option is taps and dies but you will want bottoming taps.
I have been a machinist for a long time now. Mostly I run multi-axis CNC lathes for the past few years. Got questions? Just ask and I will do my best to help out.
One more thing. Try to find a tutorial video on threading with a lathe so you will have a better idea of how it is done. I will look for one too and if I find one I will post a link. Sometimes it is called single point threading.

Later
Clayton
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:42 AM #16
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Default Re: Will this lathe work for copper?

As a loose rule expect to spend around another 200-400$ again on tooling (Although its much worse for a mill).

You will need a set of tools, likely a bench grinder, boring bars, taps and dies, a thread gauge, live center, chuck, a set of center drills and normal drills, possibly indexed carbide bits...

And that isn't even talking about measurement and layout gear (Seriously, this is the most important stuff, you can only machine as accurately as you can measure). *Scribes, calipers, depth/height gauges layout dye... I could go on and on.

And then there are even more things that are nice to have but you don't need, a quick change tool post, knurler etc.

I personally prefer tool blanks and a bench grinder to carbide bits, but I'm not sure how the costs compare.

I find that the hardest part of threading on a lathe is changing the gears (Which isn't very hard). As long as you pay attention so you don't mash the machine into itself in a spectacular display of self destruction its basically mindless work.
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