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My new toy (MicroMark 7x16 mini-lathe)

xStatiCa

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MICROLUX 7x16 MINI LATHE

Review at: Micro-Mark 7x16 Mini Lathe

This is one of the newer versions of the Chinese 7xx lathes (500 watt brushless motor, variable speed motor, etc).

A few things I really liked about this is that it didn't require freight delivery(came in 2 boxes via UPS) and it didn't have a big mess of heavy red grease all over everything like the harborfreight lathes have. It just had a light coat of some thin transparent grease on the exposed parts which was pretty easy to clean up with a rag.

I have been reading up on the mini and micro lathes for about 6 months or so now and was disappointed that I didn't get my $73 c0 micro-lathe from harborfreight several months ago during their clearance of that model (they sold out and canceled my order after sending me a postcard saying it was back ordered).

I finally made a purchase so I get to learn another hobby from from scratch (again). It will be used to make hosts and heat-sinks once I learn enough to do so. I am sure my wife is thrilled (yet another hobby).

I just got it setup last night. It needs more setup and tweaking though as I learn more about it and dig into the setup. One example is that the saddle needs a lot of adjustment which is not easy to do(bolts are hidden behind things which means you have to remove the saddle, adjust, test, repeat, repeat). I am learning as I go and trying to read up on the setup, safety, etc. I want to keep my fingers attached :).

I really wish LPF had a machining section for host, heatsink, etc creation. It would be nice to be able to easily search one area for this type of information. I am sure some good info would be archived there from experienced lathe and milling owners(unlike me at this point).

Anyone else want to post their machining setups that they have at home?
 

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xStatiCa

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Thanks. Right now it is just in one corner of my garage. I don't really have a work area except that one little corner. Hopefully the Florida weather won't be too hard on it. I plan to keep it well oiled

I hope to get the saddle adjusted tonight.
 

00Giorge

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I have done some lathe work makeing shafts and collars and a few other things. But the most important thing I learned was make sure that they key is out of the chuck!
 

xStatiCa

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Well my first lathe project is done. I created a housing for the driver in my Kryton Groove host. I didn't want the pressure from the head spring to push on the driver. It goes inside the host and buts up agains the head and the driver and such goes inside it with the spring mounted to the outside of the housing in the center. The spring is so short it can not touch the sides of the host and short out.

I used 1" transparent acrylic rod and machined it to what I needed. I didn't polish it so it is only translucent.

The lathe seems to need some adjustments. The housing is actually 8 thousands of an inch bigger in diameter on one end than the other after turning it on the lathe.

It was a lot of fun! I think I am hooked.
 

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532 with Envy

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Thats Great!....I love the use of the acrylic rod! :beer:
I'v got some acrylic tubing sitting on my desk and I'm trying to firgure out some used for it.
Nice to see someone using the material. It does look very nice 'frosted' like that, but would look good clear also.
Did you have trouble with the rod melting or cracking?
I wish I had space for one of those too....looks fun
 
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Well my first lathe project is done. I created a housing for the driver in my Kryton Groove host. I didn't want the pressure from the head spring to push on the driver. It goes inside the host and buts up agains the head and the driver and such goes inside it with the spring mounted to the outside of the housing in the center. The spring is so short it can not touch the sides of the host and short out.

I used 1" transparent acrylic rod and machined it to what I needed. I didn't polish it so it is only translucent.

The lathe seems to need some adjustments. The housing is actually 8 thousands of an inch bigger in diameter on one end than the other after turning it on the lathe.

It was a lot of fun! I think I am hooked.
If you want to clean up acrylic rod, the best method I have found
is fine sandpaper to remove 'deeper' scratches and either
a dip in acetone or sweeping it with a blue flame.

Restores it right back to high gloss... Ive used similar
technique on plastic fiber op ends after cutting..
 

Flaminpyro

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Nice work there :) You are going to need some tools for that lathe a good mail order place is victor machinery ;)
 

xStatiCa

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I have done some lathe work makeing shafts and collars and a few other things. But the most important thing I learned was make sure that they key is out of the chuck!
Thanks for the info. I have found those warningings all throughout my reading :). I have read quite a few stories of broken windows and such of thrown chucks. The head chuck has a spring on it so it won't stay in the chuck so I should be safe with that. The tail chuck doesn't but it doesn't rotate so I should be safe there too.

Thanks. I got the idea from you :) !

That is one nice setup you have there. Did you make the multi tooling post? I want to CNC mine but I know it won't happen. The costs add up and takes modifications to the lathe itself. I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that anytime soon.

I purchased the lathe from micromark but most of the tooling I bought from littlemachineshop. I got their mini-lathe tooling bundle which comes with a quick change post which has already saved me a lot of time.

Nice work there :) You are going to need some tools for that lathe a good mail order place is victor machinery ;)
Thanks. I haven't looked at that mail order place yet. I tried looking at some and they are not arranged for the new mechanist. Some of the sites require a search to find anything and do not have pictures for what you are buying until you click on the individual links. For someone new like myself it would take me forever to look around on sites like that. I will check out victor machinery. Hopefully it is more new user friendly :).

If you want to clean up acrylic rod, the best method I have found
is fine sandpaper to remove 'deeper' scratches and either
a dip in acetone or sweeping it with a blue flame.

Restores it right back to high gloss... Ive used similar
technique on plastic fiber op ends after cutting..
I bet that comes in handy for fiber connections. I haven't ever messed with torches before. Do you have any recommendations for what kind of torch would produce a nice blue flame?

Thats Great!....I love the use of the acrylic rod! :beer:
I'v got some acrylic tubing sitting on my desk and I'm trying to firgure out some used for it.
Nice to see someone using the material. It does look very nice 'frosted' like that, but would look good clear also.
Did you have trouble with the rod melting or cracking?
I wish I had space for one of those too....looks fun
Based on my reading the key, which you probably already know, is to use cast acrylic. It's structure is a lot more stable for machining. Extruded acrylic is not as structurally stable because of the extruding process and does not do so well for machining.

I was looking at some of the acrylic tubing but the cast acrylic in tubing is way more expensive and hard to find in the size I wanted anyway. There is a lot of extruded tubing the right size and cheaper than rod but it is extruded instead of cast.

I didn't have any problems with it melting or cracking. I used about 900 to 1000rpm. I am unsure of the exact RPM because I don't have a tach on the spindle. In might be lower than that. For drilling I made sure to keep backing out the drill bit for a second or two to clear out the swag and give the acrylic a second to cool. For boring and turning I just went alll the way through without problems.
 
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I bet that comes in handy for fiber connections. I haven't ever messed with torches before. Do you have any recommendations for what kind of torch would produce a nice blue flame?

.

Any pocket torch will do.. The idea being that you just dont allow carbon to deposit on the
area being worked.

Acetone works well also, but the material has to 'dry' and the acetone has
to 'cure' out of the plastic..

It essentially melts a thin layer of the surface.

My preference is using heat, you just have to ensure that
you dont burn the surface. A little too much heat in one spot
will damage it, and form little bubbles..

This same method can be applied to repairing scratched plastic
lenses...
 




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