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Thread: very modified harbor freight mini lathe

  1. #1
    -Q-
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    very modified harbor freight mini lathe

    Hello, i have been relearning shop class on my mini lathe, and realized its' limitations quickly. first thing to go was the plastic internal gears, all steel replacements, the motor board died about a year after i got it, and i repaced the whole thing with a treadmill motor. it is also mounted on an old 17 inch radial arm drill, for use as a sometimes mill, works great, uses the bed and carriage for linear movement as a mill, nice for cutting keyways in shafts, etc. i would like to hear from all who use a setup like mine, or want to do so. Any tips or tricks for this type of budget build would be appreciated.

    and now, my shop:

    very modified harbor freight mini lathe-treadmill-motor-mod-02.jpgvery modified harbor freight mini lathe-setup-when-i-started-modifying.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails very modified harbor freight mini lathe-treadmill-motor-mod-01.jpg  

  2. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to -Q- For This Useful Post:

    baja (12-11-2018), Jon (12-10-2018), Modoc_Kid (12-16-2018), PJs (12-11-2018), rossbotics (12-10-2018), Seedtick (12-10-2018), Stevohdee (12-13-2018)

  3. #2
    bruce.desertrat's Avatar
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    bruce.desertrat's Tools
    Well, I'm kind of in the same place, re-learning shop class on one of those exact lathes, albeit it's purely stock right now.

  4. #3
    Make Things's Avatar
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    Make Things's Tools
    Iím thinking of extending, vertically, my HF wood lathe for making bowls. I even got me a huge piece of square tubing from an old basketball pole.

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    Content Editor DIYer's Avatar
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    Thanks -Q-! We've added your Lathe Modification to our Lathes category,
    as well as to your builder page: -Q-'s Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




  6. #5
    Radioman's Avatar
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    Radioman's Tools
    It’s amazing how inexpensive some older machine tools are. I bought my full size Bridgeport 5yrs ago for a 1000 bucks. And it came with a huge vise and a 5gal bucket full of endmills and collets. I had my choice of 3 machines. Plenty of people wanting to get rid of stuff back then. Haven’t looked lately. Keep an eye on CL. Eventually you’ll find a good deal.


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