I am fortunate my lathe has variable speed belt drive and I got a VFD to run the 3 phase motor it came with. I can put it in back gear, set the VFD to low speed and the variable belt drive to low speed, I have never measured the RPM but it is very slow.
You can also set the VFD start and stop speeds individually, for example slow start and quick stop, where the VFD actually will feed the motor with a bit of REVERSE to stop near instantly.
You can get a thread mill with 1/4" shank, for small pitch threads.
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