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21 Jul. 1987

Micro lathe forum,diy cedar log furniture,wood tool shed plans,plans for folding picnic table - Test Out

I know that South Bend lathes were popular in the days of manuals and they could be found in many production shops. Found this one (SB 1220 CNC) while looking through the machinery for sale section here on PM.
There are a few fellows here on the South Bend Lathe forum with them and also on the Practical Machinist CNC forum.
I'll post more if I can think of anything else and feel free to ask me about the lathe and I'll try to help. With more than 10.6 million unique visitors over the last year, Practical Machinist is the most visited site for metalworking professionals. I use a Taig micro lathe and it works great for me and as long as you keep projects small then it's a good answer If you have no space. As for other stuff to go with it you will need some tool steel and a bench grinder to sharpen them to the correct shape.


Been like it for a little while now on and off but always puts a smile on my face when see it in writing. In the end I think trying to do milling on a lathe is a pain but trying to do lathe things on a mill will be a pain too. I actually thought retrofitting mine but it would be over my head getting the tool turret, spindle motor, and limit switches working properly so for now I've given up on that idea.
I have no experience with the micro lathes so cannot comment on it's capabilities but I'm sure others on the forum would.
It does drive me crazy each time I have to convert the lathe to a mill and then convert it back to a lathe again just to do one little job.
I am a decent machine tech and even with wads of spare parts and boards I could not keep them running for more than a few weeks at a time. Many times i have thought about maybee getting some more serious tools for machining metal or plastic so that i can make parts myself .


I was also in constant contact with the South Bend techs, even a real old guy in poor health that had worked there forever and knew the machines like the back of his hand. That was ok for what I was doing but if you need more, you'll have to brake up the g-code and you'll need to do a re-setup each time you load a new program.
The fellow who had the lathe before me told me he could run a much longer program but when I ask him to show me, he disappeared, that is no longer answered my calls. If someone is selling a Southbend CNC ask if they have ball screws, if they say yes ask for a picture.


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