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peter fogwill
New Member

21 Posts

Posted - 05 Mar 2004 :  19:08:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Anyone using the Clarke CL500M Metal Lathe/Mill Drill at
http://www.machinemart.co.uk/product.asp?p=060712520&r=2043&g=106
I will be using it mainly for aluminium.

BTW I have no lathe experience but I am a quick learner.

Thanks for any advice,

Peter

Edited by - peter fogwill on 05 Mar 2004 19:10:42

JamesC
Geek!

United Kingdom
398 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2004 :  00:53:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Peter and welcome to Robot Builder.

Do you have this machine or is this a purchase you are considering?

If you have not already made your decision I would suggest doing your homework very thoroughly. If you have no machining experience I would suggest evening classes as a good way not only to learn how to use the machinery but as a usefull way of working out exactly what you need from your machine.

Regards

James
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Bob
Serious Geek!

United Kingdom
1263 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2004 :  08:36:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Peter

The phrase that comes to mind is Jack of all trades, but master of them none I remember my old woodwork teacher (Ken Jenkins) teaching us that in about the third lesson in our first year at school. There was a lot to be said for teaching how to plane up a piece of wood, face edge, face side etc. I think it taught children a lot about perseverance and getting something right, saddly pressures of time and curriculum bloat have marginalised this type of traditional craft skill in technology courses. Anyway enough rambling.

The combination lathe, mill drill has a lot of appeal to people without the space to put separate machines, but I would not buy one myself. Here are my reasons:

The centre height is too great for a machine of its size, that means it will lack rigidity where it counts.

I would be concerned about the rigidity of the column on the milling attachment (The Rodney Milling attachment for Myfords suffered similar problems)

Will the drill spindle go fast enough for small drills(1 to 3 mm)?

I would buy a second hand Myford (7 or Super7) with the long cross-slide and the basic vertical slide. I would get proper milling collet set to fit the headstock.

If you read the old model engineering books you will find that it is not without reason that the lathe was called the Prince of Machine Tools Given time to set the job up it can accomplish almost any machining task.

Bob
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peter fogwill
New Member

21 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2004 :  11:51:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JamesC

Hi Peter and welcome to Robot Builder.

Do you have this machine or is this a purchase you are considering?

If you have not already made your decision I would suggest doing your homework very thoroughly. If you have no machining experience I would suggest evening classes as a good way not only to learn how to use the machinery but as a usefull way of working out exactly what you need from your machine.

Regards

James



Thanks James,I have not bought it yet but have been considering it for the last month.

I have used a lathe at school 25 years ago, for a couple of hours maximum. I think evening classes would be a good idea.

The thing is I know exactly what I want to machine with it, I already buy the parts from an engineering company at a very high price. I priced the Aluminium and it is less than 1.00 per piece, I get charged 8.00 for a little machining done to it. I will be using around 150 pieces this year, so the machine will more than pay for itself. Another thing is I would only need to set it up for the one thing, and anything else I use it for will be a bonus.

Peter
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peter fogwill
New Member

21 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2004 :  12:02:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bob

Hi Peter


The combination lathe, mill drill has a lot of appeal to people without the space to put separate machines, but I would not buy one myself. Here are my reasons:

The centre height is too great for a machine of its size, that means it will lack rigidity where it counts.

I would be concerned about the rigidity of the column on the milling attachment (The Rodney Milling attachment for Myfords suffered similar problems)

Will the drill spindle go fast enough for small drills(1 to 3 mm)?

I would buy a second hand Myford (7 or Super7) with the long cross-slide and the basic vertical slide. I would get proper milling collet set to fit the headstock.

If you read the old model engineering books you will find that it is not without reason that the lathe was called the Prince of Machine Tools Given time to set the job up it can accomplish almost any machining task.

Bob



Thanks Bob, I don't have much space, I only have a small workshop which is already getting too small for my needs.

Most of your concerns on the machine seem to be about the mill attachment, I could buy the lathe separate, but for only 100 extra I get the mill thrown in. I already have a pillar drill, and thought that the mill with the lathe would come in handy sometime.

So does the lathe part of the set-up seem good value for money? I know it is hard to say as you don't know what I will be doing with it.

Thanks for your help and I look forward to your reply.

Peter



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Bob
Serious Geek!

United Kingdom
1263 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2004 :  15:49:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Peter

Can you post a drawing or description of the parts you plan to make? If they are just plain turned parts the machine you suggest might be OK. How critical are the dimensions?

Bob
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JamesC
Geek!

United Kingdom
398 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2004 :  17:31:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Peter,

Bob beat me to my first suggestion, if you can give us an idea what you are trying to make perhaps we can aim you in the right direction.

From your description I would say that our experience levels are almost paralell. My last use of a lathe was at school .... years ago.

I have recently purchased a lathe from Axminster Power tools, and for my purposes it is prving very satisfactory. There are a lot of machines out there both new and old, for the money you are about to spend I would investigate all the options. My personal opinion of the lathe from machine mart is that it is a little rough. The finish seems poor and to my mind this indicates that other aspects could follow suit.

If you want to go down the Clarke route try Paisley Machine Tools on 01444 242266 (no website) they claim to be the cheepest for Clarke lathes and are selling the CL500M for 675 inc VAT and delivery. They also claim to be able to give good advise.

Others you could look at are Chester UK www.chesteruk.net the Model B-Super looks to be very similar to what you are considering Chesters reputation is for slightly better quality machinery. EMCO machine tools at www.emcomachinetools.co.uk higher end stuff but definately well engineered. And Axminster Power Tools at www.axminster.co.uk primarily woodworking but a growing range of metal working stuff (I have the BV20M) I have dealt with them for many years and always found them pretty good.

You could also lurk on Ebay and see what is going, unfortunatley smaller lathes always demand a premium and my experience was that a new lathe became the more cost efective route. I know bob will say that little can compare with the Myford range and I would agree with him having had the chance to play with a super 7 recently. However they are highly saught after and demand very high prices. Also if you are new to this game it can often be dificult to know exactly what you should be looking for and what should come with the machine. At least new you have some come back.

Regards

James
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peter fogwill
New Member

21 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2004 :  17:37:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote


It is not a very good picture I will see if I can get a better one.

The thing I want too make is at the top left of the picture, the outside diameter is 30mm, it has a screw thread inside the hole about half way up. The outside has a diameter of 30mm gradually coming down to about 20mm

The dimensions are quite critical as the part has to fit neatly in another part.

The machine I mentioned is no good for what I need, I went to the shop today and measured the bar capacity and it was 28mm I need 30mm, so back to the drawing board. I also asked about the mill and he said that it was fine for facing a surface, but not too hot at anything else.

Peter
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peter fogwill
New Member

21 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2004 :  17:53:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks I had a look at the BV20M and the BV30M but the maximum Hole Through Spindle is only 26mm. Does this mean that is the maximum diameter of bar I can turn?

Thanks again,

Peter
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GP
Geek!

242 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2004 :  18:23:17  Show Profile  Visit GP's Homepage  Reply with Quote
no - that only means the length of bar that can be physically put right though the headstock.

the standard chuck capacity will be about 2.5 to 4 times this, at a rough guess.

I've a small chester conquest - the equivalent of the clark CL300m - and I've turned a substanial bar of 50mm titanium on that, so a smaller lathe would cope with your aluminium component easily.

Edited by - GP on 06 Mar 2004 18:24:37
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peter fogwill
New Member

21 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2004 :  20:10:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks GP that's good to know. I have heard from the guy at the shop that machining aluminium heats up the tools more than steel, any truth in it?

Peter
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GP
Geek!

242 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2004 :  20:58:51  Show Profile  Visit GP's Homepage  Reply with Quote
hmm, don't know - I'm still relatively new at this - Bob might have some info for you though.

can't say I've really noticed much heat when doing aluminium & alloys - which constitutes the bulk of what I've done so far.

the worst for it so far I've found is stainless steel, silver steel - i.e metals that tend to work harden - it's easy to have a rapid succession of scrap drill bits or tools that need regrinding unless you get the speed just right - titanium as well turns very hot, but is nice to work with if you keep the speed slow - the part I mentioned I turned out to within .01mm over a length of 100mm.

worst thing about alumiunium is it's tendency to cold weld to the tooling - it's sticky - drilling deep holes in particular is tedious - but on the whole it's an easy material to work with - I'd avoid pure aluminium though, that can be very frustrating.
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peter fogwill
New Member

21 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2004 :  21:36:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I always look for a second opinion, years ago I was told by someone who was supposed to be a welder that you can't weld stainless steel, just as well I didn't just take his word for it, I have been welding it for years.

Peter
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Fluba
Geek!

United Kingdom
437 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2004 :  23:26:39  Show Profile  Visit Fluba's Homepage  Send Fluba an AOL message  Send Fluba an ICQ Message  Click to see Fluba's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
whats the piece for btw? i'm intreagued(sp) ;)
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Bob
Serious Geek!

United Kingdom
1263 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2004 :  08:22:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JamesC
<snip>
I know bob will say that little can compare with the Myford range and I would agree with him having had the chance to play with a super 7 recently. However they are highly saught after and demand very high prices. Also if you are new to this game it can often be dificult to know exactly what you should be looking for and what should come with the machine. At least new you have some come back.

Regards

James



Please don't think I am a great lover of Myfords, I would rather have a Boxford lathe everytime. There are many makes of toolroom lathe that make Myfords look very inferior. The reason I often refer to Myfords is that they are so common (relatively speaking) and there is such a wide range of add on bits designed for the lathes. If I was setting up from scratch I would not by a Myford.

Bob
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Bob
Serious Geek!

United Kingdom
1263 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2004 :  08:35:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by peter fogwill

Thanks I had a look at the BV20M and the BV30M but the maximum Hole Through Spindle is only 26mm. Does this mean that is the maximum diameter of bar I can turn?

Thanks again,

Peter



The hole through the spindle is the maximum diameter of a long bit of bar stock that can pass through the headstock. Imagine you had to make thick washers, say 10mm thick with a 15 mm ID and 25 mm OD. You might start with 25 mm bar stock probably 3 or 4 feet long. Put the three jaw chuck on the lathe and pass the bar through the chuck jaws, through the hollow mandrel of the lathe. About two foot would stick out the left end of the headstock. (Watch this as it will be spinning around, take advice, use common sense here, you don't want it to whip rould and hit you aor anything else). You would then drill/ream the stock using a drill held in the tailstock. The next op would be to part off the washers. You might knock off 3 or 4 before you need to stop the lathe, loosen the chuck, slip the bar stock forward and re drill.

So you can see the hole through the mandrel is only limiting long workpieces or bar stock operations. Looking at the number/ and size of your pieces you could probably use the chuck to hold the work, none of the work actually protruding back from the chuck into the mandrel.

Hope this makes things clear.

Bob
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