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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:44 am
Posts: 571
Although I purchased my brother's lathe, I have yet to pour a concrete pad in my shop to move that monster in.
In the meantime, on an impulse triggered by a Harbor Freight 25% Off coupon, I purchased a Harbor Freight 8X12" Lathe.
I had been using a Harbor Freight 7x10" which I found to be adequate for stem work up to about 4.5" and for the turning of small bits for military mounts and other simple tools, and expected the 8x12' to be more of the same only larger.
I was shocked when this new lathe finally (it was dropped and damaged on the first try) came in. It is a very impressive piece of machinery. It is in every way a larger, more solid and generally better piece of machinery for less than $200 more than the small lathe.
It weighs almost 3X as much 250+# vs <90#, it has 2 V ways, induction hardened ways, the tailstock has more than twice the travel, and the saddle and cross slide are massive. Two of us, both large men, struggled to get this baby on the bench, while I can carry the little one anywhere in my shop.
Below are photos of the lathe on the bench with the little lathe on a stool. (pardon the mess, but I was putting up walls at the same time)
Image
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At $750, this has got to be the best bang for the buck for a pipe maker who does not turn stummels.
My only two complaints are 1) it requires a belt change to change speeds, and 2) the tool post is one that requires shimming. I have since put a QC post on, this required some modification to the cross slide, but easy enough, and the belt changes are not difficult.
DocAitch

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"Hettinger, if you stamp 'hand made' on a dog turd, some one will buy it."
-Charles Hollyday, pipe maker, reluctant mentor, and curmudgeon
" Never show an idiot an unfinished pipe!"- same guy


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:56 pm
Posts: 421
Location: Warren R.I.
Doc,the bottom line is use what you can afford and source when you have to have better
Then you'll cross that bridge. Still a fan of American steel nice machine.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:49 pm
Posts: 1856
Location: Zimmerman, MN
I still have my 7x14 Chinese lathe, though it is just collecting dust at the moment. What finally brought me to investing in the 12x36 was the frustration at how cumbersome things are. It took me about an hour to take all the gears out to change the thread screw. And when I wanted to adjust the angle of the cross slide, I had to nearly remove the cross slide to access the screws. I discovered on the back end that the sturdiness of a bigger lathe makes a huge difference in precision. I hope the bigger lathe works out well for you!

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Fail early, fail often. Your success depends on it.

Jeremiah Sandahl
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:44 am
Posts: 571
It is definitely a large step up from the little one. Everything is tighter and stiffer, at the same time more smooth. The 12” center to center measurement is somewhat misleading because the 2 V ways allow a much wider range of operations.
This definitely a quality tool.
DocAitch

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"Hettinger, if you stamp 'hand made' on a dog turd, some one will buy it."
-Charles Hollyday, pipe maker, reluctant mentor, and curmudgeon
" Never show an idiot an unfinished pipe!"- same guy


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:25 pm
Posts: 1056
I like all my lathes small to large and have had a ton of fun from stems to mini-work on my small one . Have a blast and a great safe New Year!!!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:03 pm
Posts: 1838
Location: South Africa
Very nice! Hope you'll enjoy it!

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