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 Post subject: Finally, After 3 Years
PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:34 pm 
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Location: Zimmerman, MN
I got a new metal lathe. I've been limping along with my little Chinese 7x14 for 3 years and hadn't really felt the pressure to upgrade until the past few months. Little things like facing shanks were getting tough, not to mention the sturdiness of the little lathe isn't great. I've been getting good results, but needing to be really creative-not on the creative parts of the pipe, but on the standard parts.

So I ordered this bad boy up in November from Quality Machine Tools and it was back ordered. Finally, over 2 months later, it arrived today at my door. The driver was actually a former co-worker from a job I left 9 years ago, so it was fun to catch up. Got the machine lifted with an engine hoist and a little help from my wife. Got it all decreased, assembled, and wired up. Now I just need to fill up the oil reservoirs and it's all ready to go.

Oh. It's a Precision Matthews 12x36 and I got the preferred package. Spendy for sure, but I'm very happy with the purchase. Buy once, cry once.

Image

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:20 am 
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cry once? those better be tears of happiness! Such a magnificent machine!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:12 am 
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You're going to love it!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:52 am 
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Like you, Jeremiah, I limped along for years and had to bullshit or jerry-rig my way through lots of things. I got a decent machine lathe a couple years back and while it hasn't made me any better or really allowed me to do anything much I couldn't manage before, it's all very easy now, and very fast.

If you have room, keep the old lathe set up for awhile - sometimes it's nice to do stems in a small machine and work stummels simutaneously in the big one, that kind of thing.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:50 pm 
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Thanks guys! And yes, I intend to keep my old lathe around. I don't expect to be a better pipe maker with a bigger lathe. Hopefully just a little faster and easier with the simple stuff.

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Jeremiah Sandahl
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:57 pm 
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May all you do on this wonderful machine be right!!! :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:10 pm 
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Sweet. Congrats. 8)

I'm no fan of Chinese machine tools as a categorical thing, but enough people who know their stuff say that PM's QA makes it far better than the most, so I'll refrain from wagging my finger at you. :lol:

Have you done any back-of-an-envelope calculations to see how many more pipes per unit of time you'll be able to produce with it?

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"Not once has a customer looked at one of my pipes and said, 'I like this pipe, but wish you had made the stem an hour faster'... I want every stem to be perfect" --- Adam Davidson


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:28 pm 
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Almost forgot: (obligatory)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4Ok0LQx0Uc

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"Not once has a customer looked at one of my pipes and said, 'I like this pipe, but wish you had made the stem an hour faster'... I want every stem to be perfect" --- Adam Davidson


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:11 pm 
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I did a calculation on how many fewer pipes my Jerry rigs will destroy and decided that the reduction of frustration would keep me making pipes longer if I upgraded. But my wife spends some time in the shop with me, so now we'll both be able to work without stepping on proverbial toes. I think it would take several years before there was any kind of monetary profit when you factor the lathe into the mix, but pipe making for me isn't about the money.

I might also have some other things I can do with this that the ATF won't need to know about, but that's neither here nor there...

As for it being Chinese, that doesn't bother me. Its a great deal for the price and it beats me having to troubleshoot a lathe bought off craigslist with no machining experience. And Matt from PM is a great guy and I'm sure I can get ahold of him for support if I should need it.

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http://sandahlpipe.com


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:26 pm 
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Looks like a nice machine. I'm sure you'll find plenty of ways to keep it busy.
Congrats!
Rodney


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:52 am 
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You'll find so many more things you can do with the bigger lathe, besides the pipe making. Chinese stuff can be quality, depending on the brand and type equipment.

Looks like a nice one and you should enjoy it. Have fun learning anew on it. It's also nice that your wife is able to get out and work in the shop with you.

The only time my wife comes out is if she needs something. She walks in, points at something she thinks will work for what she needs, with work from me of course. She doesn't even care if it's mid project if she wants it and I'm not working on it at the time it's fair game. Oh, and of course while there she points out all the money I've spent and have out there. That amount doesn't take into account the fact that I searched, sometimes over years for a good deal on just about everything out there. So enjoy your time in the shop with your wife, we don't all get that! :banghead:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:08 am 
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Thanks, Steve! I know I'm exceptionally blessed with a good wife. I try to keep the lines of communication open with her and I had to prep her for 3 years that I was going to need to upgrade the lathe eventually. One of the things I think helps this work out is that I have worked very hard to allow her to fulfill her dream of being a full-time mom.

I've also got a TV, a coffee maker, a fridge and microwave, and an iPod dock so we can listen to music, watch a movie, or just sit and talk while we're out there. I told her that if she wanted to be able to spend much time with me, she was going to need to do it in the shop, because that's where I was going to be. So I build the shop with some features that made it appealing for her to be there.

Anyways, yes I'm very blessed and I don't take my wife for granted.

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

Jeremiah Sandahl
http://sandahlpipe.com


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:43 pm 
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LatakiaLover wrote:

Shame on you George! I cannot believe you got suckered in by that propaganda video. Don't you know that in reality that sort of work is done by a swarm of nine year old kids with Dremel tools? This pap is for the international labor rights commissions. Fifty lashes with a Chinese noodle.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:05 pm 
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Jeremia, make your wife something, like a bowl, bottle stopper, etc. and tell her " I couldn't have made this without the lathe" !!! She will appreciate this especially when you find out how much stuff you can buy for that beast!!! :D


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:25 am 
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Ask Chris, having at least 2 lathes is a calculated economically viable way of working quicker and faster.
Three is better of course and 4 will make you work like a machine!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:49 am 
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I do have three lathes, but one is a wood lathe. I'm not sure my shop can fit another lathe in it at the moment, but really I can't imagine needing another lathe now that I've got this one. I turned a tenon last night after breaking it in and was absolutely astonished at how quickly, precisely, and cleanly the lathe was able to cut. With my old lathe, I had to have razor-sharp tools and take really small passes or it wouldn't cut right. Sometimes, the little lathe would wobble and then I'd have to take another pass and hope I hadn't gone too far. This thing is rock solid. I'm pretty sure it's the last lathe I'll ever need. I've even read it can be converted to CNC in case that should ever become necessary.

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Jeremiah Sandahl
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:56 pm 
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sandahlpipe wrote:
Thanks, Steve! I know I'm exceptionally blessed with a good wife. I try to keep the lines of communication open with her and I had to prep her for 3 years that I was going to need to upgrade the lathe eventually. One of the things I think helps this work out is that I have worked very hard to allow her to fulfill her dream of being a full-time mom.

I've also got a TV, a coffee maker, a fridge and microwave, and an iPod dock so we can listen to music, watch a movie, or just sit and talk while we're out there. I told her that if she wanted to be able to spend much time with me, she was going to need to do it in the shop, because that's where I was going to be. So I build the shop with some features that made it appealing for her to be there.

Anyways, yes I'm very blessed and I don't take my wife for granted.


You, sir, are a wise man. Sounds like your marriage is going to last a lifetime.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:03 pm 
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sandahlpipe wrote:
I turned a tenon last night after breaking it in and was absolutely astonished at how quickly, precisely, and cleanly the lathe was able to cut. With my old lathe, I had to have razor-sharp tools and take really small passes or it wouldn't cut right. Sometimes, the little lathe would wobble and then I'd have to take another pass and hope I hadn't gone too far. This thing is rock solid.


Yup. Rigidity is the key. I can cut a tenon on a 28mm piece of rod with a single pass on my Arboga DP, no problem. (Though I only go 97% or so to allow a second "fine tune" cut)

The same tool on a smaller, lower quality machine just makes a barbershop-pole-grooved mess.

Rigidity is where the magic lives. Add capacity, and you're home free. Sounds like you are. :D

Congratulations.

Guess what? Now you are going to enjoy the PROCESS of making a pipe, not just the final result. For a hardcore tool geek / perfection chaser, using good tools---feeling and watching the magic happen EXACTLY as planned---isn't work at all. It's quite the opposite. It's something you actively enjoy.

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"Not once has a customer looked at one of my pipes and said, 'I like this pipe, but wish you had made the stem an hour faster'... I want every stem to be perfect" --- Adam Davidson


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:07 pm 
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LatakiaLover wrote:
Guess what? Now you are going to enjoy the PROCESS of making a pipe, not just the final result. For a hardcore tool geek / perfection chaser, using good tools---feeling and watching the magic happen EXACTLY as planned---isn't work at all. It's quite the opposite. It's something you actively enjoy.


This is exactly how I feel now. I enjoyed getting a finished pipe out of the shop, but the process is now more enjoyable. It's also nice to know I'll probably never need to spend that much on a single tool again.

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

Jeremiah Sandahl
http://sandahlpipe.com


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:39 pm 
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does it have the DRO?


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