Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mini Stuff

Last month when the Home Shop Machinist magazine arrived it contained a Harbor Freight ad with some coupons for equipment at very attractive prices. One of them was a 7"x10" Mini lathe. I do not really have a need for one because my 13"x40" Jet lathe will do everything a mini will do, but I have always wanted one because they are like babies, cute, however it is hard to justify something on that basis. In a moment of weakness I went to the Harbor Freight store over in Orem and a mini lathe followed me home. When I opened the box, I found that like all brand new babies it was covered with a layer of slick icky gooey stuff, so the first order of business was a bath to clean it up.

After clean up, it was time to start getting acquainted with the new baby. I started by making a tool bit height setting gauge, as seen below.
Then a storage rack was attached to the chip guard for the tools and accessories.

All that preliminary work done, it needed to be tested, so parts for a "Mini" engine were machined on it. Oh, what fun! It was like using a toy that really works. I was quite favorably impressed with its performance. The engine was completed yesterday afternoon. The head bolts, by the way are size "0", little bigger than watch screws.

And finally here is a 3 second video to show that it runs. I had plans to attach it to a wood base, but it is so smooth and well balanced, that it does not need a larger base.