@david pierce wrote:
I like wine and beer drinking, when can I come over? What do you want to use the lathe for? Watch lathes are more accurate but lack the ability to take heavy cuts. If I needed a lathe strickly for clocks it would be a TAIG. It is accurate, affordable, has a large steel bed for its size and has a massive quiet induction motor. Universal and D.C. motors sound like kitchen mixers. You can also purchase a headstock with an ER-16 collet spindle for $115.00. The basic lathe is under $500.00. The best watch lathe for the money is a Sincere/Vector. It is an extremely accurate Geneva design watch lathe paterned after the Bergeon lathe. You can check out these machines by going to Youtube and Ebay and taking a look. For a milling machine I like the “small” bench mill sold by Harbor Freight. It uses industry standard R-8 collets and end mill holders and is a fairly heavy industrial quality machine. It is a heavier duty machine than the Sherline or Taig mills.
Well I want to use it for clock parts, primarily. I have only dabbled very lightly in watches, and I think I should tackle watches seriously only down the road when I have more experience. So as for machining any watch parts, it’s not a big concern for me right now.
You just about have me sold on the Taig lathe.
I searched ebay for “Taig Tool Rest” and found one for about $26; not bad!
It appears that almost everything you need as far as lathe accessories are very affordable. That’s good. I like affordable.
I’m glad you mentioned Harbor Freight. They have a 7 x 10 lathe for sale for $499, and I have considered buying this lathe for a couple of years now. It would appear to me that the Taig lathe is a nice in-between as far as watchmakers/jewelers lathes, and the Harbor Freight lathe.
Also, I noticed that collets and all accessories for watchmakers lathes are really mix-and-match, and the harbor freight lathe has fewer accessories to choose from. On the plus side for Taig, it seems like accessories are easy to come by in greater numbers, as well as being affordable.
I’m glad you suggested the Harbor Freight Mini-Mill. I’ve considered getting that before, too. But I haven’t really had much of a justification for it before.
I also enjoy hobby gunsmithing. I think the Taig lathe could take care of a lot of gunsmithing projects, which is good. Originally I wanted the Harbor Freight lathe for gunsmithing. But the Taig seems like a perfect compromise for clock work, guns, and whatever other small projects I get in mind.
Question: You mention the ER-16 collet spindle. For clock purposes, would you just use any of the Taig collet sets sold on eBay? Or would you get a holder (or something) to accept the watchmakers collets? Also, it would seem to me that if you bought a lathe with a 3-Jaw Chuck, couldn’t you fit just about any collet into that?