Home Forums General Discussion Forum New here – lathe and mill questions

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      Hello all. I used Bob’s videos back I 2000. I did clock repair for several years. But 5 kids, work etc took over. SO I am in the stages of setting myself back up to repair clocks on the side again. I rebuilt a few fuse clocks. I repairs well over 100 round French clock movements as well as typical antique American and German movements.

      few questions..Sherline equipment. It seems this is best lathe for clock work. Jewelers lathe may be to small. I had a small Sherline in my last shop.
      I see Sherline has expanded a lot. Which lathe and accessories do you guys recommend? I really never had a need for a mill back then. But with the costs I see for a bushing tool like Burgeon I can almost buy a mill and bush with it. Any of you using a mill to do your bushing? Granted the purpose built tool is very easy and quick to use. Have any of you set your mill up to accept the reamers? Or is the 3 jaw chuck adequate

      Thank for any input. I will be in the market the next few months for some good used equipment if I can find it hint hint :)

      Bob Tascione

        Welcome back Nick!
        It’s been a long time. We had some great phone conversations back then.
        I think you find other options for a good clockmakers lathe up here. Some members, like David Pierce, really like the Taig lathe so that’s another you may wish to check out. I’m sure you’ll get some good input from other on that subject. Also dig into some past threads through the search option. You’ll find ton’s of info covering the different types of lathes in past posts.
        Again good to have you back Nick,



          Thanks Bob! I have been reading through some of the forum posts and looks like a great bunch of folks to pester


            Forgot to mention I repaired a lot of fusse pocket watches. I would buy them on ebay for about 50-100 bucks for broken complete ones. A local guy charged me 25 bucks to fix chains, 50 to repivot the balance wheel if needed. I did the disassembly, cleaning and reassembly. Would put them back on ebay as fully repaired and functional and sell them for 300-500 bucks…Back when ebay was a lot more fee friendly

            bernie weishapl

              Welcome Nick. I also took Bob’s course way back when (I believe in the early 90’s) and have been in clock repair for over 30 yrs. I have a Taig lathe with all of the accessories including a milling attachment for it. I also have used a sherline but like the taig better for some reason. I also have a Boley Jewelers lathe with most of the attachments and I do use it quite often. I don’t think you can go wrong with either.

              david pierce

                I think the real question is what is the best lathe and/or mill that is affordable and will still do the job. The best lathe would probably be either a Derbyshire Instrument Lathe or a Levin Instrument Lathe. These are incredibly accurate and powerful machines for their size. The Derbyshire is accurate to a point where it can only be surpassed by going to air or hydrostatic bearings. The best mill would be the small Hauser jig bore. These machines are probably outside of almost everybody’s budget which narrows the problem to performance and affordability. In other words, how can you get the most bang for the buck.
                I faced the same question years ago and ended up with two affordable solutions. The Taig lathe is a powerful,rugged, accurate and affordable lathe that will turn precision parts. The Harbor Freight (Central Machinery) small milling machine is a heavy duty, cast steel mill that has enough capacity to make clock size parts. Both of these machines are within a reasonable budget and will do the job.
                If you look through the shop pictures of Tom’s shop you can see his Harbor Freight mill. There are also several sites in the shop pictures section showing Taig lathes. If you want to look at a Levin Instrument Lathe go to the general discussion site (this one) and look at PRODUCT REVIEWS initially posted by Chris
                Both my Taig lathe and my Harbor Freight mill were less than $500.00 each so both can be purchased for around $1000.00 total. That should be in the realm of affordability and these machines will do the job. If you decide to get the Harbor Freight mill make sure you get the machine with an R8 spindle. This will allow you to use all of the standard Bridgeport compatable accessories.


                  Thanks for your responses. I will look into the Taig lathes. Back in the day I also had a lathe/mill combo machine from HF…thing weighed about 400lbs.
                  Just seemed like the mill was always in my face, even when pushed to the side.
                  On a lathe as long as it has the basics, good chuck, tail that will hold drill bits etc..then I am good. I always lean towards Sherline just because they offer so many accessories. But most I guess I would never use.

                  I will check out the Tiag site. See what they have to offer. I have seen quite a few small lathes on Ebay as well.

                  I went ahead and picked up a nice Webster 8mm Jewelers lathe. With motor, steady rest etc. Just need a set of collets. I may set this us just for repivoting…using Bob’s flag type system. Just as a dedicated machine since they are so inexpensive.

                  Again I appreciate the input..glad to be back in the fold.

                  bernie weishapl

                    After looking at the Taig site go here. http://www.positiveflow.com/taiglathe.htm I bought mine from him and he ships free. His prices are good also.


                      Bernie those are really great prices..do they offer Digital Read out for the Tiag? That is my one interest in the Sherline. Being able to zero out where and when I want. Also being able to watch the numbers instead of the indexes on the cranks. Just easier for me

                      bernie weishapl

                        Not that I know of.

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