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7x10, 7x12, 7x14 Mini-Lathe Information

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8x12/8x14 LATHE

  1. 8x12 HOME
  4. SPECS
  6. HOW-TOS
  8. LINKS
  9. CNC
Index of Lathe How-Tos
1. tighten the synch belt
2. shim your bit in the turret toolpost
3. take apart the carriage
4. install a Phase2 quick change tool post (QCTP)
5. remove the stock 4" self-centering 3-jaw chuck with a 4" independent 4-jaw chuck
6. adjust the leadscrew gears
7. replace the stock leadscrew and nut with a higher quality one (we use a 5/8" diameter 8 tpi ACME leadscrew from Nook Ballscrews and a brass nut turned on our lathe)  
8. remove the motor, electrical wiring harness, and timing pulley backplate and cover for easier (and lighter transport)  
9. Install a DRO in the Z axis  
10. Install a DRO in the X-axis (cross slide)  

11. Lock your carriage for facing operations (i.e. where's the carriage lock?)


It's the socket head cap screw located to the right of the carriage in front of the second gib adjusting set screw. Tighten it down to prevent your carriage from working itself away from the workpiece during facing operations. You can also hold the handle as you face to achieve the same effect.

12. Make a hybrid follow rest / steady rest for your lathe so that you can work on larger diameter workpieces that don't fit through your spindle bore hole and are too long to be held securely by your chuck.

13. IMPORTANT! When threading using your mini-lathe (or any lathe for that matter), be sure to set your lathe spindle speed to the slowest setting possible. If your lathe's (like the 8x12) slowest speed is 120 or so, it may still be too fast. In this case, you can turn your thread by hand by making a crank handle (or just turning the chuck by hand) with the feed engaged per your gear pitch specifications. If you thread at some fast speed like 1000 RPM, you could very well run your carriage and tool into the workpiece and chuck with disastrous results. Again, threading is to be done at very, very slow speeds!

14. Install the HF backsplash.


It doesn't have a SKU, it comes in a separate box (probably dented too), and doesn't line up with any holes in the lathe. What to do? You simply have to drill and tap three holes at the headstock and tailstock ends (combined) and drill holes in the backsplash itself to make its mounting easier. Click here to see how it's done.

15. CNC mini-lathe. Here's how to turn the 8x12 into a CNC machine and still retain manual function for thread turning and simple operations without depending on a computer to drive it. We'll also show you grind your own HSS (high speed steel) too blanks for turning steel with a smooth finish (we used to use carbide inserts, but these ground HSS tools really do the trick!). Click here to see the progress.



Looking for mini-mill help and how-tos? How about lathe help and how-tos?

We're prototyping a benchtop CNC vertical mill using the DigiSpeed-XL interface card for Mach, Dart Controls and KB Electronics KBIC/KBMM 90VDC motor controllers, 1.5HP treadmill motor from Surplus Center and a R8-spindle head from the X2 mini-mill - not to mention Gecko servo drives and an entirely closed-loop system. Come take a look!

CNC 8x12 Lathe
Check out our newest developments like the CNC/DRO 8x12/8x14 lathe using Gecko drives, break-out board, NEMA 34 step motors, DRO and more!

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