Weekend workshop upgrade

I finally managed to pick up the 7×10 mini-lathe (on sale!) I mentioned in the diy dive light post. Seriously, there are more mods for this thing than a DS. There’s a great introduction to this handy tool over at mini-lathe.com. I’ve been looking over the mods for a while to build up my buying furvor. Bill exploited the cycle of florescent lighting to make a simple tachometer. Dave streched his (Now there’s a kit for this from the little machine shop.) I’m thinking that I’ll whip up a pic/LED tachometer for my first mod.


  1. greg says:

    pssst im first, ha

  2. voyager1713 says:

    first post?

  3. steve says:

    will, if you’ve used the lathe at all – even simply for practice or screwing around – how well does it work? is it worth the money? sturdy enough? decent power, etc?

  4. blip says:

    Nice new lathe there! I’ve been tempted to get one of these but I just can’t think of anything I’d actually get around to using it for. (Though I am going to need some new speaker stands soon… hmmm… $400 tool + $50 in materials = one confused girlfriend… I might have to take the risk though!) I think I need a mini-mill more.

    Tell us how it works out!

  5. knuckleberger says:

    i recently got a different HF device (44142-3vga) -one of the things they may have in common is that the grizzly manual for a very similar device may be far superior than the HF one, http://www.grizzly.com/products/G8688
    and there is a very active yahoo group

  6. Eric says:

    The hf mill and lathe are amazingly good (for the price.) I just bought the mini mill and if you have an entertainment book lying around (they’re pretty easy to come by) it had a 20% off one item at Harbor freight coupon that saved me a bit on the mill at ~$450 dollars. Theres alot of sites such as thelittlemachineshop mentioned that give pointers on gettnig the best out of these machines and doing mods. The Grizzly model pretty much is this one just different branding there all the X-2 mill from china I believe.

  7. strider_mt2k says:

    I really could have used this when i was building my wheeled ROV!

    Cool stuff to be sure!

    (blanket party at first post’s house)

  8. pretorious says:

    hey, all the “read” links for every article over one month old have disappeared….

  9. rogue says:

    Funny, I work for the company that buys stock from hf in Canada. If fact, it’s one of the reasons they won’t ship to Canada. If your a Canadian DIY’er, you can find some interesting buys (Try the “Surplus” section). Enough plugging for Princess Auto. (BTW, that same mini lathe here is about 800$ CDN regularly, though it was on sale recently)

  10. dan says:

    “You can construct a weapon. Look around, can you form some sort of rudimentary lathe?”


  11. Brian says:

    STOP! Return the lathe before you use it, and get the 8×12 model (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=44859) The 8×12 costs about the same, but is a MUCH better lathe. The 8×12 is considerably more rigid (and heavier), and is much more heavy duty than the toy 7×12. You might think the only difference is 1′ of swing, but that’s just the beginning. Check out http://www.fignoggle.com/machines/8x12lathe/firstlook.htm

    If you ever plan to add CNC to the lathe, the 8×12 is much more suitable than the 7×12


    P.S. I bought my 8×12 from HF

  12. will o'brien says:

    I considered the 8×12, I really did.
    But, The electronic speed control and weight meant I went for the 7×10.

    I’m avoiding the really heavy gear until I own my workspace.

  13. bEN JACKSON says:

    Buy some spare fuses. Especially if you’re working with brass. The fuse will protect the lathe (and you, to some extent) but it’s really annoying to be in the middle of a project without the right fuse…

  14. teefa says:


  15. g0d says:

    as if.. princess auto thats where my electrical teacher did all his start of skool shopping.. good old PA.. j/k we didnt call it that


  16. thelip says:

    for those anal types and those of us in a profession that require precision (instrument manufacturing), the Micromark lathe has standard screws instead of all the other china models that are metric and require ugly conversions on the dials.


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