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== Full size metal lathes ==
 
== Full size metal lathes ==
[[Image:Main_lathe.jpg|thumb|200px|[[Trever Talbert]]'s main lathe]] For the sake of pipe making, I would call any lathe 9"x20" or larger to be full sized. This first number refers to the swing over the bed (or sometimes the tool carriage). This means it is possible for a 9" diameter work piece to swing over the bed, so the actual distance between the chuck center and the bed is actually slightly more than 4.5". The second number is the length of material that will fit between the chuck in the headstock, and the center in the tail stock. Many established pipe makers look for older lathes, such as those made by Atlas, Clausen, some older Sears models (these were all made by Clausen), and South Bend. The UK and the rest of Europe have many fine old lathes kicking around too (a little help here on desirable makes would be appreciated).
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[[Image:Main_lathe.jpg|thumb|200px|[[Trever Talbert]]'s main lathe]] [[Image:Jack_logan.jpg|thumb|left|200px|[[Jack Howell]]'s beautfilly restored Logan]]For the sake of pipe making, I would call any lathe 9"x20" or larger to be full sized. This first number refers to the swing over the bed (or sometimes the tool carriage). This means it is possible for a 9" diameter work piece to swing over the bed, so the actual distance between the chuck center and the bed is actually slightly more than 4.5". The second number is the length of material that will fit between the chuck in the headstock, and the center in the tail stock. Many established pipe makers look for older lathes, such as those made by Atlas, Clausen, some older Sears models (these were all made by Clausen), Logan, Ward, and South Bend. The UK and the rest of Europe have many fine old lathes kicking around too (particularly Myfords, and for larger work, Colchesters).
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== The Chinese 9x20 ==  
 
== The Chinese 9x20 ==  
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=== 9x20 Mods and Off Site Links ===
 
=== 9x20 Mods and Off Site Links ===
Here are some important mods to consider for the Chinese 9x20 lathes. These will help it run smoothly and accurately, improve the cut, and improve its overall usability.
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[[Image:9x20_QCTP.jpg|thumb|QCTP, Courtesy [http://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=2271&category=-419988835 LittleMachineShop]]][[Image:9x20_screw.jpg|thumb|The screw kit, courtesy [http://www.harrisson.biz/4bolts.htm Sonny Harrison]]][[Image:9x20_wheel.jpg|thumb|Larger Crosslide Handwheel, courtesy [http://www.bedair.org/9x20.html Steve Bedair]]]The 9x20 can be a great machine, or a huge frustration. It is important to go through the cleaning, lubrication, and set up procedures described on the Yahoo group manuals (see bellow). Here are some important mods to consider which will help your lathe run smoothly and accurately, improve the cut, and improve its overall usability.
 
   
 
   
# '''Four bolt compound clamp'''. This is the very first mod that should be done. Places to purchase are: [http://www.alansmachineworks.com alansmachineworks.com] and Sonny Harrisson machinery (''Sonny's website is coming''). It is also covered in the mod manuals in the Yahoo groups listed bellow, should you want to tackle it yourself.
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# '''Four bolt compound clamp'''. This is the very first mod that should be done. Places to purchase are: [http://www.alansmachineworks.com alansmachineworks.com], [http://www.harrisson.biz/ Sonny Harrison Machinery], and [http://www.littlemachineshop.com Little Machine Shop]. It is also covered in the mod manuals in the Yahoo groups listed bellow, should you want to tackle it yourself.
 
# '''Get a Quick Change Tool Post''' (QCTP). This is a nice time saver. It eliminates the need for shimming individual tool bits, and enables you to use a 6" straight piece of square stock as a rest for the use of wood turning tools. Available where you got your lathe, or many on-line shops. A few of them are: [http://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/product_category.php?category=-419988835 Little Machine Shop], [http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=39083 Harbor Freight], [http://www.grizzly.com/products/g5689 Grizzly]
 
# '''Get a Quick Change Tool Post''' (QCTP). This is a nice time saver. It eliminates the need for shimming individual tool bits, and enables you to use a 6" straight piece of square stock as a rest for the use of wood turning tools. Available where you got your lathe, or many on-line shops. A few of them are: [http://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/product_category.php?category=-419988835 Little Machine Shop], [http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=39083 Harbor Freight], [http://www.grizzly.com/products/g5689 Grizzly]
# '''The screw kit from Sonny Harrisson''': This kit changes the lead screw in the compound from 5/16" to 7/16", and eliminates a lot of backlash. (''Sonny's website is coming'')
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# '''The screw kit from Sonny Harrisson''': This kit changes the lead screw in the compound from 5/16" to 7/16", and eliminates a lot of backlash. [http://www.harrisson.biz/ Sonny's website.]
# Convert your tail stock to camlock-operation. This mod eliminates the need for using a wrench and allows adjusting the tail stock position by an easy lever action. See [http://www.alansmachineworks.com alansmachineworks.com], or the instructions for mods listed in the files section of the Yahoo groups if you want to do this mod yourself.
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# '''Convert your tail stock to camlock-operation'''. This mod eliminates the need for using a wrench and allows adjusting the tail stock position by an easy lever action. See [http://www.alansmachineworks.com alansmachineworks.com], or the instructions for mods listed in the files section of the Yahoo groups if you want to do this mod yourself.
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#'''Larger Cross Slide Handwheel''': If you do a lot of facing work you will appreciate a larger cross slide handwheel. The stock handwheel is a little less than 2 3/8" OD. Increasing the OD to 3 1/8". The larger handwheel shown was turned from 1/2" aluminum plate and is actually just pressed over the original handwheel. Easy to build and really helps.
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The headstock on the 9x20 uses a #3 Morse taper. This can accommodate a Jacobs chuck, which can be handy for certain operations, especially with the use of a keyless Jacobs chuck (no more hunting for the chuck key).
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'''An excellent resource for information on the Chinese 9"x2" lathes can be found on Yahoo groups'''. The file sections include entire manuals, as well as through cleaning procedure, and various modifications and improvements:
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'''An excellent resource for information on the Chinese 9"x20" lathes can be found on Yahoo groups'''. The file sections include entire manuals, as well as thorough cleaning procedure, and various modifications and improvements:
 
Main discussion site: [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/9x20Lathe/ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/9x20Lathe/] and a second group,  [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/9x20Lathe2/ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/9x20Lathe2/] for file section spill over.
 
Main discussion site: [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/9x20Lathe/ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/9x20Lathe/] and a second group,  [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/9x20Lathe2/ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/9x20Lathe2/] for file section spill over.
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== Mini metal lathes ==
 
== Mini metal lathes ==
 
=== Chinese made ===
 
=== Chinese made ===
[[Image:minilathe.jpg|thumb|left|200px|right|7x12 Mini Metal Lathe]]Like it's larger counter parts, the Chinese made mine-lathes are all made in the same factory. Many are importing them under various names, but aside from length of the bed, color, nameplate, and tooling included, they are all about the same. They work very well once they are carefully cleaned up and re-assembled, sometimes with new hardware. The readily available 7"x12" size seems to be an excellent size for stem work. The 7"x10" can be just a little too short, but it is also possible to get extended beds for many of these lathes. Pictured bellow is the 7"x12" set up for stem work, with a three jaw, self centering chuck that most of them came with, and a Jacobs chuck that comes with some, and is an option with others.
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[[Image:minilathe.jpg|thumb|left|200px|right|7x12 Mini Metal Lathe]]Like its larger counter parts, the Chinese made mini-lathes are all made in the same factory. Many are importing them under various names, but aside from length of the bed, color, nameplate, and tooling included, they are all about the same. They work very well once they are carefully cleaned up and re-assembled, sometimes with new hardware. The readily available 7"x12" size seems to be an excellent size for stem work. The 7"x10" can be just a little too short, but it is also possible to get extended beds for many of these lathes. Pictured bellow is the 7"x12" set up for stem work, with a three jaw, self centering chuck that most of them came with, and a Jacobs chuck that comes with some, and is an option with others.
 
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=== The Taig ===
 
=== The Taig ===
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Many people, like me when I was trying to figure out what tools I needed to start pipe making, do not know the difference between a metal and a wood lathe. The difference is mainly one of precision. I wood lathe has only a bar upon which to rest chisels that you operate by hand to shape the wood. A metal lathe, by contrast, has a tool carriage that precisely move a cutting bit along a constant, though adjustable, diameter. Both a wood lathe and a metal lathe will turn a variety of materials, they simply derive their name from the material that are most often used for.
 
Many people, like me when I was trying to figure out what tools I needed to start pipe making, do not know the difference between a metal and a wood lathe. The difference is mainly one of precision. I wood lathe has only a bar upon which to rest chisels that you operate by hand to shape the wood. A metal lathe, by contrast, has a tool carriage that precisely move a cutting bit along a constant, though adjustable, diameter. Both a wood lathe and a metal lathe will turn a variety of materials, they simply derive their name from the material that are most often used for.
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Coming back to what I use for the precision work needed for turning a good tenon, the Taig, I have put together a listing of all the accessories one needs with the Taig for doing stem work: (prices as of 8/2003).
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This is a list of the accessories necessary to equip a Taig lathe to turn pipe stems.
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Though I have no firsthand experience with them, I have heard that [http://www.cartertools.com http://www.cartertools.com] is the best place to purchase this lathe and its accessories."
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(The prices listed below are from that site.)
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Part No. Description               Price
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L1017         Micro Lathe basic unit
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                (factory assembled)            $ 170.65 OR
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K1019         unassembled               $ 142.50
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1021A         Motor 1/4HP 1725rpm 1/2"arbor $  75.00
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1022         Motor mount bracket       $  5.00
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1023         Mounting board 12"x18"       $  5.50 OR
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1024         8"x24"
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1060         4-jaw self-centering chuck    $  66.00
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1092         Jacob's chuck 1/16"-3/8"      $  9.25
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1095         Tool bit set 6 piece       $  25.20 OR
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1097A         left hand tool bit       $  4.50
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1150         Drilling Tail Stock       $  35.50
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1151         Needle Bearing Center       $  13.50
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1162         Pulley set for 1/2 arbor (specify: belt 500)
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                                              $  22.25 OR
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                (specify belt 350 if using mounting board 1024)
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Total assembled $ 427.85 Total unassembled using alternative parts $ 379.00
 
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