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6.1. How to choose a lathe

Let’s suppose you are interested seriously with lace bobbin making at home although you dealt never with a lathe. What start with? Two tasks you are to solve – how to choose proper equipment and how to learn processing wooden details? Let’s consider the first one.

What lathe is necessary in amateur practice? First of all it must fit to the object of labor, i.e. material of half-finished product and sizes of lace bobbins. If lace bobbins making is a single goal, a lathe must respond to the next demands:

1. Distance between left and right centers is to be regulated from 50 to 220 mm (2 to 9 inches ). It depends on a bobbin length.

2. Distance between an axe of turning and lathe bed is to be from 50 to 100 mm (2 to 4 inches). It depends on diameter of a jaw chuck only.

3. Motor power from 100 to 200 Watt is quite enough for turning. Rotation speed is to be regulated in some limits. Consequently it is expected that necessary dynamic characteristics can be delivered with small power units – electric motor and reducer.

It means that an amateur is needed a miniature desk lathe with sizes:

  • – length 600 to 800 mm (24 to 35 inches);
  • – height and depth 200 to 250 mm (8 to 10 inches);
  • – mass less than 5 to 10 kg.

Despite of rather strong limitations shown above too many sugges-tions one may find out in the Internet. Additional arguments are to be attracted to choose a lathe. For instance it is useful to take into account lathe cost and expected work-load with making other equipment.

There are two types of small desk lathes. Universal lathes are used for turning details of different materials – metal, plastic, wood. Special lathes turn wooden details only.

Ambitious planning of amateur work urges to find multifunctional equipment but is too expensive as a rule. Such creative plans can be ful-filled for instance with lathe “ТШ-1” (Russia) or lathe “SM-250-E” (Czech). These are excellent universal desk lathes with mass 25 to 30 kg.

Main advantages of special lathes are simplicity, low cost, small sizes and mass. There are very skillful handicraftsmen capable to make lathe with own hands, but authors of the book do not belong to them. We choose a lathe “DB-250” (“Proxxon”, Germany).

We set the lathe on wooden slab (Fig.6.1). The slab is pressed to a desk edge with two screw-clamps. A soft porous rubber list is stick on bottom side of the slab to lower noise and vibrations.

Support length is enlarged twice as much for turning long Russian lace bobbins. The three jaw chuck is bought in addition to the basic complete set. Mass of equipped lathe is 4.2 kg.

Fig.6.1. Micro-lathe DB-250
Fig.6.1. Micro-lathe DB-250