mini lathe suggestions

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by master_photog, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. master_photog

    master_photog

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Messages:
    59
    I'm case prepping quite a bit more of the smaller stuff (17s, 20s and 22s) and my hands get tired a lot faster with the smaller type work.

    A lathe investment will likely prevent physical therapy to the hands, ortho surgery and a lot of aggravation.....at least that's how I justify to wife!!

    Can I have some suggestions on a tabletop or a minilathe for such work. Case trimming, inside/outside neck deburring, flash hole cleaning, primer pocket cleaning, etc.

    Here's a couple images of my cases, just to give you some perspective on the size I'm working with.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Papa Charlie

    Papa Charlie Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Messages:
    576
    algadonas likes this.
  3. damoncali

    damoncali Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    1,609
    If you are going to be sticking pretty much to cases and other small, very light work, take a look at the Sherline products. They're a lot more precise out of the box than the chinese stuff. They're easy to outgrow, but they're about perfect for what you're talking about.

    The chinese 7x lathes are all pretty much the same - crappy and cheap, but usable. I have a Grizzly that's acceptable, but it's rough.
     
    mgunderson likes this.
  4. JLT

    JLT Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2014
    Messages:
    865
    I would recommend the MicroLux bench top mini lathe; it is a very good little machine. I'm very happy with mine and I use it, among many other things, to neck turn my brass. Variable speed control, good power, surprisingly precise. Great little lathe for all kinds of small jobs and it's not that much more than the little bitty Harbor Freight jobbies.

    https://www.micromark.com/MicroLux-7x16-Mini-Lathe

    No affiliation, just a satisfied customer . . .
     
    6MMsteve likes this.
  5. Papa Charlie

    Papa Charlie Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Messages:
    576
    The Mirolux are pretty good but require the metal gear upgrade for better accuracy.
     
  6. JLT

    JLT Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2014
    Messages:
    865
    Agreed. A worthwhile upgrade.
     
  7. 6MMsteve

    6MMsteve Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1,072
    that's a good lookin lathe, looks almost like a heavy 10
     
  8. master_photog

    master_photog

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Messages:
    59
    Damon, precisely the info I was looking for. The new chinese stuff is one thing I want to try and avoid. Your suggestion of the Sherline is appreciated. Do you have any suggestions on vintage lathes? Many thanks! Here is my Hamilton variable drill press that I got from the Purdue University's overage inventory store.

     
    hoene72 likes this.
  9. damoncali

    damoncali Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    1,609
    I don’t know about the old stuff - I’ve only ever owned grizzly and sherline. Sherline is by far better quality if you can accept the machine’s size/material limits and can take your time.
     
  10. billlarson

    billlarson "Hold Into The Wind" Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Messages:
    360
    For the operations you describe......... it does`nt require a lathe.......
    for brass prep.... RCBS prep station......deburr,chamfer inside and out,clean primer pockets,clean and lube case neck......
    brass trimming.... WFT in a drill press or hand drill.......
    when you do buy a lathe get one with at least a 1-5/16 spindle bore.....
    OMHO
    bill larson
     
  11. Joe R

    Joe R Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Messages:
    1,681
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  12. master_photog

    master_photog

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Messages:
    59
    Thanks Joe, I agree, i wouldn't use this for neck turning. I would prefer to do it by hand anyway. However, I have seen quite a few videos of guys trimming, cleaning the flash hole, cleaning the primer pocket and deburring the inside and outside of necks. If I can do all of those tasks with a decent miniature lathe and just do the neck turning (which my Mink cartridges don't require it with the type of brass I'm using), I'd be happy.

    Thanks!
     
  13. damoncali

    damoncali Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    1,609
    You *can* do those things on a lathe, but it's easier to just do it the normal way.
     
  14. master_photog

    master_photog

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Messages:
    59
    I was thinking the same thing, but when I stumbled on this youtube video illustrating on how to use a table top lathe for many of the necessary functions of case preparation, I figured it would make life a little easier.

     
  15. damoncali

    damoncali Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    1,609
    Yeah, some guys like to do that and it seems to work fine. I don't see the point myself. Maybe if you were clever you could make some tools that would speed up the process for high volumes, but I only run through about 2-300 at a time, and it's easier, faster, and probably more precise to just use a neck turning tool and an electric screwdriver. You might look into the "case prep centers" that the reloading companies offer. Way cheaper than a lathe, and designed to speed/ease the run of the ill chores like neck brushing, primer pocket cleaning, etc without screwing around with a lathe.

    However, sometimes a guy just wants a lathe.
     
  16. master_photog

    master_photog

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Messages:
    59
    I agree, and I'm definitely not trying to justify a lathe, but I am looking for something a little easier on the hands, a little faster and the same precision.
     
  17. Just Dave

    Just Dave Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    239
    Well after watching that video, I'm convinced I don't NEED a lathe, actually feeding cases in that setup looked like more work.
     
  18. Papa Charlie

    Papa Charlie Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Messages:
    576
    While I agree with many that it seems to be more work. My hands get to aching, the OP indicated his hands hurt holding onto those small cartridges, which I can fully understand.
    The lathe may not be for everyone or the easiest, but there are quick mounts for the tail stock, and this would help take some of the strain off his hands.
    Let's try to help a member with and see past ourselves here. We may all be in his shoes some day.
     
    New Gun, Qcredneck and USMCDOC like this.
  19. USMCDOC

    USMCDOC Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,565
    i love a positive attitude!
     
  20. damoncali

    damoncali Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Messages:
    1,609
    I can symapthize with hand pain, I'm just not sure a lathe set up will help it as well as a case prep center. I would try that first.

    The fun part about a lathe is that you always find more uses for it, which is never a bad thing. If you're inclined to tinker, a mini lathe is fun. If not, it might be overkill.
     
    PatMiles likes this.

Share This Page