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Author Topic: Unimat 3  (Read 2095 times)

Brani 56

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Unimat 3
« on: July 12, 2012, 10:40:37 AM »

I have the chance to buy a Unimat 3 lathe with milling attachment.
I have heard these are very underpowered.
I realise they were only made for small jobs.
Would appreciate comments from anyone with recent experience of Unimats.
The alternative would be a Chinese mini lathe. The one marketed by Warco has a 550 watt motor.
Thanks in advance.
Brani 56
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geoff p

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Re: Unimat 3
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2012, 11:12:44 AM »

It depends on what you want to make.  I have an even smaller "Mr Meister"-branded MJ-189A (without milling attachment) and have turned all the essential parts of the attached Hit-'n-miss engine.

I did have a problem with drive-belts breaking and the nearest source of replacements was in UK but as I live in Thailand that was hardly practical.  When I needed a new drive-belt for my wood-planer, I realised that similar belts might fit the lathe.  They do.  They are a multi-V, urethane, reinforced with some sort of cord, about 15mm wide, and one belt sliced up the middle gives me two lathe belts - and this has also given me more usable power:  the old, round belts would stretch and slip under heavy load.

Geoff
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davidjt

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Re: Unimat 3
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2012, 02:19:20 PM »

hi,

i have had one for six years or so, brilliant little lathe  mine is the unimat selecta,  for small jobs would not be without it
does all sorts of boat things in wood and metals, as said belts are hard to come by but i have been using a belt from a hoover,  which was same size as origanal
have had no problem. i dont have the milling post probably would get one if one came up.
go for it  :-))

davidjt
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Circlip

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Re: Unimat 3
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2012, 03:19:59 PM »

Large "O" rings are good drive belt  substitutes.  :-))

   Regards   Ian.
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Brani 56

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Re: Unimat 3
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2012, 03:48:49 PM »

Hi Guys
Thanks for your insights.
Am hoping to see it on Saturday
Brani 56
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Re: Unimat 3
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2012, 06:09:25 PM »

I would recommend that before you buy a Unimat have a good look @ the Chinese lathes. They are now well made,work well & very easy to service. Add to that lots of tools are available to fit them at very reasonable prices. I have had mine for nearly a year & my mate has had the same lathe for over 4 years & we have never had a bit of trouble. The Unimat is much nearer a toy than a lathe & you will be always messing about setting it up for different jobs which is a pain. If you want a milling machine buy a separate unit, the combination ones do not do the job well, you wind up with two poor machines. Just my opinion. Mick B.
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Mick B.

boatmadman

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Re: Unimat 3
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2012, 07:44:00 PM »

I suggest you look at these:

http://www.peatol.co.uk/

 I have had one for many years, its a great little lathe with abilities beyond what you might think. There are lots of accessories available and even a forum dedicated to Peatol (or taig in the US) machine tools.

Ian
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Unimat 3
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2012, 11:23:25 PM »

I have the chance to buy a Unimat 3 lathe with milling attachment.
I have heard these are very underpowered.

The alternative would be a Chinese mini lathe. The one marketed by Warco has a 550 watt motor.


You're really comparing chalk and cheese. The Unimat is a small 'baby' lathe, ideal for making little bushes, turning model railway wheels and the like. I suspect it would be pushing it to do a big knurling job. However, you can easily operate it on a kitchen table, then pick it up and put it away in a cupboard. It's very nicely made. I think it has a 95W motor, which is fine given the work it's intended for.

The Chinese do do baby lathes (though they tend to be a bit heavier that the Unimat). But a Chinese 550 watt motor C3 is not a baby - it's quite a big lump of metal, and needs two people to move it safely. You wouldn't want to put that away in a cupboard every day. They are also a bit agricultural, even though they have improved recently, and they benefit from a fair bit of cleaning and adjusting once they are installed to get the best out of them. Once set up, though, you should be able to do much bigger jobs on one. If that's what you want to do....
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Brani 56

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Re: Unimat 3
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2012, 04:09:27 PM »

Thanks guys for your input, which is exactly what I asked for.
There are obviously varying opinions on the suitability of the Unimat.
This leads me back where I started, so I guess it's down to me.
I find as I get older my confidence to make a decision has eroded somewhat.
Wish I had kept my Myford ML 10 which I sold when we downsized.
Thanks again
Brani 56
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irishcarguy

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Re: Unimat 3
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2012, 06:58:51 PM »

The Chinese lathes are more like your Myford was & quite a bit heavier than the Unimat. However you can do things on the Chinese lathe that you could only dream of with the Unimat. If space is not an issue buy as large as you can afford. If you lack space the Unimat will do a limited number of jobs for you.Mick B. 
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Mick B.

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Re: Unimat 3
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2012, 08:58:00 PM »

Hi Brani

I don't know one end of a lathe from another - I would love to though.

Chester have small lathes and mills you might want to compare with the Unimat
http://www.chesteruk.net/

I'm sure there are other brands too.

Dave
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essex2visuvesi

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Re: Unimat 3
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2012, 10:21:28 PM »

The little cobra looks nice :)
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Unimat 3
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2012, 08:40:28 AM »

Hi Brani

I don't know one end of a lathe from another - I would love to though.

Chester have small lathes and mills you might want to compare with the Unimat
http://www.chesteruk.net/

I'm sure there are other brands too.

Dave


The Chinese SEIG/Red Bull range (which lots of companies provide under their own badge name) does have a small lathe - the C0. Here it is being sold by Arc Euro, with a review:  http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Machines-Accessories/Lathes/C0-Baby-Lathe/C0-Baby-Lathe
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Circlip

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Re: Unimat 3
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2012, 09:33:48 AM »

As you've had a lathe before Brani56, you know which end does what and how, you can consult this site http://www.lathes.co.uk/ and find the specs of most lathes available.

  Regards  Ian.
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Unimat 3
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2012, 01:46:21 PM »

As you've had a lathe before Brani56, you know which end does what and how, you can consult this site http://www.lathes.co.uk/ and find the specs of most lathes available.


Unfortunately, that site does not seem to include any of the current crop of 'cheap Chinese' lathes. Its comments suggest that it doesn't really count them as proper lathes, which was probably a position that could reasonably be taken 10 years ago....

Incidentally, I note that I have described the 'Real Bull' Chinese lathe manufacturers as 'Red Bull' a couple of posts up. Sorry. Must be all these caffeine drinks I've been taking...   
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irishcarguy

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Re: Unimat 3
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2012, 02:22:56 PM »

As you know Dave(Norseman) after a lot of checking & queries I bought a Chinese Knock Off about 9 months ago, it has been a very good machine. Nearly all the Chinese lathes come from the same factory in China. They are sold under different names & painted different colours depending on who is selling them. Here in North America Grizzly is the biggest & now sells in both Canada & the USA. In Canada Busy Bee is the biggest & is owned by the brother of the man that owns Grizzly in the USA. As I said in many cases they are exactly the same machines. Ten years ago Chinese lathes had to be rebuilt right away because the bearings were rubbish, that is no longer the case, they are going down the same road that the Japanese did in the 60's & 70's always improving their quality, in some cases they have a ways to go but have no doubt they will get there.I am careful with my money & I would have no problem buying another one of these lathes. Depending who you talk to they are copied from a Russian designed lathe in the first place. I hope this helps you with your search to get the best bang for your buck (pound in your case) Mick B.   
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Mick B.

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Re: Unimat 3
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2012, 03:13:49 PM »

I bought a Chinese Knock Off about 9 months ago  
:police: and who exactly sold you the stolen lathe sir? .......... aren't dialects wonderful.

Dave
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essex2visuvesi

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Re: Unimat 3
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2012, 03:22:30 PM »

:police: and who exactly sold you the stolen lathe sir? .......... aren't dialects wonderful.

Dave

Only a slight dent where it fell of the back of the lorry  {-)
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irishcarguy

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Re: Unimat 3
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2012, 03:26:36 PM »

I am not telling, Mick B.
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Mick B.

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Re: Unimat 3
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2012, 05:50:10 PM »

most are made by  http://www.siegind.com/products.html Arc EURO in the uk are a good suppier of Machines and whats more the spare parts and upgrades. http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Machines-Accessories they also have some good forums and help.

Peter
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