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Author Topic: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?  (Read 4500 times)

tigertiger

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Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« on: December 15, 2007, 06:40:12 AM »

http://www.xendoll.com/english/file/products3.asp

I am thinking of buying one of these. At about 100 quid (direct from manufacturere)  it may or may not be worth it.

Any comments or opinions please.

Any body used this type of small milling machine and lathes?



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Circlip

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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2007, 07:08:51 AM »

Horses for courses tiger, it looks a bit lightweight BUT depends on what you want it to do, If you look on  tweb for Sheerline/Taig its surprising what can be achieved from such "small" machines. Lots of people over the Big Pond seem to be well into making pen barrels and engraving pool cues having CNC'd them. Gentle light CUTS, not RUBS with SHARP tools.
     Ian
           Mines a Maximat and head, bigger but EXACTLY the same rules.

        Try    http: //www.cartertools.com/
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HS93 (RIP)

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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2007, 09:12:31 AM »

Emco did one some years ago , well same type of thing but made of some type of plastic , and the people who had them where not very happy with them. I think they thought better of emco. If you get a small lath like a "co" that are about 100 , you can adapt to Sand mill etc for very little and can turn brass / ally some steel , which you may have problems with on that machine.

peter
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boatmadman

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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2007, 09:29:57 AM »

I have a taig micro lathe - different make I know, but I am well impressed with it. Just have to work within its limitations!

Ian
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barriew

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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2007, 10:51:05 AM »

It looks almost identical to the Unimat 6 in 1, except that this seems to be made from metal rather than plastic. At that price (in China I guess) it is about half the price of the Unimat. I wonder if anyone in the UK stocks it?

Barrie
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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2007, 11:27:38 AM »

Boatmad Ian if you  haven't had a look at the carter site you'll be amazed at what YOUR machine is capable of.HS and Barriew, Emco's excursion into "lightweight" tools did them no good at all, BUT if you wanted to turn bits of plastic and wood and very light metal cuts you COULD do it on the plastic Unimat, carefully. The only turning machinery of small proportions they did that fitted the bill at the time was the original Unimat, extremely well thought of with lots of accessories, but at the time it was a specialist machine that them weird muddle ingineers used,and the COST, WOW -and not a PROPER lathe,- CAN'T build a 7 1/4" Gauge on one of them. ::)
         Another Ian
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barryfoote

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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2007, 11:49:11 AM »

The Forum has done it again. Saved me a bundle or at least saved me wasting my hard earned dosh. I was thinking of geting one of the Unimat 6 in 1 machines but after reading all your comments, I will look elsewhere. Thanks lads.

barry
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boatmadman

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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2007, 11:57:49 AM »

The other  Ian,

Yes, the Taig is extremely versatile - I have made my own dividing head on it, cut gear wheels, built a steam engine from castings, even knocked out a few prop shafts!  ;D

I even used it to make a fitting to repair the leather recliner! Swmbo WAS impressed - brownie points!  O0

This Ian
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HS93 (RIP)

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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2007, 12:07:26 PM »

I never did have the plastic thing but knew a few sad people who did, I had the original emco on twin steel rails sold it to a club member when I got a new lath , sorryest thing I ever did. They where and are an excellent bit of kit  I had the adapter to mill and that came in in handy I knew of two people who built the L C Mason MIni on one. if some one wants to make brass/plastic fittings for boats then get a second hand emco of e-bay
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Circlip

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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2007, 12:10:37 PM »

Can't get a better recommendation than that Footsie, fill yer boots.  What's it like in Espania asking for weird things like toy boat bits and muddle Eng bits? I'll bet you get some strange looks, El loco hombre? I know that over there it's got to be difficult to ASESS M/C tools but there's nowt like being able to twiddle some dials. You need to "Visit the relations" when there's a big exhibition on over here, Harrogate and the like and have a play. Oh to be wise after the event HS, i'll bet there was a perfectly valid reason to sell it at the time :'(  I know you can turn small things on a big lathe, one of my mentors taught me to turn WATCH balance staffs on a Myford 7, but you develop a "smaller" feel on a smaller unit.
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Circlip

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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2007, 01:08:00 PM »

Sorry I chopped you out of YOUR thread Tiger, think you got the gist from over here, if YOU could get Sheerline /Taig?Emco over there you'd be on a better wicket. (Oh, thats a bad simile coming from England) Only thing to check on S/H Emco is the MOTOR! Original could be tired, replacement original motor difficult to obtain but suitable alternatives are available.
    Other other Ian
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2007, 03:35:43 PM »


As everyone says, it looks very much like a copy of the Unimat system.
I had the Unimat, good for turning soft butter, milling thick paper and sanding fingernails but not much else.
The problem wasn't the 'beds' as they were very good extruded aluminium, it was the plastic fittings that linked them together that were the weak points.

I did see a website somewhere that made replacement fittings that made the Unimat much more useful, perhaps some knows of it....
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barryfoote

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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2007, 05:32:55 PM »

Can't get a better recommendation than that Footsie, fill yer boots.  What's it like in Espania asking for weird things like toy boat bits and muddle Eng bits? I'll bet you get some strange looks, El loco hombre? I know that over there it's got to be difficult to ASESS M/C tools but there's nowt like being able to twiddle some dials. You need to "Visit the relations" when there's a big exhibition on over here, Harrogate and the like and have a play. Oh to be wise after the event HS, i'll bet there was a perfectly valid reason to sell it at the time :'(  I know you can turn small things on a big lathe, one of my mentors taught me to turn WATCH balance staffs on a Myford 7, but you develop a "smaller" feel on a smaller unit.
I think I will take a good look at the taig Circlip. Great over here but c**p for model boating really as they tend to have for sale equipment that the UK has left behind. Ask for the latest Futaba 6EXa and they look at you as if you are daft.Hombre Loco is right too when they see models sailing around swimming pools.....
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Bryan Young

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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2007, 07:08:09 PM »

Its all "horses for courses" isn't it? I need my lathe to be portable (from cupboard to bench). I would love a larger one but needs dictate. I used to have a Unimat 5 (until it was stolen) and was very happy with it. I used to take it on a ship with me to make small items. Wouldn't touch the plastic one. Good as a teaching toy for children. I now have the smaller of the 2 Proxxon lathes....portability being the requirement. Would love the larger one though. As far as drilling and milling is concerned, I still use the EMCO one. Portable (just!) and accurate. The compound table is superb...and it shoudn't break the bank. One thing I would recommend is that whatever you buy make sure that the motor is suitable for extended use. The EMCO Unimat had a limitation warning of 20 minutes use (!). No wonder it got hot. When I took it to be fixed the repairers said that they hadn't realised that anyone (this one was German) would still be using such outdated technology. Beware.
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Captain Povey

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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2007, 07:22:46 PM »

Hi All, We had an Emco combined lathe/mill/drill at work for years and the biggest problem was the push button switch box on the top was not suitable for production work. It was replaced several times. The mill/drill head was time consuing to set up as it never seemed to be in the place you needed the hole(s). As milling can involve quite high cutting forces it never seemed to be man enough (rigid enough) for the job. Personally I prefer to avoid the combos and have an old Myford lathe, bought second hand for a couple of hundred quid and rebuilt, plus a bench drill. Milling I do with a file or take to work and do on a Bridgeport. Cheers Graham :)
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2007, 07:37:12 PM »

Bryan, what is your opinion on the smaller Proxxon lathe? I have been slightly tempted....
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Circlip

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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2007, 07:54:18 PM »

Graham, I could never class the bigger Emco's as " production machines" in the true sense, more a prototype/development unit, but you've jumped into a different area with the Bridgeport, UNDOUBTABLY the Queen of knee-millers. Was "brought up on one but would have needed a power bulge in workshop roof to get the head in and it would have been over indulgence if I'd got one. I know the limitations of my machine and don't cleave, but it still mills lumps of Inox. Back to horses?
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Bryan Young

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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2007, 10:56:48 PM »

Bryan, what is your opinion on the smaller Proxxon lathe? I have been slightly tempted....
Remarkable is a word I would use. I gather that it is a "clone" of other makes. I also gather that the firm who makes them grades for quality and brands/prices accordingly...the Proxxon being top of the heap (or so I am led to believe). The lathe comes with a built-in taper turning device that appears to be a direct crib from the Unimat with only a 2.5" travel. (Hence my derided post on gettting my 14" masts turned up elswhere). The motor is an "induction" (is that right?) type and goes on for ever without overheating.
However, I would not have bought it if my quick-change toolpost (Unimat) hadn't fitted. After all, compared to the other jobs you do, how often do you need the taper turning tool? The cross slide seems to have a slight tendency to "back-off" before weight is put on it and adjustment is not easy. I am not knocking this bit of kit as I have tried many worse! Just telling you like it is.
The range of extras doesn't seem very extensive compared to the Unimat, but as all the Unimat bits'n'bobs seem to fit then they are available. The Proxxon uses a Morse taper on the tailstock..and can slip if not tightened up right. The Unimat is straight..
I find the 10.5mm headstock dia. a bit of a nuisance at the scale I tend to build at (1:48). Just that bit too small for 1/2". Rats.
As I said earlier, my main priority (apart from quality) is portability. Bartapuss has the larger version and turns out superb thingys.
I love it...with the above caveats. Reliable, quiet and "user friendly". Probably the best of the smaller lathes.
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Circlip

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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2007, 11:56:32 PM »

What a twit Graham, call meself a ingineer? Bridgeport - Queen of all TURRET millers :embarrassed: :embarrassed: :embarrassed:
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herrmill

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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2007, 11:11:27 AM »

Tiger,

Lets talk.  Am outfitting the workshop at my new place & have a few good sources. 

Chuck
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tigertiger

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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2007, 11:31:34 AM »

Sounds good,

Or perhaps i could outsource to you, hahaha ::)
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herrmill

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Re: Mini-multipurpose machines. Any experience?
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2007, 02:15:28 AM »

Too busy with all I have ongoing, but I would be more than happy to have you pool together for an order.

Talk later. Now get back to your Chinese classes while the rest of us blokes work.  {-)

Chuck
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