After Purchase Costs For My Speedway 7x12 Bench Lathe


Note Well!
I am not a professional machinist, nor have I ever been one.  Prior to purchasing this lathe, I had used a metal cutting lathe precisely once in my life, for about two hours; that was in 1980, and the lathe I used then was a monster compared to this small, inexpensive machine tool.  Don't take anything written here as a recommendation -- in a machine shop, I'm not qualified to recommend anything other than following the manufacturer's instructions and seeking competent advice.


Before purchasing the 7x12 lathe, I had a good selection of home shop tools, including both woodworking and some metalworking tools.  These include a 9" woodworking bandsaw (which can also cut aluminum, since the cutting speeds are similar to those for maple or oak), an inexpensive 8" drill press (without rack and pinion table elevation, unfortunately, so it's impossible to change the table height without losing the alignment of part to quill), a bench sander with 4" belt and 6" disk, which can double as a grinder for light duty, a 3/8" power drill with drill press stand, a Dremel rotary tool from the mid 1970s and an assortment of bits and accessories, a rotary saw (generic for RotoZip®) with 1/8" and 1/4" collets, which can both use most of my Dremel tooling and double as a light duty router, a 4 1/2" angle grinder that can also mount a diamond saw blade or wood carving blade, and a small, old, and inexpensive circular saw.  I also have a cheap all-purpose hand saw, a combination hacksaw/bowsaw, a carpenter's disposable plastic miter box, a bunch of cheap twist drills, a good magnetic screwdriver with 20 or so interchangeable bits (including a limited range of hex and a good range of Torx® bits), cheap English and Metric tap and die sets and a much better tap handle I purchased separately, assorted files and needle files, and a bunch of small hand tools left over from years of building R/C airplanes and model rockets.  I also have a 6" dial caliper that reads in .001" and a combination square set that includes a protractor head and centering head.  Most of these tools are either the bottom of the Craftsman line (gotten with gift certificates at various times) or were purchased at Harbor Freight -- a great source of bargain tools if you know what you're looking at and don't require the durability to make a living with the tool.

L:athe related, I also had a set of 1/4" shank brazed carbide lathe cutting tools that I had bought a year or so ago for $2.50 at Harbor Freight.  Those tools include two right hand, two left hand, and one 60° point possibly suitable for threading, and were marked down to half their normal price when I bought them.  They aren't the correct size for this lathe -- nominal is 5/16", or 8 mm shank, though it looks easy to modify things to permit use of the more standard (at least in the United States) 3/8" shank tooling -- but can be easily shimmed to center height and will let me test the lathe even if I can't locate any of the correct size bits by the time it's cleaned up and ready..

Along with the lathe, I ordered a set of punches, chisels, and stamps that included pin punches, prick and center punches, assorted cold and cape chisels, a broad range of transfer punches, a set of hollow punches, and a complete 1/8" letter/number stamp set from Homier Distributing Co.  I also got five "chip brushes" which are very cheap natural bristle paint brushes, 2" wide.

Punch, chisels, stamp set: $30
Chip Brushes: $1.50

Since the lathe arrived I've made the following expenditures related to cleanup, setup, and tooling:

April 26, 2003:
1/2" drill chuck on MT2 arbor (arbor is too long, even without tang -- soonish project to shorten or end drill it)
Pump oil can
Set of six ball peen hammers
Automatic center punch
$25 at Harbor Freight.

April 27, 2003:
Kerosene, plastic bucket with lid, disposable gloves, and plastic putty knife (for scraping grease) at Lowe's (hardware store chain): $14
Mobil 1 5W-30 oil (1 qt), 1 lb white lithium grease, non-chlorinated brake cleaner (degreaser for parts and tapers), spray lithium grease (for headstock gears) at Action Auto Parts: $29

May 3, 2003
3" x 3/4" 6061-T6511 aluminum bar, about 2 feet long, $1.50/lb
1" diameter 6061-T6511 aluminum rod, about 7 feet long, $3.00/lb
Total $32 (from Pacific Iron and Metal)

May 12, 2003
3 3/8" diameter, 20T carbide tipped blade (made for cordless circular saw), to become 1/16" slitting saw, $8
3/8" diameter, 1/4" shank carbide keyhole router bit, to become small boring bar, $11
(Both prices reflect employee discount, Eastside Staple and Nail)

May 18, 2003
3/8" drill rod, 3 feet long
1/2" drill rod, 3 feet long
3/4" drill rod, 3 feet long
38 pc. brazed carbide cutting bits, 5/16" square
20 M2 HSS cutting bit blanks, 5/16" square x 2 1/2" long
#1 through #5 HSS center drill set
Total (including shipping) $72, from Enco (Hot Deals catalog, sale prices)

May 20, 2003
1" travel, .001" graduation dial indicator
Magnetic base w/ fine adjustment
Engineer's Protractor
$36 from Harbor Freight

May 27, 2003
Set of nine 3/8" shank brazed carbide boring bars
$19 from Home Shop Supply

May 30, 2003
Sheet of .032" brass (4" x 10", much bigger than needed)
Two 4-packs of 4-40 x 3/8" socket head screws
1 8-pack of #4 flat washers
Tap and drill set, #4-40
$15 from Abernathy's Northwest Hobby Shop

June 1, 2003
Faceplate, 6" diameter, made to fit Seig mini-lathes
Magnetic base lamp
Compact Fluorescent bulb for lamp
$26 from Harbor Freight

June 13, 2003

Replacement 80T gear
#3 Morse Taper dead center
21T gear
$19 (including S&H) from LittleMachineShop.com

June 21, 2003

Four piece measuring set (inside and outside calipers, dividers, and pocket 6" steel rule w/ depth gage)
Unversal magnetic holder
6" adjustable wrench (for lock nuts on gib screws -- why don't they include a 7 mm wrench and 2 mm hex key for those?)
Set of six diamond cutting wheels for my Dremel
Set of three small diamond hones
$26 from Harbor Freight

June 30, 2003

Two 36" lengths 1/4" drill rod
Five #1 center drills
Five #2 center drills
PN1 (1/16" wide, 1/2" high T section) cutoff blade
Set of 5/16" to 6" telescoping hole gages (for measuring inside diameters)
$29 (including S&H) from Enco

Back to My Speedway 7x12 Bench Lathe
Visit my Homebuilt Lathe pages
Return to my home page

All material on this page and pages linked from this page within my web site is Copyright © 2001, 2002 by Donald Qualls
External links are copyrighted by their creators; links from here do not imply ownership of that material.
If you have comments or suggestions, email me at silent1@ix.netcom.com