Yep, I would say that a duplicator is nice. Not found one for a mini lathe though. CNC would be the next deal for this, but on CNC, it really depends on what you are doing. On this size post and the amount to make, it was just as easy to crank them out by hand. The DRO is what made it easy.
I could make one per 1- 1/2 min. That includes the whole process of re-chucking and getting set up for the cut.
I just watched your video on making stanchions with a lathe. My question is; I the "Sherline" lathe particular that it allows the dowel stock to be feed in through the back of the lathe chuck? I am considering investing in a lathe and I have been looking at the Wen 7 x 12 benchtop lathes, both the metal and wood models sold by Home Depot. Do you have any suggestions or comments.
the largest dowel I could pass through was a 5/16 in diameter. I looked up the WEN online and it seems like the type that Micro Mark, Harbor Freight, and others like it. There are probably many similarities and many differences. I also did not find any users manual to see if it would pass a dowel all the way through. I am not even sure about the HF or Micromark if they can pass a dowel all the way through the headstock as well. If this particular feature is not all that important, then it is probably something you can live without. I would like anyone make a list of features that are important to you and see what you come up with. I would like to continue this discussion to see what you come up with. Just stay in touch.
One major thing to think of: Metal lathe can do both Metal and Wood. Wood lathe..only Wood. So, it is best to stick with a Metal lathe.
As far as recommendations, this is a hard one because the deciding factor for me was based on my needs: The Sherline has a huge assortment of attachments. The lathe starts at 0 RPM which I like. The headstock rotates in either direction. Doing tapers like this is a nice feature, but can also be done in other ways on other lathes. I think the Tool Rest on the WEN like others has a way of rotating to get a taper if you need a taper cut.
I think just about any Metal lathe in this category would be a nice addition anyways. Remember that this WEN has a 12" Centers. Which means that from the tip of the chuck to tip of tailstock is 12"
However, to take advantage of that full 12" can be a little tricky. You would want to leave yourself a little headroom of about an inch of each side of what you are working on - so that leaves about 10 inches of real estate to work with.
As far as other brands you have http://www.littlemachineshop.com - they claim to have their own brand of lathe. Then I mentioned Micromark http://www.micromark.com
I know this is probably not a lot of info to go on. It took me forever to decide on a lathe, so I understand.
Thanks Donnie. That really helps allot. I have also been looking at the Grizzly mini lathe. Did you start out with the digital readout display or was that a later addition. I have been on a roll lately buying tools, the table saw, a milling machine, an x-y table, and a rotary table for my dremel. I'm out of room now. I guess I will just have to move.
I don't want to add to the confusion of picking out a lathe...I have been there. This is the entire package that I bought at one time. It is the lathe, all the accessories, and the Digital Readout. I got the Metric due to the fact that just about all the kits I have bought have been metric so far.
However, that is still not a problem as you can convert the system over to Imperial (inches) anytime you want by purchasing the LEAD Screw and Hand Wheels set. The DRO (Digital Read Out) can switch over to Imperial with just rebooting the DRO and holding down one key. And vise versa, if you get the imperial lathe, you can convert it to metric.
I have actually taken my entire lathe completely apart several times and put it back together for cleaning and maintenance. The screw making is really nice too. Its a little tricky, but once you make a screw, it is really fun. Brass is so soft and is really easy to turn. I made my own brass pulleys for my Trinidad.
Scroll down about half way here: http://shipsofscale.com/Trinidad/STBL19.html you will see me turning a Yard and making my own Parrells. I know, Parrells are not really made out of brass, but had fun making them. I should have made them out of wood.
I did allot of research on mini lathes and almost bought a Mophorn precision mini lathe. Then I watched a YouTube video that changed my mind.
Later I found a Sherline 4400 on ebay so I jumped on it.
Now to watch a bunch of videos so I can learn a little machining.
Going back to Brian's idea about the shaping template for cannons is good. Now, to me the very hard part is shaping a block of HSS (High Speed Steel) to form the half of cannon to make the plunge cut.
There is another method (like making keys) at the hardware store. I have not invested too much time into that one. I would have to design and engineer out a jig type device that would follow a template and the cutting lathe would naturally follow the path of the template.
If anybody knows of such device let me know. There are some duplicators out there, but they are intended more for wood lathes. I have yet seen a duplicator for a machine lathe and I will go now and google it again.