Turning Archive 2004

My New "Mini" Lathe

Bill Grumbine, Kutztown PA

Well, it's not new, and it is only technically a Mini - Mini Max that is. Some of you may remember about two months or so ago, I posted to say that I was selling myself out to the duplicating lathe, and buying a Mini Max T-124 copy lathe in order to do a job that is coming up for a furniture company down the road from me. Well, things got very interesting, and to make a long story a little shorter, my representative from Mini Max was mistaken about the actual location of the lathe. He told me it was on the truck with my CU-300 Smart, when it was actually ON THE BOAT between here and Italy.

His twisting of my arm resulted in my twisting my customer's arm to make a decision, and left me in a very bad spot - an expectant customer and no lathe to do his work. The sun came out eventually though. Just before I discovered this problem, a used T-124 went up for sale in Wildwood NJ. It is 10 years old, used twice according to the customer, and it looks it. Except for some surface rust on a very few spots from lack of use, it looks pretty much like it is right out of the showroom. I am not wild about the Soviet green paint scheme, but I saved enough money that I can get used to that. This machine is virtually identical to the ones being made today, but I got it for a whole lot less. The people at Mini Max took very good care of me in helping me to get hold of this lathe.

Here is an overall shot of the thing. It has a stepped pulley drive with speeds between 600 and some up to 3000. It has a 16" swing, and two knives, a roughing knife that cuts the blank round to fit into the traveling steady, and a finishing knife that follows the template which is fastened onto a bar on the front of the lathe. One of the first things I am going to have to do after I figure out where it is going is to raise it up about six inches. Otherwise I will be running around like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Oh yeah, thanks to a lot of you, this place is a sweat shop right now. SWMBO has smoke coming out of the computer she has put so many orders into it, and we are just getting to the point where we can start stuffing envelopes!



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