microlux 7x16 mini lathe

microlux 7x16 mini lathe

Careful workmanship gives you high dimensional accuracy and long life, and smooth operation lets you put fine finishes on turnings up to 7 inches in diameter and 16 inches long. Yet, it's compact enough (just 86 pounds) to be portable.

This mini lathe has true imperial (inch) feed screws and dials (.050 inch per turn), so metric conversions are not required. The MicroLux 7 x 16 Mini Lathe is so versatile it will cut all metals, including carbon steel, stainless steel, cast iron, aluminum, brass, copper, bronze, and nickel-silver, plus non-metals such as wood and plastic. And, with the optional accessories sold separately, it will perform virtually any task you'll ever need.

Maximum swing over bed: 7 inches diameterMaximum swing over carriage: 4.5 inches diameterDistance between centers: 16 inchesMain spindle speeds: Continuously variable between 100 and 2,500 rpmSpindle bore: .787 inch diameterMain spindle taper: MT3Carriage cross-feed travel: 2.560 inches

Compound slide travel: 2.165 inchesTail spindle travel: 2.125 inchesTail spindle taper: MT2Motor: 500 watt (0.67hp) DC (operates from standard 120v AC wall outlet)Thread cutting: 12 to 52 tpi in 18 stepsOverall size: 12.75 inches high x 12 inches deep x 38 inches longWeight: 86 lbs. (basic machine, no accessories.)

WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals, including Lead which is known to the State of California to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information, go to:www.p65warnings.ca.gov

I was a bit concerned when I found out that the MicroLux 7 by 16 lathe is not assembled and tested by Micro-Mark prior to shipping it to me worried about missing or damaged parts. However, I went forward with the purchase and have no regrets. The lathe arrived in two large packages with several smaller packages inside. The protective boxes and inner padding was well done and all arrived without damage. In addition all parts were included no missing parts. Assembly instructions were excellent and assembly went smoothly it took me about 2.5 hours which I probably could reduce to 1.5 if I did it again. At this point I have about 10 hours on the lathe and I am very impressed. Everything works properly and, for me, it meets my standard for precision.

I have the older 7 x12 inch lathe and have had it for a number of years. I'm no expert machinist but this lathe is very well built and has given me no problems in the years I have owned it. I have machined some tooling for pyrotechnics and it has worked well (the lathe and the tooling I produced). For a hobbyist grade lathe, don't let the title fool you. You can produce some excellent parts in this lathe with the proper knowledge and patience to learn.

I bought this lathe in 2013 and I have been using pretty regularly for the past 6 years. I have had very little trouble with it. Remember it is not a production toolroom lathe, it is a mini lathe. Treat it right and it will treat you right. I also have three other mini lathes of different brandings. I use them to give lathe training occasionally. But my Micro Mark 7x16 is the lathe I use year around. The motor is far superior to to others and this one is much quieter. The longer bed way is such a luxury. Think of it as going from a twin size bed to a king size bed. (My first lathe was a 7x10).

We hope you will be completely satisfied with your order...but, if an item does not meet your expectations, you may return it in as-new condition within 30 days of delivery for a replacement, exchange or refund of the purchase price.

mega mini r8 milling machine super value package

mega mini r8 milling machine super value package

This item is backordered from our supplier. We will ship as soon as it is received. Your credit card will not be charged until shipped. Please Note: For shipments to locations outside the USA, backordered items must be placed on separate orders.

Sometimes the hardest part of expanding your workshop or getting involved in a new vocation, hobby or project is just getting started. You have an idea about the tools you need, but what are the right accessories to give you the most "bang for your buck" and get you up and running right out of the box? Our Micro-MakeTM Super Value Packages are designed to take the guesswork out of building your ultimate workshop by offering you the best tools and the perfect complement of accessories to bring your vision to reality. Plus, you'll save money, because all of our Super Value Packages feature significantly discounted pricing compared to purchasing the components separately. It's a win/win!

#84630 MicroLux High Precision Heavy Duty R8 Miniature Milling Machine with 1/2 drill chuck and drawbar, table locks, column lock and drill stop, power supply with feedback-sensing power boost circuitry, V-way chip guards, chuck/collet chip guard, indicator scales for the X and Z directions, fine-adjust knob for the Z direction, safety cut-off switch, wrench set and instruction manual/parts diagram.#84692 Digital Speed Readout with magnetic base. Plugs into control panel to display spindle speed in RPM.#87348 Super Duty Power Feed Saves laborious hand cranking and feeds table at uniform rate to produce fine milled finishes. Electronic circuitry controls table speed from 0 to 20" per minute in both directions to automatically power off motor at end of run. Includes adjustable limit stops and clutch mechanism to disengage motor for easy hand-cranking of the table. Motor/clutch assembly mounts directly to the left end of the mill table. Limit switch assembly requires 6 holes to be drilled and tapped on back of mill table.#84700 ER Collet Set has a wide gripping range (about .040") and provides a fast, easy and accurate way of holding tooling. They're quick to set up and can be used at high speed. Features precision-ground R8 shank and "snap-in" collets with compression nut and spanner. 7/16-20 drawbar hole. Includes 3/64, 3/32, 1/8, 3/16, 7/32, 1/4, 5/16, 11/32, 3/8, 13/32, 7/16, 1/2, 17/32, 9/16 and 5/8 inch collets, plus wood case.#82576 8-piece End Mill Set (Single End) Includes eight center cut, 2-flute end mills: 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 1/2, 9/16 and 5/8 inch.#82577 Quick-Lock Milling Vise bolts directly to top of milling table. Jaws are 4" wide x 7/8" deep and open 3-1/8". Overall height 2-5/8". Made of machined steel.

We hope you will be completely satisfied with your order...but, if an item does not meet your expectations, you may return it in as-new condition within 30 days of delivery for a replacement, exchange or refund of the purchase price.

buying a mini mill | milepost 15

buying a mini mill | milepost 15

Way back in my early teens, my interest in model railroading progressed from a casual pastime to a much more serious sort of pursuit. As I read about railroads and their equipment I swiftly came to realize that my models, even the reasonably accurate (for the 90s) Athearn Blue Box GP50 in BNs Tiger Stripe scheme (my pride and joy), were not actually that accurate. I noticed all the usual things: the flat metal handrails, the thick inset window glazing, the horrible (or complete lack of) draft gear. However my main hang up was always the frame. It seemed like every model I could afford (brass being so expensive it might as well have existed solely on the moon) had a frame that made absolutely no attempt to simulate what was actually there on a real locomotive.

Though cutting plastic wasnt exactly easy, it didnt take long for me to figure out how to modify a locomotive shell. Cutting a pot-metal frame was a different story though. I eventually figured out how to use a rotary tool and file but I was never satisfied with the results or the amount of time and energy it took to achieve them. Having no experience with metal work and not being the sort of kid that took shop class in school (much to my current selfs disappointment) the path forward remained murky for years. At some point though I became aware of a machine called a Mill that could quickly and accurately cut metal. After that I learned that a mill could cut more than just metal and that there were much smaller versions of the giant Bridgeport machines Id seen pictures of. Finally, the clouds parted and I discovered that other model railroaders had these little machines and were doing exactly what I wanted to do with them. Thats when I decided that someday, as soon as I had both money and a place to put one, I would buy a mill, I would learn how to use it and my models would finally live up to my expectations.

In the 15 or so years that passed before I was financially stable and not living in a tiny apartment most manufacturers started offering HO scale models that included things like a simulated I-beam frame. However, they still screw up the occasional molded on detail and theres always a bit of unnecessary weight that ought to be hogged out to make room for a better speaker enclosure or motor. So just as I was finishing the renovations on my basement and knew I would soon have a free corner of my planned workshop I took the plunge and ordered a Microlux Heavy Duty 84630 Mini Mill from Micro-Mark.

The Micro-Mark offering is a clone of the Chinese made Sieg SX2 Mini Mill Drill. Harbor Freight, Grizzly, Little Machine Shop and probably others all sell slightly different variations of the SX2 line. I went with the Microlux for a few reasons: First, in 2019 when I bought it none of the others came with a brushless motor (LMS has since added that option to their lineup). Second, unlike the LMS mill, it uses a torsion spring as opposed to a gas cylinder to assist with moving the head up and down. Theres actually nothing wrong with the gas cylinder option (in many ways its an improvement since it allows the head to move higher) but it adds quite a bit of height to the mill and with the ceiling being so low in my basement I didnt think it would clear the joists on a workbench high enough to stand at. Additionally, should I ever have the space and inclination to do so, I can buy an upgrade kit to replace the torsion spring with a gas cylinder. The final reason I went with the Microlux is that it comes standard with True Inch .050 inch-per-turn table feed screws and dials on the X and Y axis. The other mills come with .0625 inch-per-turn dials and feed screws. Ive confirmed through research and conversations with other modelers that .0625 per turn is as difficult a measurement to keep track of as it seems.

Unfortunately, there are some downsides to the Microlux mill that Ill get into a bit later. Since I bought mine Ive come to realize that the LMS HiTorque 3990 is by far the superior version and were it available at the time I probably would have gone with it and just figured out a way around the height issue.

The first think you learn about machine tools is that the cost of the machine itself is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of all the accessories that are required. Before I did anything with the mill I bought what I figured would be the bare minimum to do the sort of work Im interested in:

Not photographed was a chip tray that I got from LMS and the set of 1-2-3 blocks Ive had for years. The chip tray does a pretty good job of containing the mess while cutting but I still find bits of swarf all over the place. There are still a number of things I ought to get but this lot was adequate to get started. Someday Id like to add a DRO for all 3 axis and a tachometer to measure the actual spindle speed. Those arent cheap though so it may be awhile.

The mill arrived un-assembled in two or three boxes (its been awhile and I forgot to take photos). It came with excellent instructions and was very easy to put together. The most annoying part of the whole endeavor was cleaning the preserving oil off of it. Im not really sure what it was as it wasnt gunky enough to be cosmoline and seemed like it was too thick to be Vactra Oil No. 2 Whatever it was came off easily enough with WD-40 but there were so many parts it took quite awhile.

Once the mill was assembled it sat for a long time while I finished the workshop. I probably should have oiled the slides and ways before storing it but I didnt know I needed to do that at the time. Ultimately it wasnt a problem and no rust formed, presumably because it was in a climate controlled room. After I finished the workshop I brought it downstairs and mounted it to the chip tray and a couple of pieces of plywood using lag screws. Now that it was in its final position I lubed the feed screws, oiled the ways and slides and got to work on some fine tuning.

Now, at long last, I was ready to make some cuts. I pulled an old Athearn SD70M shell, walkway and frame out of my parts box for practice. I clamped the frame into the vise and mounted the walkway and shell to it. Unfortunately I didnt have the coupler boxes so it wasnt secured particularly well but it worked fine to get a feel for using the mill and I was actually able to make a few cuts that werent too terrible. The most difficult part of the operation and something that Im still figuring out was getting the Z axis set properly so that the endmill wouldnt cut into the shell more than necessary when making a final cleanup pass. This is a task where having a DRO would really help as it would make it easier to compensate for the backlash in the column rack.

After awhile I got tired of beating up the shell and I made a few passes across the frame itself. These went quite well and the quality of the finished cut was far superior to what I had achieved on the shell because the frame was so much more securely held down.

With that practice under my belt I decided it was time to do some work that actually counted. I recently got a set of feed/anti-kickback rollers for my table saw and one of the rollers was binding against the clip that holds it in place. To fix this I popped the roller off, mounted it in the vise on top of a set of parallels and shimmed about .010 off the central bushing. This cut came out quite good and would not have been possible without the mill. Now the wheel rotates freely without too much slop.

All in all Im glad to finally have a mill. As i mentioned previously, if I were buying a mill today instead of back in 2019, I would definitely choose the LMS HiTorque machine. The fixed column and ease of adding a DRO would be worth the extra cost and I could always switch out the feedscrews and dials for the True-Inch equivalents (which LMS sells separately). Nevertheless I think Ill be able to do everything I need to with the Microlux and Im really excited to move forward with some projects that have been on hold for want of a good way to hog out material. Someday too Id like to get some aluminum or steel bar and make my own frames and other components.

I doubt this post was of much interest to anyone with even a small amount of machine shop experience (except perhaps for a laugh or two) but hopefully it will be useful to someone else just starting out. Most of the books and online resources I found were not terribly helpful as they tended to descend into the weeds about details and techniques that arent really necessary for the sort of work required to modify a plastic model. Some of the best help I got came from fellow modelers who kindly suggested what accessories were necessary and what werent as well as things to watch out for as I made my first cuts. If youre also thinking about getting a mill I highly recommend reaching out to your fellow hobbyists with whatever questions you might have.

To close this post out Ill share a few links to retailers and other resources I found useful. If you have any sources of material or information to add (or suggestions for me as I move forward) please leave them in the comments.

I would love to own a mill and keep thinking about what size I would need as I model in 1/29. These table top machines would be nice but Im worried that they would be too small to really do the things I need. The problem is, Im not sure if anyone makes anything between the table top size and a 3/4 sized full mill. I just havent researched it enough yet to find out.

Thanks Chris for the information. I will have to do some soul searching before I start researching the mills. As with everything space is at the premium so it might be more practical not to look at mills.

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