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Lathe bearings upgrade?

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Munty Scruntfundle

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Thought 3 of the day, this is unheard of!

So the lathe I bought is a low cost, entry to lathing machine, it's been built to a budget. I'm sure any moving parts could be purchased from buy_me_a_bearing.online and won't be very highly rated.

I've worked with mini metal lathes before, owned a couple, which can be (excuse me) bloody horrible off the pallet. But replacement bearings and an hour or two of tenderness can make all the difference. Or not!

Of course a wood lathe doesn't go through anywhere near the same amount of stress, but I can see how a bearing upgrade could help with vibration. If your drive shaft is setting off a resonance in your chuck and or wood piece it's going to limit your rev ranges. Maybe I'm getting more technical than I need to for a block of wood. If you have tried pushing your wood chisels through a spinning rod of 305 please let me know how it worked out.

I have a feeling we have a couple of very cold weeks coming up soon so I'll not be outside in the car port making a mess, but the lathe is on wheels and could easily be pulled inside for some maintenance.

Has anyone gone through upgrading for reasons other than meltdown? Were there any benefits?

Thanks.
 

Trevanion

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I know on those really low-end machines (and even some quite expensive ones) they use absolutely rubbish bearings which will wear out very quickly if you're using them often, so there might be no harm in upgrading them provided it's a straightforward couple of hours job. You probably already know all the ins and outs of bearings even more than me so it should be a fairly simple afternoon job with about £10-15 worth of bearings if they're standard.
 

CHJ

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Its a wood turning lathe, you aren't looking for micron finish off the tool. it's relatively new I believe, If there is no detectable lateral or longitudinal movement of the spindle and the bearings are not making horrible noises when running then I'd say leave it alone unless you find you really need the catharsis of pimping it.

A couple of years time and a few hundred projects off the thing it may benefit but by then a more versatile machine may be on your horizon.
 

minilathe22

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Certainly if the bearings did fail, you should consider replacing them with higher quality ones. For a manufacturer, saving £5 per bearing, 2 bearings per lathe adds up, as a hobbyist spending £10 extra (once) for better bearings is worth to extra money in my opinion.

However has others have said, in the secondhand market you can likely get a much better machine for not alot of outlay, especially if you cleanup and sell the existing lathe.
 

Lazurus

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I started with an entry level Axminster M900 - this did me a couple of decades untill the bearing required changing and I worked it hard to. You may be looking too deep into some of the turning issues - just get on the tools and have fun leaning "The Dark Art" or wood bothering.....
 

Munty Scruntfundle

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Thanks guys. There are no machine issues, just trying to improve for a little outlay if it'll help. If no one can report a benefit I'll leave them alone. Until I get bored!
 
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