Monday, June 10, 2013

Machine Shop Update

On Saturday I completed the installation of digital read outs (DROs) on my Grizzly G8689 mini mill. Previously, I'd installed a belt drive conversion from Little Machine Shop. The DROs will enable me to make much more precise cuts, while the belt drive conversion made the mill a lot quieter, smoother running, and increased the top RPM to 4300 should I ever need it. Both are worthwhile mods, IMO.

However, a lathe is still the basic machine tool to have in a machine shop. After much additional online research today I ordered a Big Dog 7x14 benchtop lathe. Unlike most of the benchtop hobby lathes on the US market, this one is made by Yangzhou Real Bull, rather than Sieg. Included feature and accessories are a digital RPM display, lever lock tail stock, a steady rest, a follow rest, tail stock chuck and a live center, 4" four-jaw chuck, and metal transmission gears. I still have the lathe tool kit that I ordered when I placed my original order with Grizzly, so I should be able to get up and running with it immediately.

Delivery should take 5 - 10 days, after which I'll post a review.