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seano
18th Jun 2005, 10:50 PM
Hi everyone
after watching the forum over the last couple of months and absorbing all that was there I decided that tonight since you all appear to be in a jovial mood ( almost all ) that i should sign up and ask a question.

I am looking for a lathe to start my journey and have settled on a carbatec ( a bit scared to use this word tonight) MC1100 but noticed that they also have a option of cast iron legs for $129 , has anyone purchased these and what are your thoughts.

Also timbecon has an upgraded sherwood model which has a sliding headstock as well as the motor in a better position , would this mean carbo-tech will be upgrading there model soon??

thanks for any help
seano

Kev Y.
18th Jun 2005, 11:06 PM
Welcome seano, as you may have seen like a sleeping rat, we will attack if poked often enough :p

I think there are a few people here who have the MC1100, and are quite happy with it. Who knows if there are any mods in line for the lathe.. Unless you can build a solid (sturdy) stand for your lathe go with the metal stand option..

AS for the sliding head stock.. I am at a loss to see why you would want both the head and tail stock to move? it would be more beneficial to have a headstock that rotated.

ozwinner
18th Jun 2005, 11:11 PM
Welcome Seano

We dont always carry on like this.
Sometimes its " kill the new bloke".....just kidding. :rolleyes:

Anyway, theres heaps of info here for everyone, so dont be afraid to ask.

Al :)

seano
18th Jun 2005, 11:11 PM
Thanks for the welcome Kev.

Also don't understand the benefit of sliding head stock.

bdar
18th Jun 2005, 11:17 PM
Seano,

Welcome to the forum, like the guys have said the metal stands are good, I tend to like tmber stands personally, but if you can anchor it to the ground they will do fine.
Darren

smidsy
19th Jun 2005, 02:53 PM
Hei Sean,
Welcome to the forum.
I have the MC900 and I think the stock legs are the way to go.
These beasts by nature tend to vibrate a little when working unbalanced wood - that is just the nature of the game.
I am by no means an expert in the art of metalurgy but my line of thought is that the steel legs will flex and absorb vibration better than the cast iron ones - cast iron by nature is fairly brittle.

As others have said, bolting the lathe down is the way to go. However what I have done as an alternative which seems to work well, is enclose the base of the lathe up to about 300mm high and fill it with blue metal or similiar - I think blue metal works better than sand because it can absorb the vibration better than sand.

I think I put some pics of this in another thread so search my username (or pm me) if you want more info on this.

Cheers
Paul

ribot
19th Jun 2005, 03:18 PM
Just on anchoring lathes, I have dynabolted mine to the concrete floor.

If you want to move it else where either hammer boltheads deeper than floor level or cut them off with an angle grinder.

Graeme
19th Jun 2005, 04:05 PM
The MC1100 is a good little beginner lathe, the only slight disadvantage is that they are a bit hard on drive belts due tho the "reeves" variable drive, but the belts only cost a few dollars each. The stands are trerrible, make a good solid timber or steel stand, use the standard legs to make a table for your tools, or grinder, or whatever. The standard
legs are way too flimsy to be of much use, they are a good four inches (100mm) too low , they are built to suit someone about 4'6" tall, turning on something that low to the ground will make your back ache. It doesn't matter much what brand MC100 you choose, blue, orange , green etc. they are all the same machine, I know I sell them.

Cheers
Graeme

smidsy
19th Jun 2005, 04:31 PM
Hei Graeme,
The MC's are a little hard on belts (although in saying that I'm still on my first belt in 12 months) but the cheapest lathe with electronic variable speed is $900 so a few v belts are nothing really.
I think this system means that it is more suceptable to crap so you need to keep it clean it clean - Sean, I use an air blower on my lathe and have never had a prob with the drive system.

As for the stand, I am 6ft tall and have never had a prob with the height, and strength wise it stood up to the monster block of jarrah in the pic below so it can't be that bad.
Cheers
Paul

gatiep
19th Jun 2005, 04:55 PM
Smidsy you said: steel legs will flex and absorb vibration better than the cast iron ones - cast iron by nature is fairly brittle.

Not really true as cast iron absorbs vibration much better than structural steel. That is the reason why it is the prefered material for lathe beds.

Seano:
Welcome to the forum.
The cast iron legs increase the weight of the lathe by quite a lot which can only be advantageous. The MC1100 headstock swivels and is moveable along the bed. This is adavantageous for balance when turning heavy out of balance blanks with the headstock swiveled. The MC style lathes are very popular entry lathes. Many turners have started with them and have stuck with them for years. The latest "blue" MC1100's have a longer spindle nose which gives greater clearance between the rear of the faceplate and motor housing.


Graeme:

I have 6 MC1100 ( 5 with cast legs and 1 with the standard legs ) as well as 1 MC900 with standard legs amongst the lathes in the turning class. If you set your toolrest up to take your height and the lathe height into consideration, those legs are high enough. We've had hundreds ( I wont brag and say thousands but it is probably closer to the number ) of turners through the turning 'school' without problems, provided they are average and not 2.2 m giants. Technique makes a lot of difference. I must admit that there has been a batch of belts on the MC lathes that have been pretty poor quality from the factory a while ago. Overall at the price they are good quality lathes, definately not a Vicmarc but also not in that price bracket. When I got my VL175, it felt that the stand was too high, however after setting the toolrest up as I normally do it's been 100%.
There are differences between the various MC lathes...not huge but there are. Originally the motors were of different quality but that has just about standardised to finned aluminium casings. The biggest difference is in the spindle thread. Some have m30 x 3.5 thread, others 1" x 10 TPI and there are some other obscure ones. Some have a different style of lock handle ( bolt ) for locking the toolrest into the banjo.The latest "blue" MC1100's have a longer spindle nose which gives greater clearance between the rear of the faceplate and motor housing. I'm not sure if the others have copied this yet.

Like you, I also hang around these things most of the day and have been turning for 53 years this month.



Seano, basically just stay away from the cheap pressed metal constructed lathes. In my book they are dangerous.

Enjoy your new hobby.

DPB
20th Jun 2005, 10:02 AM
When I got my VL175, it felt that the stand was too high, however after setting the toolrest up as I normally do it's been 100%.

...I also hang around these things most of the day and have been turning for 53 years this month.

Enjoy your new hobby.
Gatiep, interesting comments. Would you please elaborate a little more on "setting the toolrest up"? I recently purchased a used VL175 without previously having done much turning. I am curious about what you mean by this.

Also, over the weekend I did quite a bit of turning 4 hours one day and a bit longer another. One thing I noticed was that the head stock became quite warm, even hot. :confused: This concerns me, but perhaps this is normal. Do you have any comments on this?

rickb
20th Jun 2005, 09:50 PM
Smidsy,
Having just bought an MC900 and currently setting it up , I would appreciate seeing the pics of the machine with the "ballast" in place.Did you need to do any modifications also to the height of the lathe?


Hei Sean,
Welcome to the forum.
I have the MC900 and I think the stock legs are the way to go.
These beasts by nature tend to vibrate a little when working unbalanced wood - that is just the nature of the game.
I am by no means an expert in the art of metalurgy but my line of thought is that the steel legs will flex and absorb vibration better than the cast iron ones - cast iron by nature is fairly brittle.

As others have said, bolting the lathe down is the way to go. However what I have done as an alternative which seems to work well, is enclose the base of the lathe up to about 300mm high and fill it with blue metal or similiar - I think blue metal works better than sand because it can absorb the vibration better than sand.

I think I put some pics of this in another thread so search my username (or pm me) if you want more info on this.

Cheers
Paul

smidsy
20th Jun 2005, 10:25 PM
Hei Rick,
I have heard a theory (comments Gatiep?) that the centre of the work should be about level with your elbows, but for me the height of the lathe is very much personal preference - I am 6ft tall and I've found the MC900 fine as it comes.

As for the base, see the pic below. What I did was fit a floor and sides to the the base up to about the cross bar and fill it with gravel - I thought about sand, and some here have suggested bags of cement but my theory is that the loose gravel will absorb vibration better. Ideally the lathe should be bolted down but that isn't practical for me and I've found that the ballast works well as an alternative.

Cheers
Paul

Prince Charles
21st Jun 2005, 08:21 PM
My present wife has Cast Iron legs.


Charles.

gatiep
21st Jun 2005, 09:08 PM
Gatiep, interesting comments. Would you please elaborate a little more on "setting the toolrest up"? I recently purchased a used VL175 without previously having done much turning. I am curious about what you mean by this.

Also, over the weekend I did quite a bit of turning 4 hours one day and a bit longer another. One thing I noticed was that the head stock became quite warm, even hot. :confused: This concerns me, but perhaps this is normal. Do you have any comments on this?
DPB

Put a piece of wood between centers. Turn it to a cylinder. Stop the lathe. Hold the roughing gouge as if you are turning, however make sure that the bevel actually rubs against the wood and the cutting edge is a little above centre height. You want to cut at a height where the wood is coming towards the tool and the tool is slicing the wood, not too low down ( below center height ) where the wood is moving away from the tool and the tool chips bits of wood off rather than slice. Now have a look at the way your body is contorted to hold the tool at that angle. If you are bending over or have your shoulders up high, adjust the toolrest height to get to your normal, comfortable, relaxed standing position. Once the toolrest is such that you are standing comfortable, the bevel rubbing and the cutting edge is a bit above center line........the tool rest is at the right height and you'll be able to turn all day without any back ache......other than what you would get just standing for the same time. The same principal applies to face plate/ chuck work. Rub the bevel with cutting edge above center line. When hollowing endgrain, hold the tool horisontal with the inside of the flute on the center line.
It is rather difficult to explain it in words but try that.......once you can enjoy a days turning without bachache and you get a smooth, fine, clean cut.......your toolrest height is OK!

Students always want to know: How high must I set the tool rest? It is not a fixed position, as it is a product of lathe height, your height, the bevel rubbing and cutting slightly above the center height!



Smidsy: Yes, elbow height is a reasonable height, then toolrest height can be adjusted as needed.


If a sharp tool doesn't cut well, or you feel uncomfortable holding it, adjust the tool rest height.....even 1 mm makes a huge differense. Don't be lazy.....adjust and enjoy!

I trust that the above helps you. Enjoy!

rickb
22nd Jun 2005, 08:19 PM
Thanks Paul - I will take your advice on board. Incidentally, have you had any major dramas with the lathe so far?

DPB
22nd Jun 2005, 08:54 PM
Thanks, Joe. Any copmment on the heat issue?

smidsy
22nd Jun 2005, 09:31 PM
Hei Rick,
I have the MC900 and so far it has run like a clock - even when I managed to pull the head off the base attempting to turn a monster lump of jarrah that was way beyond the ability of the lathe.

As some have said, the speed adjuster can be a little temperamental but I have never had a problem - my routine is to clean with compressed air and then lubiricate liberally with Innox.

The MC's are a cheap lathe, but looked after they are good lathe.
Cheers
Paul

gatiep
23rd Jun 2005, 03:00 AM
DPB


Sorry on overlooking the heat thing.

I have a VL-175 and have worked on a number of others. All the headstocks, especially with a lot of pressure from the tailstock rose in tempretaure. They never became uncomfortably hot. The 175 and other VL lathes have Timkin style tapered roller bearings, similar to what rear wheel drive cars have as front wheel bearings. Because these bearings need the inner cone to press hard onto the outer shell to align and run smoothly, they generate some heat. If you ever felt a cars front wheel hubs after a drive, or a trailer's hubs for that matter, you will find that they are hot. Should this be uncomfortable to the touch the tourque on the nut needs to be slackened off a little bit. Vicmarc torques the headstocks at the factory, but in the manual they make mention on how to adjust them. If your lathe doesn't stop abruptly when you switch the motor off, the tourque should be OK. If the torque gets slackened off too much, the headstock will not run true, will be noisy and with a large blank or VM120 chuck it will freewheel for a long time after turning the motor off. Anyway check your VZL manual for adjustment procedures, but bear in mind that a little adjustment makes a huge difference.
I trust that this helps you.