A lathe is a machine that helps cut out the extra material and creates a customized part. Lathes have a significant application in the various engineering sectors. However, purchasing a lathe is not a child’s play. These machines are extremely expensive and need an expert hand to operate.
Fortunately, manufacturers came up with a worthy alternative, the mini lathe machines. So if you are a self-taught engineer or a hobbyist who likes to explore new passions, a mini lathe is your go-gear. Below you can find the uses of a mini lathe.
1. Machine Wooden Counterparts
Lathes are versatile; therefore, they can work on many different materials. You can use a mini-lathe to work on wood counterparts like an industrial lathe. It can make door knobs, leg chairs, wooden bowls, spindles, and other things. Those mentioned above are some common examples, but you can also explore your way around and machine new counterparts.
2. Machine Metals
Metal counterparts have a vast demand, from custom bike parts to alloy jewelry. Fortunately, a mini lathe can help you create metallic elements as well. Since making metallic parts is expensive and time-consuming, it is important to know which metals can withstand lathe machining. We have named a few common ones below.
Aluminum is one of the most commonly used metal for lathe machining. Thanks to the strength and durability, you can make plenty of parts using this metal. Moreover, its anti-corrosive property makes it a good choice for exposed uses.
Copper has incredible conduction properties. That is why it is mostly present in electronics. It is an expensive metal, and machining it is also trickier. Hence, it would be best if you had a good grip on the lathe for a successful carve.
Brass is stable, and its low strength makes it easier to machine. Its anti-corrosive nature and electrical conductivity make it an ideal pick for plumbing counterparts.
3. Machine Plastics
Plastic counterparts are becoming more common due to their easier costs. They are not only easier to purchase but easier to machine as well. Hence, you can machine plastics on a mini lathe as well.
Nylon has a good wrapping ability. Its anti-moisture ability makes it perform robustly in different environments. You can use it to machine parts that require stronger grips. Like handle covers for bicycles or making engine compartments etc.
The plastic wins the favor of a huge crowd due to its durability. It not only has a good impact-resistant factor but is also resistant to scratches. For applications, you will find it rear car bumpers and headlight lenses. Mostly it is transparent, but it also has a good capacity for absorbing dyes.
Expanding to Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, most Lego toys use ABS plastics. Comparing the strength and cost, it is one of the most suitable lathing materials. Moreover, its heat resistance has a decent impact countering ability. You can make a model’s prototype for testing before initializing the mass production.
Mini lathes are not fit for industrial purposes. However, they offer enough strength and variety for your home projects. Moreover, it works like a miniature model on which you can practice before operating a full-sized lathe. Mini lathes can work on all materials as the industrial ones. If you are passionate about machining, you can also start your custom parts business.