Anyone have hands-on experience with the new Sieg CO mini-lathe?
I looked up the Seig mini on Harbor Freight but could find no
accessories for it. Based on reponses in earlier threads concerning
this type of Chinese lathe there will be quality, accuracy, and setup
issues but if there is not a substantial line of accessory tooling I
would avoid it for sure. In particular, to make a lathe even
moderately useful, you need a collet system, four jaw scroll chuck,
and three and/or four jaw independent chucks.
Another overlooked feature of the smaller lathes is the gib system
used. A gib is an adjustable face on the carriage or cross slide
which, when set properly, removes all play perpendicular to the
direction of travel but still allows free movement. Some machines use
a brass gib held in place - and adjusted by - three or four set
screws and are usually time consuming/frustrating in getting adjusted
Sherline has a very neat system using a tapered plastic(?) gib which
is adjusted by loosening a single allen set screw and it is
incredibly quick and easy to adjust.
The basic Sherline is more than twice the money but I think it would
be more useful to you and the tooling plus manufacturer support and
inexpensive parts replacement, not to mention "out of the box"
functionality, would make it far, far, superior to the Seig Mini.
Just my opinion, of course.