Originally Posted by Dan
...TALK TO ME ALL YOU Machinist GUYS!!!! It is the most expensive tool I have ever bought and I know what I need to do to make the bushing I need, am lost as how to do all the cool stuff I now can. Let fly! ...
From the stuff I have bought, and judging by what I use a lot and don't, here is the accessories I would recommend, in random order. What you need first depends on what you try to do first-
...you will need at least one magnetic dial indicator base and dial indicator, because you'll need to be able to check that parts are centered in the lathe chuck. The China dial indicators w/bases are cheap and work to .001", which is good enough for the small China machines. Here's one example-
LittleMachineShop.com - Dial Indicator and Magnetic Base
You REALLY want at least one indicator that has a range of 1+ inches.
...there is also different point sets for the dial indicators (most dial indicators use the same point threading). This is not critical, but having different points to use does come in handy and everywhere sells them for only like $4. Mostly I only use three points--a 60-degree point, a small "ball end", and a larger "ball end".
LittleMachineShop.com - Point Set, Dial Indicator
...there is the 'other' kind of indicator, that is called a "test indicator", like this-
LittleMachineShop.com - Dial Test Indicator, 0-15-0 x 0.0005"
These are good to have, but you can get by without them. The accuracy is usually better than the first kind, but the measuring range is much smaller.
...you will want a live center for the lathe tailstock, which is MT2 (I believe). Littlemachineshop has that for $30-
LittleMachineShop.com - Live Center, 2MT Standard
...to make a part in the lathe by turning it "on centers", you will need center drills. This is what they look like. They don't cost much but the little ones break VERY easily...
LittleMachineShop.com - Center Drills, Set of 5 (Numbers 1-5)
...to drill centered holes with the lathe, you need a chuck that fits into the tailstock, $30-
LittleMachineShop.com - Drill Chuck, 1/2" with 2MT Standard Arbor
...a carbide scribe, for scratchin on steel. I use permanent markers for Dykem, mainly because I haven't remembered to order any Dykem yet. :P
...You will also need some calipers. There's cheap 8" dial calipers for $25 or so, but you need to check that these are zeroed every time before you use them. There's vernier calipers for $10 or so, but you need to do the math to use them.
...I have a set of China micrometer calipers that I haven't ever used. The accuracy of them is finer (.0001") than what these smaller China machines can cut to.
...the lathe chuck is a 3-jaw, and likely a scroll chuck. They work great sometimes but tend not to center well, and cannot grab non-round or off-center parts. Since sometimes the 3-jaw will work better and other times the 4-jaw will, it's worth keeping both chucks functional. To get a 4-jaw on there, you'd need the chuck (~$75) plus you need to find out the spindle threads, so you can buy the right back plate (~$65).
...I see no milling vise (some 3-in-1's incorporate one into the lathe toolpost). Since these machines don't have a lot of room, I would suggest you consider a screwless vise. Try to get one that has slots cut in the sides and ends, as these are easier to clamp. Here is one at Shar's with the side slots, but other places sell them too- shars.com - Precision Toolmakers Vise 4-7/8"
(you may need something to raise the vise up a bit, but it's hard to tell that right now)
...you will need some t-nuts to fit the slots of the apron/table surface. Littlemachineshop sells all the smaller sizes, that places like Enco often don't carry at all. Try to get t-nuts that have an English threading, so you can go buy cheap allthread rod at the hardware store, and use that for studs. Yea, the 'real' clamping kits have hardened black-oxide studs, but for 99% of the time, cheap zinc-plated hardware store all-thread rod will work just as well (you can cut it into whatever length you need it). When the rod gets chewed up (the rod is softer than the nuts) you toss the rod, and cut another piece.
(continued in next post!)