Mini-Lathe Tools & Projects for Home Machinists

Review of a book by David Fenner
Mini-Lathe Tools & Projects for Home Machinists
by David Fenner
Published in the US by:
Fox Chapel Publishing
903 Square St.
Mount Joy PA 17552
5 3/4" x  81/4", softbound, 120 pages
Price: $12.99
A metal lathe is one of the most versatile tools that a serious modeler can own. An amazing array of different types of parts can be made on it, from simple turnings to complex pieces of machinery. The basic, off-the-shelf machine is just a starting point, as there is an endless variety of accessories and add-ons that can be made for it, often using the lathe itself for much of the work.

David Fenner’s tool of choice is the popular mini-lathe, made in China, produced by the tens of thousands, and sold all over the world. Copious information about this machine in all of its incarnations can be found on the Internet.

David’s book, originally published in the UK, describes in detail the construction of several useful accessories for the mini-lathe. These include an improvement to a radius-turning attachment, a tailstock offset device for turning tapers, a more complicated and advanced taper-turning attachment, a couple of tailstock turrets, a pair of dividing heads—one simple and one more complex, and a knurler, to name a few.

The book is well and clearly written. The photographs, all in color, are generally good, though I would liked to have seen some of them larger. Also, not all of the projects had clear photos of the finished project.

Each project contains a complete set of drawings for each individual part, as well at the written description of how they should be made. As the author is British, most of the measurements given in the book are metric. Some projects, though not all, require the use of other tools, primarily a milling machine.

If you already have a metal lathe, or if you are thinking about getting one, this book is recommended.


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