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View Full Version : cue repair/building lathe - What should I buy?



Godzilla
11-19-2005, 07:52 PM
Hi all,

I've been posting a lot of questions over on az but I thought I should come over here and see if any cue builders might be able to give me a little insight. I want to get into the repair and eventually building of cues and I'm trying to determine what would be best for me to buy. I've received quite a bit of info so far, I am either looking at a deluxe cuesmith

deluxe cuesmith (http://www.cuesmith.com/index.php?menu1=menu_lathes&page=cue_lathe_deluxe)

or a 12X36 or larger metal lathe and doing all the modifying that I need to build cues. I was pretty sold on the cuesmith until I came across this lathe second hand but never used

Central machinery lathe (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=33274)

He wants $2800 for it (cdn $) with a stand and its worth about $3700 to get anything remotely close up here. I would love to hear any comments on either from any cue builders as too which one I should buy.

Thanks for any help

Matt LeClerc

FastJoey
11-19-2005, 09:22 PM
go with one from Chris Hightower www.hightowercues.com (http://www.hightowercues.com) you can even go to his place and get hands on instruction...

Cueless Joey
11-19-2005, 11:48 PM
If you want a headache, get that imported lathe.
If you want to get started now, get the CH lathe.

caedos
11-22-2005, 03:11 PM
If you can learn to use a lathe effectively without the supporting phone calls and video that Hightower provides, I would go with the Central Machinery lathe as long as you can verify it has 7/8" or larger hole through the spindle. I work on a craft lathe with a .75" spindle hole, and I extended the tail stock with a jig I built and attached to the workstation the lathe is mounted on. The equipment of a craft lathe ($450 reg.price, on sale $350), Hitachi mobile mitre saw stand ($200), cutting blades ($1-3 each), water pipe for collets($2/ft), dial indicator and magnetic base ($30), micrometer ($25), utility knife($8), spotlight($15), and steady rest($95 pre-fab or $40 self-built). After glues, cleaners, cloths, paper towels, magic erasers, vacuum cleaners, eye protection, a wood lathe with sanding disk($79 on sale), miscellaneous hardware to build jigs and tooling, tips, ferrules, files, a grinder ($40), toggle clamps, bar clamps, rubber bands, extension cords, power strips, and various tools I already had... I figure my total cost to be up and running just doing tips, ferrules, and cleanings is below $2000. Chris Hightower's strong point to me is the product and purchase support and training he provides.

Pick your poison, it's all good.


"I drank what?" - Socrates



Carl

sliprock
11-22-2005, 06:58 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Godzilla:</font><hr> Hi all,

I've been posting a lot of questions over on az but I thought I should come over here and see if any cue builders might be able to give me a little insight. I want to get into the repair and eventually building of cues and I'm trying to determine what would be best for me to buy. I've received quite a bit of info so far, I am either looking at a deluxe cuesmith

deluxe cuesmith (http://www.cuesmith.com/index.php?menu1=menu_lathes&amp;page=cue_lathe_deluxe)

or a 12X36 or larger metal lathe and doing all the modifying that I need to build cues. I was pretty sold on the cuesmith until I came across this lathe second hand but never used

Central machinery lathe (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=33274)

He wants $2800 for it (cdn $) with a stand and its worth about $3700 to get anything remotely close up here. I would love to hear any comments on either from any cue builders as too which one I should buy.

Thanks for any help

Matt LeClerc <hr /></blockquote>

Hi Matt.
I've been doing cue repair work for a couple of years and now I'm starting to build some cues. Here's my 2 cents..

I started out with an import lathe and I just recently bought a Hightower Lathe. If you eventually plan on building cues, I would buy the Hightower lathe. I used to be sceptical of Chris' machines, but for what you get, they are quite the little tush hog. The lathes come with everything you need to get started, plus Chris is just a phone call away if you need anything.

If you want to concentrate on repair work. The imports might be a cheaper option but personally I wouldn't even think of it unless you have a machinist background or have some buddies that are machinists that can give you a hand. I'm not trying to talk you out of the import, but you would/will be surprised at the amount of time and money you'll spend making modifications to the import just for simple repair work. I still have my import lathe and I use it for 99% of my repair jobs, but that's mainly because I'm so used to it, and I've done so much work with it over the years. It will always be my "go-to" lathe for repair work, but if I had to do it all over again, I would have spent the extra money and bought Chris' Deluxe lathe. I'm sure other people have had different experiences, but for me, with my machining background(or lack of) The Hightower lathe would have been a better option for me. I'd bet it would have been cheaper also. Hope this helps.

Steve Hasty

wolfdancer
11-22-2005, 07:16 PM
Carl, i owned a Hightower lathe, not the deluxe though. it worked well for repairs. then I had access to a Porper lathe, at the pool room.
I think the Porper is better, but costs another $600.
I wouldn't want to do any serious cue making on either.
I know a couple of guys that bought a lathe...and thought they were now cuemakers....like buying tools will make you a mechanic.
Dennis Diekman said he built his first cue on a wood lathe...and then switched to a metal lathe.
I think cue-making is part craftsmanship, part artistry....and it would require working under a good cuemaker for X years, before you could turn out "something of value"

BLACKHEART
11-22-2005, 11:04 PM
GODZILLA check your PM...JER