Although the market is loaded with mini lathes, few of them offer the convenience of variable speed. Enter Steel City Tool Works' variable-speed mini lathe ($379). Once you start controlling this lathe's speed with its dial, you'll never want to go back. A step pulley is used to set speed ranges, high and low, and the speed dial takes over from there. The low range goes from 500 to 1,350 rpm, and the high range from 1,400 to 3,800 rpm. A 1/2-hp motor supplies the power. The Steel City machine has a 10-in. swing over the bed and 15-in. capacity between centers. Adding a bed extension increases the capacity to 37-3/4 in. The drive spindle is 1-in. diameter with 8 threads per inch (tpi). Both the head and tail stock take a No. 2 Morse taper.
Steel City Tool Works, (877) 724-8665,
www.steelcitytoolworks.com Variable-speed mini lathe, #60100, $379. Bed extension, #60727, $69.