For those who don’t live in the EU, there’s a chain of shops here called Lidl who do your normal groceries – veg, meat, frozen goods, dairy, soft drinks, biscuits, cereals, alcohol, baby stuff and cleaning stuff and some pharmaceuticals, but they also have “the magic aisle” where they do an impression of aliexpress every week with varying themes. This week, it was DIY and… well…
So, some expectations. This thing cost €80. It is not a mini-lathe 😀 It is not going to be keeping Record Power execs up at night. The Carpentry Store has nothing to worry about here.
BTW, you can get the full manual here.
However, I expect it to be underpowered enough that I can’t completely remove my fingers with it; and to have just about enough power and capacity to turn a replacement chisel handle and maybe some drawer pulls if I’m lucky. It claims it can turn bowls. I think they mean bowl as in sugar bowl, and I don’t think it’ll have the power for it, but just in case I did order a 3″ chuck today off Rutlands (I was buying an upgraded dust extractor in the black friday sales, but more on that when it gets here). It was an ex-demo chuck so I got it for half price, and I figure it’ll still be a waste but at some point I’ll probably get a real mini-lathe and I might be able to use it on that. Otherwise, well, feck, I’d waste more money smoking I guess.
Small safety note – there’s an unmarked box in the larger box that contains the chisels. That small thin baggie is the only thing between the chisel edge and your fingers if you open the wrong end and you’ve a fifty-fifty chance of that, so if you open the wrong end and tip the contents into your hand, well, it’s gonna hurt a bit.
I mean, it’s quite blunt, you’re not going to be nailed to the bench here, but still. Minus one point there lads, not cool.
The faceplate is pure pot metal, I’d be afraid to drop this thing on the floor lest it snap. The thread is M18 with a 1.5 pitch thread. Not sure how that’ll line up with a 3/4″x1.5 pitch thread like the adapter on that chuck but I guess I’ll find out. Not well I’m guessing.
This looks better than it is, the tailstock is all over the place until you lock it down, which is done with a bolt instead of a cam, so you can align it manually, which of course means you can completely fail to align it manually as well. There’s around 3-4mm of misalignment possible.
Right, well, might as well lose a finger. Small tiny 2cmx2cm spindle of cheap pine. Safety squints on (and glasses and ear defenders and no rings or loose sleeves).
It is loud. It vibrates a lot. It is underpowered. The chisels are remarkably dull to the point where my penknife would cut better. And I haven’t a notion of what I’m doing, obviously.
Still though. That’s a lot of fun for €80 😀