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Porper B or Deluxe Lathe?
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Moonraker
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Porper B or Deluxe Lathe? - 02-13-2009, 08:35 PM

Just looking for opinions on which lathe is better? Porper B or Deluxe Cuesmith? My applications would include building a cue from the butt to the tip.

Thanks,
MR
  
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02-14-2009, 12:48 PM

No opinions?
  
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02-14-2009, 01:36 PM

Both lathes do adequate work. If I had to choose only one, i'd start with the deluxe.


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02-14-2009, 01:40 PM

MO:

I looked at all three machines, Porper B, Deluxe, and Cue Maker from Unique.

To me, the Cue Maker and the Deluxe are better machines for building cues. I have worked and owned both.

Chris (Hightower), and Jim (Unique) are both 100% great to work with.

cbi
  
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02-14-2009, 01:44 PM

I've never used a Porper but my Cuesmith Deluxe with the indexing head, reverse, dual chucks, taper bars and router is a great machine that will do everything required to build a cue short of inlaying complex shapes. Chris Hightower offers fantastic customer service and he's always designing some new attachment or accessory to make the machine more useful and accurate. I was at his web site the other day and he even has a steady rest now with a chuck on a bearing mounted on the rest. I'm a hobbyist but I use the machine a lot and have had it since 04; with the exception of some minor routine maintenance and some small technical glitches that were easily solvable the machine is very durable and reliable. Lot's of guys on here use them and I haven't really heard anything bad. I'm sure the Porper machines are good as well.
  
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02-14-2009, 02:22 PM

I don't know anything about the Porper, but I can tell you that the Deluxe is a great machine. It will do anything you need it to do and then some. It is also rugged and stays accurate. Along with that, you will not find a better guy to deal with than Chris Hightower. All around great guy with lots of knowledge. JMHO.
  
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02-14-2009, 02:52 PM

The model-B & deluxe are both staple machines in my shop. Neither is stock as I have made immense mods. I had the porper first & it has been involved in every cue I have ever built. Each machine has it's unique strengths and weaknesses.

The porper is solid & sound & has variable speed, which is handy for several things. The tailstock is solid for accurate joint work, but it's non-adjustable so you get what you got. The chuck can be tuned to run within .0005" runout & is equivelant to a machine lathe in repeatability, very good chuck.

The deluxe has two chucks mounted a few inches apart that make working with individual components a breeze. It has a locking carriage, also with adjustments so it can be tuned for extreme accuracy. The tailstock is adjustable but not quite as sturdy as the porper. It has a very nice bearing rest that utilizes collets for high accuracy. If you make tapered ID collets with the ID to match your work, then you can get great accuracy. Last but not least is the taper bar system, especially if it's your only machine. The shaft bar is infinitely adjustable & the spring pressure keeps the carriage securely pressed to it. It's a simple but wonderful tapering system.

Overall, i'd start with the deluxe first if I had it to do over again. I still use mine for facing parts & other critical jobs. The porper would be bar-none best, ultimate cuemaking lathe if it had a few mods in design. But as is, both machines will build a very nice cue and are easy to use.


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02-14-2009, 04:08 PM

deluxe... IMO best machine for the cash hands down.
  
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Deluxe - 02-14-2009, 07:51 PM

I have a deluxe ,and iI use it for everything . I have to it's the only lathe in my shop (right now) ...Great tool..get one... Ray
  
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02-14-2009, 08:48 PM

Thank you all for this great information. From what I'm reading, I think I'll start with a Deluxe Cuesmith from Hightower. I already bought his videos a few months ago just so I could see his machine in action before making a purchase.

One more quick question. Would I be ahead to purchase the Deluxe or go with a metal lathe and get it to the point to build cues? I had a metal lathe once, but never got it to that point before I sold it.

Thanks,
MR
  
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02-14-2009, 10:32 PM

Depends on the time, mechanical expertise & money you want to put into it. To get a metal lathe to do what the deluxe will, it'll cost quite a bit & and require heavy mods to the lathe. Once modified to the point of being an all-in-one cuemaking lathe, then of course the metal lathe would likely be best. It'll cost likely more than twice as much, though.

Most guys have a good metal lathe, then a machine for cutting tapers such as shafts & butts. If I were going to spend the money, i'd get a good 13x40 with a great chuck & then i'd get a CNC taper machine that can be programmed to cut butt tapers, shaft tapers, point grooves & possibly even do inlay work. Or with the deluxe you can do all except inlay for $3G's. It'll be cheap enough to know whether you really like cuemaking or not, and if not then they retain good resale value.


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02-14-2009, 11:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by qbilder
The model-B & deluxe are both staple machines in my shop. Neither is stock as I have made immense mods. I had the porper first & it has been involved in every cue I have ever built. Each machine has it's unique strengths and weaknesses.

The porper is solid & sound & has variable speed, which is handy for several things. The tailstock is solid for accurate joint work, but it's non-adjustable so you get what you got. The chuck can be tuned to run within .0005" runout & is equivelant to a machine lathe in repeatability, very good chuck.

The deluxe has two chucks mounted a few inches apart that make working with individual components a breeze. It has a locking carriage, also with adjustments so it can be tuned for extreme accuracy. The tailstock is adjustable but not quite as sturdy as the porper. It has a very nice bearing rest that utilizes collets for high accuracy. If you make tapered ID collets with the ID to match your work, then you can get great accuracy. Last but not least is the taper bar system, especially if it's your only machine. The shaft bar is infinitely adjustable & the spring pressure keeps the carriage securely pressed to it. It's a simple but wonderful tapering system.

Overall, i'd start with the deluxe first if I had it to do over again. I still use mine for facing parts & other critical jobs. The porper would be bar-none best, ultimate cuemaking lathe if it had a few mods in design. But as is, both machines will build a very nice cue and are easy to use.

I enjoyed reading your comments on these machines, I own a Porper B, and a Porper repair lathe. I have not used any of Mr. Hightowers lathes so I have nothing to compare my Machines too. I often hear negative things about the Porper lathes on this forum, and like you the Porper Lathe was the first Machine I have ever owned. The only other experience I have is about 5 years working in a Machine Shop with Clausing and other Metal Lathes and Mills. While my experience is limited the Porper B is the closest Cue specific lathe I have seen that comes close to what some one would expect in over all accuracy and power to that of a metal lathe.

I do agree however, that some changes would be great, and these could make the Porper the ultimate machine. But, I do not think by choosing a Porper Lathe to learn on should hold anyone back, I suspect which ever machine is chosen how far some one go's building cues will be greatly influenced by their individual creativity and ability. I think the best part about choosing a Porper B over others will be long term, I mean even if some one decides to become serious about building cues and upgrades to a metal lathe, their Porper will still have many uses.

I would not change anything concerning the equipment I have chosen to date, well except the Chinese Drill bits I purchased on eBay All I can say about that is buy American tooling, that is one area where America is still strong.

Just My thoughts.


Best Regards

"Warlock 1"

Craig W. Rittel

Last edited by manwon; 02-14-2009 at 11:27 PM.
  
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02-15-2009, 01:22 PM

It is indeed the closest to a machine lathe than any other cuemaking lathe. That's why I bought it in the first place. I have a machine background & thought the porper looked much more like something for me. Perhaps I expected too much. It's still a staple machine in my shop, but vaguely similar to a stock machine from factory.


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02-15-2009, 11:36 PM

Deluxe + 1

good machine and good service




Kathy‧Kao Custom Cue


my Machine:

1.Deluxe Cue Smith
2.MICRO CUE SMITH II
3.Uniqueinc CUEMONSTER CNC
4.Uniqueinc Cue Maker
5.Uniqueinc Taper Shaper
  
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02-19-2009, 11:05 AM

Trying to decide between a Hightower/Unique repair lathe. Unique sent me his video to view his product in action. Hightower won't. Any chance of loaning your video for a preview of his product? I'll gladly include the cost of your shipping when I return it.
  
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