Portable repair lathe?

Shiftysmooth

Just The Tip cue repairs
Gold Member
Silver Member
Been a long time, but thinking about getting back into the repair game. Unfortunately sold my toolbox lathe (check history) with years of tools years ago. I'd once again be the only mechanic in like a 30 mile radius, but would like the option of having something portable, but not a crap Ebay setup. Looking for something that has a bed and tailstock. I cant decide looking at repair lathes from Cuesmith, Mid America or Porper. I have a buddy with a full woodshop if I end up going into building, so want to focus on repair. Who's the best bang for the buck with most accessories like a drilling tailstock, steady rests, collets, driver pins, etc. I want a order and go setup. Thanks guys.
 

GoldCrown

Pool players have more balls
Gold Member
Silver Member
Been a long time, but thinking about getting back into the repair game. Unfortunately sold my toolbox lathe (check history) with years of tools years ago. I'd once again be the only mechanic in like a 30 mile radius, but would like the option of having something portable, but not a crap Ebay setup. Looking for something that has a bed and tailstock. I cant decide looking at repair lathes from Cuesmith, Mid America or Porper. I have a buddy with a full woodshop if I end up going into building, so want to focus on repair. Who's the best bang for the buck with most accessories like a drilling tailstock, steady rests, collets, driver pins, etc. I want a order and go setup. Thanks guys.
For portability the CueSmith Micro ll with the 36” and extension. However so is the MidAmerica with motor removed. Best bang for buck is either unless one suits you better in the future. The CueSmith ll has a short gear rack ( if that’s what it’s called). The Mid has a full length gear rack.
 
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muskyed

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have the Mid America, and I love it. If I had a do over i would have gotten the large bore version. Can easily be portable. Get something you can do more than just put tips on with. I can do alot with mine, but, and this is an important but, you can only do so much with a bore that is small.
 

GoldCrown

Pool players have more balls
Gold Member
Silver Member
I have the Mid America, and I love it. If I had a do over i would have gotten the large bore version. Can easily be portable. Get something you can do more than just put tips on with. I can do alot with mine, but, and this is an important but, you can only do so much with a bore that is small.
I have the large bore. I turn canes and other things with it. .... has been said Buy Once Cry Once.

edit.... need it soon? See how long the build time is. Either is worth waiting for. You will get a quality product... packed and shipped properly
 
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Shiftysmooth

Just The Tip cue repairs
Gold Member
Silver Member
I have the large bore. I turn canes and other things with it. .... has been said Buy Once Cry Once.

edit.... need it soon? See how long the build time is. Either is worth waiting for. You will get a quality product... packed and shipped properly
Thanks! And agreed, my old toolbox lathe could do most repairs except crazy precise work, I did crack repairs, tenons, ferrules, tips. Working on funds to get back into this, so not sure what my time frame is right now. Planning on selling my Goldwing so may be a little bit when it gets warmer.
 

dendweller

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
I have the Mid America, and I love it. If I had a do over i would have gotten the large bore version. Can easily be portable. Get something you can do more than just put tips on with. I can do alot with mine, but, and this is an important but, you can only do so much with a bore that is small.
Funny thing about the large bore headstock, I spoke with Chris H years ago about his lathes and joint work and he said the most accurate way to do joint work is using a steady rest with accurate collets, which you can do with the small bore headstock. I believe his point was, there is more run out with a self adjusting chuck than a steady with accurate collets.
I think you can get more done with a small bore headstock than people realize if you have some good steady rests and collets.

That being said, I've owned a couple of the large bore headstocks and they are convenient.
 

muskyed

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
There can be some runout with the inexpensive chucks. While mine was within their tolerance, I decided to try and make it better.
First I bought a piece of machined rod to chuck in and checked the runout. Then I unbolted one of the jaws that was pushing the rod away and tried to sand the curve with the rod and some sand paper. Don't waste your time trying to do it that way. The jaw never went back on exactly the same.
I then called Mid America for help. They said to open the jaws to apx the normal range you would use and feed a boring bit through while running. I didn't want to wait for the bit, so I made my own as I had bit stock from my woodturning hollowing equipment. Was really simple then, they told me to cut a couple thousandths first then do a final pass at .001. I did a couple passes at .001 then a final pass at half that. It cut like butter and is about as accurate as an inexpensive chuck can be. I do still have to shim the jaws at times when chucking over the wood portion of the shaft.
You can not expect these chucks to have the precision and adjustability of a machinest chuck, but they still can achieve an excellent result.
 

GoldCrown

Pool players have more balls
Gold Member
Silver Member
Will the large bore easily line up with the other components…. If so I’d consider upgrading
to the large.
 

chuckpilegis

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have the Mid America, and I love it. If I had a do over i would have gotten the large bore version. Can easily be portable. Get something you can do more than just put tips on with. I can do alot with mine, but, and this is an important but, you can only do so much with a bore that is small.
You can buy the largebore headstock for under 300. They are taig based so pretty much interchangeable, probably buy taig parts and be a few bucks ahead.
 

muskyed

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Then I would want a bigger motor, probably easier to just sell what I have and buy a new one.
 

dendweller

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
You can not expect these chucks to have the precision and adjustability of a machinest chuck, but they still can achieve an excellent result.
I was reading a book on metal turning. What this guy said was if you wanted no run out you needed to use a chuck where the jaws are individually adjustable rather than the self centering one.

Don't know about you but I won't be using one of those any time soon. I think the ones from either Todd or Chris are plenty accurate for me.
 

dendweller

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Then I would want a bigger motor, probably easier to just sell what I have and buy a new one.
Yep, I was buying a double bearing steady because they where more accurate than the single and trying to keep using that with the smaller headstock. Todd told me the double bearing steady really needed a bigger motor than I used so there's that snow ball effect. I ended up with the larger headstock, 3/4 hp motor and the double bearing steady rest. My plan didn't work out the way I thought it would.
 

chuckpilegis

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Then I would want a bigger motor, probably easier to just sell what I have and buy a new one.
When I ordered the midamerica pro a little while ago was quoted 16 weeks, it came in a little more than 10 weeks. Dont know if you have that much time to wait
 

dendweller

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Don't know if this is still available but it's still listed.

 

WilleeCue

The Barefoot Cuemaker
Silver Member
Can not believe no one has mentioned Unique Products.

Have you looked at the Cue Companion made by Unique Products?
American made quality and really great design ... Collet style chuck has its advantages.
Finger safe, smooth, accurate, and will last you a lifetime.
Good tools make any task so much easier.
Jim at Unique products has just about any cue repair or making equipment you would need.
.
 

WilleeCue

The Barefoot Cuemaker
Silver Member
I was reading a book on metal turning. What this guy said was if you wanted no run out you needed to use a chuck where the jaws are individually adjustable rather than the self centering one.

Don't know about you but I won't be using one of those any time soon. I think the ones from either Todd or Chris are plenty accurate for me.
A dial indicator and some paper for shims are all you need to get within .001" on just about any properly set up scrolling chuck.
Dont let any one spoof you into thinking you need better than .001" accuracy for making or repairing pool cues.
 

WilleeCue

The Barefoot Cuemaker
Silver Member
There can be some runout with the inexpensive chucks. While mine was within their tolerance, I decided to try and make it better.
First I bought a piece of machined rod to chuck in and checked the runout. Then I unbolted one of the jaws that was pushing the rod away and tried to sand the curve with the rod and some sand paper. Don't waste your time trying to do it that way. The jaw never went back on exactly the same.
I then called Mid America for help. They said to open the jaws to apx the normal range you would use and feed a boring bit through while running. I didn't want to wait for the bit, so I made my own as I had bit stock from my woodturning hollowing equipment. Was really simple then, they told me to cut a couple thousandths first then do a final pass at .001. I did a couple passes at .001 then a final pass at half that. It cut like butter and is about as accurate as an inexpensive chuck can be. I do still have to shim the jaws at times when chucking over the wood portion of the shaft.
You can not expect these chucks to have the precision and adjustability of a machinest chuck, but they still can achieve an excellent result.
Dremel tool with a grinding wheel mounted on the tool post ... grind the jaws even at what ever diameter you use most.
Go with very small cuts.
 

dendweller

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
A dial indicator and some paper for shims are all you need to get within .001" on just about any properly set up scrolling chuck.
Dont let any one spoof you into thinking you need better than .001" accuracy for making or repairing pool cues.
Only work on my own cues, If I get to .001 it's by mistake. Thanks
 
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