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SlideValve

My cute little Unimat lathe

Hi, last summer I picked up a small lathe off craigslist for making small parts etc. Orginally i was looking at Harbor Freight lathes, but they had a lot of plastic parts and lacked in the quality department. So i searched on craigslist for a few weeks and all i found huge antique metal lathes, that looked awsome but they were way to big (8+ feet long) so i found this cute little thing, and it was less than the Harbor Freight lathe of similar size.





here is picture compared to a 12 ounce soda can



This is an all original 1960 db200 Unimat metal lathe I came with original wooden box, and several manuals









It even came with the original business reply card! The perforated paper somehow didn't rip in 49 years.




I'm glad i waited for this one, it is far superior quality to a cheap Chinese made lathe IMO, and is somewhat collectible and will gain a little value the only piece i had to buy was drilling chuck. This small lathe is the perfect size for the work im doing right now

Connor
gd9704

That looks like the perfect size for a toy steam enthusiast.  Good find!!!
Michael

Perfect size. Great find
Sandman

Jeez, I could do with that myself.  
igy569

Nice!!  Lucky find! *green with envy*  
SlideValve

Thanks, forgot to mention it came with all the original tooling; bits. I got it from an experienced machinist who had a much larger lathe, vertical mill, drill press, whole nine yards, and he didn't really have a use for it . The only bad thing about this lathe is that the motor gets very hot, but this is an old lathe so it a couple disadvantages over a new lathe, but im very happy with it  
johnreid

As long as you never try to do anything that is too big for it, you should have years of satisfaction with it. Wipe it often with an oily rag as rust is your enemy
mogogear

Good job SlideV,

I had one of these myself for a while- The motor likes to be used for about 8 minutes then turned off and left to cool for 2 minutes or so. This may seem laborious but better than buying a replacement motor for about $200. There are several Unimat enthusiast websites for good tips.

Markone has a Unimat also---turn at a slower speed than you would think and take light cuts..!!

And have fun!
SlideValve

mogogear wrote:
Good job SlideV,

I had one of these myself for a while- The motor likes to be used for about 8 minutes then turned off and left to cool for 2 minutes or so. This may seem laborious but better than buying a replacement motor for about $200. There are several Unimat enthusiast websites for good tips.

Markone has a Unimat also---turn at a slower speed than you would think and take light cuts..!!

And have fun!


My Unimat does the same!
Ross

I really like that! I have nowhere to put one even that small! I think Building a workbench in the shed might help!


Ross
Les

A friend of mine has one of these and I am sure he has an attachement to turn it into a Mill as well. I will check the next time I see him.
Leadfoot-uk

Yes,
    these came with a thicker solid metal bar, the motor / headstock assembly comes off the base exposing a hole for the bar. Mount the motor assembly on this and you have a small vertical miller, superb tool that I am on the lookout for. All manner of accessories are available. Motors come in two flavours, one can take continual running, one needs a rest every now and then. checkout www.lathes.co.uk for reference. Enjoy it, I think it's perfect for our hobby. They are still made but nowhere near the quality.
Dr. Rog

That is a proper light lathe. A real Gem.

The motor looks just right for a computer cooling fan. Does it have an air path right through? I am sure someone has thought of that before.
SlideValve

Yup, it is an air-cooled 1/10 hp motor, it has a screen/mesh in the back of the motor so no large debris can get in, motor still gets very hot though , and the lathe itself only weighs 36 pounds.
SlideValve

Leadfoot-uk wrote:
Yes,
these came with a thicker solid metal bar, the motor / headstock assembly comes off the base exposing a hole for the bar. Mount the motor assembly on this and you have a small vertical miller, superb tool that I am on the lookout for. All manner of accessories are available. Motors come in two flavours, one can take continual running, one needs a rest every now and then. checkout www.lathes.co.uk for reference. Enjoy it, I think it's perfect for our hobby. They are still made but nowhere near the quality.


Yup, here's what it looks like. This should have come with a drill press plate, but i guess you could order these with different amounts of accessories form the factory, so this is the "basic" set up, im still amazed how many things this lathe can turn into  

Rob

i have a unimat sl, very similar to yours, complete with the milling post, but doesnt have any of the tools or posts and im struggling to find any
SlideValve

I found an eBay seller with some useful parts

http://myworld.ebay.com/hkoesnadi/
Les

SlideValve wrote:
I found an eBay seller with some useful parts

http://myworld.ebay.com/hkoesnadi/


http://shop.ebay.com/hkoesnadi/m....from=&_ipg=&_trksid=p3686
Bugsy

There is a Unimat up for auction on Tradera, here in Sweden.
http://www.tradera.com/Emco-Unimat-SL-auktion_101209309
And one of the modern plastic versions as well.
http://www.tradera.com/Unimat-1-S...ip-kombimaskin--auktion_101759617
27ace27

now that's the kind i need!
mogogear

27ace27 wrote:
now that's the kind i need!


Skip the plastic one......at any price...
robertosala

Wow that Unimat is really a cute useful thing.
I could start doing a lot of things with that fantastic lathe!
After taking an intensive course.

Congratulation on your purchase.!!!

of envy too.

Rob
IndianaRog

Connor, that looks like a quality piece of equipment which should work well for the small scale stuff we typically have.  I can see you making safety valves and other bits that are often lost on engines bought on eBay.  With time and practice, you can probably make a whole engine with that!!!

Rog
Wallace

What a really neat lathe. Something like that is just perfect. Not too big.

I think I could even get away with setting it up on the unused end of the dinner table .

Ok maybe not   , but that really is a great size. Great for the commonly needed parts
SlideValve

It comes in handy the handles are a little small for my hands though  
dampfmaschinenjoe 1967

UNIMAT lathes came from Austria and are well known for their versatility ! It might be a Unimat 3 you have there. Even their smallest lathe , Unimat 1 , can be changed to several different electric tools . I want one, but like any precision tools, they are not cheap !
Please google "the cool tool" and you are lead to the toolmakers site !

cheers Joe
Mark-One

I have an SL1000 Unimat (nearly identical), with the same motor.  Only the later plastic case motors were rated for continuous duty, so do follow the 8-on 2-off rule to avoid burning it out.

I have mine plugged into a power bar and I toggle the power on and off there instead of using the old cord switch.  If you turn it off after each cut while you realign the tool and clear up the swarf, it'll have time to cool some.

I picked up 3 extra tool holders on ebay for mine, so I don't have to swap out cutters too often - I did buy a quick change tool post designed for this thing, but it is far too massive and cumbersome, blocking my vision and making turning between centres difficult to the point that swapping out unimat tool holders is a far simpler task.

Unimats tend to flex, especially if you take heavy cuts.  I've knurled steel and felt the ways flexing under the load.  It's done everything that I need it to, however, and for what I do micron-class precision isn't exactly a requirement.

Only downside is you can't cut threads with it, and the threading attachment costs a mint, if you can find one.  Still, I can chuck a tap in the drill chuck and manually feed it in (with the power and belts off), so that is starts straight, then finish up by hand in a vice.  And I have an extra 3-jaw chuck that will hold a die tightly enough to at least start outside threads in brass and aluminum.

I've also not bothered trying to turn tapers, since it involves swiveling the headstock off centre, as the Unimat lacks a compound slide.

But it is a good machine, and so long as the motor lasts, I can't see myself outgrowing it.
Mark-One

Oh, and also before you use it much it would not hurt to learn how (if you have not already), to strip down the headstock for a cleaning and to grease the bearings in it and the idler pulley.  It might not have been done in a long time.

If I remember, the Unimat manual specifies the type and weight of grease to use (can't remember at the moment, but ordinary automotive axle grease is too thick).

I believe the manual specifies a 100hr maintenance interval.
mogogear

SlideValve wrote:
Yup, it is an air-cooled 1/10 hp motor, it has a screen/mesh in the back of the motor so no large debris can get in, motor still gets very hot though , and the lathe itself only weighs 36 pounds.


The computer fan is a nice idea to mount and blow into the brushed end of the motor. They did not design any intake f=blades on the motors - so there is no flow -through air ports though.It might help protect the motor and just help it run cooler over all.I would still cycle it's use though as the ultimate protection.

FYI-There is a motor that has orange parts on the housing- it has a built in fan and does stay much cooler. It was on some later versions of the lathe.

Have fun-- BTW
- have you th e"tommy" bars  for tightening and loosening the chuck? They insert into the holes and you use the m to tighten better than Hand tight. I used some mild steel rod from Home depot or a hardware store-  Cut to a 5" length- heated  them up a few times and quenched them to harden them up!!
SlideValve

dampfmaschinenjoe 1967 wrote:
UNIMAT lathes came from Austria and are well known for their versatility ! It might be a Unimat 3 you have there. Even their smallest lathe , Unimat 1 , can be changed to several different electric tools . I want one, but like any precision tools, they are not cheap !
Please google "the cool tool" and you are lead to the toolmakers site !

cheers Joe


Thanks for the info, but my Unimat is DB200 model, and a s Mark-One said there basically identical to a SL1000

Connor
dampfmaschinenjoe 1967

Maybe for export use they might have another name, but I thought it was a unimat 3 when I saw it first !

cheers Joe
Bugsy

The Unimat I mentioned earlier, it's a Compact 8 by the way, just sold for 8100SEK which is 706 or $1182 US.
Just thought I'd let you know.

It does threads as well, imperial and metric.
Perhaps it's not a Unimat after all.
It's an Emco.
Bugsy

I'm really dizzy this evening, it was this one I was supposed to write about.
It sold for 3300SEK, $482 US.

Sorry about that.
Dr. Rog

I have just come across an advert for a Selecta Unimat.

Marketed in the UK by Selecta Power Tools Ltd of Feltham Middlesex.

Advertised in the Model Engineer, including 3rd April 1958.

I am sure I have read an article reviewing these machines and discussing maintenance. It was not in the batch of magazines with the adverts for Lord knows where it is.


The multi-purpose machine was 24.17.6, (pounds shillings and pence) compared with 33 for a small "Zyto" screwcutting lathe and 55 for a Myford ML7

A small note in a separate advert states "Formally Emco Unimat" so it looks like Selecta dabbled in the branding when they took over the franchise. Without long term success I presume.
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