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Hi From Vancouver BC

Hi Everyone,

New member here from Vancouver BC. New-ish to machining. I have seen first hand the machinist working on the metal lathes and mills at my school's machine shop but never got to operate one myself. I would like to purchase my first metal lathe soon and start learning how to machine myself. I have a good grasp of designing parts on the computer but want to take it to the next level and start making components myself.
Welcome to the Forum. If you're looking for hobby level help and tips, you have come to the right place. Lots of seasoned veterans and talent here. Got questions.... ask away.

Thanks YYCHobbyMachinist. I'm looking to buy my first lathe and have my eye on a 14x40 lathe that can do both manual/cnc from cncmasters.com. They are from across the border so before ordering from them, I'd like to see if other members here have any input on that particular machine, if it's worth the purchase or not. I would like to have a lathe that do both manual and cnc as I do have a hobby cnc router and have found the cnc side to be quite beneficial. But having the manual capabilities is also a huge benefit as well for quick cuts.

Welcome to the Forum. If you're looking for hobby level help and tips, you have come to the right place. Lots of seasoned veterans and talent here. Got questions.... ask away.

I've sent them an email inquiring about shipping brokerage, duty/tax and any other fees. I've noticed that too, the base lathe is pretty much the same as many other brands. It's just the option to operate both manual and CNC is what I am after. I'm hoping to see if I can find another similar lathe on this side of the border with both manual and CNC capabilities, it would save me the hassle of dealing with border exchanges.

It looks like that particular company has their own software they use, I will have to clarify if Mach3 can be used on it.

Can a tool changer be added to the lathe?


Premium Member
That's a pretty cool lathe - I quite like the videos and description. A few things I noticed. The base lathe is the standard 14x40 chinese made manual lathe. Lots of people sell that- Modern Tool (Canada), Precision Mathews, Grizzly etc. I have a similar one from Modern Tool and lots of other forum members have it too. Mine even has the "HIGH SPEED LATHE" sticker on it. Nothing wrong with it - it has been a good lathe for me. The CNC control system added on looks pretty good from where I sit. I couldn't tell if a PC was required to be present to operate the lathe but no big deal if it is. Many a Mach 3 user has a computer setup beside the equipment.

Another point is there is no tool changer, when you need a new bit you change the tool yourself. Very interesting. I've never seen this lathe setup like that before.

How much is shipping brokerage and is there any duty/tax besides GST?

I accidentally deleted my original post ... here it is again

Tom Kitta

Active Member
Looks like standard Chinese lathe with added CNC kit on top.

The CNC add on doubles the price to 10k from 5k (USD)

The base lathe as other have mentioned is a good machine. The question is whatever add on kit is worth a whopping 5k. I think it is rather expensive option, but they do need to make a profit.

I doubt there is a provision for a tool changer - if there was it would be expensive - the lather is a retrofired manual machine not a dedicated CNC.
Would you think it would be better if I tried to do my own lathe conversion.

On second thought, it might just be better to buy one already assembled.


Ultra Member
Premium Member
I'm always intrigued when they say Manual or CNC on the same machine. If its CNC I would assume ball screws. I can see turning ball screws by hand to manually position the carriage or whatever. But in manual mode how do you lock those positions so they don't free float on the balls? I think steppers maintain position by locking (in the electrical sense) the rotational lead screw axis, but how do you do the equivalent of that by hand? Secondary clamp the cross slide every pass? Or do they mean CNC but conventional lead screws?

Tom Kitta

Active Member
I saw a CNC in manual mode (Haas lathe I think) and what it had was tiny handles that actually gave input to the motors - you turned the handle and the motor moved the appropriate element.

As for retrofit I don't see why they would want to use non-ball screws for power - machine precision would suffer.

For moving the saddle left to right I don't see a big problem with both manual / motorised input. The threading screw stays the same. The power feed is replaced through and now has a motor powering it. The saddle can still be moved manually with power feed off. The saddle uses rack- teeth to move after all. I am not sure whatever you could use in manual mode power feed through gears in the lathe head-stock - maybe they would simply move the servo motor which was off.

Moving cross slide is a bit of a problem through - you have only 1 screw - motor could be on the other side of the screw but you would need to disconnect it to move it by hand.

I think compound is left as is - stock. Cheapest model doesn't even have QCTP.

Tom Kitta

Active Member
Yes for any mini lathe 7x10 7x12 7x14

There seems to be a lot of info on this particular CNC mod.

I seen it by accident when I quickly googled this topic.