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Wanted: Metal Lathe

For $ 55 a month that Protospace place seems like your best deal. It's cute having your own stuff but you also own the hassle of the maintenance, transport, mess, cost. For $ 55 you have no stress plus access to a ton of other equipment and the knowledge of the other members.

Tom Kitta

Active Member

Did anyone bother to join to check them out? Last time I looked at it they had extra fees for use of some high end equipment like extra for lathe / mill and extra for their small CNC. They also had a signup to use these machines - i.e. it was busy to use the lathe during the day on weekend.

But it would be nice to hear first hand. $55 a month or $600 a year is cheap if access / extra fees were not an issue. Heating my garage / electricity for it would come close not counting the equipment.


Ultra Member
Premium Member
Coincidentally, I was just on Protospace website. I don't know much about them other than the one meet-up we did there - what was it 2 years ago now?

Anyways, I see they offer classes including lathe intro stuff which might be another benefit depending on your knowledge & skill level. If you are already proficient & its more just about getting machine time then disregard. Aside from SAIT & Continuing Ed evening class, there aren't many resources.

footnote: SAIT prices are stupidly high now. Holy crap, basic lathe course, 36 hours, 650 smacks.


Active Member
I have been a member at Protospace for quite a while. There are no charges for use of equipment and never has been.

The only exception is the Trotec laser cutter where you are limited to a few hours a month of free usage. The Rabbit laser cutter is always free.

There are some small charges for consumables like welding gas and welding wire. If you use shared filament on the 3D printers, there is a per-gram charge that covers the cost of the material used.

I teach the manual lathe and manual mill classes, which are very cheap ($10 each). For people that have significant experience, I will generally give them a pass on the training requirement. Those classes are each about 6 hours long and try to cover enough to get you started on safely using those machines. Most other courses are in the same price range (welding is a bit more since it uses more materials), and are one day or less.

Weekend day-time is the busiest times in the Protospace shop, followed by weekday evenings. Equipment access is usually not an issue. The laser cutters are often the busiest tools.

Tom Kitta

Active Member
When do they have next open house? Maybe membership is warranted just for some specialty tool rental - even single month membership of $55 may not be that bad if you really need something.

But I was unable to find exact specs as to what they have - thus open house option seems OK to take a look at it.
When do they have next open house? Maybe membership is warranted just for some specialty tool rental - even single month membership of $55 may not be that bad if you really need something.

But I was unable to find exact specs as to what they have - thus open house option seems OK to take a look at it.
You need to be trained or prove you are competent with each machine you want to use. So keep that in mind. Might chew up a good portion of a single month membership. (I went during the open doors YYC thing)

Tom Kitta

Active Member
Those links didnt work. But to be honest at this moment in time, there is no money to go into it. Or at least very little. I am working a second job with a blacksmith to get some extra coin, but I can only work 1 day a week with him as the rest of my time is my normal job and my family. As soon as I have enough coin saved up, I will def be reaching out to this crew to help me spend it though ;)

Tom Kitta

Active Member
CX813 is a wood lathe... for $350 ($100 extra for tooling) such a large metal lathe would be a steal. I don't have pictures from kijiji on my work PC (they block eBay) so I had to google the model number.

For about same money or maybe even $250 or so you can get a heavy free standing (with pedestal) wood lathe - made in probably 60s. Delta - Rockwell like this one: https://picclick.com/delta-rockwell-wood-lathe-123265430041.html#&gid=1&pid=1 Its significantly more metal and more sturdy construction.

I am not sure whatever it would be that easy to convert stout 1960s wood lathe to some kind of metal lathe. For starters you would need to make a cross slide for it & either make or purchase a compound. Also problems with the head-stock - looks kind of small.

Seems plenty of people tried a conversion, for example -

I would say its a bit easier then making a metal lathe from scratch but a lot of work still & you better have some machining experience behind your belt to have reasonable results. A big project for sure.
I’m gonna working my way to save up 3k. Hoping I can get something like a used king 1236. Going to take me a while though. But at least that tells you guys what I’m setting my goals to.

Tom Kitta

Active Member
CT089 is the old lathe I had. Got it new like 4 years ago for around 2400 and sold it 2 years ago for 2200. Probably if I still had it I would sell it for around 2400-2500.

New CT709 which is re-painted copy with a touch bigger engine sells for 3200 plus tax.

If someone is selling it in like new condition for just $1200 its a steal - I would even buy it myself for some smaller work or to give it to my dad.

Maybe you can get a milling machine first instead of a lathe - here you can get a rather large powerful mill for just $1500 - https://www.kijiji.ca/v-business-in...00/1395311239?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true
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How about a crafted ct089? 13by24.? He is asking 1200, it has hardly ever been run and only on aluminum.
well at this exact second.... I got 320$ for it :)
I can only work a little bit once a week to go into this pot. Rest of my free time (which is limited) is reserved for my family. So it would be nice, but still cant do it yet. Will advise when I am closer to my goal value then we can start shopping ;)

Tom O

Active Member
One thing to consider before buying is the power needed, your looking at around $10,000.00 and another $600.00 for a surge protector + installation for a phase perfect unit for a 26 kw spindle.