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.
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.
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. https://my.protospace.ca/school
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.
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)
There are two "special" lathes on auction which are tailstock less. I saw similar stuff before but not sure the same. Maybe they can be modified to work as more normal lathe - maybe it could be a good deal if they can be gotten very cheap.
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
CX813 is a wood lathe... for $350 ($100 extra for tooling) such a large metal lathe would be a steal. I don't have pictures from kijiji on my work PC (they block eBay) so I had to google the model number.
I am not sure whatever it would be that easy to convert stout 1960s wood lathe to some kind of metal lathe. For starters you would need to make a cross slide for it & either make or purchase a compound. Also problems with the head-stock - looks kind of small.
Seems plenty of people tried a conversion, for example -
I would say its a bit easier then making a metal lathe from scratch but a lot of work still & you better have some machining experience behind your belt to have reasonable results. A big project for sure.
well at this exact second.... I got 320$ 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