Perth Artifactory

Trace: lathe


Hafco Metalmaster AL-50GA Metal Lathe

al-50ga.jpg The metal lathe is the first tool purchased by communal funds at the Artifactory. Members are responsible for providing tooling and safety equipment for use with the lathe, there is currently a small selection of tooling with the lathe including some cemented carbide tools and HSS blanks which were bought with funds leftover from the initial fundraising, if you use these tools please make a contribution to the wear & tear box and if you break them, you bought them.

The lathe is a very dangerous tool and is not to be used until you have had a safety induction and basic training by someone on the lathe trainers list below. As with all of the heavy tools, you should not use the lathe alone or while tired. Long hair must be tied back and no loose clothing should be worn whilst using this machine.

Approved Users



Instructions for Use

  1. Place material in chuck
  2. Select tooling
  3. Setup tooling
  4. Turn lathe on to spin material
  5. Use tooling to shape material as required
  6. Turn off Lathe to stop material spinning
  7. Remove widget created in the lathe
  8. Return all tooling to appropriate shelving location
  9. Use dustpan & brush to clean up swarf and place in bin (Swarf can be very sharp and loves bare hands)
  10. Switch off lathe & lights leaving a clean and tidy workspace for the next user.

But seriously you need to be trained and know what you are doing to use the lathe is can cause serious injuries.


Tool Height 12mm
Distance Between Centres 500mm
Swing Over Bed 230mm
Swing Over Cross-Slide 130mm
Centre Height 115mm
Spindle Bore 20mm
Spindle Nose Type Threaded
Bed Width 115mm
Headstock Taper 3MT
Tailstock Taper 2MT
Cross-Slide Travel 115mm
Compound Slide Travel 50mm
Longitudinal Feed Range (Z Axis) 0.1 - 0.2 mm/rev
Metric Thread Steps & TPI Range 11 (0.5 - 3 mm)
Imperial Thread Steps & TPI Range 27 (8 - 56 tpi)
3 Jaw Chuck Diameter 100mm
4 Jaw Chuck Diameter 190mm
Spindle Speed Steps & RPM Range 6 (100 - 1800 rpm)


Replacement drive belts (the thin one that snaps from time to time) can be had from Machinery House for $31. CBC has them for $21. Or

It's a GATES 5M710 poly V-belt

Lots of useful info at


The lathe takes 12mm tools.
The cemented carbide bits we have are 1/4 inch and seem to be quite variable in their dimensions and tip quality.
Most of these tools are actually 12.5mm to 13.5mm and cannot be used until they are machined down to spec.
Many of the tool tips simply don't cut at all and need some work with a diamond lap.
Some of the tools have now been machined and require shims, these tools are tested ready to go.

Advanced Tools

There are some advanced tools available for the lathe that are not for general use. If you need to use these tools contact atrophy or bdowning. All use of the advanced tooling must be supervised by a trainer.

Tool Description Insert Replacement Cost
Parting Tool 2mm x 26mm Blade, takes Carbide inserts. $11.00
Boring Bar 12mm x 150mm Boring Bar, Takes 11mm Positive Rake Carbide inserts. $9.00

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