Mini Lathe and Coil Winders

Turning a logging tool housing sub on the "Grizz" 7x12 Mini Lathe.

The Grizzly 7x12 Asian Mini Lathe has become an indispensable machine tool in our shop.  Most of these machines are sold to hobbyists, but some professional machinists are using them for small, one-of-a-kind type work.  We use ours to machine small metal and plastic parts for logging tools, and often as a coil winding machine.  The 7x10 version is somewhat smaller, with a four inch shorter bed than the 7x12.  In the United States, Grizzly, Harbor Freight, Homier, Northern Tool & Equipment Co., and others import these Chinese wonders.  The Mini Lathe has been characterized as a "kit machine", requiring considerable time and effort to adjust and modify.  We have done a great deal of work on ours, but it was in fact useable right out of the box.  The resources below offer much guidance on the various mods; also see our brief Mini Lathe Mod page.

The Yahoo 7x10 minilathe group mailing list is an indispensable source of information (if you do not like mailing lists overloading you with emails, join and select the digest format, or select the option where you read the messages at the website).  A number of individuals have created websites devoted to the Asian 7x10/12 Mini Lathe; a few notable ones are Varmit Al's, Frank Hoose's, and Ty's (these sites have links to oodles of machine tool resources and other small lathe enthusiast's sites).  LittleMachineShop.com is an excellent source of parts, tools, and information for these little machines.  Finally, if you are interested in old lathes, check out Tony Griffiths' Lathes in the UK, an incredible collection of information on the granddaddy of all machine tools.

The COWECO Model CS coil winder with Jacobs hand chuck tooling.

Our COWECO Model CS coil winder was manufactured in 1967, and we completely rebuilt it in early 2000.  The Model CS is useful for most CCL coil winding applications.

Azonic dereeler and Whisker Disk®

We use Azonic Tel-A-Tension® wire tensioners in our CCL coil winding operations.  If winding tension is not properly maintained, CCL coils may loosen and fail, especially in the case of shooting CCLs.  We also like the Azonic Whisker Disk®, an ingenious device consisting of nothing more than a piece of round cardboard with radiating "whiskers" made of monofilament fishing line.  This simple device does seem to help prevent "waterfalling" of the magnet wire around the spool.

The Meteor ME301 coil winder (Meteor tensioner not shown).

Our Meteor ME301 coil winder was formerly owned by Bell Petroleum Systems (BPS).  This is our largest winding machine; it is reserved for large coils and production quantity winding jobs.

The George Stevens 212-AM coil winder shown winding a CCL coil.

Our George Stevens 212-AM coil winder was built in July, 2002, for a medical device manufacturing company that went broke; this fine machine was sold on eBay for a mere few pennies on the dollar.  This was one of the last mechanical drive traverse winders Stevens made, and it is ideally suited to winding CCL coils of all types.  The driven tailstock is a handy feature on this machine.

FTC Disclosure: Neither AnaLog Services, Inc. nor the author has an economic interest in any of the companies or products discussed above, and no monetary compensation was received.

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Last 10-20-10