In The Immortal Words Of Alice Cooper….

Welcome To My Nightmare.

The New To Me 12 inch Mini Lathe Upgrade kit showed up today.


It started the minute I got the box opened up.

The guy Bagged it, Tagged it and Shipped it.

As Is.

Didn’t even bother cleaning it a little bit.

So that will be the first thing to do.

Upon closer inspection, I did see a few dings and a little wear evidenced by the amount of paint worn off the underside of the ways by the Cross Slide.

But hey, it’s a used bed, right?

One nice thing the guy did was ship it in the original Little Machine Shop box, with all of the original protection they used to pack it in with.

He also sent the original instructions on doing the upgrade they send with the kit.

So that was cool.

After I get it cleaned up then the real fun starts.

When I said the other day that it’s supposed to be a “Bolt On” upgrade, Millerized in the comments almost choked to death laughing.

Because he is a Real Deal Machinist.

And he knows what’s coming.

So do I.

Just because the parts are supposed to swap over and bolt on doesn’t mean shit when it comes down to everything actually lining up properly when you get them on.

There is a fellow over in The Land Down Under who found this out the hard way, after buying a BRAND NEW Mini Lathe off of EBay cheap.


Quite literally, the entire machine was built out of rejected parts and dumped on the unsuspecting.

Every, single. part. on that machine was fucked up in some way.

It took him MONTHS to fix everything and finally get it back together.

Because I watched every video he made documenting the process, I was well aware of what I could potentially be facing when I ordered this used bed.

So after I get this little bitch cleaned up, this is what I am looking at right off the get go.

Earlier today my Horror Fright Digital Calipers shit all over the bed. Even a new battery didn’t help so I shit canned the fucking thing and made a trip over to the local outfit to get a new one.

On my way over there the thoughts of that video kept going through my head when something popped into my memory.

I still had some Harbor Freight Gift Cards in my wallet left over from Christmas.

I had no idea how much was still on them but I was aiming to find out after I remembered them.

Come to find out, it was enough to get a new Digital Caliper AND a new Digital 1″ Micrometer!

Zero monies out of my pocket.

I like it when that happens.

While I was looking up the Alice Cooper link to Welcome To My Nightmare, another little thought popped into my head.

Seeings how I know this problem child is going to be a little bitch, I am naming this new Frankenstein of a Mini Lathe I am going to be attempting to put together in honor of Alice Cooper.

Her name is going to be Alice.

Actually, I think Alice is going to be her last name.

Her full name is going to be THAT FUCKING ALICE.

But I’ll call it Alice for short.

This is going to be a long term project because I already have a shit ton of projects but I will start chipping away at it as I can and you can be assured I will post my progress, if there is any.

Let the fun begin.

20 thoughts on “In The Immortal Words Of Alice Cooper….

  1. I’d have gone all Alice as “Hey Stupid”, but to each his own 🙂
    It’s what you bite off, what you can swallow, and what you intend on shitting out when you’re done. Best of luck on each and every bite. I do NOT envy you making things fit, but I DO envy you when you’re done. You’ll have mastered the bastard that is precision…and that is a motherfucker to accomplish.
    Just remember, what you accomplish is all you, nothing else. Something to hang your hat on, and be very proud of accomplishing.


  2. Maybe that niece could be coaxed into watching a few machining demonstrations? For instance, a demo of drilling a 3/8″ hole in mild steel with proper speed, cutting fluid, and a proper continuous chip because you used a drill press to get enough feed force in a straight line? Sounds like nothing, right? But then when some BS’ing contractor in her homeowning future tries to drill a 3/8″ hole in mild steel dry with his 20 Volt DeWalt at full speed, she can mentally derate everything he says. Big payoff.

    Or imagine her showing her 7 year old how to use your 7x extended-bed lathe which she inherited as an educational toy. Imagine him or her, or several of her children, working with it from age 7 to age 18. I’m sure that 11 years of metalworking tinkering powered by a child’s curiosity wouldn’t teach them anything useful.


  3. There ain’t no such thing as ‘straight out of the box’ when dealing with a lot of the old Chinesium stuff.

    Taiwan stuff? South Korean stuff? Even the post-war Japanese stuff? They’re all good stuff, unless some ham-fisted idjit done fubared it up.

    Most of the higher quality (meaning cost) Grizzly stuff is okay.

    Good luck on the adventure. Show us pictures of the bed when you have it all cleaned and de-greased.


  4. Ditch those digi calipers and get a set with a dial, I have never found and brand of digital calipers to be worth a bent dick, even mitutoyos, they just don’t have that accurate “feel” of a dial set.


    • Great. Well, I’ll try ’em first anyway. Somewhere I do have a an old manual one that Nolan sent me a few years ago. I just gotta find it.


    • Heh, thanks but I am the greenest of rookies when it comes to machining. I am teaching myself with the help of all my friends here and in real life.
      Youtube has been a priceless source of information.


      • He is pretty! But he probably still needs to manscape below the belt so he’s pretty down there too! Wahl’s clippers do an excellent job at that.


  5. Tool whores are like junkies. Gonna blow this joint on the 17th. I
    estimated my physical therapy laps were about 100 feet. First day,
    one lap, then 2, then 3. I’m fucking killing it but I was obsessing
    Over the exact distance of the laps. Wheelchair, tape measure and
    surgical tape. Job done using the magic number pi.

    Right at 90 feet! Now, will I buy a deWalt laser measuring tool even
    if I never use it? FUCK YES!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve commented enough on how “pretty” Phil looks. It’s a wonder he don’t nuke my shit. As far as calipers, I kept elec. digital in my box for aeroplanery. Every time took out, batt dead. Fuck that. Went back to steam powered. Still use.


  7. If you would prefer first name Alice, may I suggest Alice Goddammit. Had an employee George Goddammit a few years ago.
    John S. Russell


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