FAQ's

How can I make money using a Twister Speed Lathe?
  • Time: If you currently use a small engine lathe to deburr / polish you will cut your start-stop cycle time in half. If you spend 10 seconds processing a part, your operator is spending 4 hours a day waiting for your machine to start and stop. Our machines start and stop up to 31 times a minute, less than half the time needed for a small tool room lathe!
  • Energy: Using single phase 110V, its energy consumption is less than 20% of the energy needed for a tool room lathe. A Twister uses about .8 KWH during an eight-hour workday. A tool room lathe uses about 4 KWH during the same time.
  • Floor space: The LT-1BR needs only 1 sq. ft. of workbench space, while an average toolrom lathe requires a minimum of 12 sq. ft.
What is the benefit of putting the Twister next to my CNC lathes?

The operator can remove burrs and/or polish parts allowing immediate gauging while the CNC is running. Your parts are deburred and gauged as they are made!

How does the Twister stop so quickly?

The Twister uses a regenerative speed control, in effect the drive motor is turned into a generator. This results in braking times in the 1 second range.

Can I use my existing collets with a Twister?

Yes if they are 5-C collets. Our machines come standard with a 5-C collet closer. Click this link to learn about 5-C collets. 5-C Collet Closer.

What is the maximum size 5-C collet I can use in a Twister?

The through hole size is 1.062" (26.97mm) maximum. Oversize collets are available up to 3" (76.2mm); however, depth is limited to .6" (15mm).

Are collets included with my Twister?

No. Upon request, we can order and/or modify certain collets at an additional charge.

Can I use a chuck instead of 5-C collets?

A three or four jaw chuck having a 5-C collet body and a diameter of 3” (76.2mm) or 4” (101.6mm) can be installed. We advise against it, however, for the following reasons:

  • The machine will take a few extra seconds to start and stop due to the added weight of the chuck.
  • Available three jaw chucks will run out .005” (0.13mm) on average.
  • Clamping of parts will take longer.
  • Using a chuck can be hazardous.
Is an air collet closer available for the Twister Speed Lathe?

Not at this time, possibly in the future. If so it will be retrofittable to all currently produced machines.

Why do I need variable speed?

Many parts require several finishing operations, e.g. scraping and polishing. Generally, scraping is done at low speed to avoid chatter and gouging the part. Polishing is done at higher speeds. Instead of having to switch pulleys or change gears in between operations, with the electronic, infinitely variable speed control you can change speeds with the turn of a knob.

Are there any options available for the Twister Speed Lathes?

We offer a variety of options for all our models. Please go to our Options page for details.

Do I have to use the foot switch?

No. The lower front panel switch will start and stop the machine also. But give the foot switch a try, you may be pleasantly surprised at how well it performs.

How soon can you ship my order?

We ship stock models daily. Special orders are usually ready within 10 working days.

What kind of warranty is included?

Parts and labor are covered for 6 months from the date you received your Twister. We will provide UPS ground service of parts or machine back to you within the continental 48 states. We suggest you give us a call first to make sure service is required.

Where in the world is the Twister made?

All machining, assembly and fabrication, as well as castings, extrusions, plating, and painting is performed in Northern California.

I see that all models have been replaced with "R" suffix machines, what is the difference?

The mechanical and visual aspects of our machines remain unchanged, electrically they are very different. The LT-1B used a full wave speed control, braking resistor, special reversing switch, and control relay to provide rapid reversing. This was a reliable system that worked very well. All "R" models use a regenerative speed control that eliminates the need for relays of any kind as well as special reversing switches. It provides faster start stop times, and as a result faster direction changes. The speed is more accurately controlled, and all speed and direction controls are low voltage resulting in longer life. All "R" models come with a totally enclosed 1/2 horsepower Baldor motor that provides more power and quieter operation.

How does 5-C Collet Closer work?

5-C Collet Closer: The collet closer itself is the part of the machine which draws the collet into the spindle. This occurs as the closer handle is moved to the left by the operator. As the collet is drawn into the spindle, a taper on both collet and spindle causes the collet to be closed or compressed. This tightens the collet around the work piece and holds it firmly so it can be processed. To release the collet (and the part) simply move the closer handle to the right. This system allows you to grip or release a part in less than one second while at the same time eliminating the dangers associated with rotating chuck jaws.
5-C Collets: Our machines use 5-C collets, the same ones used by most toolroom lathes. 5-C collets are available in round, square, hex, and soft so you can cut them to hold parts of any shape. They are available in fractional, decimal, letter, number and metric sizes. They are available in many materials including hardened and ground tool steel, soft steel, brass and plastic. We do not stock or sell 5-C collets. Hardinge, Royal, and Lyndex are manufacturers of quality collets. Each collet has the ability to compress roughly .015 inches or .38 mm. The collet closer can be adjusted to close and lock the collet with as little as .001 inches of compression allowing the gripping of thin walled or delicate parts.
Please contact us if you have any questions.