a small and grimy red-painted metal lathe sitting on top of a drafting table that's not a stable as it looks when there's almost 300lbs of metal on it.
I've wanted one for a while, and it seems like many projects I do have at least one part where I think "man, this would be a lot easier with a lathe", so I've been keeping my eye out at estate sales lately and last week it paid off.
This is a 8x12 lathe from Harbor Freight - they don't sell this model any more, and at 250lbs it's more than twice as heavy as the more typical 7x models around. I got the lathe and a whole box of tooling, tailstock centers, etc., for $300, which seems like a steal. When new this machine alone was about $1000 before it was discontinued.
Aside from weighing a lot (which is good in lathe terms), it has a nice setup for threading, and came with a quick-change tool post, which is a nice bonus. It's a good fit in the small space I have, and should be more machine than I need for a good while.
It's complete and works, but is pretty grungy, so I'm taking some time to clean, lube, and adjust everything. The table area will definitely be cleaned up and some kind of chip containment in place before I start actually making anything.
I'm very excited to learn this over the winter (well, re-learn if you count metal shop in the '80s).