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I don't think it is possible to DIY a needle valve...

It is better to wait on the Swap and Shop forums and/or eBay for a cheap needle valve to come along. The Fabco NV55 is an excellent needle valve and will only run you ~25 USD.

Of course, you could always wait for the cheap Swagelok or Parker metering valve to come along...
 

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DIYing a good needle valve is like DIYing a wristwatch. However, if you have a small machine lathe, and the skills to use it, you could make one that would work fine. If you try it, be sure to report it here, so the rest of us can at least day dream about doing the same.
 

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Good needle valves are cheap. Automatic machines can spit out the parts in seconds. Unfortunately those parts have to be assembled, tested, packaged, shipped to wholesale dealers, broken down into smaller lots and stored. Next they are shipped to smaller wholesale distributors who may sell direct to the customer or more probably shipped to a smaller distributor who sells to LFSs and direct to customers.
Everyone in the distribution chain wants a return on their investment and a profit.

The really good needle valves go to medical and lab equipment manufacturers. They pay considerably more than we do for just a little bit better quality control.

Save money elsewhere. Purchase the best needle valve you can find for a good price. A couple of years ago people cobbled together Home Depot parts for pressurized CO2 systems. They always leaked and emptied the cylinder sooner rather than later.
 

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DIYing a good needle valve is like DIYing a wristwatch. However, if you have a small machine lathe, and the skills to use it, you could make one that would work fine. If you try it, be sure to report it here, so the rest of us can at least day dream about doing the same.
I have a metal lathe, but no time to mess with it. My brother in law's dad has has lots of metal equipment in his shop. Even if you can make a DIY needle valve, your time is probably worth more than what you can buy a decent one for.
 

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I have a metal lathe, but no time to mess with it. My brother in law's dad has has lots of metal equipment in his shop. Even if you can make a DIY needle valve, your time is probably worth more than what you can buy a decent one for.
When I was in college, back in the Stone Age, one of my courses was Machine Shop, and there we learned to use a machine lathe. I scored a little model airplane engine from someone smarter than me, and all it needed was a valve needle, so I decided to make one. The thread size I needed was about 80 threads per inch. After a few attempts I accepted that I couldn't even grind the cutter to make that size thread, so I looked for a die, but the smallest one was only 64 threads per inch. I spent two Saturday afternoons struggling with this, then turned in my effort for credit. I got credit for effort, nothing for results.

A good needle valve costs about $30 now. Most people doing other than simple menial work earn more than that per hour, at least in my state. So, if you try to DIY this, at least write a thread about it so we can save our time and not try it in person.
 
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