View Full Version : Old iron...

03-05-2005, 11:59 PM
Well, my part time job has given me a lot of insight into what constitutes a mickey mouse machine vs industrial quality. I've been working on a 40's model Monarch carriage that probably came off a 14" or so machine. Man, what a fantastic chunk of iron! The bushings where the feed shaft goes through were elongated from the carriage feed gear pushing on the worm gear so I made some new ones.
The gears/shafts in this thing are massive and all ride on timekin taper bearings. This is an OLD lathe and the gears show no wear except the worm gear whick is bronze and required replacement.
The coolest thing about it is that the carriage has an oil pump which operates off an eccentric on the carriage handle and has copper tubes that run to all the lube points. Makes my SB and rockwell look like toys!
Anyway, some of you guys may know this but it's really neat to me. No way could even the higher end chicom stuff compare to this old machine.
This is not intended to bash import stuff or to proclaim that old iron is the only way to go. I'm just commenting on the quality and craftsmanship of stuff from a by gone era. Were talking about a 60 year old machine that, properly maintained, may go for another 60...

Hoffman in Warner Robins Ga

03-06-2005, 12:20 AM
Nobody builds em' like that anymore. Niether here nor there. That's why old iron sells for as much as it does. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif


03-06-2005, 12:27 AM
One thing I always thought was neat about the older stuff is that the capacity was generally greater than the stated size of a machine. For example, I had a circa 1945 16x60 LeBlond some years back that would easily swing 18". Ya got what ya paid for (and more) back then.

03-06-2005, 05:14 AM
That's a big reason I bought my BP CNC, with pressure oiling, chrome ways and ballscrews I figure I can burnout all the electronics and still have a great machine just by replacing them as some have done here.

-Christian D. Sokolowski

03-06-2005, 09:07 AM
We got an old Hendy at work,46 years old to be exact,Hendey is out of business because they built them too good.

03-07-2005, 03:00 PM
I had a chicom lathe carriage apart last summer to make a repair. One of the thrust bearings had come apart and one of the balls lodged into the gear that was driven by the feedshaft. Each time the gear made a revolution; it would engage the feed. I had to take the poc apart and completely clean it out. There was about 1/2" of iron laced crud in the bottom! The machine is less than 10 years old!

The same comany has an ancient Leblond lathe (24"x 96"), also. I had the carriage apart so I could fix the halfnuts several years ago and it was almost spotless inside. No wear on anything....Everything was tight. Except the halfnuts. And, there was only a little crud in them keeping them from working properly.

Give me an old American made lathe anytime over that chicom crap....

Andy Pullen

03-07-2005, 03:51 PM
I realy like old machines.

the first lathe I ran on the job was a 1913 42" spiral drive bullard vetical turret lathe, I was borring 32" holes in 350 lb castings.(manhole rings)

from 1998 to 2000 I worked as a machine repairman on 5 and 6 spindle screw machines.
the 40 to 60 year old machines would run day and night but still did amazing work.

I dont think 40 years old is old at all.( I am olny 36 myself)

03-07-2005, 05:20 PM
I wouldn't trade my 1958 variable speed Sheldon for anything.....well a Hardinge of course, oh and a Monarch 10EE...or a Harrison, those are nice......or a Regal....
Well, anyway, I wouldn't swap it for a Chinky so there!

03-07-2005, 07:41 PM
Hoffman- You are now seeing one of the reasons I went after the 12"CK which just concluded in HSM.

03-08-2005, 12:57 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by beckley23:
Hoffman- You are now seeing one of the reasons I went after the 12"CK which just concluded in HSM.

Yeah, I like Monarchs, too. I've got a 13" (catalog size) actually a 15.5" x 78" at work and it's sweet. I should have bought the Monarch that was in the shop that I bought my 14 1/2" SBL from. The SBL is a light duty machine and the Monarch is a HOGGER of a machine. I would trade up any time.

I'm taking it that the 12"CK is yours, Harry. Very interesting articles.

Andy Pullen

03-08-2005, 07:49 PM
It's mine. It's been on line for about a year, but I haven't used it very much. I also put a 10EE on line at the same time, guess which lathe has been getting used. Actually I relocated the 12"CK to what I thought was a better location in the shop, and it has proved to be very inconvenient. In a few weeks I will swap the locations of the EE and the CK and see if I can fit in another mill that I an currently going through.
Monarchs may be "hoggers", but they are very sensitive when needed, and very easy to work with.
I hope you enjoyed the series.

03-08-2005, 08:11 PM
Harry, the series was GREAT, please write more. Between you and Forrest, HSM has become much more interesting.

03-09-2005, 03:33 PM
I think the old machines are the best. Mine are older than me. My lathe, tractors, welder all older than me. I was born in 1951.