PDA

View Full Version : Suggestions for purchasing a new lathe



hwingo
09-08-2007, 12:43 AM
Gentlemen,

I ordered a new GMCGML-1440BGF lathe. I was told it was on backorder and would arrive in 4 weeks. Two weeks later I called and I was told it may be as much as 5 to 6 additional weeks and possibly longer.:eek: :mad:

I need this or another similar lathe like yesterday! I don't want to wait another 5 to 6 weeks or maybe longer. The price of the lathe was $3850 with free shipping.:(

Do you have any knowledge of a company that has this lathe in stock OR suggestions on a different brand lathe that's just as good, maybe better, for around the same price?

Hope I have placed this post in the correct place on this forum.

Harold

hwingo
09-08-2007, 12:45 AM
I forgot to check for instant notification.

Harold

Joel
09-08-2007, 01:11 AM
Free shipping? Are you getting this machine from Quality Machine Tools? If so, call them up and talk to Matt - see what solutions he offers.

hwingo
09-08-2007, 04:45 AM
I was getting this from Southern Tool Company out of Miami, FL.

Quality Tool Company? Where are they located?

Harold

Virgil Johnson
09-08-2007, 08:10 AM
http://www.machinetoolonline.com/ Ask for Matt if you call.

hwingo
09-08-2007, 08:34 AM
As soon as the sun comes up and they open for business I will give Matt a call.

Thanks Guys!

Harold

Philt
09-08-2007, 10:31 AM
You could buy the HF 40576 lathe for less than $3600 with shipping. HF has sold this lathe for less than $3000. It does require 3ph power so you would have to include a VFD or something to convert to 3ph, but this would be a good thing, IMO. There are a couple of users of this lathe on the groups.yahoo.com/group/12x36importlathes that could give first hand accounts of this lathe.

Spin Doctor
09-08-2007, 01:38 PM
Having worked with Matt in the past I found him to very up front. Haven't looked at his site in awhile but this looks interesting as an alternative to the small knee mills that Grzzly and others sell.

http://www.machinetoolonline.com/PMx7550Mill.html

If you are close and buy from him you can save some money and pick up yourself. He will help with loading. But I found finding his warehouse a pain. Pittsburg is confusing for somebody who is used to a grid system of streets

hwingo
09-08-2007, 02:14 PM
Well, Quality Machine Tools is closed for the weekend. I did call but only got a recording.

Spin Doctor: They deliver free so that's the cheapest way to receive this machine if they have one in stock. Hopefully they will have one in stock.

Anyone ever had experience in canceling an order because the waiting time after purchase is too long? Are there penalties or do they attempt to levy penalties?

I paid in full with a credit card but they can't charge my card until the product is delivered.

hw

dirty old man
09-09-2007, 12:25 PM
I bought a Newall DRO for my BP from Matt and found him an honest, straight talking guy with a lot of knowledge about what he sells, and good prices too.
Have never bought a Chinese lathe, but if I did, it would probably be from Matt. Take a good look around his site, he has a line called "Precision Matthews" that looks good also and is priced very competively.
As for the credit card charge, call the toll free number on your card and ask the "horse's mouth".
Dave

hwingo
09-09-2007, 02:28 PM
Nor have I purchased Chinese. My equipment (though old and worn) is American made. To refurbish my equipment to new condition would cost a great deal of money and time. I would like to own a new lathe before I depart this world and I really can't justify spending the money it takes to get a new American made lathe so I am resigned to purchasing something made outside this country.

I am definitely giving these people a call when they open tomorrow. Having broached the subject, if a person buys Chinese, what brand names seem to have the best name, quality, and reliability?

hw

dirty old man
09-09-2007, 02:50 PM
Again, ask for and talk to "Matt" he appears to be a very knowledgeable person. Reading some of his past posts oo Practical Machinist, he has made referrence (in threads not about not about buying machinery) to his experiences, methods, etc. that lead me to believe he has quite a bit of machinist experience. I know he offers several brands of machines, take a look around on his website. I would trust his advice on the best all around from his selection, as he isn't some salesman who knows nothing except the propaganda in the sales brochures.
He offers a discount on machines to PM members, maybe he would do the same for HSM? Or you could jpoin up @ PM.
He sold me a 3 axis Newall DRO for less than MSC gets for a 2 axis of the same brand.
Dave

hwingo
09-09-2007, 02:55 PM
I am a member of PM. I had membership with them before becoming a member on this forum. I will talk with him tomorrow. Thanks for the information.

hw

dirty old man
09-13-2007, 01:09 AM
Well, you've had 3 days in a new week! What have you found? Talked to Matt? Comments?
Inquiring minds are curious!

hwingo
09-13-2007, 01:22 AM
Hello There!

Apparently my lathe was shipped by Matt on 11 SEP and I am to receive it this coming Monday. It has DRO, 33 piece collet set .0005TIR, collet closure, and a bunch more treats.

Can't wait till it arrives.

Thanks to all for telling me about this guy.

Harold

dirty old man
09-13-2007, 02:38 AM
Great, which one did you order?
Dave

hwingo
09-13-2007, 06:56 AM
Hi Dave,

I got the PM1236 with the PM1236 DRO. He didn't have the larger that I ordered previously so I got this one. The main difference between the two is, the one I bought is 36" between centers and the one I originally wanted was 40" between centers. If I so desire I can still do gun-smithing with the PM1236.

So I'm like a kid waiting for Christmas. I've never owned or worked on a lathe with DRO so this should be exciting in various ways.:D :D :D

Harold

brunneng
09-22-2007, 04:16 AM
Hi, so did the lathe arrive on monday? And If so, how does it check out?

hwingo
09-22-2007, 05:01 AM
Hi, so did the lathe arrive on monday? And If so, how does it check out?

No it didn't.:eek: :( It arrived yesterday a little after noon. There was trouble with road construction at Matt's place and they were unable to ship on the day they had stated. When it did ship, the trucking firm sent my lathe and another piece of equipment to Maine. The tracking number that was given to Matt was an invalid number and I was unable to track the shipment for three days. On Monday, I finally got in touch with Matt and that's when the two of us learned that the shipment had been sent to Maine. He worked throughout most of the night installing a DRO on another new lathe and packing the lathe for shipment. It went out the next day and arrived yesterday. The shipment was not complete and I am still waiting for collets, tail stock chuck, and cutting tools. These items were packed with the original shipment and he didn't have any more in stock so he said they were being shipped by UPS. I haven't seen them yet.

I didn't realize the lathe had to be assembled and finding this out was a bit of a "bummer" so in the morning a man will show up with a forklift and help me set the lathe on the now assembled stand. I assembled the break and coolant pump this after noon and that's all I can do until tomorrow.

The lathe arrived in good shape with exception of a few dents in the cabinet. Also the predrilled holes in the chip-pan do not match the holes in the stand as they are off by about 3/4 inch. I may be able to "fudge" this a bit and force it to work. I will install the DRO display after setting the lathe.

The lathe looks well fabricated and I look forward to turning some metal. If all goes well I should be turning by lunch. As you know, all lathes are different having their own personality so "we" will need time to "bond" as I learn its little quirks.

I do wish this lathe had come assembled. Of course, this is my first NEW lathe and never once gave thought for the need to assemble. My previous lathes were purchased used and already assembled needing only to be off-loaded and hooked up to "juice". A pre-assembled lathe was what I had envisioned requiring a simple installation.

Currently, it's "Zero Dark Thirty" and I'm on "pins and needles" pecking away at the keyboard as if my doing so will speed the break of dawn. Hopefully at 0800 hrs the man will show up and I will realize Christmas day by noon. However, before I can begin my project intended for this lathe, I will need cutters, collets, and a tail stock chuck. Without these however, I will in the meantime, be able to learn a little about the lathe.

Harold

hwingo
09-22-2007, 09:30 AM
When reading the instruction manual, it called for "machine grease" on the gears. Would regular automotive grease (e.g. ball joints) suffice?

Also, it seems the entire machine was "dipped" in a cosmoline-like-substance and it's recommended this be removed with naptha. Is there any real reason for removing this thinking it may provide added protection by preventing surface rust on the ways?

Harold

A.K. Boomer
09-22-2007, 10:35 AM
The lathe arrived in good shape with exception of a few dents in the cabinet.
Harold



I hope you imediatly made note of this and pointed it out to the shipper, there should be a discount on any thing that is not up to par, No ifs ands or buts...

Virgil Johnson
09-22-2007, 11:08 AM
I use open gear lubricant (aerosol) on the change gears of my lathe. Gummy,nasty but stays in place. As for wiping off the cosmoline I would wipe off every bit and use the lubricant recommended by the manufacturer. Way oil is only 15.00 per gallon from McMaster Carr.

hwingo
09-22-2007, 11:43 AM
I hope you imediatly made note of this and pointed it out to the shipper, there should be a discount on any thing that is not up to par, No ifs ands or buts...

By "shipper", are you referring to the person from whom I purchased the lathe or the company delivering the lathe? I have only spoken with Matt but briefly letting him know that the lathe had arrived and informing him that some ordered parts were missing. At the time I spoke with him, I had not actually removed all contents from boxes and the wooden crating.

Harold

BadDog
09-22-2007, 02:35 PM
Actually, if obvious damage occurred in shipping, you should have noted that on the shipper's invoice when received. If you did not, then it is unlikely you will receive any corrective action from them.

If the damaged resulted from improper packaging, or if the packaging was intact with the damage concealed inside, then the seller is responsible. But regardless, the damage should be reported as soon as you find it.

hwingo
09-22-2007, 09:48 PM
Well, after waiting 6 hours for the guy to show up, he never showed up so I was stood up!:mad:

Went to a rental place and rented a Bobcat. Like to have never gotten the lathe off the palate. That's a story unto itself. Finally got the lathe off wood and onto the stand. Holes in chip pan where lathe was to be bolted, did not line up. Had to force the issue.:mad: Finally it was done.

Plugged in the lathe to 220 VAC, attempted to turn on the coolant pump and the switch fell off in my hand.:mad: Removed the front cover and repaired the coolant switch.

I have been attempting to turn on the lathe for the past hour. It won't turn on although the on and off lamp is illuminated and the halogen work lamp works. Have tested the wall socket for power. I have 220 VAC.

The damn lathe simply won't turn on.

Any one have any ideas? I REALLY WOULD LIKE FOR MY LATHE TO WORK!:mad:

Harold

Joel
09-22-2007, 10:07 PM
Perhaps it is time to take a break for a bit...

Have you tried resetting the E-stop button?

I don't know your machine, but on some of these machines you have to push the 'power start' button after applying power (if you don't, the power light will be lit, but the lathe won't run).

Have you checked the wiring - is it wired for 220v? Are you sure that both the plug and outlet are wired correctly?

Have you read through the manual yet?

Post a picture of your machine so everyone has a better idea of what they are working with.
Don't worry, everything will work out and you will be happily making parts for many years.

tattoomike68
09-22-2007, 10:23 PM
Have you tried resetting the E-stop button?


Pull out the big red knob. :D

wierdscience
09-22-2007, 11:27 PM
Does it have a traveling "clutch" lever on the carrage?If so,turn the power switch to ON.make sure you and everything else is clear the chuck and pull the lever up or push it down.

Reason I say this is some imports use a lever on the carrage to switch micro-switches that ACTUALLY switch a relay which ACTUALLY powers up the motor/spindle and also handles FWD/REV depending on which way to send the lever.The switch on the headstock may just be a master Off/On.

hwingo
09-22-2007, 11:32 PM
Yo Bro's! I have made some head way. Matt returned my call. The machine has three safety switches WHICH ARE NOT MENTIONED in the directions. Covers must be on at the spindle, splash guards must be down, and break peddle all the way up. Then, the start stop knob is on the apron ..... not at the control panel.

Yes I read the directions! I read them several times. Matt agrees, they need better instruction because a great deal has been omitted.

Nevertheless, it now runs.

Tomorrow I will give her a bath in a nice warm solvent, moisturize her wonderful gears with a splash free grease, and apply a soothing coat of oil to her ways and then "cut her loose". Time she earns her keep. Getter Done.:D

Now I am going to bed.
Harold

Henro
12-02-2008, 07:32 PM
hwingo last said:

"Now I am going to bed.
Harold"

And more than a year has passed...

Is it Rip van hwingo? or did the lathe pass the test of time?

I am looking at purchasing a mill from Matt, as I am local and it will work well for me...that's why I turned up this thread...

Perhaps most here already know the sequence of events following the last post by hwingo in this thread...But I don't!

Would love to have an update...Bill in Pittsburgh, Pa...

hwingo
12-02-2008, 10:20 PM
To the best of my knowledge, the lathe is doing fine. I think the only problem I am encountering is, a bad starter capacitor. From the beginning, as long as the lathe was *warm* (70 deg and above), the lathe would work without a problem but if the temp dropped to 50 degrees or below, I would need to physically turn the chuck by hand to get the chuck spinning. Within a matter of 20 to 30 seconds, the lathe would reach full speed. This is still the case after one year. On rare occasions, when the lathe was (is) warm or the lathe had been (is) in use, I would (will) need to get the chuck spinning before the lathe would (will) start.

Regarding accuracy, the lathe has been accurate and suits my needs. I rarely change gears so since the lathe is new, it's difficult to get the lathe in a different gear. I can only assume that in time this will resolve by itself.

Harold

The Artful Bodger
04-08-2009, 06:27 PM
Harold, your PM1236 lathe appears to be practically identical to mine, though mine is a metric lathe and will have a few different accessories. I bought mine here in New Zealand.

Regarding problems with starting, I suspect the problem you have is cold oil. We do not have very cold temperatures here (it never freezes where we are) but still the motor has trouble getting it up to speed from cold if a high spindle speed is selected, so for starting from cold I first select the slowest speed and let it run for a while and I also deselect the drive to the feed gearbox. It does not have to run for long but if I do that when I enter the workshop it is well ready to be put to work when I have got myself organised.


I like my lathe!:)

RobbieKnobbie
04-08-2009, 06:47 PM
I think you may have a different problem...

1. it's difficult to change gears
2. it needs help starting

T.A.B is probably on to something with the thick oil/high gear setting, but I would add that there might be a poor mesh or other misalignment in your gearbox that is causing the motor to see too much load at startup. (does it act this way if you start it in a very low gear?)

Just for giggles sometime, take the belt off your motor and see how it spins up completely unloaded. If it still comes up slow, then I go with your bad starting cap theory. But if it comes right up to speed, try turning your spindle by hand. Is id difficult to spin? Does it feel rough or notchy? You may have issues in your gearbox someplace.

hwingo
04-08-2009, 07:14 PM
I think you may have a different problem...

1. it's difficult to change gears
2. it needs help starting

T.A.B is probably on to something with the thick oil/high gear setting, but I would add that there might be a poor mesh or other misalignment in your gearbox that is causing the motor to see too much load at startup. (does it act this way if you start it in a very low gear?)

Just for giggles sometime, take the belt off your motor and see how it spins up completely unloaded. If it still comes up slow, then I go with your bad starting cap theory. But if it comes right up to speed, try turning your spindle by hand. Is id difficult to spin? Does it feel rough or notchy? You may have issues in your gearbox someplace.

No it does not act that way if I start in a low gear ..... or at least I have yet to encounter this. It does seem that once the lathe "warms up" I can start the lathe (most of the time) in any higher gear. Having said that, there have been occasions, after a significant "warm-up period" or after extended use that I had to help the lathe by hand turning the chuck to provide a little additional help.

I have not removed the belts but if I take the lathe out of gear (go between gears), I can freely turn the chuck quite easily with no noticable noise or rough, notchy feeling. It's quite smooth.

Harold
I like my lathe also! :-)

metalmouth
10-11-2009, 06:54 AM
Hey Harold.......... BC dentist here....... nice to see others in our profession that like to cut something other than enamel. LOL SO I have to ask you........ are you happy enough with this lathe that if you had the choice would you " buy it again"? I'm seriously looking at the same lathe ....... and even though it said " free shipping" did you pay anything more to get it up your way? I'm on vancouer island and thru an email was told it would be an extra 100 bucks to get it to my door. Thanks in advance.

Brett

Black_Moons
10-11-2009, 08:57 AM
I have that class lathe and id definately buy it again. its just awsome. its about the smallest lathe you can get with all the 'big' lathe features before price goes through the roof (ie you don't really get any more really useful features by buying a 14x40 for 50% more, or a 16x60 for like 400%+ more)

Although it still has some gears to change, you pertty much just use the same 2 gears and swap em with eachother to go from high to low threading range, and theres enough range in the feed settings that coursest feed on the 'fine' feed range is course enough for most roughing. I would'nt mind an electronic leadscrew or just some kinda electro and/or mechanical 1:4/4:1 selectable transmission deal, but oh well.

demerrill
10-11-2009, 11:56 AM
Hwingo,

You will probably like to read this thread devoted to receipt and setup of a PM1236:

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?p=2763945

David Merrill

radkins
10-11-2009, 12:16 PM
My Harbor Freight 14x40 is still running perfectly with no problems after 10 months of nearly everyday use, that is with the exception of a broken control handle that was due to backing into it with my pick-up while trying to unload some metal in the garage. Seriously this thing has performed reliably and is as accurate as one would expect from a machine in this price range, it has done everything I have asked of it and it keeps running smoothly. Maybe some of the "better" brands of the same machine have better service after the sale and maybe better electrics (but so far this remains to be seen) but for the huge difference in price, $2,559.20 delivered to the store for pick up with the usual weekly 20% coupon, I can live with HF's service which is not as lacking as most seem to think.

hwingo
10-11-2009, 01:38 PM
Hey Harold.......... BC dentist here....... nice to see others in our profession that like to cut something other than enamel. LOL SO I have to ask you........ are you happy enough with this lathe that if you had the choice would you " buy it again"? I'm seriously looking at the same lathe ....... and even though it said " free shipping" did you pay anything more to get it up your way? I'm on vancouer island and thru an email was told it would be an extra 100 bucks to get it to my door. Thanks in advance.

Brett

Good Morning Brett!

Indeed it's good to hear from another sharing a similar profession.:)


........ are you happy enough with this lathe that if you had the choice would you " buy it again"?

There are no local acquaintances having similar size/style lathes, i.e. *very similar* lathes produced under different names, with which I can compare and contrast advantages or disadvantages. I can, however, compare experiences to previously owned South Bend lathes.

My first S.B. lathe was a well used lathe and perfect in size. It was leather-belt-driven rather than gear-driven and on more than several occasions the leather belt slipped when a moderate cut was attempted. Belt tension was adjustable on the S.B. (and was frequently adjusted when making cuts). The leather belt could have been replaced with a synthetic belt to reduce or prevent slippage but I never bothered. My current lathe (which I purchased new) does not share this "problem" thus I am quite content with the gear-driven feature.

A second S.B. lathe (in used condition) was purchased having a slightly larger swing with a *much* longer travel. Other than size, styles were identical. With this being said, though identical regarding features, I quickly had cause to humanized these lathes thus regarding them as "individuals" having their own specific quirks and special issues, hence, personalities. Stated differently, though basically identical, obvious differences were recognized and "technique adjustments" had to be made when using these lathes on like-projects. This brings me to my point. In my limited experience, regardless of brand, differences will be recognized between two identical lathes.

Like any lathe .... new or used ..... there will be issues. A "friendship or bond" is eventually formed between the operator and machine as one learns the machine's "personality". I had some issues when I first put my new lathe into use ...... but they were not significant issues. I still have some issues but nothing I've been unable to circumvent.

In the main, I am pleased with my machine. It has done everything I have required of it. I have not had a need to refine parts, e.g., steady rest castings or tail stock castings. I have not seen a need to re-align the head stock. I purchased my lathe with a DRO installed and that's been the greatest thing since contraceptives. If you buy this machine, I suggest you purchase the machine with a DRO *installed*. The operative word is "installed". My machine has produced consistent precision and I have grown to trust my machine's abilities. I hope nothing changes.

I do/did have an issue with placement of degree markings on the compound. I found a need to place the ZERO marks at significantly different locations on the compound. PM me about that and I will argue my reason.

In contrast, one individual with whom I keep in contact, purchased the exact lathe and has had some significant issues .... which really surprised me. He has had to do significant work on the steady rest and the base of the tail stock. From his pictures (before and after) a great deal of re-fabrication and/or milling was required and this was not the case with my lathe. As stated, any issues I had/have are insignificant except my issue with degree markings on the compound.


......if you had the choice would you " buy it again"?

This is a most difficult question to answer. I would have preferred you to have asked, "Would you buy this same lathe if given a choice regarding features"? To answer your question, having no way to compare my lathe to identical lathes that were fabricated under a different name while relying on and *expecting* the same experience I have had with this specific lathe, the answer is YES. I would buy this same lathe provided that it was as good as what I currently own. I would never knowingly purchase a new lathe requiring significant alterations no more than I would purchase a new car and then find that *I* must install or reinstall the windshield and side windows. I would be VERY upset. Based on my experience with this lathe, I would purchase it again.

Now, having said this, I regret having purchased a lathe that requires removal and replacement of gears when cutting various threads. For me, that's a pain in the butt that could have been totally eliminated had I purchased the larger lathe with *full* quick-change features. I have a friend who owns a slightly larger lathe produced under a different name. Though he is required to physically remove and replace various gears in order to cut various threads, the frequency with which this is required is nil when compared to my options. Knowing what I know, and expecting the same fabrication quality as I currently enjoy, I would purchase the lathe that requires no removal of gears when cutting threads. Period!

Regarding shipment, my lathe was sent to me while I lived in the Lower-48 and when I returned to Alaska I paid for and transported my lathe without incident. And this brings me to my last point as to why I would again purchase this lathe. When I first received my lathe, I did not have to tighten one single nut or bolt because of shipment vibration. When I prepared my lathe for transport to Alaska, even after nearly a year of use, I did not tighten a single nut or bolt. I packaged it as I had receive it, placed it in a 40 foot container with my home furnishings and the container was trucked nearly 300 miles to a train yard. It was loaded on a train and "bumped" it's way from Wisconsin to Seattle, Washington where it was placed on a sea-going barge and spent 12 days on the ocean (some of that time being in open water). When I received my shipment, I unpacked my lathe and not once have I had a need to tighten one single nut or bolt. From my point of view that speaks volumes.

On a different note, and from a personal point of view, I would make *absolutely certain* that the lathe (or any piece of equipment from any distributor) is in stock and ready for shipment. I would make *absolutely certain* that you and the distributor (whom ever that may be) have a full understanding regarding timely shipment and fully express your expectations regarding shipment date and arrival. Although I did not have a really significant issue with arrival date, I have had issues with other new equipment that was ordered from different distributors. Make certain the lathe is in stock and ready for shipment! In some cases, lathes are on order or have yet to be ordered and you will be required to wait until the lathe is received at the warehouse. This could mean months ..... and it was months (4 to 6 months) for several of my friends!

So that's the best I can do to answer your question.

Regards,
Harold

hwingo
10-12-2009, 12:58 AM
Hwingo,

You will probably like to read this thread devoted to receipt and setup of a PM1236:

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?p=2763945

David Merrill


Outstanding thread.

Thanks David!!:)

Harold

metalmouth
10-13-2009, 06:40 PM
Thanks again for your very honest input. It really does help. As well as the posted link. What sorts of projects have you been able to do with this lathe? What lathe would be the one that doesnt have to switch out gears in the same class?

Brett