View Full Version : Monarch Lathe value?

10-17-2007, 01:35 PM
Guy came in my shop wanting to sell lathe. Monarch model?
26 swing,72'' centers. 3 chucks 2 3jaw 1 4jaw
Have not seen. Value?

10-17-2007, 02:18 PM
"It all depends." It could have negative value. But, this place http://www.brothersmachinery.com/ has a couple for sale, for $6500 and $7500.

10-17-2007, 04:09 PM
I believe the 26" swing and 72" center to center means that it is very old if it is a Monarch. The Monarch 10EEs were much smaller. However, I think that Monarch made a large cone head a long time ago. Gary P. Hansen

Ed Tipton
10-17-2007, 04:11 PM
Without the benefit of knowledge about this specific lathe, determining it's value is impossible. Now, having said that, it's possible to make some pretty safe judgements upon actually inspecting the lathe. Monarch is, of course, probably The Premier Name on engine lathes. They were, in their day, magnificent machines and they were difinitely built to last, and endure the rigors of the machine shop assuming they were run by competent machinists and people who respected the machines for what they were. No machine, not even a Monarch, will stand up over many years to abuse. There are many very old Monarchs out there that are still excellent machines, and very capeable of outperforming almost anything that is currently available. There are others that due to abuse or for whatever reason are simply beyond their useful life.
Some things to look for: previous repairs that are visable. Repairs that were performed by competent workmen probably will not seriously detract from the lathes value. A lathe that is missing key parts is in my opinion a lathe to be avoided. A lathe that has all of it's parts, but is damaged needs to be looked at by knowledgable people to determine who could do the repair, and what it might cost. I can assure you that even the "cheap" parts can quickly erode away any "good deal" that you may fall into, And if you should need to replace a major component, look for another lathe unless you have VERY DEEP pockets.
Many old Monarchs, Lodge & Shipley, etc were purchased by the Govt. and some of these were "mothballed" and are in excellent shape. Many were used on ships and machine shops where they helped keep our Armed Services in good repair. I would consider most of these to be in pretty good shape, and probably saw very little if any actual abuse.
If I needed a lathe of this capacity, and found a Monarch is good condition at a price I could live with I would look no farther, and I guess that says it all.

10-17-2007, 04:14 PM
Go take a look at it.Could be a find or a lifetime project.

Alistair Hosie
10-17-2007, 04:32 PM
you don't mention what he want's for it money wise but you could get a real bargain in the end unless he thinks because it's Monarch it's worth zillions:DAlistair

10-18-2007, 09:06 AM
Thank you for your input. The price of the lathe is $2750.00. This will include a old spotwelder and a fly cutter for a Bridgeport mill. Possibly a carbide tool grinder as well. I think the price is negotiable because this stuff is in his basement and his wife is tired of dusting around it.The lathe was origanally purchased by the government and lived on a Army base. It is of course 3 phase but includes a 7.5 single phase motor. I have 3phase in my shop so the motor would be a freebie.I am not a machinist I am a Blacksmith. How difficult is a lathe to learn to run?

10-18-2007, 11:22 AM
How difficult is a lathe to learn to run?

I don't know, but about 10^-1,000,000 as hard as getting a 26 swing,72'' centers Monarch out of someones basement.

seriously, unless you are working on very large stuff, do you want a lathe that big? Typically, the larger the lathe, the slow they turn...and the older they are the slower they turn. if your typical project requires a more common say 12 x36 in type lathe, always working on the behemoth might be frustrating. you'll darn near will need a crane to change chucks.

what is the age? Monarch made some modern format large stuff; it ies not necessarily a cone head.



based on these two links, its underpowered at 7 hp

imo its not a matter of how difficult it is to run, its more a matter of the right tool for the job. if you're truing up box car wheels & axles, go for it, if you're making Stuart models it'll make you crazy. note the one in the link, even though made far more recently than a cone head, has spindle speeds of 70 -700, the large 26" max's at 550 rpm

still, sounds like an amazing price if its in decent shape and you have a need for that large a lathe

10-18-2007, 11:51 AM
had an old 23x72 monarch cone head that was surprisingly lighter than expected.

excellent lathe, best I've ever owned.
if it is a conehead and in good shape I'd have to say grab it

Have to say getting rid of mine was a HUGE mistake, even if it would have filled my new 'shop'.


10-18-2007, 12:04 PM
The replacment single phase motor is 7.5. I assume the current motor is larger. I will leave 3 phase motor on lathe. Year is 1942. I don't need a lathe that large but the price is attractive if it is in nice shape.

10-18-2007, 12:20 PM
I doubt its a cone head if the date is 42, maybe a CW or CC? Just guessing, there are people out there that know a lot more about Monarchs than I. You might try the Monarch forum over at http://www.practicalmachinist.com/

Forrest Addy
10-18-2007, 02:38 PM
How hard is it to learn to run a lathe? About the same to learn blacksmithing. Learning curve is about the same except for different concepts. If you learned blacksmithing learning machine work won't pose any problems for you.

That price is fair but moving a heavy machine tool from any kind of basement that doesn't have access to level ground will be a real chore. You might spend more on the move and installation than you paid for the machine.

10-18-2007, 03:39 PM
A 26" Monarch weighs something on the order of four tons. Moving one is not a casual project, and partly because of that, demand is low and they sell for very little. I don't think I've ever seen a 26" sell for much over $500, no matter how good the condition. They all seem to be from 1941 or 1942, and nowadays parts are expensive. The motor seems very small - something nearer 20 hp is more what I'd expect.

I like Monarchs as much as the next guy, but I wouldn't recommend a 26" one as a starter machine.

Alistair Hosie
10-18-2007, 06:46 PM
I didn't realise it was so large it must be some machine perhaps better advice from others here should not be ignored. If moving it is so difficult and costly then you might well be advised to either offer the guy a very low offer, explaining the problems with these machines and their lower resell cost owing to weight etc, or maybe just leaving it altogether.Sometimes a real bargain can be very costly to bring into effect.Alistair

10-18-2007, 11:01 PM
I don't know, but about 10^-1,000,000 as hard as getting a 26 swing,72'' centers Monarch out of someones basement.

truer words have never been spoken. :)

seriously though, that is a big lathe. if you aren't working on really big projects, in this case, it will probably be bigger than you'd want. not that it would be any harder to learn to operate a 26" lathe versus a little 9" South Bend, it's just that i think it would be more enjoyable (and cheaper) to work with something a bit smaller. remember, any tooling you need to buy will not only be 5 times bigger, but 5 times as expensive.

if i was going to make an offer on it, i would certainly go lower than the guy is asking.

andy b.

10-19-2007, 06:50 AM
it would be great for making canons, but terrible for making flintlocks.
but seems to be a lot of interest in anvil canons these days.

10-19-2007, 12:43 PM
4 tons! I didn't realize it was that large. Moving would not be a problem.
But I may not need a machine that large.
Thanks for your input!