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OldRedFord
10-13-2008, 05:27 PM
Also first post.

Will probably be making my first lathe purchase around the beginning of the year. Had thought about going used, but decided that I may be better off buying new. I have narrowed my choices down to...

A Grizzly 10x22 or Jet 9x20. From what I have been reading, it sounds like they 10x22 is better, but the packaging is lacking. :eek:

The big strong point I have for the Jet is that I can pick it up locally and not have to deal with shipping.

Opinions?

Im sure this will result in a epic thread. :eek:

Alistair Hosie
10-13-2008, 05:36 PM
I understand your concerns as a new buyer looking for new as oposed to used but please don't close your mind too soon.There are a lot of good bargains to be had in some areas .Manufacturing is not what it used to be even in America and a lot of really good stuff is coming onto the markets as firms are closing.This does not mean to say that you will be looking at a dinosaur or very large machine.You may well find schools also selling perfectly good as new machines so between now and the new year at least do your homeowrk checking out all that is on offer.keep your enthusiasm boiling and take your time if you do decide to go new then take best advice you can ask for a demo if possibvle before you part with your hard earned sheckles :DAlistair

Fasttrack
10-13-2008, 05:40 PM
Welcome aboard!

Buy used. You'll be happier. If you can keep a crappy ol' ford running, you can fix up a used lathe. ;) :D

I bought a Smithy 3-in-1 chineese machine and, after learning the basics, I bought some old American iron. The fit, finish and accuracy of those old machines are better than my Smithy!! Having a new machine might be nice to learn on, but once you get pretty handy as a machinist, you'll want an old "American" lathe.

*When I say "American", I'm just refrencing the machines from the golden age of machine tools. UK, Germany, etc also made some really nice machine tools.

dan s
10-13-2008, 05:54 PM
I just want to add in a few points...

If you do buy used, make sure you gets as many of the attachments (follow/steady rest) for the lathe as you can. Secondly, depending on where you live, used machines can be plentiful or nonexistent. Not to mention in some areas of the country, Old lathes are ridiculously overpriced.

In your size range, if you want to buy New I would recommend the Lathemaster 9x30 http://lathemaster.com/LATHEMASTER9x30Lathe.htm.

JCHannum
10-13-2008, 06:01 PM
The Jet and Grizzly are both good choices. There is a greater difference between a 9" lathe and a 10" lathe than the one inch may infer. A large lathe is always a better choice than smaller.

I am not sure what you mean by the packing being lacking, Grizzly is a highly regarded distributor, and have no issues with shipping damage that I am aware of. If there is, I am sure they will rectify the problem.

QSIMDO
10-13-2008, 06:02 PM
You anywhere near CT?
http://hartford.craigslist.org/tls/873337896.html
I hear the prices aren't bad either.
Personally, I can't go in there....the first step is to admit you have a problem :)

If you go Grizzly look at the 9972Z, 11X26. I've got one and it's a very decent "first" lathe.

dp
10-13-2008, 06:31 PM
Buy a new Chinese lathe and a used American lathe. Then see which one you work with most vs work on most.

radkins
10-13-2008, 06:35 PM
I have the Jet 9x20 and I am not very impressed with it, not for what it cost anyway. a buddy of mine bought the Harbor Freight 9x20 and danged if I can tell the difference between the two other than the color and price! I know some might say the Jet is of better quality but after using both machines quite a bit I think they are EXACTLY the same except the HF lathe is about $300 cheaper and even includes a few items the Jet does not have, such as a splash guard and a live center included.

OldRedFord
10-13-2008, 07:00 PM
Im trying to budget no more then $2 grand for a machine. There is a 5' South Bend on Ebay for $150 right now. :eek:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160291822001&_trksid=p3907.m32&_trkparms=tab%3DWatching#ebayphotohosting

I thought the Jet and the HF one are different? The Jet's spindle taper is different, also minimum speeds.

BigBoy1
10-13-2008, 07:05 PM
I bought a new Grizzly mill and it was packed EXTREMELY well. It took me almost an hour just to unpack my mill. I could have used a chain saw to open the box but I wanted to do it correctly and not damage anything inside, so I disassembled the box to make sure I didn't damage anything.

I would have bought a used mill but finding one in my area was hard. The few I did look at were described as in "good working" condition. Perhaps the previous user really enjoyed working with rusty equipment that had handles frozen! After looking for over a year, I bit the bullet and ended up getting a new Grizzly mill and I am really pleased with it.

Bill

dan s
10-13-2008, 07:08 PM
I hope that's not grinder grit that thing is covered in. Other than that, you might want to get confirmed what it comes with.


Im trying to budget no more then $2 grand for a machine. There is a 5' South Bend on Ebay for $150 right now. :eek:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160291822001&_trksid=p3907.m32&_trkparms=tab%3DWatching#ebayphotohosting

Frank Ford
10-13-2008, 07:17 PM
Buying used American gear sounds like a good idea when you hear from the experienced folks. That's what I did at first, and ended up with a big old Southbend with issues far beyond my skill and experience to deal with. It sat for years before I finally passed it along to an old machinist who could fix it up and use it.

I ended up buying a working, slightly worn, Taiwanese 11" lathe and I was making chips the next day. With it, I was able to learn a lot about turning, threading and all that, and a couple of years later I realized I should look for a more substantial machine. I spent the $$ for a new Hardinge clone from a local family owned tool supplier and metrology shop, and have not regretted that move for an instant.

When it came to getting a milling machine, I skipped the first two stages, and bought a new Bridgeport clone - DRO and all.

Now, after 6 years of working about 20 hours a week machining in my home shop, I think I could handle old American iron and do at least some of the work necessary to get it in shape.

Now, if I had the room, I'd get a bigger lathe to add to my collection, and for that I'd be tossing around the idea of an old Monarch vs. a new higher-end import.

Much as you hear disparaging comments about new imported tools, they do have the advantage of being ready to run, particularly if you get them from reputable dealers who service the gear they sell.

radkins
10-13-2008, 07:24 PM
I thought the Jet and the HF one are different? The Jet's spindle taper is different, also minimum speeds.


No difference in the two that I know of except for the color and I have been around both machines quite a bit. The Jet has the same crappy soft screws and bolts etc, and honestly I can see no difference at all in fit and finish. At the usual $699 "sale" price the HF lathe is not a bad deal at all and I suppose even the Jet is a decent machine but for over $1000 IMO it is not near as good a deal as the HF machine which I am convinced is the exact same thing!

Fasttrack
10-13-2008, 08:05 PM
I spent the $$ for a new Hardinge clone from a local family owned tool supplier and metrology shop, and have not regretted that move for an instant.

Now, if I had the room, I'd get a bigger lathe to add to my collection, and for that I'd be tossing around the idea of an old Monarch vs. a new higher-end import.

Much as you hear disparaging comments about new imported tools, they do have the advantage of being ready to run, particularly if you get them from reputable dealers who service the gear they sell.


Don't get a "higher-end import" - get a Monarch. Then you can shine it up and roll it out on the holidays and show off to the neighbors ;)

In essence, I agree with what you mean. I could not have handled my Pacemakers four years ago when I bought my import machine. However, if OldRedFord has machining experience or a friend who is a machinist, an American made machine is a great choice. If you know a decent amount about the subject, you can make an informed decision and not get stuck with a lathe that is totally beyond your help. (Don't take that the wrong way! I don't mean for that to sound condescending! I use the term "you" in a general way)

On the other hand, I've had the extreme displeasure of using import machine tools. I have yet to find one that has the same fit, finish and ease-of-use as either my Pacemakers, Cincinatti, Leblond, Clausing or Harrison. I've not used any other "American" made machine tools besides those, but comparing them to Emco, Grizzly and MSC ... whew there is a big difference. And these weren't the crappy imports either - they were the nicer large ones with hardened ways and whatever else nonsense they claim. They work fine once you get used to them, but they just aren't as nice to use, imo. And considering that used machines usually go for less than the imports, I'll always look for used machines first!

Now thats not to say that you can't get a good import (just look at Mori Seiko!) but then the cost (and size) is way too high for most home-shop budgets!

With my import stuff, it seems like they might be able to make chips "right out of the box" but to make chips "comfortably" I end up spending alot of time, money and effort working on less of a machine than I could've bought used. At least that is how my own expierences have been.

OldRedFord
10-13-2008, 08:50 PM
I have no machining experience as of yet. But after I finish the welding program at college, I will be taking machine tool. :cool: I do have a friend that seems to know his way around a lathe.

RobbieKnobbie
10-13-2008, 09:17 PM
In your shoes, I'd buy a new chinese machine... with it you will learn how the machine works, how to crash it, and what a worn/crashed machine looks like. Once you have a feel for those, go ahead and buy a big old worn out machine. You can always sell your starter machine when you're ready to move on, and the lessons learned will help you tell the difference between that rare diamond in the rough and all the other clapped out pieces out there.

andy_b
10-13-2008, 10:57 PM
Im trying to budget no more then $2 grand for a machine. There is a 5' South Bend on Ebay for $150 right now. :eek:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160291822001&_trksid=p3907.m32&_trkparms=tab%3DWatching#ebayphotohosting


as Dan S. said, i hope that isn't grinder dust on there. it looks like a 50# bag of flour exploded on it! i did notice it has a quick change toolpost. that tells me that whoever had it was actually using it, and not prepping it for sale. if i lived closer i'd go take a look at it. i really doubt it will go for $150 though (or even $650).

andy b.

JoeFin
10-13-2008, 11:05 PM
Before you buy "New Chinese" you might want to take a look at this thread first

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/showthread.php?t=166680

JoeFin
10-13-2008, 11:10 PM
I would have bought a used mill but finding one in my area was hard. The few I did look at were described as in "good working" condition. Perhaps the previous user really enjoyed working with rusty equipment that had handles frozen! After looking for over a year, I bit the bullet and ended up getting a new Grizzly mill and I am really pleased with it.

Bill

Yes I wondered what all the fuss was about Grizzly Mills until I took mine apart and found all the milling cuts on the bottom side of the saddle were made with a mill "Severly out of Tram"

I'll post pics if you would like

gnm109
10-13-2008, 11:32 PM
Before you buy "New Chinese" you might want to take a look at this thread first

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/showthread.php?t=166680


That post really has little to do with the quality of Chinese machines. It's more about the people on Practical Machinist and how they deal with new people who foolishly stray there looking for help on a Chinese machine.

It looks like they ran off another one.

I bought a new Enco 13 X 40 in 1994 and have never been sorry for one moment. Nothing has broken, it still works fine and, unlike the Monarch 10EE that my friend owns, it will do metric threads.

Frankly, the thought of buying a worn-out used lathe from anywhere that needs a scrape job and some new back gears makes me woozy.

Happy Trails. ;)

Ries
10-13-2008, 11:43 PM
Buy a new Chinese lathe and a used American lathe. Then see which one you work with most vs work on most.

Well, I did just that.
I bought a used American made Atlas.
Total POS. Most of the parts are made of pot metal. Underpowered, undersized, and rinky dink in every way imaginable. I had it for about 5 years, and was constantly dicking around with it to try to get it to work.

Then, I bought a new Chinese (well Taiwan, but who's counting) Jet ZX 18x60 lathe.
7 1/2hp, weighs 6500lbs, has a 3 1/8" bore thru the spindle. The tailstock alone weighs more than my Atlas.
I plugged it in, and have not had to work on it one bit in the 6 or so years I have owned it. It will take huge cuts in just about anything, no vibration, it is steady as a rock. Cuts perfect threads in exotic metals. Goes down to 40 Rpm, or up to 2000- way more range than the Atlas.

Of course, this is a totally unfair comparison- but it does illustrate how silly it is to say "American Good- Chinese- Bad".

I firmly believe that you get what you pay for.
And, when comparing NEW lathes, since the cheapest NEW american lathe is a $50,000 Hardinge HLVH, the chinese tend to win, hands down.

If, on the other hand, you can find a used, american made lathe for $1000 that would cost $100,000 new, if it was still made- well sure, thats a deal, go for it.

The last prices quoted on NEW Monarchs and LeBlondes, in the late 80's and early 90's, were around $200k.

Apples to Apples, please.

JoeFin
10-13-2008, 11:52 PM
Of course, this is a totally unfair comparison- but it does illustrate how silly it is to say "American Good- Chinese- Bad".
.

I think you hit the Nail on the Head

but why run down and put down $3-4K on New Chinese lathe either? There are descent used Chinese going for $500

BTW: a few months ago I had to turn down a 24" x 120" Lablond with hydraulic drive and phnematic assest cross-slide - "Fully Tooled" for $1500 - I'm out of space here

The deals are out there and especially now with all the foreclosures.

OldRedFord
10-14-2008, 12:07 AM
Before you buy "New Chinese" you might want to take a look at this thread first

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/showthread.php?t=166680


You know, I had joined up over there, and that thread is the reason I think I shall stay away from there. Haven't had a welcome feeling over there at all, and I have only made 1 post.

I also don't have the space for a massive USA made machine. Also have to consider that probably 2 years time I will be moved out on my own, and wish to take all my equipment with me. Sure I could go buy a 2 ton lathe, but I dont want to wrestle with it more then I have to.

Tim Clarke
10-14-2008, 12:16 AM
So, I've been here since the beginning, and have seen a simple question degrade into a debate about american V.S. import machinery, many times.

The bottom line is, if you have a mentor who can asses your needs, and help you find a good used machine, then you have lots of options. An experienced old hand is absolutely invaluable. Trust me here, I did it on my own for along time. Now that I have the advise of a mentor, life has been good.

If you are wanting to get into machining, but have little to no previous experience, getting started is pretty scary. Forget the old pieces of crap. I've owned a few. There were a ton of old, good machines made in the good, ole, USA. All those companies are long gone. (with minor excaptions.] You may not get good support from import dealers, but you will get even less from the USA companies who have been dead and gone for years. Ya, I know that there are many used parts available for all kinds of machinery. If it's worn out, it's worn out.

After 20 years or so of home shop machining, I can fix up a old machine. But that's not the point here. Many move on to machinery restoration as our hobby progresses. For the new guy, the first machines need to be ready to run.

So, get a machine from a reputable seller. It will be from china or tiawan, most likely. Other places will have machines that look the same, but cheaper. Pay the extra couple bucks to get a Grizzly or whatever. As long as they have a service dept, and parts.

Get the biggest and heaviest machine that you can afford. In my own case I have a Tiawan clone of a Colchester Triumph 2000. A Lagun Turnmaster. Pretty good machine. I hope that as your hobby progresses you will have a machine that's equal or better. In the meantime, get a new import. Forget crapped out old Atlases, South Bends, logans, Sheldons, etc.

I know it's tough to admit that hobby lathes aren't made here anymore. there are a couple exceptions to that, there are a couple tabletop machines, like the Taig and Sherline. Pretty small, but nice if they fit your needs, check out their websites.

To the old guys who have nice, pristene USA built machines, I say great. But don't be a snob, there aren't enough to go around. That's why we have all the imports.

So, I await those who can find some fault in my reasoning. Flame on, friends.

TC

OldRedFord
10-14-2008, 12:27 AM
No mentor over here, I wish I could find one tho. I see nothing wrong with your post lol.

JoeFin
10-14-2008, 01:27 AM
The only thing I really take offense with are the obvious post designed to leave the reader with no other deduction then to buy New Chinese

Some of the stuff feels like its straight out of a sales brochure.

I have Chinese, American, and even a Hurco (some parts made in Spain like the book says) of which the most important thing I’ve learned when buying is “YOU’RE THE 1 with the money”

At first I sat there afraid to touch the machinery in fear my complete lack of machining knowledge would show through. Now I bring indicators, calipers, tool grade stock (.001 tol.) and fully demand to inspect the machine, take test cuts, what ever I need to make an informed decision.

So would I tell a Noob to run out and buy New?

No.

What good is a Lathe without a Mill or a Mill without a surface grinder? Of course you need to cut stock, and if you ever want to dream of producing any thing marketable you are going to need finishing equipment.

For what this guy is proposing spending on a NEW lathe, I bought my first Mill, Lathe, Surface Grinder, Horizontal Band saw and had change left over for some tooling – although no one is ever done buying tooling.

So No, I don’t recommend the New to Machining person run out and buy a New Chinese Lathe.

OldRedFord
10-14-2008, 02:00 AM
It seems the average going rate (as far as I can tell on craigs list) is about $1000 for a lathe, without much in the way of tooling.
So far nothing in the local papers in regards to used metalworking equipment. I could go get this...

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/tls/848150407.html


But no $2 grand yet.

JRouche
10-14-2008, 02:05 AM
The big strong point I have for the Jet is that I can pick it up locally and not have to deal with shipping.
Opinions?

Ok... I think that alone has a good selling point, local pick-up.. The Jet isint bad at all. The importer (Jet) has a bit of a better quality control mark then say HF. Even though the machines are manufactured from the same plant, QC plays a huge role in the end product.. I say go for the local pick up. You will be happy. Jet has a decent QC policy.. And local pick-up sweetens the deal.. I would buy a Jet lathe.. JR

OldRedFord
10-14-2008, 02:15 AM
I hope that's not grinder grit that thing is covered in. Other than that, you might want to get confirmed what it comes with.

I messaged the guy, asked what it comes with, and what the overall length is. Told me its 7' long, but nothing on what it comes with.

If it is grinder grit, that would mean having to completely disassemble and clean, correct?

darryl
10-14-2008, 03:24 AM
ORF, you say you have a friend who seems to know his way around a lathe- so have him show you some that he's done some machining on, and ask what he likes and doesn't like about them. Then take him with you into a store and have him find the same faults and good points about the lathes you are considering. He may not be an expert or a mentor, but I'm sure you'll be able to pick up what some of the more important things are going to be as a user of your own machine. Of the two machines you mentioned, I personally would pick the 10x22, and the main choice comes down to weight. There is no substitute for mass, and either machine is likely going to need some tlc anyway before it's really good to go. I think the 10x is the less flexible of the two, which translates into the best possibility of being able to machine with less frustration.

I've checked out several of the machines in that size and price lately, and a couple of the more distressing issues I found was bent leadscrews and inaccurate travel of the slides as the dial is turned. I checked one that advanced the slide 12 thou for ten dial markings, then 17 thou for the next ten markings. I don't recall if these were the exact figures, but the discrepancy was that large anyway. Imagine how frustrating that would be in use. The dials should turn smoothly without binding in spots. Take a caliper with you and check these things. Reject the machine if it doesn't pass this test. Any hey- why not ask your friend to read this thread and see what he thinks of all this advice you're getting in this thread. Maybe that will turn up something else that's useful.

There are many things you won't be able to check easily, such as alignment of the headstock, or runout of the supplied chuck. If you can be assured of good after-sale service, that could go a long way to ensuring that you are reasonably happy with the product.

I for one feel lucky that I got a good machine right from the start, a slightly smaller one than you're considering. Mine is a decade old now, but in use I can't fault it much. It was made in taiwan. I did have a couple issues right from the start, one being the crosslide leadscrew was rough. The second job I did on it was to machine a new leadscrew and nut. The first job needed to be a reverse drive so I could cut the left hand thread for the leadscrew.

I can't say that paying more money will assure you that you won't have similar issues with a new lathe, so it really boils down to you being able to assess the faults that it comes with and determining if you can or are willing to remedy those. New or used, it's the same. Used could easily mean worn out, and for a relative newbie that's a can of worms. With new and cheaper, the work needing to be done could be minimal, with new and more expensive, it could be ready to run, and with used it could be very good, but I wouldn't bet on that.

After all my looking around lately, the 10x22 is what I would have bought. My choice to build rather than buy was based on personal requirements and my tight budget at present, otherwise I'd have some hands-on to give regarding that machine. Good luck with your choice.

macona
10-14-2008, 04:56 AM
Milicron dosnt want talk of hobby-grade chinese machines. Anything else is OK. I cant blame him really. He is trying to cater and get advertising to pay for the site aimed at professional machinists. If a prospective advertiser selling high end tooling went to the site and found 10 threads on the top on what they need to do to get better surface finish on their Harbor Freight 7x10 they would think twice about buying space there.

That being said, if you are looking at a new lathe and have someone that knows how to check out a lathe and see if it is in good condition than go for a good used American or European lathe. They come often well tooled in your price range. Logan is just as good as a South Bend and are often found cheaper.

If you are looking chinese then check out these two machine, both in your price range and shipped to your door for that price. Pretty well equipped too.

http://www.machinetoolonline.com/PM1027.html

http://www.machinetoolonline.com/PM1127.html

I like the looks of the 11". Might try to get one of those plus one of their 14"HD lathes for TechShop.

This seller was a machinist and he checks out the machines before they go out. He is a member over on the PM forum.

ptjw7uk
10-14-2008, 07:24 AM
I'm not sure that I can help with your decision. I bought a chinese lathe new and have a lot of problems with it but never sure if they are down to my limited knowledge or the indiferent manufacturing methods of the chinese.

There is so much to learn and so many tools to buy that I would go for a mid price range whatever and buy some decent tooling at least it can be used on your next lathe when you have decided just what it is you need the lathe for.

Something to bear in mind is that if possible get one that can do left and right hand threading and if expendature can stretch go for variable speed as there is nothing more frustrating than having to adjust pulleys for just one job and then change it back again.

Peter

Just Bob Again
10-14-2008, 04:50 PM
It isn't the machine, it's the machinist. ANY lathe is better than NO lathe. My first home machine was a washing machine motor with a chuck. Two speeds - Off and Too Fast. Admittedly, I was 7 years old at the time.

Get the largest machine you can find, afford and find space for. Old American iron is much better. Even if quite worn, you can do serious work with it. Assuming you're a machinist. If not, you can make scrap with almost anything. Biggest shortfall with most beginners is lack of tooling. Machines won't go far without good measuring tools, hand tools, cutters, accessories, etc, etc, etc. Those'll ultimately cost you a lot more than the machines.

New import is fine if that's what you can get. Use it gently and you'll be fine if it's a decent size. Anything much smaller than 11" is generally a lathe-shaped anchor. Used-and-abused Asian import, no. Parts are hard to get. They're metric so harder to work on here. High-end or large imports aren't too bad. The little ones are disposable. A Yugo isn't a Caddie Eldorado with heated seats but it will often get you from one place to another.

Might be your first lathe, but not likely to be your last. Gonna make the "wrong" choice? Probably.

dp
10-14-2008, 05:01 PM
Well, I did just that.
I bought a used American made Atlas.
Total POS. Most of the parts are made of pot metal. Underpowered, undersized, and rinky dink in every way imaginable. I had it for about 5 years, and was constantly dicking around with it to try to get it to work.

Exactly my point. If you buy an old American machine you're going to need a newer (likely Chinese) lathe to make parts for it. There's probably some great old "Barn Lathes" out there that have been unused for decades sitting in buckets of cosmoline, but chances are good any affordable US lathe is going to need lots of TLC to unwind the affects of time.

It comes down to priorities - get a decent affordable lathe today (again, probably Chinese - who else makes them?), make swarf today. Or get an affordable multi-owner US made machine and take your chances. I have thought for a very long time that the first major lathe project for the new or returning hobby machinist is not rebuilding an old lathe that has hard to find parts and no vendor support, and which has skill requirements that may not be present.

dan s
10-14-2008, 05:44 PM
Bob,

I have to call BS. several small Asian lathes are more than capable of quality work, Not to mentions several come with inch screws.


Anything much smaller than 11" is generally a lathe-shaped anchor.

They're metric so harder to work on here.

Alistair Hosie
10-14-2008, 06:08 PM
I know a guy who had a new jet and he said it was not very good he got rid of it sharpish and bought an older uk made Colchester lathe he is now machinig happily I don't know but I have heard a lot of bad things about jet stuff grizzly seems as though it might be a bit better but I have personally never tried any of them good luck with your purchase whatever you decide.Alistair

BadDog
10-14-2008, 07:13 PM
I lack experience to give sound advice, but I can offer my experiences since entering this hobby some 3 years or so back...

I was fooling with 4x4 rock buggies and got tired of paying a small fortune for little rod-end spacers for links, reamers for modifying steering arms, and clamps for tubing, etc. So I decided to get a small lathe to at least make some of them for myself. I had a LONG history of fabrication, so this was jut one more "tool" to learn. I found a local near new Griz 9x20 for what I felt was good deal (still do) of $600 with Phase II tool post and Craftsman toolbox cabinet. To really get it "trimmed in", it needed some fit-n-finish work, a few upgrades, and various improvements. In the end I felt it was a pretty good lathe. I enjoyed it, learned from it, and many people obviously do great work on them. But I wanted more...

So, after too many things that the 9x20 just couldn't do, my next lathe was a Rockwell 11x37. Good old American iron, weighed well over three time as much and had seen much use. I really loved that lathe, and it did most everything I asked of it. But to get it really functional I had to make and replace a number of shafts and bushings/bearings (using the Griz!), spend some time on refit-n-finish, adjusting and what not. I enjoyed it, learned from it, and many people obviously do great work on these and others like them. But I wanted more...

So, after a few things I couldn't do on the Rockwell got under my skin, and I found a "good deal" on a 17x60 Shen Jey (Taiwan - back to import) I sold the Rockwell and "upgraded" to a lathe that was superior in every way. But it had a busted leaver in the apron that needed repaired, a bad micro switch on the foot brake, rewiring my shop to handle 7.5hp, required a lot of cleaning along with a bit of refit-n-finish. In the end, I think I have a great lathe, but haven't had time to really get familiar with it. This time, if I decide I want more, I've decided just to blow my head off. I'm not going through t his again! :D

I can't imagine wanting more than what I have now. Nothing I've ever vaguely conceived, wanted, or wished for (that can be done on a lathe) can't be done on this machine. It's got larger work envelope, more power, more rigidity, more speed, more of everything. But it IS an import. And if I ever find s SMOKING deal on a Mori 850 or 1250, that might entice me to upgrade again, but it would have to be an amazing deal. I did look at US, but in a lathe sized as I desired, you simply can't find one that runs fast enough! Oh sure, there are the rare (and $$$) DSG or L&S 1408s, but even those failed some of my criteria (such as large spindle bore). And no way I could live with the older Monarchs or LeBlonds with top speeds under 1000 rpm (by far and away most, with a few $$$$ late model exceptions) and 1.5" spindle holdes. In the end, it's really not about US vs Import, but rather finding what you need/want at a price you can afford. We all have different goals and plans. For some, a HF 12xN is just perfect, others couldn't get by with less than a 10EE (due to bias, or actual requirements). There are probably some that would poo-poo my current "import", but this is a real industrial machine and the few "jobs" I've run on it since getting the new converter built it is proving a real joy to use.

OldRedFord
10-14-2008, 08:23 PM
Milicron dosnt want talk of hobby-grade chinese machines. Anything else is OK. I cant blame him really. He is trying to cater and get advertising to pay for the site aimed at professional machinists. If a prospective advertiser selling high end tooling went to the site and found 10 threads on the top on what they need to do to get better surface finish on their Harbor Freight 7x10 they would think twice about buying space there.

That being said, if you are looking at a new lathe and have someone that knows how to check out a lathe and see if it is in good condition than go for a good used American or European lathe. They come often well tooled in your price range. Logan is just as good as a South Bend and are often found cheaper.

If you are looking chinese then check out these two machine, both in your price range and shipped to your door for that price. Pretty well equipped too.

http://www.machinetoolonline.com/PM1027.html

http://www.machinetoolonline.com/PM1127.html

I like the looks of the 11". Might try to get one of those plus one of their 14"HD lathes for TechShop.

This seller was a machinist and he checks out the machines before they go out. He is a member over on the PM forum.


I like the look of both those machines, and the stuff they come with. The PM1027 would be $1715 shipped to my house. Seems fair. I can also see myself upgrading to a DRO and qctp. In the mean time, Im still watching Ebay and craigs list, maybe Ill get lucky.

BTW that dusty South Bend is up to $400 lol

BillH
10-14-2008, 09:03 PM
I'll have to agree, any lathe is better than no lathe. Having no lathe, I'd love to have my mini lathe again even though I thought of it as a happy meal toy.
The one good thing about CT is all the used machine tools. If I was still living in that arm pit of America, I wouldn't consider buying a new machine, never. Stuck in Florida, thats a different story. Maybe a lathe master lathe... Actually no lathe, have to save money for taxes... Bahhh.

mbensema
10-14-2008, 09:21 PM
I have the Jet 9x20 and there are some improvements to make it more servicable, but it worked. It is far from ideal, needs regular tweaking, but it fit what I needed and paid for itself on a couple jobs I did with it. I still use it, but will be upgrading at some point due to some of the limitations of it.

Not in any particular order, some of the limitations of that size lathe:

no power cross feed, if you do much facing work, you will not like turning the handles so much

Compund is a bit weak and needs to be upgraded if you plan on turning much steel or want to do anything more then light cuts

Spindle bore is fairly small at about 0.75", I find I could often use a bit larger

Crossfeed leadscrew needs a bearing installed to help reduce the effort required to turn the handle and the handle is small making it even harder.

Starting with a small lathe like this can also be somewhat of an advantage, I think I learned more about the importance of proper tools, feeds, etc since the lathe does not tolerate being pushed as far as more rigid lathes would.

The important thing of all of this is to get something that you will use and fits what you plan on doing now as well as the near future. Don't worry about that one project where you might need a 14x40 or larger lathe if the majority of your work will fit on a 9x20, you can always outsource the large job instead of buying much bigger then you regularly need. Having said that, I think stepping up to the 12x24 or 12x36 import size has many advantages over the smaller ones and makes it worth the extra money. Those are a bit higher then your budget, but the larger spindle bore, power crossfeed and significantly higher rigidity make it a better value in my opinion.

lazlo
10-14-2008, 09:47 PM
Then, I bought a new Chinese (well Taiwan, but who's counting) Jet ZX 18x60 lathe.
7 1/2hp, weighs 6500lbs, has a 3 1/8" bore thru the spindle. The tailstock alone weighs more than my Atlas.

I have the Jet 9x20 and there are some improvements to make it more servicable, but it worked.

Yes, but most Jet machine tools are made in Taiwan, and Jet machine tools in general are quite a bit nicer, and quite a bit more expensive, than their mainland Chinese counterparts.

I bought the Jet 5x7 H/V bandsaw, made in Taiwan, and it was close to twice as expensive than the Chinese version. But I was happy to pay a lot more because it has a heavy cast iron stand, a UL listed, dipped motor, and there wasn't casting sand in the worm gear :)

Even amongst the mainland Chinese machine tools there's a huge variety of quality and price, even on what look like the exact same castings, from Harbor Freight to the Enco/Travers/KBC house brands to Grizzly to Industrial Hobbies...

OldRedFord
10-14-2008, 10:11 PM
If I was going to get "American" It would be one of these too...

If they took payments :rolleyes:

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/tls/848139118.html

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/tls/848150407.html

Also Ill add this...after reading the snob thread...

I plan to open a welding/fabrication shop in the not too distant future. With that, besides welding, I will also provide some machining services.

Now on the home side, the biggest project I see doing is a half scale Case stem tractor. But thats a long time off.

dp
10-14-2008, 10:16 PM
Not in any particular order, some of the limitations of that size lathe:

no power cross feed, if you do much facing work, you will not like turning the handles so much

This was a big deal for me and my Grizzly lathe. I found a couple workarounds. I do a lot of taper stuff so I use the compound a lot.


I found that using a speed handle and a socket decouples me from the machine and provides an easier cranking experience and a better finish.
I discovered my Ryobi battery drill motor works great as a motorized cross feed driver. As it is variable speed it is capable of very good quality.With my bad back both tricks have great value for me. I had the same problem with my Dad's Craftsman 10" lathe, too, but didn't have these solutions in 1965 :)

Fasttrack
10-14-2008, 10:30 PM
That monarch is a superlathe. If you could pick it up for 2000, it would be a very good deal. With the economy where its at and with scrap prices falling, you could always give the guy a call and see what you can do about price. Tell him you want to start up your own buisness and could really use a break. Who knows, maybe he'll cut you some slack and offer you a good deal. Make sure you've got some big equipment to move it. Its probably 6500 lbs.

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/showthread.php?t=115875&highlight=super+duty+lathes

If you want to open up a welding shop that has some machining capabilities, you want a big, virtually indestructable lathe. A monarch 60xx or any of the others mentioned in that thread would be EXCELLENT choices.

Clausings are good too. My first pick would still be the Monarch, even with the price difference. It might be one worn out old brute, but once you get to know it you can make some awsome work on it. Rigidity is the name of the game and you can't better than that.

Just Bob Again
10-14-2008, 10:35 PM
Bob,

I have to call BS. several small Asian lathes are more than capable of quality work, Not to mentions several come with inch screws.

Not the lead screws specifically, the nuts and bolts and etc are metric. Gears are metric module. While this stuff is getting easier to find, it isn't as common. Having fixed a good few import machines, that's my experience. Few of the bits in my junk box are metric and that makes it harder. Yes, there are some decent 11" and under machines. The Sharp copy of an HLV is nice. But, I think the vast majority of the small ones are junk and I'd take a well-used 9" South Bend any day.

OldRedFord
10-14-2008, 11:33 PM
That monarch is a superlathe. If you could pick it up for 2000, it would be a very good deal. With the economy where its at and with scrap prices falling, you could always give the guy a call and see what you can do about price. Tell him you want to start up your own buisness and could really use a break. Who knows, maybe he'll cut you some slack and offer you a good deal. Make sure you've got some big equipment to move it. Its probably 6500 lbs.

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/showthread.php?t=115875&highlight=super+duty+lathes

If you want to open up a welding shop that has some machining capabilities, you want a big, virtually indestructable lathe. A monarch 60xx or any of the others mentioned in that thread would be EXCELLENT choices.

Clausings are good too. My first pick would still be the Monarch, even with the price difference. It might be one worn out old brute, but once you get to know it you can make some awsome work on it. Rigidity is the name of the game and you can't better than that.


Nope, dont have anything to move 3 tons of iron around with. :eek: But now I have a better idiea of what I would want in a welding/fab shop.

Fasttrack
10-14-2008, 11:53 PM
You can usually higher a wrecker. When I picked up my Pacemakers, the only way to get to them was through an alley. The semi-truck couldn't fit back there so we hired a wrecker to come and winch the lathes (they were secured to heavy wood skids) onto the wrecker bed. Then, we used the tractor part of the tractor-trailer rig to pull the lathes onto the flatbed and took them home. That was a slightly different case since we needed to go 1000 miles. For you, if its somewhat close, a wrecker is usually an inexpensive option. The guys we hired charged 60 bucks an hour.


Most welding shops, you end up wanting to machine big weldments or buildup shafts and turn them down, etc. At least, thats how the welding shops around here are. Alot of agricultural stuff, which, these days, means BIG stuff. Those kind of tasks can most efficiently be completed with a "superlathe". If you can swing it, go for it! (no pun intended)

:)

darryl
10-15-2008, 12:13 AM
Hmm, from the advertising, the PM 1127 does look like a nice lathe-

lazlo
10-15-2008, 12:17 AM
That monarch is a superlathe. If you could pick it up for 2000, it would be a very good deal.

Geez, we start out with a Chinese 9x20, and end up with a 3 ton Monarch 16CW (which has a top speed of 700 RPM, by the way).

Did you learn to drive in a Lamborghini Reventón? :D

OldRedFord
10-15-2008, 01:06 AM
Geez, we start out with a Chinese 9x20, and end up with a 3 ton Monarch 16CW (which has a top speed of 700 RPM, by the way).

Did you learn to drive in a Lamborghini Reventón? :D


Naw, but this is how most of my projects and what not go.

For example....I bought a F100 with the intention of restoring it. Now not only am I doing that, but swapping in a 400+ hp 460 v8. :eek:

Always thinking of ways to spend money I don't have. :rolleyes:

I have always been the off kilter, eccentric one in the group.

OldRedFord
10-15-2008, 01:35 AM
Milicron dosnt want talk of hobby-grade chinese machines. Anything else is OK. I cant blame him really. He is trying to cater and get advertising to pay for the site aimed at professional machinists. If a prospective advertiser selling high end tooling went to the site and found 10 threads on the top on what they need to do to get better surface finish on their Harbor Freight 7x10 they would think twice about buying space there.

That being said, if you are looking at a new lathe and have someone that knows how to check out a lathe and see if it is in good condition than go for a good used American or European lathe. They come often well tooled in your price range. Logan is just as good as a South Bend and are often found cheaper.

If you are looking chinese then check out these two machine, both in your price range and shipped to your door for that price. Pretty well equipped too.

http://www.machinetoolonline.com/PM1027.html

http://www.machinetoolonline.com/PM1127.html

I like the looks of the 11". Might try to get one of those plus one of their 14"HD lathes for TechShop.

This seller was a machinist and he checks out the machines before they go out. He is a member over on the PM forum.

What do you think of the 1027?

rantbot
10-15-2008, 01:41 AM
I would think that a Monarch with 30" between centers would be a bit short for all-around jobs in a welding shop.

Most of the Monarchs in the 16-19" swing range are quite short. Relatively few were made with much longer beds. There are some - probably worth waiting for, as long as no gears in the head are busted. Big $$$ to replace.

In any event, I doubt that the guy's going to get anything near $3000 for it.

rantbot
10-15-2008, 01:45 AM
It seems the average going rate (as far as I can tell on craigs list) is about $1000 for a lathe, without much in the way of tooling.
That's the asking price. You have no idea what anything on CR actually sells for, or if it sells at all.

darryl
10-15-2008, 03:16 AM
Regarding the difference between the two pm lathes- for another $200, you get a t-slotted crosslide, which I have on my lathe, and find excellent for mounting extras such as a toolpost grinder, or bypassing the compound for a more rigid tool holder, etc, plus it's advertised as having hardened ways, which the smaller version isn't, plus you get a significant increase in swing over crosslide, plus a belt drive, plus what they are calling 'precision' taper roller bearings- well worth the small extra, IMO. You may not care for the idea of a belt drive, but it can make the lathe run with less vibration if the belt is any good, plus it can be set up to slip if there's a jam-

If I could put that lathe into my hands right now, I would, assuming it isn't fraught with cheesy leadscrews and dials. With the size, cost, and weight limitations I have, it seems ideal. If its feature load is accurate, and not an adornment of a so-so import lathe, it would be the first lathe under two grand that I've seen that could replace my current one, or supplement it.

I don't disagree with anyone who says you should have a larger machine for your stated purposes. As soon as you need more capacity and your present machine doesn't have it, you're stopped. It would be a bad business move if you bought a lathe too small for the money-making work it could or would do for you. If a larger machine is what you really should have in your shop, then you simply should budget more for it and forget these other smaller lathes.

J Tiers
10-15-2008, 08:23 AM
Stay away from the 9 x 20...... in particular............. 11" and up tend to be reasonably nice.

The 9 x 20 is the poster child of chinese crap......

It is a decent 4" lathe, put on stilts to make it 9". They are generally a chattery limber, flexible and springy machine, far inferior to even the next step up.

They are THE ones to usually have the 150RPM minimum speed, which makes them almost a wood lathe in that respect




It isn't the machine, it's the machinist..............

Load of crap...... for most people.... who want to get some specific things done

Some machines ARE inferior to others, in important ways that DO matter....... So this poster totally ignores that point, and also

1) apparently that statement advocates buying any crummy machine and learning to work with it..... OK as an educational strategy, but not the way to hit the ground running....

2) advocated old US iron only...... Again, not bad, just bigoted, and no way to hit the ground running.....
.
.

DP and the other guy are off-base in equating "old american" with Atlas..... it's American, and its old, but it is NOT regarded as "good", just usable.

Atlas is basically an American made chinese cheap lathe.

Old US iron STARTS with at least Southbend, goes up through Logan and Sheldon to Monarch etc........

And even Southbend is maybe an older American made TAIWAN lathe...... better, and often well featured, but still not really tops.

This all may not matter, as you use what you have, and any usually work (if in decent repair). But when making choices, one needs to know the scale of goodness. THEN one decides what level to select.

The real disadvantage with many asian machines is total lack of spares..... You can get new parts for a 60 year old Logan......

What about Harbor freight, or whatever? Not likely, they don't have parts for CURRENT production unless they take them off another machine.

Fasttrack
10-15-2008, 11:12 AM
Geez, we start out with a Chinese 9x20, and end up with a 3 ton Monarch 16CW (which has a top speed of 700 RPM, by the way).

Did you learn to drive in a Lamborghini Reventón? :D


LOL ... you make a good point ...

I readily admit I have a serious problem. Everytime I see old iron, I want it. Doesn't matter if its old clapped out machine tools or rust bucket cars from the 50's and 60's. I don't even have the skill to properly restore most of 'em and I still want them. Just makes me sad to see them go to the junkyard. They have so much interesting history to them. Maybe its because they are like relics of a completely different time and place. Now doesn't that make you guys feel old? :D

Speaking of RPM, my import goes to 1600 and my Pacemaker goes to 1000 (although it may also be set up for a top speed of 2000. They had three ranges available that were achieved by changing pulleys. There was no change to the headstock) but I've rarely run anything that fast. I've had my Smithy up to 1600 a few times for polishing and etc but not for turning. Of course, the smallest work that I do is generally larger than 1/2" so high speeds isn't a neccessity. Especially since I don't usually use carbide, either.

OldRedFord
10-15-2008, 07:34 PM
LOL ... you make a good point ...

I readily admit I have a serious problem. Everytime I see old iron, I want it. Doesn't matter if its old clapped out machine tools or rust bucket cars from the 50's and 60's. I don't even have the skill to properly restore most of 'em and I still want them. Just makes me sad to see them go to the junkyard. They have so much interesting history to them. Maybe its because they are like relics of a completely different time and place. Now doesn't that make you guys feel old? :D

Speaking of RPM, my import goes to 1600 and my Pacemaker goes to 1000 (although it may also be set up for a top speed of 2000. They had three ranges available that were achieved by changing pulleys. There was no change to the headstock) but I've rarely run anything that fast. I've had my Smithy up to 1600 a few times for polishing and etc but not for turning. Of course, the smallest work that I do is generally larger than 1/2" so high speeds isn't a neccessity. Especially since I don't usually use carbide, either.


I am the same way. Dont even get me started on old farm equipment. :o

OldRedFord
11-14-2008, 09:46 PM
Well after some limited experience with the lathe we have in our welding shop at school, I would like something of that caliber. Its a old LeBlond Regal lathe. The one with the boxy head, not the servo-shift one either. I think its 14" or 15" by no more then 40." Yes, it is way bigger then anything I looked at at the beginning of this thread, but...I can change my mind. I'm impressed with how stout the lathe is and how smooth it runs. Also the the fact it will power feed the carriage so you can thread left or right. Not that I would be threading alot of left hand threads, but the ability to say...true up some round bar in the lathe going either way...I like.

I don't need a lathe exactly like that, but one in that ballpark would be nice.

dan s
11-14-2008, 10:20 PM
do you have 220 single phase power available? what about 3 phase?

OldRedFord
11-15-2008, 01:54 AM
I have 220 available, and I am sure I could come up with a rpc for 3 phase.

OldRedFord
11-16-2008, 02:19 AM
I think I almost have my lathe selection nailed down over here.

These two, they pretty much are the same lathe, just that I think the griz comes with more stuff then the HF one...

http://grizzlyimports.com/products/12-x-36-Gear-Head-Cam-Lock-Spindle-Gap-Bed-Lathe/G4003

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=33274

Now with the HF one, I believe that I could pick it up at the store and not pay shipping.

dan s
11-16-2008, 02:56 AM
If your looking for a new lathe, do some searching on precision matthews brand lathes. It's costs a few hundred more, but comes with more, for example a higher top speed.

http://www.precisionmatthews.com/PM1236Lathe.html