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MotorradMike
11-20-2009, 09:43 AM
Hi everyone:

I've finally got enough wealth to waste some on a lathe. I've read around this forum a bit and have decided I need a used one with hardened ground ways. I'll be doing small repairs, making bushings, sometimes machining steel. Nothing serious.

Of course I'd like a 9" Southbend but am willing to settle for less.

Please comment on this (http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-hobbies-crafts-metal-lathe-W0QQAdIdZ164530068) one.

Thanks

Waterlogged
11-20-2009, 10:08 AM
Decent lathe and probably worth $1000, at least in my market. It's a 12" Craftsman/Atlas with flat ways. Accessories add a few hundred dollars to the value. Rust on the base and chucks tells me that it hasn't been loved but may still be in good shape.

Black_Moons
11-20-2009, 10:09 AM
Wonderful lathe for the price, IF its still working fine, I payed $3000 for my new chinese 12x36" lathe.
Looks like the stand has been rusting at the bottom, like it has been in a light flood or two.. or three or four, or just on a damp floor.. id check all the ways and leadscrews for rust or visable signs of rust being brushed out or still existing..

As someone here had there leg snaped in a few places recently by a lathe falling on them, id highly recommend thinking about fixing/replaceing the rusted parts on the stand before use if the rust is anywhere close to deep as it looks.

Some serious rust on the chucks and stuff too.. moreso cosmetic but still kinda nasty.

Unfortualy as a new lathe operator there is a lot to learn before you can even begin to test how well a lathe operates, but $1000 is kinda hard to pass up for a lathe of that size even if it may be damaged, and if it is, it will teach you what to look for and how to use a lathe, the cheapest of chinese minilathes are $1000 for anything even remotely worthwhile, And atlas is a good name

gwilson
11-20-2009, 10:25 AM
DO NOT BUY THAT LATHE!!!! I had one of those. It was a terrible lathe. You couldn't take off more than 1/32" at a pass. The bed deflected anyway,and the lathe did not turn the diameter you set the dials to ct. Took forever to make anything. The pot metal half nuts had to be changed every 6 months. I'm not sure if you can still get them. Hole through the spindle-3/4",was too small.

When I got my first 10" X 24" Taiwan lathe,it was a revelation,an INFINITELY better lathe. despite all the bad news about Asian lathes,the Taiwan lathe was light years better than the Atlas. You'd best heed my advice,I've been there!!

Re: Lathe that size: You cannot expect that Atlas lathe to be able to machine ANYTHING that is close to its swing,unless it is aluminum,maybe.

JCHannum
11-20-2009, 10:31 AM
That is the final generation of the Atlas lathe. It is a true 12" lathe, not an upsized 10" as the Craftsman 12" was. It has a stouter bed and is a very good machine for the home shop. It is a better machine than the South Bend 9" lathe in comparable condition.

The initial cost af a lathe is not always the cost of getting into operation, tooling can easily double the initial investment before metal can be cut. At $1000, with the included accessories, that looks like a very good buy.

It deserves a good look, make sure there is no undue wear on the bed and all speeds function. Physically inspect all gears to make sure there are no broken/missing teeth.

It won't last long at that price.

Bill Pace
11-20-2009, 10:35 AM
Thats a rather nice looking lathe -- The rust looks to be very minor surface rust and pretty much normal for something that has been idle for some time. The price is "good" - neither a steal nor overpriced. It seems to have pretty much has all the necessary 'goodies' to get started using it, and with the gear box being a really good bonus.

Re the South Bend, the Atlas/Craftsman lathes are generally considered a notch or two below the SB's, but still a quite decent lathe - and many a chip has been made with them....

gwilson
11-20-2009, 10:39 AM
That is the same model lathe I bought in 1974. I assure you,it is all I have said about it being BAD!!!! Still WAY TOO THIN. I was Master Toolmaker in Col. Williamsburg,now retired,and I know what I am talking about. You will regret it if you get this lathe.

tdkkart
11-20-2009, 10:44 AM
Depending on your market the price is only OK, $7-800 would probably be better. As has been mentioned, you have to watch the Atlas lathes, the earlier ones had 3/8" thick bed ways and were very flimsy, this one should have 1/2" thick ways and a sturdier bed which would help, but still not a great lathe. I have an older 12", I've made some improvements which have made it better than factory, but still not good.
The handy part is, once you've learned to work within the limitations of a POS lathe, you'll look like a hero when you get to lay hands on something like a Monarch.
South Bends are good lathes, however many of them are getting to the age where you have to be really careful. Most SB's have babbit spindle bearings, which if not taken care of ovwer their life will likely be pretty well worn by now. Check carefully.

JCHannum
11-20-2009, 11:06 AM
The lathe would be worth in the $700-$800 range less the accessories. The steady rest alone will cost $150 if purchased separately. The boxes in the photos are worth taking a good look at.

That lathe as pictured is a better machine than a 9" South Bend. It is more rigid and much more capable. Points taken about the half nuts are valid, but with proper care and lubrication, they will last a long time.

The needs of the HSM are quite different than those of the job shop or toolmaker. This is a Bill Harris steam roller I made on a 10" Atlas with milling attachment and 40+ year old half nuts.

http://i320.photobucket.com/albums/nn351/jchannum/P1060249-1.jpg

gwilson
11-20-2009, 11:15 AM
You can make things on the Atlas if you have all the time in the World. the reason that accessories are valuable is that Atlas lathes are sought after by home shop types WHO ARE AFRAID OF TRYING TO MOVE A HEAVIER LATHE. There are a lot of them around.

I know a guy who has an Atlas,who actually feeds by HAND,so that he doesn't wear out his half nuts. That is incredibly silly to have to do when better lathes are freely available.

The lathe uses the lead screw to BOTH feed and thread,which will wear out the leadscrew much quicker. the gears are diecast,another reason to avoid it.

I would NEVER have an Atlas over a decent 9" South Bend lathe.

Black_Moons
11-20-2009, 11:23 AM
JCHannum: Woah awsome steam powered steam roller :)

Tony Ennis
11-20-2009, 12:07 PM
It has 3 chucks, a QCGB, a steady, and a nice stand.

Unless it's been terribly abused, it's an ok price. You'll be spending a little on tooling.


WHO ARE AFRAID OF TRYING TO MOVE A HEAVIER LATHE.

/guilty. And I have no space for a man's lathe :-D And my basement floods.

MotorradMike
11-20-2009, 12:08 PM
Wow:

Thanks for your help guys!

I'm shying away from the Atlas, because of what gwilson said, as well as some info I found about the casting material used.

I found this other one. A Southbend this time, double the price but closer to me and I can still afford it. I don't see any oil cups on the spindle bearing caps. Does this mean it has roller bearings?

Comments appreciated.

Southbend (http://ottawa.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-tools-equipment-Southbend-Lathe-Ser-33469-NCR-9-W0QQAdIdZ163983283)

Thanks,
Mike

Tony Ennis
11-20-2009, 12:15 PM
The SB is beautiful. If I could afford a $2,200 lathe, I would not consider an Atlas for $1,000.

I don't know what it is worth.

For $2,200, you're getting into new-Chicom territory. There's something to be said for a new lathe.

JCHannum
11-20-2009, 12:27 PM
The South Bend is nicely tooled, including collets. It is plain bearing and change gear. It would be a good buy at about half the price.

MotorradMike
11-20-2009, 01:04 PM
The SB is beautiful. If I could afford a $2,200 lathe, I would not consider an Atlas for $1,000.

I don't know what it is worth.

For $2,200, you're getting into new-Chicom territory. There's something to be said for a new lathe.

new-Chicom??

Waterlogged
11-20-2009, 01:16 PM
A SB 9C lathe isn't worth $2200 unless there are some more hidden accessories somewhere. The follower and steady add some value as they are both the more desireable screw type, but without a quick change I would say to either consider the Atlas or keep looking. Don't be afraid to consider the Atlas as it's still a decent lathe for cutting your teeth on. Then when the day comes to upgrade, sell it for every bit of what you paid for it. What are you out? Maybe 2% interest on your $1000. If you clean up the rust and repaint the cabinet, you'll make money on it when the time comes to sell. The best part is that you'll have time and experience to determine exactly what you want out of a lathe and then find the perfect machine for you.

Tony Ennis
11-20-2009, 01:41 PM
Chicom (Chinese-Communist) is a derisive name for all Chinese products such as AK-47 clones and machinery. For machinery, the finish and quality seems to be all over the map. All new lathes you can afford are Chicom (or close enough.) However, for a new tool, there isn't any other game in town.

The truth is they are pretty good for the money and no match for the mythical Olde American Iron. The problem being, Olde American Iron is wearing out. You can fix broken, fixing wear can be very expensive.

There are endless debates here over the quality and value of Chicom tools. I'm not trying to start one here. I think we'll all agree that a beginner should take a more experienced machinist with them to examine the tool being purchased, whether it is Chicom or OAI.

Here are some Horror Fright Chicom lathes (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Category.taf?CategoryID=267). That first lathe for $700 has a huge number of websites dedicated to hot rodding it. There are also yahoo groups, etc. And check out the next 2 lathes on the list, especially the $2300 lathe.

I've used the $700 lathe for the little crap I do. I enjoyed using it. /shrug

rantbot
11-20-2009, 02:37 PM
and no match for the mythical Olde American Iron.
"Mythical"?

Tony Ennis
11-20-2009, 02:42 PM
Yes, Mythical. Lathes with unlimited power, unparalleled rigidity, and as much art as science. The stuff of legends. Akin to Excalibur, the Holy Grail, or any other item that is alleged to exist but is so devilishly hard to find.

Unless it's been in the rain for 10 years.

Falcon67
11-20-2009, 02:49 PM
FWIW - The HF 43681 12x37" unit would run $1520 with the 20% coupons that are in just about every DIY magazine out there.

Bill Pace
11-20-2009, 03:30 PM
I agree on the SB - quite a bit overpriced, though it is indeed a very clean and appears well maintained. As already mentioned, its the "C" model which was the stripped down version, and these are just not one of the highly sought after SB's. I agree also that the Atlas would be a better choice between these 2.

Also, as mentioned, if you can stand that price range then you should indeed consider a "Chi-Com" lathe. This in in the range of the very popular 12x36 size and there are several makers/models that are a real joy in a home workshop -- and, will come with all the necessary tooling to start using it (well, almost -- another 100$ for tool bits, etc!)

rantbot
11-20-2009, 03:42 PM
Unless it's been in the rain for 10 years.
That just gives it a nice patina.

You know, "surface rust."

MotorradMike
11-20-2009, 04:08 PM
I'm back guys:

I called the Southbend seller to try to talk him down but it was sold. Things may be a little different in Southern Ontario as far as price goes, not sure.

We don't have Harbor Freight up here, Princess Auto is about the closest we come. I don't like their $800 lathe.

Busy Bee tools is the Chi-com outlet and they talk a good game. I've rejected the 'bottom of the line' model due to unhardened ways. The next one up comes with a stand and backsplash, as well as a 4 jaw chuck wich I think I don't need.

So here (http://busybeetools.ca/cgi-bin/picture10?NTITEM=CT039) is the Craftex I'm now considering.

Thanks in advance for comments.

Mike

NzOldun
11-20-2009, 04:20 PM
Mike,

It is not if, but simply when you will need the four jaw.

If its part of the package -take it!!.

Also, depending on where you see yourself in 5-10 years, and what you (may)
want to be doing, the 12 x 36 are a much better bet

aboard_epsilon
11-20-2009, 04:23 PM
I'm back guys:

I called the Southbend seller to try to talk him down but it was sold. Things may be a little different in Southern Ontario as far as price goes, not sure.

We don't have Harbor Freight up here, Princess Auto is about the closest we come. I don't like their $800 lathe.

Busy Bee tools is the Chi-com outlet and they talk a good game. I've rejected the 'bottom of the line' model due to unhardened ways. The next one up comes with a stand and backsplash, as well as a 4 jaw chuck wich I think I don't need.

So here (http://busybeetools.ca/cgi-bin/picture10?NTITEM=CT039) is the Craftex I'm now considering.

Thanks in advance for comments.

Mike

why are you so bothered about hardened ways .south bend never had them .and looked after and oiled regularly .no problems with wear ..
even DEAN SMITH AND GRACE lathes didn't have hardened ways .

the link to the lathe you posted ...craftex

some of these POS have plastic gears in the drive train.

that slowest rpm ..may not be quite as slow as you want if your learning to cut threads .

that atlas lathe ..first posted about ..bad as it is will run rings around that one .
worried about the mazak nuts .dont .because some atlas enthuisiast site will have them in bronze..i'll bet

all the best.markj

Tony Ennis
11-20-2009, 04:34 PM
Lathe prices are dependent on competition. In KY, used lathes are a little higher since we're not so industrial here.

The BusyBee lathe linked above is likely identical to the Harbor Freight $700US lathe. They look the same.

Ontario is large - are you within a drive of the US? For the money we're talking about could you make a weekend vacation out of a tool run?

Finding the right lathe can be frustrating. Buying the wrong lathe, moreso. :eek:

Waterlogged
11-20-2009, 05:12 PM
I'm with epsilon on this one....a new HF/Grizzly/Jet/whatever 9x20 is a step down from a used 12x36 Atlas and it costs more as well. Look at the price of a used 9x20 on CL or wherever and see what it's worth the second it leaves the front door! Notice how the value drops 50%. There IS a reason why! We're trying to save you....please let us! You need an intervention!

rode2rouen
11-20-2009, 05:29 PM
I've been running my 1947 Atlas 10 X 30 for nearly 15 years. It's a sweetheart.
There is no doubt in my mind that I will recoup my <$1000.00 investment if I ever decide to sell it.


Rex

http://i721.photobucket.com/albums/ww216/bjorn_toulouse/Atlas%2010%20X%2030/atlas10X30.jpg

MotorradMike
11-20-2009, 05:50 PM
why are you so bothered about hardened ways .south bend never had them .and looked after and oiled regularly .no problems with wear ..
even DEAN SMITH AND GRACE lathes didn't have hardened ways .

the link to the lathe you posted ...craftex

some of these POS have plastic gears in the drive train.

that slowest rpm ..may not be quite as slow as you want if your learning to cut threads .

that atlas lathe ..first posted about ..bad as it is will run rings around that one .
worried about the mazak nuts .dont .because some atlas enthuisiast site will have them in bronze..i'll bet

all the best.markj

Thanks for your comments Mark. (and everyone)

I thought hardened ways were the line between crap and not crap. The Colchester I used in high school had "Induction hardened" cast into the bed...

I'm on the steepest part of the learning curve right now and all you guys have been great. I wish the motorcycle guys would step up this fast. They always come through but it seems to take more time.

You are right about the plastic gear. Seems to be some sort of 'shear pin'. Not sure what to think about that. Probably be hard to get or impossible after a while. Maybe get a spare now.

I can get myself to a Horror Fright in Syracuse but then I have to import a machine tool that weighs more than me.

rode2rouen
Your Atlas looks very nice.

Mike

Tom S
11-20-2009, 06:04 PM
MotorradMike,

To be honest with you, I would not buy a BusyBee lathe. When I was looking I stopped by their Mississauga showroom, and looked at what they offered. Every lathe I touched felt flimsy and cheap. I never made a cut with them, but compared to the larger equipment I first learned on and the Logan 821 that I own now, the rigidity is not there. I would keep my eyes on Kijiji if I was you, since a few Southbends and Southbend clones show up every month. I would especially try areas like Brantford and St. Catherines, it seems like some of the smaller two to three person shops are closing up from retiring owners in those areas and you can get some deals. Toronto, London, and Hamilton typically have a few show up a month, but more people are watching them.

-Tom

Tony Ennis
11-20-2009, 06:24 PM
I thought hardened ways were the line between crap and not crap.


And that's the crux of it. There is no such line. It depends upon your needs and your wallet. Generally the more you spend the more you get. This board has some pros that simply must have uber-lathes. They are not likely to say, "Damn, I need a chicom 9x20 to make this part!" Then there are people like me who would consider a 9x20 a decent lathe. It's totally subjective.

menace
11-20-2009, 06:40 PM
Whatever you decide to buy, IMO, get one with a power cross slide for facing and parting! Later as you learn more you'll regret not having a cross power feed!

Steve

S_J_H
11-20-2009, 06:52 PM
That is the final generation of the Atlas lathe. It is a true 12" lathe, not an upsized 10" as the Craftsman 12" was. It has a stouter bed and is a very good machine for the home shop. It is a better machine than the South Bend 9" lathe in comparable condition.

That lathe as pictured is a better machine than a 9" South Bend. It is more rigid and much more capable. Points taken about the half nuts are valid, but with proper care and lubrication, they will last a long time.


What??
I totally disagree! I don't have a 12" late model Atlas but I have had very good looks at that machine when I almost bought one. I might say that the late model 12" Atlas is comparable, but IMO A SB9A is still a better made machine.. I'm not knocking the Atlas. Just defending the SB9.
Ha, I can easily take off .125" cuts in steel and .150" DOC in aluminum are cake walk. My "worn" SB9A still holds .0004" over 6" on 1.5" OD stock.

But I'll take my old Artisan 11x24 over either just because it's so damn cool to use.


Most SB's have babbit spindle bearings, which if not taken care of ovwer their life will likely be pretty well worn by now. Check carefully.
No, they do not have babbit bearings. Most SB9's will have cast iron bearings or rarely bronze inserts.
SB's have very nice spindles as well.
From http://www.lathes.co.uk/ -
By 1940 all the 9-inch lathes were fitted with an "alloy steel" spindle with its bearing surfaces carburized, hardened and ground - but with the 12-speed and "Toolroom" models being "Superfinished" to a smoothness of 5 micro-inches ( .000005" ). The spindle ran directly in cast iron of the headstock and, if provided with clean oil (Mobil Velocite 10 is recommended), and not run beyond its deign limits, proved capable of lasting a very long time indeed. As a matter of interest, though never mentioned in any contemporary catalog, some 9-inch lathes left the factory with thin-walled bronze bearings - which have only been discovered on stripping machines down.

Steve

my SB9A-
http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n48/S_J_H/SOUTHBEND%209/restoredSouthBendlathe002.jpg
http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n48/S_J_H/SOUTHBEND%209/restoredSouthBendlathe004.jpg
my Artisan 11x24-
http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n48/S_J_H/vintage%20Artisan%20lathe/restoredArtisanlathe002-2.jpg
http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n48/S_J_H/vintage%20Artisan%20lathe/artisan2ndway004.jpg

Older lathes in decent shape are still out there. It's getting harder to find them and prices are going up as collectors grab them up.
As said already, the 12X import lathes are a good choice for new.
I have also owned a 7x and 9x Chicom lathe. I had no trouble doing good work on either. Yeah they are made pretty cheap and it shows. But one can still do wonderful looking work with them.
Steve

gwilson
11-20-2009, 07:44 PM
Note: MY 10" lathe was Taiwan made,NOT Chinese mainland. There is a difference in quality,and you do pay more for a Taiwan made lathe.

Some southbends did have hardened beds,later ones,I suppose,but they do exist,and say "flame hardened" at the ends of their beds.

Later models of the heavy 10's had larger bores.

I have had a 16" Taiwan lathe at home since 1986,and it still runs just fine. I also have a Hardinge HLVH,which is a great lathe for smaller work. I like it because I am tall,and so is the HLVH. Plus,everything on it is variable speed,so if you get a cut that isn't perfect,you can quickly adjust the speed or feed to make it ideal. It is also the quickest lathe ever for threading.

HLVH's cost money,though. I wouldn't have mine except for a lucky break.

A late model South Bend heavy 10 is a nice lathe. I've seen them in perfect shape,well equipped around here for $2500.00.

I'd NEVER get one of those Chinese 9" lathes!!! They are BAD!!!

Tony Ennis
11-20-2009, 11:49 PM
I'd NEVER get one of those Chinese 9" lathes!!! They are BAD!!!

Hehehe. Thousands upon thousands have been sold. People love them. I think it's a function of what you're intending to do and what you can afford.

I enjoy using my friend's 9x20*, but if I had the OP's budget it would not even be a consideration.

(disclaimer - would I enjoy using it every day? Probably not without plenty of mods.)

dp
11-21-2009, 12:52 AM
I'm shying away from the Atlas, because of what gwilson said, as well as some info I found about th
I found this other one. A Southbend this time, double the price but closer to me and I can still afford it. I don't see any oil cups on the spindle bearing caps. Does this mean it has roller bearings?

It is a brontosaurus. As machinery goes it is, well, look - belts! Get a good new Asian made gear head lathe and you'll be set for years. This whole "buy American" is fine chest thumping, but time has moved on since the last American made hobbyist lathe dropped from the loading dock. The Chinese are dropping them like flies. And the new machines have features not available in many older lathes - like unworn ways and lead screws, powered crossfeed, threading dials...

If you're interested in making your father's projects get the American dino, otherwise get something contemporary that is straight, not run out, and still has spare parts. Move up from there to CNC when ready.

Black_Moons
11-21-2009, 01:06 AM
Hardened ways will help reduce wear/nicks etc.. but as I learned the hard way (excuse the pun), drop a hardened 123 block from your chuck and it can still ding the ways :(

tmc_31
11-21-2009, 02:25 PM
MotorradMike,

When I first got interested in machining, I had a mentor with a 16" Southbend that he would let me play with occasionally. I bought a 6" Craftsman (used), used it for a few months before becoming frustrated with it's limited size and putting it away for 20 years.

About 2 years ago my interest in machining was revitalized and I started looking around for a lathe. After much research I wound up with my 1340 Jet. As I read through these threads started by newbies ( I am one myself) looking for a a lathe and all their requirements, I think "my lathe has that". I bought my lathe new, it is big enough, it has induction hardened ways (for whatever that is worth) and spindle that I can pass a 1.5" stock through and it came pretty well tooled from the factory.

My advise to you (for what its worth) is this. Buy as big a lathe as you can afford and that will fit in the space you have, buy new if you can, don't be afraid if chicom. All lathes new, used, American or Chicom or any others need some fitting and tuning when you get them. It's ok, it's part of the learning process.

I have come to believe that a good machinist can overcome most deficiencies in machine tools and turn out fine parts.

All the best,

Tim

john hobdeclipe
11-21-2009, 03:15 PM
Just buy the Atlas and get on with it! You'll never EVER find the "perfect" combination of features and price.

You can buy this lathe and start making chips, start learning, take the rusty bits and clean them up, use everything carefully, and one day when a better deal comes along you'll be able to sell the Atlas for about what you paid for it.

I've furnished my shop pretty much this way, by buying at good prices, taking care of the stuff, and jumping on opportunities to upgrade, then selling the existing machines, usually at a profit.

CountZero
11-21-2009, 04:18 PM
Hardened ways will help reduce wear/nicks etc.. but as I learned the hard way (excuse the pun), drop a hardened 123 block from your chuck and it can still ding the ways :(

And if looking at used lathes, a couple of small dings is not the end of the world... as I convinced myself after making the first on my lathe :) . But since that time I always have a piece of wood to protect the ways then setting up something heavy/hard to hold.

Cheeseking
11-21-2009, 05:11 PM
Searched for a couple years before I found the perfect lathe for me and my home (basement) shop. 80's vintage Colchester 11" x 30" 2 hp, 3Ph, hardened gears running in oil, hard bedways, threading D1-3 camlock spindle. 1-3/8 hole. Gammet bearings. Mine is one of the last years they made em Seemed to be the best one that wasn't "chicom", sized for home, and priced right.
They are not very common but parts are still available from Clausing although insanely expensive. I would put a piture up but can't seem to make that work. I may need some permission changed? I don't have a URL

Doozer
11-21-2009, 05:30 PM
I have my name on my shirt. Right here, see? I know what I am talking about.

--Doozer

S_J_H
11-21-2009, 07:38 PM
It is a brontosaurus. As machinery goes it is, well, look - belts! Get a good new Asian made gear head lathe and you'll be set for years. This whole "buy American" is fine chest thumping, but time has moved on since the last American made hobbyist lathe dropped from the loading dock. The Chinese are dropping them like flies. And the new machines have features not available in many older lathes - like unworn ways and lead screws, powered crossfeed, threading dials...

If you're interested in making your father's projects get the American dino, otherwise get something contemporary that is straight, not run out, and still has spare parts. Move up from there to CNC when ready.__________________
Dennis

Come on now Dennis.:(
Using the word "contemporary" to describe a Asian 12x lathe?
lol, I have 30 year old machining mags with ads showing the exact same looking lathes sold today!
I certainly don't want to turn this thread into another new asian vs old iron debate.
And what is wrong with belts? Still very hard to beat the finish of a flat belt driven, plane bearing hydrodynamic oil filmed spindle.
Using modern serpentine type belts give all the traction you need.
Pop for a VFD or DC variable speed drive and you have a really nice machine. Backgear speeds down to 5rpm or 1500 in high.
And all SB9A's have power crossfeed .
Grizzlys owner bought South Bends name and will be manufacturing new 9" and 10" lathes . They will be heavily improved but still retain all the nice flowing curves and lines of the lathes of yesteryear, at least that's what they are saying..
I predict these new SB's will be very hot sellers. Guys looking for old iron but not ready to deal with the issues old iron usually brings will have a viable option other than the cookie cutter boxy looking typical Asian lathes .
I am also pretty heavily into the cnc end of things. With my cnc'd x3 mill and the 2 custom cnc machines I have built. But I would let them all go in a heartbeat before I would let go of my 1920's Artisan.

Steve

MotorradMike
11-21-2009, 08:37 PM
Hi guys:

I'm writing this to close the post and thank all who responded, as well as those who took the time to read it and had nothing to add. It bugs me a bit when people ask questions, reap the benefits of YEARS of experience and then let the thread hang without closure. You guys helped - thanks. Doesn't matter what I got, you guys still helped.

I bought a BusyBee Craftex B2227L (http://busybeetools.ca/cgi-bin/picture10?NTITEM=B2227L) 10" x 18" gearhead. It was a LOT more solid than the CT039 which came with lots of extra stuff including a stupid toolbox to hold some of it. Bed is not hardened but it's cast iron so who am I to wear that out? Oh, and the gearbox is REALLY cool. Mostly, I went for rigidity.

I've wanted a metal lathe for 30 years and have never been able to justify it. Still can't justify it, I'm perfectly capable of taking a drawing to a machine shop but right now, I have some cash. Sure I want an Uber-lathe designed in Germany, built in Checkoslovakia with Reardon metal imported from Jupiter's moons but...

Some of you may think I've made a mistake, you may be right. Others will think I've made a good choice. Thing is, it's my decision and I'll live with it. 'nother tool, how bad can that be?

I'll hang out here and try to give back but unless some of you have electronics issues, prolly can't help. If I ever chime in on feed speeds for Titanium, slap me! Mostly, I'll just be reading.

Mike Marr

oldtiffie
11-21-2009, 08:49 PM
Good choice.

rode2rouen
11-21-2009, 11:01 PM
Congrats on the new lathe!

I recommend you pick up a copy of either Atlas or South Bend lathe operation books. Both have excellent info that is general to lathe work.


Rex

Tony Ennis
11-21-2009, 11:30 PM
Cool. You'll have to post a review.

aboard_epsilon
11-22-2009, 07:10 AM
Hi guys:

I'm writing this to close the post and thank all who responded, as well as those who took the time to read it and had nothing to add. It bugs me a bit when people ask questions, reap the benefits of YEARS of experience and then let the thread hang without closure. You guys helped - thanks. Doesn't matter what I got, you guys still helped.

I bought a BusyBee Craftex B2227L (http://busybeetools.ca/cgi-bin/picture10?NTITEM=B2227L) 10" x 18" gearhead. It was a LOT more solid than the CT039 which came with lots of extra stuff including a stupid toolbox to hold some of it. Bed is not hardened but it's cast iron so who am I to wear that out? Oh, and the gearbox is REALLY cool. Mostly, I went for rigidity.

I've wanted a metal lathe for 30 years and have never been able to justify it. Still can't justify it, I'm perfectly capable of taking a drawing to a machine shop but right now, I have some cash. Sure I want an Uber-lathe designed in Germany, built in Checkoslovakia with Reardon metal imported from Jupiter's moons but...

Some of you may think I've made a mistake, you may be right. Others will think I've made a good choice. Thing is, it's my decision and I'll live with it. 'nother tool, how bad can that be?

I'll hang out here and try to give back but unless some of you have electronics issues, prolly can't help. If I ever chime in on feed speeds for Titanium, slap me! Mostly, I'll just be reading.

Mike Marr

does not appear to have the quick change screw cutting gearbox like the first craftex you pointed out .

all the best.markj

Tony Ennis
11-22-2009, 09:52 AM
Isn't that the paired red levers at the top?

aboard_epsilon
11-22-2009, 10:05 AM
Isn't that the paired red levers at the top?

they are the speeds

http://i527.photobucket.com/albums/cc354/GrahamC_pictrures/B2227L/CraftexB2227L_GearHead_002.jpg

all the best.markj

S_J_H
11-22-2009, 10:56 AM
Hey congrats! I remember when I got my first lathe and it was a great day!
I use my lathes more than any other machine. I love turning.
I think you made a good choice. I'm not familiar with the 10x18 lathes but it looks good. I am real familiar with the ct039 which is the good ol' 9x20.
It looks like the 10x18 is a change gear machine which is fine. The 9x20's have a semi-quick change box. It only offers up 9 ratios/feeds so you still end up doing plenty of gear changes with it. The 9x20's do have a worm drive for powerfeed which eliminates using the lead screw threads for normal feeding. But it's a real clunky crude setup.
The 9x20 uses a 5mm polyflex belt for speed changes. The 9x20's sold today are basically copies of Emco's compact 8 which was a nice bench lathe. The Asian 9x20's however are extremely crude copies which is why the 9x20 gets such a bad rap.
So good choice and enjoy your new machine!

Steve

MotorradMike
11-23-2009, 05:12 PM
Thanks for the encouragement and suggestions. I'll be looking for a Southbend book. Doesn't seem right to keep it in the same room, maybe upstairs.

No quick change on this one as pointed out. I assumed that was just for thread cutting which I've never done but I guess the gears run the feed too. The Colchester had a lead screw as well as a slotted bar to run the feed.

Just got it home but that's another topic.:)

Mike

S_J_H
11-23-2009, 06:14 PM
No quick change on this one as pointed out. I assumed that was just for thread cutting which I've never done but I guess the gears run the feed too. The Colchester had a lead screw as well as a slotted bar to run the feed.
Right, the QCGB controls feeds and threading, most of the larger lathes run a separate feed rod.
Lathes like the SB9A have a full length keyway cut into the leadscrew, this keyway drives a worm drive mechanism inside of the apron. So when you use powerfeed the worm drive is engaged and no wear and tear happen on the leadscrew threads.

The import 9x20 does have this feature which sets it apart from many other comparably priced Asian lathes. But the 9x20 is almost a "Kit" and is why so many avoid it. If it was better built, the 9x20 would be a very nice little lathe, just like the real Emco compact 8 was. But while copying the Emco's design all sorts of shortcuts were taken.

On my old 9x20 I modified the worm drive system to make it perform more smoothly, as a clunky feed results in poor surface finish when using powerfeed. The worm gear simply floats in a loose, unmachined area held captive by 2 cast in ears.

These pics show the modified worm drive on my old 9x20. (My good friend Rube now has that lathe)
Note the bronze bearing blocks on either side of the worm. The 9x20 from the factory has no bearing at all for the worm gear.

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n48/S_J_H/insideviewofnewblocks.jpg

This pic shows the machined apron to accept a thin bearing setup for the worm.
http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n48/S_J_H/APRONMACHINED.jpg

I machined the inside of the apron and machined the worm to accept a bearing surface to accurately retain the worm gear.
Adding a bearing retainer to the worm gear made for a much smoother powerfeed. Now this is just one item on that lathe that needed serious attention.

For comparison, this is the backside of my SB9A's apron showing the worm drive, which is much better built and works very smoothly.
http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n48/S_J_H/SOUTHBEND%209/sb9after004.jpg
http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n48/S_J_H/SOUTHBEND%209/sb9after003.jpg


So just because one lathe appears to have more features than another, like
the Craftex CT039 does vs the B2227L, if the added features are poorly made you might be better off without them, period.

Steve