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View Full Version : Harbor Freight Lathe Opinons



dnsbss
10-22-2003, 09:21 PM
Harbor Freight has a 13X40 geared head floor model lathe for $3500, item #40576. Looks good, which I could see one,what do y'all think?

CCWKen
10-22-2003, 09:30 PM
I'm not sure I follow. It looks good but you haven't seen it?
As with most floor models, it's had sweaty hands all over it (and probably some drewl) with no maintenance. Is it covered in rust?

Forgot to mention: You can get a brand new 14x40 for $2899. (#40576)

[This message has been edited by CCWKen (edited 10-22-2003).]

pgmrdan
10-22-2003, 09:46 PM
.

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 03-08-2004).]

BFHAMR
10-22-2003, 09:51 PM
Maybe floor model means the opposite of bench model?

Dan

pgmrdan
10-22-2003, 10:26 PM
.

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 03-08-2004).]

Oso
10-23-2003, 12:01 AM
Does the opinion have to be printable? Ok, OK, if I must......

Personally, I think they LOOK like they are put together from the rejected parts out of the other lathe importers factory runs.

Those parts must have been pulled off the line a step or two before completion (a dark of night transaction with the watchman?), and put together by folks who were not told what they were building.

They were presumably commissioned and bought by buyers who dropped out of elementary school early, and were instructed to buy "something from china that looks like the lathe in this picture" by a boss who then put a low dollar figure on the purchase total.

In short, I would almost call them a counterfeit, except they have their own name (central machinery) on them.

That is my opinion, having inspected them in their loose and nasty glory at an actual store........

kenc
10-23-2003, 01:09 AM
You can good deals on cheap stuff at HF. You can also get bad deals.
But if you have $3500 to spend why on Earth would you spend it on an HF lathe - or any Chinky lathe in fact?
$3500 buys you a damned nice lathe. I got my 56" bed Sheldon variable speed 13" swing lathe in great shape for under $1000. For $3500 there's not much you can't buy in great used shape with a bunch of tooling.
An older Hardinge, a Clausing Colchester, A nice Harrison.........

dnsbss
10-23-2003, 08:40 AM
By floor model I meant it was not a bench type.They are on back order,I am going by the pic on their web site.

Oso
10-23-2003, 09:13 AM
"I am going by the pic....." I don't think I would do that....you have to put your hands on to appreciate the issues, IMAO.

Cecil Walker
10-23-2003, 03:58 PM
My 2 cents worth. If you're going to spend $3500 you can buy a more rigid, accurate, parts avail, and higher resale value older US/CAN. made lathe and have money left over for tooling. I have received 5 auction fliers fron CIA Auctioneers this week alone for plant/machine shop closures. Take your time, do some research and poss. some travel, there are some good, and not some good sales out there. Ask around, at most closures the machinist will be at the sale, most will be honest about the condt. and quality of the equip. All you have to do is introduce yourself and start the conversation. IMHO there's much better older US/CAN. machinery out there than the newer imports. Again, this is just my opinion but I bought older (1960's and 1970's) equip. and have been more than satisfied.

sidneyt
10-23-2003, 06:38 PM
First of all, if you are interested in this lathe don't pay $3500 for it. Go to the harborfreight.com web site and use the "Order from printed catalog" option and use order # 40576-1vga and you get this lathe for $2899 plus $5.95 for shipping.

If you look at the specs for this lathe (you can download the manual) and compare it with the Grizzly G5960 lathe you will notice that they are remarkably close to the same lathe. I am not sure they are identical, but close. The Grizzly cost $4,745 with shipping. So, why the big difference in price? I don't know exactly. Harbor Freight sells a lot of stuff, some good and some not so good. Many of the large items like the lathes and mills (that you never see in a store)they appear to sell on price. One thing for sure, they don't hold your hand while you buy it or after you have taken it home. If it works, great. If it doesn't, call them or email them and wait for a replacement. A lot of people don't like that and they have good reason to not buy HF stuff. But, I don't think you should confuse the $3.99 cheesy wrench set with everything they carry. You can, in many cases, get a good deal on something including a lathe such as the 40567. I purchased a 12 x 36 lathe almost a year ago and have used it quite a bit. It will probably disappoint some for me to report that I have had no real problems with the lathe. It was a good deal and I am quite happy with it. If I were now in the market for a new lathe, I would seriously consider the 40576 lathe.



<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by dnsbss:
Harbor Freight has a 13X40 geared head floor model lathe for $3500, item #40576. Looks good, which I could see one,what do y'all think?</font>

Joel
10-23-2003, 11:00 PM
Sidney has hit the nail on the head.

Gerryrig
10-23-2003, 11:45 PM
I have their 12 X 36 lathe and like it.
Gerry

uute
10-24-2003, 02:21 AM
dns,

You asked for opinions, so here is mine. I bought a Birmingham 14 x 40 last year for less than that delivered (made in Tiawan). I've been pleased with it, but if I were to buy today, I would look hard at the Kent. It is a bit more (in the $3500 range), but has an oil bath QC gear box and I beleive more cross slide travel (important if you end up doing any milling operations on the lathe). Heavier too.

Hope you're not sorry you asked.

uute

BC21OSH
10-24-2003, 06:42 AM
You can buy a brand new Jet GH-1340W-3 gear head lathe for $4295 with free shipping.

There have also been some really nice quality lathes on E-Bay at reasonable prices.In the "buy it now" catagory.

A 14" South Bend Vari-Speed Toolroom Lathe with many accessories, collet closer and collets - $3750

A couple of the machinery dealers have had some really clean lathes for sale as well.

A Webb 13x40 Tool Room Lathe with collet closer and accessories. - $4500, but I called and he was willing to deal

A super clean Clausing 12x36 with collet closer and accessories. I don't recall the price on this one, but reasonable.

Right now it's a buyers market for machine tools.

Call some dealers and be willing to make them an offer. They will probably work with you. If not contact another one.

Try calling the dealers that advertise in the HSM and see what they can do for you. If you need parts or support later, it will be available

Bernard

Paul Gauthier
10-24-2003, 08:05 AM
Have you ever been to a flea market and see the junk they sell, they get it from HF. So in a word or two. Don't buy from them. Look around, check as many ads as you can find, wear out your telephone, even travel if you must to view. Find auctions, there has to be some around you. But don't spend that kind of money on chinese junk. Somewhere there is a good used Clausing, or Logan, or South Bend, or other equaly good American or British lathe with you name on it.
Just my .02's worth.

------------------
Paul G.

dnsbss
10-24-2003, 09:46 AM
Thanks for the replies,both pro and con,I would still like to see one,I thought it was kind of cheap

Jerry B
10-24-2003, 12:49 PM
I was in the same boat about 2 years ago as you are in now. I wanted to spend about $3000 and had looked at the Chink stuff too. I waited and called and traveled and found a 15x54 South Bend Nordic, gearhead lathe in great condition for $3800. I spent more than I wanted to but got far more lathe than I ever expected to have.

It pays to shop around.

dvk
10-24-2003, 04:27 PM
I bought the HF micro-mill drill and the
7X10 mini lathe,,had no problems with them
I enjoy working with them I find them very accurate within my means of working with machine tools as I am a beginner at this hobby. Very affordable tools for a hobbiest.

Pat S
10-24-2003, 06:51 PM
If an Asian import lathe will work for you entirely depends on how you use it. If it is a hobby and you just take light cuts and don't drill big holes you might be happy with one.

We got a new top of the line Jet at work in about '99 and the guy who ran it had at least 35 years of lathe experience. He broke so many gears on it that he almost refused to run it anymore. It just couldn't take cuts that are common on quality lathes.

[This message has been edited by Pat S (edited 10-24-2003).]