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3t-
05-25-2010, 01:03 PM
Gents,

Lately we have had quite a few lathe quality type posts and I am looking for "education" on this issue.

I currently own an import 9x20 and an Atlas QC-54 and a Logan Turret lathe. I have certainly learned the limitations that each machine has and have done some modification and adjustments to get what I want out of each. I keep them in top shape and they function very well within their respective capabilities.

I will be looking for a larger, heavier machine in the coming year and will no doubt have choices between older smaller industrial units and new import units all in the 12-15 inch range.

What exactly are the quality differences, I don't doubt they exist but specifically what items fall into the, "the older American/European made machines have this as compared to the newer imports that have this"

I read posts by members who have experience with both, pick out a couple of specifics from your experience and give some more details. This will be helpful as I begin the hunt.

Tony Ennis
05-25-2010, 01:29 PM
I believe the old American Iron was engineered to do a job, and the price was the natural consequence of this.

The HSM imports are priced to a market and the engineering is tailored to meet that price point.

Both are valid approaches.

You won't find too many features missing on the non-entry-level import lathes. Check out Grizzly's 12" lathes. What you will find is the old iron has more iron and tighter tolerances in general. You can refurbish old iron and get back to the original specification. I don't think any amount of tinkering will make a typical HSM import something it was never meant to be.

That being said, to get an old American lathe working right takes a lot of effort, time, money, and knowledge. If you don't have all four then a new Chicom is probably the way to go. A patient person will wait with cash in hand for the rare Old Iron lathe that's in good shape.

PeteM
05-25-2010, 05:33 PM
I'd be inclined to consider "quality" for a given lathe size in at least three categories: accuracy, productivity, and longevity. Safety might be a fourth category.

Features contributing to accuracy include expensive bearings, heavy and well engineered castings, smoothly operating gears, great attention to accurate machining/grinding (and in the old days, precision fitting and scraping), etc.

Features contributing to productivity include a wide range of speeds, massive construction, larger motors, advanced controls, and an entire machine designed for heavy cuts and the higher speeds required for carbide tooling. Other features would speed up threading to a shoulder, etc. For many parts, especially smaller parts and multiples, CNC has pretty much changed the definition of productivity in the industry.

Features contributing to longevity include hardened bedways, one shot lubrication for the carriage, well made and well meshing gears, double wall construction for the carriage (gears running in oil), closed change and headstock gearing (running in oil), etc. etc.

Some older "quality" machines are now so worn that accuracy suffers unless they are rebuilt. However, they may still be able to take prodigious cuts and the rate of new wear (though starting from a sadly worn state) may be fairly low if all the lube systems are in order.

Some new import machines (mid-range and up) may start out with decent accuracy but have less to offer in terms of productivity and longevity. The average home shop user may not care so much about either productivity (a 1hp cut would be a "big" cut for them) or even longevity (the lathe will get only occasional use and hand lubrication may be all that is needed for many years of use.

Some safety features might include a spindle brake, chucks (on larger machines) that can take higher speeds, well designed controls, chuck and swarf guards, etc.

Anyhow, consider the qualities you need.

sidneyt
05-25-2010, 05:59 PM
Gents,

I will be looking for a larger, heavier machine in the coming year and will no doubt have choices between older smaller industrial units and new import units all in the 12-15 inch range.



You might want to consider a lathe that offers some of the advantages of the "old American iron", and is not worn out. The new South Bend lathes offered by Grizzly appear to be nicely finished at an attractive price. As an example:
http://grizzly.com/products/South-Bend-14-x-40-Lathe-220V/SB1012

This 3500 lb lathe should meet most of your expectations for size and longevity.

If that is a little more than you were planning to spend then you might consider this lower priced lathe that still represents a step up from your 9 x 20:
http://www.grizzly.com/products/14-x-40-High-Precision-Tool-Room-Lathe/G9732

Either one of these machines would be a great addition to the HSM's workshop.

JoeFin
05-25-2010, 07:34 PM
There are plenty of Old American Iron Lathes that lived their life in a "Maintenance" environment and well not have the excessive wear a 30, 40, or 50 year old production machine has. You'll only be able to tell if you inspect the machine first hand.

Secondly - the majority of Asian import lathes are cast with what ever variation of metal - I don't know. I do know it is not the quality Ductile Grey Iron the Old American Iron is made of. Nor did they take the care and time to allow it to cool properly as to avoid internal stresses that can "Tweek" in the coming years. I know, I still have photos of an Asian mill where the saddle twisted with age.

Additionally from disassembling, repairing and restoring Asian and American machines the detail in design, machining and tolerance of fit are a night and day difference with the American Iron several plateaus above

So I guess we are going to argue the question 1 more time.

A Brand New inexpensive Asian Import or a Well Cared for American Lathe.

Fasttrack
05-25-2010, 08:33 PM
Additionally from disassembling, repairing and restoring Asian and American machines the detail in design, machining and tolerance of fit are a night and day difference with the American Iron several plateaus above



I agree.

Some features that I enjoy on my Pacemakers (although not neccessarily unique):

All shafts are supported by needle or ball bearings. This makes for very smooth "action" while moving the cross-slide or carriage.

Large, well balanced handwheels give plenty of control

Large micrometer dials are easy to read and allow one to accurately estimate within a half-thousandth (and hold that tolerance, beside!)

Easily adjustable spindle bearings allow for quick and easy wear compensation

An oil pump provides lubrication for the headstock (vs. splash oiling) and includes an easy to "clean" filter (you turn a knob and a wiper clears the screen of any debris)

3 or 4 bearing support for the spindle

Built in ball stop for threading

"Automotive" style clutches allow spindle speeds to be changed on the fly

Seperate feed rod and lead screw

The 50's era Pacemakers had enormous hard ways with a tapered gib for the saddle (:eek:) as well as the cross slide.

Huge selection of feeds/leads/TPI available without change gears

Well supported saddle and short but wide compound yields enormous rigidity

Large tailstock with huge bore and a crank to move the beast around

Cam-action clutches for feed/lead allows for quick engagement and disengagement

Streamlined tailstock with long quill allows you to reach over the saddle and compound when neccessary

Micrometer dials on all handwheels is a nice feature that is found on the later models (1950's)

One shot lubrication for all bearing surfaces

"herringbone" gears (double helical gears) and heavy cast iron covers means the lathe is quiet (relatively), even when turning at 1500 rpm

Heavy duty, lapped gears used throughout the machine; the feed rod and leadscrew are capable of handling very large loads

etc

I'll add more as I think of them ;)

JoeFin
05-25-2010, 08:51 PM
Don't want to seem like I'm just "Bashing" on Asian Machines so we should not forget the "Cadillac Lathe"

http://www.webbmachinery.com/Cadillac/webb1640.jpg

nor should we forget the Mori Seiki

http://www.idealtoolmfg.com/mori%20s18.jpg

Perfect examples of what Asian Lathes can do when they want to.

cuslog
05-25-2010, 09:19 PM
I purchased an "entry level" 12 x 36 Chinese made lathe about 4 or 5 years ago. I didn't know what to look for in a used machine and didn't want to buy someone elses problems.
Now after running this little chinese one the 4 or 5 years (part time) I know what I don't like about this one.
1) not enough gears in the gearbox to change from power feeds to threading without taking the end cover off and manually changing out 3 gears (with wrenches).
2) just not a rigid enough machine to take a cut without leaving tiny waves in the surface finish.
3) its not real predictable as to what you get for a cut ie; dial in .010 and you might get .010 or you might get .012.
4) its kind of noisy as you get up in speed (bearings and gears not real high quality).
After all that complaining though, I must admit that I have done quite a bit on it and gotten by on the mostly lower tolerance work that is mostly what I do with it.
I must also admit that the lathe I would really like would probably cost 3 - 5 times what I paid for this little chinese one and I don't know if that would really be "in the cards".

doctor demo
05-25-2010, 11:13 PM
That 14'' S. Bend is nearly 20 grand, and the Griz 10 grand.:eek: Unless I had a very specific urgent need for either of them that was going to make Me a good return on My investment I wouldn't consider either one. I have an old chi com 13X36 an older Leblond 15X48 and an even older 20X48 Axelson, and have way less money tied up in the three combined than the Griz.
You could probably pick up a decent CNC for a lot less than the S. Bend. But that is a whole different topic.
So when considering what features or country of origin, You have to ask yourself what you need/want or can afford.
I would buy an old 2500 dollar lathe and put 5000 in it before I would pay 7500 for a new one. But that is just Me.
You already have a diverse collection of machines so it really comes down to Your own feelings for what You are comfortable with and what sacrifices You want to make if any.
Steve

Mike Hunter
05-26-2010, 10:44 AM
My feeling about import lathes is that they are a copy. What Iím getting at is that they will copy a design or features without fully understanding why those features are there.

Prime example is the degree markings for the compound. They will put hash marks there, and numbers, but they may not necessarily be accurate. To them itís just lines and numbers. Same thing for the graduation marks on the tailstock.

Iíve got a grizzly G0554; 14x40 lathe, weighs in about 2500 lbs, probably not a typical HSM machine.

Some issues that Iíve noticed over the past 4 years:

The gear/feed control detents are not aligned properly with the gear. For example: if you turn the knob to position 8 (20 TPI) you may or may not be meshed with the right gear (or any gear for that matter). And whatís really neat is that you can engage the lead screw & feed rod at the same timeÖCan be really exciting depending on what youíre doing. Finally took a magic marker and made my own positions.

The cross slide nut is held in place by a single screw, no recess, or anything else holding the nut captive, guess how long it took for that screw/screw hole to get wallowed out?

The lead screw/feed rod support bracket is not properly aligned, so if you take the carriage all the way to the right it binds.

Iíve got a bunch more examples, but bottom line is that they copied the ďform factorĒ. Kind of like copying a pair of glasses, the wire frames are there, the glass lenses are there, and looks just like a pair of glasses, but since they donít understand what glasses are for, they didnít grind the glass to the right prescription.

Mcgyver
05-26-2010, 12:07 PM
I've been spending a lot of time lately tearing apart, cleaning, rebuilding and scraping machines, some of the best every made and some asian and have some basic ideas on what makes a machine quality.

I agree Tom's list are great to haves and indicate quality but many are the hallmarks of luxury and larger machines. I'm more thinking these are features whereas what are the fundamentals of quality...what quality means on a very simple machine

I would think the quality of cast iron and how its stress relieve would be a major one. On my Chevalier (Taiwan) there were some castings where they way were out several thou - must have been through the casting moving after machining. We've all seen the pics of the Chinese vise snapping in two; who knows what's in that cast iron....look up in the sky and hope for the best cuz if you've ever manufactured there you know that's about all you can do for QC - manufacturing went there to cut costs and Chinese suppliers will make unbelievable unilateral changes to cut their costs (just ask Mattel)

Next, spindle bearings. What's the cost of a new set of bearings for a 10ee or Hardingle HLV? maybe more than a lot of Chinese lathes. Spindle bearings are core to performance and precision ones are expensive. Same thing with other less critical components.

The leadscrew. hardened and ground to some small lead tolerance is what you want...that differentiates low and high end machines

fit and finish of components. Making things flat and parallel over any distance and making things fit together extremely well is really, really difficult, ie expensive. If they're not though, accuracy, wear and rigidity will suffer....you want the saddle for example very well support all over the bearing surfaces by the ways...not just in a few spots. How well do you think the manufacturer does at this, the expensive and difficult stuff, when their main thing is low cost?

Here is an extreme example you'll hopefully get a laugh at. Its a pic of the ways on a mini mill X/Y table, a recent scraping project. The unbelievable part is the beautifully ground surface is not the bearing surface! Its in contact with nothing; i presume its ground to show the customer how the plant beautiful grinds the ways :rolleyes: The bearing surface is the rough area covered in tool marks to the right; its roughness is highlighted by my first few scraping marks.

http://i785.photobucket.com/albums/yy132/michael01000/DSC_3055Large-1.jpg

Here's another howler. This a threaded whole through the side of a boss on my Chevalier grinder - and its Taiwan not mainland!

http://i785.photobucket.com/albums/yy132/michael01000/DSC_3919Large.jpg

I think Tony put it very well. This is what you get from factories that exist to fill the lowest cost shelves. Quality control in China is next to impossible; they do whatever they want to cut their costs and their margins are thin enough they'd take no initiative to increase quality if it increases costs. I mean in the above pic, if both worker and inspector thought something that blatant was ok, how much else is just allowed to go through? Ever seen something like that on an old Cinci grinder? After seeing that, how much confidence would have that the plant goes to pains to fit a saddle to a bed?

There is no free lunch. A quality lathe used to be around the cost of a new car....now its supposed to be less than the cost of a weeks family vacation? something has to give.

I know Forrest, who's one of the most knowledgeable here, is vocal that new Chinese may be better than worn out western stuff....and he's probably right. The key word is worn out....there is lots of stuff out of schools, maintenance shops, tool rooms and home shops that isn't worn...worth learning how to check because that's the only way imo to get quality for the cost of a weeks vacation

Richard-TX
05-26-2010, 02:56 PM
if you can find an older lathe that isn't worn out, abused, neglected or beat on with a hammer, you are going better than I am. I searched for close to 3 years for a reasonable lathe. I never found one. All of them suffered from some sort of major defect which made the worst of the imports look good. Then to make matters worse, those lathes that were only good for scrap were priced as much as a new import.

Now maybe I got a good one by chance. I have no idea, but it certainly does not suffer from any of the gross defects I have seen published.

Maybe you live in an area were lathes litter the streets. Where I live, it is a virtual desert.

ckelloug
05-26-2010, 06:49 PM
If you have access to a loading dock somewhere and also and this is key, an easy to get account with a trucking company like Fedex Freight, Getting a machine shipped in from the rust belt is looking to me like an attractive option.

From my research, I can get a nice used old iron surface grinder from Detroit shipped to me for less than the local machinery dealer wants for one minus delivery.

I just had an 1100 pound vibration table for my epoxy-granite work shipped in from West Virginia and the freight was only about $200.

--Cameron

strokersix
05-26-2010, 07:04 PM
"Iíve got a bunch more examples, but bottom line is that they copied the ďform factorĒ. Kind of like copying a pair of glasses, the wire frames are there, the glass lenses are there, and looks just like a pair of glasses, but since they donít understand what glasses are for, they didnít grind the glass to the right prescription."

I've been bit by this. One example was a BP right angle attachment. It looked like one but turned rough. I figured, no problem, I'll just adjust the backlash and we'll be good to go. WRONG. The gears inside were so bad I'm surprised they even turned. The seller refunded my money but I was out shipping both ways. Beware.

Kibby
05-26-2010, 07:43 PM
if you can find an older lathe that isn't worn out, abused, neglected or beat on with a hammer, you are going better than I am. I searched for close to 3 years for a reasonable lathe. I never found one. All of them suffered from some sort of major defect which made the worst of the imports look good. Then to make matters worse, those lathes that were only good for scrap were priced as much as a new import.

Now many I got a good one. I have no idea, but it certainly does not suffer from any of the gross defects I have seen published.

Maybe you live in an area were lathes litter the streets. Where I live, it is a virtual desert.

Very insightful, Richard. This is exactly where I am right now. Oh sure, it's perfectly okay to buy an import, but only if you are willing to concede that your new lathe will be a "kit" until you break it down into itty-bitty pieces and completely refurb it to acceptable tolerances. Who has the time? I did that to an X3 miini-mill, and the darn thing is so beautiful I'm afraid to use it. I'm afraid to admit the many hours I spent reworking that danged mill. No matter how pretty it is, it still ain't no BP. :(

Mcgyver
05-26-2010, 08:37 PM
Richard, there are new options (standard modern, myford) so its not just a matter of old iron vs Asian.....for that matter there's high end asian machines such as mori seiki and okuma. These are all of course very expensive, hence my 'no free lunch comment' its like that saying you can have it cheap, fast and good....pick 2.

While at the end of the day it probably came across as bashing; that wasn't the intent....I was trying to build a series of points

1) the basics that make a good lathe are quality of casting/iron, bearings, screws and bearing surfaces and fits

2) you're not able to measure these things; ie lead error, casting metallurgy or bearing spots per square inch on the showroom floor, about all you can do is to trust in the integrity of the brand and QC

and finally

3) it is really hard to trust QC or brand if you're familiar with low cost outsource manufacturing in China...to top it off i gave a few howlers as examples. I have first hand manufacturing experience their, have read books on the subject and offered my anecdotes suggesting that relying on the QC of a low cost machine is kind of blind hope (and that from a Taiwan machine!)

I hope you did get a good one, maybe they're all good....but the OP wanted ideas what elements actually determines quality; I think its casting, bearings, screws and fit. I'm challenged either to trust QC on a low end one or how the typical buyer can assess these items other than take them on faith if you trust the brand - and how can you trust the brand given how QC works there and the track record? A so called low end one may well serve many requirements, but that's a different topic than the OP's Q

ulav8r
05-27-2010, 10:32 AM
A Mori Seiki that is still in good condition will cost about $6-10k and be a pleasure to run if you put 4-6 inch risers under it. They are very smooth, stout, capable machines.

If willing to spend more than $3000 on a lathe, you should also look at professionally rebuilt machines which can give the features of older top quality machines with new machine precision.

Tony Ennis
05-27-2010, 10:59 AM
We've mentioned the 9x20 and a Mori Seiki that costs perhaps 10x as much in the same thread.

Perhaps the OP can give us a clue about price range as surely the feature and fit-and-finish discussion changes for higher-end machines.

3t-
05-27-2010, 11:34 AM
Many thanks everyone! This thread has given me a lot of info. I appreciate the details and examples of specific experiences, that is helpful.

My hope is that over the next year or so my lathe budget will be $4k to $6k. (Contingent on getting the kitchen remodel done on budget) This keeps me out of the New American/UK/Euro machines but does let me look to some of the machine dealers who work with used but good shape quality stuff. I have seen some LeBlond, Hardinge, Clausing, Harrison, etc that would be close to that range. Some of these may be more of a "Project" than I can tackle but I have some time to keep my eyes open and hopefully find a dealer who will work with me and keep my interests/needs in mind.

Fasttrack
05-28-2010, 12:14 AM
Good luck 3t :) With 4k, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding a good lathe that will serve you well for many years.

I'll keep my eyes open for ya. I've got a long list of machines that I need to track down for friends and family, so I spend a considerable amount of time wading through classifieds. If I see any promising leads in Nebreska, I'll PM you.

JoeFin
05-28-2010, 09:14 AM
3t-

All I can say is "ROAD TRIP !!! "

http://stlouis.craigslist.org/tls/1728439949.html

It doesn't hurt to check around your area. It also doesn't hurt to open up a line of communication with the seller by sending an email or 2. Even a phone call if it is some thing that sounds interesting. You present budget is more then adequate to purchase a good quality working lathe

People sell machines for different reasons. Some are dealers which can be like used car salesmen and some thing you definitely need to be cautious of. Others are Home Shop Machinist, some of which are getting up there in age, suffering from terminal diseases, or selling the farm to move to Sunny Florida. You don't know unless you ask.

There are even 1 man Machine shops throwing in the towel, looking forward to retirement, and a machine is the last thing they want to look at.

My point is you don't know unless you ask

Perhaps start a new thread titled "Questions to ask the seller before buying a used lathe" You might find that very informative as well

Richard-TX
05-28-2010, 09:25 AM
3t-


Perhaps start a new thread titled "Questions to ask the seller before buying a used lathe" You might find that very informative as well

What I have found is that the seller doesn't know what make, model, size, or the age of a machine is. In short they could not tell you what color it is while standing in front of it.


I went to look at a mill once that the owner said was in good shape. The table had been ripped right off the ways.

Tony Ennis
05-28-2010, 09:29 AM
$2,500 Monarch in the Louisville area (http://louisville.craigslist.org/tls/1737488586.html).

The Olde Iron is out there for those who can haul it and have the marbles and resources to fix it.

JoeFin
05-28-2010, 09:44 AM
What I have found is that the seller doesn't know what make, model, size, or the age of a machine is. In short they could not tell you what color it is while standing in front of it.


I went to look at a mill once that the owner said was in good shape. The table had been ripped right off the ways.

Richard

I don't know why you are having difficulty finding machines in Texas. The Houston area is any thing but a desert for good quality used machinery.

I especially like this CNC lathe for $5500

http://houston.craigslist.org/tls/1752695065.html

What I find appealing is the machine and controller is only 12 years old. Lots of good life left in that machine.

But yes you are correct - Down in the Heart of Texas you certainly get your share of "Wackos" asking an arm and leg for a rusted out, clapped out old South Bend

http://houston.craigslist.org/tls/1702231732.html

But like I said - shooting off an email doesn't cost a thing and you'll never know unless you ask

Scishopguy
05-28-2010, 01:13 PM
$2,500 Monarch in the Louisville area (http://louisville.craigslist.org/tls/1737488586.html).

The Olde Iron is out there for those who can haul it and have the marbles and resources to fix it.

Right on, Tony, these are fine machines! The reason that they lasted 60 years is the quality of materials they were made with and the skill of the folks that built them. I had one of these in the university shop that was dated Sept. of 1943 and it was just as good as new. You couldn't do much better for a quality lathe.

ldbent
05-29-2010, 03:35 AM
Go the the Practical Machinist board and visit the South Bend forum. There are two stickies or saved topics; In praise of clunkers.---Evaluating a used lathe. Personally I favor used equipment. Here is my experience with 6 lathes.
1. 9 inch Logan bought about 30 years ago. Worked fine but I soon lost patience with the loose change gear box. Kept it for a couple of years and then sold it for about what I'd paid for it.
2.11 inch South Bend. An old one built about 1928. It had a silent chain drive that was completely worn out. I replaced the chain drive with a new Baldor motor and a couple of v-belt pulleys. I had this lathe for years and really enjoyed running it. South Bend lathes are quiet and accurate. I don't recall what I paid for it but it wasn't much. I ended up giving it to an old friend.
3.13 inch South Bend. Bought two at a school auction. Sold one so that I had less than $900 in the one I kept. The 13 inch and larger SBs are ideal for the home shop. They are so simply constructed that you don't even need power to check them thoroughly. Every part is available for the 13 inch and many parts are available for the 14.5 and 16 inch lathes. I had mine in the basement. You can remove the headstock, tail stock, cabinet base and leg in a few minutes. The bed and saddle can be moved as a unit using an appliance hand truck. Their major drawback for some is the necessity for transposing gears to cut metric threads. Search ebay and Craig's list-there are always many available. I still have mine and am now adapting a Jacob's Rubberflex collet chuck to use the full 1.375 inch spindle bore capacity. Mine is equipped with the hardened bed and the large matte chrome dials that are much appreciated by my old eyes.

4. 12 inch Hendey gearhead. Mid 40's lathe that actually swung 14.5 inches.
High quality medium duty-3 HP-lathe. Lathe was in excellent shape and came wit a 3J, 4J and face plate. I sold this because it was installed at a friends company I did business with(too big to get in my basement). I was quitting business due to health problems and since I could no longer return favors I didn't want to impose on him.
I did take a loss on this machine because I sold it through a consignment agreement.

5.We retired and decided to move to Duluth, MN. on a trial basis. I rented some shop space across the river in Superior, WI. 1000 sq. ft., 3 phase 120/208V power, private bathroom and 10 by 10 ft. overhead door all for the princely sum of $350/mo. I found a Pratt & Whitney 16 X 30 Model C lathe from the late 60's on ebay. $900 buy it now. I talked to the owner who had a grinding shop is W. Harttord,CT. He assured me that though very dirty the lathe retained all its functions. I bought the lathe because I had nothing to do and winter lasts a long time in Duluth. This is a serious machine-7.5 HP-4500#-18.5 inch swing-2 inch spindle bore- D-1-6 spindle nose-hardened steel tool slide-back lash eliminator on the cross slide-pressure lube in apron and head stock-quick clamp tail stock with spring loaded rollers to ease its' movement along the bed-single tooth clutch in threading gear train so half nuts need not be opened at the end of each pass-ball stop on cross slide to return to the same starting point when threading so all that's needed is to crank in depth of cut on the tool slide. The lathe shows obvious neglect and abuse but was built so strongly that I didn't find one broken tooth on any gear in the head stock or quick change gear train. The lathe is still accurate and true.
6. HES 16 X 60 lathe. Made in France in 1978. Sold in Europe as the Cholet 435. Leroy Somer 7.5KW@ 50Hz motor. Rated 12 HP @ 60Hz. 36 to 1800 RPM 18 speeds. Cuts metric and imperial threads with no gear switching. A-1-6 spindle nose. 52 mm spindle bore. 6 metric taper spindle taper. Steady rest. Taper attachment. Tail stock crank has micrometer dial. Cam clamp on tail stock. Replaceable bed ways hardened to 62 Rockwell C. 3J and 4J chucks. Face plate. Swiss 40 position Multifix tool post with 4 holders. Spindle equipped with Gamet bearings guaranteed to run out less than 50 millionths. Micrometer dial on carriage hand wheel. Ball stop with 0.0001 vernier on cross slide. Lathe came from the prototype shop of a Portland, OR manufacturer of IC production equipment. Delivered to Duluth it was $5400.
Except for the paint it was like new.

I feel that I got a fair or better deal on all of these lathes. The HES was bought from a dealer and was as represented. Successful dealers know their is no advantage in having obsolete manual machines carried on their inventory for years. Three phase machines are generally better bargains than single phase. Heavy machines are generally better bargains than those that weigh less than a ton. Unless stated otherwise Natl. Mach. Tool Dealers Assoc. members offer a return policy. The bigger manual machines are cheaper now than ever. The warranty on import hobby machines is nearly worthless. If your dealer is not in your city who do you think is going to be repairing your machine? Even if in your city does Horrible Fright make house calls?

lazlo
05-29-2010, 10:57 AM
Richard

I don't know why you are having difficulty finding machines in Texas. The Houston area is any thing but a desert for good quality used machinery.

Yeah, I spit up my coffee when I saw Richard post that. I don't know where he is in Texas, but there's a ton of good machine tools being sold for a song in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.

Lathes, mills (CNC and manual) surface grinders, you name it...

Richard: if you need help finding a machine, shoot me your phone number by PM.

Tony Ennis
05-29-2010, 11:32 AM
One way it could be a desert is if he has specific needs. I'm in Louisville and for me, it's a desert. There are lathes all around me, but few I care to move, few I care to repair, and few I have room for. For example, there was a 16" South Bend on craigslist for a while. That's too much lathe for me!

Ironically (pun!) my Atlas is *perfect* for me because it is light, cheap, and feature-poor.