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hammer883
08-04-2011, 07:42 AM
hi guys....I am tasked with researching info for a replacement lathe for my work, I am currently using a Southbend "16" with a 5' bed, belt drive, but it's a real good runnin lathe, they just are concerned about it being so old, it does not have updated safety features.....my problem is I think I want a Grizzly, (am stuck on a 1660 size) but Southern Tool sells a nice looking GMC (southern-tool.com) lathe and a Birmingham also looks good.....have read a few threads pos + neg on birmingham, depending on where it's made.....any advice???? where can I go on the internet to find competent reviews???? I've spent an hour of employers time searching and found out a girl was killed in Birmingham Al, in a lab lathe.......sorry....company wants to donate Southbend to school for tax credit.....it's old....does anybody have a direction to put me on the path????? thanks.......hammer

PixMan
08-04-2011, 08:22 AM
You've not mentioned what type of parts you have to do at work. That is the first thing to consider when selecting a machine. Throw out match the specs of the South Bend, it's really 1930's technology. Concentrate on matching a new machine to the type of work you do now and most importantly, how you can do it better.

As for the donation, where are you located? There may a school left within 1000 miles that still does vocational education in machining technology. But I doubt it. ;)

SGW
08-04-2011, 08:31 AM
You might look at the Standard-Modern 1600 http://www.standard-modern.com/ . Made in Canada.

Toolguy
08-04-2011, 09:53 AM
Whatever you end up with, get a digital readout on it. The readout will pay for itself many times over with speed and accuracy of parts.

macona
08-04-2011, 11:19 AM
hi guys....I am tasked with researching info for a replacement lathe for my work, I am currently using a Southbend "16" with a 5' bed, belt drive, but it's a real good runnin lathe, they just are concerned about it being so old, it does not have updated safety features.....my problem is I think I want a Grizzly, (am stuck on a 1660 size) but Southern Tool sells a nice looking GMC (southern-tool.com) lathe and a Birmingham also looks good.....have read a few threads pos + neg on birmingham, depending on where it's made.....any advice???? where can I go on the internet to find competent reviews???? I've spent an hour of employers time searching and found out a girl was killed in Birmingham Al, in a lab lathe.......sorry....company wants to donate Southbend to school for tax credit.....it's old....does anybody have a direction to put me on the path????? thanks.......hammer

Safety features, like what? You can add a EMO switch to it. Belt covers can be added.

But what that girl did would have killed her on any lathe.

If the lathe is so dangerous why are they thinking about letting kids use it? Find out if the school can actually use it. Otherwise it will be set out back and turn into a pile of rust.

hammer883
08-05-2011, 10:03 AM
pixman....cincinnati, OH sometimes i make bushings sometimes i make pins, been making fixtures to assemble small self contained pump/cylinders, nothing consistant., thanks to the rest for your replies....hammer 883

gwilson
08-05-2011, 10:11 AM
The more EXPENSIVE Grizzly lathes are made in TAIWAN. And,they say so in their descriptions. Suggest you only get a lathe at least Taiwan made. Korea and Japan(the best) also good,if you have the budget.

Dr Stan
08-05-2011, 01:51 PM
The more EXPENSIVE Grizzly lathes are made in TAIWAN. And,they say so in their descriptions. Suggest you only get a lathe at least Taiwan made. Korea and Japan(the best) also good,if you have the budget.

Amen, you do NOT want a mainland Chinese lathe for an industrial environment. They do not deliver the necessary performance.

The Webb from South Korea is an excellent lathe, a copy of the Cadillac lathe.

As previously mentioned the Standard Modern from Canada is also very good as is the Romi from Brazil. Another machine to consider is the Lion from eastern Europe.

A DRO is virtually a must and will pay for itself in a month or less.

Just like any other tool if you go cheap, you'll get what you pay for and it end up costing more in the long run.

tyrone shewlaces
08-05-2011, 02:05 PM
So the lathe is too dangerous to be trusted in an industrial environment used by guys with at least a little experience, but it's OK for the company to donate it to a school so it can be used by younger, inexperienced minds because it's a tax credit ?? In my mind that's pretty slimy.

Not picking on you of course. I'd talk the company into disposing of it another way at least. Money gained from a cheap sell (a couple hundred or so) is likely to bring in more than the tax credit anyway. It's not likely a school will take an old lathe - if they have a machining program at all they may prefer newer, relevant equipment.

I'm not up on what's available these days so unfortunately I can't offer much advice other than to say I used a Sharp lathe a lot in a previous shop. Other than a few minor annoyances (pretty much any machine will have something imperfect) it was a solid and smooth lathe. The word is that, everything else being equal, these import machines just don't last as long in a production environment as they wear out (ways and other sliding surfaces) quicker. But for less frequent use they would still outlast us. Just inspect if at all possible and make sure it's a decent machine to begin with since there is quite a bit of useless new import machinery out there.

Dr Stan
08-05-2011, 03:34 PM
So the lathe is too dangerous to be trusted in an industrial environment used by guys with at least a little experience, but it's OK for the company to donate it to a school so it can be used by younger, inexperienced minds because it's a tax credit ?? In my mind that's pretty slimy.


Having taught machining at a vo-tech and at the university level I do not know why I didn't pick up on this as you're absolutely correct.

BTW, the Sharpe lathe is another very good machine.