View Full Version : Humming and hawing... (10X18 lathe)

09-20-2011, 07:54 AM
Hi guys...
Dang...I'm ALMOST thinking of buying a china 10X18 lathe. I get to use the big Mazak at work...and they have an alright 14X40...
BUT no lathe at home yet and I'm goin crazy without one.
Very little room at my GF's place...but I could sneak a lil lathe like that in the garage under the guise of teaching her son how to run it...lol!(He won't be interested...there is no video game attached to the controls ;-)
What do you all think? How disgusted will I be with one of these?
But...I could still make some parts and feed my metalmania once in awhile?
Tryin to buy an old B+S horizontal right now...they are going to let me keep it at work if I do the odd thing for them....how cool is that?

09-20-2011, 09:59 AM
i assume you are looking at the busybee b2227

i had one for a couple years, and couldn't even stand to look at it by the time i finally sold it

09-20-2011, 10:06 AM

Will it do what you want? Does the seller have decent support? Is the price good?

Chinese bench type machines are not as bad as some would have you think. They might need a bit of tweaking to meet your personal expectations, (but so do 80 year old used machines). But they are fully able to make chips.

You've been around the block enough times by now Torker, you know what you want to do and how you want to do it. If it suits, buy it and enjoy it. Worry less about name plates.


09-20-2011, 10:54 AM
DON'T buy a lathe just because your anxious to get a lathe or you will end up being sorry. Also, don't buy a lathe or other machines unless you have your own space to put them without restrictions.

Alistair Hosie
09-20-2011, 03:05 PM
I too dislike the kind of slight, very slight, dishonesty of your plans. Sorry it is doomed to failure. Just my 2 cents of course all means to an end don't necessarily work out. Alistair

loose nut
09-20-2011, 07:44 PM
If you an afford the extra cost the 11" x 24's or the 12" x 27"/36" lathes are much more capable and not that much bigger. You would probably be happier with one of those. I had the smaller one and it was OK but after I upsized it is much nicer to work with.

09-20-2011, 10:59 PM
Torker may be pulling our leg a little here;) .

09-21-2011, 03:01 AM
I don't believe some of the response here.
I have noted several members on the board that have one of these lathes and they have done some beautiful work with them.

Look at one of Brian Rupnow's postings (http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=49750), are we to tell him that he's wasting his time? He has the same machine in question.

Is it not better to have a smaller machine that one can accommodate and use, than no machine at all?

Lets face it, we all want or desire the best, but given the cards that we are dealt, we all have to play our game with what's in our hands.
It's an intrinsic human trait to want more, but when you don't have any machine, something like this is so much better than just dreaming.

Plus it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, is easy to move, and is capable of some decent work.

09-21-2011, 04:42 AM
I have a 7x12 and a 9x20. I just got the 9x20. It's amazing the work one can do on a small lathe if one tries. You just use the same techniques that you use for a big lathe, but you are a bit more crowded, that's all.

I got the bigger lathe because I wanted the extra room to mount things like a DRO and to get the QCgearbox.

I'd go for it.


09-21-2011, 06:55 AM
LOL! Why Alister....sorry...I didn't know you were the Pope now. Ummm...get off your soapbox. Maybe think back a bit...I've taught lots of younguns how to weld and machine.
Nope...I'm serious. I have a smallish bench in the garage I could put a lathe on... THAT's IT!
Many , many years ago..I started out this game with a tiny lil Unimat and had a ton of fun with it.
Been thru four 9" SB's...a china 12X36, a 14X40,a little turret machine and here I am looking for a way to make truck and car parts...
I run a beautiful big Mazak at work....so ya...I know all about a quality machine.
Hmmm....maybe I asked the wrong question? Maybe shoulda asked how to get a huge ol' TOS or Monarch to fit on a 4 foot bench....
Willy gets it...I HAVE NO LATHE...at home anyway. I have a whole bunch of old woodworking equipment now...some of it needs some simple parts built. Some of it needs improvment...
My ol' Ford eats clutch bushings at an alarming rate...$23 a pop...a little lathe can make them for nothing....and it can make the other bushings that are causing the problem.
Some of you know Im a pretty tricky devil when it comes to modifying machines or figuring out solutions.... so just how insurmountable is the cheap china machine going to be? Or...do I have to turn this into another "Mill Drill" saga?

09-21-2011, 07:02 AM
DON'T buy a lathe just because your anxious to get a lathe or you will end up being sorry. Also, don't buy a lathe or other machines unless you have your own space to put them without restrictions.
Hi Carl...ol' buddy... I do have my own place...but it's two hours from here.
I was going to be moving down to it...gave the boss my notice....he told me to wait right there...ran and talked to his brother...offered me a HUGE raise to stay. Well...not HUGE...but another $8 an hour sure swayed me...
Kinda hard to swallow...paying huge bucks for things I know I can make for peanuts...I think you know what that'd be like?
Take care..

09-21-2011, 09:20 AM
When I read your thread I thought, surely he has some hidden motive. I knew you were more than a beginner so I kind of wondered what was up and figured, what the hell, I'll just post a generic comment and see what develops.

Money talks and if you can squeeze out some space go for it. I bet she's not as resentful as you imply:D .

09-21-2011, 07:16 PM
Carl...heh heh...ya...I'm always thinkin of getting back to where I was a couple years ago...machinery wise anyway...guess when it comes right down to it...a lathe is a lathe is a lathe. If it spins and makes chips it's gotta be good for something. Really tho...just wondering how bad these things are? I wasn't very happy with my china 14X40 and would never really want another one of those...but the lil guy is heck of a lot less money and could always set in a corner and be a secong ops lathe someday.
Problem is...I kept all my measuring tools and a lot of other tooling etc. I see it in storage once in awhile and it drives me nuts I'm not able to use it to make the things I know I can. Yeesh!
My new partner...she just doesn't get the machinery thing one bit. My X was very good about it...but she had many years to learn to like it....lol!

09-21-2011, 11:35 PM
We pretty much know what the limitations are because of the size of the lathe- what we may not know is if a particular lathe is a dog, a wet noodle, noisy, trouble-prone, has bad leadscrews, etc. I was looking at the 10x22 (may have been a 10x24) and was interested in getting one. What I would want to know is if it was a 1962 international scout or a modern toyota land cruiser. If the damn thing was noisy, with drunken metrinch lead screws and wobbly dials, I wouldn't want it. If it ran smoothly, reasonably quietly, and if the slide motions corresponded properly to the dial markings (and no bent leadscrews) then it would be worth considering.

I checked one out in the store. I did not buy it. I'm not saying they're no good- I am saying the one in the store was a hurtin' unit. On that basis I'd be leery of buying one still crated up, getting it home and finding out that stuff is bent, slides are inconsistent, spindle has runout, etc.

That's what I'd want to know about the particular lathe. I wouldn't need to hear that maybe it's too small or lacks important features, etc. I have the same questions about that lathe- is it actually any good?

09-22-2011, 12:11 AM
Darryl just a thought, why don't you and Russ send a PM to Brian Rupnow.
He probably has about as much time on the lathe as anybody. From his numerous projects that he's posted I can see not much dust has settled on it.
I hope I'm not out of line by volunteering him for an evaluation, but I don't think he would mind giving his honest opinion of the lathe.

Russ, funny you should mention the mill/drill saga.
Not sure if you saw the thread started by gbritnell about his 1/3 scale model T-5 transmission build, much of it done on a mill/drill!
Here's the link in case you missed it.


brian Rupnow
09-22-2011, 08:37 AM
I like my B227L Busy Bee lathe. Its place is not in a production machine shop, but as a mid sized home based lathe, its hard to beat.I have built many running engines, both I.C. and steam on it, along with a vast array of mechanical devices to run with these engines. I have added a few bits onto my lathe, such as carriage and cross feed stops, a "quick lock" mechanism on the tailstock, etcetera. It comes with a complete set of change gears for threading, and has a quick change gearbox for speed control. It runs on 120 volts. I have the optional 4 jaw chuck and faceplate for mine. I think for the money they are a very good lathe, and I would definitly recomend them to anyone who wanted a lathe for home use.---Brian Rupnow

09-22-2011, 08:43 AM
Why thankyou Brian!
I read some of your stuff this morning and see that...YIKES!!!! You can make some very nice things with your lathe.
Just wondering...is this the lathe I've heard about that has troublesome plastic gears?
BTW...I notice my ol bud dockrat has the same lathe. I've seen his work in person and it is second to none.
Still humming...no longer hawing...lol!

brian Rupnow
09-22-2011, 08:49 AM
Nope---No plastic gears in this one. All metal. PM me your phone number and I'll call you and talk about it right now.---Brian