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View Full Version : New purchase lathe or lathe/mill



dr pepper
02-16-2013, 12:53 PM
Another post I'm making thats probably really common.

I'm contemplating another machine, a lathe or possibly a lathe mill.
I've had a few second hand machines and theres allways something messed up or wrong with it after you've started using it, so this time methinks I'll look into (but not neccesarily buy) a new machine.

I have a small mford ML4, which is a 7" swing and I think 20" bewteen centres or thereabouts, my mill is a antique (honest it is) trident horizontal with a naff diy'd vertical head, I only tend to use the vertical.

I've been looking at these cheap end chinese mini lathes, seems there are different versions of it, some with rubbish untreated cast beds, others hardened and ground.

My budget for a lathe is going to be around 550 for a lathe/mill up to 1000.

Any advice, reccomendations or what models to look out for good or bad would be welcome, I know theres some really experinced minds on this forum.

Alistair Hosie
02-16-2013, 02:02 PM
I don't think you'll get new for that budget but perhaps I am wrong. Alistair

John Stevenson
02-16-2013, 03:25 PM
Dr P.

I am currently working a a lathe mill, converting it to manaul / cnc for a guy. Now I know these machine generate some flack as being neither one or the other but this is just my take on this.
The machine in question is a Warco WMT300 whick looks to have been dropped from the range.
However looking on other sites the Chester lists one that looks very similar in sizing as the Model B Super function machine.

Unfortunately because of their crap website they look to be showing the more expensive Centurion twice, their advet on the back of ME and MEW shows a better shot.

The centurion has seperate motors for lathe and mill, hence the increased price and the Model B drives the head off the chuck drive.

The one I have here is the same as the model B, the guy who owns it admits that the mill side is not the best setup and leaves a lot to be desired and has removed it and just uses the lathe.

As a lathe I'm very impressed with the build and features and it's making a very nice donor machine. The whole setup retails at 898.80 inc VAT and I feel you are getting a lot for your money.

2ManyHobbies
02-16-2013, 07:29 PM
Which limits you most? Funding or floorspace?

spongerich
02-16-2013, 10:24 PM
Which limits you most? Funding or floorspace?

Another equally important question is what do you want to make with it?

If it's mostly smaller parts with reasonable tolerances, you'll probably do OK.

Some of the imported machines are OK if you take the time to set it up carefully respect their limits
I have one of those RF45 Milling Machines because it's just not practical to get a Bridgeport upstairs into my shop. I had to do a little shimming to get it straight and it does seem to require frequent re-tramming, but I can do some reasonably accurate work on it if I take my time.

dr pepper
02-17-2013, 02:00 AM
Size isnt a major problem, weight isnt either the 'shop is at the end of the drive.

There is another possibility, have my existing machine checked and sorted out, the headstock needs aligning and I need a couple of chucks checking over, maybe replacing, and possibly a replacement spindle.

I see you have customer jobs mr Stevenson, you interested in some more work?

2ManyHobbies
02-17-2013, 07:37 AM
Being a 3-in-1 owner, my advice is to get separate machines unless you are extremely limited by space.

rohart
02-17-2013, 06:56 PM
Seeing as where you are, give Bede Tools in GeordieLand a ring. He often goes up to Glasgow to bring down old iron - especially Colchesters. He won't rook you.

Oh, and spend all you've got on one machine, then sell what you don't need, and buy the next.

I find trying to spread yourself to thin leaves you unsatisfied.

dr pepper
02-18-2013, 08:43 AM
Ok then I'll make some enquiries.

yes I agree, sometimes its better not to have a machine if you can only get one thats pants.

I'm thinking spend on my lathe and maybe sell the mill and get another, it seems that a larger machine is more cost effective.

I have a load of other stuff I dont need, saws, grinders, linishers I think they can go on the 'bay.

dr pepper
03-15-2013, 07:11 AM
I have aquired another lathe, a myford speed 10 in very good condition for a sensible price.

I now have a quick change post for it.

My ML2 or whatever it is can go west on ebay, just dont know whether to keep the very nice stand its on or not.

I'm still looking out for a vertical mill, I gave up on the idea of a lathe/mill, the only one thats around for a sensible price is available under several marques and has a ridiculously high swing and a very narrow bed, looks like it'd move about under load, after looking at one I found the overhang of the mill head close to the chuck, and it doesnt look like you'd be able to get the tailstock quill up to the chuck for the width of the carriage.