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Mr-Mike
01-15-2016, 08:42 AM
Wanting to pull the trigger on a small bench lathe. Space is the constraint, pretty much limited to 4' overall length max (40" or less preferably). Looking for 'new' as I don't want a pile of headaches, rust and dirt. Rather spend the cash/time fleshing out areas of improvement on a new import. Looking at Optimum, LMS (HiTorque) or a Grizzly variant.

How valuable is the power cross-feed? Seems like a significant benefit to me. I have done a ton of reading looking for the best-in-class small import but can't identify a solid contender. Thinking I can land a decent one under $2K.

Thanks!

CCWKen
01-15-2016, 08:52 AM
About the only time I use mine is facing. It is handy and makes the finish nice on larger ODs. (Small too but less noticeable.) Some use it for parting too but I don't have enough machine or cutter to do that--I manually feed while parting.

Forestgnome
01-15-2016, 08:58 AM
Obviously used for a consistent finish in facing, but for me, essential for parting. I went for ymany years using a lathe without power cross-feed, now I wouldn't have a lathe without it.

boslab
01-15-2016, 09:22 AM
I must admit I'd call it an essential myself,but there is always a but, make sure surfacing is engaged before surfacing, not sliding, it's easy to get them mixed up!
It's always a nice suprise when facing you find the carriage heading towards the headstock and your facing cut turning into a reducing cut, always makes me laugh, not
Always check, then check again
Mark

CCWKen
01-15-2016, 09:31 AM
I must admit I'd call it an essential myself,but there is always a but, make sure surfacing is engaged before surfacing, not sliding, it's easy to get them mixed up!
It's always a nice suprise when facing you find the carriage heading towards the headstock and your facing cut turning into a reducing cut, always makes me laugh, not
Always check, then check again
Mark
Can't be done on an A/C. It breaks gears in the carriage if you attempt to engage the cross feed while the carriage feed is engaged. Or engage the carriage feed while the carriage is locked, like it should be for facing.

gzig5
01-15-2016, 09:56 AM
If you find a lathe you like but it doesn't have a power cross feed, all may not be lost. You probably can fit a small DC gear motor to drive the crossfeed when you want to for less than $100 in parts. On my milling machine I have a Dayton 90V gear motor that is driven by a half-bridge rectifier feeding a household dimmer switch. Works great. You'll need to disconnect it mechanically when not in use but that can be done by removing the belt or sliding the drive gear out of engagement, however you end up connecting it. A window lift motor from an automobile would do the trick too and may make sourcing the power supply easier. I am in process of doing this on my SB 10L, though the taper attachment is making the a connection on the back end difficult. Just a thought.....

DS_park
01-15-2016, 10:55 AM
Power cross feed was one of my must have options and I ended up with a classic 10" Logan (gear change type). Holding out for a quick change gear lathe would have made the power feed more user friendly. Ultimately I'll probably add a variable feed motor. Got the lathe for a really good deal (needed minor work) so....

DS

chipmaker4130
01-15-2016, 11:05 AM
Can't be done on an A/C. . .

I don't know what an 'A/C' is, but on my Sheldon you can only engage one or the other. The difficulty, as boslab stated, is remembering which is engaged before you pull the clutch in.

lakeside53
01-15-2016, 11:36 AM
The Emco V10P has power cross feed, but only the P variant. It's interlocked so you can only use cross or longitudinal feed at any one time. Yes, it's "nice" to have.

Mr-Mike
01-15-2016, 12:19 PM
Thanks for the opinions. Power cross feed narrows down the options, which is good I guess. Can I ask about the value of a continuously variable motor vs pulleys? Variable speed seems preferable, or do you typically use a fixed rpm for a given material?

Much appreciated.

J Tiers
01-15-2016, 12:31 PM
I have power cross feed, and cannot recall ever using it.... Maybe a few times to see if it was worth bothering with... that got answered "NO" very quickly.

Main reason is not having a QC box for threading. When you are set up for a coarse thread, then to use the crossfeed, you have to change gears, because there is a fixed ratio between them, feed wise. Usually whatever you have set from the last threading task will be wrong for a smooth facing job, and ditto as far as cutoff feed. (Alternately, if you always leave it set for feed, you will have to change and then change back whenever you want to cut threads)

If you have a QC box, then it's a few seconds to set for a reasonable feed rate. And a few seconds to set back to your next thread pitch.

So if you insist on buying a partly finished "lathe kit", (aka small cheap chinese lathe) then make sure to get one with a QC box that has useful thread pitches (not just whatever they thought was easy).

Mr-Mike
01-15-2016, 01:34 PM
Interesting - thanks.

I don't see doing as much threading as machining so I don't mind a little occassional inconvenience. I also, I don't see the luxury of QC box in my near future given the constraints and offerings in the marketplace.

Looks like LMS' Sieg variant (8.5X20) offers the most in a reasonable package - variable speed brushless, power feed in both axis. I stumbled on a Bolton branded 10X22 but no variable speed. I am reluctant to go Grizzly for some reason and the Optimum, which may have better overall quality doesn't have the cross-feed.

I will just mull over it some more before committing. The main obstacle for me is not knowing what I don't know.Fortunately it's intuitive but unfortunately deciding what 'gives' and 'takes' is the hard part i.e. should I give some spindle bore diameter in favor of a little extra weight or power... There's lots of that for me to consider. I am probably making too much of this at this entry point anyway.

Thanks again.

mattthemuppet
01-15-2016, 03:30 PM
I'd put one of these near the top of my list, although you might have to wait for one. Comes in on your budget price-wise and the 10x27 lengthwise. The 10x30 isn't much more money, so I'd try and figure out a way of squeezing it in.

Forestgnome
01-15-2016, 03:40 PM
If I had to use change gears I would be inclined to agree with J Tiers. I would probably use manual cross-feed more often. At this point it's doubtful I would revert to a lathe without a QC gearbox.

Mr-Mike
01-15-2016, 05:52 PM
Maybe I don't fully understand a QC gear box. Would the effect not be the same as continuously variable 3 phase brushless motor driven lathe where you simply turn a dial and the RPM changes? I get that the QC lets one maintain a constant head speed/rpm while varying feed rate. Given that I may not be turning at an optimum rate, could I not achieve the same results just changing motor speed? Also, there are some options with a two speed electronic switch and I think some have both variable motor and switch like Sieg's SC4 (the LMS variant I mentioned). I am definitely confused about all this functionality.

Toolguy
01-15-2016, 06:03 PM
The quick change gear box is mainly about carriage and/or cross slide feeds, not spindle speed. A Q/C gearbox is way more important than having power crossfeed if you can only have one or the other. The Q/C gearbox determines how much the carriage advances per rev. of the spindle which affects chip load when turning and thread pitch when threading. This activity is set independently of spindle RPM, although it will speed up or slow down along with the RPM because they are tied together by a gear train.

JoeFin
01-15-2016, 06:04 PM
Interesting - thanks.

I don't see doing as much threading as machining so I don't mind a little occassional inconvenience. I also, I don't see the luxury of QC box in my near future given the constraints and offerings in the marketplace.


Sounds a little like your first lathe

I can only speak from my own personal experience. As your experience and expertize grow you'll more then likely want a QC gear box and a little more lathe so you can take on a bit larger projects. Additionally all too often that will include the need to liquidate the current machine.

Might be better buying used until your fully confident exactly what your needs and wants in a lathe are. Research is great but no replacement for hands on operation of a lathe.

The good news is there are some really good Industrial Quality smallish 2nd Op machines out there you might want to consider. Chance are good a well informed shrewd buyer such as yourself could swing a pretty good deal on one of them. Expand your horizons - a lathe with your name on it is out there

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sheldon-Lathe-Model-WM-56-P-/291660028392?hash=item43e84ad9e8:g:UYMAAOSwiLdV9x9 c

pay special attention to the "make offer" button - this is a slow time of year for machine sales

Mr-Mike
01-15-2016, 11:49 PM
Sounds a little like your first lathe

I can only speak from my own personal experience. As your experience and expertize grow you'll more then likely want a QC gear box and a little more lathe so you can take on a bit larger projects. Additionally all too often that will include the need to liquidate the current machine.

Might be better buying used until your fully confident exactly what your needs and wants in a lathe are. Research is great but no replacement for hands on operation of a lathe.

The good news is there are some really good Industrial Quality smallish 2nd Op machines out there you might want to consider. Chance are good a well informed shrewd buyer such as yourself could swing a pretty good deal on one of them. Expand your horizons - a lathe with your name on it is out there

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sheldon-Lathe-Model-WM-56-P-/291660028392?hash=item43e84ad9e8:g:UYMAAOSwiLdV9x9 c

pay special attention to the "make offer" button - this is a slow time of year for machine sales


LOL. Yes definitely 1st lathe. I know all about the shortcomings of small machines. I am in the process of adding/mkaing about 60 lbs of steel bracing (and a few other mods) to my mini mill to 'rigidize' the column. Still my limitation space though I do appreciate the input. I found an EMCO Compact 8 an hour or so way that looks pretty good but I can't believe I wouldn't be better off with a slightly larger, more featured, new asian variant. I will learn to live with a few sacrifices when I have no other options.

http://fredericksburg.craigslist.org/tls/5400364948.html

Doozer
01-15-2016, 11:55 PM
On a real lathe, engaging the carriage and cross feeds together
makes the lathe cut a 45deg angle. If you also use the taper
attachment at the same time, the angle set on the taper attachment
can add or subtract from the 45deg angle created by engaging both
feeds.

--Doozer

Mr-Mike
01-16-2016, 12:04 AM
perhaps?

http://frederick.craigslist.org/tls/5335150475.html

Would have to redesign my space...

http://frederick.craigslist.org/tls/5340581236.html

danlb
01-16-2016, 12:23 AM
The Harrison would be really nice. It's a professional machine shop grade machine. You would need to arrange for a 220V feed and a VFD to run teh 3 phase motor, but I'd say it's worth it.


Dan

Mr-Mike
01-16-2016, 01:01 AM
The Harrison would be really nice. It's a professional machine shop grade machine. You would need to arrange for a 220V feed and a VFD to run teh 3 phase motor, but I'd say it's worth it.


Dan

It would be a huge task to make this one work in my space. The 220V I can do (I have already rigged a few - hope the power co. doesn't notice). No idea what the VFD is or what to do with it. Maybe for giggles I will call the seller.

Thanks.

rdfeil
01-16-2016, 02:06 AM
That Harrison is well worth the price when you figure in the accessories. It has all of rhe features that have been talked about. IE: power cross feed, QC gear box etc (I did not look for a taper attachment). The only drawback is the three phase motor and as mentioned that is easily overcome with a VFD and as a bonus the VFD gives you variable spindle speed. It is well worth a look.

R

Carm
01-16-2016, 08:25 AM
Another yea for the Harrison. The short bed fits the scale you described and allows larger work, has all the features and rigidity.
There's a long bed version in an Amish shop near me, they make hydraulic items-how the lathe is powered. It is no spring chicken.
Don't need no stinkin' electricity

JCHannum
01-16-2016, 08:42 AM
The South Bend appears to be in good condition, price is on the high end, but not a stretch if more tooling is included. The Harrison is a good machine, but an air powered drawbar indicates industrial use and wear could be a factor.

Two things I would insist on a lathe having are quick change gearbox and power crossfeed. Both lathes are worth a look at, and a bit of work making room for an adequately sized and equipped machine will pay off in large dividends in the long run.

quadrod
01-16-2016, 09:23 AM
My first lathe was a South Bend 9A two years older than the one you linked too. I only payed $400.00 for mine and had to do a lot of work to it. It was a great lathe to learn on. Makes decent cuts, great finish, the quick change gear box is a huge advantage. You don't realize just how much you change the feed rates. On the other hand the Harrison you linked to will run circles around the South Bend 9. Will most likely be tonnes quieter than the SB9's open gear train. I now have a SB13 and the gear noise from the open back gears drives me nuts. Constantly have to lube the gears and makes a mess. The Harrison will work with carbide tooling where as the SB9 will be better served with HSS tooling, just not ridged enough for carbide tooling. Just my 2 cents worth.

brian Rupnow
01-16-2016, 09:28 AM
My new BusyBee lathe the CX701 has power feed on the cross-feed and longitudinally. I use both, but this lathe has no clutch on the power feed. If you over-run the limits of travel or up against a shoulder you are turning, it's going to take out a shear pin (hopefully) or break a gear. I really, really wish it had a clutch on the power feed shaft coming out of the gear box.

mars-red
01-16-2016, 09:44 AM
I don't know what an 'A/C' is, but on my Sheldon you can only engage one or the other. The difficulty, as boslab stated, is remembering which is engaged before you pull the clutch in.

I don't know if there are any other machines where you can engage both the power longitudinal and power cross feed at the same time, but on my Rivett you can. At any rate, I find power cross feed to be incredibly convenient. Having a back-geared headstock is a big deal too, but unfortunately I don't think that can be had on any of the small import machines.

JoeFin
01-16-2016, 10:10 AM
LOL. Yes definitely 1st lathe. I know all about the shortcomings of small machines. I am in the process of adding/mkaing about 60 lbs of steel bracing (and a few other mods) to my mini mill to 'rigidize' the column. Still my limitation space though I do appreciate the input.

Mike - when I finally got the shop I wanted / needed I had added on 400 sq ft to my garage complete with robust insulation, heat, piped in air system, and epoxy coated floor. Learning machining is a process, one where you can definitely enjoy the ride of where it will take you.

Very glad to see your starting to look into the Industrial Grade machines. Trust me, at the end of the day you'll be glad you did.

Mr-Mike
01-16-2016, 10:30 AM
Well you gents have me re-thinking my machine space. Looks like I could make it work with planning and maybe moving some items to the offsite storage. I have admit I would have liked to find something a little smaller and newer but I also now want QC and 2 powered axis - thanks you y'all (a touch of sarcasm there)... As luck would have it, the Harri seems to be gone :(

Thanks for your guidance and patience guys!

Ian B
01-16-2016, 10:44 AM
The one time I now *always* use power cross feed is when parting off. I switched to the blade / insert type of parting tools 10 years ago, and (rare for me) read what it said on the box of cutting tips; it said "set cross feed to 4.5 to 5 thou per revolution".

I did this, and now parting off is just one more routine task - not the "cringe cringe BANG" experience it used to be. Diameter, depth, doesn't matter - switch coolant on, flip the cross feed on and wait for the machined part to fall off.

For that, if nothing else, I'd say go for power cross feed.

Ian

ironmonger
01-16-2016, 10:48 AM
Too bad the Harrsion is gone. I have it's little brother, an 11" L5A. The headstock takes barrel blanks and the L00 chuck, which I originally thought would be a PIA turned out to be quite rigid and predictable. The power cross feed comes in real handy when you face a backing plate to fit a new chuck. I would have wished for a longer bed, but that isn't going to happen.


The upshot is if you are considering a lathe in the Harrison class, don't rush into anything, keep looking. If the fever is peaking my vote is for a QC gearbox and the power cross feed. That said, if I had found a South Bend 10 Heavy the Harrison would likely not be in my shop.

Have fun.

Danl
01-16-2016, 12:32 PM
Paul,

I'm apparently missing something here. Looks like the Harrison is still an active Craigslisting? I've refreshed it and it still appears.

I would quickly grab that lathe over any of the other options listed.

I've had numerous cone driven lathes over the years, and always found them lacking.

Dan L

ironmonger
01-16-2016, 12:51 PM
Paul,

I'm apparently missing something here. Looks like the Harrison is still an active Craigslisting? I've refreshed it and it still appears.

I would quickly grab that lathe over any of the other options listed.

I've had numerous cone driven lathes over the years, and always found them lacking.

Dan L

Right you are Dan, someone else said it was gone and I never checked my self.

I too would grab the Harrison especially given the price differential. The usual cautions for condition, of course. Hopefully the Harrison is under power. One thing the Harrison folks preach about is never unbolt the lathe bed from the cabinet. I didn't have that luxury, as the previous owner had unbolted the bed 10 years before I found it. There is a fairly active Harrison group over in the Yahoo groups. UK lathe groups has info as well.

see this, it looks like the one you are looking at:

http://www.lathes.co.uk/harrison/page5.html

If you notice the two holes visible just beneath the chip tray, one near the tailstock and the other at the headstock, you are looking at the best way to pick them up. Pass a 1" bar through the holes and sling the lathe to put it on the trailer or truck bed.

gellfex
01-16-2016, 03:44 PM
Power cross feed was one of my must have options and I ended up with a classic 10" Logan (gear change type). Holding out for a quick change gear lathe would have made the power feed more user friendly. Ultimately I'll probably add a variable feed motor. Got the lathe for a really good deal (needed minor work) so....

DS


I've got the same Logan 200 machine ($400 in 87), and have longed for a QC, but couldn't justify the purchase as a life changer with the simple work I do. I hadn't really thought about an external drive though. I have this Zero-Max infinite gearbox with a 1/12 hp sitting around that I used to use as a tapper. It could probably make a pretty good drive. Could even hook it up to the spindle, it goes from 1/4 input down to nothing.

Mr-Mike
01-17-2016, 12:00 AM
Guys, as far as I can tell, it us indeed gone. Maybe the listing expired and it will come back. I will keep an eye out for it though. Hopefully it will come back and I will have a chance to see it in person for a final determination. Regardless, I will be reconsidering my priorities.

Truly appreciate the advice all.