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Toma
11-16-2016, 03:17 PM
I apologize in advance for asking questions that have probably been asked here numerous times already.

I am a Wood Turner by trade. I have owned and turned on numerous wood lathes and currently work on a top of the line machine. Occasionally I have a need for some turned/ machined metal parts and I'd like to get a small bench model metal lathe, preferably with 10" swing. I've been scouring the forums, Ebay, Youtube, and Google for the past 7 days. I have heard that the Chinese/ Taiwan machines are crap and should be avoided, and I have heard that they are great, modern, and you get a lot for your money. I have heard that most of them come from the Sieg factories and have different labels. I have been looking at the stuff from Little Machine Shop and others.
There is this one: http://boltontool.com/Lathes/metal-lathe/10-x-22-bench-top-belt-driven-metal-lathe-machine-bt1022?gclid=CPmlt8mrrdACFUgbaQodkBEDIw

And this one: http://www.machinetoolonline.com/PM1030.html


I ran across this old one locally:http://www.alencotool.com/lathepages/lathe073041.html
I've looked at it in person twice so far. It is very clean, shows no wear, and is at a very reputable dealer that primarily sells way bigger stuff. I have a feeling that they did somebody a favor and took it out of grandpa's basement. But, from what I see and hear it is way overpriced.

At this point in my life I am not looking to make steam engines or go crazy, but I also don't want to limit myself too much. I can see the need for threading, but don't know that I'll need metric capabilities, I've been advised to buy used and that I could probably get what I paid for it if I don't like it later on-- I don't suspect I'd get $1900 bucks back on that Atlas.

Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks.
Tom

George Bulliss
11-17-2016, 08:08 AM
Bumping this one up t the top. The inclusion of links in a first-time post caused the post to be held for moderation. Sorry about the delay, but you should be all set now Tom.

MichaelP
11-17-2016, 08:17 AM
If you decide that Southbend 9A with a load of accessories (or without them) is what you want, feel free to contact me.

Doozer
11-17-2016, 08:26 AM
Looks like a blue Covel 510 cylindrical grinder sitting behind that Atlas lathe.
I have one, built very heavy for their size.

-D

pinstripe
11-17-2016, 10:18 AM
Welcome! You won't get a consensus on this question. Machinery dealers are running a business, so they are almost always more expensive than a private seller for the same machine. They also know the tricks of the trade if they want to hide a problem. Is that machine you linked to freshly painted? Freshly painted old machine might indicate lipstick on a pig.

Old machines were built better, but they might have wear that is difficult or expensive to fix. A new machine in this price bracket will probably need some work initially as well, but you will have a warranty. Some people prefer old, and some prefer new. Both can do the job. Go with what you're most comfortable with.

Look at the Clickspring channel on YouTube. Cheap Chinese lathe there. Also Stefan Gotteswinter, but he made many improvements to his Chinese machine. If you decide to buy used, then search YouTube as there are a few videos telling you what to look for in a used lathe.

J Tiers
11-17-2016, 10:33 AM
Normally, the Atlas would be a good choice, if in good shape.

But the right price for that sort of Atlas is NOWHERE NEAR the price they are asking. More like $500 normally. up to maybe $900 in very good condition with what that one has. Especially in Chicago, an old-line industrial city where several lathe brands were MADE.

In Chicago there should be pots full of machines on Craig's list, at far more reasonable prices.

If you have the $$, want a machine with minimal hassle, etc, any of those will work.

techonehundred
11-17-2016, 12:38 PM
near Chicago, check out http://www.lostcreekmachine.com/ . I have bought a few little things from him, but it is worth watching what he has.

BCRider
11-17-2016, 01:16 PM
I have to agree that for what it sounds like you want a good condition used Atlas would do just fine. But even out here where prices are up through the roof compared to other parts of the country $1900 for that lathe is nutzo.

What it has going for it is that it appears to be extremely clean and well maintained. If it was used much it was done so lovingly. And for some that's enough and the right person will shell out that much cash and take it home happy as a clam. But if you just want to turn some doodads it's a bucket load of cash to get into the game.

A 10x22 size machine is where you really start to see some nice product. Yes, the Asian made machines do need a bit of tuning up and you don't want to just assume that you can plunk it down and start turning. But once tuned up you can do a lot of good work with them. And certainly for your stated rather basic needs of turning out simpler parts they would be fine.

Or as suggested above a touch of patience and haunting the local Craigslist and Kijiji for a few weeks is likely to turn up some less expensive options in good usable condition. But if that doesn't happen and you decide to go for new I'd say something like a Grizzly model G0602 (http://www.grizzly.com/products/10-x-22-Bench-Top-Metal-Lathe/G0602)

DATo
11-17-2016, 06:32 PM
The very best advice I can give you is to find a machinist in your area and have a sit down with him. There are WAY too many things to consider about how to approach this issue with regard to precisely what you need to learn and what you need in a machine and accessories.

Toma
11-17-2016, 06:34 PM
Thanks, I've been watching that Lost Creek place.

Toma
11-17-2016, 06:42 PM
Thanks guys. The Atlas dealer came down to $1400 after I offered $1000. I think it's still too much.

I saw a Montgomery Ward on Craig's for $750 but it's so clean it looks repainted: http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/tls/5860175178.html

With that big high pulley and leather belt, it looks older than the Atlas.

J Tiers
11-17-2016, 07:03 PM
Dude... go JUMP on that Logan-made MW unit if it is suitable for you and isn't beat on. It says MW, but it IS a Logan. Heavier than Atlas or most S-B of the same size, ball bearing, good quality stuff, NO ZAMAC ("pot metal") CASTINGS !!!!

I have a Logan, Logan is in town with you (ok out in Harvard) and still has parts. I like mine, which is a 10 x 24.

ALL Logans are post 1941, Mine was sold to the Army in Feb '42 right after Pearl Harbor. They made 'em until the 60's at least for Wards.

You should get at least one chuck, centers, maybe a faceplate, a decent toolpost, etc. Price not bad. I paid $600 for one not that nice looking and w/o some parts.




Thanks guys. The Atlas dealer came down to $1400 after I offered $1000. I think it's still too much.

I saw a Montgomery Ward on Craig's for $750 but it's so clean it looks repainted: http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/tls/5860175178.html

With that big high pulley and leather belt, it looks older than the Atlas.

BCRider
11-17-2016, 07:43 PM
I gotta agree. While it may be a little over priced for the area at $750 or whatever you settle on is still a good price if the bed isn't worn badly. The Logan is a really good solid performer for that size range. You may need something in the future if you find you need to work on larger stuff. But for what you describe as a tool to aid in servicing your other wood working tools this would be more than enough, last you for a life time and be a good enough performer And if you suddenly do get the urge to make a little steam engine this MW/Logan will be ready for that too.

The only thing that might put me off is if it does not have all the change gears needed for threading. The only other Logan I've worked on had a quick change gear box so I don't even know what a gear set for the manually set version looks like.

But assuming the gearing and steady rest and follow rest are with it and provided there's not a big worn out sway back area in the bed that thing is a fantastic machine that'll serve you very nicely.

Toma
11-17-2016, 08:38 PM
Really? So it sounds like y'all think the Logans are better than the Atlas'?
I am learning so much here.

BCRider
11-17-2016, 08:49 PM
Really? So it sounds like y'all think the Logans are better than the Atlas'?
I am learning so much here.

Oh yeah.... If not by an actual country mile at least to within 7/8's of one. As Jerry said there's no ZAMAC in the Logan like there is on a few of the Atlas bits for the smaller Atlas machines. And that counts for a lot.

Market value on this stiff varies wickedly depending on what part of the country you're in. Out here that asking price would see it sold no arguments within 5 minutes of posting it. Back your way it seems like such prices are top dollar and there has to be something really special about a given machine to justify it. But it's already less than the cost of a new Griz'. And if you get all the parts it should come with you'll have a machine which is every bit as usable as that Grizzly lathe I gave the link for at less money and in a condition that needs to just be plugged in and then start learning how to make chips in ways that the leftovers in the chuck are usable.

The Logan I used was not mine. It was in a prototyping lab at work. So I don't have anything to protect or any need to justify spending money. If I felt anything it was regret at leaving it there when I retired. The times I used the Logan were good times. It did everything I expected it to do with grace. And we can't ask anything more than that.

Being old world iron the Logan will have a fairly smallish bore in the head stock. But that Grizzly model only has a 1" headstock bore too.

And while I know you're just looking for a functional tool if you have an eye for artistry in metal the Logan design has it all over the modern "cubist" approach.... :D

J Tiers
11-17-2016, 09:23 PM
I'd trade two Atlas for a good Logan.

The Logan I have is somewhat beat up, but still works very well.

Go get that one. Look at the edges on top of the V ways. If sharp, grab it. If rounded, you can laugh at the guy and see if you can get it cheaper. But mine is rounded some, and only seems to be about 4 thou worn, which is not bad.

Doozer
11-17-2016, 09:58 PM
I always thought a Sheldon was a cut above SouthBend and Logan.
We had a 13 Sheldon at work that I really thought was a sweet machine.

-D

BCRider
11-17-2016, 11:12 PM
Never played with a Sheldon. Never even heard of the name in fact. Looking up some images of them it looks like it's a nice machine and a cut above a lot of others. I sure wouldn't walk away from such a lathe either. Appears that the Logan size model is a touch heavier constructed than a Logan. And that would be the cherry on top of the whipped cream.

Oddly enough one machine I don't have much love for is the classic Myford ML7. It was a Myford that got me started on my home machine shop about 3 decades ago. Up to then it had been my father's shop and the odd machine at various work places.

That Myford was a joy to look at and worked like a treat in many ways. But it comes with some serious shortcomings and I can't say I was sad to see the back of it when I replaced it with my Asian 12x36. Yet it has such a strong reputation and faithful following that I simply don't understand. I'd take a Logan, or maybe one of those Sheldons over a Myford ML7 or even a Super 7 any day of the week.

Tundra Twin Track
11-17-2016, 11:33 PM
Off topic a bit have you ever used a Zimmerman wood lathe,I seen one at retired pattern maker's shop and it was as heavy as a metal cutting lathe.The fellow said he had it shipped from Germany in 1973 along with 24" Disc sander new price for both was $36000.00

BCRider
11-17-2016, 11:37 PM
New one on me as well. Google shows a number of references to a Zimmerman pattern lathe. And I also found this you tube on one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtnGP6vrg0I

Very metal lathe like. But then pattern making might use wood but it requires seriously tight tolerances so the lightweight, by metal working standards, cross slide and carriage shown does not surprise me.

J Tiers
11-17-2016, 11:51 PM
I always thought a Sheldon was a cut above SouthBend and Logan.
We had a 13 Sheldon at work that I really thought was a sweet machine.

-D

Sheldon can be quite nice. They had a couple lines, IIRC. One is fairly lightweight with a thin bed, another is very solid and heavy Much heavier than Atlas, SB, or Logan. And, I think they were another one made in Chicago, besides Logan.

Dan_the_Chemist
11-18-2016, 02:01 AM
I am a Wood Turner by trade. I have owned and turned on numerous wood lathes and currently work on a top of the line machine.

You have professional qualifications in wood turning and professional expectations. Are you sure you'd be happy with a less than professional grade machine when working with metal?


I have heard that the Chinese/ Taiwan machines are crap and should be avoided, and I have heard that they are great, modern, and you get a lot for your money.

I look at them as kits. You get a nice kit with all of the parts. Generally you can turn it into a good machine. Occasionally two or more adjacent parts are badly made in a way that can't be corrected and you got problems. I had use of a Chinese bench lathe for a while, and after 2 days of rebuilding it was okay. I figured that if I made better tool holders, etc., it would have been nice. But I lost the use of it and didn't regret losing it.


At this point in my life I am not looking to make steam engines or go crazy, but I also don't want to limit myself too much. I can see the need for threading, but don't know that I'll need metric capabilities, I've been advised to buy used and that I could probably get what I paid for it if I don't like it later on.

Yeah... the urge to build steam engines don't come for a few years. :)

I did a little metal machining in my career as a chemist. I did a lot of wood turning at home and for demonstrations for 30 years. I never made a living at it but I made a lot of wood shavings. I got a metal lathe at home to "make a few parts". It stayed that way for several years, and then one day the bug bit me. I decided to stop thinking of 1/64 as "good" and to learn how to work in thousandths. That was only possible because I had gotten a good used metal lathe with the help of a machinist friend who had checked the machine over and pronounced it good. If I had started with a poor lathe, or a small Chinese lathe of mediocre quality I would never have been able to improve my skills. The used lathe cost a bit more, but I find I have never regretted buying good tools...

I will echo the advice given by others - enlist a good machinist (bottles of adult beverages helps), search Craigslist and eBay, and take your time.

Toma
11-18-2016, 07:47 AM
Off topic a bit have you ever used a Zimmerman wood lathe,I seen one at retired pattern maker's shop and it was as heavy as a metal cutting lathe.The fellow said he had it shipped from Germany in 1973 along with 24" Disc sander new price for both was $36000.00

I never used a Zimmerman or ever saw one. I used a beast of an Oliver in college. I don't know if "Pattern Maker" lathes are even manufactured anymore, are they? The features of the big wood lathes from Oneway, Robust, Monster, and others are hard to beat.

JCHannum
11-18-2016, 09:08 AM
Sheldon never manufactured what would be considered a lightweight lathe. They did make 8", 9" and 10" lathes early on that were comparable to South Bend lathes in that size range, but they were stouter machines. Later series were in the 10", 11" and 13" sizes, all built on the 13" bed size. They also manufactured a 15" machine as well as turret lathes. If you find a Sheldon in good shape, you will not be disappointed.

The Logan is a good machine, usually available at a lower price than a South Bend as it does not have the name recognition, don't pass up a Clausing or Rockwell/Delta either.
While the Logan in the link appears to be in good shape, a big turn off for me is that it is a change gear machine. I would not buy a change gear machine in today's market with the ready availability of machines with a quick change gear box.

I do see several interesting machines on the Lost Creek list that might prove to be worthwhile. They might need cleaning up, but are worth looking at. Unless severely space limited, moving up to a lathe in the 12"-13" size range might prove more economical in the long run. They will do all that a 10" will, but not have the size restrictions.

Toma
11-18-2016, 09:45 AM
Thanks Jim, and others

I am somewhat limited in size due to the fact that I have to get it into the basement, and this is a basement with a fully loaded woodshop already-- I do have a walled off room that already has my drill press and less access to wood shavings that should work out fine.

Again, coming from a newbie, when you say you are turned off by having to change gears, how so? I know that means opening up the gearbox and exchanging gears to change feed rates for threading rather than just flipping levers, but how long does a gear change take? It's not as though I will be cutting multiple sized threads very often, so I am not sure if that quick change option should be a priority for me. Or should it?

Tom

JCHannum
11-18-2016, 10:11 AM
I got my 13" Sheldon into my ground opening basement for the most part by myself, only requiring the help of my son to get the cabinet base in.

Changing gears is not only necessary when threading, but also when going from a roughing to a finishing cut or other operations such as facing or cutting off. A QCGB greatly facilitates these operations. Changing gears takes 5-10 minutes and involves slopping about with greasy gears, bushings and spacers as well as referring to the gearing chart.

That is also a downside to the import 10" lathes. As far as I am aware, most of them use change gears or only offer a limited range of feeds with change gears required to supplement them.

J Tiers
11-18-2016, 11:40 AM
....

Changing gears is not only necessary when threading, but also when going from a roughing to a finishing cut or other operations such as facing or cutting off. A QCGB greatly facilitates these operations. Changing gears takes 5-10 minutes and involves slopping about with greasy gears, bushings and spacers as well as referring to the gearing chart.
....

Not necessarily.

I find it nicer in general to hand feed, and do not bother with machine feeds in general. The one place it is nice is on a long shaft, where consistent feed keeps a consistent diameter better, but I have a change gear Logan and have never felt limited by that.

It happens that I do not need to do a lot of threading, so it is almost a non-issue for me.

If you have to "slop around with greasy gears", you are clearly over-lubricating. It takes only a little, and I find a dab of oil better than grease. Grease glues swarf to gears, and swarf WILL get in, no matter what. MUCH harder to clean off, too.

A QCGB is of course slicker, but, like many things, is not an absolute necessity, unless you "decide to make it one".

A QCGB also often will not do several fairly common threads, such as 27 tpi. For that, you still need to use change gears, and the needed ones typically won't be with the machine

When it comes to the imports, another threading issue is that they generally have no "back gears", and so their slowest rpm is 150 to 200 rpm. That is screaming fast when threading a coarse thread in the range under 20 tpi, and is a real nuisance. Of course you can get used to it, but it still is harder to deal with, especially if threading to a shoulder etc. You will need to find workarounds.

BTW, if you go for that machine, make sure it has all the gears. Should be about 17 change gears, including what will be on the machine.

BCRider
11-18-2016, 12:08 PM
Toma, it may well turn out that you go for years before the urge to single point cut a thread should occur. Especially if your metal turning will be occasional and for simple items for repairing or modifying other machines.

The power feed is nice on longer cuts. But just holding hand pressure serves me well for anything up to a few inches worth for roughing. Then I'll engage the feed for the fine finish cut. So for much of the time my quick change box sits at the setting for that fine cut and I seldom switch out of that. So a change gear machine would not be the end of the world. But as mentioned if you're not in a BIG hurry to find a lathe a little more patience and you'll find a Logan with a quick change box. Or a mid size South Bend or even one of those Sheldons. Or you could buy a new machine and go over it making all the little assembly issues right. If you don't mind the few days of spare time doing that then you could manage just fine with one of them.

JCHannum
11-18-2016, 12:37 PM
The only standard 27 TPI I know of is 1/8" pipe. Some QCGBs do lack 13 TPI and 11-1/2 TPI though, a fact that should be looked into when purchasing. With a QCGB, there is no need to "find it nicer" to hand feed or avoid threading. It is almost a necessity for cutting off, providing consistant feed not possible with hand feeding. The presence of a QCGB greatly expands the utility and ease of use of a lathe.

I use way oil for gear lube, that is what it was designed for after all. It matters not what you use, it will get your hands dirty and add to the chore of gear changing.

MichaelP
11-18-2016, 01:05 PM
I'd consider a change gear lathe only if I didn't have any means to afford a QCGB one. It would be a masochism otherwise, IMHO.

I strongly agree with Jim H. on his suggestion to get a larger machine (from about 12-13" and up), but if you need a more portable, yet capable solution, I'd look into reliable and well known 9"-10" machines.

I was in your shoes once, did a lot of research, and decided to buy a SouthBend 9A (another alternative was SB Heavy 10). Not only it was in a very good condition, but it also included almost all available attachments and accessories. And you have to understand that with machines like lathes, mills or grinders, the lot of accessories and tools is a far more expensive thing than the machine itself. Besides, for some brands it's next to impossible to find accessories, let alone the exorbitant prices you'll have to pay if you're lucky to find one. Keep it in mind when you make your decision.

Another aspect to be aware of is the resale value of the machine and its accessories. And this is even more important for the first lathe. Later, when you have more experience, more space, more possibilities, and more need or desire to buy a large lathe, you'll be more flexible while choosing between keeping the small one or selling it. As far as I could see, for the Midwest, modern Chinese iron, Logan or Atlas are not among those.

Doozer
11-18-2016, 01:36 PM
Microphone thread is 5/8-27.


-D

DS_park
11-18-2016, 02:21 PM
Have a 10 x 24 MW Logan myself. Have been very happy with it. It is possible to break down into pieces and move out of a basement by yourself, but easier with 2.

I have nothing against new machines from the East. Many of them will clean up and produce good work right out of the box. However, in the 9" to 10" range, I seem to see good used machines for much less that what a decent new import costs.

J Tiers
11-18-2016, 09:26 PM
The only standard 27 TPI I know of is 1/8" pipe. Some QCGBs do lack 13 TPI and 11-1/2 TPI though, a fact that should be looked into when purchasing. With a QCGB, there is no need to "find it nicer" to hand feed or avoid threading. It is almost a necessity for cutting off, providing consistant feed not possible with hand feeding. The presence of a QCGB greatly expands the utility and ease of use of a lathe.

I use way oil for gear lube, that is what it was designed for after all. It matters not what you use, it will get your hands dirty and add to the chore of gear changing.

1/8 pipe, also common brass thread, lamp parts, mic stands, other odd plumbing bits. I've run into it a fair number of times.

Now, about that feed deal........

The QCGB is not a huge advantage on a Logan UNLESS you also have the other apron assembly, the so-called "Automatic" apron. The standard apron has turning feed via the half nuts, just like many S-B do, and a number of imports. You really do not want to do that, as it increases leadscrew wear about 20x.

Crossfeed, OK, but unless you are facing something big, meh, no important deal IMO.

Thing about Logan (and S-B etc, but not Atlas) is that it has or can be had with, pretty much the same sorts of features as any industrial machine. Logans were made with an optional hardened bed, with L00spindle noses, 11" and larger take 5C collets, and so forth.

Even if you opt to NOT go for that one, keep them in mind. The 11" can be had with all of the above options, with the Automatic apron, etc.

JCHannum
11-19-2016, 08:09 AM
No doubt that there are 27 TPI threads in use beyond 1/8" pipe. The lamp thread is actually 1/8" straight pipe thread. More importantly is, as I mentioned, that some QCGBs lack 13 TPI, making threading 1/2"-13 impossible, a very common thread. Also frequently missing is 11-1/2 TPI another common pipe thread. It pays to know what to look for when purchasing a lathe.

I bear no animus to Logan lathes, they are good machines. That particular lathe would be off my list for the lack of QCGB, not the manufacturer.

The separation of threading and turning feeds is another plus to look for, either a separate feed rod or a keyed leadscrew. It does reduce wear on the leadscrew and is worth pointing out. It is not necessarily a complete turn down, as with proper maintenance, cleaning and lubrication, wear is greatly reduced and many years of good service are possible, especially in the home shop environment.

It is always fun to spend someone else's money, but it is well to make sure that he is apprised of as many of the positives and negatives before making his purchase as possible. While you might be satisfied with a change gear machine for your personal use, I would not consider the purchase of one for mine.

J Tiers
11-19-2016, 10:13 AM
No doubt that there are 27 TPI threads in use beyond 1/8" pipe. The lamp thread is actually 1/8" straight pipe thread. More importantly is, as I mentioned, that some QCGBs lack 13 TPI, making threading 1/2"-13 impossible, a very common thread. Also frequently missing is 11-1/2 TPI another common pipe thread. It pays to know what to look for when purchasing a lathe.

I bear no animus to Logan lathes, they are good machines. That particular lathe would be off my list for the lack of QCGB, not the manufacturer.

The separation of threading and turning feeds is another plus to look for, either a separate feed rod or a keyed leadscrew. It does reduce wear on the leadscrew and is worth pointing out. It is not necessarily a complete turn down, as with proper maintenance, cleaning and lubrication, wear is greatly reduced and many years of good service are possible, especially in the home shop environment.

It is always fun to spend someone else's money, but it is well to make sure that he is apprised of as many of the positives and negatives before making his purchase as possible. While you might be satisfied with a change gear machine for your personal use, I would not consider the purchase of one for mine.

The option was about 1/3 the price of the other choices he looked at, and far better than the Atlas. So the price/benefit ratio is good.

Logan QCGBs are not impossible to find. Many have done a conversion if they find after some years, that they would like one. I'd put one on, but I'd probably not change lathes just for that.

It's like the toolpost issue... I don't HATE them, I'd use either if I got it at a good price, but I won't spend a ton of money/ trouble to GET one.

JCHannum
11-19-2016, 11:02 AM
It is a mistake to look at a purchase such as this on a purely dollar difference basis. The M/W-Logan is cheaper than the others, OTOH, it apparently offers less than the others do. The Atlas is overpriced at $1900, approaching reason at $1400, but still too high for that model. The two imports appear similar and if you added options to the cheaper one to bring it to the level of the other, I suspect prices would be much closer if not equal.

There are unknowns with the Logan, but assuming equal and good condition, I see mention of tool holders, but none shown so I have no idea what they may be. I see one chuck, no steady or follow rests or change gears. If these are missing, the price to duplicate can quickly and easily approach or exceed $1000, and you still have a change gear lathe.

There are other machines out there, adequately tooled and with QCGBs to be had within what is apparently a reasonable budget as the OP seems willing to spend in the vicinity of $2000. With this in mind, there is no reason to recommend the purchase of a machine that is less than optimum.

Toma
11-19-2016, 11:45 AM
That sums it up well-- and I'm still searching-- though I'm leaning towards a new import from LMS at this point.

You have all been very helpful, polite, and kind to a new guy--- so much unlike the motorcycle forums I used to frequent. (I quit riding recently).

mklotz
11-19-2016, 01:15 PM
Crossfeed, OK, but unless you are facing something big, meh, no important deal IMO.


For typical work I'm inclined to agree with you. (Gotta work on that.) But there is one situation where power crossfeed is desirable.

If, like I did, you start out with just a lathe and use a milling attachment to make small parts, the power crossfeed becomes the equivalent of the mill power x-axis feed. Very useful unless you really like turning cranks.

mattthemuppet
11-20-2016, 12:31 AM
Something I think is worth pointing out - any lathe is better than no lathe!

MichaelP
11-20-2016, 01:52 AM
Something I think is worth pointing out - any lathe is better than no lathe!
The most sure way to kill any interest is to start learning with poor tools.

Almost like in "As soon as your high diving skills are improved, we'll put water into the pool".

Toma
11-20-2016, 08:13 AM
The most sure way to kill any interest is to start learning with poor tools.

Almost like in "As soon as your high diving skills are improved, we'll put water into the pool".

Are you referring to my choice of machines?

J Tiers
11-20-2016, 10:55 AM
For typical work I'm inclined to agree with you. (Gotta work on that.) But there is one situation where power crossfeed is desirable.

If, like I did, you start out with just a lathe and use a milling attachment to make small parts, the power crossfeed becomes the equivalent of the mill power x-axis feed. Very useful unless you really like turning cranks.

And, ALL the Logan DO have power crossfeed.

Well y'all scared Toma off of his best deal, so I guess that's business as usual here. Kinda like ebay...... ebay finds the HIGHEST price, and we find the most perfectionist solution...... as with the level adjustment thread. (differential threads, etc, when 24tpi turned out fine)

Unlike JC, I KNOW price matters.

Toma could resell that Logan and lose nothing. If he upgrades from an import bought new, in his area he will take a bath on the price, as it almost certainly will NOT sell for anything close to the new price, even just a year later.

And I (with the other owners of changegear Logans). KNOW that he would have been perfectly happy with that Logan.

Whatever.

The price would also let him buy a reasonable mill and total close to his lathe-only price for that Atlas.

As I said........ whatever.....

J Tiers
11-20-2016, 11:03 AM
The most sure way to kill any interest is to start learning with poor tools.

....

It can..... but I found that it actually was a was to IMPROVE skills fast. Depends on your motivation. Learned a lot more from my "109" than I would have from a good machine.

But nothing Toma is looking at is THAT bad.

JCHannum
11-20-2016, 11:35 AM
And, ALL the Logan DO have power crossfeed.

Well y'all scared Toma off of his best deal, so I guess that's business as usual here. Kinda like ebay...... ebay finds the HIGHEST price, and we find the most perfectionist solution...... as with the level adjustment thread. (differential threads, etc, when 24tpi turned out fine)

Unlike JC, I KNOW price matters.

Toma could resell that Logan and lose nothing. If he upgrades from an import bought new, in his area he will take a bath on the price, as it almost certainly will NOT sell for anything close to the new price, even just a year later.

And I (with the other owners of changegear Logans). KNOW that he would have been perfectly happy with that Logan.

Whatever.

The price would also let him buy a reasonable mill and total close to his lathe-only price for that Atlas.

As I said........ whatever.....

I guess I need to ask for some clarification here. Price matters? Of course price matters. As I pointed out, it is not a good purchase at a bargain basement price if additional purchases to make it a useable piece of equipment drive the final cost above that of a comparable, well tooled machine.

You KNOW he would "perfectly happy" with that machine? Just how do you KNOW what would make him, or anybody else to be "perfectly happy" with any machine? You are apparently satisfied with yours, but also are using work arounds to compensate for the lack of a QCGB. Why should anyone be "perfectly happy" when there are better alternatives.

I didn't scare Toma off, neither did I, wrongly, tell him the MW/Logan was the best thing since sliced bread. I stated its shortcomings. Better he be aware of them before the purchase than after. I also pointed out that the equipment included was described in a hazy manner. I see an ad for a bare lathe with a three jaw chuck and mention of toolholders. I cannot make any assumption as to just what the toolholders are, lantern? Aloris? something else all make a difference. Both sets of jaws for the chuck or only the inside holding? Any change gears?

The Logan has been on Craig's list for 17 days now and with national exposure it still hasn't sold. There does not appear to a large market for it, which kind of discredits the notion it could be resold easily for the same money.

MichaelP
11-20-2016, 12:03 PM
Are you referring to my choice of machines?
Not really. I actually commented on the remark I quoted there. Although your choice of machines was not to my liking either. But since its your money, I'm not the one to make a decision. :) All I could suggest, are in posts #3 and #30.

An any case, I wish you the best of luck with your new lathe whatever it will be.

Toma
11-20-2016, 01:19 PM
Note: I have not committed to any lathe yet.

What I am inclined to believe from what I've heard here, and elsewhere, is to avoid the overpriced flatbed Atlas, avoid a new import (there must be a reason I don't see those on Craigslist and Ebay). And, to go for a machine with QCGB.

I will say, that given my limitations in space and physical strength, the idea of a very compact machine (like the Chinese machines) is very tempting and the machines from Little Machine Shop are apparently selling like hot cakes. https://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=3540&category=1271799306
Somebody likes them.

You guys seem to be purists, and I don't mean that in any kind of derogatory way. I was a purist when it came to my taste in German motorcycles. I don't have a Chinese wood lathe, nor would I buy one. Of the five wood lathes I have owned, three were made here, one from Australia, and one was from Canada. My current machine is called the American Beauty

The reason that Monkey Wards Logan is still unsold might be due to the fact that the guy sounds like a real nut case on the phone. He wanted to talk about everything except the machine. About the most useful bit of info I got was that it took him six months to repaint the headstock with an artist's brush.

So again, thanks for all your diverse and useful input. I'm gonna' keep looking.

If you ever want some input a choice of a wood lathe, let me know.

Tom

MichaelP
11-20-2016, 02:01 PM
If you ever want some input a choice of a wood lathe, let me know.
I do. Could you please explain your thoughts behind those statements:

1. "I don't have a Chinese wood lathe, nor would I buy one"
2. "I'm leaning towards a new import from LMS at this point"

I'm genuinely interested to understand.

Toma
11-20-2016, 02:54 PM
Hah! I sure had that coming. Thanks for calling me on that quickly written comment.

Now, this is where I get my "purist" penchant in play. I am passionate about wood turning, and do some of it commercially (architectural stuff for older homes). I do it all by hand, no duplicators, no copiers. If I have to make any number of matching balusters, I lay out the dimensions full scale on a story stick, and hold the story stick to the spinning wood as I transfer the significant marks to the spinning blank. To the naked eye, it's hard to see any difference between the finished pieces. If you put calipers to them you'd find some differences. As a matter of fact, sometimes I am duplicating some really antique parts that were obviously turned by hand originally. When I first started doing this 35 years ago I was teaching myself as I went along. Early on I would sometimes find myself getting much better with my technique and finish cuts in the later pieces, and then there were some more dramatic visual differences between the first few and the last few.
I do know that there are many professionals in the woodturning world that use offshore machines, and I do know that many of the newer machines are good quality. Early on I got burned with some garbage I bought from Grizzly, but that was a long time ago and they may have improved. As a woodshop teacher by profession (I never took a metals course unfortunately) I had access to machines that were American or Canadian and all of it was really heavy stuff-- General, Oliver, Delta, Powermatic. So I developed a bias towards the good heavy stuff. I also spent years working in a small Millwork shop that had all the good old heavy American stuff as well as some fine German and Italian machines. So to answer the first question, my passion put a priority on being able to afford the best tools I could get. Am I a snob?

So, the LMS import looks attractive because as I mentioned earlier, it's compact and would fit well, it seems more affordable for some messing around with something that isn't a passion yet. Also, I am still mulling over your earlier statement about killing my interest by trying to learn on poor tools, but at this point I am not sure that I know what a poor tool is other than some that are worn beyond use, or those that have inherent limitations that I hear about on the forums.

I am still studying the Basic Lathework book by Bray.

Thanks,
Tom

mattthemuppet
11-20-2016, 03:01 PM
The most sure way to kill any interest is to start learning with poor tools.

Almost like in "As soon as your high diving skills are improved, we'll put water into the pool".

pfft. And starting a novice off on a 12x36 gearhead lathe is a good idea too? Shoot, why not make an American Pacemaker lathe the minimum? Going by the number of near new lathes and mills I see on Craigslist around the US I would say getting the biggest bestest machine tool straight off the bat is a great way to lose money when you realise that metal working wasn't quite what you were after. I've seen that a bunch over on the Hobby Machinist too - the peanut gallery says "oh now, the minimum you need is a D1-4 spindle and full Norton gear box, you'll never be happy with anything smaller", then the novice wrangles the new machine into their garage and scares the sh!t out of themselves trying to turn down the 1/4in axle they want to make for their kid's toy car.

Besides who the hell are you to say what is or isn't best for someone? If I'd listened to you lot when I got started I never would have bothered. Instead I've spent the last 4 or 5 years learning on the go, finding my limits and those of my tools (many), and slowly upgrading my machines and capabilities. Bah, snobs piss me off.

J Tiers
11-20-2016, 03:15 PM
Matt "gets it".

The Logan (as a machine, w/o crazy owner) I "know" would be satisfactory if in decent condition, because I have owned a similar one for over a decade, and "I know" it does any task a lathe of it's size can be expected to do.

Might someone be a purist, object to the color, or not having a QCGB ? Sure But it will do what is wanted, and, if and when an upgrade is wanted, it can be expected to sell with little or no loss on the deal.

Workarounds????? Your words, and your words only. No "workarounds" involved, and I am not sure what they would be "working around".

Whatever....

JCHannum
11-20-2016, 03:52 PM
No, Matt doesn't get it. Nobody suggested getting a Pacemaker or any other machine for that matter. No one, that I can remember without going back over the thread, said not to buy any of the lathes suggested. Most responding offered valid suggestions to consider when purchasing a first machine.

As to work arounds, it is obvious from your own words in this thread and the thread on QCTPs that you are not getting the most that you could out of a lathe of your Logan's size and capacity. You hand feed except on long cuts, you do not use cross feed, you do not thread often. You, for the most part, only use select cutting tools. These are all work arounds that the owner of a lathe with QCGB and QCTP do not need to tolerate. It is your choice, but it is not optimum and it is no reason to wish it on another.

I have seen several of Matt's threads on the homemade tools forum and he is doing very nice work with his Atlas lathe. I don't recall if it has a QCGB, but it does have a QCTP and he is maximizing its use with shop made holders.

mattthemuppet
11-20-2016, 04:40 PM
No, Matt doesn't get it. Nobody suggested getting a Pacemaker or any other machine for that matter. No one, that I can remember without going back over the thread, said not to buy any of the lathes suggested. Most responding offered valid suggestions to consider when purchasing a first machine.

As to work arounds, it is obvious from your own words in this thread and the thread on QCTPs that you are not getting the most that you could out of a lathe of your Logan's size and capacity. You hand feed except on long cuts, you do not use cross feed, you do not thread often. You, for the most part, only use select cutting tools. These are all work arounds that the owner of a lathe with QCGB and QCTP do not need to tolerate. It is your choice, but it is not optimum and it is no reason to wish it on another.

I have seen several of Matt's threads on the homemade tools forum and he is doing very nice work with his Atlas lathe. I don't recall if it has a QCGB, but it does have a QCTP and he is maximizing its use with shop made holders.

I'd beg to differ :) Every machine will have compromises in what it can and can't do (boy do I wish mine had a QCGB, amongst many other things) and what I object to is the attitude that the OP has to have a certain grade or type of machine to do good work and continue using it. That's nonsense. It's not up to us to say this is better than that or you need this if you're to have a hope of doing good work. Sure we can suggest that a certain machine would do something better than another one or be easier to use for a task, but that's very different from the attitude many people take.

Hence the original comment - any lathe is better than no lathe. Doesn't mean that any lathe is the best lathe, but it's hard to lathe type things without one. As long as you buy at a reasonable price you won't lose much if any money when you upgrade in the future, if that's what is needed.

BCRider
11-20-2016, 06:25 PM
.....I will say, that given my limitations in space and physical strength, the idea of a very compact machine (like the Chinese machines) is very tempting and the machines from Little Machine Shop are apparently selling like hot cakes. https://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=3540&category=1271799306
Somebody likes them.

......The reason that Monkey Wards Logan is still unsold might be due to the fact that the guy sounds like a real nut case on the phone.......

Tom

When you get a feeling like that it's wise to walk away and let it sit. Who knows what else is going on in such a deal.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to obtain a smaller and lighter machine if you understand the limitations related to size. If this is the size that will fit your needs for making parts and projects then fine. And it doesn't need to be the very LAST lathe you buy in any event if circumstances change later on.

As for features on new lathes in that size range if you're looking at the LMS lathe in your link provided then I'd suggest the Grizzly 10x22" instead. First off the 5" three jaw will prove to hold a far greater range of sizes than the 1" difference suggests. You'll find that you run into less issues with the bigger chuck. Also the thru bore is able to take 1" stock on the Grizzly vs only 3/4 inch stock on that LMS lathe. And all else being equal this suggests that the headstock shaft is generally larger in diameter overall by that 1/4" difference. And even if the walls are no thicker that larger size translates to a far stiffer head stock main shaft and less chance of terminal chatter. And given that both are in the same price range the Grizzly looks to be a clear winner between these two.

Note too that the LMS lathe is a purely change gear selection for each thread size. The Grizzly, and many smaller lathes like it, have a sort of semi quick change box. If you read the Grizzly manual you can download you'll see that the box can be configured to cut three related thread pitches with a given gearing by moving the selector dials and doing a couple of physical changes behind the end cover. So this doesn't qualify as a proper QCGB either. But this is pretty much the standard for the new import machines in this size range. And so either way you end up having to get greasy fingers regardless. But of the two there's enough little things that are better on the Grizzly 10x22" that I'd choose it over the LMS model you linked to.

Or if you wait it out you may find another Logan or 9" Southbend in good used condition with or without a QCGB for the right price along with a good assortment of tooling. If you're not in a huge rush I'd suggest playing the patience game.

JCHannum
11-20-2016, 08:31 PM
Just because "any lathe is better than no lathe" it is no reason to run out and buy the first lathe you see. Any machine tool represents a significant investment and to make a purchase without taking the time to be informed is foolish. I doubt anyone here would run out and buy the first used or new car he saw without finding out the basics if the vehicle. Why should the purchase of a lathe be any different.

BCRider puts forth some good points summing up what has been said by others in this thread. Again, nobody slammed any of the lathes mentioned or declared them inadequate, just pointed out their limitations. The OP appears to have a reasonable budget and should be able to locate a decent machine that will fit his needs if he takes a bit of time to survey the market.

Of the imports, the Precision Mathews looks to be the best featured, it is a semi QCGB, 50-2000 rpm spindle speed and is well tooled. I might not be "perfectly happy" with one, but I think I could get by.

J Tiers
11-20-2016, 09:25 PM
A good deal is when everyone is satisfied.

I'm obviously with Matt on the purchase plan. A Logan that can be purchased in a straightforward deal is fine. From a crazy man, NO. That kind of "deal" never ends, the guy tends to follow you and be a pest. And that is if he really owns it.

But, there is no reason that the first machine you see may not be the best deal you would ever get, on the perfect machine. Time has no meaning in that way.

You are spending others' money here, and a fair deal on a machine that is fully capable, nice to use, and supported by a company near the OP is hard to beat if the machine is in decent condition.

The OP may have millions, or be stretching. Don't know, don't care, not my business. But an Atlas for almost two grand is a lousy deal when there are good machines nearby for less. And in Chicago there are, unquestionably.

Don't know about the P. M. lathe. But it is just like many others from china, they don't sell enough to have them specially made. They may have a different choice of standard features than some other chinese machines. Maybe the P. M. folks pay to have a better job of finishing done than most. But as far as I know it's just another version of the usual import. With all the usual set of faults and benefits.

Toma
11-20-2016, 09:36 PM
"Don't know about the P. M. lathe. But it is just like many others from china, they don't sell enough to have them specially made. They may have a different choice of standard features than some other chinese machines. Maybe the P. M. folks pay to have a better job of finishing done than most. But as far as I know it's just another version of the usual import. With all the usual set of faults and benefits."

Well, that's what I'd like to hear about, because nobody has specified so far--- What is the "usual set of faults" with the Chinese machines?

JCHannum
11-20-2016, 09:54 PM
Who recommended the Atlas?

I don't know about PM either. They have been around for a while and seem to have a reasonable reputation. The lathe in the ad does have different features in the variable speed and lower speed range. 50 RPM is still on the high side, but better than 100RPM. The PM lathe is well tooled. I believe PM uncrates the machines and preps them prior to shipping. You can give them a call and probably talk to someone who actually is familiar with machine tools.

As to the usual faults and benefits, your previous experience with Grizzly is not atypical. The imports look good, but are manufactured for low price. They tend to be lightweight, roughly finished and difficult to get parts for when needed. They often need working over to smooth them up and get the kinks out. The motors do not have a reputation for longevity. Lots of people are happy with theirs after the initial debugging and do good work with them.

BCRider
11-20-2016, 10:36 PM
......What is the "usual set of faults" with the Chinese machines?


With my limited experience with 4 of my own and 3 through work I'd say that they arrive in usable condition. But they certainly do benefit from some tuning up. On a lathe that tuning would include, but may not be limited to, de-horning a lot of the burrs and otherwise sharp edges typically found at the edges of ground surfaces throughout the machine. Then there is setting the proper load on all the dovetail gybe adjusters. And in the case of the cheezy set screws replacing them with ones that have better steel so they don't strip out the sockets. You may also find that the lubrication on parts of the machine is gritty feeling. A sign of shortcuts taken after having the ways and other surfaces ground to finish and not being cleaned sufficiently before assembly.

In my own case it was so bad just in that one way that I totally stripped, cleaned and then re-assembled the ENTIRE lathe. I'm talking dropping the apron and cleaning inside there too. And totally stripping down the tail stock and head stock. Needless to say if your lathe needs that level of cleaning you're looking at around a week of spare time evenings and weekend. Spread it out how you like but it's a bunch of hours to do the job to that degree.

Then come the improvements, corrections or simply little things to upgrade your lathe. On mine a big one was swapping the handles on the cross and compound slides from the hunk of square bar stock with handles to making and installing nicer wheels. At a later date I then milled the edges of the two wheels and the apron wheel with rounded grip notches so my grip on these wheels was firmer. A lot of work but the machine is far nicer to use now. Not just because it looks pretty either. The round wheels with these "finger grooves" around the periphery really improve my ability to roll smooth cuts off compared the the simple bar stock handles that were on there.

A lot less work but likely more important was removing the useless rubber bed wipers that did not even press against the bed at all and replacing them with sheet metal caps pressing 1/4 inch felt wipers in place. This was a big one since good wipers do a HUGE amount towards keeping damaging crud off the bed from rolling between the carriage and bed and becoming embedded and scoring the hell out of the bed. Here's a picture of them. The aluminium covers ride about a milimeter off the bed all around and the felt is cut to size and punched for the holes the screws pass through to encourage pressure against the bed ways. Tightening the plates further tightens up that pressure. Proper bed wipers of this sort were something taken for granted on older lathes.

The felt was obtained by hitting up a work wear shop and buying a set of heavy felt inner boots. These liners being a bit over 3/16" thick. When pressed in place with a snug but not hard pressure they compress down to 1/8" or maybe a hair thicker. They are pretty dense. The picture shows the wipers on the head stock side of the carriage. The tail stock side has a set as well. The tail stock didn't originally have wipers at all. But because I frequently slide it up well into the "Danger Zone" (cue the music... "Highway.. to the... Danger zone. Ride in to the Danger Zone!" :D) I drilled, tapped and made up the wipers and caps to install on the tail stock while it was off the machine and apart for cleaning. And it shows. The ways where the tail stock slides up to frequently is still looking good after up around 25 years or more of use in my hobby setting.

On the carriage;

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y252/BCRider/Metalworking/wipers1.jpg

And on the tail stock;

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y252/BCRider/Metalworking/wipers2.jpg

If you've been reading around here you may have also seen where I don't think much about the "cookie tin box bases" that come with most import lathes. So if you don't have a really good sturdy bench you can use for a lathe then you really should make your own. For the size of lathe you are considering a really nice option would be a sturdy "post and beam" style stand built up from construction grade fir lumber jointed and planed to matching thickness then assembled so you have a laminated mortise and tenon style of heavy timer framing. If you use a plywood top in such a case it is only there to give the table a top for holding little items used around the lathe and not to support the lathe itself The lathe should be attached and supported directly to and by the actual heavy section framing.

mattthemuppet
11-21-2016, 12:43 AM
Just because "any lathe is better than no lathe" it is no reason to run out and buy the first lathe you see. Any machine tool represents a significant investment and to make a purchase without taking the time to be informed is foolish. I doubt anyone here would run out and buy the first used or new car he saw without finding out the basics if the vehicle. Why should the purchase of a lathe be any different.

totally, couldn't agree with you more. I'm more arguing to the flip side that you can deliberate and wait for the perfect lathe that people tell you should get and miss out on the time and things you can make with a less than perfect lathe. Honestly, if you're not doing this for money then the inconvenience of changing gears or working with a flexiflyer are really moot. If they matter to you, that's totally fine, get a lathe that ticks those boxes. If they don't (or don't yet) get whatever lathe has the work envelope you need at the price you're willing to pay.

My latest lathe was a significant investment to me, but at $250 probably isn't to most on this board. Yet I'm still perfectly capable of making bits'n'bobs that I want to make (making a 13mm square male socket today) and entertaining myself. I think it's all to easy to get wrapped up in "what's perfect" and forget about "what's necessary".

MichaelP
11-21-2016, 02:13 AM
Thank you for your detailed answer, Tom. Your woodworking skills sound fascinating, indeed. I'm sure you'll enjoy metal work too, although it might feel strange working with completely different tolerances. :)

Best of luck to you!

Mike

Lew Hartswick
11-21-2016, 07:28 AM
Thank you for your detailed answer, Tom. Your woodworking skills sound fascinating, indeed. I'm sure you'll enjoy metal work too, although it might feel strange working with completely different tolerances. :)

Best of luck to you!

Mike
:-) As a long time woodworker (40 years or so) and later metal worker (the last 20 or so) It is a bit disturbing to go back and try to do some reasonable
woodwork. I tend to try and use the tolerances I've become accustom to in metal on wood and that is frustrating. :-)
...lew...

J Tiers
11-21-2016, 08:23 AM
Just because "any lathe is better than no lathe" it is no reason to run out and buy the first lathe you see. Any machine tool represents a significant investment and to make a purchase without taking the time to be informed is foolish.


Of course.... Which is why the OP asked.

When a particular machine gets a response from several folks that it is good, that would count as becoming informed. Ditto when folks say the price is way too high for one that may otherwise be fine.

Toma
11-21-2016, 09:08 AM
BC,

I'd like to see some pics of your homemade handles and wheels that you spoke of.

Thanks

JCHannum
11-21-2016, 11:04 AM
Of course.... Which is why the OP asked.

When a particular machine gets a response from several folks that it is good, that would count as becoming informed. Ditto when folks say the price is way too high for one that may otherwise be fine.

Pointing out that it lacks feature that will contribute greatly to its utility also adds to making an informed purchaser. It is all part of the decision making process. It is not up to us to inform the purchaser what will make him "perfectly happy". It is our responsibility to point out the positives and negatives and allow him to decide for himself what would best satisfy his needs.

My first home shop lathe was a 10" Atlas change gear. I had a lot of fun with it, and made a lot of projects with it. I had it for six or seven years, but I can assure I was not "perfectly happy" with it, primarily due to the change gears. Had it been a quick change, I would possibly still own it.

MichaelP
11-21-2016, 11:52 AM
:-) As a long time woodworker (40 years or so) and later metal worker (the last 20 or so) It is a bit disturbing to go back and try to do some reasonable
woodwork. I tend to try and use the tolerances I've become accustom to in metal on wood and that is frustrating. :-)
...lew...

Exactly. :) When I say that I much prefer working with metal, a lot of people who love wood get surprised. I have to explain that loose tolerances of woodworking is one of the main reasons I never felt attracted to it. I love to watch people working with wood, I have some basic skills, but I never desired to pursue it as a serious hobby. I'm sure, I'm missing a lot.

pinstripe
11-21-2016, 11:55 AM
Seven pages in, and I don't think the OP has posted a budget or given an example of what he would like to make. No wonder it's turned into a discussion about change gears :)

I have no idea what these US machines are worth, but I assume that a QCGB on a used machine will cost essentially nothing. Whatever increase there is in the purchase price will also be there in the selling price.

Another consideration is that a machine without a QCGB might be harder to sell. Some of the posts above suggest that some percentage of the market refuses to buy them.

So from my perspective, if the OP can find and afford a good machine with a QCGB, then he should get that. There is almost no downside.

Toma
11-21-2016, 12:11 PM
Seven pages in, and I don't think the OP has posted a budget or given an example of what he would like to make. No wonder it's turned into a discussion about change gears :)

I have no idea what these US machines are worth, but I assume that a QCGB on a used machine will cost essentially nothing. Whatever increase there is in the purchase price will also be there in the selling price.

Another consideration is that a machine without a QCGB might be harder to sell. Some of the posts above suggest that some percentage of the market refuses to buy them.

So from my perspective, if the OP can find and afford a good machine with a QCGB, then he should get that. There is almost no downside.

Budget is in the $2K area-- fully equipped

I frequently find myself trying to turn some metal on my woodlathe with some round stock held in a 4 jaw scroll chuck-- drilling, tapping, reducing size, making shoulders, parting off. Sometimes I have ideas that couldn't be attempted on a woodlathe. Otherwise I can't be more specific other than to say I'd like to be able to make some threaded adapters for various tools and other than that, I don't want to be limited on what I can make or get into. Seems like I can accomplish this for less than 2K.

BCRider
11-21-2016, 12:23 PM
If you end up buying new I can assure you that you will eventually go over the $2K limit. But for the $2K budget you'll get a machine with two chucks and the lion's share of other tooling to be off to a good start. It'll be later on if you get serious where you'll find yourself buying this and that and getting up over the $2k total cost. Or if you end up like many home shop folks you'll buy steel and make many of those things instead of buying them. Items like longer boring bars, extra quick change tool holders, a saw arbor and table for slitting metal and other such things come to mind.

J Tiers
11-21-2016, 02:25 PM
I have no idea what these US machines are worth, but I assume that a QCGB on a used machine will cost essentially nothing. Whatever increase there is in the purchase price will also be there in the selling price.



Logan or Atlas 10" about $500. $600 for a good Logan , in an industrial area like Chicago.

With QCGB add $150. With steady rest add $75. With collet setup add $150, if includes full set collets $200 not $150.

Logan 11", about $1100, should already have QCGB and "automatic apron". Collets etc as above.

Price assumes a couple chucks, centers, some kind of toolpost.

In Alaska, multiply by 3x or 4x. In Arkansas or other non industrial area, multiply by 1.5 or maybe 2x.

BCRider
11-21-2016, 02:41 PM
In the Seattle area figure on 1.5x to 2x those prices. That's the feel I've gotten from watching the Washington State Craigslist. Up here north of the 49th we're at 2x to 3x. And the 2x priced lathes don't stay listed for long at all.

pinstripe
11-21-2016, 03:26 PM
Thanks JT. Sounds like Toma's budget is solid for a used machine.

JCHannum
11-21-2016, 03:41 PM
For a reality check, culled from the current Chicago Craig's List, offered in no particular order are lathes within size range and budget. Includes with and without QCGB, I did pass on a couple of overpriced candidates as well as a couple of obvious junkers. I am not recommending any of these, just an example of what is available.

http://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/for/5880391442.html

http://chicago.craigslist.org/nwi/tls/5880624066.html

http://chicago.craigslist.org/sox/hvo/5874498491.html

http://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/for/5880391156.html

http://chicago.craigslist.org/nch/tls/5874219030.html

http://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/for/5857657603.html

http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/tls/5886448541.html

J Tiers
11-21-2016, 05:16 PM
The $950Atlas is high, the rest as expected.

Southbend is high for "name recognition", they are about the same quality as Logan, just a little lighter weight.

BCRider
11-21-2016, 05:40 PM
The $950Atlas is high, the rest as expected.

Southbend is high for "name recognition", they are about the same quality as Logan, just a little lighter weight.

The pictures make it look like it's in great cosmetic shape. So likely lightly or attentively used and chances are the bed is in excellent condition. If so that could well justify what is a slightly high local price. If I were local to that it would be worth calling for a visit.

Locally if that lathe were listed with those pictures and at that same price the guy's email or phone would be jumping before his finger was fully off the "post" key.... and possibly even sooner...:)

JCHannum
11-21-2016, 07:04 PM
I looked for machines under $1000. That Atlas is the late model, true 12" machine with the heavier bed, they bring more than the earlier 10" models. Surprisingly that machine appears to be change gear. They were originally fitted with QCGB as standard equipment. Something seems to be going on with the gear box, possibly missing. In which case it is a parts machine.

The $950 South Bend 9" would be my first choice if in decent shape as it appears to be. It is well equipped and the extra boxes are intriguing. I think I see a handle for a milling attachment, which would be a plus if included.

BCRider
11-21-2016, 07:38 PM
They must have sold them that way. If the QC box was removed in favor of change gears for some odd reason it would also need a longer lead screw or an extension to be made. I can't see that happening. And where would one get gears to fit that machine if Southbend didn't make it originally in this model?

Toma
11-21-2016, 07:46 PM
Wow, I can't believe all the help and effort you guys are putting into this for me.

That "Vintage Logan" looks like a project, and I'm not looking for that-- I want something I can plug in and start turning, like the Southbend in Waterford.
There was a Logan that is gone already too.

Thanks

BCRider
11-21-2016, 07:50 PM
Toma for some of us spending other folk's money is fun. Sort of like a variation on doing cross word or jigsaw puzzles.... :)

JCHannum
11-21-2016, 08:22 PM
They must have sold them that way. If the QC box was removed in favor of change gears for some odd reason it would also need a longer lead screw or an extension to be made. I can't see that happening. And where would one get gears to fit that machine if Southbend didn't make it originally in this model?

If you are referring to the Atlas, as far as I know, they were not offered as change gear machines. If they were, it is not covered in any of my Atlas catalogs. Additionally, where the gearbox would be located a sheet metal cover has been fabricated. That is not a factory cover. It does look like the outboard end of the QCGB is in place though. Since they were economical, many of these machines were purchased and repurposed for special operations, unnecessary parts removed when not needed.

Toma
11-21-2016, 10:01 PM
as long as you guys are so helpful spending my money--- is this Southbend a QCGB? I cant tell by looking and the seller doesn't seem to know much either?
http://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/for/5857657603.html

RichR
11-21-2016, 10:15 PM
as long as you guys are so helpful spending my money--- is this Southbend a QCGB? I cant tell by looking and the seller doesn't seem to know much either?
http://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/for/5857657603.html

Yes it is. Image #2 is a closeup of the QCGB.

JCHannum
11-21-2016, 10:25 PM
That is the QCGB. I also see a collet drawbar and I think I see collets as well. It does have the small graduated dials on the feed handles that are hard on old eyes, but replacements are available for moderate cost. Don't know about that three law chuck though.

Toma
11-21-2016, 11:12 PM
Yes it is. Image #2 is a closeup of the QCGB.

Okay, This guy doesn't appear to know to too much about the machine--- What should I ask him before driving out there?

MichaelP
11-21-2016, 11:15 PM
Check your PM Inbox.

BCRider
11-22-2016, 01:28 AM
Okay, This guy doesn't appear to know to too much about the machine--- What should I ask him before driving out there?

The big one is the condition of the bed in the area right where the carriage is sitting in the photo. That's commonly where the carriage spends 95% of it's time. And if not cleaned and oiled well and correctly that's where things go bad and the ways get worn.

But the guy apparently does not know much at all. So it's up to you. All I can say is closely examine the part of the ways the carriage runs on back by the tail stock end and compare that to what it looks like when you run the carriage back a foot and a half to expose the ways in that area near the headstock. Look for damage and wear. Bring along a good straight edge you can trust to hold up to that region of the ways and shine a flashlight behind the straight edge and see if there's a big dip in the middle of the contact line. If it's more than a glint of light I think I'd keep looking.

Price wise the others here seem to feel that this is a bit steep given your part of the country. And there's no doubt that this does not qualify and "tenderly cared for and used with respect". It's chipped and likely dinged and has been allowed to develop a healthy bloom of corrosion. That's not to say it won't clean up fine. It's only a "bloom" of rust after all. But the lack of signs of care does not bode well for the rather more critical issue of wear on the ways.


....wear on the ways..... darn that sounds like a sweet title for a story centered around a machinist as the hero or victim..... :)

JCHannum
11-22-2016, 08:12 AM
Good advice on evaluating a lathe in this link. Also advice on a mill, and "In Praise of Klunkers" puts an interesting perspective on things.

http://www.mermac.com/

J Tiers
11-22-2016, 08:25 AM
If you are discussing the $950 SB, that could be nicer than the pics, or not. I'd go look.

The one view showing the bed hints at a re-scraping job, and if that is correct, it was not just a few fake licks with a screwdriver. But no good views of the most used parts of the bed. So no clue if it is really true, or if that was 50 years ago.

It's the speckled finish of the way over the QC box I refer to.

The dark color in pics could be dirt and oil, or rust.

It's not too bad a price for an SB, they do sell high. The background shows as a shop, lots of outlets. It is NOT set up to run in the pics, so evaluation is gonna be hard for someone not experienced at looking at machines.

Like I said, it's one I would go look at. Honest looking, no new paint, so no makeup on a pig there.

JCHannum
11-22-2016, 09:33 AM
The scraping/flaking over the gearbox is likely original as there is no wear in that area. Likelyhood of a rescraping is low as paint appears to be original as well. That level of rework would usually include a repaint.

The price is very much in line, even on the low side, considering what looks to be the level of tooling included. It is well worth looking at to evaluate condition and what is actually included in the deal.

J Tiers
11-22-2016, 09:47 AM
The scraping/flaking over the gearbox is likely original as there is no wear in that area. Likelyhood of a rescraping is low as paint appears to be original as well. That level of rework would usually include a repaint.

.....

We had a discussion of that a while back. Conclusion was that SB DID NOT SCRAPE recently, grinding only, then putting on some oil retention "marks" that look more like "ebay faking".

The marks visible on that one are "pinpoint scraping", if they are scraping at all. That very much suggests a re-scrape, or VERY old original scraping.

JCHannum
11-22-2016, 10:08 AM
Judging by the headstock, that lathe is not of recent vintage. The Waterford SB is of the later vintage and possibly was ground if that was the case.

I don't recall any firm conclusion having been reached in the previous discussion. At any rate the lathe is worthy of a closer inspection than a photo evaluation will provide.

Toma
11-22-2016, 11:08 AM
Okay, The $950 SB is being sold by a friend for a guy who died. He's not a machinist, he never used it and just transported it to his shop to sell it for the family, so he doesn't know much. He's going to call me back in a few minutes when he's with the machine. I'll go look at it.