Monarch ee lathe question
What makes the Monarch 10ee lathes so special on the used market...I've been looking at buying a used lathe and I'm trying to figure out why these lathes have such a following. Granted they are big and have impressive spindle speed. What would I gain by spending $15k on a Monarch verses $10k on a new import such as a Sharp 13x40
depends on the condition of the Monarch, if it is in good shape it will be a far better machine then any import and most other machines.
Monarch spared no expense on the 10EE. Everything that turns has a ball or roller bearing on each end, all the gears are cut, induction hardened and lapped. The bed is flame hardened to .125" deep and the saddle is 20" long across a 10" bed. The cross slide is completely supported on the saddle with hardened ways. The carriage feed system is separate from the screwcutting feed to eliminate spindle gear noise. The drive system has almost infinite speeds from 10rpm to 4000rpm (or 2500) and either 3 or 5 HP. The carriage contains an oil pump to oil the bed and cross slide ways as well as the apron gears, feed rod, lead screw and halfnuts. The taper attachment has 8 bearings in the slide/shoe assembly.
There are other lathe with similar precision but not the brute force, others with the brute force but not the precision. I've taken 2" A2 down 1/2 in diameter in a single pass and shaved .0002" from the end of a shaft.
Downsides: very long spindle at 25" end to end so it's not a good lathe for the rifle smith. The older tube drives can be finicky (on the upside they're cool in a "Dr. Frankenstein" sense) but they're happy with a 5HP motor and VFD. The smallish D1-3 spindle face limits tooling to some extent.
$15K is a lot to spend on a 10EE. If you shop around you'll eventually find one at a much lower price. It will be worth the effort.
Originally Posted by krems
there are few lathes in the class of a monarch, not fair to compare a tool room lathe to an engine lathe.....whole different level of accuracy and rigidity. For example, I don't know what the Monarch headstock bearings cost but remember observing that an HLV's HS bearings alone cost more than an entire similar sized offshore engine lathe...and that elevated quality is present through out.
15k though would have to be fairly late model and loaded with tooling
Let's not forget, and they look really pretty, in a art deco kinda way.
A 10EE really is a pleasure to use. Very smooth, powerful, and precise. They were actually made in fairly high numbers (relatively speaking) so nice ones come available for about what you would pay for a 12x36 import lathe. Quality wise there are only a few other manual machines that are in the same league - the Hardinge HLV series and the Hembrug, to name a few. High precision manual machines have fallen out of favor in industrial settings for most uses, good quality cnc machines will hold the same or even better tolerances and are much more productive, so the prices have fallen significantly in recent years.
The Monarch EE was in every sense of the word the best lathe in its class in terms, of accuracy, longevity, operability (a dream to work with), and appearance. They were probably the most expensive production lathe for their time. As was said many were made and so, used, they are popular. $15 should buy you a well equipped low hours machine with the two speed spindle depending on your part of the country.
They were made in several configurations and different model years had desirable features. Better do your research. There are Monarch EE's and then there are Monarch EE's. Maybe someone has already done the research and compiled a year by year comparison of Monarch EE features.
They also only have 3 feet so they don't require leveling. The base is so rigid and massive that you don't have to contend with bed warpage.
Yes, nice machine and I was sorely tempted...
There's one for sale around here (in Monroe, WA) with tooling. Has the DC drive. For $3850 asking. Decent condition. One late '60's model recently came out of Boeing and sold at Bidadoo auction for less than $3k (I didn't bother biding 'cos I though it would go much higher !). Also in nice shape - factory rebuilt in the mid 90's.
There are several variations of the 10EE. I read a new machine last sold for $85k... but you can buy a worn 1950 version for $2k... Condition is everything.
There is a good forum over on PM for Monarch 10EE etc..