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Thread: Pratt and Whitney 16c lathe.

  1. #1
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    Default Pratt and Whitney 16c lathe.

    A friend of the family is looking to get rid of a Pratt & Whitney model 16c lathe. I don't know all the details on it yet. I saw it a few years back but didn't really look it over to well. What I am wondering is if there is a market for these lathes? I really don't have the room for it at the moment and I am not sure if I want to store it until I do. I would really be looking at picking it up and trying to make a trade towards a vertical mill. I am just wondering if I would be wasting my time on it. Condition and accessories are unknown at this time(I know big help). Do any machinery dealers buy stuff this old or are they more looking for late model stuff. Hey Flylo, are you looking for a PW16c to trade for a mill? Any input on these machines would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2006
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    It's a massive toolroom lathe: around 4600 lbs. Beautifully made machine.

    http://members.shaw.ca/Zengineer/P&W...20-%201953.pdf
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

  3. #3
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    Anything made by Pratt & Whitney was the best quality.

  4. #4
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    Define "get rid of...". Is this the typical: owner died; lathe in basement/garage; hasn't run in years; selling the house; need it gone; etc.?

    The lathe is more valuable than a garden variety Bport or clone. Used vertical mills are a dime a dozen. There weren't many of these lathes made and even fewer have survived. I'd move heaven and earth to get it, even if it meant tarping and preserving it until I had the room to move it inside.

  5. #5
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    From the brochure it looks like an awesome lathe.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosco-P View Post
    Define "get rid of...". Is this the typical: owner died; lathe in basement/garage; hasn't run in years; selling the house; need it gone; etc.?

    The lathe is more valuable than a garden variety Bport or clone. Used vertical mills are a dime a dozen. There weren't many of these lathes made and even fewer have survived. I'd move heaven and earth to get it, even if it meant tarping and preserving it until I had the room to move it inside.
    I am unsure the history of the lathe, it is currently sitting inside the persons auto repair business off in more of a storage section. I assume he had plans to use it one day but it is now just taking up space to him and I know he wants it out of there. It probably hasn't run in years and I don't think I would be able to power it up if I bring it home as it looks like it should have a 7.5hp 3 phase motor on it.

    I really need to stop up and check it out better and see what is there with it. I don't think there is a chuck on it but one may be there? I also have to make sure at least the major items are on it, tail stock, compounds, ect. As far as value, I would be more than happy if I could swap it for a decent Bridgeport or clone. I may regret it one day but it won't be today.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by oxford View Post
    It probably hasn't run in years and I don't think I would be able to power it up if I bring it home as it looks like it should have a 7.5hp 3 phase motor on it.
    Do you have 220vac available in your shop or breaker panel? 7.5hp is doable with a simple rotary phase converter, essentially another 3 phase motor and a start capacitor. You're living in a region of plentiful used machinery. If making "space" means selling your SB, chinee or other lesser lathe, do it. High quality machines as stout as this P&W don't appear often.

  8. #8
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    P&W made top shelf machine tools on par with the Pacemaker. Assuming it is in good or better condition it would be an awesome addition to ones shop.

    As far as trading it to a MT dealer, I doubt if you'll get much more than scrap value. They'll see it as an old manual machine and not worth their time. You'd be better off listing it on Craigs List, SleezeBay, or even (cough gag) PM.

    What kind/size/condition of lathe do you currently own? If this would be a step up, get it going and sell/trade your lathe for a mill.

    Making 3 phase power is not a big deal, but instead of a traditional RPC with a pony/starter motor check into a Phase-A-Matic unit available on EBay. I use one to run my Logan and found the builder/seller to be very easy to work with and quite helpful.
    "I have come to a resolution myself as I hope every good citizen will, never again to purchase any article of foreign manufacture which can be had of American make, be the difference of price what it may."

    Thomas Jefferson 1815

  9. #9
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    I am going to try and check it out today or tomorrow. I have 220v available. If I would keep it powering it up would not be a problem, it would just be powering it up to check it out if I wasn't keeping it. I have a phase-a-matic unit here but I don't know what size it is and if it would be enough to fire up a 7.5hp motor.

    I currently have a Clausing 5914 in my garage. It has some wear on the bed(and other parts) I just recently got it up and running after doing a vfd conversion and cleaning/fixing up some stuff. I have been using it, but I have not properly leveled it and did test cuts to see where it is really at with the wear yet. I can not say for sure if this would be a step up or not from what I currently have.

    I am only in a 20x20 garage and while I have seen some really cramped up shop pictures on here, I really need to keep some open space for other projects. The Clausing is about the prefect size for the garage. I am not sure what length bet the PW has on it. If it is a short bed I could maybe swing it, but a long bed model would eat up to much of my space.

    Like I said, at the present time I really need a decent vertical mill. I was really trying to see if the lathe may be worth a mill trade to someone. You don't see a lot of them for sale so it is hard to judge a value. I think it is also starting to get to the size that the value starts going down compared to a smaller sized machine. I know machines this size are starting to get out of the homeshop range and businesses are not really wanting stuff this old. I know one day I may regret it, but again it won't be today.

  10. #10
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    Well, I bought this big beast of a machine. It is the 16x54. Stopped up and looked at it. Some of the shinny parts like the handles have some rust on it. The carriage was up towards the headstock and had an oil film under it when moved. Down at the very end of the bed had a little more rust on the ways, but the rest of the ways looked like it was just dried up oil film that would clean up. There is no chuck with it, had the tail stock and compound but no tool holder. I didn't see any other accessories but he said he had some boxes of stuff that went with it stashed away so who knows what that is, hopefully it is a steady at least.

    Overall it needs a good cleaning, there is still some scarf on it from last use. He said he got it from a company somewhat local and was being used in service until he got it when it was replaced with some CNC's. Now, anyone have a nice mill they want to trade? It is certainly more machine than I want to put into my garage at this time.

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