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Thread: Advice about an older metal-working lathe?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018

    Default Advice about an older metal-working lathe?

    A plumber doing some work at my parents' house saw one of my father's lathes and is interested in buying it. I have not used it since I was a teenager, so I have forgotten most of what I knew. Does anyone have a rough idea of what price we should ask? Any advice that you can give, however brief, would be very helpful. Thanks!

    I am 2500 miles away so I have limited information, but my brother was there last week and he took the photos below (I have included them in an Album on this site, with the title "Metalworking lathe by Girard Machine & Tool Co." - there is one additional photo in the Album - the limit for posting here is four photos.)

    Here are some notes:
    1. The 3.5" measurement is from the centerline to the cross-slide. My guess is that the top of the cross-slide is about an inch above the bed. I don't know the length of the bed, but hopefully someone can get a rough estimate from the photos.
    2. My brother removed the chuck key from the headstock chuck. I know that would be a startup hazard!
    3. At the moment there is a drill chuck in the tailstock, but if you look closely you will see several centers sitting in the bed rails.
    4. The lathe includes a metal can containing a large set of spare gears, presumably to allow the machinist to change the rotation speed. I believe the can also contains at least two faceplates and at least one clamp (which I as far as I can tell is used when machining a long cylinder between two centers).
    5. I don't think the worn belt hanging on the tailstock has anything to do with the lathe.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Hampstead, NC


    That would be a very regional thing. In my area there is a dearth of used machinery and that lathe would likely go for over $1500.00!!!
    Maybe check for comparable prices.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Vancouver, BC


    This comment might come too late... but all you need is one customer, preferably an older person who likes old designs. Remember that you can buy a new Chinese lathe, well equipped for $2k these days. To me, your lathe is worth very little because it has no quick change gear box and seems to have only one chuck. What condition is the bed in? By comparison, I'm looking at a Heavy 10 South Bend of longer bed with many accessories (taper attachment, quick change tailstock attachment, and multiple other accessories) for about $2.5k.
    If you can sell the lathe and keep the cast iron legs, you might be surprised what you can get for the legs alone.

    Best of luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Mountain Brook, AL


    Be a limited use lathe at the apparent age, guessing WW1 era or shortly thereafter. Bed looks a little rough in spots of high use. I would think a price in the $300-500 range would be optimistic. Very limited speed range though is does appear to have a back gear and unclear if threading is possible. Looks to have babbit bearings as well. Size looks to be roughly 6x18.

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