Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 67

Thread: Interest in metal working declining?

  1. #1

    Default Interest in metal working declining?

    Over the past year I've noticed several lathes on Craigslist that sat around awhile and were relisted yet weren't at high prices, didn't appear to be in bad shape, and weren't ancient. Today I called on an ad for machinist tools in the local shopper to see what was available. The shopper was published on Thursday and the seller said I was the first person to call about them (today is Saturday). He didn't have anything I didn't already have and we had a brief chat about the demand for machinist stuff these days. When I was looking to buy my first lathe, circa 1980, when you heard about a machine coming up for sale, you went right away because it was likely to be gone if you didn't. My impression is that the demand for machinist tools and metalworking equipment is dropping. There certainly aren't as many guys competing for machinist tools as there were 20 or 30 years ago because most of the factories and small shops have gone out of business, so there aren't as many people working in the field. The demand for machines and tools seems to have dropped substantially here in central PA. What are you guys seeing where you live?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    30,045

    Default

    Prices still high, people snap up stuff pretty soon.

    If anything, prices are up a bit... maybe some folks just realized the things could be valuable, and not "just junk", maybe companies are buying.

    I saw a nice 12" or so Sheldon sold for fairly low price just a week or two back. Well under $1000, and it was a "heavy Sheldon", not one of the lighter ones. So deals are still around.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Sunny So Cal
    Posts
    4,550

    Default

    "central PA" That would help to start the story.

    Machines are where you find them. Heck, we only need three lathes and three mills. Simple.

    Just wait, look and find.

    The Home Shop Machining thing is not a hurry up and make it forum.

    Sit down, take a look and see what fits your needs. JR
    My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Kelowna BC
    Posts
    1,834

    Default

    Biggest change since 80, China..
    Some stuff not worth making, or, you won't pay a machine off by making your own stuff.
    The bottom fell out of a few things. , custom bike building peaked, demand leseened, lots of used goodies for certain bikes and cheap stuff from China..
    Changed everythingl,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    6,370

    Default

    I don't feel that the interest is declining so much as that we now have way more suppliers of home shop sized machine tools.
    Back in the 70s and 80s the domestic sources had pretty well dried up and the Asian machines aimed at that market had yet to make major inroads into that market. Way more sources for those machine tools now though than ever, so not everyone is clamoring over the first one to come up for sale.

    The home shop metal working hobby is still a very small niche market though compared to the woodworking side. Just go into a well stocked book and magazine store as an example. The amount of books and magazines aimed at the woodworking hobbyist is easily ten to fifteen times that of what is focused on our sport.
    Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
    Bad Decisions Make Good Stories

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    USA MD 21030
    Posts
    4,790

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    NE Thailand
    Posts
    1,021

    Default

    No.
    Paul - that top first photo - wash your mouth out with soap & water - that IS NOT a machine tool. That is a boat anchor.
    A few years ago, whilst i was visiting in England, i was in a local Machine Mart (Britain's version of HF), and they had one of these on display. I twiddled a handle or two and pulled and pushed as i walked past. I was SHOCKED at the awful quality and slop and fit & finish.
    If i wanted a woodworking machine working to tolerances of half a mil (20 thou in old money) i would not purchase one of these contraptions.
    Utter crap.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    370

    Default

    I tend to agree with the OP at least here in Alaska anyway. There seems to be fewer and fewer home shop guys working with metal. And, the availability of machine tools has dried up considerably in the past decade or so. Alaska has never been flush with machine tools at least not in the 46 years I've been here but there seems to be less machines for sale now than 5 years ago. And those that do come up for sale generally don't sell very fast or not at all. Granted price is an issue sometimes but lack of interest I believe is the main reason.

    For instance, a late model DoAll 13 X 40 lathe in very good condition with DRO, taper, collet closer and a boat load of tooling didn't get a single inquiry at $5000 (remember this is Alaska). A Republic Lagun 17 X 60 lathe went from $8500 down to $5000 and now back up to $8200 in the last 2 years, no takers. Then there's the 16 X 80 American Pacemaker in good condition with a taper attachment for $5000 and no one even looked at it but me and I had no room for it but I did drool over it some. There's a fair number of machine tools available up here but very few buyers. FYI, I have no interest in any of the machines mentioned. I haven't listed a machine for sale for going on 2 years because the market is so slow. I have however bought a couple machines in the last couple years in order to help keep the market place alive

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    30,045

    Default

    Actually, neither of the first two are really credible machine tools. The first is actually better than the second.... at least if it had a tailstock. And the second has a price that is likely 4 to 8 times higher than its capability and utility would justify.

    The price for the first is probably reasonable... they CAN be actually used to make things in a reasonable way, given some time, something that is rather questionable with regard to the second.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    East Coast, USA
    Posts
    7,369

    Default

    There was a similar Smithy on Craigslist in my area that I saw when I found that Turret Lathe I posted the other day. I tried to find the Smithy again and it's no longer there so I assume it was sold already. Seems like the only item that has sold.
    Work hard play hard

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •