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Thread: Shopping for lathes

  1. #1

    Default Shopping for lathes

    The familiar plight, I'm sure, of someone setting up a home shop:
    My brother is a machinist of over 25 years in Vermont and believes in the old American-made industrial-duty equipment. Most of the equipment he uses is named after the city they came from (Milwaukee, Cincinnati, etc- pretty damn old). He believes nothing new is worth owning and you need to buy a WWII-surplus Southbend and Bridgeport and dump some serious cash into fixing the wear to get the slop out and that's the only way to go.
    My neighbor ran a small machine shop in Florida and got sick of dumping mountains of cash into old equipment and just went ahead and bought Enco and similar and said he never had any real problems running a shop with Asian equipment.
    I'm not in-love with either school of thought. I was figuring used higher-end Asian equipment new enough to not be worn-out might be the compromise I need. So I've been looking at mildly-used Clausing, Acer, etc.
    Unfortunately this guy seems to have to sell his lathe while having the flu:

    https://louisville.craigslist.org/tl...745007528.html

    Yes, he has not just a chest-cold, but a full-on Clausing Cold-Chester. Too sick to give any information about his lathe.

    I hope he gets to feeling better soon.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Kelowna BC
    Posts
    1,846

    Default

    Great lathe but looks well used. Priced to high I think for almost anywhere.
    For 8 to 10 K you should get a nicer lathe.
    What length do you need?
    I have a 16 x 67. But never used the length. It can get in the way..
    Are you in Kentucky ?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Flint, Michigan
    Posts
    690

    Default

    Just curious, but because you could fit more than 3 of my lathes in that much space, what would you make with such a monster? I personally have never felt a need for bigger than my 12 x 52, and it is smaller, quieter, more friendly and fun for me to use than a monster machine would be, but I don't make drive shafts either.

  4. #4

    Default

    I included the add because the dude thought "Colchester" was pronounced "Cold-Chester". I have no interest in a lathe this huge, I just thought it was funny.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 754 View Post
    Great lathe but looks well used. Priced to high I think for almost anywhere.
    For 8 to 10 K you should get a nicer lathe.
    What length do you need?
    I have a 16 x 67. But never used the length. It can get in the way..
    Are you in Kentucky ?
    Tennessee

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    98

    Default

    How does one miss spell the name when it is right there in the picture.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    sierra mountains
    Posts
    1,506

    Default

    This one is odd.
    I have seen the very same picture for a lathe in Bakersfield Ca. area. Right down to the floor mats and the white mill down at the end.
    I have to go to CL and find that ad.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland, Europe
    Posts
    2,787

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bandsawguy View Post
    How does one miss spell the name when it is right there in the picture.
    Some words are just more difficult... Finnish smokeless powder manuf. "VIHTAVUORI" was misspelled in every american ad and article as "Vihtavouri" even if it was part of the ad.
    https://www.google.fi/search?safe=of...h=743&dpr=1.25

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Chilliwack, BC, Canada
    Posts
    4,640

    Default

    Fear, buy the size of machine that suits what you intend to make. It may be an asian 7x10 mini lathe or it may be a domestic 25HP 3Ph 32x120 beast of a thing that requires a separate floating pad that extends down to bedrock. It's your shop and you need to set it up to suit YOUR needs.

    As for Asian machines for home shop use I've been more than happy with my Asian 12x36 bought some 27 years ago. It's more about sitting the machine on a really good sturdy and rigid support and tuning the bed for alignment than it is the country of origin.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    Fear, buy the size of machine that suits what you intend to make. It may be an asian 7x10 mini lathe or it may be a domestic 25HP 3Ph 32x120 beast of a thing that requires a separate floating pad that extends down to bedrock. It's your shop and you need to set it up to suit YOUR needs.

    As for Asian machines for home shop use I've been more than happy with my Asian 12x36 bought some 27 years ago. It's more about sitting the machine on a really good sturdy and rigid support and tuning the bed for alignment than it is the country of origin.
    I keep floating around searching posts to get an idea of what I need. I mean, I know what I need, a 14x40 but there's so many out there. I have a 30x40 shop with a nice concrete floor, plenty of room and I'm finishing up putting a 400a service in.

    I was looking at used newer Clausings, but I'm seeing something about the ones they had made by Dalian in China and sold as Colchesters and Harrisons were improperly designed and go through seals. I'm looking for issues like that when shopping for a lathe. Southbend got bought out by Grizzly and it looks like Grizzly is rebadging their green & whites and marking them way up for the new paint. I'm nervous about really cheap stuff like GMC, Birmingham, etc because people don't seem to want to admit they bought them, or something.

    I always do research. I hate walking into any purchase blind.

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