Page 2 of 7 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 65

Thread: Shopping for lathes

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland, Europe
    Posts
    2,787

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    183

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fear View Post
    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.
    I'm more on your brothers side but instead of american I would just say western since the swiss man, the swiss. And the germans, the british and the swedes aren't half bad either. And the french probably make/made good stuff too. Not sure where the italians qualify.

    Oh and the soviets and eastern european states also made some good quality gear...

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Bemidji, MN
    Posts
    123

    Default

    I have read all this thread and still haven't seen you say what you intend to use the lather for nor have you mentioned your level of expertise with a lathe. My advice would be to sit down and decide just what you will use the lathe for that you need to have a 14X40 and balance that against you experience with larger, more powerful equipment. There is nothing said here that convinces me that the big lathe is right or wrong for you.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    275

    Default

    Just curious & don't mean to sidetrack the thread, but what is this handle on the carriage for:

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,169

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Engelhardt View Post
    Just curious & don't mean to sidetrack the thread, but what is this handle on the carriage for:
    I think it adjusts the power feed clutch so you can feed to a stop.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    98

    Default

    Or could the lever be to switch from x to y powerfeed?

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Madison Wisconsin
    Posts
    414

    Default

    I would go with the older American iron. There's plenty on the market built in the 1960's and later that should be in far better shape than things hanging around from WWII. All of the machinery in my shop is old American iron dating from the 1900's to the 1980's. None of it was beat to death or even needed significant repairs before they could be used. The oldest piece is a 1916 Seneca Falls Star lathe I inherited from my wifes grandfather. The newest is a 1980's Startrite bandsaw. There are nearly 2 dozen machines including a vertical mill, a horizontal mill, 2 lathes, a surface grinder, a vertical bandsaw, a horizontal bandsaw, a shaper, several pedestal grinders, a power hacksaw, a drill sharpener, and the list goes on. Most are from the 1960's and 70's. After the initial purchase I don't think I've put over $500.00 in to the lot of them for repairs. The biggest expense so far has been adding a DRO to the vertical mill.

    My advice would be to buy the old, but not worn out American iron. Almost all of it is still supported by the factory and vendors. Parts if needed are available in hours or days, not weeks or months as with most Asian iron. Be patient there's plenty out there at decent prices.

  8. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RMinMN View Post
    I have read all this thread and still haven't seen you say what you intend to use the lather for nor have you mentioned your level of expertise with a lathe. My advice would be to sit down and decide just what you will use the lathe for that you need to have a 14X40 and balance that against you experience with larger, more powerful equipment. There is nothing said here that convinces me that the big lathe is right or wrong for you.
    I guess if I have be specific on parameters here; I have no experience with a lathe or a mill.

    I was a truck mechanic for over 20 years and now I have a job that doesn't require me bringing my own tools. I've done everything on trucks from engine rebuilds to bodywork to completely cutting-out massive rusted and bent sections of car-hauler trailers and re-fabricating with new materials. My problem is every time I've needed a part machined, local shops don't want to take in small jobs, or they want to gouge me on prices.

    When I needed a shifter housing that passed through the belt-drive on my Harley for mid-controls, I knew exactly what I wanted. A simple stepped-bushing. I ended-up getting a novice home machinist in New Jersey to make the piece and ship it to me. I had to pay nearly $200 to get a local shop to bore a 1" hole through my inner primary, and then I pressed it in with a hydraulic press. It's worked perfectly for the past ten years and even took a significant hit from a Ford Focus without damage.

    Every time I need fork legs turned down, I have to go shopping for a machinist. I have trouble finding one that can turn two fork legs and have them look the same. I need to learn to do this myself and a tiny Enco is going to get outgrown quickly. I buy stuff in bulk from places like Bung-King that I believe I could make myself fairly easily with a decent lathe and some classes from the local community college.

    In a shop, being an A-tech I accepted that when a job comes in and nobody knows how to do it, I better do some reading and make some phone calls because I'm the guy that's gotta get it done. And I always did.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Chilliwack, BC, Canada
    Posts
    4,640

    Default

    From that description I'd say that aiming at a 14x40 is not at all out of scale for what you have had done in the past and what it sounds like you may do from time to time in the future.

    I've done a couple of fork leg jobs on my 12x36 and while they fit I wasn't far from maxed out. Something involving longer extended forks such as found on some Harleys would not have been possible on my machine.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    East Coast, USA
    Posts
    7,453

    Default

    I started with a VS 2HP Bridgeport/DRO and a Clausing 14x48 lathe. I bought both used right after/during a Machine Shop class at a local tech night school. If you have the space, and a very basic understanding of how to use them (i.e: a Friend that can show you, or a basic machine shop class), you're ready to buy machines.

    With your decent size 30x40 shop, I'd definitely go with a bridgeport size mill with a DRO and a 12"-15" or larger swing lathe. I think a quality 14x40 is probably a perfect size. You'll also want to get yourself a 4x6 or larger horz metal saw.
    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
  •