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Looking to purchase a benchtop mill and lathe

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  • Looking to purchase a benchtop mill and lathe

    Hey everyone, I'm looking to get both a benchtop style mill and a lathe. I'm not sure what's the best direction to go, I was looking at Grizzly to start.

    In general looking for each machine to be around 500lbs at the most. For the lathe was looking at the 10x22 range, for the mill looks like the 7x27 or so.
    For the lathe my main requirement is quick change gears for threading. DRO would be nice but not a requirement for me on either machine at the moment.

    ​​​​​​If it comes to precision vs size between similar models I'd take a more accurate machine over a slightly larger one. I'm looking to spend total with freight around $4000, 5k at the max split between the two machines

    I'm not opposed to used but have not seen much available near me. Amy suggestions or current deals would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • #2
    Have a look at Precision Mathews. That is about what I spent on mine and their service and warranty is very good. You may decide on something else but have a look see.

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    • #3
      Thanks, their stuff dose look to be in the range I'm looking for. I'll definitely include them in search.

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      • #4
        Might check out Little Machine Shop too.
        Kansas City area

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        • #5
          Originally posted by rollins View Post
          ...….I'm not opposed to used but have not seen much available near me. Amy suggestions or current deals would be appreciated. Thanks!
          I can't believe that it's me posting this since I'm usually the defender of going with new Asian low cost... .

          Anyway, used is an issue for different corners of the globe. I'm sure the guys here would be happy to help but we need to know where you are located.

          The sizes of machines you're after suggests that if you were to find a nice clean South Bend or similar style "school lathe" with a quick change box that you should jump on it.

          Most of the smaller lathes available new at this point are only "semi quick change". You set the base ratio with change gears behind the end cover then the multiplier ratio on the front gives you access to multiples of the gearing's base ratio. If you must have a full range quick change box at all cost then you may need to settle down and be patient for a nice used machine.

          For a mill I don't think it's as big a deal. And the smallest PM has (the PM-30MV) would be a nice size match to either a 10x22 or a nice used South Bend 9

          Chilliwack BC, Canada

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          • #6
            what shipping area is 'near you'?

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            • #7
              I'm in Denver area, I'd be fine with semi quick change. And yes, a Southbend 9 would probably be my preferred choice actually.

              I'd like bigger machines but not really set up with a permenant living situation so want to have something that's relatively easily moved

              And I could definitely get used shipped, I've just had bad luck with freight shipping so avoid arranging it.

              Last edited by rollins; 05-05-2020, 08:57 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by rollins View Post
                I'm in Denver area, I'd be fine with semi quick change. And yes, a Southbend 9 would probably be my preferred choice actually............
                there is semi QC and there is semi QC.

                Older asian lathes often had a setup where the 8 changes in a range had a lever, but you changed ranges with change gears. TO me, that is halfway reasonable, because you stand a decent chance of doing most work within a range. The range might be everything from 18 tpi to 32 tpi., or 16 to 30 tpi.

                The new ones are mostly different (some are better). In many of them a given change gear setup may do 8tpi, 16 tpi, 32 tpi, and possibly 64 tpi. But to change to 24 tpi, you need to change gears, and then you get 12.24.48. I regard that as pretty worthless, as it is rare to need two of those.

                The ONE good feature (maybe) of the latter setup is that you MAY be able to get a threading feed that you need, AND a reasonable turning feed without changing gears, At least for some threads. And, some machines have a separate switch between turning and threading, which may, in some cases, work out OK.

                Of course, the standard Norton QCGB gives you any thread or feed with the movement of at most two levers (and maybe just the left hand range selector lever if switching between a thread and a feed).
                CNC machines only go through the motions

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by J Tiers View Post

                  there is semi QC and there is semi QC.

                  Older asian lathes often had a setup where the 8 changes in a range had a lever, but you changed ranges with change gears. TO me, that is halfway reasonable, because you stand a decent chance of doing most work within a range. The range might be everything from 18 tpi to 32 tpi., or 16 to 30 tpi.

                  The new ones are mostly different (some are better). In many of them a given change gear setup may do 8tpi, 16 tpi, 32 tpi, and possibly 64 tpi. But to change to 24 tpi, you need to change gears, and then you get 12.24.48. I regard that as pretty worthless, as it is rare to need two of those.
                  .
                  ​​​​​​And I'm alright with that sort of setup. I probably won't be doing threading all the time. I mainly just don't want to have to change gears for any sort of threading to be done.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rollins View Post

                    ​​​​​​And I'm alright with that sort of setup. I probably won't be doing threading all the time.
                    Originally posted by rollins View Post
                    I mainly just don't want to have to change gears for any sort of threading to be done.
                    ??
                    Those two statements do not seem to agree..... Both systems mean changing gears, but one of them may mean doing it less often. WHICH one that is depends on what you need to do and how you work.

                    I usually hand feed for turning, because on my style of Logan, the turning feed is the same as threading, both use the lead screw threads, and need a change gear setup. I don't use the leadscrew for feeding because that is what wore out the original leadscrew on the machine.

                    So I am not bothered by needing to change gears for a feed, and the "8 thread" system would work out well for me. For you, you might prefer the other type where you could turn a knob and go from a thread to a feed, but need to change gears for a different thread.
                    Last edited by J Tiers; 05-06-2020, 11:56 AM.
                    CNC machines only go through the motions

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                    • #11
                      Sorry I was not clear, I don't expect to be doing threading all that often so I would be fine with having to change gears sometimes. What you mentioned before about semi quick change having selectable range of a few speeds before changing gears for another range seems just fine

                      I obviously need to look into it more as I'm not entirely familiar with what options available. I knew some lathes had quick change and some gears but didn't realize the range in-between.

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                      • #12
                        This is what I would be looking at and its local. https://denver.craigslist.org/tls/d/...114256247.html

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                        • #13
                          I'd wait until you had a permanent place to live and buy what you really want. All of us have been through this goat rope. Unless you need it right now to make money.

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                          • #14
                            Was going to say I would try and find a south bend 9A in good condition. It'll have the quick change box and weighs around 400. Two guys can get that in an S10 pickup.
                            25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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