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How would one check out this lathe?

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  • How would one check out this lathe?

    I'm curious about this lathe. Seems like a beast but may be worn out. I suppose cutting a test bar would be step one but what other items would show it to be a warn out pig or a good purchase?
    Thanks

  • #2
    Well, the link doesn't point to where you would like.

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    • #3
      I clicked on it and it took me to the ad but anyway it's a Harrison 13X​​​​40 lathe with a 2" bore.
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Harrison is a good name but that is lighter than I’ve seen in the more recent ones. It seems pretty old which isn’t bad, but It’s also covered in surface rust which makes it really hard to judge. At that age what’s the max RPM and what about metric threading... Funny you’re asking these questions on this one when you were questioning the value of the one I just bought...for the price though it’s a machine I would definitely take a look at in person.

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        • #5
          I had a 15” version of that lathe. I liked it well enough as an all around medium duty machine. Had a two speed motor and 1500 rpm spindle. Needed transposing gears to cut metric threads.

          This one appears to have a rear toolpost and some kind of profiling attachment.

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          • #6
            I think it looks a little too rough so I'm not going to pursue it. I know I can get that much for my smallish Sheldon in my area which was a consideration. I'm thinking the part on the back of the cross slide is left over from a tracing attachment??? . It appears to be more than just a rear tool post. A rear tool post would definitely be handy.
            ​​​​​​. The price is appealing imo
            Last edited by challenger; 05-17-2020, 07:36 AM.

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            • #7
              I can remember once looking for a lathe buying checklist...and now after more than 25 years and dozens and dozens of purchases and a few reconditionings, I think I can proffer my own list. Perhaps new guys will find it of use

              How to check out a lathe?

              I think anyone who has reconditioned machine tool (scraped) would agree, you don't really 100% know the condition until got it apart and quantified and test printed pieces. In other words its impossible to do thoroughly do on site so we look for ways hints and play the probabilities.

              - There's the obvious does everything work and sound ok. Not running opens you up significant risk so assume the worst in pricing. Check every gear and while you don't do every position on the QC, do make sure the controls all work and each position can be reach. If there is a backgear, visually inspect for missing/broken teeth
              - Wear on the ways. It can be hard to quantify but a visual inspection will reveal the worst examples. Is there any kind of tophat or scoring?
              - Whats the backlash like? Backlash in the cross slide matters bugger all to the lathes operation, but can be an easy to spot indicator of overall wear and lack of lubrication/care
              - Lock the carriage at the right end of the bed. Loosen it just enough that it can be moved then move it close to the head stock. How much more of a turn to lock it? that's a bunch of bed wear - the carriage gets used up by the headstock mostly and that's where they wear
              - Overall appearance, cleanliness, paint, rust, oil levels. Beat up like above suggests long and hard use from people not much carrying about it.
              - Avoid new paint jobs. The big cover up.....it denies you this major source of information (appearance)
              - Really avoid the typical ebay paint job - you know, leadscrew painted sort thing. An advertisement that a careless idiot is the owner/seller
              - Face something then bring a centre drill up. Does it start perfectly or can you see it get pulled into alignment? That's wear on the tailstock/tailstock ways or maybe quill
              - With chucks off, indicate the spindle for runout. Should be low tenths
              - grab the spindle and try to move it radially to the axis (press/pull to and fro). Does the indicator move? Problems. That one has saved my bacon twice from a local unsavory.
              - Always use a tenths indicator for this - its the units you should be using.
              - I've never had anyone deny me doing the above checks, if they did I'd walk away from the A hole. Unless they are giving me a warranty, the above inspection is all you've got to protect your interests. The unsavory will try to protect theirs by giving you the bums rush. Don't let them, as I doubt they accept returns.


              Other pointers.

              -None of the above precludes the purchase, if you're willing to learn how to fix and do the work. It does however really effect value/price
              - if you are going in eyes wide open on one that needs a lot of work, its a lot of work! Don't squander it on a Yogo, find a 911 turbo
              -If its not loaded, really loaded, with tooling, pass. Wait for another and pay $500 more.....to get tooling that'll cost you 5000 to buy outright. Obviously assess quality and condition of tooling...new Rohm and hardinge chucks and collets say are obviously better and worth more than old import beaters
              - Parts almost don't matter. Seriously. I hope I didn't jinx myself with that, but I have never been in a situation where you couldn't make the part, or it wasn't a standard commercial part or that could be modify from a standard commercial part.
              - The exception to that is castings. Never ever buy one with cracked or missing castings. You'll be working for a nickle an hour to make that missing tailstock, based on the money you'll save vs a complete one.
              - I would never buy sight unseen.
              Last edited by Mcgyver; 05-17-2020, 09:06 AM.
              in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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              • #8
                Look at the lead screw threads and see if they come to a point, especially in one area.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post
                  ...
                  - Wear on the ways. It can be hard to quantify but a visual inspection will reveal the worst examples. Is there any kind of tophat or scoring?
                  .....
                  .
                  What's tophat? Is that just a typo? ....or a new term to me?
                  Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lynnl View Post

                    What's tophat? Is that just a typo? ....or a new term to me?
                    I make lots of typos but not that time....the top hat is the unworn bit at the top of a badly worn V way - didn't get worn because of the relief at the bottom of the V of the mating part. In cross section it (slightly) resembles a tophat.
                    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                    • #11
                      OK, that makes sense.
                      Yeah, I'd say that would be "badly worn."
                      Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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                      • #12
                        If the center drill get pulled into alignment it could just be a poorly aligned tails tock no?

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                        • #13
                          The biggest red flag on that particular machine is the seller, combined with the general condition.

                          The seller is a welding outfit, and the lathe looks fully worthy of being from a welding shop. I have no idea if they put parts in it to weld up, but they apparently did not take good care of it. Welding shops involve grinding dust, along with potentially corrosive fumes, and are generally dirty. Not the best environment, not to mention that the machines are often secondary to their real business, and treated accordingly.

                          Not true everywhere, but by the look of it, true for that one.

                          Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post

                          I make lots of typos but not that time....the top hat is the unworn bit at the top of a badly worn V way - didn't get worn because of the relief at the bottom of the V of the mating part. In cross section it (slightly) resembles a tophat.
                          Not every lathe brand will show that evidence of wear. In smaller machines, for instance, Southbend do, Logan do not.
                          CNC machines only go through the motions

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