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Maybe a better Chinese Bench lathe?

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  • #31
    The darn thing is that as a hobbyist that can't write off any part of any purchases towards profit I fully appreciate the low cost of the machines made way back when in Japan, then Taiwan and now China. But as someone that's seen the unfixable, or at least very daunting horrors of the lowest possible cost machines I know that I'd happily pay 20 to 30% more to get those important internal details done to a better degree. It would be well worth it to avoid the long process of making it right that Mcgyver had to face. Not everyone is set up to do the scraping and stuff needed to correctly bed the carriage to the ways and such. Especially the new guy that's just starting out and is the more likely buyer of something like this 7x12 lathe.

    Yes the price is very attractive. But we put a lot of trust in the outer looks that the inner stuff will be a match to that.

    It would be nice if one of these makers charged a bit more but put forth the advertising that "yes, ours costs a little more. But we feel that beauty should not just be skin deep." and then put in the little added cost to make that true. I think it would catch on pretty quickly if they held true to that and the hobby and smaller home shop guys would quickly get the message.

    The problem is that we are clearly a community that has been tricked for too long by the cheapest price and we see every new step as now being just an excuse to dig more money out of our wallet.

    So I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that this time around they are going to deliver on that promise of if not beauty of the hidden aspects at least not outright failure.
    Chilliwack BC, Canada

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    • #32
      Originally posted by BCRider View Post
      It would be nice if one of these makers charged a bit more but put forth the advertising that "yes, ours costs a little more.
      I don't think its a bit, its a lot. It might as much as 1/2 - 3/4's of the price difference is from using substandard processes and parts; I really think the labour savings (which is gradually diminishing) are the smaller part of it. Use high quality castings, materials, bearings, processes, grinding, scraping etc and they'll cost 4x what are now

      Its a different consumer mind set today, a different expectation of cost and quality. Guys 30+ years ago saved for ages to buy one quality machine and then the bought lathe milling attachment because it would almost unheard to have enough money for two machines. More were tradesmen so had a sense that quality was worth it (there were low end machines then as well)

      Nothing to whine about though. The last 20 years have been the greatest bonanza that we will likely ever see as industry shifted to CNC or went offshore. Superior quantity industrial machines you'd about trip over in the streets for penny's on the dollar. I've ended with a machines that greatly outperform those the man of 40 years saved for years for just to get one....and i've spent less than the made in China prices. What an era to have been a HSM, it couldn't have been better for us!
      Last edited by Mcgyver; 12-18-2020, 07:03 PM.
      in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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      • #33
        Originally posted by J Tiers View Post

        That one seems to be the bog-standard POS minilathe with the craptastic electronic speed control
        I have one of those 7 X 12 Chinese lathes with the Warco brand (UK importers) and found that the board for the speed control was made in the USA.

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        • #34
          I can't say if these machines are any better then the others that are out there but consider that even if they are the same quality as the other machines available you can still get one cheaper this way.

          I have a 13 x 40" Chinese lathe and I wouldn't trade it for a used Atlas, Southbend or other brands of the similar size. It works fine, turns accurately and does the job and was a lot cheaper as in "I couldn't afford a different NEW lathe IE: American, European etc." if there was one to buy. I was surprised by how well it is actually made, crappy standard Chinese paint job not withstanding. What more do I need in a lathe.
          The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

          Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

          Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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          • #35
            High quality machines are made today.
            They are simply far too expensive for home shop use.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by old mart View Post

              I have one of those 7 X 12 Chinese lathes with the Warco brand (UK importers) and found that the board for the speed control was made in the USA.
              Craptastic refers to the usage, and not the actual function and design, which I have no clue about. It's simply the wrong way to make the lathe, whether the speed control is aerospace grade or a chinese reject..
              CNC machines only go through the motions.

              Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
              Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
              Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
              I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
              Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by loose nut View Post
                What more do I need in a lathe.
                Better paint work it would appear.
                I prefer a machine with pristine paint work rather then one that works, this is a personal choice of course.
                I also will never operate a used machine, scratches, wear, paint discolored by coolant, dirt, oil residue and chips, no thank you!

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Bented View Post
                  High quality machines are made today.
                  They are simply far too expensive for home shop use.
                  That's true. Sadly the lure of cheap solutions has led to the demise of the brands that used to be bought and used by hobbyists, training schools on a budget and smaller shops. Brands like South Bend and Logan just to name two that spring to mind. And when they were actually affordable Myford and Boxford... although I believe that the Boxford name has been transferred to Asian imports distributed by Boxford. Is that the case at present?
                  Chilliwack BC, Canada

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by BCRider View Post

                    That's true. Sadly the lure of cheap solutions has led to the demise of the brands that used to be bought and used by hobbyists, training schools on a budget and smaller shops. Brands like South Bend and Logan just to name two that spring to mind. And when they were actually affordable Myford and Boxford... although I believe that the Boxford name has been transferred to Asian imports distributed by Boxford. Is that the case at present?
                    If there were a market for high quality home shop sized machines they would exist.
                    Consumers do not want quality, they want low prices.

                    I have found this to be an excellent trade off, I buy very inexpensive Asian made tools for general shop use, they are inexpensive enough that if they last 6 months it is fine, when they fail toss them.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Bented View Post

                      If there were a market for high quality home shop sized machines they would exist.
                      Hard to argue with that logic. 👍
                      21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
                      1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Bented View Post

                        If there were a market for high quality home shop sized machines they would exist.
                        Consumers do not want quality, they want low prices.

                        .........................
                        Actually, I think you are wrong on that.

                        Consumers PAY low prices (for what such a machine should cost), AND are convinced that they GOT high quality.

                        This may be in part because they often have no idea what high quality actually looks like. Few if any of them have worked in, or maybe even seen, a shop or manufacturing facility equipped with good industrial machines, and there is no point of comparison.

                        Not a "put-down", just a statement of fact, which I have seen in action. And, it is possible to get good work from a "chinese POS", if you have no idea it is a PS, and just use it "as if it were something real".

                        I think I was lucky, as I found that I did not want to pay as much as new prices for what was in the last analysis, a "non-essential" item. So I ended up with mostly older but decent quality stuff that I had to repair as part of the "cost". Now I am spoiled, and would have to do the same if I bought a "new" machine.

                        But I am unlikely to do that. New ones at reasonably sensible prices for "non-essential" equipment do not have the facilities of the "old and worn-out" (so-called, at least) equipment that I have (but have refurbished extensively).

                        The Logan does not have a QCGB, the Rivett does, but I am double-***ned if I will pay a lot more and STILL get no QCGB, as well as no back gears, and poorly fit parts.

                        It's notable that US-made units went from change gear to QCGB, and never went back, really (SB were available without). The chinese lathes have progressed from HAVING QCGB to the newest models which have a "kinda geary-changey thing" that is not even close to a QCGB.

                        That is one point n favor of the "consumers do not care about quality (or at least features)" theory. But since ALL of the offered machines in the range are like that, it might be argued that the choice is not even given, it is that way, or the highway.
                        Last edited by J Tiers; 12-18-2020, 09:46 PM.
                        CNC machines only go through the motions.

                        Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
                        Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
                        Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
                        I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
                        Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post



                          Its a different consumer mind set today, a different expectation of cost and quality. Guys 30+ years ago saved for ages to buy one quality machine and then the bought lathe milling attachment because it would almost unheard to have enough money for two machines. More were tradesmen so had a sense that quality was worth it (there were low end machines then as well)

                          Nothing to whine about though. The last 20 years have been the greatest bonanza that we will likely ever see as industry shifted to CNC or went offshore. Superior quantity industrial machines you'd about trip over in the streets for penny's on the dollar. I've ended with a machines that greatly outperform those the man of 40 years saved for years for just to get one....and i've spent less than the made in China prices. What an era to have been a HSM, it couldn't have been better for us!
                          You nailed it Mcgyver,the move to CNC left a large surplus of high quality machines for very reasonable prices.I starting buying Machines 10 yrs ago when I built my new Farm Shop,went to a lot of Auctions that some machines were nearly given away.Don’t do the Auction thing much last couple years as have most what I need to get Farm&Shop jobs done.I’ve really enjoyed some of the Refurbishing on the Machines I dragged home,some frustration as well but good education after all.

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                          • #43
                            Actually, I thought the little lathe the Ozzie guy took out of the box put on a pretty good showing.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by J Tiers View Post

                              It's notable that US-made units went from change gear to QCGB, and never went back, really (SB were available without). The chinese lathes have progressed from HAVING QCGB to the newest models which have a "kinda geary-changey thing" that is not even close to a QCGB.
                              Modern lathes do not use "gear boxes", that is a feature from the past.
                              And an excellent advance I might add.

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                              • #45
                                In my ignorance, never having owned a machine newer than about 1990, what do modern lathes use instead of gearboxes for selecting feeds and threading pitches? I'm talking manual machines here, not CNC machining centres.
                                'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger

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