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  • #16
    Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
    Sure.

    But the basic machine is small. I got a somewhat larger machine (but still in the same "class" as a benchtop machine), which has 3 arbors, dividing head, vertical head, overarm brace, more cutters than I can use, etc, etc. with 1/4 the investment, because it is not a "known name" that has the "collectors" swarming all over it discussing "original paint" and judging the "completeness", etc.
    I actually wonder if you couldn't get the rights to the design of your mill and start making them again. Or at least publishing the drawings. The only issue I have with a mill like yours is that its basically an industrial orphan. That makes parts, service, and support difficult at best. Even if the drawings were out there somewhere, would be a better situation than nothing. That is the reason yours was so cheap -- its basically an unsupported, unknown.
    25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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    • #17
      Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
      Nice, but it can't do anything that I couldn't do with my BP.

      JL.............
      Unlike my BP, it can do it in my second floor apartment. Not that I would, but I could.........

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      • #18
        Originally posted by tom_d View Post

        Unlike my BP, it can do it in my second floor apartment. Not that I would, but I could.........
        You've got a point there.

        JL.....

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        • #19
          Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post

          I actually wonder if you couldn't get the rights to the design of your mill and start making them again. Or at least publishing the drawings. The only issue I have with a mill like yours is that its basically an industrial orphan. That makes parts, service, and support difficult at best. Even if the drawings were out there somewhere, would be a better situation than nothing. That is the reason yours was so cheap -- its basically an unsupported, unknown.
          I have the drawings........ it's the castings that are an issue as far as a reissue, not regular "parts". That, and expecting to make any money at it.....One would not. Most of the castings for ANY machine , if damaged beyond repair, are grounds for scrapping. Just like a bent truck frame.

          And the Atlas mills are not supported either. Just like the Atlas shapers..... most parts are not obtainable. Clausing does not have them. I do not know how that is any different from mine.... BOTH are industrial orphans.

          Most parts for Monarch, LeBlond, K&T, etc are so expensive to obtain (if you can buy them) that THOSE are industrial orphans as well. Feed screws at $2500, and so on. Parts come from "parted out" units or they are not obtainable at all in a practical sense, and must be made. (Here is where Bented steps in with the "cheap hobbyist" comments, but working shops are no different)

          The difference in price is "the other way 'round". It is not "why was mine so cheap?", but "why is the Atlas so expensive?", that is the issue.

          The answer is not any "support" that is theoretically (but not so much practically) available from Clausing, it is the "NAME". Atlas is "collectible". Logan, although very well supported*, and a superior lathe, is not "collectible", so an Atlas or South bend (barely supported at all) is priced as a collectible, more than as a tool.

          So it is with the Lewis, or many others. Not being "trendy" means the availability of arguably equal or better functioning machines for less.

          * You can get many parts from Logan, any bearings, and typical wear parts, belts, accessory parts, etc, etc. Try that from other companies, Clausing, Southbend (the new one) etc.
          Last edited by J Tiers; 03-11-2021, 08:51 PM.
          CNC machines only go through the motions

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          • #20
            Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
            I have the drawings

            * You can get many parts from Logan, any bearings, and typical wear parts, belts, accessory parts, etc, etc. Try that from other companies, Clausing, Southbend (the new one) etc.
            I consider the south bend to be pretty well supported as far as finding parts (ebay) etc. but the Atlas and the Lewis are truly orphans. I think the reason why the atlas is so desirable in the hobbyist market is that it fills the right size niche. Built solid cast iron but still a "bench top" size.

            I know you own the drawings and an original set of castings or the Lewis mill, but what I was asking is, obtaining the rights to it. As in copyrights, patents, etc. and do you think it would be profitable to offer a mass-produced Lewis mill today? Could it be done?
            25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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            • #21
              I would not know who had the legal rights to the design or at least the drawings (there is a legal presumption of copyright to the original author or company). So zero clue as to who to ask. I do not believe there would be any patent, other than a design patent, and if there were, they have been public domain for 50 years. Copyrights last something like author's life plus 50 years, and can be renewed. That is avoidable by re-drawing the plans to a new "representation". Any trademark has been inactive for 50 years.

              No, I am very sure that it would be a great way to invest money that you would never get back. It would cost too much to make. Lewis really made "kits". They sold the plans with the castings, doing the heavy machining and alignments, and leaving the making of the other parts to the end user/kit builder. Screws, spindle, all the smaller stuff that could be made with lathe and drill.

              Nobody these days would even consider that. Not when they can buy a mill-drill for small money. So it would be making finished machines. Redesigned for safe operation, since the originals are totally open and are just "made of" pinch points etc.

              All for a horizontal mill? A type that "everyone knows" has been obsolete for 70 years? Ain't even a chance.
              CNC machines only go through the motions

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              • #22
                Sounds like a good way to make a small fortune..........Out of a large one.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post
                  The only issue I have with a mill like yours is that its basically an industrial orphan. That makes parts, service, and support difficult at best.
                  This is such a common narrative, and one I've never really understood based on my experience with used machines. What are you doing, busting castings? I've rebuild tons of machines from The US, England and Europe and have never once had a problem that wasn't readily solved (well, accept crappy Euro mill spindle designs, but thats crappy design not lack of parts) . Every part I've needed was commercially available or could be made. The only only minor challenge was new departure bearings in the Monarch and Levin, but there are easy ways to adapt metric bearings. Its not a factor imo.
                  Last edited by Mcgyver; 03-12-2021, 06:04 AM.
                  in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post

                    This is such a common narrative, and one I've never really understood based on my experience with used machines. What are you doing, busting castings? I've rebuild tons of machines from The US, England and Europe and have never once had a problem that wasn't readily solved (well, accept crappy Euro mill spindle designs, but thats crappy design not lack of parts) . Every part I've needed was commercially available or could be made. The only only minor challenge was new departure bearings in the Monarch and Levin, but there are easy ways to adapt metric bearings. Its not a factor imo.
                    This^^^^^^^^^^^^

                    People go on about "old machines you can't get parts for".... But seriously, what "parts" do you NEED? As I mentioned, if big pieces are unrepairably bad, the entire machine is kaput, sel off the remaining parts.

                    That would have been the case pretty much the day after the machine was bought new.

                    May be I should oughtta shut up. If more folks understand that "orphan" machines are not suddenly without value, prices will go up, and I'd have to pay more for them.
                    CNC machines only go through the motions

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