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Looking to purchase instrument lathe for home use.

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  • Looking to purchase instrument lathe for home use.

    Good evening! I was looking for some help from the membership on Home Shop Machinist. I looking for an older instrument lathe with a complete set of collets 4 jaw and 3 jaw chucks, cross slide,tooling, drill chuck ,live centres etc. Love Stark lathes Waltham etc approximately 2000$ contact Bill [email protected]

  • #2
    I'd never heard of Stark lathes before, but a quick look on Ebay turns this up:

    I'd think you could find the other bits - 3 & 4 jaw chucks are common enough.

    All of the gear, no idea...


    • #3
      Thanks l will check that out. I will also attach a couple pics of a few lathes l was thinking of.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        What about a Hardinge/Cataract/Elgin "59" series of lathe ???
        You know, 5C collet and 9" swing?
        Probably the most numerous out there in that class of machine.
        Both bench and cabinet models. And can be had cheap.



        • #5
          I will check thank you. Any leads you know of or sites l should look?


          • #6
            They are cheap enough on ebay.
            HGR surplus too.
            Search Hardinge 59
            or Cataract lathe
            or Elgin lathe
            on ebay.

            I have a Cataract quick change swing lathe
            which is more of a toolroom lathe, not an
            instrument maker's lathe. But it is the old
            1920s style, if you like that kind of thing.
            I also have a modern (?) HLV-H which came
            much after the Cataract QCS lathe, but
            basically the same lathe, really.




            • #7
              I am all about old. Love anything vintage. It’s simple like me, lol. I have to learn to be patient. I just missed out on the Waltham lathe, l was trying to make a deal with him and get got a better offer. It may still be available, the guy that bought is out of province and says he’s going to pick it up in May. I am only 20 miles from him so we’re staying in touch, keeping my fingers and toes crossed unless l can find a better lathe. What kinda of money does it take to buy such a lathe like you have?


              • #8
                Love to see pics!


                • #9
                  Wow gorgeous. Can you say that about a lathe?


                  • #10
                    That Stark you were looking at could be a good deal. It has most of what you are looking for, is under your budget, and you should be able to find a set of 4S collets with a bit of patience.

                    As a Canadian, you can look at HGR but I've come to the conclusion that for most things (unless you're getting a steal of a deal) it's not worth it unless you can drive down and pick it up yourself. They ship to Canada via UPS, which is pricy in itself and then UPS loves to ding you with ridiculous brokerage charges. Small items that are a deal at $20 quickly turn into $80 with shipping and brokerage, and larger items any deal you get is eaten up with the shipping. I'm hoping make a day trip down there once travel is easier, I think some of the bulkier items like motors and small machines would be worth it if you could transport it yourself.

                    I'll keep my eyes open for you.
                    Cayuga, Ontario, Canada


                    • #11
                      Sounds great. Been trying to find the collets but like l said patience is not my strong point.


                      • #12
                        Those old plain turning machines are nicely made, and very good looking machines. They are capable of very good work, of course.

                        However, for a lot of things they are not overly practical. Because they have no carriage, parallel turning is a complicated process of getting the topslide parallel with the axis, if you ever set it at a different angle. And long parallel turning is a nuisance of multiple setups along the length.

                        Threading can be done, using the threading drives that use the topslide with a driveshaft setup. Or with "chase threading" arrangements of various types which are in some ways easier to deal with than change gears..

                        I don't think I'd want one of them as my only lathe, but I can see one as a second machine. In fact I have a small one in the form of a watchmaker's lathe, now that I got a crosslide setup for it..

                        The picture Doozer posted is a very nice machine and definitely more all-around usable / practical.
                        Last edited by J Tiers; 01-29-2022, 11:13 AM.
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