No announcement yet.

Need to upgrade to a larger Lathe?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Need to upgrade to a larger Lathe?

    I want a lathe with a larger spindle bore. I have a dilema my current lathe is a real sweatheart Southbend 10K with undermotor drive cabinet model with very little use. The problem is I find myself very limited by its size for some new projects I am going to tackle. When I first started buying machines it was for hobby use only I bought the SB 10K and a Rong Fu mill drill. Now I have started a small side business not a huge money maker but it is allowing me to upgrade my machines. I have upgraded the mill to a used Wells Index model and I am happy with it. Now I find a new use for a lathe with a larger spindle bore with collet closer for some fast operations.

    That is the background here is the question should I get a used Hardinge second operation lathe for this new task and keep the 10K or should I just sell my 10K and buy a bigger machine? Space is becoming an issue but I am sure I could fit another small machine in somewhere. If I buy a new bigger machine I was thinking a used Clausing, Rockwell or a new import with a 1.5" spindle bore and a little more weight than the SB. My budget would be about 3-4K unless I wait a little longer. The next question what models of used Clausing or Rockwell lathe should I be looking for and are there some problem models to stay away from? A Hardinge tool room lathe would be nice but they seem to all sell for much more than my budget. My machine background is very limited so I am hoping to hear from some more experienced guys about this. I can look at a lathe and check it for wear fairly well after using mine I think anyway.
    Thanks in advance Mike
    Last edited by gundog; 12-20-2006, 02:17 PM.

  • #2
    All the experts say buy the biggest machine you can accomodate and afford then when you need it the capacity is always there Alistair have a nice Xmas
    Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


    • #3
      Do you feel the need for a swing greater than 10", or just for a larger spindle bore?
      Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
      Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
      Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
      There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
      Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
      Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


      • #4
        I was facing a similar situation. My original 9x20 just didn't have the capacity I found myself wanting. So I now have a Rockwell that I'm still "refining" after a long life of hard work. I'm much happier with it! But larger lathes (and particularly older, pre carbide lathes) don't have enough rpms on the high side. My Rockwell only turns 1500 max. So, for small diameter work where you really want to spin up the rpms, or just small stuff where I don't need the extra capacity, the little lathe is nice to have around. Alas, I have no room and I'm bringing home another stray soon (Boyar Shultz surface grinder) and need the room, so the little lathe, my very first machine tool, has to go...
        Master Floor Sweeper


        • #5
          Originally posted by SGW
          Do you feel the need for a swing greater than 10", or just for a larger spindle bore?
          For now I just need to chuck up to 1" swing is not the problem but who knows what the future brings? I also want a collet closer setup if possible.


          • #6
            Hi There,

            Gundog, I don't know what your market over there is like but I would think
            you could get a very good lathe in the 10-15" swing range with that spindle
            bore in your price range.

            I used to have a nice 10K lathe once too but I needed a lathe with a longer
            cc length. So I traded up to an 11" Logan with a 5 ft. bed. Now I have a
            12" Clausing and I am fixing-up a 14" Clausing.

            The longer I have been in this "hobby," the more I find that I "need" to get
            a bigger lathe.

            Of course you could get an off-shore lathe but I personally like old American
            iron. Just keep looking and something will come up. A Hardinge second-op
            would be nice but I would think something like a Rockwell or Clausing would be
            more versatile for your needs.

            Just my 2 cents. Good Luck!
            -Blue Chips-


            • #7
              I would say keep the smaller lathe and get something bigger. A Monarch EE would be a great addition as would the Hardinge. You can never have too many lathes in my opinion. You will find yourself needing to make some small part when the machine is set up on a job.

              Currently, I have a 10" Clausing, but would like a geared head machine that will swing about 12" over the cross slide.

              No imports, please. Monarch, LeBlond, Reed Prentice, Lodge and Shipley, etc....

              Andy Pullen
              Clausing 10x24, Sheldon 12" shaper, Clausing 8520 mill, Diacro 24" shear, Reed Prentice 14" x 34"


              • #8
                Hey Mike,

                I faced the same dilemma, went from a 9" SB to Heavy 10, to Leblond Dual Drive in a short two years. I love the big Leblond, but also very much wish I would have held on to the Heavy 10 as well. Space and mostly money prevented it. It seems to have been pretty quiet around here (Vanc/PDX) for good used lathes lately. At least Brett and Dan haven't posted any lately. Maybe post-Christmas will shake a few loose. I'll keep you posted on anything I hear of.



                • #9
                  I've got an 11x36 Rockwell. It is a solid machine. The only drawback is the unavailability of OEM parts and accessories. Make sure if you get one it doesn’t need anything you can’t get off the shelf like gears or belts. I saw a Rockwell steady rest go for almost $300 on ebay. That’s nuts. The only reason I got into machining is to build my own rifles for competition. The Rockwell has done well. There are better machines out there that still have factory parts available. I got a deal I just couldn’t pass up. If you’re doing gun work I almost hate to say it but Grizzly has some fair machines. The #2 place shooter in the long range championship at Camp Perry this year uses a Grizzly.



                  • #10
                    Don't overlook a Colchester

                    I have both a SB 9A and a Colchester 12 x 24. More common sizes of the Colchester or Clausing-Colchester are 13" and 15". The 12" and 13" both have a 1.5" spindle.



                    • #11
                      My favorites are the Monarch 10EE and the Colchester 2500 master. both are about 25 inches between centers and about 1 3/8 thru spindel. If you can live with the spindel and short between centers imho it would be hard to beat either of them.
                      Herm Williams