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Small Summit lathe

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  • Small Summit lathe

    I'll begin by saying I've been a lurker for more than 4 years now, haven't had anything constructive to add, so I've never joined. My name is John, I'm a hot rodder, and have never owned a lathe or mill before. I live in Lethbridge AB Canada. I really enjoy this site, including the OT and the educational posts of your members.

    A friend called me a few weeks ago about a lathe and mill. He owns a machine shop and was offered the 2 machines from the closing of the local school shop. I have not seen them yet. He just got them to his shop yesterday, I'll be going to look at them next Tuesday, on my next day off.
    The lathe, he tells me is a 13 x 30 Summit. I can't find any info at all on a Summit lathe that small. It was sold through Acklands here in Canada, circa 1978. He says its in very nice condition, used very little with lots of tooling. The taper attachment has never been installed to date. Anything seen a lathe like this? Perhaps it was built by someone else and badged by Summit? I've done searches everywhere I can think of and have so far come up with nothing.

    The mill, he told me is a Japanese brand, something like Iwasaki, I never asked him for the spelling of it. I'll have more info on all of the above after I see them next Tuesday.

    I'd like to get some kind of idea what the lathe might be worth first, he tells me he doesn't know what to ask for it. Something about he has to make a donation to the school. I'm "assuming" he got it quite cheap. I'm also assuming his donation might be somewhat related to what he can get for the 2 pieces of equipment. That's all I know for now.

    Anyone seen a Summit lathe this small? Anyone heard of a Japanese made mill with a name that sounds like Iwasaki? Thanks.

  • #2 or email the guys at Modern Tool in Cowgary.
    I'm sure they are very familiar with Summit lathes. They have a lot of them listed for sale.
    Ol' John...the gm there is a good guy to talk to about stuff like that..provided he has time. should add your location to your info or everyone will tell you to go to Harbour Fright for everything.
    I have tools I don't even know I own...


    • #3
      Don't know if this will be any help, but I noticed this one on a local Craig's list in the last few days...


      • #4
        I brought the two machines home on Christmas eve, in a snowstorm. Lots of guys pointing and talking to their wivesas we drove the 20 miles home, I imagine telling their wife what a lucky sob that guy is for Christmas. My buddies and I had a great time, we all had big smiles on our faces.

        The lathe is a Summit, sold by Acklands, probably through Modern Tool in Calgary in late 1970's. I talked to Modern Tool, and they had another one in several months ago like this one. I have to find out yet, now that I own them, if they have parts and manual available. The lathe turned out to be an 11 x 32 on the Summit tag, serial number 418. Has an Acklands tag below the Summit tag with similar information. On the end of the lathe is a metal sticker that says, "Made in China", although I have to say it does not look like the current Chinese machines on the market. The castings are nice and smooth and straight. The whole base is cast iron.

        I haven't run it yet, as it is 220 volt 3 phase, with 2 HP motor, and I don't have a phase converter yet. My friend that sold it to me says he will give me a static phase converter, as soon as he can find it.

        The mill turned out to be an Iwa****a ( The asterisks in the brand name have been automatically replaced by this site. They stand for a four letter word that is slang for excrement.) horizontal mill with a bolt on vertical head as well. It is Model 1 - NK65 serial number 2305. Also says 1971.1 on the tag. Above the Iwa****a tag, there is a tag that says it is supplied by Yamazen. The mill is in really nice shape. I wouldn't know that, but my friend with the machine shop says it has hardly been used at all. The instructor at the school said the machine was too troublesome for students to change from horizontal to vertical, as it took up most of a class to do so.

        The NK1 horizontal mill on Iwa****a's website looks pretty much identical to the one I have, as far as I can tell from a tiny little photograph. The specs on the motor are the same as mine as well.

        I contacted both parent companies by e-mail, about manuals and parts availability. Hopefully I will get a response.

        Anyone know where I can get more info and manuals for these machines?

        Oh, and I imagine someone will ask how much I paid. Both machines cost me $4500.00. My friend talked to John at Modern Tool, and was told they were very easily worth $2500.00 each in Canadian funds.

        These are my first machines of this kind. I took the beginning machinist's course at the local college a couple years ago, but its still going to be a steep learning curve for me, I imagine. This is only for hobby use as well, I won't be trying to run any local shops out of business. Any help I can get I will greatly appreciate. Thanks.


        • #5
          John, welcome to the world of machining. It sounds like you made quite a good buy and getting a lathe AND mill at the same time is outstanding. I suggest you set up a rotary phase convertor rather than a static convertor. Usually the static convertors are hp specific where as a rotary convertor will run various hp and several motors at once.

          Have no fear about asking questions and I suggest you get a copy of Machinery Handbook as a refference book. I hope you got a book when you took the machining course and if not we can recommend many good books.

          Good luck with your new tools and I hope to see you posting about stuff your making or fixing real soon.
          It's only ink and paper


          • #6
            Hey- I too am a hot rodder. You will not regret the lathe and the mill. They will open a new world and level to your work and creativity.
            What kind of rod(s) do you have?



            • #7
              Thanks Carl. I plan on spending some time at the local library looking for some books to get me going. I did not get any books with the class I took, it was only an evening class for 8 weeks. Just the basics, but it got me lusting after some machinery.

              Sid, I have a 1930 Ford model A pickup, almost ready to go. Stretched it 4 inches in the middle of the doors, and on the splash aprons, wheelbase stretched the same. Flathead Ford, GM Saginaw trans. Also have a '27 T with chassis built, waiting for metal refurbishing. Also a '40 Ford pickup in the back yard, looking forlorn and lonely, awaiting its turn. Thanks for the interest.


              • #8
                Jvo- Good to see the flat head in the Ford. Any pictures?
                Is it painted?



                • #9
                  I was afraid someone was going to ask for pictures. This site looks just like MetalMeet, and I have a terrible time posting pics. I guess I can give it a whirl, though. Give me a couple days.


                  • #10
                    I have found the same thing in AB, both in moving machines and being a traveller, in AB you are usually at risk of being runover if your not going 130kph (80), not so with machines on a trailer the traffic slows down to get a gooooood look.....LOL

                    Modern in Calgary will be your best bet on manuals, esp the Summit.

                    If your lathe and mill are similar hp you could run it off a single VFD but it will be plug and play, a RPC is also a good choice. The mill sounds nice and handy being both H/V with little use, thats a good price for machines up here.

                    Did you get any tooling with them, in particular the mill?
                    Opportunity knocks once, temptation leans on the doorbell.....


                    • #11
                      Russ, ivo is in Lethbridge, Buddy flipped a 172 on its back there eons ago, rather a breezy place. Welcome Ivo, a good book is Tech of Machine Tools
                      ISBN 0-02-803071-0 Saw one on for $27 US Yesterday. If we can help we will, someone usually can. Thousands of years of experience here. Peter
                      The difficult done right away. the impossible takes a little time.