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Tool Room vs standard type lathe??

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  • Tool Room vs standard type lathe??

    I'm thinking it may be time to upgrade my 40 year old Clausing lathe. My lathe keeps purring along and is still an excellent machine. As i find myself doing smaller and more accurate type work I keep thinking about one of those toolroom lathes....sharp, victor, hardinge, etc. I only need one lathe and keep talking myself out of buying one because of the limited size. I like to use collets but sometimes a good 4-jaw chuck is needed.

    Aside from the precision spindle is their any real advantage to a toolroom lathe in terms of inherant accuracy, ease of machining etc. Are the bedways, tailstock, crossslide, etc that much more precise. I keep thinking that If I get a new/newer lathe in great shape w/ a tight spindle that I could do everything I need on one machine. What about spindle speed...does one really need that speed (3000-4000rpm)

    Maybe a good used Monarch lathe is what I need.....Any thoughts!!

    Krems

  • #2
    Frankly a toolroom lathe is just a lathe with a toolroom sticker on it.

    The real question is why there is a toolroom sticker on it. Which may be due to high accuracy. But do not count on it, I would say.

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    • #3
      Ummm.. Not quite. Tool room lathes, in general, are lighter duty machines that are built to higher tolerances. Monarch 10EE spindles are 40 millionths max standard, 30 optional and I believe a Hardinge HLV was standard 30 millionths.

      Toolroom lathes are designed for fine work, not hogging metal. And you pay for it. A new 10EE will set you back about 80k, I think I HLV-H is around 60K and even a Sharp knock off is around $30K.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by macona
        Ummm.. Not quite. Tool room lathes, in general, are lighter duty machines that are built to higher tolerances. Monarch 10EE spindles are 40 millionths max standard, 30 optional and I believe a Hardinge HLV was standard 30 millionths.

        Toolroom lathes are designed for fine work, not hogging metal. And you pay for it. A new 10EE will set you back about 80k, I think I HLV-H is around 60K and even a Sharp knock off is around $30K.
        For way less than the Monarch or Hardinge you can have a Haas Hardinge knock off with full CNC control,
        http://www.haascnc.com/details_LATHE...LatheTreeModel

        Or for less money than that get a lathe that will do everything all the above lathes will do and swing 16",
        http://www.haascnc.com/details_LATHE...LatheTreeModel

        Then Krems would only need one lathe in his shop.
        Last edited by Mark Hockett; 12-23-2008, 04:49 AM.
        Mark Hockett

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        • #5
          delete post....sorry!
          Last edited by krems; 12-23-2008, 09:14 AM.

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          • #6
            Sorry about the above post.... fingers slipped.

            A new machine is out of the question but a good used machine is affordable. I had no idea that the Monarch lathes were so expensive. Does the Monarch 10ee machine have a 5c collet spindle or would one need a collet chuck. I hear a lot about these machines but never any mention of collets. I really like the look and weight of the Monarch machine but am not crazy about the chuck sticking way out. Sharp machines are high on my list as are a good used Monarch or Hardinge. They all seem overpriced however. I imagine the toolroom lathes are too small for barrel work if your a gunsmith. This might weigh heavily on my decision.

            The Haas machines are interesting. Never looked at one before. I do think I want a machine with digital varible speed however. Still looking around and exploring options.

            Krems
            Last edited by krems; 12-23-2008, 09:23 AM.

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            • #7
              We bought a Victor toolroom lathe a few years back, it was 13K new IIRC. Decent machine, but the wiring was screwey and we had to have one of the maintenance electricians do some corrective surgery the first week we had it.

              I wouldn't recomend it for general use though.

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              • #8
                The South Bend 10" engine lathe became the South Bend 10" toolroom lathe when it was sold with the taper attachment.

                Possibly the "toolroom lathe" included collets as well. Otherwise, it was the same basic lathe.
                ----------
                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

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                • #9
                  Can you reliably measure .0001 th? Do you need this accuracy? I remember a gunsmith that priced his rifles on the group you shot from a benchrest at his shop. Group as good as rifle = normal price. Group twice as big = price doubled.
                  Three times size = 4 times price. Any larger would not sell you any rifle.

                  Suggest that until you are not happy with what your present lathe does only look and study new lathes.
                  Bob

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                  • #10
                    The 10EE is not the only toolroom lathe Monarch made. I have a Monarch 16C toolroom lathe made in 1943 in support of the War effort. My lathe is 54" between centers and weighs in at around 4500 lbs. I don't know if it is more or less accurate than other Monarch lathes...I'll just say that it works for me. As far as being a lightweight...forget about it. There is nothing lightweight about it. These lathes were built to deliver the goods, and they do that in spades. You may not need or be able to use a lathe as large as mine, but used Monarchs are available on the secondary market at very attractive figures when compared to the new lathes that are available, and there really is no comparison. The only caveat is that you need to be able to determine the status of the lathe before purchasing one. Parts are available, but even the small insignificant parts are prohibitively expensive. Many of these older lathes were rode hard and put away wet. And even then, many good serviceable lathes are still around and ready to do more. Other possible candidates are Lodge and Shipley, and Sidney, Axelson, LeBlond, American Pacemaker. These were all heavy duty lathes of exceptional quality, and with a little patience, they can be found...frequently with tremendous accessories. They can be awkward to move, and you will definitely need help, but once they're in place, they stay put. You won't find any of these lathes mentioned skittering across the floor. When my lathe is running, and while taking a .350 DOC, you can balance a nickle on its edge on the crosslide, and yes...I've done it!
                    I agree, the 10EE is more than just a great lathe, it is a piece of art. The lines and design features culminate in a magnificent machine, but without having ever actually run one, I doubt that I could do any better work than I'm capeable of on my 16C, which I consider to just be a 10EE in work clothes. Both are Monarchs...and that's enough for me.
                    Also for the record, the spindle on my lathe and the 10EE is more than adequate for gunsmithing work.
                    There is no shortage of experts, the trick is knowing which one to listen to!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Teenage_Machinist
                      Frankly a toolroom lathe is just a lathe with a toolroom sticker on it.
                      Toolroom lathes are non gearhead lathes -- they use belt drives on the spindle. They eliminate all gearing in the headstock to elminate gear chatter on the workpiece. To the extent that most toolroom lathes don't even have a back-gear.

                      The 10EE has a belt-driven feed for turning. The Hardinge HLV-H elminates gearing in the power feed by using a DC motor mounted directly on the apron.

                      The Schaublin toolroom lathes have a ballscrew driven by an outboard feed motor.

                      Toolroom lathes also have a very wide bed -- 1 to 1 1/2 times the center height.
                      "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                      • #12
                        I would say check the actual things though before you assume that a lathe has somtheing it doesnt.

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                        • #13
                          Lazlo has all valid points if one considers the term "toolroom" to have real meaning. Unfortunately as Teenage Machinist points out, the term is plastered all over all sorts of stuff that really doesn't fit the "tight tolerance" qualifications that a real toolroom might put on a machine.

                          That's not just an import misuse of the term to try to sell products...I have seen lots of vendors of used American machinery refer to lots of (even really well made) lathes as "toolroom" lathes. Either the lathe genuinely came out of a toolroom (which makes it a "toolroom" lathe in the loosest sense) or they said it did so that people will think its had an easier life than one out on the factory floor.

                          Let's face it, the term has been used so many ways that its hard to quantify today. As was already pointed out, some of the Monarch C series lathes were listed as "toolroom" lathes...in addition to the lathes like the 10ee we traditionally think of. Some of these came with such neat toolmaking features as "relieving attachments" that hopped the carriage in and out for creating relief in making taps.

                          In the case of South Bend, some sales lit I saw suggested that one of their "toolroom" models came with collets not included with the others. Nice feature....but a little hard to say that a set of collets makes a lathe somehow better quality. Did my Chinese import lathe become higher quality when I bought a set of 5-C collets ?

                          Paul
                          Paul Carpenter
                          Mapleton, IL

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                          • #14
                            I think Southbend "toolroom" lathes came with a taper attachment, collet closer, steady and follower rests, micrometer carriage stop and an extra accuracy lead screw as a package.

                            As far as backgears go in a toolroom lathe, my Rivett 10-20f has them, in fact it has double back gears in its slowest speeds.

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                            • #15
                              If your Clausing is still turning out good work, why spend all that money just so you can say you have a "Tool room lathe"? Ever consider that a lot of accuracy is in the skill of the operator who has learned the limitations of his machine?

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