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Possible lathe find

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  • Possible lathe find

    Found this lathe on ebay. 2 days, 7 hours to go. Gotta decide pronto.

    It's one of the few machines I've found that is withing driving distance of my location. Looks like a possible restoration candidate, but I cannot personally look at the machine. Hate to buy something like this sight unseen, but whadda ya do? Anyway...

    What would the weight of this monster be (ish)?

    How long would the whole thing be? I have a 3/4 ton truck with short bed (6'). Could I even get it home? Could I put 4x4's under it if it had to hang over the back of the tailgate?

    Bigger than I really need, but if not clapped out, it may suit me forever. And then the kids can figure out how to dispose of the heavy old thing when I die

    Thanks guys.

  • #2
    I'd guess 4K pounds at least. No way it goes in your truck bed.

    Given that there's no compound, I wonder if the tracer can be removed and one added to that cross slide.

    You might want to ask over on the heavy machine forum at


    • #3
      I have run them and I like them. I do like the shift feature they have. It looks like the ways are ok but he don't show a good shot of the ways.

      See if He will email you close ups of the ways. Ask him what the reserve is. I'm guessing somewhere between $1500-2000. I don't know what they are going for these days. Check the closed sales on ebay. Matt or some of the dealers here may know.
      It's only ink and paper


      • #4
        Now I'll show my ignorance. I have no real idea what the "tracer" is. But just the fact that there is no cmpound is a concern. Look, if I'm going to buy a piece of American iron, even if it needs a resto, I can't let it break me up buying zillions of parts to make it sling chips. I'm a weekend warrior at best.

        I may be better off just gettin a "Chinese junk" lathe, as someone so elequently put it in another current thread. At least it'd be mostly ready to fire off. I won't be building space shuttle parts anyway.

        I'm not sure I'm not gettin in over my head girls and boys. Better re-think this whole idea.

        Let's just cancel this thread for now.

        Thanks for the heads up.


        • #5
          It appears to be a machine dealer and it has a reserve. Call and ask the price.

          The tracer is nice, but appears to lack the power pack, rendering it useless if it is missing. The lister states he does not know if it is complete would make me believe he does know it is lacking. There may or may not be a useable compound there, there is a compound handwheel.

          It is a Hydroshift and has an oil leak. It needs repairs. Cost and availability of parts unknown.

          The lister has zero feedback, but a long list of qualifiers in has listing.

          I would give this one a pass.

          What do you intend to use the lathe for? A 15" lathe is a bit on the large side for the average home shop, 13" is about ideal. Buying a too large machine that is in questionable condition from an unknown vendor just because it is within driving distance might not be the best decision.
          Jim H.


          • #6
            The tracer is a hydralic unit in which a "finger" follows a pattern that traces the same pattern on the work in the lathe. As the carriage moves the finger moves over the pattern and that moves the compound in and out.

            There should be a compound in the deal and if not it should not be hard to find one. The hydro shift can be a problem if it fails.

            Perhaps you should look for a simpler machine and closer to home. Patience will provide the machine your looking for IF you keep looking HARD. Look at everything you find but buy what you feel is best for you.
            It's only ink and paper


            • #7
              I have a picture in my mind of tracer lathes grinding the carriage back and forth all day log, every day, wearing down the ways in the travel area. Even worse if it was tracing with a grinder and not a cutter.


              • #8
                Jim, I have no real "need" for a lathe or a mill at all. I have always loved the machine trade, but I was relegated to a heavy electrical career. I manage the electrical group for a large aluminum smelter. Anyway...

                I am to a point where I can finally play. I got a virtually brand new mill/drill for free, so I am now sparked to get the rest of my "machine shop" together. Since finding this site I have intently read of the controversy between American iron vs imports. However, knowing little about what to look for or stay away from, I call upon the expertise of this group as a guiding force. I appreciate everything I have learned here, and would have liked to find an old, servicable piece of American iron. And I see saw back and forth for buying new and buying old. Honestly, I think the new import would probably be the smarter idea. Then there can be no doubt as to it's servicability. It might not be the tightest, nor the most powerful, nor the longest living machine, but I have the time to take only.010 per pass, and I have a porta band to part off larger pieces to avoid machine or tool damage, and so on.

                I am simply a brand new machining hobbiest. I will make some good parts and I will make some parts fit for fishing sinkers. But by God I WILL make parts!

                Thanks again for the help folks.


                • #9
                  the seller has 0 sales on Ebay, tread carefully.


                  • #10
                    Yeah, I'm done with this one.


                    • #11
                      Since you have elaborated on your situation, it seems a natural to go ahead with one of the new Chinese machines. Yes, Id love to have a fine old ??? (take your pick) lathe from the glory days of American products, but the facts just dont make that an easy thing to do.

                      If you had a magic wand and somehow find the number of the members here that have gone this route, and, to find a percentage of satisfaction with that choice, I feel quite sure that it would be quite high indeed. From the little dinky coffee table 7x10's to the 14x40's there just isnt that much grumbling with the owners (discounting the 3in1 owners - thats a whole nuther situation)

                      As already mentioned, the 12x36/13x40 size is just an all around good size for the home shop, and its pretty apparent that beginning with these sizes, the quality in the manufacturing goes up considerably.

                      Pick a size and go to the different sites and put it - say 12x36 - in the search and just do some reading. I did this and was pleasantly surprised at the owners praise of them and the lack of hard criticism. Of course there are problems, but the majority of guys just accepted it and ordered the needed part or fixed it themselves and went to making chips.
                      If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........


                      • #12
                        I found a 10EE in good running condition, and have been really pleased with it. However, if you are in a machine-poor part of the country then finding a good local used lathe could be difficult. Getting a new import is probably the best option in that case.

                        I would not buy a used lathe without being able to inspect it ahead of time.