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Monarch ee lathe question

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  • Monarch ee lathe question

    What makes the Monarch 10ee lathes so special on the used market...I've been looking at buying a used lathe and I'm trying to figure out why these lathes have such a following. Granted they are big and have impressive spindle speed. What would I gain by spending $15k on a Monarch verses $10k on a new import such as a Sharp 13x40


  • #2
    depends on the condition of the Monarch, if it is in good shape it will be a far better machine then any import and most other machines.
    The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

    Bluewater Model Engineering Society at


    • #3
      Monarch spared no expense on the 10EE. Everything that turns has a ball or roller bearing on each end, all the gears are cut, induction hardened and lapped. The bed is flame hardened to .125" deep and the saddle is 20" long across a 10" bed. The cross slide is completely supported on the saddle with hardened ways. The carriage feed system is separate from the screwcutting feed to eliminate spindle gear noise. The drive system has almost infinite speeds from 10rpm to 4000rpm (or 2500) and either 3 or 5 HP. The carriage contains an oil pump to oil the bed and cross slide ways as well as the apron gears, feed rod, lead screw and halfnuts. The taper attachment has 8 bearings in the slide/shoe assembly.

      There are other lathe with similar precision but not the brute force, others with the brute force but not the precision. I've taken 2" A2 down 1/2 in diameter in a single pass and shaved .0002" from the end of a shaft.

      Downsides: very long spindle at 25" end to end so it's not a good lathe for the rifle smith. The older tube drives can be finicky (on the upside they're cool in a "Dr. Frankenstein" sense) but they're happy with a 5HP motor and VFD. The smallish D1-3 spindle face limits tooling to some extent.


      • #4
        $15K is a lot to spend on a 10EE. If you shop around you'll eventually find one at a much lower price. It will be worth the effort.


        • #5
          Originally posted by krems
          What makes the Monarch 10ee lathes so special on the used market...I've been looking at buying a used lathe and I'm trying to figure out why these lathes have such a following. Granted they are big and have impressive spindle speed. What would I gain by spending $15k on a Monarch verses $10k on a new import such as a Sharp 13x40

          there are few lathes in the class of a monarch, not fair to compare a tool room lathe to an engine lathe.....whole different level of accuracy and rigidity. For example, I don't know what the Monarch headstock bearings cost but remember observing that an HLV's HS bearings alone cost more than an entire similar sized offshore engine lathe...and that elevated quality is present through out.

          15k though would have to be fairly late model and loaded with tooling


          • #6
            Let's not forget, and they look really pretty, in a art deco kinda way.


            • #7
              A 10EE really is a pleasure to use. Very smooth, powerful, and precise. They were actually made in fairly high numbers (relatively speaking) so nice ones come available for about what you would pay for a 12x36 import lathe. Quality wise there are only a few other manual machines that are in the same league - the Hardinge HLV series and the Hembrug, to name a few. High precision manual machines have fallen out of favor in industrial settings for most uses, good quality cnc machines will hold the same or even better tolerances and are much more productive, so the prices have fallen significantly in recent years.


              • #8
                The Monarch EE was in every sense of the word the best lathe in its class in terms, of accuracy, longevity, operability (a dream to work with), and appearance. They were probably the most expensive production lathe for their time. As was said many were made and so, used, they are popular. $15 should buy you a well equipped low hours machine with the two speed spindle depending on your part of the country.

                They were made in several configurations and different model years had desirable features. Better do your research. There are Monarch EE's and then there are Monarch EE's. Maybe someone has already done the research and compiled a year by year comparison of Monarch EE features.


                • #9
                  They also only have 3 feet so they don't require leveling. The base is so rigid and massive that you don't have to contend with bed warpage.
                  Jonathan P.


                  • #10
                    Yes, nice machine and I was sorely tempted...

                    There's one for sale around here (in Monroe, WA) with tooling. Has the DC drive. For $3850 asking. Decent condition. One late '60's model recently came out of Boeing and sold at Bidadoo auction for less than $3k (I didn't bother biding 'cos I though it would go much higher !). Also in nice shape - factory rebuilt in the mid 90's.

                    There are several variations of the 10EE. I read a new machine last sold for $85k... but you can buy a worn 1950 version for $2k... Condition is everything.

                    There is a good forum over on PM for Monarch 10EE etc..


                    • #11
                      I recently bought a '67 10EE with a lot of tooling, including a good DRO. The saddle and bed are essentially like new with respect to wear and geometry. That is a testament to the pumped lube system. The compound has a bit more wear, and the tailstock was worn to the point of being painful to use, so I rebuilt it. I paid a bit over $6k for a well-tooled plug'n'play machine, which I don't think is a screamin' deal, but pretty good, especially compared to before the recession. There are a lot of 10EEs that have been sitting on eBay for months and months in the $4k-$7k range. These appear to be a lot more worn than my machine, and come with a lot less tooling.

                      Once you use a decent 10EE, you will be spoiled. I can do nearly as good work on a moderately worn Colchester Chipmaster or even a typical Asian gear-head, but I have to think a lot harder to make up for the wear, lower rigidity (which is still very substantial compared to, say, a SB Heavy 10), and other idiosyncracies.

                      I like running a Hardinge HLV-H or clone about as much as running a 10EE, but that's an apples/oranges comparison. Each lathe has its purposes and strengths.

                      I think if you are patient and haunt Craigslist and local auctions, you can land a decent 10EE for not a ridiculous amount of money compared to new Asian iron. Whatever you do, *do not* buy a machine sight unseen, or at least without testing by someone you trust.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by krems
                        What would I gain by spending $15k on a Monarch verses $10k on a new import such as a Sharp 13x40
                        Most 10EE's seem to sell for $3 - $5K, unless you're talking about a late-model.
                        HLV-H's sell for quite a bit more, probably because it's a more modern design.

                        People either love or hate the 10EE's bubble butt
                        "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."


                        • #13
                          Its funny how the Atlantic changes things...
                          CVA's over here (30" bed 10EE) sell for way less than other lathes, I bought one well tooled for less than a used myford 7



                          • #14
                            I have a 1964 HLVH. I think the HLVH sells for more than the Monarch because of the out of date drive system of the Monarch,which is very complicated,and hard to get parts for.
                            There were a couple of different drives. Most EE's are being converted to VFD. There is still the matter of the gearbox next to the motor,which you must adapt to a new motor. I bought a Monarch,but I have back trouble,and decided it was too much trouble to gut the drive system and get a new one made up.

                            The HLVH doesn't go as slow as I would like (130 rpm) for work of much diameter. I think it is the most comfortable lathe I've ever used. Controls are very light. Drives like a sports car. I do ivory turning on it,and make plenty of parts.

                            The spindle of the EE is no heavier than the HLVH,though the lathe is built much heavier. This has led to hack machinists trying to do much heavier work than they were intended for. Down at NASA,this has been a problem with their rebuilt,very expensive EE's.


                            • #15
                              The HLVH is a beautiful lathe, but even smaller than a 10EE at 11x18. While not looking like a big difference, the extra 1.5" of swing and 2" between centers on the Monarch expands the work envelope quite a bit.