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Opinion on a lathe

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  • Opinion on a lathe

    Hey Guys,

    Alright. No holds barred i want your opinions. I just talked to a guy about a lathe. Here is the description

    King gap-bed lathe
    14" x 79" 22" in the gap
    Coolant pump
    3 jaw
    4 jaw
    face plate
    argh!!! that thing with the 3 brass end for holding long pieces
    a couple of knives.
    approx 200hrs.
    $5000.00 cnd.

    What do you all think? He uses it for prototyping


  • #2
    Never heard of it, and it is not on Tony's list.
    Some questions to ask:
    Who is & where (geographically) is manufacturer? Who sells & services? How long did it take to put that 200 hrs. on it, and how can you prove it is 200 hrs? How much did it cost new? Original paperwork and receipts available?
    Lots of Asian imports have names that sound like real manufacturer"s ie. King-Monarch. Beware of them.
    Sounds like a lot of money if it is a no-name import lathe.
    Why is this guy selling if it is such a good machine anyway.
    Another question is what do you intend to use it for? A 14" lathe is getting on the large side for HSM, it generally moves you into next size and price range of tooling, and sounds like you are going to need some tooling for it in addition to what is listed.
    Jim H.


    • #3
      That might fall into the "Massive" monster machine category. They end up in the scrap yards by the hundreds when manufacturing in this country goes to crap like it has. Unless you really really need something that size and have the power, space, and ability to move it. I would hold off or take it at a pig-in-a-poke price. You can do much better for that money in something more appropriatly sized for the hobby, and end up with all the really cool attachments and tooling, and still have enough money for a library of reference books.
      Good luck and enjoy,


      • #4
        Thats called a steady rest


        • #5
          Might not be a bad deal, although it sounds like about new price. Offer $3000.00 Rather large for a home shop I think.

          Have a look here:

          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


          • #6
            Is it a King Canada product?

            Here's their current offering of metal lathes:

            Maybe you could learn more about it by contacting King.

            Also, very good chance that the same machine was sold by other importers. If you can find out which other makes/model nos. it was sold under, it would be easier to get opinions from other owners.

            Just an observation - if it really does swing 22" in the gap, that would seem more likely to correspond to a 16" machine.

            Is the 79" between c's or overall bed length?

            What's the used machine tool market like in your area?


            • #7
              After reading the company profile, it seems that they are the Canadian equivalant of the MSC,and ENCO companys in USA. They do not make the machines, however they import them under thier private lable. Just food for thought.


              • #8
                I went and saw it last night. Nice machine. It is a king lahte and it has a foot brake. One thing i forgot to check out was the transmition. I don't remember seeing the the transmition to change the carriage advance. I thought the lathe ran loud. I don't really remember seeing a geared lathe running other then in the shops i have been to, and we all know how quiete those shops are.

                To me the motor seemed loud. Gears and bearing sounds are one thing i am really good at. I will need something to compare it to. Personally i think $5000.00 is expensive. I could probably get the same, or close to it for around $4000.00 new. That includes a 2 year warranty.

                The reason i looked at something so big, which this lathe is, is because i like doing automotive stuff. Drums, discs, flywheels, etc. I read in another post that a 20" swing is recomemded for this type work.

                This is great guys. Please keep it comming. I like the reminder about the tooling. I never thought of that. I should have!



                • #9

                  There is many a time I have wished for a bigger tool, I mean the lathe. The brake drums on my Land Rover are 9.5", my lathe is 9". It really sucks to pay somebody to do what you know how to do but the wrench is just a tiny bit too small.

                  As for the noise, a gearhead lathe will be louder. I dunno, maybe you can get a sample of the oil and have it tested for metal?
                  Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


                  • #10
                    A few years back the local Trade School put in 1 or 2 of these "king lathes".
                    Not sure if these are the same as you are looking at but, they were a disaster!Carriage cracked and broke on one.Gears broke on another,etc.Just pure s*=T
                    Students went back to the older Harrisons in the shop.I think that they are still there sitting idle.
                    Have a look for a good used Tos,Tug,Colchester,Harrison,South Bend, Etc.
                    Should be able to fit something in the $5000.00 range.
                    please visit my webpage:


                    • #11
                      There have been lots of posts recently advising NOT to remove the gap of an imported gap bed lathe.
                      If you already have a decent smaller lathe that otherwise meets your needs, you might want to consider looking for a brake lathe. They sometimes go at reasonable prices.
                      By the specs, the gap for the 14" was, I think 20-1/2" or so. It is not always possible to turn the entire OD that can be swung anyway, so you may not be able to do all that you need to with this lathe. (Compare cross slide travel with travel needed to face flywheel for instance.) Working a lathe at its maximum size range is often less than satisfactory, needing very low speeds, offset tools and other cobbled up arrangments that result in chatter, poor finishes and frustration.
                      You can have a properly equipped shop turn a lot of drums, discs and flywheels for $5000 even if it is Canadian. If they screw up, they have to make right.

                      [This message has been edited by JCHannum (edited 10-12-2003).]
                      Jim H.


                      • #12
                        "Even if it is Canadian"!!!!!! FLAME WAR. Suck on an Avro Arrow. We beaver huggers are quite sensitive about our inferiority complex!
                        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


                        • #13
                          I was referring to the flywheels and brake parts. Obviously, being Canadian, they are superior, and will cost much more to machine.
                          Jeezit, you gotta explain everything here.
                          Jim H.


                          • #14
                            Stay away from these lathes made in India. The phrase "buy cheap buy twice" comes to mind. This is not a big lathe, just a junky, rickety small lathe with an extended bed.

                            Say Evan.
                            Is it because of our perceived inferiority complex that some of us refer to this glorious country as kanada?
                            We all know that the villain is Ontario and their role in appointing the real enemies of Canada like Pearson, Trudeau, Lewis, Mulroney, Rock and all the other social stargazers.


                            • #15
                              I'd say 5K is a bit "steep" for the machine & accessories you mention, particularly if you have any doubts about the gear train, etc. I can swing the brake rotors from my Cavalier, and a few motorcycles I've owned on my 12 x 36 Atlas (no gap)....though in my opinion its far & away a better plan to take these to a friendly garage with a proper "brake lathe". If brake work is your only reason for going to such a large machine I'd consider buying a used brake lathe...tons of 'em around & fairly cheap! For all-round, "average sorta machining" I've got to agree with the other guys about the cost of tools, etc and agree that its a little on the large size...take care & good luck!!