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Harbor Freight Lathe Opinons

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  • Harbor Freight Lathe Opinons

    Harbor Freight has a 13X40 geared head floor model lathe for $3500, item #40576. Looks good, which I could see one,what do y'all think?

  • #2
    I'm not sure I follow. It looks good but you haven't seen it?
    As with most floor models, it's had sweaty hands all over it (and probably some drewl) with no maintenance. Is it covered in rust?

    Forgot to mention: You can get a brand new 14x40 for $2899. (#40576)

    [This message has been edited by CCWKen (edited 10-22-2003).]


    • #3

      [This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 03-08-2004).]


      • #4
        Maybe floor model means the opposite of bench model?



        • #5

          [This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 03-08-2004).]


          • #6
            Does the opinion have to be printable? Ok, OK, if I must......

            Personally, I think they LOOK like they are put together from the rejected parts out of the other lathe importers factory runs.

            Those parts must have been pulled off the line a step or two before completion (a dark of night transaction with the watchman?), and put together by folks who were not told what they were building.

            They were presumably commissioned and bought by buyers who dropped out of elementary school early, and were instructed to buy "something from china that looks like the lathe in this picture" by a boss who then put a low dollar figure on the purchase total.

            In short, I would almost call them a counterfeit, except they have their own name (central machinery) on them.

            That is my opinion, having inspected them in their loose and nasty glory at an actual store........


            • #7
              You can good deals on cheap stuff at HF. You can also get bad deals.
              But if you have $3500 to spend why on Earth would you spend it on an HF lathe - or any Chinky lathe in fact?
              $3500 buys you a damned nice lathe. I got my 56" bed Sheldon variable speed 13" swing lathe in great shape for under $1000. For $3500 there's not much you can't buy in great used shape with a bunch of tooling.
              An older Hardinge, a Clausing Colchester, A nice Harrison.........


              • #8
                By floor model I meant it was not a bench type.They are on back order,I am going by the pic on their web site.


                • #9
                  "I am going by the pic....." I don't think I would do have to put your hands on to appreciate the issues, IMAO.


                  • #10
                    My 2 cents worth. If you're going to spend $3500 you can buy a more rigid, accurate, parts avail, and higher resale value older US/CAN. made lathe and have money left over for tooling. I have received 5 auction fliers fron CIA Auctioneers this week alone for plant/machine shop closures. Take your time, do some research and poss. some travel, there are some good, and not some good sales out there. Ask around, at most closures the machinist will be at the sale, most will be honest about the condt. and quality of the equip. All you have to do is introduce yourself and start the conversation. IMHO there's much better older US/CAN. machinery out there than the newer imports. Again, this is just my opinion but I bought older (1960's and 1970's) equip. and have been more than satisfied.


                    • #11
                      First of all, if you are interested in this lathe don't pay $3500 for it. Go to the web site and use the "Order from printed catalog" option and use order # 40576-1vga and you get this lathe for $2899 plus $5.95 for shipping.

                      If you look at the specs for this lathe (you can download the manual) and compare it with the Grizzly G5960 lathe you will notice that they are remarkably close to the same lathe. I am not sure they are identical, but close. The Grizzly cost $4,745 with shipping. So, why the big difference in price? I don't know exactly. Harbor Freight sells a lot of stuff, some good and some not so good. Many of the large items like the lathes and mills (that you never see in a store)they appear to sell on price. One thing for sure, they don't hold your hand while you buy it or after you have taken it home. If it works, great. If it doesn't, call them or email them and wait for a replacement. A lot of people don't like that and they have good reason to not buy HF stuff. But, I don't think you should confuse the $3.99 cheesy wrench set with everything they carry. You can, in many cases, get a good deal on something including a lathe such as the 40567. I purchased a 12 x 36 lathe almost a year ago and have used it quite a bit. It will probably disappoint some for me to report that I have had no real problems with the lathe. It was a good deal and I am quite happy with it. If I were now in the market for a new lathe, I would seriously consider the 40576 lathe.

                      <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by dnsbss:
                      Harbor Freight has a 13X40 geared head floor model lathe for $3500, item #40576. Looks good, which I could see one,what do y'all think?</font>


                      • #12
                        Sidney has hit the nail on the head.
                        Location: North Central Texas


                        • #13
                          I have their 12 X 36 lathe and like it.


                          • #14

                            You asked for opinions, so here is mine. I bought a Birmingham 14 x 40 last year for less than that delivered (made in Tiawan). I've been pleased with it, but if I were to buy today, I would look hard at the Kent. It is a bit more (in the $3500 range), but has an oil bath QC gear box and I beleive more cross slide travel (important if you end up doing any milling operations on the lathe). Heavier too.

                            Hope you're not sorry you asked.



                            • #15
                              You can buy a brand new Jet GH-1340W-3 gear head lathe for $4295 with free shipping.

                              There have also been some really nice quality lathes on E-Bay at reasonable prices.In the "buy it now" catagory.

                              A 14" South Bend Vari-Speed Toolroom Lathe with many accessories, collet closer and collets - $3750

                              A couple of the machinery dealers have had some really clean lathes for sale as well.

                              A Webb 13x40 Tool Room Lathe with collet closer and accessories. - $4500, but I called and he was willing to deal

                              A super clean Clausing 12x36 with collet closer and accessories. I don't recall the price on this one, but reasonable.

                              Right now it's a buyers market for machine tools.

                              Call some dealers and be willing to make them an offer. They will probably work with you. If not contact another one.

                              Try calling the dealers that advertise in the HSM and see what they can do for you. If you need parts or support later, it will be available