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Live Centers - Buy New Import or Buy Used USA?

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  • Live Centers - Buy New Import or Buy Used USA?

    So I'm looking to add a live center to my tools and after shopping around a bit it looks like it's between buying a new import or buying used USA made (can't splurge on a $100 one ). Either way I won't really know the quality or condition until received so what would you do? I typically buy used US goods but in the way of live centers has much changed over the last few decades? I do know that the import would be triple bearing (for what that's worth) and the USA made I'm not sure on. A couple of US brands I've seen are Haringe, Ideal and Rikon (think it's US made). It is a MT2 live= center. Thanks for any advice you have to offer!
    Dale

  • #2
    I have a Skoda live center and it is very nice. I believe it is Czech. Very well made and affordable. They're on sale every month in the Enco hot deals flyer. I think it was around $50 for an MT2.
    Stuart de Haro

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    • #3
      x2 on the Skoda. Never had a problem with mine.
      Last edited by dockrat; 08-31-2010, 09:07 PM.
      Ernie (VE7ERN)

      May the wind be always at your back

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      • #4
        I have Bison(TMX) Skoda and TOS centers,they are all good,but I prefer the Bison,quality throughout and I have two that are over 10 years old in dailey use.
        I just need one more tool,just one!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by hornluv
          I have a Skoda live center and it is very nice. I believe it is Czech. Very well made and affordable. They're on sale every month in the Enco hot deals flyer. I think it was around $50 for an MT2.
          +1 for Skoda, mine is MT3

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          • #6
            I ordered a cheap Import live center, and received a nice BISON (Poland) in the mail.
            Sweet!
            It's 6 years old, and runs like a champ.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KiddZimaHater
              I ordered a cheap Import live center, and received a nice BISON (Poland) in the mail.
              I'm sure you called and asked to exchange it for a chinese one, but the supplier (the name of which you're hiding from us) let you go.

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              • #8
                For my old (ex) Rockwell, I bought a Phase II in MT3. Turned out it was an authentic Skoda, complete with full markings.

                For my current lathe, I have a brutishly heavy Rohm that turns like silk. Got a few rings, but cost me all of $15 at auction. Also got a Skoda also for $10 that was stiff. Cleaned and oiled, now it works great and is my "common use" live center. These are in MT4.

                Then off ebay I got a standard Concentric spring loaded center, brand new still in Red White and Blue wax. Seems like it was about $35 shipped! Best deal I've seen before or since, got lucky. This is used mostly when I need to work close to the center, or when I expect major material expansion such as roughing away a large mass of aluminum (one current project produces ~20lbs of chips per part, mostly turned on centers!) Also picked up a bull nose Concentric used but "like new" for about $40 (IIRC?).

                Just mention all that to show what's possible with patience. I've also got some other great deals, including a Huron female live center, a shop made logish spring loaded (similar to "CNC" centers, but very light duty), and so on. So if you've got time, as with most such things, probably pays to wait and watch, but you've got to be willing to put yourself in a situation where lightening CAN strike. Otherwise, if I didn't need too much in the way of perfection, I would probably get one of those import (or Bison for a few $$$ more) centers with different tips. And THEN keep an eye pealed for a really nice center later down the road.
                Russ
                Master Floor Sweeper

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