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regular or turret lathe

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  • regular or turret lathe

    I was browsing on E-bay today and come across a older turret lathe, and it got me thinking. If one had to, could you substitute a turret lathe for a engine lathe? I know it would not be idea, but some of these older turret lathes sell for very little money compared to a engine lathe of same vintage.

    I'm sure you wouldn't be able to go about the exact same way, but could a guy make it work? Or would the headaches and expense of specialized tooling be too much? I know there would trade-offs such as length of the work and no tailstock, but I don't think most of my projects will all that long. Could you mount a center in the turret to hold work between centers?

    [This message has been edited by srecker (edited 03-15-2002).]

  • #2
    Yea, you can make it work. Turret lathes are generally built heavier than engine lathes.
    Down side is threading and lack of a steady.
    You can use a die head, or die holder for most threads and make a steady.
    Be sure it has carriage feed.
    I' ve done short shafting on a turret lathe.
    You can line your center up and leave it in one station.
    If you have a couple pieces to run, a turret lathe will clean a regular lathes clock.
    Try to get something not used to the point that the turret slide is worn way out of true.
    My little B & O needs the slide remachined and scraped.
    See ya


    • #3
      I have a Ward turret lathe ,1 of 6 and use it very rarly there are to may tradeoffs put your money in a toolroom lathe fist.



      • #4
        Engine lathe's more handy if you can swing it.

        Don't use my turret that lathe much either.
        Mine's basically a rough out machine.
        It's best for chuck work, making pull rolls, and bearing housings.
        Ran off 300 train wheels in a couple days once, from solid 6" bar.
        The $50. I paid for it was worth every cent.

        The turret lathe keeps the right angle head,
        and the vertical shaper company over in the corner.

        But if thats all I had, or could afford, I would use it more.
        It'll run most engine lathe parts without any special tooling.
        But it's not the favorite of many machinists.



        • #5
          I have a Hitachi Seiki turret lathe....Good powerful machine...

          You are limited though. but you can still do work between centers

          Turret lathes are designed for production...

          So my advice to you is to buy the engine lathe first!!!...

          Then donate some blood, maybe a kidney or two, and go out and get you a turret lathe as well...



          • #6
            Thanks for your responses.

            Your comments are about what I figured. I really would rather have an engine lathe, but currently I just can't afford the better of the two. I know save, save....

            But the fact of the matter is I have been looking for about 8 months know and most of the lathes that I could possibly afford are to far off. I have to pick up the lathe myself, which is know problem I just can't travel a long distance to get it.

            So I have found a turret lathe that has been owned by one man for the last 30 years and I'm tired of reading about others making chips and want to make my own. By the way I can probably get the lathe for less than $200.00 and I looks to be in good shape.



            • #7
              Get the S.O.B........You deserve it...

              I am jealous....wish I had money..(hint hint)

              Good luck...when you get this turret..there is a lot of good people on this board that can help you with this lathe...

              congratulations in advance...



              • #8
                Just reread my post from last night.

                My typing looks as if I was drunk...(just tired)


                • #9
                  At that price, you won't be sorry.
                  Does it have any tooling with it?
                  A box tool costs more than that.
                  Turret lathes are so fast you may be able to take in a little work to pay for the engine lathe.
                  I have a couple die heads and do some thread jobs now and then.
                  Even cnc can't compete with an old fashoned die head.
                  Nothing like powerfeeding a 2" drill thru a steel blank in one shot.
                  Most turret lathes have graduations on the carriage wheel. That's a plus with me.
                  Good luck.


                  • #10

                    I've got an engine lathe with a 6 station capstan attachment. Admittedly,the capstan lives most of its life on the shelf but when it is needed it is the sweetest piece of kit you could ask for; it can take an age to set up properly (depending on the complexity of the job in hand) but once set will knock out hundreds of 'specials' (usually threaded gizmos) to the tightest of tolerances, and with consistency. Consistency sometimes being the better aspect.

                    The capstan works best with a collet chuck for small sized items, check whether the machine you're interested in, if fitted with a collet chuck, will accept a regular 3Jaw!.

                    Tooling can be found reasonably cheaply as industry has forsaken the capstan lathe for CNCs. For instance, I picked up a taper pin roller box tool, which allows me to make 1 in 48 taper pins to any size needed, for the cost of a beer! My capstan takes a 3/4" tool stub, so a selection of Jacobs Taper mounts,and 2MT sockets can be turned up at leisure. Beware a capstan with face bolted tooling as this can mean costly adaptors.

                    Best of Luck!