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Who makes small cnc lathes?

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  • Who makes small cnc lathes?

    Sorry, this topic should be in the CNC forum, but nobody would see it there.
    Any suggestions for a small cnc lathe?
    Most of the parts I run are less than 4" in diameter, and less than 8" long.
    My steady customer wants more!!!!
    Too many for my manual lathe to crank out quickly.
    I know HAAS has a small office lathe.
    Any others out there?

  • #2
    Most small lathes like the office lathe won't do parts anywhere near 8" long. You need a tailstock for that. Office lathe doesn't have one, it's gang tooled.

    Actually, CNC lathes (non hobby type) with 4" by 8" capacity are not going to be small.


    • #3
      What is small? I don't know if they are still in production but a Nakamura-Tome' Junior takes up about 4'X8" and would be right at home with those parts. Can pull bar stock, chip conveyor, and Fanuc control.


      • #4
        A Mori SL-0 or SL-1 would fit the bill.

        Though these are enclosed machines, but it is still pretty small.


        • #5
          1. How small is small? "Mostly 1" with occasional 3" parts" could be manageable on a Taig, but 3" regularly would not. Also true for the length.

          2. When you say CNC, do you mean with an ATC and bar feed?

          3. When you say "small," is that because you don't have enough room, or enough money? A large-ish CNC lathe might come cheaper than a smaller one and be happy running small parts.

          4. How steady is steady? Sometimes subbing jobs out makes sense. There are times when having more cash and fewer machines is a good idea. Only you can decide whether now is that time.


          • #6
            I have an emco 120 and its pretty small... JR
            My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group



            • #7
              You may want to check out Denford. The US headquarters is in Media, OH and they are made in England. Emco-Maier out of Austria also makes some excellent small industrial quality CNC machine tools.

              ShopTask uses Chinese iron and US made controls which are not bad considering the Chinese iron.


              • #8
                Have look at HAAS - TL-1 or the OL-1.

                Good bang for the buck, lots around, easy programming (Fanuc), and their conversational ( on some the later controls) and well supported by CAM software.



                • #9
                  If $ is tight I'd take a look for used Hardinge that has a CNC retrofit on it, turning them into small gang lathes. If your parts will fit in their envelope gang lathes work really well.

                  OmniTurn made a lot of these and you can find them regularly on the used market. Omniturn is still around and still offers parts and support for them.


                  Accuslide is another company that makes similar conversions, I thought they weren't around any more but they are at:


                  Haas TL1's are nice machines if you don't need to push the accuracy and MRR too hard but they are hard to find on the used market. The can also be setup either with a turret or as a gang tool lathe.

                  Paul T.
                  Last edited by PaulT; 07-29-2011, 06:58 PM.


                  • #10
                    If you are doing production work get a production machine. There are a lot of 25 year old Japanese machines out there (Mori, Mazak, etc..) that can be found for under 15K that will pump out very accurate parts all day long. Things like a power chuck and tail stock will make the work go a lot faster and give you a more room to grow.


                    • #11
                      Novakon is supposed to be selling a moderately small CNC lathe, but I haven't seen any owner reports on it.

                      Tormach is in the process of prototyping a slant bed lathe and should have them for sale in the next 6-12 months. I'd be inclined to wait for that one, but I'm a Tormach mill owner and might be biased.


                      Mike Henry near Chicago


                      • #12
                        Probably get the most "Bang for your Buck" finding a likely candidate for a Gecko control retrofit



                        • #13
                          There was an add in the latest HSM magazine for a company called HMCNC.
                          I don't know anything about them, but looking at their website they have a HL135C lathe for $6,230.00, which looks like it will easy fit your sizes with 4.33 over cross slide (8.27 over bed), 15.75 between centres and takes 12mm tools. It weighs around 1000lbs so it is not a small lathe.

                          I do agree with the members above that have said to get a second hand bigger machine as this may open other doors for more work as well. The only limiting factor is how much room you have and what power you have available.



                          • #14
                            HMCNC may be How-Mau CNC, which seems to be a mainland Chinese company. I'd personally be leery of buying anything from them without an awful lot of due diligence.

                            Mike Henry near Chicago