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Sliding Gap Bed Lathes?

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  • Sliding Gap Bed Lathes?

    At work we're looking at picking up a larger lathe thann the Mori Seiki we have that has about a 22 inch swing over the bed. But it seems everything we look at that's around 26 inches or so is also way too long for the space we have. Any one have experience with the Sliding Gap Bed Lathes. I can see where they might have some ridigity issues but we really don't need something that's 144 inches or more between centers. We just got a new lathe that is intended for production use that has a 63" swing over the bed, around 36 inches over the cross slide and 240 inches between centers. We have machine components that are up to around 36 inches or so that now we need to send out for even minor work like cleaning up mating surfaces or repairing fit diameters. I'm thinking about sugesting one of the lathes in the title. Minimujm floor space when we don't need the swing, maybe up to 96 inches between centers with a 40 inch gap when we do. Any body ever use on of them?

    Something along the lines of this
    Last edited by Spin Doctor; 09-17-2015, 09:19 PM.
    Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.

  • #2
    In a galaxy far, far away........ No wait, wrong story.

    She was a (Le) Blond, and she was a sweet thing, until you wanted to massage her all over. To do that you had to stop somewhere in the middle and turn her around to get at the other end.

    Damn, that is the wrong story also! Bear with me, apparently I am having trouble staying on task here.

    Surprisingly rigidity doesn't/didn't seem to be an issue, at least not with the LeBlond. Great hogging cuts are probably not what you would be doing anyhow so that shouldn't be an issue.

    And also surprisingly alignment seemed to be maintained fairly well.

    You would want a wide ranging assortment of chucks, and maybe the biggest version would be a faceplate with bolt on jaws.



    • #3
      Can you block up the lathe you have for a bit more swing??



      • #4
        Why not a vertical lathe or VTL?
        Bob Scott


        • #5
          I used one of the LeBlond's smaller siblings and found no issues other than a bit of a delay after engaging the feeds.That was probably due to the age of the machine more than anything.The double beds are on mating vee ways,the sliding ones never see anywhere near the wear the top side working ways do so accuracy in that respect shouldn't be an issue.

          Is the stuff you're working on of any length,or do you need just the swing?If it's just swing you're after what about a T-lathe?

          I just need one more tool,just one!


          • #6
            I used a sliding gap Leblond...great machine no issues with rigidity, but it was a big one, the top of the faceplate was a good foot over the top of my head.


            • #7
              I have a 17 inch sliding gap LeBlond and she is more rigid than I am.... OOPS TMI No problem with rigidy or accuracy with the gap open or closed. My machine is a 1951 Regal and was origionally a 7.5 HP machine.


              Happily working on my second million Gave up on the first


              • #8
                Considered just buying a bigger lathe and oxy-fuel cutting off the extra lathe you don't need?

                Could turn the cut off bit into a single axis for something.. Like a center inspection table or something.
                Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.