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  • Newbie Questions

    I apologize in advance for asking questions that have probably been asked here numerous times already.

    I am a Wood Turner by trade. I have owned and turned on numerous wood lathes and currently work on a top of the line machine. Occasionally I have a need for some turned/ machined metal parts and I'd like to get a small bench model metal lathe, preferably with 10" swing. I've been scouring the forums, Ebay, Youtube, and Google for the past 7 days. I have heard that the Chinese/ Taiwan machines are crap and should be avoided, and I have heard that they are great, modern, and you get a lot for your money. I have heard that most of them come from the Sieg factories and have different labels. I have been looking at the stuff from Little Machine Shop and others.
    There is this one: http://boltontool.com/Lathes/metal-l...FUgbaQodkBEDIw

    And this one: http://www.machinetoolonline.com/PM1030.html


    I ran across this old one locally:http://www.alencotool.com/lathepages/lathe073041.html
    I've looked at it in person twice so far. It is very clean, shows no wear, and is at a very reputable dealer that primarily sells way bigger stuff. I have a feeling that they did somebody a favor and took it out of grandpa's basement. But, from what I see and hear it is way overpriced.

    At this point in my life I am not looking to make steam engines or go crazy, but I also don't want to limit myself too much. I can see the need for threading, but don't know that I'll need metric capabilities, I've been advised to buy used and that I could probably get what I paid for it if I don't like it later on-- I don't suspect I'd get $1900 bucks back on that Atlas.

    Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks.
    Tom

  • #2
    Bumping this one up t the top. The inclusion of links in a first-time post caused the post to be held for moderation. Sorry about the delay, but you should be all set now Tom.
    George
    Traverse City, MI

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    • #3
      If you decide that Southbend 9A with a load of accessories (or without them) is what you want, feel free to contact me.
      Mike
      WI/IL border, USA

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      • #4
        Looks like a blue Covel 510 cylindrical grinder sitting behind that Atlas lathe.
        I have one, built very heavy for their size.

        -D
        DZER

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        • #5
          Welcome! You won't get a consensus on this question. Machinery dealers are running a business, so they are almost always more expensive than a private seller for the same machine. They also know the tricks of the trade if they want to hide a problem. Is that machine you linked to freshly painted? Freshly painted old machine might indicate lipstick on a pig.

          Old machines were built better, but they might have wear that is difficult or expensive to fix. A new machine in this price bracket will probably need some work initially as well, but you will have a warranty. Some people prefer old, and some prefer new. Both can do the job. Go with what you're most comfortable with.

          Look at the Clickspring channel on YouTube. Cheap Chinese lathe there. Also Stefan Gotteswinter, but he made many improvements to his Chinese machine. If you decide to buy used, then search YouTube as there are a few videos telling you what to look for in a used lathe.

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          • #6
            Normally, the Atlas would be a good choice, if in good shape.

            But the right price for that sort of Atlas is NOWHERE NEAR the price they are asking. More like $500 normally. up to maybe $900 in very good condition with what that one has. Especially in Chicago, an old-line industrial city where several lathe brands were MADE.

            In Chicago there should be pots full of machines on Craig's list, at far more reasonable prices.

            If you have the $$, want a machine with minimal hassle, etc, any of those will work.
            1601

            Keep eye on ball.
            Hashim Khan

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            • #7
              near Chicago, check out http://www.lostcreekmachine.com/ . I have bought a few little things from him, but it is worth watching what he has.

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              • #8
                I have to agree that for what it sounds like you want a good condition used Atlas would do just fine. But even out here where prices are up through the roof compared to other parts of the country $1900 for that lathe is nutzo.

                What it has going for it is that it appears to be extremely clean and well maintained. If it was used much it was done so lovingly. And for some that's enough and the right person will shell out that much cash and take it home happy as a clam. But if you just want to turn some doodads it's a bucket load of cash to get into the game.

                A 10x22 size machine is where you really start to see some nice product. Yes, the Asian made machines do need a bit of tuning up and you don't want to just assume that you can plunk it down and start turning. But once tuned up you can do a lot of good work with them. And certainly for your stated rather basic needs of turning out simpler parts they would be fine.

                Or as suggested above a touch of patience and haunting the local Craigslist and Kijiji for a few weeks is likely to turn up some less expensive options in good usable condition. But if that doesn't happen and you decide to go for new I'd say something like a Grizzly model G0602
                Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                • #9
                  The very best advice I can give you is to find a machinist in your area and have a sit down with him. There are WAY too many things to consider about how to approach this issue with regard to precisely what you need to learn and what you need in a machine and accessories.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks, I've been watching that Lost Creek place.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks guys. The Atlas dealer came down to $1400 after I offered $1000. I think it's still too much.

                      I saw a Montgomery Ward on Craig's for $750 but it's so clean it looks repainted: http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/tls/5860175178.html

                      With that big high pulley and leather belt, it looks older than the Atlas.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dude... go JUMP on that Logan-made MW unit if it is suitable for you and isn't beat on. It says MW, but it IS a Logan. Heavier than Atlas or most S-B of the same size, ball bearing, good quality stuff, NO ZAMAC ("pot metal") CASTINGS !!!!

                        I have a Logan, Logan is in town with you (ok out in Harvard) and still has parts. I like mine, which is a 10 x 24.

                        ALL Logans are post 1941, Mine was sold to the Army in Feb '42 right after Pearl Harbor. They made 'em until the 60's at least for Wards.

                        You should get at least one chuck, centers, maybe a faceplate, a decent toolpost, etc. Price not bad. I paid $600 for one not that nice looking and w/o some parts.



                        Originally posted by Toma View Post
                        Thanks guys. The Atlas dealer came down to $1400 after I offered $1000. I think it's still too much.

                        I saw a Montgomery Ward on Craig's for $750 but it's so clean it looks repainted: http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/tls/5860175178.html

                        With that big high pulley and leather belt, it looks older than the Atlas.
                        Last edited by J Tiers; 11-17-2016, 07:27 PM.
                        1601

                        Keep eye on ball.
                        Hashim Khan

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I gotta agree. While it may be a little over priced for the area at $750 or whatever you settle on is still a good price if the bed isn't worn badly. The Logan is a really good solid performer for that size range. You may need something in the future if you find you need to work on larger stuff. But for what you describe as a tool to aid in servicing your other wood working tools this would be more than enough, last you for a life time and be a good enough performer And if you suddenly do get the urge to make a little steam engine this MW/Logan will be ready for that too.

                          The only thing that might put me off is if it does not have all the change gears needed for threading. The only other Logan I've worked on had a quick change gear box so I don't even know what a gear set for the manually set version looks like.

                          But assuming the gearing and steady rest and follow rest are with it and provided there's not a big worn out sway back area in the bed that thing is a fantastic machine that'll serve you very nicely.
                          Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                          • #14
                            Really? So it sounds like y'all think the Logans are better than the Atlas'?
                            I am learning so much here.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Toma View Post
                              Really? So it sounds like y'all think the Logans are better than the Atlas'?
                              I am learning so much here.
                              Oh yeah.... If not by an actual country mile at least to within 7/8's of one. As Jerry said there's no ZAMAC in the Logan like there is on a few of the Atlas bits for the smaller Atlas machines. And that counts for a lot.

                              Market value on this stiff varies wickedly depending on what part of the country you're in. Out here that asking price would see it sold no arguments within 5 minutes of posting it. Back your way it seems like such prices are top dollar and there has to be something really special about a given machine to justify it. But it's already less than the cost of a new Griz'. And if you get all the parts it should come with you'll have a machine which is every bit as usable as that Grizzly lathe I gave the link for at less money and in a condition that needs to just be plugged in and then start learning how to make chips in ways that the leftovers in the chuck are usable.

                              The Logan I used was not mine. It was in a prototyping lab at work. So I don't have anything to protect or any need to justify spending money. If I felt anything it was regret at leaving it there when I retired. The times I used the Logan were good times. It did everything I expected it to do with grace. And we can't ask anything more than that.

                              Being old world iron the Logan will have a fairly smallish bore in the head stock. But that Grizzly model only has a 1" headstock bore too.

                              And while I know you're just looking for a functional tool if you have an eye for artistry in metal the Logan design has it all over the modern "cubist" approach....
                              Chilliwack BC, Canada

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