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TL 1

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  • TL 1

    I'm considering trading my 14 x 40 lathe in on a Haas TL1. Has anyone had experience with this machine? Any good or bad points to watch out for? If I buy it I'll get a new one so wear isn't going to factor into my decision. All input will be much appreciated!

  • #2
    I bought a new TL-1 in July of this year. I have done several jobs on it, I have already had and survived the inevitable first wreck on it and I have decided it was a smart thing for me to buy.

    I would not, however, want for it to be the only lathe I have. There are still too many jobs I do for which the engine lathe is just the best thing for the job.

    The tailstock is an expensive extra on the TL-1 but I would not recommend trying to get along without it.

    Merry Christmas to you.


    • #3

      When you run the TL1 manually I was wondering if there is any feel to the handwheels? Or is that why you refer to
      wanting a engine lathe besides the TL1?

      I'm just curious and intrigued by these Haas toolroom machines after seeing them at demo days. I didn't get a chance to kick the tires and crank the handles.

      Jon Bohlander
      My PM Blog


      • #4
        The stand alone CNC lathes like the TL1 and the Trak from SouthWestern Industries have found a niche in the cap between the full blown slantbed CNC lathes and the engine lathe. For complex parts requiring multiple tool changes and long runs the slantbeds are the way to go. For a single parts sometimes the engine lathe is the right place to be as often you can have the job done quicker than on one of these. But for shorter runs with only one or two tools involved these things will outproduce an engine lathe in terms of speed and accruacy in my book. But they will not make the engine lathe obsolete. Try picking up a thread on one of these things to chase it for a repair job. sure it can be done but it is a royal PITA. One place they really shine IMO is if you have a lot of jobs that require radius and taper work. Instead of trying to dial the taper attachment in just tweak the end points of the cut.

        PS The only machine tool that has become obsolete since the advent of CNC IMO is the turret lathe, and that could be questioned for some applications
        Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.


        • #5
          Regarding the Tl-1, I got to check one out at the local Haas demo day event.

          The machine looked nice, well finished, etc.

          The doofus who set up the demo part made some mistakes so it left us wondering about the machine. He had a piece of aluminum about 3" diameter and was cutting a full dome end on it. He used the machine's canned cycle which made longitudinal cuts to approximate the dome leaving a stairstep end on the part. Then at least one G02 pass to finish the dome. After the final G02 pass you could still feel ridges left by tool deflection from the stairstep longitudinal passes.

          One obvious thing he did wrong was not using an insert designed for aluminum, but still, with that beefy a machine it was surprising the original stairstep telegraphed through. This made a bunch of us wonder how the machine would perform in tougher material like SS, not to mention mild steel.


          • #6
            Having run both a CNC lathe as well as a variety of turret lathes and single spindle automatic screw machines, I have to find exception to the idea that turret lathes have been made obsolete by CNC. Just as some jobs can be done faster and easier on an engine lathe, a well tooled turret lathe can run rings around a CNC for some jobs. I have seen this done in a shop that had all of the above lathes in use. For low volume, simple jobs, and secondary opperations, a turret lathe is an excelent machine to start out a new hire on who has limited knowledge of the trade. I would use a CNC lathe for any complicated geometric turning job regardless of volume just to ensure the quality control of the part (one of those cost/time/scrap things). I have looked at the TL-1 and the Romi/Hardinge as well as a few others, but do not see where it would benifit owning one vs a slant bed if you also have an engine lathe. To each their own applies here I imagine.
            Happy Holidays


            • #7
              While we do not have a TL1 at work we do have a Trak LXII. when turning tapers or radii it will telegragph the stairsteps if you do not specify any amount of finish material. Actually we used to have a HES slantbed that engineering scraped out (don't ask I am still pissed) that would do the same thing if one did not leave finish stock in x and z for the G70 finish pass. I suspect it has to do with the momentary dwell of the tool at the end of the cut as much as anything else. The bad thing with the Trak control is if you specify .025" for finish it will leave .050" on the OD and .025" on the Z axis. Better to leave just around .010" and use tools that lead with the tip. I try and use CNMG's for as much as possible.
              Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.


              • #8
                <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The only machine tool that has become obsolete since the advent of CNC IMO is the turret lathe, </font>
                Add to the list jig borer and some differernt mill types come to mind, such as die sinker and tracers. Also, tracer lathes, automatic turret lathes (pegboard, cam types)

                ARF, regarding your exception, the bottom line is *industry* thinks they are obsolete, so they *are* obsolete.

                You may personally find great uses for a buggy whip, but I think you would agree they are "officially" obsolete.


                • #9
                  Don, I have to agree the Jig Bore is largely obsolete except in the cases where they still serve roles in shops specializing in repair work. Tracer lathes are also largely obsolete with a possible exception of continuous production of a single part. Turning automotive axles and front end spindles a possible use. Cheaper than a rotary broach and the hydraulics are cheaper up front than ball screws. The tracer mills/hydro-tells are dead and gone replaced by the high speed maching centers for produceing molds and dies from solid hardened blocks of steel I was once told by an engineer that the shaper is an obsolete piece of equipment because the tool only cuts on 1/2 the stroke. Gear hobs for most production if it is of sufficent volume is now easier done by sintering. The last stop on the way to machine oblivion for most of the older types of machines is the maintenence shop where their inherent fault of being old tech is somewhat of an asset. There are times I wish we still had a turret lathe if for nothing else than punching out the centers of material before it goes onto other operations
                  Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.


                  • #10
                    How much does this lathe, that you are considering, cost. Not that I could afford one, but I can dream. Thanks-Mike.


                    • #11

                      Under $20K, as the ads say. Add the tailstock for $2500, chucks, toolpost, coolant, etc, etc and you're easily pushing $25K. Not to mention shipping from the factory, (not from your local dealer) that's another 1000 bucks.


                      • #12

                        If you get one definately get a tailstock as it adds much functionality to the machine. I hsve trued out one int the HFO hee in Edmonton and they are damn nice machines, have plenty of balls, and is resonable price. When you consider that a comparable manual Polish 17"x48" lathe is the same base price with a DRO it starts to look a lot more desirable - having to pay extra for a tailstock blows in my opinion, but it is a must have.

                        And I respectfully disagree with Randolph - if you can only afford one good machine - this is the best choice as it does give full manual, semi-auto or full CNC capability. I have not looked at the TL-2 yet, but it might be wotrth a look as well. I will say that I would rather have a full blown slant bed 5 axis lathe - but they are a ****load of money in comparision.

                        [This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 12-25-2004).]


                        • #13
                          To review the information/opinions on this thread I think it is difficult if not impossible to have one man's (woman's) experiences to apply in general to this or any question. For my purposes and in my shop I would not want to give up my engine lathe. But I do get mileage out of both my Kingston 17" lathe and my Haas TL-1.

                          One of the things that makes me say this is the compound. I use the TL-1's ability to cut angles and radii and I like it --- but it ain't a compound. My age may have something to do with it. I don't know.

                          Specific to moldmonkey ---- The handwheels on the TL-1 do not have the sensitivity that you expect on an engine lathe. The jog handle on the control is good but you have to be careful about which axis you are in.

                          And as to machine obsolescence. I have my grandfather's 200 pound Swedish anvil in my shop and I use it at least once a week. I sometimes think that I personally come nearer to being obsolete than any machine in my shop.

                          Sometimes I am not sure anymore which axis I personally am in!