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OT : buying a lathe

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  • #16
    My advice is to take a trip to busy bee, look over a lathe you want, and buy it. If it's a couple hundred extra bucks over budget, don't worry about that, find a way to get the extra $$$. You'll make that money back soon enough and you'll have the machine you really want.

    BTW all the BB lathes I've seen have decent dials and I'm sure they're reasonably accurate for your needs. I know a guy who does precise work on his BB lathe and he says that he was pleasantly surprised at how accurate it was. You're going to be building BMX parts, not parts for NASA. A lot of a machines performance also depends on the operator, remember that.


    • #17
      It doesn't matter one bit if its a new import or a wornout domestic lathe,the dials aren't going to be accurate period.

      Use indicators or build,buy or piece together a DRO because anything short of a Hardinge or Monarch EE will have backlash and plenty of it.

      Like Thrud said,hit the streets running,go to local shops and ask them if they have an old machine out back,heck,you might even find a partime job
      I just need one more tool,just one!


      • #18
        Dave...You're right of course. I sorta forgot how long this has been going on. The machine dealer didn't have anything small anyway. It's just a bit odd in this era to see a kid who actually is interested in this trade/hobby. My own son has no interest in it and when I die, will probably be one who will sell my mics for $4 each just like the guy I bought a bunch from a while back . I guess it all boils down to the old "sh&t or get off the pot" deal.
        I have tools I don't even know I own...


        • #19
          Torker I guess the advice applies to me as well. Won't have the machines at work to play with forever
          Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.


          • #20
            Hey! i am doing something. Ive gone to bids and only recently found out about Its not like im being lazy, i even tryed to purchase my shop teacher's lathe, ive been on ebay everday since i joined this forumn, the thind with the old lathes is that they weigh alot, much too much. Also its not like im settleing only for something 1200$, if its 2500 and its a good deal you bet id buy it

            Andrew: iv been to 4 BB locations and ive seen every model, in fact i even asked if i could purchase a demo model since it costs less. What would be perfect is the 12 x 36, but when i started looking my budget was around 1500$, thats why ebay is a must, i guess the search goes on but i've checked seguin, clue machines etc.. A nice lathe is the Sofia lathe but its 4k.. something used is probably what ill get.

            I've also been to cummins OER but all they have is massive used machines. Also checked kubota and im going to ask my freind if i could work for his dad (hes starting a choppers shop). The biggest problem for me is weight and size, if i had more room i would just buy a bigger lathe. It seems that smaller is more expensive.........


            • #21
              Also Andrew : its easier to upgrade the machinist's performance than the lathes performance