Need any and all info on a Jet 1240 P '78 era lathe.
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  1. #1
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    Default Need any and all info on a Jet 1240 P '78 era lathe.

    Buying this 1240 P Jet "1978"year model for $1600.00 with very few tools.Looks good in pictures will see in person this week.If in good usable condition should it be worth the price and is it hard to get parts for?Please email me at [email protected] with all info on this machine good or bad.Thank you all
    Last edited by ctsmoky; 06-25-2012 at 04:52 AM. Reason: missing info

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    Counting down
    10,9,8,7,Etc

    Davycrocket

  3. #3
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    I had a Jet 10x24" lathe. It was a decent machine for home shop. I HATED dealing with the Jet organization in Washington state. The idiots wouldn't take Visa. It took me 19 days to send a check,get it cleared,and get my $2.00 motor switch for $20.00. Should have sent a money order. The parts guy was a real prick. What international company CAN'T take VISA?? This was in the early 1980's.

    I vowed to never own another Jet.

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    The visa thingy is still common in some industries gwilson. A lot of credit card companies charge up to 3 percent of the sale. Its a heavy hit on a 9 percent margin. Most people would be horrified to learn what the banks and credit cards actually add to the price of goods and most of it gets worked in and hidden at the retail end so you never do see it. I buy a lot of taps and dies at a local oilfield supply. They can get me anything within 24 hours and its 30 to 50 percent cheaper than Acklands. They don't take personal cheques, or any plastic and they take cash under protest and you have to set up an account and pay by PO if you don't want to get snarled at.

  5. #5
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    Since the early 80's was 30 years ago, it would make sense that a few things have changed since then.
    Jet was bought by Walter Meier, a huge Swiss conglomerate, in the early 80's. They moved the warehousing and administration to Tennessee, after they bought Wilton and Powermatic, and, for a good 20 years now, they have, indeed, taken credit cards for parts.

    But when it comes to this lathe, you should call up Jet (not email) and ASK THEM if parts are available. Due to the oddball nature of Jet's history, some machines are, indeed, orphans, with no parts available, and others are fully supported. Jet started out as a Tacoma Washington scrapyard, importing japanese and korean lifting gear like come-alongs, and, until Meier bought them, they sourced small quantities of tools form all over the world- there were Jet lathes from Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and Spain, that I know of, along with other tools from other countries. Many of these older tools are not even remembered by Jet.

  6. #6
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    30 years ago wasn't the fricking stone age. Everyone else took Visa. Since I was a repeat customer,I didn't appreciate the way the asshole parts guy treated me. I spoke to the President(Mrs.Lion,I think) she seemed nice,but all she did was hand me back over to the asshole.

  7. #7
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    I got you beat, George, I am still pissed off at General Motors for that crappy transmission they put in my 1954 GMC pickup. It was a hydramatic 4 speed adapted from Cadillac, and it sucked. And my fries were cold once at McDonalds...
    My work shirts have "old fart" embroidered above the pocket, in red script, no shit. Us Grumpy old men gotta stick together. Because nobody else wants us around.

    Where I live, there are still a lot of places that dont take plastic- in fact, more and more. I think they have some sort of constitutional right to demand cash. I bought a bagel this morning in a place that doesnt take credit cards of any sort.

    Anyway, while I have no affiliation with Jet, I do own a few cheaper, smaller, Taiwan made Jet tools, and the parts guy has always been really nice to me- he once faxed me a 40 page manual, for an oddball model, before they were online, and they once sent me, free of charge, a new cast iron base for my floor drill press, because the 22 year old who worked for me at the time broke it.
    Like any big company, I am sure they have bad service sometimes, and they do sell a wide range of tools, from outright cheap and crummy to mid range in quality.

    They have sold literally thousands of tools over the years, and there are a lot of em that they just dont plain support any more- some due to age, some due to companies going broke or changing product lines, some due to the fact they only imported tiny quantities.
    For instance, how many of those Urpe 16x80 Tool Room lathes you think Jet sold in the early 80's? My guess would be five or ten, nationwide. No way will you find parts for any of those.

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  9. #8
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    I now understand the count down...You would think with a name like "JET" it would be US iron.

  10. #9
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    US Machines have the founders last name or the city the shop was in usually.

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    There are no US lathes anymore.
    At least, no Manual ones.

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    I still have the Jet 1240 metal lathe I bought about the time frame you are talking about. It is a stand-mounted, gear head, 5 hp, 19 amp single phase, gap bed (don't remove the gap...they tend to not go back in smoothly). It is all cast iron and heavy. Has done OK for my purposes for over 30 years. Has nice features... cam-lock chuck; calibrated tail stock; integrated coolant pump. I am presently trying to think of something to make on it. Jet never gave me the correct manual. Don't know about parts--nothing on mine has ever broken.

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  14. #12
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    Forget factory parts for a Jet lathe that old. I have a 1988 Jet 13 x 36 ( Taiwan) and there is no parts support. Fortunately, the common wear parts are easily made on manual machines.

    RWO

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    Hey,don't forget Standard Modern!!

  16. #14
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    Taiwanese or Chinese? The older Jet's were made in Taiwan and are (relatively speaking) not too bad compared to the current generation of Chinese crap. Certainly not in the same class as a old American iron, but not junk either.

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    not too bad compared to the current generation of Chinese crap.
    And if you look for Chinese machines with good reviews you are not likely to go wrong either. The best machines probably have data plates written in Chinese though.
    Many expensive machine tools are made in China and rebranded, I hear that iron castings from China are used in machines made all over the world, it's just the lowest price point stuff that's really bad.

    A post script, my first full sized lathe was a Jet 1236 belt drive purchased new, used for five years and sold for what I paid for it, to finance a step up.

    It was a very good serviceable engine lathe and I loved it.


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