Graziano SAG14 owner, thinking about downsizing.
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  1. #1
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    Default Graziano SAG14 owner, thinking about downsizing.

    Several years ago I bought a SAG14 14x60. At the time it was just the right amount of overkill for the work I was doing with rifle barrels. As time has progressed and the type of work has changed/disappeared, I find myself now way over-equipped. It's like having a military 2 1/2 ton truck and only needing a 3/4 ton pickup. Here is my question. Is there a current lathe in the 10"-13" range that will have the user friendliness and smoothness of the SAG14? I already have an RPC, so a unit that runs on 3 phase, poses no issues. I'll probably wind up doing work on mostly RC models for my own enjoyment and won't need something built for production work. I'm posting this on the model specific forum in the hopes that someone out there that owns a Graziano can appreciate the way they run and have experience with other machines to make a practical recommendation. I hate to admit that I don't have the desire to find and run the risk of working on an old classic like a 10EE. I realize that there is no equal to sheer mass when it comes to smoothness and precision, but most of the work I foresee will be much less demanding. I'm not saying I will definitely get rid of it, but if I keep it, I'll have to look into reworking the lathe to run small parts on a regular basis and everything is going to be way out of scale. Bear in mind that I have this 9', 3000lb beast crammed into a crowded two car garage, so a reduction in size would be a welcome change. I have no room to spare to allow for a second smaller lathe, so it will be a one or the other choice. I welcome your feedback.
    Thanks

    Mark

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    I own a Sag 14 and love it. This afternoon, I was at my old workplace and had to use the lathe there, a 10 x 30 Standard Modern probably 40 years old. It did ok and I figure it would run off a 120 volt single phase outlet in a pinch.
    As you would expect, doing a heavier cut led to chatter that you wouldn't get on the Sag.
    I suppose you could sell the Sag for more $ than a used replacement would cost although I for one would miss the clutch start.

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    If you want stay with the same make of lathe, this SAG12 is for sale in the Bay Area. I attended the auction where is was bought by the dealer that has it for sale.

    It is in good shape and everything worked. I had planned to bid on the lathe but knew I would never out bid this dealer.

    sag12.jpg

    12" x 3" Graziano Sag12 Engine Lathe - business/commercial - by dealer - sale
    Last edited by Fabworks; 06-09-2017 at 02:37 AM. Reason: Added photo.

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    That cross feed dial is hard to exceed!

    If all the lathe makers could adopt such niceity!

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    706jim,
    I hear you, a lathe like this can spoil you. I think the clutch is one of the slickest features and it allows peace of mind if you want to ease a part up to speed. Depth of cut has never been an issue for me, most of my stuff has always been small enough that a really heavy cut is not a normal thing. As my future lathe work looks to be oriented to smaller items, I'm torn. I appreciate the precision that this lathe can provide, but even my "small" chuck combined with an Aloris tool post makes things a bit awkward when I'm whittling away a tiny part. As for a replacement, I'm leaning towards a new or current production used lathe. Over the years, mostly due to financial constraints, I kept reviving older lathes to keep upgrading, so I have had my fill of sourcing obsolete parts. "Old Iron" is quaint and nostalgic, but give me a high speed lathe with inch and metric threading any day. I used to have a South Bend, Heavy 10, which was decent and would probably do what I foresee in my future, but it wasn't terribly fun to run a machine built 60 years ago with the average wear of one that age. As for cost, I would take what I sell the SAG14 and even be willing to cough up a few bucks to get a quality unit to replace it. I'm at that point in life that I won't wear something out in my lifetime, but I have learned to appreciate quality and willing to pay a premium. I'm far from rich, but I'll pull it off.

    Fabworks,
    I studied long and hard to learn as much as I could about Graziano. No offense intended to SAG12 owners, they are a wonderful machine, but there were just enough electrical and drive gremlins in those older SAG12's that I shied away from them. The SAG14's consistently had a strong reliability track record. When I found this one coming from a former aerospace shop that was a one man band and he was retiring, I was thrilled to find a gently used example. He had three of them and had sold a 14x40 that had the heaviest use and was keeping a tricked out and well tooled one for himself to enjoy in his retirement, so this one came home with me. I would have to stumble on an unusually well preserved example to consider picking it up. Call me a wimp, but I don't feel like delving back into a treasure hunt for that rare jewel that might be buried in the field.

    CalG,
    It's kind of a bummer that there aren't many choices when it comes to quality lathes in moderate sizes. Everthing under $15K is pretty much guaranteed to be "Hecho en Chine".

    Thanks for the replies and I'll look forward to any suggestions and further comments. I shudder to think that my options are dwindling down to something made in an Asian sweatshop I will admit I had an Enco along the way and it did give me good service, but it felt "cheap".

    Mark

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    Mark,

    I like you have everything crammed into a 20'x20' area. I started out with a 1969 SB H10. It came out of a State run rehabilitation center and saw very little use. Then three years later at another State auction I bought my SAG14. I find myself using the SAG much more that the SB even on small parts. The SB gets used to chamber rifle barrels or as a second operation machine. I would never go back to just having the South Bend.

    Buck

    img_3074.jpgimg_3075.jpg

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    Buck,
    Yes, I am the poster child for 10lbs, crammed in a 5lb bag. I actually manage in about 2/3 of that space. If my SAG14 was a 40" it would be a bit more manageable, but at 60" it limits the way I can lay out my equipment. I'm just on the fence if it's worth having so much more lathe than I ever use now. Times change and something a bit less massive seems more practical. If I get a replacement, I will want to stay with a unit capable of high speed and at least a 1.5" hole through the headstock. The SB is a nice machine and I had one, but if I had to, I would say my favorite (other than the Graziano) was a Rockwell 11x36. It wasn't a beast, but it was a very smooth and user friendly lathe. Unfortunately, I sold it when I had to move my family to my duty station here in San Diego.

    Mark

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    Seeing that yours is a 60" machine I could see how it would eat up space in a small shop. The 40" is a lot more manageable as far as footprint goes. And sometimes longer shafts can be done with the steady.

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    Jim,
    You got it. The SAG14 actually not that bulky, but the length makes it a bit more restrictive. Currently, I have it on the left wall of the garage with the RPC and a short Vidmar cabinet. My Bridgeport is centered on the back wall with my TIG and oxy-fuel next to it and the right wall is more benches along with steel cabinetry. At the moment, I am restoring/modernizing an 80 year old, 10' long, radio controlled battleship made of steel. This winds up as a giant obstacle course in the center, as the fourth side of my work area is closed by an 8' workbench. Most of my friends are certain I have tendencies towards self abuse and imprisoning myself in confined spaces. My thoughts are to eventually have a lathe that can fit the back wall and free up a side for a bit of breathing room.

    Mark

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    ot - 80 yr old model? model of some particular ship? training device?

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    bryan,
    It's the USS California, BB-44. It was built by Howard Bixby in 1936/1937 as the largest vessel in his fleet of US warships. He had the radio control components built from scratch by a young man named Fitzgerall. It was capable of forward, reverse, left/right steering, the main guns were constructed to fire .38 blanks and four of the sponson guns were designed to use .22 blanks. It also had a radio receiver and a speaker to broadcast alarms, ship sounds and voice. It is still in the configuration as built after WWI. The real ship was sunk at Pearl Harbor, after that she was raised, completely refitted to a completely different appearance and served out the tail end of the war providing gunfire support during the island hopping campaigns. This model was written up and well documented in various magazines through the 30's, 40's and 50's , but disappeared in the late 1950's. I stumbled across it in a Craigslist ad (don't laugh) and was drawn to purchase it and restore it. Sadly, the radio gear was so complex and deteriorated, I chose to update the internals to modern components. Over 150lbs of radio gear and the original drive have been replaced with less than 10lbs of contemporary electronics and motors. I did test it with the modern bits in it to confirm I had a viable design for power and control. Since then I tore it down to repaint, repair and add back most of the features it was originally equipped with, however I have decided to leave the guns inoperative to avoid any legal hassle. I hope to have it completed later this year to operate it, display it and share the history it has. Here is a short YouTube of the test run/maiden voyage after 58 years in hiding.

    USS CALIFORNIA radio controlled built in 1937 1 feet long - YouTube

    I hope to find an antique radio buff that would be interested in the radio gear as I have no way to do anything with it and space is a premium as indicated by the topic of this thread.

    Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crank View Post
    You got it. The SAG14 actually not that bulky, but the length makes it a bit more restrictive.Mark
    Hi Mark,

    Sorry to hear that you're thinking of selling your Graziano. I have a very small shop as well and that's exactly why I bought the 40" machine instead of the 60" when Stan was selling them. I couldn't forsee that I would ever need the extra 20 inches of bed length but I sure needed that 20 inches of floor space. I've never regretted that decision. Hope you can figure out a way to make it work for you. They are a wonderful machine.

    Ted

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    Ted,
    It's not that I am giving up having a lathe, my needs just really don't justify something this size anymore. I do love this lathe, but it's capabilities so far exceed my needs now that I have to consider options. It's just a PITA to sift through the choices and I have to rationalize what I really need versus what I fantasize I need. You get spoiled with a machine like this and I realize that makes me a bit snobbish. Even a 40" bed exceeds what I am doing now and that makes it frustrating to see this one eating up such a long footprint. In general, I am striving to streamline my workspace as my needs have changed, and the lathe has become a glaring roadblock. I'm glad you're still happy with yours, I think Stan hated giving up any of them. I hope to work something out along the lines of a trade, to keep it simple, if such a thing is possible .

    Mark

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    Mark,

    I understand your situation. I'm sure there are a lot of guys that would love to trade for your lathe, but whether or not they will have a lathe of the quality you're looking for is another thing. I know about a dozen guys that are mostly hobby machinists up here in Nor Cal, and I could start asking around if you'd like. If so, you can PM me with your contact info.

    Ted

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    Ted,
    The trade thing might be a reality, I am currently discussing it with another member. The easy part for me is that I am not scared off by a 3ph machine since I already have the RPC. Most hobbyists won't even consider something that you can't plug into a household circuit, so that keeps me out of the rat race for the smaller machines. The only sensible limitation I have is that I can't pick up a replacement until I have a home for the Graziano. If I I'm willing to pack my garage like a sardine can, a fair number of machines turn up locally from time to time, so I might consider just buying one and then do an outright sale on mine later. Hopefully something that won't require major servicing to get it operational will be out there, but if I find the right machine, it won't be the first time I have torn down a machine for a rehab. I'm not against doing the work, but I won't lie, spending time scrounging obsolete parts and repairing ones that you can't replace gets old after a while. It will be a few weeks before anything happens because I have to go out of town, but I'll keep watching local listings just in case.

    Mark

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    I think I've asked this question before but "approximately" what would the Sag sell for?

    A few years ago a friend of mine died unexpectedly and his estate executor asked me what his engine lathe might be worth. I suggested $500-$1000 (can't recall the brand but nothing that commonly shows up here).
    He thought it might be worth more and the first guy that saw it him offered $2000 cash on the spot. And this lathe was nowhere near the size or quality of a Sag14,

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    jim,
    Excellent question, with a vague answer. To keep it simple, north of $5K, since you see this specific model infrequently and prices range from the $4-10K bracket depending on condition and how well it is equipped. However, once you add in my upgrades after the cost of the lathe, the RPC, the Aloris tool post set, 8" Bison chuck, etc.. Now what's it worth? As I purchased it, it came with a 12" 3 jaw, 8" 4 jaw, a faceplate or two, and a steady rest (often missing for some reason ) and those would go with it. Items like the RPC, tool post with holders and the 8" chuck may not be needed for whatever I replace this with and would add to my asking price, but without them the price will flex. It comes down to what the market will bear and who happens to be looking for one at the same time I'm trying to sell mine. For me it won't be a price driven replacement, it will be based on a better fit for my needs. Does that mean someone will trade with me and I get some cash out of the deal, or I have to cough up more, who knows. If they weren't so deep, a Monarch 10EE would be nice, but I looked at several and the bulk below the headstock makes for an awkward fit in the space I have. I even have eyeballed the current Clausing/Colchester 13", but I don't see a way to justify the cost of that kind of machine brand new. Like I mentioned before, the Rockwell I had was a very nice machine and some of the older Clausings are a tidy footprint, but many were brutalized and finding a well maintained machine becomes a bit of a wild goose chase. The Takisawa TSL-800 was brought to my attention and I am trying to study up on them. An Asian (Taiwan) machine, but seems like a very simple, no-frills model that might be a contender. Luckily, I'm not under pressure to do anything and when the right piece comes along, it will happen.

    Mark
    Last edited by Crank; 06-23-2017 at 08:15 AM.

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    where abouts are you located? I got my SAG14 from a gentleman who was retired (quite a talker), his shop was formerly located in orange county, CA.

    Why not put up some pictures, I have a sag14 that's shorter than 60". I might consider a trade, as I have a large space.

    did some digging, turns out, you did buy your Graziano from Stan. Well, well, well. Now I've found all of Stan's lathes. I got one, Crank's got one, and talvare also has one. at one time, our lathes were shop-mates. I have the one that Stan was saving for himself, the one that he would "never sell." and it came with quite a bit of spare parts and accessories. it's a small world.

    My sag14 is the 48" one and it's just about all that i need. But if the one you have is in good shape, maybe we can work something out.

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    waggie,
    I'm surprised you got it, to listen to Stan, you would have bet money he would go to his grave with that lathe. He told me that was the first SAG14 he bought and his experience with it is why he got more of them. I know that particular machine was the pampered and well appointed baby, making a trade would mean having to shift a bunch of parts from yours to mine and then the transportation issues of moving two machines. Unless you actually needed the extra length, it might be a bit of work for both of us. If you want to explore the possibility, we can talk, but I have a possible trade already in the works, so that has to be addressed first before any other horse trading is considered. As for pictures, she looks pretty much the same as when I got it, just dusty and needing a good wipe down from all of the bodywork I was doing on the battleship. Here are pictures from when I brought it home:
    Any words of wisdom from Graziano SAG 14 owners?
    It is funny how all three machines now have the state covered from north to south, but luckily have stayed on this end of the country. BTW, I am in San Diego by Qualcomm stadium.

    Mark

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    he had it listed on craigslist for about a month before i saw it. It seemed like a good deal and comes with a trailer full of stuff. I rented a trailer to move all the fixin's a couple of days before the mover moved the lathe.

    There were several chucks (6, 7, 8 and 10 inch three jaw chucks and many pairs of spare soft jaws for each of the chucks, the 10 incher is a 6 jaw. Oh, and a Hardinge/Sojurn 5c collet chuck) one 4 jaw chuck (in bad shape), two Lista cabinets with a nice wood top, thousands of pounds of left over material (alu/stainless/d2/invar... and some other weird stuff), more KDK tool holders than i know what to do with. 5 or 6 live centers, Graziano center rest, a couple of hundreds of brazed carbide tooling (mostly micro 100), iscar trepan tool (full set), big face plate (that was harmonically balanced, says Stan). lots of big boring bars, big drills, insert tool holders and enough inserts to last me a long time. Spare gears, spare parts, spare tool post/holders (some of which i sent to "talvare")... basically all the stuff he didn't want to be parted with when either one of you bought the other two lathes.

    my lathe held .001 over 24 inches on initial test. a more precise test was done recently, and it held about .0002 (after lathe was leveled, and took my sweet time, and took the test piece into CMM machine).

    Love to come check out your lathe next time i'm down in SD, if you still have it. Likewise, if you ever come up to LA, give me a holler.


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