Off Topic: Best Quality Manual Lathe?
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 32
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    512
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    4

    Default Off Topic: Best Quality Manual Lathe?

    Although very popular machines, I've read (and I believe it) that SB machines were not the best quality machines available. The popularity was largely based on price. Today I think they enjoy a cult following because of the amount of older units/parts and accessories available to the hobby market.

    My question to the older...I mean more experienced machinists is this:

    If you could have any manual lathe in you shop. Assume it is fully tooled and getting parts/accessories is not a problem, what would it be and why? Where did SB fall short on quality/functionality?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Pasadena, CA
    Posts
    379
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1
    Likes (Received)
    6

    Default

    Hmmm, how about a Hardinge when tenth's count, and a big'ish large-thruhole like a Harrison to cover much of what else might come thru the door?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Cobblers Knob, IN USA
    Posts
    1,106
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    6

    Default

    It's like asking what you would rather have, a Phillips screwdriver or a straight slot. It all depends on what you intend to do with it. I hope the analogy doesn't sound rude, as that is not my intention
    Last edited by knudsen; 01-30-2011 at 10:24 AM. Reason: Add obligatory smiley to keep the peace :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    512
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    4

    Default not rude at all

    ...consider your doing the same type work that you do with the SB that you have now. Would you keep the SB or is there a machine that you would rather have instead.....?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Maryland, USA
    Posts
    91
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    5
    Likes (Received)
    2

    Default

    stnecut,

    I am glad you asked this question. I have been meaning to post a similar question. I have often heard of SB owners and machinist talk about certain shortcomings of the various SB lathes. I have always been interested in a consensus of what these shortcomings were and what the alternatives may be.

    ...........not that I have the $, or inclination to replace my beloved 9A, just a hypothetical exercise.

    I am going to subscribe to this post

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    kansas city kansas
    Posts
    1,305
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    21
    Likes (Received)
    12

    Default best lathe

    If money was not an issue hardinge or monarch. If you have to carry it down a set of steps to your basement 12" clausing/12" logan/ Heavy ten. The popcorn is on the stove this one is going to be good.
    Last edited by jayhawkman; 01-30-2011 at 11:54 AM. Reason: added clausing

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    moscow,ohio
    Posts
    4,065
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    404
    Likes (Received)
    1149

    Default

    perhaps not the best quality machine ever built but for what i do and the way i work(slowly) i can`t imagine a better machine for me than the SB 9" or 10K. it`s incredibly simple(simple machines for simple minds!) and about as idiot proof as you can get. if i had a Monarch(probably the best built machine ever) i`d be screwed the first time there was a problem with the drive. i`m happy with what i`ve got!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Washington
    Posts
    4,445
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    82
    Likes (Received)
    990

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stnecut View Post
    If you could have any manual lathe in you shop. Assume it is fully tooled and getting parts/accessories is not a problem, what would it be and why?
    For small work -- Hardinge with all the threading goodies
    For medium work -- Mori Seiki 17 or SAG 14/17
    For big work -- American Pacemaker

    But, and again not to be rude, the question is a bit like asking, "What car would you buy?" There are so many variables in usage, there's no one lathe (or car) that does it all.

    Regards.

    Mike

  9. Likes neilho liked this post
  10. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    kansas city kansas
    Posts
    1,305
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    21
    Likes (Received)
    12

    Default best lathe

    If original poster would like maybe we could change the question to best small shop manual lathe.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Albertville, Alabama
    Posts
    1,051
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1
    Likes (Received)
    34

    Default

    For a very precision lathe, it would be a Hardinge or Monarch 10EE, for a generall toolroom machine as in a do it all machine, I would stick with a LeBlond Regal around 15". Tough as nails, easy to work on if need be, simple good design and will hold tolerances good and will take very heavy cuts at speed without tearing the machine up. For really large work, its hard to beat a Pacemaker.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Canandaigua, NY, USA
    Posts
    2,350
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    96
    Likes (Received)
    856

    Default

    I was recently at a friends making some parts on a metric/english Hardinge HLV, and within its size capabilities I think it would be the perfect small/home shop machine. The nice threading capabilities plus the dual gearbox is magic. Most of what I make is small, but I have to admit I feel cramped using the Hardinge, compared to my long bed 10" Logan. Everything is tight and I can't imagine getting a TP grinder in there. OTOH, if one had a nice HLV, it would probably qualify as a sin to even think about a TP grinder- just hard turn. If I had an HLV I'd also add an air fitting to the tail stock- that thing is just hard to move even when well oiled.

    CH

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    peekskill, NY
    Posts
    23,520
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    3688

    Default

    Ask the monarch guys, it's a 10EE.

    Ask the hardinge guys, it's an EM HLVH.

    Ask the big iron guys, probably american pacemaker.

    Ask the antique guys, probably a pedal-driven Barnes.

    Ask the Euro guys, probably a shaublin.

    Ask the Deckel guys, they'll tell ya, they don't need a lathe!


  14. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Washington
    Posts
    2,829
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Conrad Hoffman View Post
    If I had an HLV I'd also add an air fitting to the tail stock- that thing is just hard to move even when well oiled.

    CH

    +1

    Life is sweet when the tailstock has an air assisted bearing on the dovetail.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Hamburg,NY,U.S.A.
    Posts
    392
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    11

    Smile

    In addition to my 10L, over the years I've run a 13" SB, (helluva workhorse with precision capabilities) a Monarch, A Rockwell tool room model & a Jap 16", can't remember what name along with an Atlas & some very old lathes with lion claw feet. I liked all of them when I was running them.
    I think a lot of the popularity is because of availability. At one point most high schools in America had them. Another factor is that they were very well made, robust & dependable.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Sticks, Indiana
    Posts
    772
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    62
    Likes (Received)
    50

    Default

    Hendey, A 9x24 tool and gauge for the little stuff and any of the gear heads for the bigger stuff.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    512
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    4

    Default OK

    Quote Originally Posted by jayhawkman View Post
    If original poster would like maybe we could change the question to best small shop manual lathe.
    I have no problem with that. If the SB lathe was not in your shop...What lathe would be taking it's place?

    gp

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    peekskill, NY
    Posts
    23,520
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    3688

    Default

    In my case it would be a split-bed hardinge, a 7" pratt whitney bench lathe, and
    a seneca falls star lathe. If you took away the 10L, that is.

    To be fair over the years it's been a 9" atlas, a 9" model A southbend, two
    different 10Ls, one of which I still own. And the ones mentioned above.

    I have a close friend who says "motorcycles are like women. Your favorite
    one is the one you're on at the time."

    I think something like that is appropriate here. The one you're running, at that
    instant.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Central Valley, CA
    Posts
    258
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    6

    Default

    Most of it is the machinist not the lathe
    A good machinist can make most lathes turn to .0001 on small lathes and very large lathes turn .0005" even if the lathe is 100 year old bad ways and all.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    cashmere wa
    Posts
    128
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    2

    Default

    Hmmmm,
    Maybe I missed it in the mix but no one mentioned a clausing seems I heard it called the cadilac of shop lathes by someone smitty

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Carmichael, Calif.
    Posts
    681
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    19

    Default

    How about some love for England's finest, the Dean Smith Grace.

  22. Likes Anasazi, kazlx, packrat2 liked this post

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •