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definition of "mechanicaly sound" referring to a used lathe

tkrotw

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Location
WY
In what condition would you expect to find a lathe described as "mechanicaly sound"? What would you expect to fix? what would you assume to be intact? servicable? in need of replacement or repair prior to switching it on?
Thanks
Tom Rose
 

traytopjohnny

Stainless
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Location
cincinnati
I'll field this one if you don't mind. Mechanicaly sound in my mind as a machinery repairman would mean that you would be able to put the machine to any task that has been asked of it in the past and you would expect it to finish it without any rude noises or guess work as to wether or not it was going to finish the cut. Now! as to wether or not it will be accurate enough for you being the new owner may very well be in question. Many shops have "new" lathes. Many shops have "old" lathes. Just because a lathe does not cut as new, does not mean it is not mechanicaly sound.
 

Frank Ford

Hot Rolled
Joined
Dec 20, 2003
Location
Palo Alto, CA USA
I dunno, and I'm no expert in the field of used machine tools.

But, I've been a participant in the vintage guitar business for four decades, and I can surely spot the salesman rhetoric.

"Mechanicaly sound" rings as true to me as, "Mint condition, considering its age." Namely, it gives no information except that the seller is interested in telling you that other examples may be worse off.

"Mint condition" means exactly that - there's literally no way to tell it from new. WIth the modifier "for its age," the expression is meaningless.

For me, at least, "mechanically sound" means only that there are no parts actually falling off at this moment.

Cheers,

Frank Ford
FRETS.COM
Gryphon Stringed Instruments
My Home Shop Pages

[ 12-28-2006, 03:15 AM: Message edited by: Frank Ford ]
 

MitsTech

Stainless
Joined
Feb 5, 2006
Location
New Jersey
I also side with the nuts and bolts explaination: Everything on the machine still works, and without sounding like a diesel with a rod knock. Means nothing to me for accuracy. To me a knowledgable seller with a truely nice machine will put things in like "Spindle still runs quiet and cool" or "only .006 play in the compound screw" and "Original frosting on the ways still largely in tact".


Frank Ford said it best, "... no parts falling off at the moment."
 

olddude

Stainless
Joined
May 27, 2005
Location
JAPAN
I think it is wise even though a machine maybe mechanically sound as purchased, for the smart man to change the oil,grease the machine, replace any belts and check all the adjustments and fasteners before putting it into use.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2006
Location
Mass/Conn
Tom-
JMHO-

Mechanically sound would indicate that all of the mechanical parts are there and operate.

Whether or not the machine will hold whatever tolerance you wish is not implied. I have seen many machines that qualify as "mechanically sound"
that had a 30 thou dip in the bed, and if you put the gap part of the bed back in, there was a 125 thou jump. Not well for holding tolerances, and quite a surprise the first time encountered. But the machine was "mechan..." The same can hold for backlash in any of the leadscrews, gibs, etc. They are there, but in what shape?

I would hope you have a dial indicator you could take with you to measure several points on the machine. I won't go on here, the subject is covered better than I could elsewhere in these archives. Take a buddy along who knows a bit about machinery.

Good luck-

Billy
 

Alan123

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 16, 2006
Location
Phila. Pa
Everybodys idea is different. Off the subject a bit,someone`s idea of a tire in good condition is that it holds air. Even if it is bald. "I" would except it to have good tread. So don`t be too dissapointed when you see it and it is not up to "your" standard. Alan
 

tkrotw

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Location
WY
Thank you all for your posts. The machine has really good ways, all the gears are there and intact, heavy scoring on the cross slide ways, bearings around the machine range from dust to totally servicable. A few bolts loose or missing. Haven't powered it up yet. Expected to replace all belts and lube. I did expect it to make chips on arrival, just wanted to know if I had suffered a comunication error.
Thanks
Tom Rose
 

Airborne

Stainless
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Location
Seattle
You guys are looking at it the wrong way.

"Mechanically sound" is just a distraction phrase. What it really means is that it is "cosmetically RUINED".

The chip pan was and always has been used as a urinal. :(
 

ions82

Stainless
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Location
ABQ, NM
Not a whole lot of confidence offered in these posts, and for good reason! It doesn't take much to throw off the accuracy of a machine. Sure, a lot of it can be corrected. Adjusting some backlash out isn't too much hassle. However, after reading posts about all the work involved in re-grinding bedways, some runout may very well be "the end of the world." The only advise I can offer is to avoid buying things sight-unseen! There are PLENTY of people out there that want to unload machine tools, and a fair number of them have no intention of disclosing all the crucial details.
 

tkrotw

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Location
WY
Zumba
I was forewarned that the machine was "cosmetically challenged" was even furnished a picture that confirmed this. As a matter of fact, there is some odd corosion in the chip pan. HMMM my level of experience grows with leaps and bounds.
 

Mike C.

Diamond
Joined
Nov 25, 2004
Location
Birmingham, AL
The QC box on my L&S was apparently some operator's ash tray. I pulled about five pounds of cigarette butts out of there.

Also the sunp on the Fosdick radial drill was the dumping ground for that last bit of tea, coffee, ice, or whatever. Used oil, tranny fluid, lunch wrappers, ketchup packs, broken files, pork chop bones... Probably saw duty as a urinal, and definitely had its own five pounds of cigarette butts, too.
 

matt_isserstedt

Diamond
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
Location
suburbs of Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Bottom line is it means something different to everyone.

You need to make sure that you're satisfied with the definition after the green has been shelled out.
 

Freeman

Cast Iron
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Location
SW Georgia
Matt's right.I would change his last sentence to "You need to make sure you're satisfied with the definition "before" the green has been shelled out."
 

Damien W

Stainless
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Location
Brisbane, Queensland
I find there is always time for regret when it comes off the truck at my place. I always seem to have a much more detailed inspection when it's too late.
But you can't expect a Cinderella when it's 40 years old and you paid peanuts. But lots of prople have been lucky too.
My definition of "Mechanically Sound" here is tied to the end of a piece of string and making a whistling sound as you swing it around.

Not sure that this was of any help whatever!
 

surplusjohn

Diamond
Joined
Apr 11, 2002
Location
Syracuse, NY USA
I don't think there is an official definition of Mechanically sound, but when I use it as an appraiser it means that the machine is usable as intended with faults consistant with its age. So a mechanically sound 1 year old machine is in better condition than a mechanically sound 30 year old machine. A 1 year old machine that has more than expected ware, has been abused or has non functioning parts is not mechanically sound. This is a subjective discription for sure and often calls for more explaination.
 

dlaw

Plastic
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Location
Minnesota USA
In what condition would you expect to find a lathe described as "mechanicaly sound"? What would you expect to fix? what would you assume to be intact? servicable? in need of replacement or repair prior to switching it on?
Thanks
Tom Rose

Unless I could run the machine, I might hope it to be a diamond in the rough but expect it to be electricaly busted.

The less I know about something I have never run the more carefull I must be.
 








 
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