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Husky PC-36 Lathe


Oct 9, 2021
Hi, I know this has been covered previously, but I still have some questions. I’m looking at a Husky Lathe local to me for $800 in working condition but the owner says it has some slop. I’m 21 years old, amateur machinist looking to improve my skills on a machine without a DRO. I mostly deal with offroad type fabrication, not super tight tolerance machining. 90% of the time, the machine will likely be used to polish shock shafts but I’ll occasionally machine spacers and slugs. Obviously, I’m not expecting this to be the last lathe I buy by any means. Machining is just part of what I do, the machine will be used on occasion but far from every day. I work full time in a shop as is, this would be for my personal shop for my side hustle.

Do you guys think this is a reasonable investment for someone like me?


Hot Rolled
Feb 9, 2009
I don't know about the price in your local area, but if does the work you want then go for it. By taking the approach of trying to work reasonably close tolerances on a worn out or poor quality machine when you only need loose tolerances, you can learn a huge amount. If you are the kind of person who sets the dial and expects perfection, you will be very disappointed. Things like parting off can be a nightmare in these machines and it might cost you a bit in parting blades, reworked parts and underpants. Things like this are a toss up on buy or wait for a better deal, but the tooling and accessories included which may work with a better machine can swing the deal in your favour.


Nov 18, 2018
Southern Illinois
Technocrat makes good points. You can learn a lot from struggling on a machine that makes you work for good parts. A big part of what would drive me is if this is a good price for that machine in your area. Around my area, $800 for a larger than bench top lathe, in decent shape, with almost any amount of tooling would be a pretty darn good price. If you can buy it, use it, and sell it later if it turns out to be not for you (without losing money), I would say go for it. It will be a learning experience either way.

I went through a similar process with my first mill. It was a clapped out piece of junk, but I was inexperienced and learned a lot from it. When I felt that it was time to upgrade, I sold it for a little bit of a loss and spent the money on a relatively nice machine.