What's new
What's new

Lathe recommendation for welding/fabricating shop

M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
Don't worry, I own a 5000 sq-ft workshop split onto two floors. I will eventually dedicate the top floor to any machining works/offices so it is far away from the dust, particles and welding spatters of the fabrication floor.

I would rather stay away from used machines even though I can find some decent ones locally since I have no experience with Lathes and don't know what to look for in terms of acceptable damage/wear.
Most of the usual issues with choosing between an old broken machine and a new machine, IMO boil down to any damage can be repaired, but poor design often can't. This is the problem with most Asian import machines in that they make a "heavy duty" lathe with a big motor and a large swing, but it has a wimpy carriage and bed size so it has no rigidity. Fabrication lathe work will often involve taking interrupted cuts to true up a rough torch-cut piece or a piece that was welded off center, and rigidity really helps there.

For new lathes I'd look less at the advertised dimensions of what it can cut and more at the overall design of the machine. Many lathes I see that are sold as a 13 to 16" swing, only have the rigidity of a 10 to 12" swing lathe. Few companies in the world build quality manual lathes that are as ridged as they once were, because their major market is economy, so lighter castings bring the manufacturing cost down. The other drawback is that many of these machines sold from the orient are built in a nameless factory and sold under several different brands. In 5 to 10 years when you need repair parts, the seller is now selling a different model and can't help support the old ones. I think you'll see less of this with machines made in Europe, but it's a common problem associated with globalized manufacturing.
 

Scottl

Diamond
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Eastern Massachusetts, USA
Take the Wabeco D6000 lathe for example. This is what I consider to be a mini lathe and should be plenty large enough for my current needs.

I would like to make parts that complement my fabrication work such as handle bars, tools such as collet chucks, threaded rod, adapters for some tools, pneumatic fittings etc. It should be able handle basically anything I throw at it.

I agree with the manual machine prior to cnc, however if that's going to be the case should I would much rather purchase a brand new one that can be adapted to CNC as buying a lathe twice is not something I look forward to do since the market here is very slow moving and selling the manual machine will be a tough thing to do.
Unless you are really cramped for space I wouldn't recommend selling the manual lathe even after you get a CNC. Simple jobs like facing off an existing part are so much easier and quicker on a manual machine, especially one you are already used to.
 

cyanidekid

Titanium
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Location
Brooklyn NYC
Most of the usual issues with choosing between an old broken machine and a new machine, IMO boil down to any damage can be repaired, but poor design often can't. This is the problem with most Asian import machines in that they make a "heavy duty" lathe with a big motor and a large swing, but it has a ...."
sorry M.B., but that's just deeply ignorant. to lump "Asian imports" together as a category . can let that fly. I don't need to spell out the reasons to most here, and to those who don't know, look up Okuma, Ikegai, Mori Seiki, Takasawa, Whacheon, etc, etc. etc. come now, you know better.
 

M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
sorry M.B., but that's just deeply ignorant. to lump "Asian imports" together as a category . can let that fly. I don't need to spell out the reasons to most here, and to those who don't know, look up Okuma, Ikegai, Mori Seiki, Takasawa, Whacheon, etc, etc. etc. come now, you know better.
Sorry for the over generalization, but my implication was with stereotypical mainland China/India and related. Grizzly, Jet, MSC, etc. There's always exceptions, Which I'm glad to hear of, but for a list as fluid as "what to pick," I'm not pretending to name them all, especially not knowing what's available in Lebanon.

Excluding most of the excellent stuff coming out of Japan, Korea, and even Taiwan, MY EXPERIENCE has been that the other stuff is made for a budget market that has left me wanting.
 

drummerdimitri

Plastic
Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Location
Beirut, Lebanon
A little update on what I've found so far.

There seems to be 0 brand new Lathes other than Chinese ones in the local market and the used ones I've found so far are not in great shape and/or are way too big for my needs.

I just might have to deal with that fact and purchase a Chinese one even though I can't stand the thought of it, it doesn't have to be my last lathe so it will have to do for now.

I've attached a picture of it and after further inspection, it seems to be almost the exact same model as what Precision Matthews call "PM-1440E-LB Precision 14″x40″ Lathe".

Only difference I could find is the fact that it comes factory installed with a DRO, which the one I am referring too doesn't and a 3HP motor instead of the 2HP that comes with this unit.

That being said, the Precision Matthews is also made in China probably in the same factory and costs 7,500$ whilst the one I am considering is selling for "only" 4,250$ with basic tooling.

Seems to have all the bells and whistles one might need such as flood coolant, a work light, a foot brake, chip tray etc.

Looks to be a good value proposition don't you think?
 

Attachments

  • 20220816_143658.jpg
    20220816_143658.jpg
    369.1 KB · Views: 11
  • 20220816_143703.jpg
    20220816_143703.jpg
    281.9 KB · Views: 11
  • 20220816_143710.jpg
    20220816_143710.jpg
    291.2 KB · Views: 10
  • 20220816_143715.jpg
    20220816_143715.jpg
    360 KB · Views: 10
  • 20220816_143727.jpg
    20220816_143727.jpg
    402.2 KB · Views: 11

Scruffy887

Titanium
Joined
Dec 17, 2012
Location
Se Ma USA
Buy the cheapest lathe that you can get up to the second floor. Do not worry about it, just cheap and it should run. Learn from that before getting something better. Learn to make good parts from a clapped out old machine.
Your reality is what you can get up to the second floor. 2500 sqft per floor is not that big. And how do you plan on getting machines to second floor?
 

drummerdimitri

Plastic
Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Location
Beirut, Lebanon
Buy the cheapest lathe that you can get up to the second floor. Do not worry about it, just cheap and it should run. Learn from that before getting something better. Learn to make good parts from a clapped out old machine.
Your reality is what you can get up to the second floor. 2500 sqft per floor is not that big. And how do you plan on getting machines to second floor?
I have a 3ftx3ft square opening on the second floor and plan on pulling the machines through using a winch on the rooftop. As most machines can come apart, it should be difficult to tear them down to more manageable pieces and then re-assemble them once they've gotten to where they should be. That being said, I am limited to the maximum size of these machines so a massive press break is out of the question for example but I have to make due with the space I've got.
 

michiganbuck

Diamond
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Location
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
Take care because we recently had a thread here of a fellow who owns a fairly late China machine in which the model is no longer made and parts are not available. He likely has to engineer and make his own parts.
For an old logan, South Bend, Sheldon and the like most parts are still easy to find.
 

Hodge

Stainless
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Location
spartanburg sc
I have a 3ftx3ft square opening on the second floor and plan on pulling the machines through using a winch on the rooftop. As most machines can come apart, it should be difficult to tear them down to more manageable pieces and then re-assemble them once they've gotten to where they should be. That being said, I am limited to the maximum size of these machines so a massive press break is out of the question for example but I have to make due with the space I've got.
That 3'x3' opening coupled with roof top winch could be problematic.

What is the winch capacity and how well is it mounted?

I'm not knocking your gumption and desire to learn but you need someone who is experienced with machine work and rigging to guide and assist. It could save YOU a lot of heartache, money, and wasted time, not to mention possible injury.

Hodge
 

drummerdimitri

Plastic
Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Location
Beirut, Lebanon
What is the winch capacity and how well is it mounted?

I'm not knocking your gumption and desire to learn but you need someone who is experienced with machine work and rigging to guide and assist. It could save YOU a lot of heartache, money, and wasted time, not to mention possible injury.

Hodge

Winch capacity is 1Ton. A person with a lot of lifting/moving experience will be assisting me when moving my machines onto the second floor so no need to worry.
 








 
Top