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Need help picking a machine


Jan 19, 2022
Looking for a lathe to buy
I was thinking a monarch series 60
Maybe a 30 or a 54

However , I know me and I’m going to want to chase 10th’s
I want to maintain .001 taper over the full length of the bed.

Is this possible with an older
Machine? I have a fryer easy turn now and I hate the Cnc
I hate the lack of feedback and how hard it is to do simpler things

Prefer 5-10 HP with a cam lock spindle

I basically want a 10EE but bigger

Any suggestions? Thanks
Last edited:


Feb 23, 2016
Houston, TX
Any older machine holding that will have been rebuilt and you'll have to shovel a ton of doe to buy it.

Or buy a used machine with the intent to rebuild yourself. Have the bed ground etc. By the time you are finished, you'll know the machine inside and out.

A large machine holding a thou over the length of bed is like factory new btw, and big money. You can do really excellent work with it outside that spec too.


Jan 19, 2022
Thanks for the suggestions
Maybe I am stuck with a smaller machine
I Imdid think it would be fun to rebuild one.

If you have a machine that is out by say .010 of taper over 30 inches how do you correct for that?

I really want a monarch series 60
16” x 54
Maybe I’m crazy to think that big of a machine will hold taper off

What would you expect to see for tolerance on a machine like that from the 50’s? I’m trying to understand what is reasonable vs “clapped out “ as they say on that size machine


Hot Rolled
Aug 5, 2014
Wisconsin Rapids WI
A Monarch 60 may have held tenths when new and may still now but keep in mind those machines were designed to remove a lot of metal and handle a lot of stress. It is rare they were given light use and maintained well over their lives. The beds hold up well as do the spiral gears but if the bulk of work was done over 24", a 56" bed will show variation. Toolroom lathes may have lighter use but my experience is many were used mainly over lengths under 12 or even 6" so even if within tenths at the range, it is easy to vary another .001 on a good condition machine. A new 1460 or 1660 Taiwan machine will die before the old Monarch but might hold precision over its bed length for one lifetime. They won't move metal like the Monarch though. Dave


Diamond; Mod Squad
Mar 27, 2005
Northwest Indiana, USA
Most machines that old won't hold less than at least a few thousandths over the length of the bed directly as-turned unless they've had relatively little use. If any were going to do it though, Monarchs would be one of those I would bet on.

To get around that you can either bump the tool in or out as necessary as the machine traverses down the cut; use a file and some emery; use an external hone or lap, or other similar methods. Or of course, rebuild one.

By the by it isn't so much a linear taper you need to be worrying about. It's a nonlinear curve or stepped wear. A linear taper on a longer part can generally be cured by setting the tailstock over. That won't fix the other problems.

52 Ford

May 20, 2021
If you're up for rebuilding it, I think that'd be the way to go. Once you get through with the rebuild, (as texasgunsmith said) you'll know the machine inside and out and you'll know that you don't have anything wrong with it.