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Nicely executed, IMO, shop made lathe.

asdf

Aluminum
Joined
Apr 16, 2015
Location
Sarajevo, BiH
Here a what I think is a nicely made, shop made, lathe for sale. The seller wants 1800 Euro at the time of this writing. This may be too much for shop made machine, or too little, I don't know but it looks very carefully constructed if it is indeed made by a single person. Shop made does not mean it is a personal single man shop or home garage.



external link to local online market

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regards,
ns
 
I'm not a fan of round ways. What makes you think this is shop made?
The fact that some will ask the question tells something about the quality and attention to detail.

Out of curiosity, why are You not a fan of round ways?

If You look closely you'll notice, it's a weldment, the headstock, tailstock, stand are welded and by the looks of it not a production parts. The saddle looks carefully made from single stock pieces and then bolted together including apron. Power feed is a stock hex bar.

regards,
ns
 
ns

Various configurations of flat surfaces for ways allows opportunities for bringing the machine geometry into very close tolerance, and allows for taking up wear and again tweaking surfaces to make machine geometry accurate again.

Round ways are trickier. Either you get one, and only one shot at correct placement or you make an arrangement for adjustment that's almost always less secure than abutting flat surfaces. Then you also have to accommodate the inevitable wear. Usually a round way itself will simply have to be replaced, though I grant it the advantage of off-the-shelf replacement parts, but the round bushings have no easy way to both adjust size for wear AND locate them to bring accuracy back into spec.
 
The fact that some will ask the question tells something about the quality and attention to detail.

Out of curiosity, why are You not a fan of round ways?

If You look closely you'll notice, it's a weldment, the headstock, tailstock, stand are welded and by the looks of it not a production parts. The saddle looks carefully made from single stock pieces and then bolted together including apron. Power feed is a stock hex bar.

regards,
ns

As mentioned above by TG, no compensation for wear. As soon as there's a little, most rigidity is going to be lost. And as also noted previously, can't scrape the ways for geometry or straightness. Replacing the round bars is fine once they wear some, but if they're not very straight, that's a big problem. They will also sag as the carriage moves along (especially with a heavy cut) since they're not supported in the center. And that carriage is very narrow, another bad quality.

As far as shop made, I'd say probably not, but possible I suppose. More likely made in a small factory somewhere like India and not for export.
 
"not a fan of round ways..."

Guess you don't like Unimats!

The QC toolpost on this one (clearly home-made) is pretty cool. Round ways again though!
I think everything on the machine is home-made, I contacted the seller to ask where and who made it. Though def. not in India, someone made it around this place, I guess in neighboring Serbia.

EDIT: The seller confirmed that the machine is "hand-made" but does not know who and when it was made.

ns
 
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It doesn't look shop made, but in any case it looks like a marginal piece of equipment. That said...if you told me it was produced in some remote part of the world where a person couldn't get one of the millions of comparable/better lathes, I'd give it some credit.
 
If you're going to salute shop made machines, at least it ought to be something with some more interesting design ideas such as Alan Jackson's Stepperhead lathe. This is in turn based on an earlier design from the 50's (I think) but isn't everything based on prior art?
 
That triangular insert holder on the stepperhead lathe is an answer to a question no one asked....
Well, SOMEONE asked it and I think the original pattent holder was Urwick or something like that.

It gets to some basics of machine design and manufacturing. That is, round holes are the fastest kind of feature to produce, but if it needs radial positioning as well there's a big problem The triangular gib key actually locks radial position quite accurately and locking axial position at the same time is a freeby.
 
did anyone else bother to google kupujem prodajem...

KupujemProdajem is the most popular Serbian classified ads website. As of October 2022, this online platform has over 4.5 million active listings for sale, and more than 2.5 million registered users. It is one of the most visited websites in Serbia. Wikipedia


it could be ok. no tailstock, no chuck...2nd op machine.
 
For a DIY machine they did alright. At first glance it looks to have about the work envelope of a typical tool room lathe (10-12" swing) and for that I'd agree with the above posts that it is under equipped for that work,
BUT
looking at the other pictures it looks like it was outfitted for small intricate work like watchmaking. For that kind of work where you are typically working with small diameter soft metals, It likely is more than ridged enough and won't see enough production use to wear it out TOO fast. The added swing may have just been insurance if it was needed, but it's a bit like having the option to mount a pick-up bed to the roof of a Mazda Miata. It might be just what you need a couple times, but other times it'll get you in trouble.

Even still, they could have done a lot worse. This thing would likely out class what you can buy at Harbor Freight.

Making my own manual lathe from scratch is way down there on my bucket list of things to do, though highly unlikely to happen in this life-time. Mine would involve custom patterns and castings. The design being an amalgamation of a thousand different lathe features I'd wish were rolled into one. Things like taking the shapely massive castings of early Hendey's, Pratt & Whitney's, Langs, Whitcomb Blaisdell's, Monarch's, etc., but making it as a slant bed with replicable hardened way inserts, enclosed and dial selected feed gear box, hearing-bone gears, mechanical spindle controls at the apron, variable speed spindle drive, fully integrated taper attachment, integrated splash pan and covers, central lubrication system, and lots more. All of it fitting in a lathe in the 14-16" swing range. One can dream....
 
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If you're going to salute shop made machines, at least it ought to be something with some more interesting design ideas such as Alan Jackson's Stepperhead lathe. This is in turn based on an earlier design from the 50's (I think) but isn't everything based on prior art?
Salute? maybe, not sure, I didn't go to see the lathe, also I am not interested in acquiring a lathe that someone has made in the shop. I don't think a machine that is self made has some value except to the person who made it, or maybe inherited it. However, that is why I said it was either too expensive or too cheap, it depends to whom.
Design is really nothing special, I don't think so, only someone's effort to build it to this detail I I would "salute" sure. I dont think it is very desirable design or execution for someone to buy, but it is interesting to note and discuss, this is a machining forum so why not? Also, again, some are still in disbelieve that it is shop made, so that kinda backs me up there.

Stepperhead lathe sure is a jewel to look at, possible to operate it as well. I would like to build something like that for myself, sure but I would design it differently (to suite my needs/whishes i dont know). Would I buy it? NO.

regards,
ns
 
did anyone else bother to google kupujem prodajem...

KupujemProdajem is the most popular Serbian classified ads website. As of October 2022, this online platform has over 4.5 million active listings for sale, and more than 2.5 million registered users. It is one of the most visited websites in Serbia. Wikipedia


it could be ok. no tailstock, no chuck...2nd op machine.
I didn't think it was relevant, however I did mention that it is possibly made in Serbia.

regards,
ns
 
If I were building my own lathe, it would have a big swing, like 36" or more, and a short bed, like 48" or less. It would also have a big spindle hole, like 24" cuz I'm so tired of stuff not fitting in the hole. It would weigh about 10 tons and have ball screws. And DRO on all three axises's.
 
If I were building my own lathe, it would have a big swing, like 36" or more, and a short bed, like 48" or less. It would also have a big spindle hole, like 24" cuz I'm so tired of stuff not fitting in the hole. It would weigh about 10 tons and have ball screws. And DRO on all three axises's.

Plain bearing spindle? Rolling element bearings of any accuracy that size will be X-pricey...
 








 
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