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quality taiwan 13x40/14x40 lathes


Cast Iron
Sep 19, 2017

Looking for a good quality $10-15k lathe for non-production work... solid but
not absolutely massive. Going into a basement but can be rigged in by
a Bilco door. This would be a 1340 or 1440-size machine.

I've been looking for a nice Clausing Colchester 13 ('70's vintage) or earlier,
and just finding worn machines in the NY/NJ area. So I'm considering new.
I don't really have the time to search out hard to find deals and move on them quickly, and
the machinery dealers I've talked to want a lot of money for questionable condition

I'll probably get a geared head and then put a reasonable VFD on it.

There are a bunch of older threads on this topic, here's my current research
such as it is, if anyone has pointers that would be helpful.

Considered brands/machines:

- Acer 1440G or V (have some experience with them)
- Lagun Turnmaster AT-1340-G
- Kent TRL1340 aka SunMaster ERL1340
- Willis 1440 aka Jesco Studturn 1440

The Kents (from Sun Master in Taiwan) are also available from lots of other
places. Willis seems to be reselling Jesco machines.

These models (2200lb or so) seem very similar. Anything to differentiate them?

Some are D1-4 and D1-5 spindles. That probably doesn't matter too much for my

Acer tells me they're no longer shipping the 1440G/V with a cast iron base, unless
you special order it that way. So the weight on the Acer 1440 is well below 2000lbs.

It seems while the Clausing Colchesters of the 1977-ish vintage had 16 speeds
via gears, all of the above have 8 gears and a two-speed motor (in the geared

It seems none of the above have matrix-type clutches anymore, the motor is on or
off. It seems these are all oil bath types in the 13-14" category, rather than
a pump arrangement as with the Colchester machines I've seen.

The Lagun Turnmaster 1340-G seems an exception... they're now doing a 3-V design, and at
a significantly higher price ($16k without any accessories, $19k with accessories and DRO),
whereas the other machines are in the $10-12k range with generally some chucks,
steady rests, etc. Lagun seems cagey about saying who makes their machine.

It would be nice to have a taper attachment (telescoping preferred). None of the
dealers seemed to be able to answer whether they're telescoping or not. Maybe as
infrequently as I'd use the taper a non-telescoping would be fine.

So anyone with experience with these machines that could offer input
would be appreciated. I can run a new Acer nearby at the distributor, the rest
I'd not be able to run at all.

I'm leaning slightly toward Acer because I can run it (probably the actual machine I
end up getting), and they've been around a long time and probably will continue to
have parts long into the future. Some of the others are well established and some
are just sales front-ends.



Jan 24, 2007
Mountain Home AR.
I hope I don't get too flamed for this! The South Bend 14X40 SB 1039F can be had for 14,000 + $375 shipping with a Fagor DRo
from Grizzly. They have parts and very good customer service. My 13X30 has been flawless for almost 2 years.


Jun 16, 2006
Near Seattle
I have a brand new (about 5 weeks) Grizzly/SB 14x40 (SB1012F) - which comes with VFD and fagor DRO. Seems to be much better class of machine that some of the Gizzly branded lathes on the floor next to it. (Remember, Grizzly is really an importer rather than a brand, so some machines quite good some more problematic - they seem to put the southbend name on much better stuff - at least so far.)

Haven't done elborate tests, but so far have been able to make good parts.

It's a camlock D1-6 spindle.

So like @howieranger, I think it's worth a look.


Mar 2, 2012
Geilenkirchen, Germany
Hi Phil,
I am not familiar with all the brands you have mentioned, but as an owner of a late model 13x40 SB (Korean), I can give some points to look out for. First, the size you are looking for is the ideal size for a single lathe operation. Spindle type is important for both availability and accessory cost reasons. It should be D1-4 or D1-6, where D1-4 is more common and the D1-6 will have a larger through hole through the spindle. Avoid D1-3 and Di-5, they are hard to find stuff for (think cost). Pay close attention to spindle speeds and speed range. Speeds must include a low speed of about 50 rpm. Speeds above 2000 rpm are not so important in the desired spindle size. Avoid two speed motors. The better lathes will have at least 12 speed gear selections. Pay close attention to the number of thread selections available. The cheap lathes are quite limited. Be certain the chosen lathe will cut both metric and inch threads. Separate change gears are OK, be sure to order them if required. Be certain to order the lathe with a TA, collet closer (5C), steady rest and follower rest, as they will be very hard to acquire after initial purchase. A clutch and brake would be very desirable if you wish to cut metric threads with an inch lead screw, but they appear to be quite uncommon in that size lathe. Just those requirements alone will eliminate most of the available junk that's out there. Even if you don't intend to use a TA or collets, having them will greatly enhance the sale ability if you should wish the sell the machine at a later date.


Mar 2, 2012
Geilenkirchen, Germany
Another point to consider, the presence of a DRO will very likely eliminate the use of a follower rest. Now, the importance of that is a personal choice thing, but I consider the follower rest far more important than a DRO. Also, on many of the offerings, the gear cover at the left side of the machine will be a removable thing as opposed to a swinging door and that is a big PIA, because the end gears and idler need to be oiled every time you use the machine. If you have to remove the door to oil, you invariably won't lube as often as you should......jus sayin!


Hot Rolled
May 14, 2011
Bridgeton NJ
I am in south NJ and I purchased a nice south bend turnado 17" x 54? About a 11' long machine. It runs great being from 1965. My machine shop has a shorter one but they say the one I have is much tighter and seems to be barely worn.

I got it from a used equipment dealer. Just have to be patient.

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