I know a guy in Pleasanton, just south of you, that has a 1940 model LeBlonde round head 13" lathe, I believe it is for sale. It's in fair shape, still cuts good. If interested send me a PM and I'll forward your contact information to him. Ken
well, it was actually $3750 after fees but before rigging costs. No idea what they were as the auctioneer didn't post them but there were stiff conditions ($2m liability insurance for one) for doing it yourself. Could have been a couple hundred, could have been a couple of thousand. No idea. Maybe they disclosed the rigging costs in person or over the phone but I wasn't interested in any of the larger stuff so I didn't ask.
As for another example from that crazy auction - a 1" HF belt sander (retail $55+tax before discount coupon) went for $100 PLUS fees. Enough to get two of them new.
The EE is definitely worth a look. Don't rule out machines that aren't 'favorites/darlings' (south bends, hardinge, all the big boys monarch, leblond) of hobbyists either. There's plenty of very good 'off brand' japanese and taiwanese iron out there too - takisawa, enco's, etc.. Many are very good. nOte that some of them won't cut all threads though...
One last thing - you can often get a big lathe for a lot cheaper than a crappier small one, because people don' want to or don' know how to move them. If you have the trailer and hauling capacity, and the place to put it, you can score some seriously good iron. SB 9's and 10's are expensive because people are willing to move them. The 4000 pound monarch next to it is 1000 times the lathe, but your average hobbyist isn't going to even consider trying to move it.
I have a SB 16 (my only manual lathe), and often wish I had gone bigger/more modern.
Ant is certainly right- a big lathe... an industrial lathe... usually comes at a much higher value-per-dollar than a smaller one. Frequently tooling comes with 'em too!
Because guys with hobbyist inclinations want something that they can get their buddies to help carry 'em into the basement... or something that 'doesn't take up much space in the garage".
I was in this boat once, but decided I was tired of it. I went big, and never turned back.
When you go looking for a lathe, do expect 3 phase. Don't expect tooling. Do expect greasy, dirty, possibly a rusty patina. Plan on scrubbin' the heck out of it to find out what all the ID PLATES (not stickers, right?) say.
Don't dive in and start taking off the headstock and rippin' it down for restoration. Oftentimes, these things were assembled with particular care (sometimes shims carefully placed) to grant that precision test cut. Get it home, get it cleaned, get it powered up, lubricated, with some basic tooling, and work with it a bit before you start dismantling it for any reason.
Expect it to be 3ph, but don't get bent on fears that you couldn't power it... Even if it's 480-3. If it's 28hp, and you've got a 12x18 garage with a piece of 12-3 Romex direct buried 90 feet from the house, then we'll have some work to do, but do NOT let any power circumstance, or even the machine's weight, prevent you from getting a good machine.
And just to clarify... moving a machine is NOT difficult... it just requires appropriate scalar thought. I moved my 10EE with a 5000lb capacity tandem-axle car hauler. It was set on with forklift by government-issue riggers at the auction site, and I lifted it off with a chain-fall, then shuffled it to position with a pallet jack. I actually built a pallet that bolted to the 3-point stance of the machine, and has fork pockets UNDER to fit the jack from all four sides, OR a forklift, and it won't tip... never regretted that... did same with my little bridgeport and the Johannsen radial drill too.
There's lots of tooling you won't need. There's some tooling you WILL need (to get started) and as you go, you'll find things that you WANT in your tooling. If you only get ONE chuck, get a 4-jaw independant. You can center any workpiece (round, square, hexagon, etc), and you can intentionally offset to create eccentric mechanisms... or intentionally offset to correct a problem in a piece you're attempting to repair.
Don't buy a lathe because it has a quick change toolpost. Buy a lathe. If it doesn't have a quick-change, then get a QCTP kit. That being said, if you find a fully-operational Hendy or Monarch with an Aloris, and the price is $800 cash-and-carry, don't wait more than a half a heartbeat to grab-and-go. Don't be surprised if the police follow you, just be ready to prove your purchase was legit... :-)
Thanks Dave Kamp. I have been looking into power converters, tooling, have a tractor with forks on my end (to help with moving), and a good friend who knows big machining equipment and how to rig/move it.
I'll never have 3-phase at my place because I am near the end of the grid and there is only single phase on the pole. But after reading more I know it does not need to be a hindrance just having 240 (single phase). Even things like single to three-phase VFDs with soft starts can help with big current spikes, no?
And some of us just want a little lathe, I have medium lathes already, and a forklift, but what I'm looking for is something in the 10" swing with 24 to 36" centers, gearhead, taper attachment, and of course fully tooled, ideally American made, try filling that order cheap! I've talked myself out of spending too much on one twice now, because it gets down to I don't need it, I just want it.
I have a 1941 SB 13 x 60 lathe w/ 3-ph motor and VFD setup to run on single phase 220V. I completely rebuilt it. It has tooling, chucks, collets, milling attachment, quick change tool post. I non longer need a lathe and could use the space/money.
I'm in your price range but located in Los Angeles. Reach out if you wish to know more. [email protected]