Advise on possible purchase of Clausing 6913
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  1. #1
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    Default Advise on possible purchase of Clausing 6913

    Any thoughts on the Clausing 6913? Total newbie to machining but not to mechanics in general.
    Here's the link Facebook Marketplace: USA MADE REDUCED Clausing 6913 14x40 Single Phase 220 volt Lathe Open to Offers - Tools - Charlotte, North Carolina

    I was really hunting down a good deal for a milling machine as that's what I want first but read up that this is a decent machine and also pretty decent for gunsmithing.

    As I don't know anyone in the machining world, this forum has became my new best friend!

    Ad reads as follows "Clausing 6913 14x40 Single Phase 220 volt Lathe. Harden ways. Has 3 jaw chuck, 4 jaw chuck, and face plate. the lathe runs but The vari-speed cylinder needs bleeding not sure about anything else. I just don't have time to work on it and needing room in the shop. Asking $2850 OBO"

    Thoughts, suggestions? I do want a decent mill and lathe but was planning on a mill first but if a good deal comes along I don't want to pass on it. .jpgaa.jpgaaa.jpgaaaa.jpgaaaaa.jpg

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    Looks like a nice starter size and easy to power and therefore the premium price. I recommend you study the archives on how to assess the condition of a used lathe when buying. Understand that the logic on these old machine tools is a bit inverted, bigger tends to be less expensive because it's more difficult to move and to power. If you buy this thing, you'll want to get those wheels off of it. Again, check the archives on the importance of leveling the machine.

    Have fun and be careful.

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    Fair warning, some here consider offerings from Clausing to be unmentionable on these pages.
    That being said, I use a Clausing 1300 13 x 40. Itís not the best or biggest, but it handles everything Iíve thrown at it. My guess is that the lathe youíre asking about was the predecessor (?) to mine. In any case mine has a similar hydraulic variable speed system. And like the one youíre looking at I have some issues with the hydraulics losing bleed. Itís not a complex system, basically a hydraulic plunger limits where the variable speed pulley can expand to, giving it a range of speeds. While itís not super complicated, Iíve found it easier to simply add oil than to completely disassemble the machine to change the seals. Not sure where the oil goes, but as thereís no spot on the floor I just keep adding oil. Iíve been a happy user of this machine and would recommend it. The price MAY be a little high. I paid $3000 for mine three years ago, it came with 3 & 4- jaw chucks, collet closer, a Dorian tool post and several holders as well as enough tooling to get started. Some high speed steel bits both sharpened and new as well as a handful of TCMT holders and inserts. Iím in Atlanta, GA. which isnít the best place to buy machine tools, so its likely I paid about a grand more than a comparably outfit machine would cost in the Midwest or on the west coast. The single phase motor on the machine youíre asking about likely widens the applicable market, and the pricing may reflect that.


    Jeremy

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    I have a 6913 and have been happy with it. The variable speed cylinders are cheap to rebuild. The variable speed drive has a pulley that slides on a epoxy covered shaft, there is a sleeve in the pulley that wears. If it is not replaced it can destroy the key way and coating. It can be an expensive repair. I would recommend you read up on it and inspect it. Attachments for the 6900 series are not common and can get expensive, but they do exist and come up on ebay every so often.

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    Considering I never even touched a lathe (or mill for that matter), would you recommend it? I don't know how to inspect any machine even if it was a brand new Haas So as far as inspection goes all I could do is follow some youtube videos lol I seen where the machine specific attachments are getting hard to find which kind of throws me off of it but he said he would take $1,800

    Have came across a few southbends which I heard are quite popular (like the bridgeport with mills��*♂️) maybe that's a better option but I would like my first machine to be something that'll last, work well, and hopefully hold some value over time

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    Ive read a lot of questions about speed controll on these machines,so its problematic....the other point is expanding pulleys sometimes use a dedicated belt which is very costly to replace......While I think the $1800 price is pretty steep,Im not in a position to know.....however ,are the two steadies there?.....if you are wanting to do gunsmithing ,steadies are essential,and a lot more tooling would be nice too.......also re read the forums for spindle bearing replacement....costly is likely,but not available is alot worse.

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    Assuming condition is ok, with what tooling is there, it is maybe worth $2200, at most............As said, variable speed belts can get pricey.
    Wouldn't be a bad little lathe for the home shop.

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    Heres some advice:
    Topic titles need to inform what your topic is actually about

    Try reading, comprehending, and following it.

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    I forgot to mention in my earlier post, Clausing is still around and does support their obsolete equipment... to a degree. Sit down before asking prices. They are very proud of the parts they stock for their obsolete machines. But that was a factor when I made my purchase. I knew that at the very least I could still call the company and get information. The bed is flame hardened and isnít likely to show appreciable wear.

    To do a minimum inspection before buying get yourself a magnetic base and both dial and dial test indicator. A coaxial indicator is great for checking the tail stock, but youíll need the mag base and other indicators to make sure the coax is running concentric you the spindle. You can use the coaxial indicator check if the tail stock is concentric to the spindle by sweeping the bore of the tail stock. Left to right will be adjustable at the tail stock base. Up and down discrepancies are what you should concern yourself with.

    In any case youíll need the mag base and indicators to do any real work on this lathe or any other. Aside from checking the tail stock the coaxial indicator is more of a mill tool than lathe tool in my estimation.

    The mag base and indicators will show you wear on the ways. Mount the mag base to the carriage and sweep the ways. I would advise removing the tail stock and sweeping toward the chuck. The bulk of any wear will be closer to the chuck and the carriage ways are likely untouched at the very tail end of the bed.

    The same base and indicator can be set up to show wear of the screws and nuts on the compound and cross slide, or of the gear and rack of the longitudinal travel. This isnít as important as bed wear, as typically lathe work is done in two axis, so backlash can be easily compensated for.

    At some point mount a piece of stock in the chuck. The straighter and more accurate the better. Drill rod or something similar is ideal. Get it running true with the mag base and indicators. I would advise mounting the four jaw chuck, but you can also see how bad the Pratt-Burnard (most likely) three jaw chuck is. Sweep the stock and see if it drops under its own weight. Set an indicator and check deflection of the spindle by pushing opposite the indicator on the mounted bar.

    Once youíve ascertained what the level of wear is youíll have to decide if itís within what you believe you can live with. You know what type of work you plan to use the machine for. If you need tape measure accuracy Iíd guess this machine will be more than accurate, if youíre looking to hold tenths, this may not be the machine for you. Likely it scarcely was from the factory.



    Jeremy

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Heres some advice:
    Topic titles need to inform what your topic is actually about

    Try reading, comprehending, and following it.
    His title was exactly what he was asking about. What is the problem?

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    I edited the thread title after being appraised of its wording. Mod

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Menke View Post
    I edited the thread title after being appraised of its wording. Mod
    Thanks for staying on top of these Greg, and thanks to those that take these rules to heart. I know that a very significant amount of information has come to me through Google searches that found thread titles in PM. Without good thread titles a lot of very important knowledge lays hidden from view.

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    A few questions you should probably ask yourself:

    1. Are you willing to undergo a project doing some repairs before you actually get to use the machine? The user says "needs bled" which usually means at least something more.

    2. Do you have the room? A 6913 is around 8' long; not a benchtop lathe by any means. Just know that for most hobbyist projects, 75% of that will go unused.

    3. What is your ultimate goal, and does this machine meet the need? Someone wanting to do model building needs an entirely different machine than a gunsmith.

    If you are simply asking if this is a good lathe, I personally think Clausing lathes of this vintage (5900 and 6900) are excellent. They have variable speed spindles, quick change gearboxes, LOO spindles, hardened ways, and roller bearing headstocks.

    The variable speed Reeves drives are sometimes trashed due to neglect. These can be repaired, but they can be daunting if you don't already have machine tools to fix them.

    L00 chucks and workholding are readily available, but some of the more obscure lathe-specific accessories are not. Depending on what you do, these other accessories may not be necessary.

    If you buy the lathe, join the Yahoo Clausing e-mail group. There is a wealth of knowledge on these machines, especially repairing the variable speed Reeves drive.

    $1800 seems middle of the road to me this with the accessories: 3 jaw, 4 jaw, collet adapter (Speaking of collet adapter, you may ask if it comes with the drawbar). A few things I don't like are: 1. The compound is missing its wheel. 2. The second clutch handle is missing from the carriage (much less of a concern). Some of this points back to question 1 from above.

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    I suggest you find a good friend that is familiar with operating a lathe, a good machinist that works in the trade. He will know if the lathe is worth the asking price. If it were a great price then you could take your chances with it but it's not and can be a lemon and you'll wind up spending more money to get it to usable condition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by newbiemachinist7 View Post
    Considering I never even touched a lathe (or mill for that matter), would you recommend it? I don't know how to inspect any machine even if it was a brand new Haas So as far as inspection goes all I could do is follow some youtube videos lol I seen where the machine specific attachments are getting hard to find which kind of throws me off of it but he said he would take $1,800

    Have came across a few southbends which I heard are quite popular (like the bridgeport with mills��*♂️) maybe that's a better option but I would like my first machine to be something that'll last, work well, and hopefully hold some value over time
    I don't think 1800 is out of line. It will make a good lathe, the clutch brake lever on the apron is nice, you will need to adapt a steady rest to it. Look for a manual, I think there is one on Vintage Machinery, and I would recommend taking the slave cylinder off and inspecting the drive. It really is the make or break point with these lathes. It looks like the handle for the gear box engagement is broken. Ask if he has a collet closer for it, I see the nose adapter in the pan and the locking ring on the back of the headstock. However as noted the compound hand wheel is missing, you will also need a tool post,tool holders, and a center for the tail stock, at a minimum. I think you would be buying a project, I have seen a lot of well tooled clausing 5900s in the $2500 range, and accessories are easier to find. But if the drive is good you can always by a parts lathe

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    My take is "needs bleeding = broken". It's like all the CL ads that say a car just needs a charge for the AC to work when it really needs a compressor. He's getting rid of it because it doesn't currently work and for some reason he's chosen not to fix it before sale. If I was serious about buying it, I might price up the parts costs to repair it then try to talk the guy down from his current price to something significantly lower. It's like buying a non-running car. You don't really know what the problem is. It could be the battery or a blown motor.

    The earlier advice about buying a project lathe is spot on. I made that mistake. If the lathe needs work, you might need another lathe to make the part to get it actually working. Or not depending on what's broken.

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    [Ad reads as follows "Clausing 6913 14x40 Single Phase 220 volt Lathe. Harden ways. Has 3 jaw chuck, 4 jaw chuck, and face plate. the lathe runs but The vari-speed cylinder needs bleeding not sure about anything else. I just don't have time to work on it and needing room in the shop. Asking $2850 OBO"]

    That lathe has been run hard, abused, neglected, and put to pasture.
    I believe you will find the apron has issues of very worn parts the will make it a expensive repair.
    Have a friend that purchased the exact same lathe from HGR for around $1K. It's turned out to be a long drawn out process of repairing and rebuilding it into a decent lathe again. I've been helping him a little bit when he needs help. And he has purchased a couple of parts from Clausing that were not cheap either.
    I agree with other posters, there are a few lathes out there in better shape with decent tooling for around the same price. Not to say this one couldn't be made into a good lathe again. It just time and money to do so. $2850 is way too high for this one. Realistically, maybe $1200 at tops. If you insist on this lathe, offer $750 and see what happens. That seller needs a reality check on what his gold mind is really worth!
    Ken

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    I have no experience with that model, but do use a Colchester Clausing 15x48 at work. Very well made machine and compared to South Bend they are more of a modern machine. If this was the only lathe I'd seen for sale for awhile, I'd try to negotiate for a better price. If you have other machine's available like the South Bend's for a better price, I'd go for those (accounting for it's condition). The're a simpler machine that will be easier to troubleshoot and get up and running. They hold their value well enough, and parts and accessories come up online too. Depending on the age and model, they might not have all the function and utility of a newer lathe, but they'll do the same job.

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