Smart and Brown 1024 & Thiel Duplex 155 worth it?
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  1. #1
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    Default Smart and Brown 1024 & Thiel Duplex 155 worth it?

    Hi all

    I'm looking to get into metal machining as a hobby. After watching videos online of people using lathes other metal cutting machines awhile ago its always been my dream to have a small space with a lathe and mill just to tinker about building stuff. Two weeks ago I noticed the above machines pop up locally for sale and I mentioned to my friends how disappointed I was that I have no garage to use them. Turns out my friend is going to give me a 3.5m x 1.6m space in his for a good price.

    I'm looking to purchase the two machines but I feel the lathe is over valued for its condition plus its going to need a rotary converter to run. I don't really know much about the mill apart from its very compact.

    The machines are being sold as the last owner is no longer with us so its down to me to inspect and discover any issues. If anyone could offer any advice with either machine and their value i would greatly appreciate it. I don't have many pictures to post but I have a 2nd visit to inspect them so will post more later.

    Smart & Brown 1024 £1800
    sb-1024.jpg

    Thiel Duplex 155 £2200
    thiel-155.jpg

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    Welcome to the forums Colm, I can't be of specific help on these machines other than suggest at least with the Thiel, to try on the Deckel forum. Jim

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    Thanks Jim. I'm in the UK (Isle of Man) so my other option is to pick up Warco branded Chinese machines. I would be paying 4k for a lathe and 2.5k for a mill going the Warco route but its piece of mind knowing the ways / sliding surfaced would be virgin. I hope to join in and learn from the PM community and share my experience going forward.

    I'm new to posting in forums. Do I post a link to this thread there or should I start a new thread basically asking for the same advice?

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    If the machines are in fair to good working order, those prices are nigh a steal, …………………..IMO (and that of others) you cannot mention Warco in the same sentence as S&B & Thiel

    FYI Smart & Brown Model 1024 lathe

    & Thiel 58 Miller

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    There is a Smart & Brown lathes Yahoo Group with a lot of great info. It's Yahoo, synonymous with clumsy, but the info is accessible after a fashion.

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    He who hesitates is lost.

    allan

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    Thanks very much for your input Limy.

    I was very excited about the S&B 1024 as I did read over the information on Lathes.co.uk but I have seen similar 1024s on on Ebay going for £1200 and £1500 so the asking price of 1800 struck me as pricey. 3 years ago I opted out of picking up a Warco 13 inch lathe as I sold my 250cc two stroke I had stored in my dads garage, the buyer asked why I was selling it and I mentioned my dad agreed a lathe could go in the bikes old spot. He said he had a Colchester Bantam mk2. I took the Bantam in good faith as everyone speaks against Chinese lathes. I fitted a new motor, VFD, QCTP, tooling. When I started cutting I realised I was getting chatter on reasonable cuts and on light cuts I would end up having the profile of the bed wear being cut into the work piece. The machine was automatically turning out butt plugs. I ended up selling the Bantam at a massive loss. The tail stock would not be repeatable on the ways too. I started looking into scraping and then the equipment to map and measure my scraping progress. In the end I sold the Bantam and felt I would have had a better experience with a Warco lathe.

    I do understand that Chinese lathes are built to a price and lathes like the 1024 are not but its £1800 for the lathe. £800 for the 3 phase rotary. I don't want to be at £2600 with a lathe that might leave me in the same position as the Bantam. I have seen other peoples 1024s and they look beautiful after some restoration but I feel they originally came to the machine that had been well looked after.

    At what point would you consider the lathe not fit Limy? If you were coming to look at that machine... other than operating all the gears in the gearbox and headstock, seeing that the controls function as they would is there anything you would want to see the machine do?

    I'm planning on taking some metal stock with me and turning it down 16 inch from tail to chuck between centres. Maybe something similar with the stock just held in the chuck.

    I have never operated a mill before so I'm just going to wing it. I just wish the original owner was around to run it though its paces.

    Thanks for the hot tip rklopp. I will get onto the yahoo group now and see if anyones up for a chat.

    Cheers guys!

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    Greetings from Down Under, Colm. Have a proper look at both machines even if you can't put power to either: take your time doing it, make notes and use a camera. Look for dings on the bedways and other signs of damage. Toolroom quality machines like these are usually owned by people who do know how to get the best out of them. Am not familiar with Smart and Brown but Thiel 58 is an excellent machine design. Have used one of these for 20 years in a mate's workshop and would buy one without hesitation. Don't suggest you buy Chinese anything instead, unless of course you do want a decent boat anchor! I agree with everything Limy Sami has said.

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    I am not familiar with the 155 but Thiel machines are excellent ,just make sure that the spindle isn't an odd fitting as getting more tooling for my 158 has been impossible so far. Although the going rate for Smart and Brown lathes seems to be very low at the moment it could still be a good buy if it is local to you, just make sure condition is OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colm View Post
    Thanks very much for your input Limy.

    I was very excited about the S&B 1024 as I did read over the information on Lathes.co.uk but I have seen similar 1024s on on Ebay going for £1200 and £1500 so the asking price of 1800 struck me as pricey. 3 years ago I opted out of picking up a Warco 13 inch lathe as I sold my 250cc two stroke I had stored in my dads garage, the buyer asked why I was selling it and I mentioned my dad agreed a lathe could go in the bikes old spot. He said he had a Colchester Bantam mk2. I took the Bantam in good faith as everyone speaks against Chinese lathes. I fitted a new motor, VFD, QCTP, tooling. When I started cutting I realised I was getting chatter on reasonable cuts and on light cuts I would end up having the profile of the bed wear being cut into the work piece. The machine was automatically turning out butt plugs. I ended up selling the Bantam at a massive loss. The tail stock would not be repeatable on the ways too. I started looking into scraping and then the equipment to map and measure my scraping progress. In the end I sold the Bantam and felt I would have had a better experience with a Warco lathe.

    I do understand that Chinese lathes are built to a price and lathes like the 1024 are not but its £1800 for the lathe. £800 for the 3 phase rotary. I don't want to be at £2600 with a lathe that might leave me in the same position as the Bantam. I have seen other peoples 1024s and they look beautiful after some restoration but I feel they originally came to the machine that had been well looked after.

    At what point would you consider the lathe not fit Limy? If you were coming to look at that machine... other than operating all the gears in the gearbox and headstock, seeing that the controls function as they would is there anything you would want to see the machine do?

    !
    Assuming the spindle ran and all the gear feeds etc etc, I'd want to run it - on the basic checking operations and assess the results, ……….no offence intended, but it sounds like you've little experience of machine tools, ……….have you someone with the knowledge and experience you can take with you to assess the machines? ……...IMO experience is the key.


    FWIW I've seen pristine looking m/tools - almost factory fresh - that were totally knackered;- f'kd beyond belief ………..and those that looked like they'd been used to clean out concrete mixers that were really good machines.

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    Default Advice from an honest machine tool dealer.


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    Question - did you level the Bantam? A brand new lathe that isn't leveled is going to cut a taper.

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    Cheers Quaamaboy. I can understand why you and Limy would want to steer people away from import machines if old iron is available / practical. The garage does have a 3 phase rotary converter so I can put the machine under power. The issue I had with the lathe was that low/med motor speed would engage but when trying high speed the lathe and rotary would pulse and not run. I'm guessing the rotary is not powerful enough to start up the motor in high rather than a fault with the machine. I made the mistake of picking up a lemon with the Colchester because I was too keen and green to know better. The machines are going to have wear in them but I just have trouble with what would be considered exceptable wear.

    Limy your spot on that I have little experience. My friends dad has a old lathe and mill dating back to WW2 I believe and I once got a look at a bike he was building from scratch that blew me away. Hes on holiday for 2 weeks but hes a nice chap and once hes back I will ask him to come down and check the machines over with me.

    Thanks for the links Rudd. I was reading over them a few days ago in a panic trying to brush up on what to look out for. I did level the bantam. I drilled and sank 4 bolts into the concrete with nuts to lift and lower each foot of the lathe. Borrowed a engineers level and got the ways in plane with each other. Using a precision ground rod between centres I mapped the bar vertically by sweeping a dial indicator under it for a distance of 24 inches. It showed that there was a consistent drop running out to the tailstock ( i was planning on shimming the tailstock ) but the readings getting closer to the headstop gave you the impression that the saddle was jumping off a cliff and then a few inches before geatting to the headstock the saddle you shoot to the moon.

    Putting a centre in the 4 jaw rather than using a centre in the head stocks MT4.5 bore would get me past the worst of it but I didn't want to run every part between centres like this and it just wasn't practical. The cross slides nut was made from aluminium and if you adjusted the gibs up nice you would end up with them binding constantly. I did buy some scrapers and a copy of "Machine Tool Reconditioning: and Applications of Hand Scraping" and is a fantastic read but I gave up shortly after.

    There is also a Myford MG10 there that hes willing to throw in if I take everything out the garage but I just don't have the space for it I guess its also possible to have a machines sent from the UK to the island if these machines turn out problematic.

    Time will tell. I will update this thread with pictures and the findings when my friends dad gets back from his hols.

    myford-mg10.jpg
    dsc_0295.jpg

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    Well it looks like i will be picking these machines up. My dads mentioned that i could use his garage (its 5 mins from where i live) but i have to cut out cardboard squares 1st to show him the foot prints of the machines just so he knows what hes letting himself in for.

    I just have one question. The lathe has a 3 speed motor. Is it possible to wire a VFD to the high speed winding (2.5hp) forgetting the other 2 windings? Its £1200 for a 5hp rotary converter plus the issues of getting it here to the island.

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    I had a Clausing Colchester Student with a 2 speed motor and did have it wired to just run off the low side, (VFD).
    I did have a drawing to run both speeds from the VFD. I bet someone here can tell you if you can run all 3 speeds from one.

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    I did enjoy running a S+B 1024 years ago, even though it was designed for a guy 5'4" tall! (I'm 6' even). Depending on your height you may need to block it higher.

    Congrats on your purchase.

    L7

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    Lucky 7 I'm a 6' lanky chap too. The blocks idea is a good one. It might help moving it out from the wall and leveling while on blocks. Will source some before dropping it in.

    I have decided to stick with a rotary converter as I sourced a 11kw one that's a lil cheaper than the new one.

    There is a problem with the lathe though. Low and med speed fire up fine but the high speed clicks and pulses both the lathe and rotary converter, the lathe can not fire up in high speed.

    I'm now worried that I'm about to pick up and move a lathe that's a lemon. For the price I would expect the machine to be able to run. It's got no cross power feed. The thread dial has been replaced with a shop made one and needs to be helped along with a screw driver and taps of a hammer. The oil on the ways looked dry and crusty and I can see grooves in the ways so I'm guessing the oiler blocked up years ago and the owner didn't care to fix or oil the machine. I thought the high speed issue was a under powered rotary but their rotary is 5.5hp rated so should be good for a 1024

    On top of this my dad has fallen ill so plan B is to use my friends garage instead.

    I like repairing stuff but trying to get to the back of that extremely heavy lathe and it's huge motor might be to much for me in the tight space I was allocated. Worst case is it need a new motor and mounting plate for motor. It's more money 😞

    Its a hobby I always wanted to get into but now it's keeping me awake at night thinking I might be throwing my savings down the bog.

    Anyone have any ideas or tips going forward?


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