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  1. #1
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    Default Looking for a new lathe

    Kent USA Lathes | Kent USA

    Has anyone out there had any experience with these lathes?
    i'm looking at the 1440.

    thanks

  2. #2
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    This will be locked soon for being about a Chi Com lathe. I checked the site and they have no information about the lathe other then swing, CC, Hp and spindle bore. No mention of rpm, feeds threads etc. They insist you give them your physical address and email so they can send you the info that should be on their site. I suppose they switch suppliers with every container load so they really have no idea on what they are selling next month.
    I do love how they come up with brand names to sound more American. Like Kent, Bolton, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Birmingham etc. Is the Baileigh lathe made in China or in India in Bollywood?
    Bill D.

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  4. #3
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    I personally don't think it should be locked.

    We are talking about a machine with a clutched spindle, with D1- camlock nose, I/M threading, in the 2000# territory.

    IMO that's not "home shop grade".

    What I think you get based on taking apart a Clausing Metosa (similar size, weight, swing etc, and not made in USA) to resolve some issues with the tailstock out of alignment with spindle center is this...

    1. all the "sliding way" components are ground to size and then assembled. There is no scraping. I say this out of objectivity only, not to condemn the brand or country of origin. Obviously it keeps skilled labor costs down to continue the price point.

    2. the way wipers are iffy, keep the machine very clean. The tailstock issues above were a result of chips going under the tailstock base way wipers, then getting jammed/brinnelled into the ground surface by the over-center clamping lever. I went around with a flat scraper and dug out the swarf, things got much better then. I made a mental note that I need to take apart the apron next time we have downtime as that's likely in a similar situation.

    Anyway, to address the OP, I have no experience with a Kent.

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  6. #4
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    Another one thinking this isn't quite home shop grade. They offer manual oil country lathes. HBMs and full sized machining centers, which is a little outside the scope of HF and the big green bear. Additional info such as feeds, rpms and threads is provided by clicking on "explore"

    They seem to be clones of the generic "House Brand" that is sold by most non hobbiest machinery suppliers.

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  8. #5
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    I'm not looking for a "home shop grade" lathe.
    I supervise the Tool Shop that supports manufacturing.
    i am looking to replace an old and tired 1440 lathe that we currently have.

  9. #6
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    What's your budget?

  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt_isserstedt View Post
    I personally don't think it should be locked.
    I don't think so either, they make nice equipment. I have a friend that has a lathe and a mill of theirs. Very nice machines, and not too cheap.

    I would consider them to be a machine that would be purchased in a production shop.

  11. #8
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    I see they are $6500-ish. I didn't look at the tooling included.

    I'd find a used 17x40 Whacheon for that money. Very durable, very accurate machines with parts support. Just sayin'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Long Tom View Post
    I see they are $6500-ish. I didn't look at the tooling included.

    I'd find a used 17x40 Whacheon for that money. Very durable, very accurate machines with parts support. Just sayin'.
    I think it depends on which model you get...like everything else...I would think my friend paid more for his...so maybe we're talking about different machines. His was more similar to a Sharp.

    I don't know much about them, but just that I have used his a few times and it's a nice machine. His mill is nice also. Both are Kent USA. (what does that mean if they aren't made in the USA ?

  13. #10
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    I don't know anything about the lathes, but I have a Kent surface grinder. When people ask how I like it, I say it is a good, cheap grinder. It is not a top grade grinder but I didn't pay for one. It has done a great job for me. It is 20 years old, so that may not have much bearing on this issue and I only mention it because when getting accessories for it, I found that the grinders sold under the Kent name were made in different places and were not necessarily interchangeable. The same grinders were sold with other names. Kent is a marketing company, not a manufacturer.

    Bill

  14. #11
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    Plenty of info:RML-1440VT Precision Engine Lathe | Kent USA
    Weighs a bit more than "Home Quality"

  15. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenh View Post
    Plenty of info:RML-1440VT Precision Engine Lathe | Kent USA
    Weighs a bit more than "Home Quality"
    That lathe looks identical to the SouthBend 1440 EVS lathes I purchased about 8 years ago, which have been surprisingly good machines for anything built in the last two decades. The cross nut is tensioned with a half height jam nut that constantly loosens, but is an easy fix. A handful of fasteners were of questionable quality and were replaced. But otherwise they have been very good machines for prototyping and fixture support. The Taiwanese lathe has nowhere near the cutting torque of my Monarch CK12, but the CK doesn't have the range of speeds either.

  16. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenh View Post
    Plenty of info:RML-1440VT Precision Engine Lathe | Kent USA
    Weighs a bit more than "Home Quality"
    My friend's lathe is nothing like that. That looks like a cheap chiwan clone. My friend's looks more like a Sharp which is a copy of an HLV.

    His lathe looks more like this:

    Last edited by traditional-tools; 05-13-2014 at 03:55 PM. Reason: Add image of lathe

  17. #14
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    That price tag and according to the brochure 3,4 jaws chuck steady rest follower face plate and a bunch of other things are "OPTIONAL" I am not expert but "SUMMIT" got same lathe little higher but everything is standard and they claim "MANUFACTURED IN OKLAHOMA"

  18. #15
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    I think these Kent lathes are made by the Shun Chuan factory in Taiwan who makes Sunmaster brand machines.
    Pretty good machines what I've read

    New Taiwanese Gunsmithing Lathe - finally here...
    High Speed Precision Lathes Series of SUN MASTER, Professional Lathe Supplier.

  19. #16
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    Seller called this Whacheon "well equipped" and said make an offer.

    LeBlond Engine Lathe | eBay

    Fantastic machines. I'm working in mine right now. I'd buy another one of these a million times over before I bought a Kent "mystery meat" lathe.

    Edit: the forum software shows this link as a LeBlonde. It's actually a Whacheon WL-435.

  20. #17
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    I am no expert on all the Kent models,but the one that the maintenance blacksmith shop in the museum bought,was about as miserable a POS as I have seen in a new lathe. It was a 13" or 14" lathe. THe ways were TINY little things for some reason. It had a very annoying QC box on it that you had to re arrange gears frequently to cut different threads with. I mean,SMALL groups of threads could be cut with each arrangement. Piss poor engineering IMHO.

    I did not examine the lathe more closely than to note these short comings,because I very quickly lost interest in it after seeing these features.

    I'd advise looking at the charts on the QC box of any Asian lathe you consider. There is no reason that you should have to re arrange the gear train so much as on this lathe. I mean,we've only been making QC gearboxes for about 100 years by now. Learn how to do it.

  21. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by oinotnasiul View Post
    I am not expert but "SUMMIT" got same lathe little higher but everything is standard and they claim "MANUFACTURED IN OKLAHOMA"
    Where do they claim that? Lathes | Manual Lathe | Manual Lathes I just spent 5 minutes looking. You would be hard pressed to find a country of origin for any of their lathes.

    I think you will find they are Bulgarian and Taiwanese.

    Phil.

  22. #19
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    Mystery meat. Meh.

  23. #20
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    Ray,
    These look like decent machines. I am relatively certain they are Taiwan made, not mainland Chinese machines. My advice is if you buy one, buy it fully tooled with all the accessories. The mainland machines are mostly noted by limited speed and threading ranges. I noticed these machines go from 40 to 2000 RPM, which is fine. So be certain all the change gears for threading are available, the taper attachment uses a differential cross feed screw so you still have use of cross feed when the taper attachment is in use and if you buy one, make it known that you will measure the machine upon arrival for spec compliance before use. Take the time and do it. If you have any faults, find them then and there, not later, otherwise restitution if required could be difficult. By the way, that's good advice no matter what machine you buy. Most of the individual specs are available if you down load the brochure. It did not state if they have hardened ways, perhaps you should ask. It won't matter to you, but it will help resale value.


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