Jones & Lamson turret lathe 5 or 7
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  1. #1
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    Default Jones & Lamson turret lathe 5 or 7

    Hey guys,

    For quite a while I've had the interest in finding a turret lathe and tend to prefer the J&L over any other brands....probably a New England thing. Anyway, I am on the fence of either a #5 or a #7. The 5 is a ram type and the 7is a saddle type. I see the differences in design, but are unsure what difference it actually makes between the two styles. Is one more or less versatile than the other?
    Any remarks on one versus the other?

    Why do I want a turret lathe? I don't really know. I love machinery and just think these are really neat. It's not for the purpose of making profit. But, it would be fun to set up and use on some projects.

    thanks,
    Mark

  2. #2
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    unsure what difference it actually makes between the two styles
    7 is heavy duty (no ram to wave around) and 5 isn't

  3. #3
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    In simple terms the ram machines were commonly used for bar work and the saddle machines more for chucking work. Some bar machines were set up with master collets and bar feeders for production. Some of the saddle machines had the added feature of a cross sliding turret for more versatility. Saddle machines were generally larger and heavier to accomadate bigger work (Warner Swasey A types or Gisholt L types). A key to getting the most out of these machines is proper tooling. Without it the possibilities are limited. Try to get all the tooling with the machine.

  4. #4
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    I've found a J&L 7a that has very little use and an interesting history. But, it's a 7a which comes standard with a 3" spindle bore. If I was going to buy a turret lathe, I'd go for the biggest spindle bore possible. I have no particular use in mind for a turret lathe so I don't need a large bore, but the large bore leave it open to bigger work.
    The 7a that is available I have not personally inspected. The guys that have it seem to be interested in finding it a good home where it will be appreciated. They also seem knowledgeable about machinery and no reason to hide anything.
    So, would you prefer a 3" spindle bore on a low hour "like-new" machine or a large spindle bore on a very experienced machine? I already know this is a unanswerable question as I haven't given any parameters that the machine will be working in. Talking about it a bit might help me decide. One thing I can say is the lathe will not be used for much more than hobbiest work or some support work at my shop. I sometimes work on equipment like excavators and bulldozers. My own excavator needed 440 of a special shoulder bolt which Terex wanted $126.95 each. Having the bolts special made was $16 each through a bolt company near Chicago which was way more reasonable, but about 10 times what I actually spent. Since it was my machine I ended up machining sleeves to accommodate the use of standard dimension bolts. I saved a lot of money this way as the out of pocket was around $500.
    There are a few things with this 7a, not very much. 3 chucks, some collets, live centers and other odds and ends. There is a bar feeder. Not sure if it's powered or just a stand. He did say the bar feeder was outside and would need clean-up before use.
    I'd be all over this 7a if it were actually a 7A-4 1/2.

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    As the hollow spindle is only big enough for a closer,and doesnt need to be bigger,a large bore will be on a giant lathe,which I doubt you would want.A unworn turret lathe is a good find,as these machines often have severe wear well hidden by the massive construction.AS mentioned many times.....get the tooling .There are gadgets for these lathes that do things like turning squares and hexes ,and making complex internal grooves ,and tapers....get the tooling.......bar feeders are powered by weights and pulleys,the short bar feeder uses an additional lever ,and often uses a bicycle chain and sprockets.......the short feeder takes up a lot less space.

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    Worn and large spindle bore, to me translates in serious money in replacing precision spindle bearings.
    For most operations a longer bed and a couple of steady rests would accommodate anything that doesn't fit through the bore (or, especially on larger machines, anything shorter than the spindle itself, therefore impossible to center with a chuck/spider on the opposite side of the spindle).
    Turret lathes are mostly for repeated, production operations, where the time setting up a few specialized tools is paid back by machining many of the same. Personally, I do not have enough experience or fantasy to think about a medium-high volume product that would require anything larger than 3" in diameter as starting material.
    Consider that anything of that diameter, but thin walled tube would require significant time and energy for parting off and, generally, the stock is cut to the workable size on a saw before machining.

    Paolo


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