Are Standard Modern Lathes Good Quality?
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  1. #1
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    There are a couple of Standard Modern Lathes for sale on e-bay and I'm wondering whether Standard Modern made good quality machines?

    Does anyone know whether parts are still readily available?

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    D. Thomas Guest

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    Average...about like a Rockwell. There was a thread on this very subject a week or two back....pesky broken search function..

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    The school I went to had a bunch of them. I think they were 13x40's. They were ok, although I prefer heavier machines. I think they could defenatly be a nice home shop lathe.

    http://www.standard-modern.com/

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    Very light duty, you could build 4 from the iron in the same size monarch lathe...Phil in Mt

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    It would be for a home shop.

    Actually, I have been looking for a nice SB Heavy 10" or SB 13" for my shop. Then just recently I noticed the Standard Moderns on
    e-bay from a vocational school auction that look as though they will sell for under $1000.00 and wanted to ask.

    So do you think a South Bend would be a better choice?

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    I have a 13x40 Standard Modern in my shop. I bought it in april, an upgrade from a 9" south bend.
    I'd never go back!!
    I've owned about a half dozen South bends in my short HSM career including a 13", but the S-M is the best lathe I have used. (I've tried others too)

    These lathes are still built today here in Canada, a new 13x40 will set you back about $30,000 cdn dollars with no tooling.
    They are well regarded here and you see a lot of them in tech and high schools. The local tech college has several that have been in service for 30+ years. The instructors comment went something like "If you want to test out a piece of machinery, put it in a school, they'll figure out how to break it if they possibly can!" I think that says something for the quality of a Standard Modern lathe.

    I would not think to argue with those here with experience in the industrial world, they are no Monarch, BUT I'd put them up against a Clausing, South Bend or even a Colchester any day.

    The outfit selling the S-M lathes on Ebay sold a bunch of them from that same school last winter. they all went between $800-1400.


    Pete


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    I have a Standard Modern 13-34. I have not owned a South Bend, but I have used several. The SM has many advantages over the South Bend. It has a D1 spindle and most SB's have a threaded spindle. The SM is a gear head lathe with much more torque capability than a SB. The SM also has a separate power feed that drives off the rack - another advantage over SB. One of the ebay SM lathes comes with a very nice telescopic taper attachment. I would seriously consider the 13-40 if I did not already have one. Since the seller requires pickup - the lathes will probably go for a song. If you are close enough to go you should check them out.

    [This message has been edited by Bruce Griffing (edited 07-24-2004).]

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    I have a fair amount of hours on S-M lathes and would suggest one (in good condition) would be fine for a home shop. Considered a new one myself five years ago when a bare 1340 was quoted to me at $12600.00 (C). Wound up getting a new condition Colchester Triumph 2000 instead and selling my older round head Triumph. IMHO, for the same capacity lathe as a SM 1340, a Colchester Student or Master is a far tougher, more rigid, heavier lathe. You may be interested to know that the local trade college is replacing their S-M's (and Colchester's and Dean Smith and Grace's!) with TOS lathes. Many local job shops swear by (not at...) TOS lathes. They seem tough and simple. I only have a few hours on these but like them.

    My opinion is only worth what you paid for it, but if if you can get the S-M for a good price and it hasn't been the victim of student abuse- go for it! Otherwise consider a TOS or Colchester. Cheers, Stan

    ps: it would be good to run any lathe before buying...

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    I purchased one of the S-M 13x36 lathes from this seller last December. It's running now, and I am pleased with it. It's a sturdy and heavy lathe, with a high center of gravity (ask me how I know .

    The parts are available from Leblond-Regal, they purchased the repair business of S-M some years ago. Very expensive - the manual cost me $70 or so, and they wanted to sell me the headstock lube at $7/Quart. I paid $1/Quart at the local car supply place - this lathe uses 30W non-detergent motor oil, per the manual.

    The lathe did require repair - headstock high gears were locked out (probably to prevent the students from revving the lathe), gearbox was out of alignment and I did not did finish re-assembling it yet.
    Otherwise, the lathe was in good shape, but had lots of dings from students running both the cross-slide and the saddle into the chuck. I will get around to grinding those out.

    As with all auction purchases, you should take a look at the lathe beforehand. I would have bid less $$ if I knew how much work was needed to get it running.

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    Some of the above comments about Standard Modern are outta left field. They have been selling to various militaries, including US, for decades. Some of the machines are >5k lbs, 15 HP, etc. Parts still available through SM and Leblond of all places.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikebuilder View Post
    Some of the above comments about Standard Modern are outta left field. They have been selling to various militaries, including US, for decades. Some of the machines are >5k lbs, 15 HP, etc. Parts still available through SM and Leblond of all places.

    specifically? a bit meaningless to say so with telling which you think are wrong. This is a 16 year old thread , a heck of a lot with SM has changed since then. I looked seriously at buying about 9 years ago (iirc) so have some insight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcgyver View Post
    ... so have some insight.
    Well, guess you can figure out for yourself then which ones. As can anyone else who reads them, then does a bit of research.


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