Advice/Help Needed For New Lathe Purchase - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    So reading between the lines....Max budget 5K. Don't want to mess with a "used machine"........
    So, seems really your options are already closed...unless i am missing something you are going to buy some POS bench top chunk that will in all
    likelihood just make your life more frustrating..... Crappy machine, crappy tooling,low horsepower, small chuck,low rigidity which will turn this purchase into an instant albatross about your neck....
    The requirement for "new" and your price constraints dictates that this will be a poor experience....

    I don't think you can buy what you need "New" for the money you suggest.....
    Some good suggestions in above posts but you gotta move past your aversion to buying a used machine....That is the only avenue for your money that will provide a good enough machine to give your
    project a fighting chance...
    Cheers Ross

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  3. #22
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    Yes, it's a given a used machine is a must. When you want to drink champagne on a beer budget, you might have to drink used champagne.

  4. #23
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    There was a turret lathe FS on Austin CL recently, may still be there, of course without knowing where you are in Texas that might be too far, or right next door. For what you want to do a turret lathe is the ticket, and they sell pretty cheap, although there are some delusional sellers like the guy in SA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    . . .13" swing lathe is practically speaking the smallest you are going to want to turn a 2" part. And you also need a little horsepower to make that cut, at least 3 and preferably 5. . .
    Nah, 2hp is plenty for 2" 6061 on a manual machine. You won't be able to keep up with 5hp! Depending on the operations you do, you will waste a lot of material if you use slugs, or at minimum you will mar the surface on the first part when you flip for the second. You can minimize that with a 13-15" lathe because all the chucks have clearance for 2"+ stock and you can probably figure out a way to yield 2-3 parts per 'slug' (the chuck body length is like a big through-hole, just not all the way through). Also, with a lathe in the aforementioned size range you can use a bump-knurl on 6061 without issue if that happens to be what you get.

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  7. #25
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    Let's point out the elephant in the room....

    As I mentioned in my initial post, I am a skilled woodworker. I got my start out of necessity... I was building my own home and decided to build all my exterior doors (the kind most humans cannot afford). Seven 2 1/4" thick African Mahogany mortise and tenon doors/jams including two pair of 52" wide carriage doors. Being an experienced carpenter (not a woodworker... there's a difference), I knew better than to think I could undertake the project with my Makita jobsite table saw, a drill and thousand screws. That being said, I had to purchase the "best tools I could afford" / and those tools had to get the job done properly or I was going to have a craptasticly expensive disaster on my hands in both time and materials.

    My situation and budget led me to Grizzly Tools. I purchased their hybrid cabinet saw, 6" jointer and 2hp dust collector. My brother already owned a Powermatic Mortiser. I filled in the rest of the blanks with contractor grade tools (planer, miter saw, etc.)

    I spent two days and likely a thousand coke can shims getting the jointer square. The cabinet saw doubled my biceps in size with the amount of force it took to lower and raise the blade. If I had to get a perfect 45 degrees on the blade, I did so using a digital angle gauge. And the dust collection... well, it filled bags with dust. You get the point. Six months later, I had damn near perfect doors that would have cost me close to $30K and I built them with under $5K in China made tools (not counting the mortiser).

    Eight years later, I have replaced most the Grizzly tools with Sawstop, Powermatic, etc. I even upgraded to a 12" Grizzly jointer because again, best new 12" jointer for the money.

    Would I state that a Grizzly cabinet saw even compares to an Industrial Sawstop? Hell no. Would I recommend someone buy one if the need a cost effective tool to get the job done? Hell yes. I did and I would do it all over again the same way. Those cheap China made tools got me my doors and introduced me to one of my passions... woodworking.

    I would like to address the used tools discussion. How much would I love to own a Wadkin Sliding Table Saw or an Oliver? Those tools are fantastic. But, you have to know what you're using, how to repair it, how to maintain it, and again, you have to find one in "decent shape". Finding a used tool of this caliber in "decent shape" requires one to know what "decent shape is". I know what to look for now that I am experienced. Eight years ago... no way. I didn't even know what a Wadkin was.

    Are we so much different (woodworkers and machinists)? Can a China made Grizzly lathe not perform the tasks I've described? If not, how does one with zero knowledge of lathes find and purchase a good quality used lathe?

    Lastly, I fear I'm talking to a lot of master machinist who were introduced to machining and have never used anything but, USA / UK made machine shop grade equipment. IE maybe you guys never started at the bottom with the "toys" and don't actually have any frame of reference. Am I wrong? If I had started with my Sawstop, I might freak out if I had to use a Grizzly.

    All the above being said... this is obviously a fantastic community that's willing to help someone like myself. That gives me hope. If vintage lathes are the only way to go, I'd like to understand why China made tools can hack it (at least give you a start) in woodworking but not machining. Again... BMX pegs not engine parts for race cars.

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  9. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by loosenut View Post
    Are we so much different (woodworkers and machinists)?
    The people aren't but the material is.

    Can a China made Grizzly lathe not perform the tasks I've described?
    Sure, a China made Grizzly would work fine. Now go look at the price for a 13" Grizzly metal lathe plus a tool post plus an 8" chuck plus tool holders. And shipping to your garage.

    I could look at Mudanjiang prices - they are nicer than the Grizzly stuff - but it'd probably cost more to ship than you want to pay.

    And it'd still be funky, not a Harrison or a Colchester or a Leblond.

    You are looking at three or four thousand pounds minimum to do your job in a reasonable way. We do not cut balsa.

    If not, how does one with zero knowledge of lathes find and purchase a good quality used lathe?
    It's not that hard. Hobbyists go gaga over silliness but if the damn thing runs smoothly and all the features work, bob's yer uncle. It will do your job.

    A 100 lb toy will not.

    Lastly, I fear I'm talking to a lot of master machinist who were introduced to machining and have never used anything but, USA / UK made machine shop grade equipment. IE maybe you guys never started at the bottom with the "toys" and don't actually have any frame of reference. Am I wrong?
    Yes, you are wrong. There are no "master machinists", that talk is all yuppy crap. A machinist is a machinist, and we all worked with plenty of junk in our lives. At least us old guys did ....

    I'd like to understand why China made tools can hack it (at least give you a start) in woodworking but not machining.
    They can. But you are not looking at China-made machines. You are talking about toys, stuff that's okay for making model railroad wheels. Wood is not metal, not even aluminum. Go take a 2" by 4" slab of steel and run a handsaw though it, you will quickly learn the difference. The forces are much higher so it takes a much heavier, bigger, stronger machine to cut material off.

    For 2" diameter 6061, if you want to do it in less than a week, you need a real lathe. China will do, save a few grand - but it isn't gonna be $5,000. You are comparing a Dollar Store 6" handsaw to a two-man powered tree saw.

    You need size, weight, mass, horsepower to cut metal. It's called physics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loosenut View Post
    Can a China made Grizzly lathe not perform the tasks I've described? If not, how does one with zero knowledge of lathes find and purchase a good quality used lathe?
    It might, or it might not, that's the real problem. And when you want to do something a little more "precise" it definitely will mess you up.

    Check out this guys ordeal a while back, you wanna put yourself through all dat?

    Grizzly 0824 14 x 40 2" bore lathe...3 months old....issues since new

    Take your time, look around, ask questions. It ain't that hard to find a good used machine that'll give you way more satisfaction than some shiny new China crap...

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  12. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Keeley View Post
    Check out this guys ordeal a while back, you wanna put yourself through all dat?
    Notice that in post 23 he mentions a price of $9,000

    I am not totally convinced by this thread, the poster seems to be not very experienced or a liar and "adjusting backlash" does not change the noise level of gearing, how do you "adjust" the backlash of the cross slide to .004" ? so I have doubts but still ... $9,000, not 5. Twice what this op wants to spend.


    ps When people start talking tenths with average mill or lathe work, I immediately discount them. It just doesn't work that way, and people who talk like that in general do not have a clue.

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    I have a clausing 12” I’m going to sell to make room for a 15” I just bought. Downside,,,,the thru hole is less than 2” and has a 3 phase motor. Upside,,,, the motor can be changed for little $$$ or put a phase converter On it and,,,,, it has variable speed. Price,,,,, depends on how much tooling I have to throw it in.

    If you want,,,,, get some stock, come on by and try my machine. I have pretty much everything it seems you’d need except a good knurling tool.

    I also have a neighbor who owns a CNc machine shop. He had a Cnc for sale.

    I’m located in Wallis, about 50 miles west of Houston, 100 miles south of you.
    Tim
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    Notice that in post 23 he mentions a price of $9,000

    I am not totally convinced by this thread, the poster seems to be not very experienced or a liar and "adjusting backlash" does not change the noise level of gearing, how do you "adjust" the backlash of the cross slide to .004" ?
    Well to be fair, if the backlash is set WAY too tight most any gear train will get pretty GD noisy. But it's pretty damn simple to just slip a piece of paper in there before you tighten the clamp then turn the gears to get it out. Et voila.

    As regards backlash on the cross-slide, yeah that can be adjusted on most any machine with a split nut. Shouldn't have to be done on a new machine though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eKretz View Post
    Well to be fair, if the backlash is set WAY too tight most any gear train will get pretty GD noisy.
    He adjusted it three times then it got better ? Hmm.

    Lots of stuff in that thread that was very suspicious. Then the whole thing about .0004" ... uhhh, yeah, right. I can hold .0002" pretty reliably - on a grinder. Snivelling about 4 on a cheapy lathe from Grizzly ? Had forty years turning experience but couldn't figure things out ? Didn't pass the smell test.

    But anyhow, I still have to agree that a used good lathe makes more sense to buy than a new cheapy. There's plenty on craigslist, or find a reliable dealer near himself if he's worried about not knowing how to choose a lathe.

    Except maybe finding a reliable dealer is harder than choosing a good lathe

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    Let's step back a wee but, and LOOK at a pix of what the OP has been having made.

    The devil is truly in the details.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    He adjusted it three times then it got better ? Hmm.

    Lots of stuff in that thread that was very suspicious. Then the whole thing about .0004" ... uhhh, yeah, right. I can hold .0002" pretty reliably - on a grinder. Snivelling about 4 on a cheapy lathe from Grizzly ? Had forty years turning experience but couldn't figure things out ? Didn't pass the smell test.

    But anyhow, I still have to agree that a used good lathe makes more sense to buy than a new cheapy. There's plenty on craigslist, or find a reliable dealer near himself if he's worried about not knowing how to choose a lathe.

    Except maybe finding a reliable dealer is harder than choosing a good lathe
    Yeah, I guess he sucks at adjusting backlash? Anyway, agreed on the rest.

  19. #34
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    Watched this Harrison on ebay sell for $2000. They call it a 11" lathe they mean 22". This is an example of big lathes cost less to buy then hobby shop size lathes. Of course it will take real money to move and it is 15hp.
    It would probably cost that much to buy a replacement chuck.
    Bill D

    Harrison 600 Lathes Alpha 550 CNC 11" x 80" Engine Toolroom Lathe Fanuc bidadoo | eBay

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    I've been where you are at now. I apprenticed for 4 years to be an electrician in 1973. Along the way I got bitten by the machining bug and I read as much as could about it. Didn't know any one in the machining world and didn't know how to connect with anyone. Eventually in 1978 I bought a Taiwanese lathe from Enco out of Chicago. It was a 12" X 36" with 2 hp motor. At the time it was around $1700.00 and for the money it was a great machine. It would hold
    .001 all day long for years and years and was very robust. The thru hole was 1.375 with a #5 MT, not large enough for your 2" dia. stock but enough power to do whatever you need to do. For your foot pegs a Grizzly Industrial Inc. ModG4003 12" x 36" lathe would be a good product. It is $3795 without a stand. The stand is $425. The lathe comes with 6"3 jaw chuck, 8" 4 jaw chuck, faceplate, steady rest, follow rest, quickchange tool post with one tool holder. It has a 220 volt single phase motor and this lathe will do you nicely. The only thing is you cannot put 2" dia. stock thru the headstock. You would have to deal with short stubs of material and this size lathe can do a lot of other work for you. It wouldn't be a Monarch or Hardinge used lathe but you wouldn't have to worry about worn out bearings, crooked tail stock, carriage, or cross slide or even a crooked bed or V-ways. Hope this helps.

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  23. #36
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    Your going to hold 2" bar stock in a crappy 6" 3 jaw and do what to it?

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    Default Advice/Help Needed For New Lathe Purchase

    Wow.
    No wonder the OP hasn’t been back.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    I think you need to shop for a supplier. Someone with a CNC and anodizing capacity who can make small runs as needed.

    Or raise your price.

    Buying a small manual machine, and making accurate, highly finished parts, all exactly the same, is an expensive way to go. It will eat time. Messy too. Aluminum chips go everywhere, they seem to have a almost magnetic attraction for wood.

    I, too, am a pro woodworker- yacht interiors, custom furniture from A to Z, guitars, etc- and machining metal is a steep learning curve. I got into it because a lot of my machinery is custom and although there was a super machinist just up the street, he was busy- and the wait time for parts was a problem. So I have some insight into getting involved in machining. Make money at it with a manual machine? Sure, if there is a one off part to make. Production? No way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan from Oakland View Post
    Your going to hold 2" bar stock in a crappy 6" 3 jaw and do what to it?
    Throw it across the room, maybe break a window

    If he's lucky ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidR8 View Post
    Wow.
    No wonder the OP hasn’t been back.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    WoW ...46 post's and your telling us ?

    Yes, many have run off the rails with the OP's posting, suggesting
    stuff that may or may not work.

    However I am waiting to see the exact details needed to be machined before
    I will suggest something.

    So what have you done to help the OP ?


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