Clausing 5900 series as a starter lathe..
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  1. #1
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    Default Clausing 5900 series as a starter lathe..

    What's your opinion of the Clausing 5900 series as a "starter lather" for the hobbyist? All the projects I have in mind are relatively small one-off jobs. It seems like this lathe is a good option for the hobbyist (widely available, relatively cheap for a high quality tool, parts can be found, etc...)

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    My 5914 is not my first lathe, but it is the last engine lathe I expect to buy. I have had it 25 years and it is still as good a lathe in that size range that I have ever seen. I added a Newall DRO last year and now that I have used it, decided that was a smart move.

    Larry

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    Default Clausing 5900 as first Lathe?

    A 5900 series could be a good first lathe - but, it seems most of these are the variable speed models. If you get one that is variable speed, I'd recommend being very sure that the vari-drive is in good shape. That can be hard for a first time lathe buyer to do, so for that reason, I'd recommend staying away from the vari-speed Clausings in the 5900 series for a first timer.

    This lathe was also available as a step pulley model - I'd say go after one of those, maybe add a VFD for single to three phase conversion requirments, and get the bonus of variable speed within the ranges provided by your pulley steps.

    If you do get a 5900, and think you're going to want a steady rest, try to get one with the machine, as they're hard to find right now. Interestingly, the 5900 series did seem to get lots of turrets sold with them, so that can be an easy to find part, if that interests you (probably not right away for a first lathe).

    Lots of good deals out there right now on lathes that would be good for first timers - I would not overlook Clausing / Cochester, Sheldon, Logan, South Bend, etc. Usually a 10 or 12 inch model might be a good choice (the 5900 series is 12 inch). I'd say get something in as good a shape as you can afford, with as much tooling as you can, hopefully that can pass at least 1-3/8" diameter work through the headstock, and accepts 5C collets. Personally, I think threaded spindle mounts are OK, I like L series (long taper) better than threaded, and D series cam lock spindle noses the best. Try to get a collet setup and a 4 jaw chuck with the machine, if you can.

    Don't forget about the tooling, that can easily double or triple your bare machine cost.

    Be sure and read Dave Fickens' (sp?) article of Advice on Buying a Used lathe, and In (modest) Praise of klunkers. You can find them at his website at: mermac.com

    There's my 2 cents or mabye a tad more....

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    I agree with every point Jess makes. But keep in mind, in this case anyway, every deficiency is an opportunity.
    All of the typical vari-drive problems have been addressed on multiple on-line forums, so fixing any problem will just be a good opportunity to hone your lathe operator skills. I guarantee, once the lathe is up to snuff, it will be a joy to use.
    And once you have used a lathe with the combination of variable speed drive and a clutch/brake, it's total misery using a lathe without those features.

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    I have a 5914 Variable speed. I love it. I stepped up from a couple of 9" South Bends. If you go the route that I went (starting with small belt driven machines) you will definitely appreciate what the 5900 can do.

    If you can swing it and have the room get it.

    If you need to do metric threads you may want to pass. They have some crazy and super rare banjo and gear assembly that costs like $3K!

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    Hey guy, I’m looking for a digital readout for my clausing 5917 lathe. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

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    Bud,

    Start a new thread!!!!

    How in the heck did Amid approve your forum name.

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    I don’t know how to start a new thread

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4GSR View Post
    Bud,

    Start a new thread!!!!

    How in the heck did Amid approve your forum name.
    Might be his real name, pronounced pen-is

  11. Likes 4GSR, 52 Ford liked this post
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    As for a digital readout for your lathe, there are 100's of them to choose from on ePay. Probably looking at a 900mm scale for the bed and a 150 mm scale for the cross slide. Just guessing here. Most all of the digital readouts have slimline scales today. You have to make your own mounting brackets for mounting the scales for both the cross slide as well for the carriage. They are a pita to do. You pretty much need a mill to help you on making the mounting brackets.

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    Do you know how the $150-300 ones work? Are they worth buying or is it a waste of money? Are there specific brands that will fit clausing or are they pretty universal?

    Thanks for the help Guys!!

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    So... can you share the backstory to your name? Clausing 5900 series as a starter lathe..





    It takes a lot to NOT make at least one dick joke here.


    Edit: I had a REALLY good one.

    Needless to say, it involved a prostitute, some concrete blocks, a lathe, and a moving van. Also a few beers, but that's not really part of the joke.

    Sent by telegraph using - .- .--. .- - .- .-.. -.-

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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
    Might be his real name, pronounced pen-is
    How to Legally Change Your Name: Full Guide - US Birth Certificates

    Sent by telegraph using - .- .--. .- - .- .-.. -.-

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    Penis is actually my middle name, guess what my first name is…

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    As for the digital readouts I mentioned on ePay. I have bought several in the past few years. Have not had any problems with them. Accuracy, Have no issues holding +/-.001" in 6". Prior to using these, I've always used Mitutoyo brand digital readouts with varying results. Can't afford any of the really good digital readouts!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Penis wilson View Post
    Penis is actually my middle name, guess what my first name is…
    A google search did not help, but it did bring up these
    Urban Dictionary: penis wilson

    303 See Other

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    Harry.

    First name is Harry. Clausing 5900 series as a starter lathe..

    Sent by telegraph using - .- .--. .- - .- .-.. -.-

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    Depending on what you need to make, a 5900 might not only be a starter lathe, but a forever lathe. We had similar where I used to work and they survived a lot of abuse and made a lot of parts.

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    Ya that’s what I was thinking, and that’s why I want to put a dro on it. It’s a very nice lathe from what I can tell.

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