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    Default Conventional Lathe Purchase

    Hello all,
    I am a 30 + year full-time Tool Maker and a part-time Machine Shop Instructor at the Area High school. I have just been awarded funds to purchase three new conventional lathes fully outfitted. Any suggestion as to what manufacturer would be the best for a high school environment would be much appreciated.

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    Standard Modern might fit the bill:

    Standard Modern Lathes | CNC & Manual Lathe Manufacturer

    Their lathes have been in high schools around here for many, many years...

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    I'd check with Webb Machinery. They sell some very nice heavy duty lathes.

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    You don't want heavy duty lathes in a high school shop. Better to have something that will stall out or slip when (not if) a dumb kid gets caught in it. Something equivalent to the old South Bend lathes should probably be good. Not sure what's out there today equivalent to those though.

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    I've had great luck with a grizzly/southbend SB1012F. I bought it in part because other posters on this forum had also had good luck with them. Mine is sometimes used by high school robotics students. Training and supervision is required with ANY lathe. If you search for that model number you'll find various posts about it.

    KEY THING => Grizzly is an importer and bought the name Southbend - and machines right next to each other in the catalog range from quite useable (nice, actually) (the SB1012F) to, well, not worth your time. It's not necessarily obvious from a catalog which is which. And be sure to buy things like taper attachments now, because in future years the machine might be replaced with a different one.

    (I happen to live a couple hours drive from their Bellingham warehouse and so I've gone to see things in person.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by eKretz View Post
    You don't want heavy duty lathes in a high school shop. Better to have something that will stall out or slip when (not if) a dumb kid gets caught in it. Something equivalent to the old South Bend lathes should probably be good. Not sure what's out there today equivalent to those though.
    Good point...idiot tolerant.

    A take no prisoners machine will do just that.

    Seems like a well made machine is needed to last and properly teach.

    If a VFD is used then may be possible to limit power or other interlocks added to further limit ability to harm users while still being proper heavy iron.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

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    For what it's worth, when I was a student at Michigan the ME student shop got a couple brand-new Precision Matthews lathes which I hated. Suited me well enough though, because it freed up more time to use the venerable 13" round head lathes in the back of the shop, as most of the students assumed the brand-new machines with fresh paint cut metal better.

    I was one of the few people in the shop working something other than aluminum, so that was a big part of it for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tool_Maker View Post
    Hello all,
    I am a 30 + year full-time Tool Maker and a part-time Machine Shop Instructor at the Area High school. I have just been awarded funds to purchase three new conventional lathes fully outfitted. Any suggestion as to what manufacturer would be the best for a high school environment would be much appreciated.
    Wondering how you calculated funds for 3 new lathes, when the cost is dependent on what is purchased? Or did they just give a blank check with orders to buy 3? The Standard Moderns are nice quality machines and made in USA/Canada, the Webb Wacheons (sp?) are spoken of in mostly favorable terms, but I have not played with one personally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tool_Maker View Post
    Hello all,
    I am a 30 + year full-time Tool Maker and a part-time Machine Shop Instructor at the Area High school. I have just been awarded funds to purchase three new conventional lathes fully outfitted. Any suggestion as to what manufacturer would be the best for a high school environment would be much appreciated.
    Whomever awarded those funds just MIGHT have their collective heads up and locked, given they'll hit the labour market 2020 AD... and later..

    Students will depart your Institution into a CNC world, and not even a "lathe dominated" one at that. Mill is the more important player, many ways, and most days.

    CNC "machining center", two types, plus a 3-D printing rig would be far the more useful.

    They have an interest in legacy "all manual" methods?

    Start 'em off with a skillset as can earn the spare coin and privilege of "back filling" bypassed skills and harbouring "Old Iron". ..... Like the rest of us.

    Their generation? They'll not have TIME for much else and still expect to eat reg'lar-like.

    At the least, go for a "teach in" manual/CNC hybrid. That helps link the basics of mangling materials with the commercial reality of automation.

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    When I took an evening refresher class at our local technical college a few years ago they had just purchased a dozen New Clausing lathes. Half were the 13" Clausing/Colchester variable speed machines while the other half were 15" Clausing/Colchester geared head machines. They also had half a dozen relatively new HAAS turning centers. Both the instructors and the students seemed happy with the schools choices.

    I just looked at the prices of the Clausing and machines. The "list price" of the 13" variable speed machines seem to run in the $26,000.00 to $28,000.00 range, while the 15" geared head machines are in the $28,000.00 to 30,000.00 range, depending on the dealer.

    If these machines are a little tough on the budget you might want to consider a benchtop model. There was a study done in 2012 comparing the use of a Clausing industrial machine against a Cummins bench top machine for teaching purposes.

    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/078...3b447b57df.pdf

    Long story short the study concluded that a benchtop model would be a suitable replacement for training purposes, however that same study also concluded that nearly 80% of the employers surveyed stated they would rather have students that were trained on industrial machines.

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    Well I am prepared to be thrown under the bus on PM for suggesting this manufacturer but I think if you are trying to teach and inspire young people to go into machining you should have at least one Tormach CNC lathe and mill.

    My guess is those two machines will get more interest and use than any of the other manual machines combined.

    Also I have seen Tormach machines that had been at the local Maker space for years in for a refresh at the local dealer and they were still in great shape. Students and inexperienced people can rarely wear a machine out so they don't need to built like a tank. Just cheap enough so you can fix them when they get crashed.

    I think not having CNC there for them to use including some type of additive printer would do them a great disservice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxian View Post
    Well I am prepared to be thrown under the bus on PM for suggesting this manufacturer but I think if you are trying to teach and inspire young people to go into machining you should have at least one Tormach CNC lathe and mill.

    My guess is those two machines will get more interest and use than any of the other manual machines combined.

    Also I have seen Tormach machines that had been at the local Maker space for years in for a refresh at the local dealer and they were still in great shape. Students and inexperienced people can rarely wear a machine out so they don't need to built like a tank. Just cheap enough so you can fix them when they get crashed.

    I think not having CNC there for them to use including some type of additive printer would do them a great disservice.
    Makes good sense to me. Hard to find a "bus", USA environment anyway other than those carrying data.

    Tail-end of the 1950's a new SB 10" "toolroom" and a modest Logan 10" were the school choice.. even though... anyone earning a crust, paid employment, would far more likely have had a Lodge & Shipley, ATW, Leblond, etc. - few of them new'ish, even then - or some very TIRED War One era Niles too stubborn to die and too heavy to scare into it - under their hands.

    IOW a light-duty manual vs a heavy duty manual, or fast-forward to a light-duty CNC vs a heavy-duty CNC.. the "principles are the same", and the machines were/are in-keeping with the technology of the era.

    Manual lathe today is no longer the same percentage of industrial job openings. Repair work, yah. Hobby, certainly. "Revenue" production, nor even R&D, not so much.

    May as well teach aspiring auto mechanics how to set valve lash on an ell-head Ford V8 when what they need MORE is how to do something useful and on-point with the codes off an OBDC readout. EG: swap-out the correct part, not a "bystander" part, and not alter much at all.

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    I worked for a large defense contractor and remember some of the new hires stating the trade school had Harrison lathes that were their favorite go to lathe. I'm sure there were others in the mix but don't remember the name brand.
    Dan

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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    Manual lathe today is no longer the same percentage of industrial job openings. Repair work, yah. Hobby, certainly. "Revenue" production, nor even R&D, not so much.

    May as well teach aspiring auto mechanics how to set valve lash on an ell-head Ford V8 when what they need MORE is how to do something useful and on-point with the codes off an OBDC readout. EG: swap-out the correct part, not a "bystander" part, and not alter much at all.
    Apparently there are many in the industry that disagree with you. The study I linked was done in 2012. While it was 7 years ago I don't think the business has significantly changed since then.

    Here's a quote from the study:
    A majority (80.9%) of individuals in industry who responded to the survey replied in the affirmative to the statement “It is important for employees in your company who are hired with degrees in industrial technology degree to have a basic understanding of machine processes.” An even larger percentage (89.5%) believe students who have been trained to use manual machine tools should have a better foundation for learning about computer numerical controlled (CNC) machine tools. This viewpoint is consistent with the findings of the UC Berkeley study, which found that manual processes are an important foundation for anyone learning about CNC operation.1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tool_Maker View Post
    Hello all,
    I am a 30 + year full-time Tool Maker and a part-time Machine Shop Instructor at the Area High school. I have just been awarded funds to purchase three new conventional lathes fully outfitted. Any suggestion as to what manufacturer would be the best for a high school environment would be much appreciated.
    What is a “conventional” lathe? Based on units sold, units used in industry, etc..CNC lathe is the most “conventional”.

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    I may be stoopid,but my observation is young male students dont want to be taught old school anything.......they want computers and CNC,and consider manual lathes as an anchor on their future,and will not be told anything about how practical manual machines are..........I might add most seem to have zero fine movement skills in their hands,and take a long time to even get beyond the jerky movement we all see .Just my 2 cents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by projectnut View Post
    Apparently there are many in the industry that disagree with you. The study I linked was done in 2012. While it was 7 years ago I don't think the business has significantly changed since then.

    Here's a quote from the study:
    A majority (80.9%) of individuals in industry who responded to the survey replied in the affirmative to the statement “It is important for employees in your company who are hired with degrees in industrial technology degree to have a basic understanding of machine processes.” An even larger percentage (89.5%) believe students who have been trained to use manual machine tools should have a better foundation for learning about computer numerical controlled (CNC) machine tools. This viewpoint is consistent with the findings of the UC Berkeley study, which found that manual processes are an important foundation for anyone learning about CNC operation.1
    - Shop owners & managers wax nostalgic. They are not "wrong", but a conventional HS doesn't have time for a full apprentice program, hand files to manual climb milling of helices.

    Worse - the same folks whining they cannot get that sort of well-grounded and rounded skillset, are not willing to PAY anything realistic FOR it when it knocks on their door in-person.

    Ask the PM community how that has been working, "real world". UC Berkeley is a really poor choice of authority by comparison.

    Time was, you listened to Purdue, Texas A&M, Southern Illinois, Carbondale, RPI, Case/Western Reserve, Carnegie Tech, and such. Those who had fed the heavy-iron side of American Industry, most of it in the NE, mid-Atlantic, and midwest.

    Modern times equivalent? Universities in CHINA.

    Where an "engineer" graduated is actually a hands-on technician. A worker-bee in company-uniform jumpsuit with the skills to unload an incoming, configure, set-up, then make parts on a CNC critter.

    Only a few will push the CAD/CAM at a desk that drives the product those other "Engineeers" will actually make.

    Works for them.

    Surely hope there is still a much better middle-ground for OUR needs.

    Regardless - the environment you have, not "wish you had", you'll have to target value-for-time and have nowhere near "enough" time at that.

    Cheat. Start yee not at "the beginning", but rather set your start point right up next to the end.

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    I wonder the debate over starting on manual before moving to CNC or starting directly with CNC is analogous to the way math is often taught.

    In high school in particular, I was always frustrated with the way teachers taught math; in an effort to help those who were math-challenged, they routinely reduced everything to a formula to follow, just plug in the numbers a-b-c, and you'll get the answer. Along with a cute jingle to help you remember the formula!

    I simply could not learn math that way. I had to go through the concept step by step to see what was really happening, one operation at a time, to see how the formula was derived. When I was done, I understood the formula, and could remember it a lot better than others who just learned the formula, nothing else. And most important, I understood what was supposed to happen when you plugged those numbers into the formula. I did a lot of tutoring of others in math, and the problem so many folks had was that, even if they remembered the formula, they didn't really understand what it meant, so they had no idea whether the answer they got made any sense.

    No doubt there are ways to start out with CNC and still learn the underlying basic machining principles, but it will take effort and intention on the part of the teacher. Far too easy just to say, "Here, plug in these lines and see what happens." Much harder to take the next step and say, "Now tell me exactly how and why that worked."

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    Quote Originally Posted by awake View Post
    I wonder the debate over starting on manual before moving to CNC or starting directly with CNC is analogous to the way math is often taught.

    In high school in particular, I was always frustrated with the way teachers taught math; in an effort to help those who were math-challenged, they routinely reduced everything to a formula to follow, just plug in the numbers a-b-c, and you'll get the answer. Along with a cute jingle to help you remember the formula!

    I simply could not learn math that way. I had to go through the concept step by step to see what was really happening, one operation at a time, to see how the formula was derived. When I was done, I understood the formula, and could remember it a lot better than others who just learned the formula, nothing else. And most important, I understood what was supposed to happen when you plugged those numbers into the formula. I did a lot of tutoring of others in math, and the problem so many folks had was that, even if they remembered the formula, they didn't really understand what it meant, so they had no idea whether the answer they got made any sense.

    No doubt there are ways to start out with CNC and still learn the underlying basic machining principles, but it will take effort and intention on the part of the teacher. Far too easy just to say, "Here, plug in these lines and see what happens." Much harder to take the next step and say, "Now tell me exactly how and why that worked."
    Regardless.. he said "High School", not "trade school".

    The REAL challenge is roughly fifty-minute class periods. Manual OR automated.

    Manual machines may make someone "feel good", but unless and until those can be turned into 2 to 4 hour increments, steady go, the "feel good" won't convey to anybody's earnings prospects unless they were among those (.. of US, if you recall your own start..) who didn't NEED that course to begin with. Who inherently "got it in one", chased what they needed on their own time and initiative, and invented their own way to make it come good.

    A machinist is first and foremost a "problem solver". First problem to be solved is improving his own skills, that's what gets done. Or he will never BE a Machinist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by awake View Post
    I wonder the debate over starting on manual before moving to CNC or starting directly with CNC is analogous to the way math is often taught.

    In high school in particular, I was always frustrated with the way teachers taught math; in an effort to help those who were math-challenged, they routinely reduced everything to a formula to follow, just plug in the numbers a-b-c, and you'll get the answer. Along with a cute jingle to help you remember the formula!

    I simply could not learn math that way. I had to go through the concept step by step to see what was really happening, one operation at a time, to see how the formula was derived. When I was done, I understood the formula, and could remember it a lot better than others who just learned the formula, nothing else. And most important, I understood what was supposed to happen when you plugged those numbers into the formula. I did a lot of tutoring of others in math, and the problem so many folks had was that, even if they remembered the formula, they didn't really understand what it meant, so they had no idea whether the answer they got made any sense.

    No doubt there are ways to start out with CNC and still learn the underlying basic machining principles, but it will take effort and intention on the part of the teacher. Far too easy just to say, "Here, plug in these lines and see what happens." Much harder to take the next step and say, "Now tell me exactly how and why that worked."
    I would agree. In high school I hated math for the reasons you stated. In addition to just plugging in the numbers there was little or no explanation as to any practical use in the real world. Fortunately I had a good memory and could remember the formulas long enough to get through the exams. Once the classes were finished I pretty much forgot or suppressed any knowledge on the subject.

    When it cam graduation time my advisor suggested I go to school for a math degree since I seemed to be good at it. Obviously he had no idea I was just going through the motions to get through the classes. I did end up going to school for a mechanical engineering degree which entailed more endless hours of seemingly pointless math. It wasn't until I actually started working in an Engineering department designing and making parts that the practical side of the math was actually put to work.

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