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Thread: Kent USA lathes

  1. #1
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    Default Kent USA lathes

    Does anyone have any experience with these, particularly the ML1740 (17" x 40") model ??

    Machinese are built in Taiwan. The pictures look decent and they seem to have decent weight to them. Nice features.

    I know a lot of people will jump on here and suggest buying used older USA models (and I haven't 100% ruled it out), but I'm growing tired of dealing with worn out machinery. Buying used is a huge gamble. I need something that runs every day and is accurate. I spend more hours dealing with junk than making good parts and it's getting VERY frustrating. Not to mention most used lathes are missing all of the necessary accesories such as steady and follow rests.



    Frank

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    kent is a reasonable builder
    i've used there knee mills for years
    i do not have experiance with there lathes but a friend has one and does not complain
    they are not top shelf in support. its a couple little guys in california for the whole system.
    they have been around for a long time and would have been run out of buisness by now if they were all bad
    i'd maybe look for a distributer instead of buying through MSC, then maybe you could get some help if you needed it

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    Rockfish, if you are considering an import lathe, I'd talk to the guy that runs this site:

    Quality Machine Tools Home

    He's a straightshooter that is very familiar with all the various machines that come out of Taiwan and China.

    You may also want to take a look at the new offerings from SouthBend. The guy that owns Grizzly bought that company and seems pretty committed to re-introducing their line of larger "Turnado" brand import lathes, these appear to be a notch above the typical Grizzly offerings.

    South Bend Lathe Co.

    Good luck-

    Paul T.
    Power Technology

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    Our maintenance blacksmith shop bought about a 14" Kent. I thought it was pretty miserable. VERY small Vee's on the bed. Also very poor: you had to rearrange the gear train about 4 times to cut all of the threads on the chart. I think crap like that is just poor engineering. You could cut all the threads on an Atlas or South Bend without changing the gear train. Aren't we past that need now?

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    Well, I mentioned that I wasn't 100% committed and so far I'm leaning toward shopping for a used lathe.

    After doing some research, I'm not at all comfortable that a new imported lathe would last more than 5 years. Most of the models I've seen have gears in the headstock that are so thin they practically look like bicycle sprockets. I can buy a damn nice, heavy American lathe for half of the cost of one of these, and I know they will last my lifetime.




    Frank


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    Rock, my experiance with Kent


    Bought NEW 20" swing cnc lathe and 10x54 knee mill with millpwr control.


    The head on the mill showed up broken. The worm for side to side stripped. They told me to send it (machine) back to Ca. And pay shipping both ways. I said send part. overnite I will put it in. I did not have a working mill and was in a jam. They refused, said it was a parts only warranty and that I had to send back the part on my dime and after review they would send a new one eventually. So I said that "the warranty starts when you send a WORKING machine" and canceled the AMEX payment. And the screaming started. Well the part showed up eventually by second day air.

    The lathe had an intermittent tool change fault. Thought it was the radio shack wiring connector going to the tool changer. So replaced with AMP. Eventually it stopped working. After the warranty though I had talked to them about it several times during the warranty period. They said it was a sensor. Charged me full price but said if it didnt work they would take it back plus shipping. It did not fix it (turned out to be a cold solder joint on the power supply) and they did take it back but would not cover shipping. Took almost three months to issue a refund after extensive chasing. they are not very knowledgeable about the machines they sell.

    If the machine was made by DMTG then there is very limited documentation in the states for electricals. And a questionable amount about the mechanicals. Buy it from matt at quality. Cheaper (checked) and better service (I suspect).

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    I actually had a chance to view one of these lathes in an operating shop the other day.
    The salesman asked if I would be interested in visiting and talking with another fellow that
    he had sold one of these to a couple years ago. I agreed and went and looked at it and I must say that I was VERY impressed with it. It seemed like a very well built, robust machine.
    Not at all what I expected. The owner of the machine said that, although he doesn't use it much, he said that it has been a very good lathe for him. He claimed it was accurate, would take a heavy cut and has held up well and has not needed any service whatsoever.

    I need the machine badly. Now I need to gaze into my crystal ball and decide whether or not leasing a machine like this is a good idea or not. I've had plenty of work for months, but that could stop (and probably would) the moment I bought a machine.



    Frank


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    Quote Originally Posted by rockfish View Post
    I've had plenty of work for months, but that could stop (and probably would) the moment I bought a machine.



    Frank


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    That's how it works Frank,........ us Brits call it Sods Law.

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    it depends on how much you want to spend. If you got the cash then get a new bridgeport from Hardinge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jlegge View Post
    it depends on how much you want to spend. If you got the cash then get a new bridgeport from Hardinge.

    2 things wrong with that, he's looking for a lathe, plus if you got the cash you buy a Lagun FTV mill not a bridgeport

    BTW my Kingston HJ-1700 is supposed to show up this Friday, so assuming it does, in one piece, I'll take pics.

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    Kingston Lathe is in, I'll clean the grease off of it tomorrow and get it all working, pictures coming soon
    I think you'd like it this machine.

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    yippee, pics pics... I would be interested to know the S/N cast into the end of the bed..

    Mine is 08133

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    I guess his camera broke...lol

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    I'd look at a Whacheon or a Cadillac. Both are heavy duty and well built. We have a Whacheon and love it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by greggv View Post
    I'd look at a Whacheon or a Cadillac. Both are heavy duty and well built. We have a Whacheon and love it!
    I’d buy a calendar


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    I have a standard modern like this. North American made by people that stand behind what they sell and offer actual support after the sale. I have purchased parts. Good luck getting parts for your investment in 10 years after the sale hell even after a couple of years you might be sol.

    Standard Modern Sliding Gap Bed Lathe 19" - 36" x 44" - 54" | eBay

    But once cry once. I've known many shop owners burnt by junk Taiwanese/Chinese machines and never operated one that was worth a damn. If you do but one make sure you purchase with a CC.


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