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    Default Most Prized Lathes

    Monarch, American Pacemaker, Sydney, Hardinge, ... ?

    Certain brands are well known to be perhaps far above the rest in terms of quality and desirability, even among those of us with less experience. When many of us were looking for our first lathe, we might have simply been looking for "a deal". We weren't so concerned with finding the nee plus ultra, but rather that it be affordable, not far away, maybe not too hard to move, etc. Once we've gained some experience with that first purchase we might start thinking of adding an even better machine, maybe a larger spindle bore, better features, more precision, or bigger swing. Possibly just better quality.

    What are some of the most prized lathes, especially among older machines? And why?
    All comments are welcome.

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    Most prized lathe is the first one ,when youve been wanting one forever,and your old man says its a waste of money.

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    For engine lathes I'd say a minty Sydney or Monarch.

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    Monarch, American, Axelson, Lodge & Shipley, DS&G, Schaublin, plenty more I'm forgetting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eKretz View Post
    Monarch, American, Axelson, Lodge & Shipley, DS&G, Schaublin, plenty more I'm forgetting.
    I would take DS&G off the list, but add Okuma and Hardinge. That would be about it for me. Probably some obscure small euro machines I've never heard of that are also nice.

    Tons of other machines are pretty swell, but they never made anything that was "the best".

    W&S and J&L should get a pretty big honorable mention for turret lathes too. I really wish you could get a J&L #8 or so in an engine lathe somehow. What a sweetheart that would be.

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    Lathes come in a lot of sizes, if I had to pick 1 brand it'd be Monarch. 10EE on up to big swing long bed stuff, the 1000EE and beautiful tracer lathes.

    General turning on a specific envelope? Monarch, L&S, American, DS&G, W&S.

    Micro stuff? Monarch, Hardinge, possible SB, Hendey, Levin....

    But if I had to pick a single brand to turn with forever? Monarch, or you're fuckin up.

    Sent via CNC 88HS

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole2534 View Post
    Lathes come in a lot of sizes, if I had to pick 1 brand it'd be Monarch. 10EE on up to big swing long bed stuff, the 1000EE and beautiful tracer lathes.

    General turning on a specific envelope? Monarch, L&S, American, DS&G, W&S.

    Micro stuff? Monarch, Hardinge, possible SB, Hendey, Levin....

    But if I had to pick a single brand to turn with forever? Monarch, or you're fuckin up.

    Sent via CNC 88HS
    What? how about Holbrook? My C 13 will do anything a 10EE will without all the crazy electrickery.

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    Based on the number of words written it has to be south bend doesn't it?
    Bil lD

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    What makes them so special?

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    This will just be an interweb list everything under the sun with a heaping side of opinion.

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    Another vote for Holbrook . . . our H-15 is a fantastic machine. And our Mori-Seki MR2000 8020 isn’t a slouch either.

    The Holbrook has both metric and inch threading, decent spindle speed for a medium sized lathe, stiffness and heft to make heavy cuts while at the same time accurate and true for bearing fits and long shaft work. A clutch and brake control that is smooth and intuitive and controls that are well placed and easy to manage.

    The Mori has a motor starter approach with no clutch, we added a VFD and this compliments the lathe nicely. Also a stiff and accurate machine that does both inch and metric threading. A bit low for some, but it suits me fine. It is a high quality, smooth, accurate machine.

    I have always wanted to try an Ikegai A20 x 60 lathe . . . that would be my next lathe purchase if a nice one were available.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    Based on the number of words written it has to be south bend doesn't it?
    Bil lD
    I have a SB 16 x 60, got it in '78 It will be sold when I take a dirt nap. Compared to my Holbrook, L&S Powerturn and my LeBlond Servo Shift it does not compare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    What? how about Holbrook? My C 13 will do anything a 10EE will without all the crazy electrickery.
    It wasn't an exhaustive list, but I would like to run one.

    Sent via CNC 88HS

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    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    What makes them so special?
    I think your question is the right one to ask. My list is ease of use, power, stiffness, high number of spindle speeds,number of threads and leads it will cut, automatic lube, standard spindle for accessory cost and availability, accuracy/repeatability, taper attachment, two speed tail stock, rapid carriage traverse, instant lead screw reversal for threading, hard ways, factory support. My L&S has all so features, I love it and I know of no other than can compete with it. Compare those features and attributes to your favorite lathe and any lathe currently being sold today anywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    I would take DS&G off the list, but add Okuma and Hardinge. That would be about it for me. Probably some obscure small euro machines I've never heard of that are also nice.

    Tons of other machines are pretty swell, but they never made anything that was "the best".

    W&S and J&L should get a pretty big honorable mention for turret lathes too. I really wish you could get a J&L #8 or so in an engine lathe somehow. What a sweetheart that would be.
    the "obscure" machines are weiler and gdw. even their new lathes are made to din 8605 specs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dian View Post
    the "obscure" machines are weiler and gdw. even their new lathes are made to din 8605 specs.
    With them quality is not an issue, but availability and cost of accessories along with their use of non-standard spindle is a big turn off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motion guru View Post
    Another vote for Holbrook . . . our H-15 is a fantastic machine. And our Mori-Seki MR2000 8020 isn’t a slouch either.

    The Holbrook has both metric and inch threading, decent spindle speed for a medium sized lathe, stiffness and heft to make heavy cuts while at the same time accurate and true for bearing fits and long shaft work. A clutch and brake control that is smooth and intuitive and controls that are well placed and easy to manage.

    The Mori has a motor starter approach with no clutch, we added a VFD and this compliments the lathe nicely. Also a stiff and accurate machine that does both inch and metric threading. A bit low for some, but it suits me fine. It is a high quality, smooth, accurate machine.

    I have always wanted to try an Ikegai A20 x 60 lathe . . . that would be my next lathe purchase if a nice one were available.
    Oddly enough Motion, My first reaction was Holbrook H, then the Ikegai - neither of which I've been allowed to play with, (several Holbrooks but not an H) but was assured by their owners they were on another level.

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    Of course this will draw the troll,
    For the heavy stuff, Axelson, even the small ones are made to remove a lot of metal.
    highlights include 24 speed headstock, with gear reverse, no motor reversing.
    the metric change gear is included, and used as the idle gear for normal threading.
    direct drive motor, no belts, hydraulic spindle brake, not a single bronze bushing can be found, every movement is ball or needle bearing mounted, no slop on the feed screws , machine is made of an unusually high grade of cast iron.
    spindle speed up to 1127, and they run smooth.

    Monarch inch\metric ee lathe 1979 and later, highest quality from the maker, inch metric threading, move instantly between inch and metric with 3 levers and no change gears,
    we have machine shaming from the troll here, because he is a troll, good machines send him into jealous rage, every time!

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    Stark.
    My 100 year old #4 is one of the finest machines ever. And built by the company started by the guy that invented plain-turning bench lathes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    What makes them so special?
    Do you mean as in Southbends?

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