Nubie, need advise on lathe choices. Engine or turret
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  1. #1
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    Default Nubie, need advise on lathe choices. Engine or turret

    I have traded a man some materials he needed for a lathe. Problem is he has 4 or 5 to choose from. I need advice on what to get, engine or tourrit. I have a earthmoving business and only want to be able to make pins, bushings, might turn a cylinder ram, and other projects around my shop. In most cases if it will be a big job or critical part ill use the local machine shop as usual. Largest pins on my equip are 24"x3" , bushings might be 4"x3"L. He has a Clausing 15" x 42"or 48" that looks like probably made in the 70's. The turret lathe looks larger, newer, more powerful think it is a Ward? but definately will out weigh the Clausing 2:1 . I don't know what type would be best suited for my interest. Main reason is that I always wanted a lathe. So please advise engine or turret . Also traded for Mill, Bridgeport, already picked it out.

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    turret lathes are better for making many of the same part. Clausing makes a good lathe. Can you show pictures.? Any tooling with either. Extra chucks are nice.

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    Engine lathe first.

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    Go with engine lathe, some turrets are clumsy if you are not familiar with them.

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    You will need a tailstock given the aspect ratio of your parts.
    Few turrets have one.

    Engine lath it is...plus then you can thread.

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    IF you can get a nice clean turret lathe especially a large one in good shape I would go for it. A clausing is pretty light duty.

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    Light duty does not matter, when you are only making one of, or two.

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    Kinda funny, but these days there would be no question in my mind, i would get a big turret lathe over a smaller worn engine lathe. But thats only because i have a turret on the Harrison. No tail-stock is nothing like the issue a lot of people first think it is. Being able to slam 6 different tools into the work in seconds, is awesome.

    FYI pins are normally case hardened en24, you need a cylindrical grinder more so than a lathe, but there so cheap of the shelf i would not bother unless you can harden them yourself. Same goes for stock bushes. Making your own only makes sense if you need specials like after you have bored out a worn linkage.

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    15'' clausing and a bridgport is just marginally better than a 4'' side grinder.

    Take some money for your material and look for something better.

    Or get the dude to find you something.

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    I have an engine lathe that has a clausing turret that has been modified to work with it. I use a live center, two different versions, with it as a tail stock, use a drill chuck when I need to drill a hole etc, so I don't see that as a limitation. I do see that most turret lathes can't thread shafts of any appreciable length. I suppose there are some that do? I would just go by the thought that the more specialized a machine is the better it does a few jobs or many jobs but loses some of it versatility. I'd go for and engine lathe, and something a little bigger rather than smaller, like 15 in diameter by 60in between centers, and as much tooling as I could get. Metric and standard change gears for threading, steady rest, live and dead centers, collet closure attachment, tapper attachment, up graded tool holder, extra tool holders, 3 and 4 jaw chucks, face plate, lathes doggs, even if there is a choice of hole through head stock, go for the larger.............I sure like the idea of posting photos here of lathe and tooling available and especially of the machines high wear areas. Any way, to digress here, the more versatile the better.

    Tim

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    i don't know why anyone doing general repair work, especially a "nubie", would choose a turret lathe over an engine lathe.

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    I have a Clausing 12" with both tailstock and hex bed turret. The ability to drill with the turret very rapidly (compared to tailstock) is a marvelous thing when you have some qty of parts to do. As noted above, one of my turret tools is a live center, so that is not much of a limitation. The more tooling you have, the better, when it comes down to it. I acquired the turret recently, and it paid for itself and more on a single job where I needed to drill out most of the material from about 40 pcs 9" long 1.75" dia polypropylene rods, then do some boring and whatnot. But I digress... A dedicated turret lathe requires more effort to figure out initially, and a standard engine lathe might be the place to start. In my case, I selected the Clausing because I knew it could use a bed turret that was available when needed.

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    Turret; very versatile once you get acquainted they are awesome. What kind do you have to choose from? Post some pics too, this will help everyone guide you a bit better.

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    I think before going any further, knowing which model of Ward Turret lathe would be almost essential, they made many different sizes and styles, the Combination Turrets being more than capable of eating a 15'' Clausing (re badged Colchester) for breakfast - without a trace of indigestion.

    Conversly it's all about condition, Wards generally have been worked hard, but they were built to take it, Colcesters are comparatively lightweight and with heavy use wear quickly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miguels244 View Post
    You will need a tailstock given the aspect ratio of your parts.
    Few turrets have one.

    Engine lath it is...plus then you can thread.
    I normally find you quite agreeable and on the money but this time. . .



    You can put anything you want in a turret lathes turret that you can in a tail stock of an engine.

    They can do threading as well. Main problem I see is it is hard to find one that has the threading capability intact.

    Also, most turrets don't have the center to center stretch that an engine lathe has.

    Take a look at the horsepower ratings, do you have 3 ph electricity available? If not you will need an appropriately sized vfd, which also drives cost.

    IMO you will probably be money ahead starting out with an engine lathe.

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    turret-lathe.jpgturret-lathe1.jpg
    the Turret lathe is a Bardons & Oliver #3 Turret Lathe comes with tailstock, live center 3 & 4 jaw chucks and a fair amount of tooling.
    img_8533.jpgimg_1849.jpg
    This is the engine lathe. It is a Clausing. Sorry for the delay. Any help is apreciated.

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    I believe the OP was needing some basic equipment to make a few parts.

    Heavier machinery would be great but the comparison of a 4 inch hand grinder is very misleading and a gross exageration.

    Specificaly he has a need and a desire.

    The Bridgeport and an engine lathe have supported a lot of industry and would suit him very well for his needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heavey Metal View Post
    15'' clausing and a bridgport is just marginally better than a 4'' side grinder.

    Take some money for your material and look for something better.

    Or get the dude to find you something.

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    Engine lathe, definitely. If you have very little experience with machine tools, first start off simple. Comparing to your earth moving business... which would you buy when first starting out, a track loader with trailer and a dump truck, or a pan scraper? Yes the pan scraper can move a lot more dirt a lot faster, but it is not nearly as versatile as a loader and dump truck that can pull it anywhere. The turret lathe would be great for making pins if you ran through a dozen of them a week, but setting it up and getting it tooled up could cost a small fortune. Engine lathe with a steady rest can do about anything you can imagine, as well as letting you do your own hydraulic repairs in addition to pins.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarinG View Post
    turret-lathe.jpgturret-lathe1.jpg
    the Turret lathe is a Bardons & Oliver #3 Turret Lathe comes with tailstock, live center 3 & 4 jaw chucks and a fair amount of tooling.
    img_8533.jpgimg_1849.jpg
    This is the engine lathe. It is a Clausing. Sorry for the delay. Any help is apreciated.
    "Bardons & Oliver #3 Turret Lathe comes with tailstock, live center"........ and there ya' go.

    What is it that causes some folks to think that when you have a choice of 6 or eight sockets, instead of a single socket in a tailstock, that a live center can't be mounted? See it time after time....

    Your pix of the turret lathe don't show the bed length but that center pedestal leads me to believe that the bed isn't real short.

    If that Bardons and Oliver turret lathe has threading capability and a decent bed length, there would be little question in my mind, unless it doesn't have a compound. That might be a deal breaker for me as an only lathe. But with that big spacer under the tool post, it's cross slide seems to have enough space below the spindle center line to mount a compound if available/comes with it? There are used compounds that could be fairly easily fitted if not and I'd go that way to get all the other pluses of that nice lathe.

    Got the electrical service to feed it? Working on heavy equipment tells me that you don't suffer trama at the prospect of moving a real machine.

    "....only want to be able to make pins, bushings, might turn a cylinder ram, and other projects around my shop" sounds like having a turret would be a plus, and the learning curve good fun! If the turret worries you, disengage and lock the turret rotation 'til you are comfortable and pretend that it doesn't have a turret. That will leave you with a really solid tailstock that's easy to move. After all, it looks like a lathe with 3 and 4 jaw chucks plus a turret, not a huge dedicated, multi spindle Acme that the uninitiated must be told that it's a lathe

    Bob

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    Red face

    What a great issue to have because either way you get a lathe you always wanted. I tend to agree with the choice of getting the engine lathe because you will use a turrent for more complex parts that you likely would want your machine shop to do in those cases. (It being more complicated) Plus turrent lathes also require tooling which may come with the machine yet if you do not have it you might want to buy it. A tail stock is something that gives itself over on the side of the weighing scale in favor of having it and that is you make pins and sleeves. If you have a pin that must be a fair length and run true having that option is important. Most of the time when any lathe is bought for a shop CNC or manual there will always be a time when you needed that tail stock. Before that time comes around satisfaction is blissful. Good luck on the decision I would at this point be trying to get both to be frank.


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