Purchasing decent lathe, old school or new.
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Country
    AUSTRALIA
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    2

    Default Purchasing decent lathe, old school or new.

    Hello all. My first post and the subject has no doubt been asked before.....

    I am having a hard time deciding which is the better route, buy a decent sized lathe that is hopefully large enough that it can be discussed in these forums, or buy a Colchester Triumph 2000 that was probably built at the same time I was.

    A used Colcheter Triumph 2000 here in OZ can be had for $7-9000 AUS, but If I go the Taiwanese route, to get a machine that could be classed as not a hobby machine, I could run to $11000 - $15000 AUS. I have always liked the Colchester lathes and would prefer to own one of these as opposed to a new Asian lathe, but I don't want to buy something that is past it's prime.

    Is a Colchester Triumph 2000 past it's prime? Does an Asian lathe, the ones that can be discussed that is, do anything that an old Colchester can't?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    princeton b.c.
    Posts
    205
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    180
    Likes (Received)
    63

    Default

    ??? Hmmmfff,To be honest would you email a mechanic asking if a late 1980's to early 90's XXX brand of car is worth buying for yourself or would a factory new XXX brand of car be better with absolutely no further information than that? What do you want to do with the machine, available power at your location, what EXACT amount of experience about machining and machine repair do you already have. Condition of the used machine, how much time and $$$$ are you willing to invest in a used machine in case it needs repairing, bed grinding, rebuilding to match what you plan to do with it. Do you have enough experience to judge if a used machine is even worth buying or it's a money pit? If not then do you know anyone who does.With any used machine tool condition is everything. Your question as it is can't be answered. Add detailed pictures of the Colchester your interested in and a link to the new Taiwanese machine, then add what your planning to use it for, accuracy expected, etc. Asking a question like you have is verging on asking to have your hand held. If that's what you want then anybody here is going to expect dinner, drinks, movie etc or a whole lot more information. Read your own post again and ask yourself how you'd answer it if it was someone else's post.

  3. Likes assface421 liked this post
  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    25,744
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7561
    Likes (Received)
    8122

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard-B View Post
    Does an Asian lathe, the ones that can be discussed that is, do anything that an old Colchester can't?
    Presuming a GOOD one, say a South Korean Hwacheon? Surely.

    A "modest" one, say Taiwanese upper-echelon? Those, too.

    What they do better is not require expensive or unobtanium parts and lots of Tee Ell Cee time and spend to put them back right.

    T-C 2000 is a capable enough design. On paper. Quite a bit less than bullet-proof in the metal, as-new.

    And it is no longer new.

    Your need. Your budget. Time AND money.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Country
    AUSTRALIA
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by neanderthal mach View Post
    Read your own post again and ask yourself how you'd answer it if it was someone else's post.
    OK, I did re-read my post and the two questions I asked, I thought, were pretty straight forward. Is the Colchester Triumph 2000 past it's prime and can the modern Taiwanese lathes do anything that the Colchester can't.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Manchester, England
    Posts
    8,034
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1127
    Likes (Received)
    5031

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard-B View Post
    OK, I did re-read my post and the two questions I asked, I thought, were pretty straight forward. Is the Colchester Triumph 2000 past it's prime and can the modern Taiwanese lathes do anything that the Colchester can't.
    No and no.

    Regards Tyrone.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Country
    AUSTRALIA
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    2

    Default

    Thanks for the reply.

    It is a bit daunting looking through all the new machines for sale and not being trade qualified machinist it seems to be a lottery with the Asian machines. I thought by going for the heavier "commercial" lathes I would cut out a lot of the chaff.

    I am retiring in several years and will be able to focus on more machining. I don't want to purchase a machine that I outgrow as I become more experienced/advanced.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    25,744
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7561
    Likes (Received)
    8122

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard-B View Post
    ... retiring in several years and will be able to focus on more machining. I don't want to purchase a machine that I outgrow as I become more experienced/advanced.
    All depends on what you want to do IN your "retirement". A machine-tool that needs a massive investment in restoration might be the "project", rather than what it can make.

  9. Likes Kevin T liked this post
  10. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,708
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1218
    Likes (Received)
    965

    Default

    As with anything... "it depends!"
    Primarily, it depends on how the used machine was used and cared for.
    I have several manual lathes ranging from 1942 WW2 machines to 2016 Chinese 14x40 grizzly lathes.
    I will ALMOST ALWAYS take an older heavy iron machine over a new one.
    From experience I can tell you the newer Chinese stuff is not great.
    Low power, low rigidity, poor build quality, poor tolerances....
    On an older machine you need to look for wear and broken stuff but those are things you can see. With a new junker you will not notice all the problems until you have already bought and installed it and try to use it. Then it's too late.
    Several years ago I did a write up on a 16x40 grizzly lathe. In short, I said that it was pretty decent. It's been about 8 years now and it is still pretty good. Really not bad, but must be considered relative to its price point. You can't realistically compare a bottom trim Chevy to a Cadillac!
    Now, that 16x40 grizzly is ok, so I got their 14x40 "gunsmith lathe"...it's CRAP!
    Just don't do it!

    Long story short, look at them carefully, but try to find an older, well cared for, high quality machine.

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Country
    AUSTRALIA
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by metalmaster10 View Post
    Long story short, look at them carefully, but try to find an older, well cared for, high quality machine.
    Thanks for the reply MM. The reason I liked the Colchester T 2000 initially was it's old school looks. Then I Googled a bit more about them and i was pretty impressed, well as impressed as a newbie can be. One of the other members mentioned that once I retire, the actual fixing up of an old lathe would be a good retirement journey in itself. I tend to agree. The only concern is that I purchase something that cannot be fixed, if that is possible. I guess if funds are no object, then anything is fixable, but I won't have deep pockets once I retire...not for toys anyway.

    I have been looking at this as an example - Used colchester TRIUMPH 2000 Gap Bed Lathes in Braeside, VIC Price: $9,790

    I'm thinking that being an ex university lathe, it may not have been flogged out?

    The hard part for me is that these types of lathes often come up 1000s of km away, so it makes it hard to find a knowledgeable person to have a look for me.

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Manchester, England
    Posts
    8,034
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1127
    Likes (Received)
    5031

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard-B View Post
    Thanks for the reply MM. The reason I liked the Colchester T 2000 initially was it's old school looks. Then I Googled a bit more about them and i was pretty impressed, well as impressed as a newbie can be. One of the other members mentioned that once I retire, the actual fixing up of an old lathe would be a good retirement journey in itself. I tend to agree. The only concern is that I purchase something that cannot be fixed, if that is possible. I guess if funds are no object, then anything is fixable, but I won't have deep pockets once I retire...not for toys anyway.

    I have been looking at this as an example - Used colchester TRIUMPH 2000 Gap Bed Lathes in Braeside, VIC Price: $9,790

    I'm thinking that being an ex university lathe, it may not have been flogged out?

    The hard part for me is that these types of lathes often come up 1000s of km away, so it makes it hard to find a knowledgeable person to have a look for me.
    I used to work in an educational establishment that had " Colchester " lathes. I can almost guarantee that lathe in the photos won't have been thrashed, however it may have been crashed. Most of ours had a bit of " chuck rash " on the compound slide and sometimes the cross slide itself.

    It doesn't look like the steadies have ever been used, maybe the staff didn't know had to use them properly ! Data plates are un-marked, on a well used machine they are nearly always chipped and scratched. Original paintwork, that's always a plus for me.

    All three vee belts intact, still got the original work light that hasn't been wrecked, coolant piping seems to be unmolested. These are the little clues I always looked for. Machines that have been thrashed aren't usually in this condition. " Dickson " tool post with plenty of tool holders. I can't comment on the price but that machine looks like a goer to me.

    The real bugbear with these machines is the headstock lubrication, if that's been neglected you could have problems. Get the dealer to whip the headstock cover off and send you a few photos of the condition of the gearing etc. It's only a 5 minute job. If he's keen to sell and he's got nothing to hide he'll do it.

    Regards Tyrone.

  13. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Angier, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,559
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1033
    Likes (Received)
    938

    Default

    Richard, here is a link that I found helpful when I bought my old-iron lathe some years ago:

    Adventures With Klunkers

    There is also a link in that article to another one on how to evaluate a used lathe.

    For me, the bottom line for a newbie is, can you run it as-is, or do you have access to help to get it running. The one I bought could NOT be run as-is ... BUT I was buying it with the help of an experienced machinist who fixed the issues that I could not (primarily a missing gib on the compound). He also helped me move it, which was huge as well. And I got it for a steal - $500 US for a 12-1/2 x 30 Cincinnati TrayTop.

  14. Likes Richard-B, tech610 liked this post
  15. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Country
    AUSTRALIA
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    2

    Default

    Thanks mate, really appreciate your insight. Tips like this to a novice are gold.

  16. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New Jersey
    Posts
    14
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    18
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default

    Just to add to what Awake already said. You might need another lathe or mill or access to them if your used lathe will need some work to make it usable.

  17. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    891
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    353
    Likes (Received)
    320

    Default

    In addition to the (as usual) excellent advice from Tyrone, suggest you pop the drain at the bottom of the carriage pre buying. If you get rusty colored coolant, run away...

    When I was in training, more than thirty years ago, the college had a line up of slightly worn Triumph 2000's, several newish Standard Modern 13-40's and one 13-30 Dean Smith n Grace. The DS&G may have had the most wear of all, but it was such a pleasure to use that I ran most days to claim it for my days use. Unfortunately as you might guess, all of the DS&G's I've seen for sale nearby have been totally knackered and two Colchesters are in my garage... Including a Triumph 2000 and a Chipmaster. Seem to be good enough for me now...

    A Colchester Triumph 2000 has plenty of power- OP: do you have a mentor who can help you get started safely?

    Lucky7

  18. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Michigan
    Posts
    9,894
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3339
    Likes (Received)
    3546

    Default

    i like to say make a list of your intentions and go from there.
    I likely would choose a 1236 or bigger with select imperial and having a taper attachment and 3 and 4jaw and a steady.
    Would choose an up and running machine from a user, not a machine flipper, Likely cost near $3,000 for a used machine and $12k up for a new one.

    Yes thread dies and taps don't cost much so only having one thread is OK.

    It is hard to beat a Colchester Triumph 2000 in good condition.

  19. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Manchester, England
    Posts
    8,034
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1127
    Likes (Received)
    5031

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lucky7 View Post
    In addition to the (as usual) excellent advice from Tyrone, suggest you pop the drain at the bottom of the carriage pre buying. If you get rusty colored coolant, run away...

    When I was in training, more than thirty years ago, the college had a line up of slightly worn Triumph 2000's, several newish Standard Modern 13-40's and one 13-30 Dean Smith n Grace. The DS&G may have had the most wear of all, but it was such a pleasure to use that I ran most days to claim it for my days use. Unfortunately as you might guess, all of the DS&G's I've seen for sale nearby have been totally knackered and two Colchesters are in my garage... Including a Triumph 2000 and a Chipmaster. Seem to be good enough for me now...

    A Colchester Triumph 2000 has plenty of power- OP: do you have a mentor who can help you get started safely?

    Lucky7
    I agree about draining the apron to see what comes out, coolant, water or oil, if you are able to do that of course. That's good advice and it's easy to do. Of course that doesn't mean the the seller hasn't beaten you to it and already swapped the stale coolant for clean oil but it's still worth doing.

    In my experience educational establishments rarely run coolant because of the mess it makes and the health & safety issues. If I needed it I used the old " Fairy Liquid " bottle most of the time and at the senior school I worked at I certainly didn't let the students anywhere near coolant !

    Tyrone Shoelaces.

  20. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Modesto, CA USA
    Posts
    6,660
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1095

    Default

    Does that Colchester do metric threads? Do you care? How big is the bore through the headstock, bigger is better and more costly. It is easy to spend as much on tooling as for the naked lathe. A used lathe will often come with tooling worth as much as the machine itself. Make sure the spindle nose is some common standard so you can find a bigger chuck latter.
    That toolpost and tool blocks in the link are probably 500-1,000 dollars if bought separately.
    Bill D

  21. Likes michiganbuck, steve-l liked this post
  22. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Michigan
    Posts
    9,894
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3339
    Likes (Received)
    3546

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    Does that Colchester do metric threads? Do you care? How big is the bore through the headstock, bigger is better and more costly. It is easy to spend as much on tooling as for the naked lathe. A used lathe will often come with tooling worth as much as the machine itself. Make sure the spindle nose is some common standard so you can find a bigger chuck latter.
    That toolpost and tool blocks in the link are probably 500-1,000 dollars if bought separately.
    Bill D
    Op is an Australia guy so likely looking for metric up front..

  23. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Sydney Au
    Posts
    424
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    43
    Likes (Received)
    43

    Default

    Personally, I'd avoid buying a Colchester unless the deal was lots better than that price. There's some weird cult like following for them, because they were in a lot of Tafes, as you see when they close the machining courses and silly prices are achieved at auction. I suppose 600 group do have support here if you run into troubles, which may explain some of their popularity - providing you have pots of gold.

    As long as you're patient....and it sounds like no immediate pressing need, other lathes equally or more capable capable come up from time to time for less. A friend does have a 2000 with a worn bed, so usual checking before getting a rush of blood advised!

  24. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Country
    AUSTRALIA
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tech610 View Post
    Just to add to what Awake already said. You might need another lathe or mill or access to them if your used lathe will need some work to make it usable.
    As luck would have it, at work we have a new commercial size lathe and mill, both of which we are able to use out of hours as long as we clean up afterwards. We are all aircraft engineers and as such, machining is really not part of our training. Luckily, one of the guys was a trade qualified machinist before getting into aviation. He is more than happy to help the guys with less experience. I think it is also so we don't break his toys.

  25. Likes tech610 liked this post

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •