Recommendations on current production lathe manufacturers
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    Default Recommendations on current production lathe manufacturers

    I am looking to purchase a new lathe, something in the 16 x 60 size range, for making repairs on items and occasionally making new one off items. The current production machine tool world seems to be riddled with different variants of Chinese or Taiwanese machines that are difficult to wade through for what has a hope of being less or not problematic.

    Can anyone offer recommendations of a good bang for the buck?

    Does a manual/CNC lathe exist or would this be an animal that just doesn't do either well?

    I know many will speak highly of old American iron and I can concur, but I don't have the time or patience to go through a rebuild or constant tweaking of something someone else used or abused prior.

    I need to add that cost is the least concern.

    Thanks

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    Lot of guys think highly of these:
    Whacheon U.S.A., Inc. - Commercial Lathes - Used Lathe Equipment & Parts - www.whacheon.com

    I've run them and they are solid machines (mori seiki clones).

    I think toolmex makes a good quality lathe also, but never had the chance to run one.

    If you are doing repair work, I dont see a ton of value in a combo manual / cnc. Most of them are pretty light duty, although toolmex does offer one - again never seen one. The operator looses all feedback from the handles anyway, so might as well just plan on using it as a full cnc...and I think there are much better options out there for full CNC lathes. Really just depends on your work though.

    https://www.toolmex.com/machines/machines

    The toolmex might be too big for you, I thought they had a smaller one, but apparently they start at 22" swing. I personally wouldnt go any smaller than 22", but my work tends to be on the larger side.

    Cost was the biggest concern for me, so I've got a couple old Monarchs and an Okuma LB25 to cover most all the round stuff.

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    Harrison / Colchester are good lathes from the UK.I just picked up a 21" Colchester, built in 1972, yes 1972. I'm very pleased with it !

    Here's a new one that seems to be discounted:
    New Clausing Colchester 8043 15 x 50 Gap Bed Lathe | eBay

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    If you want north American manufactured, I think Standard-Modern is the only one left making manual machines. Taiwanese machines are generally ok, I would pass on chinese for several reasons.

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    What specifically will you be using it for? Will you be cutting threads and is so inch or metric or both? Do you need a taper attachment?

    You say cost is not a concern but realistically what is your budget?

    I have a 1970's Taiwanese 16" X 40" that was fully rebuilt before I got it and runs like new. I also wanted to make chips and not spend months having to fix and rebuild it. It does everything I need. New Taiwanese lathes are still a big step up from a Chinese one.

    If I did not care about metric, I would probably buy old American iron. There are still many out there that are not worn out and if you want to spend some more money you can get ones rebuilt to new condition.

    Monarch, LeBlonde, Lodge & Shipley, American Pacemaker and Axelson is what I would be looking for. And again you don't have to buy one worn out.

    I have never seen a Standard Modern lathe but have heard good things about them and I think they are still made in Canada? But you are looking at about $25,000 for a new one.

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    I've heard to Standard Modern's are good lathes, but on the light duty side. I'd buy a Whacheon/Hwacheon, most likely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    I've heard to Standard Modern's are good lathes, but on the light duty side. I'd buy a Whacheon/Hwacheon, most likely.
    Yeah, the Mori clones are the only modern machines I've seen and run that hold a candle to the good old american iron. They dont have the same feel, not even close, but they can take a cut and handle metric threads. I was keeping an eye out for a used one for some time, but my CNC has taken over 90% or more of my lathe work, and I dont really have much desire to own a good manual lathe anymore.

    I had a SAG17 Graziano for a while, which is probably on par with the Clausing and the Standard Modern. I didnt think much of it.

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    There are still good lathes being made in the world, but most are not sold in the USA, as we are too cheap to pay what they cost.
    A decent 16x60 Taiwan lathe is going to be in the $20k to $25k range, tooled, New.
    Most US buyers gulp really hard at that price.

    The next level up, eastern european, including lathes from Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, are more in the high 30s to 50s. Yes, thousands of dollars.
    Better quality, more money.
    Universal Center Lathes | TRENS SK, a.s.

    Romi, in Brazil, makes a good, real, industrial lathe- Romi T Series Universal Lathe
    My guess is, on price, if you have to ask, you cant afford it, but I cant imagine its below fifty grand.


    Actual European lathes do exist- and they are more like $75k to $100k. Many of these are hybrids, in that they are cnc lathes with the ability to do some things manually.
    Weiler still makes good lathes- this one is about an 18" swing. Commodor 230 VCD - WEILER
    This one comes in a 2000 mm center to center size- basically 80". its CNC with manual handles as well. And probably about twice what a new pickup costs. C 50 - WEILER

    Pinacho, in Spain, is still making conventional lathes, too, and I am sure they are nice.
    Pinacho ML ENG - Pinacho

    Several other euro companies make manual lathes- all good quality, all expensive, and all dont bother to have US dealers, because its just not worth it. All sell to European companies, who like both quality, and to support local companies, and put their money where their mouth is.

    The japanese still make manual lathes, but its probably been 40 years since they bothered to even try to sell them here. We just dont want to pay real world prices.
    Which is why we get Grizzly.

    The last really quality industrial sized lathes made in the USA (not HLV's or EE's, which were specialized toolroom machines, and in the case of Hardinge are still made, and in the case of Monarch were made until realatively recently), were Government contract lathes, sold to naval shipyards and similar government facilities, in the late 70s and early 80s. And those lathes, in 18" to 24" swings, and 80" to 120" lengths, were between $150,000 and $200,000, 40 years ago. If a US company tried to make a similar lathe to what you want, my guess is you would be talking a quarter million, easy.

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    You should check out Takisawa Japan. TAC series is manual/cnc, the TAL and TSL are manual. Supported by Yamazen in Elk Grove Village. Takisawa's US headquarters is in Schaumburg.

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    I'm not sure but I think a decent Whacheon is well under $40K

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    I found one online, new, and its right about $40k, but that doesnt include shipping. Looks pretty well tooled, with a taper attachment, live center, But no DRO. With a DRO and shipping, I am guessing you hit 45k.

    Whacheon 23" x 59" Lathe, HL-580 - Norman Machine Tool

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ries View Post
    If a US company tried to make a similar lathe to what you want, my guess is you would be talking a quarter million, easy.
    A lot of the cost is in the geared-head headstock ... if they did something like a three-speed with a variable speed motor, and drove the leadscrew electronically, should be able to cut the cost substantially.

    But no one wants to do that, so just idle speculation ...

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    What about a South Bend?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Windy City View Post
    [SIZE=2]
    Can anyone offer recommendations of a good bang for the buck?
    Monarch Lathe is largely a dealer-distributor/service outfit these days. See their Weiler, Trens, etc. lines, "teach" included:

    Lathes | Monarch Lathes
    Does a manual/CNC lathe exist or would this be an animal that just doesn't do either well?
    MANY exist. German, Japanese, French... "etc"

    They CLAIM to do both "better". Including repair of threads & c.
    Several use Siemens controls.

    CNC goods "in general" have become ever-more-adept at being able to do "onesies", R&D, and repair work in a form of manual mode.

    AFAIK, that's part of the reason pure "all manual" machine tools ARE going ever-scarcer with each passing year.

    CAVEAT: Just because the machinery "helps really well" doesn't mean the operator can be a fool. The technology is a force multiplier for the highly skilled. Not a substitute for skills to give idiots a free-ride.

    Keeping in mind that Siemens is not the only provider .. here's a video that would 'mostly' apply to more than just the Cazeneuve:

    CAZENEUVE - Optica Siemens English - YouTube (from 2013!)

    OPTIMAX V3 - Presentation (GB) - YouTube (from 2019)

    Easier to watch than some others?

    Okuma TLM LATHE - YouTube

    Teach in Lathe SE 250x1000 cutting test - YouTube

    There are more out there as time marches on....

    About that "free ride..""

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFMa21GOoFk

    Oy! ....If I was even only SIXTY years younger ...


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    Quote Originally Posted by 52 Ford View Post
    What about a South Bend?
    BTW, I mean't that as a question, not rhetoric. Whatch y'all's opinion on the newer South Bend lathes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 52 Ford View Post
    BTW, I mean't that as a question, not rhetoric. Whatch y'all's opinion on the newer South Bend lathes?
    ??

    Grisely with perfume and a bikini wax, are they?

    How much money do you have?

    Person might need a right compelling incentive to even HAVE an opinion?

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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    ??

    Grisely with perfume and a bikini wax, are they?

    How much money do you have?

    Person might need a right compelling incentive to even HAVE an opinion?
    I know Grizzly bought them, but I think they hold them to a higher standard than the "Grizzly" lathes.... and I've heard good things about the Griz lathes in smaller shops.


    So, (for the price of course) they're not worth it?

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    You have to be VERY careful of what you get from the 600 group (Colchester/Harrison) because there was a long period of perseverance where they were made in China by Dalian Machine Tools.
    I would not by anything without a CNC control on it - turning radii, tapers, threads etc - so much more productivity and control.
    Have a look at Southwest Industries and their prototraks
    TRAK TRL 2470RX Toolroom Lathe - TRAK Machine Tools

    Used Southwestern Industries for sale in United States. TRAK equipment & more | Machinio

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbter View Post
    I would not by anything without a CNC control on it - turning radii, tapers, threads etc - so much more productivity and control.[/url]
    True. Good point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 52 Ford View Post
    I know Grizzly bought them, but I think they hold them to a higher standard than the "Grizzly" lathes.... and I've heard good things about the Griz lathes in smaller shops.


    So, (for the price of course) they're not worth it?
    Wellllll... if a quart of sour milk is LESS sour than some other quart of sour milk,... if a flat tire with a ruint sidewall has less damage than some other tire with a ruint sidewall...if a recycled condom with a hole in it has a SMALLER hole than some other condom with a LARGER hole.... does ANY of that sound like "worth"?

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