Thinking Out Loud-Which Lathe to Sell?
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  1. #1
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    Default Thinking Out Loud-Which Lathe to Sell?

    OK stupid question time; got a long list of stuff I need, tight budget and got plenty of lathes. So gonna thin the herd a bit.

    Got a 11x36 Sheldon, that's pretty much totally tooled out. 4jaw, 3jaw, 5c crank style collet chuck, and 5C Hardinge Sjogren collet chuck. Almost full set of 5C collets, AXA tool post with about 20 holders (real aloris and homemade). Not a bad little set up, it's taken me a long time hunting for bargains to flesh it out.

    I've also got a Modern Turn 1550, copy of a Clausing Colchester 1550. Got it basically for hauling away, it's ugly and needs some work but should be functional. Think I'll power it up this weekend.

    At work they have literally the same machine, another brand, but they are identical. I've made parts with it, not a bad machine, but not great. My little Sheldon is actually a "smoother" lathe, but the Modern turn is much more rigid machine.

    So if you had to pick one, would you keep the Sheldon, that's running, looks good and tooled out, but makes steel wool instead of actual chips. Or fix the Modern Turn, rob the spindle tooling from the Sheldon (8" chucks sort of fit both lathes), and sell the toolless Sheldon lathe?

    Modern Turn is camlock spindle, inch/metric, with TA attachment. But the Sheldon was my first lathe and takes up less space.

    I've got plenty of heavier lathes, some even are running now. But metric threading might be nice.

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    My first lathe was a nice Sheldon 12" when I was about 18. Now that I know what a real lathe is I'd never want another one. Unless the 1550 is totally roached that would be my pick, if only because of the cam lock and the fwd/rev clutch. It's sturdy enough to do real work on it and small enough to be handy. If you want a nice small lathe later on find a real toolroom benchtop size lathe - you are good at finding machines, something will turn up when you are ready for it.

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    I'd keep and clean up the 1550.

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    If the 1550 is in decent mechanical condition and the ways etc are good, I'd keep it and sell the other machine. Frankly the camlock chuck mount and extra rigidity would do it for me aside from anything else.

    A nice paint job etc is all very well but if you *use* your machines (as I know you do) the paint job does nothing really for you other than the 'looks nice' factor.

    I recently had someone on my case in another forum because my machines were oil stained & had a lot of chips all over them - I was posting pix of work in progress. I just laughed at the clown.

    PDW

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    I guess I’m in the opposite camp. If you already have heavier lathes up and running, I would keep the Sheldon. Axa size tooling is small for a real 15” anyway. I’m in the same boat with a fully tooled 13” SB CLK. I am just getting a 16x40 tooled up and could use the space that the 13” is taking up, but the 16” doesn’t have a taper attachment, and I can’t swing a collet setup for it right now, so I like having the SB, plus it runs and sounds like a sewing machine with a collet in the spindle and no gears engaged

    A fully tooled smaller lathe with collets is handy, I’m always making small spacers, washers, modifying bolts etc


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    I did not know there is such a thing as having too many lathes. If you have the room keep both. Sounds like they each have good points.

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    I have no advice as to which You should keep. I am however in shock that you would be considering getting rid of anything. I
    have been under the impression that you were trying to purchase every single piece of old iron in the country.

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    The Sheldon is a toy, but so is the 1550, just slightly better. The one I've used at work, I hate it's forward reverse switch deal. It's not an actual clutch, but an electrical switch that starts and stops the motor. Ever time you use it, the motor sends a shudder through the lathe that moves the tool .0005-.001 every time (atleast the one does) as well as the other lathe that has the same sort of switch. Real fun trying to hit tight bearing fits with that, do able but annoying.

    The next size up lathe I've got is a 24x120 Pacemaker that I've been slowly working on. Spindle runs great, tops out at 1200rpm with plenty of HP and rigidity. The majority of my turning will probably be done on that lathe anyway. Its got a real clutch, makes a ton of motor noise, but super smooth headstock that makes no gear noise at all.

    No metric threading, but it's an actual lathe with handles the right size, and readable speed/feed fables. No hieroglyphics (one of my biggest per peeves with new import lathes)

    Quote Originally Posted by FredC View Post
    I did not know there is such a thing as having too many lathes. If you have the room keep both. Sounds like they each have good points.
    In a perfect world with unlimited space and money, yeah can't have enough of anything. But I've got 6 lathes in the shop right now, with the heaviest still to move into the building.

    Quote Originally Posted by bridgedog View Post
    I have no advice as to which You should keep. I am however in shock that you would be considering getting rid of anything. I
    have been under the impression that you were trying to purchase every single piece of old iron in the country.
    Yeah I know, out of my usual pattern for sure. But that's the way it is. Need a transformer, phase converter control box and other tooling more than an extra lathe.

    Next I'm going to start selling duplicate tractors, construction stuff and scrapping junk laying around the place.

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    Why do you have a lathe? Is it to make parts, hold the shop floor down, or to own a collection? If its to ballast the shop floor or collect, keep both. If its actually to make parts, put them both up for sale. You can withdraw the second one from offer after you get paid from the first to sell. Or better yet, sell both.

    Sure, its nice to have extra equipment, but a little goes a long ways. Pretty soon you spend all your time polishing iron and no time making parts.

    To much equipment is chaos. Chaos is not conductive to productivity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbent View Post
    Why do you have a lathe? Is it to make parts, hold the shop floor down, or to own a collection? If its to ballast the shop floor or collect, keep both. If its actually to make parts, put them both up for sale. You can withdraw the second one from offer after you get paid from the first to sell. Or better yet, sell both.

    Sure, its nice to have extra equipment, but a little goes a long ways. Pretty soon you spend all your time polishing iron and no time making parts.

    To much equipment is chaos. Chaos is not conductive to productivity.
    This is a wise man. Many "hobby machinists", or professional machinists with toys at home (it sounds like you fall into that category), are actually "hobby millwrights". There's nothing wrong with that at all; just be honest about how you'd like to spend your time.

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    In that case I'd probably sell the 1550 and use the sheldon until I found a better lathe that size.

    BTW, I have 2 17X 80 engine lathes, the only thing smaller is a W&S #3, that's my 'little' lathe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbent View Post
    You can withdraw the second one from offer after you get paid from the first to sell.
    Not a bad idea, let the market decide.

    I'll be keeping one though, a small extra lathe is handy to have for the odd pin, punch, chamfer or second op. But most of the real work will be done on the Pacemaker (or CNC if can get it to run).

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    Sell everything you have and get out of this godforsaken business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gwbolton View Post
    Sell everything you have and get out of this godforsaken business.
    Maybe use the funds toward the purchase of a hot dog cart?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gwbolton View Post
    Sell everything you have and get out of this godforsaken business.
    While funny, and perhaps true, not very helpful.

    But, I'm sure my classmates all have more exciting hedonistic plans for their spring brake next week than I do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alskdjfhg View Post
    While funny, and perhaps true, not very helpful.

    But, I'm sure my classmates all have more exciting hedonistic plans for their spring brake next week than I do.
    Sorry. Every now and then I have a really bad day and this is one of them. After 40+ years doing this toolmaker thing, I am sick of it all. Should have been a Charm School teacher.....

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    Judging from the pictures of your shop, you could afford to keep both lathes. Based on what I do, I would keep them both. I do a lot of collet work for which a large lathe is not best at. I currently have a HLV-H knockoff, a 10" SB heavy and a 12CK Monarch. I just sold a 13" Sheldon "M" lathe. All three lathes are well tooled. I find that the best combination is a small lathe for collet work, a medium and a heavy for chuck work. Since my collection tops off at the 12CK, I can't do really heavy work as you can do with the American. The Sheldon is a light but good machine and you have a lot of tooling. Fix up the 1550 and use it until a better deal comes around, then upgrade. 15" would be a good size for cnc lathe.

    Tom

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    I have been following your adventures for some time now. I am going to offer you some advise. Buy yourself a calendar and take note of what year it is. STOP buying all that junk, and that is what it all is, junk! If you would have not wasted all that money buying and moving those useless antiques you could have bought something modern by now. I am not trying to be a jerk but I think it is time an adult stepped in and said something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by norb View Post
    I have been following your adventures for some time now. I am going to offer you some advise. Buy yourself a calendar and take note of what year it is. STOP buying all that junk, and that is what it all is, junk! If you would have not wasted all that money buying and moving those useless antiques you could have bought something modern by now. I am not trying to be a jerk but I think it is time an adult stepped in and said something.
    I think you have a harsh opinion. Not everything is suitable for cnc, certainly not where a 22" American is concerned. Are the cnc lathes out there that can do the job of the American, but at what cost? Most 20-22 year old's don't have the capital to build a new shop, go to college and buy new machinery all at the same time. I would venture to say that a man starting out with manual equipment will be a better machinist than starting out as a button pusher. No, rather than castigate our OP, you should be giving kudos for his accomplishments.

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDegenhart View Post
    I think you have a harsh opinion. Not everything is suitable for cnc, certainly not where a 22" American is concerned. Are the cnc lathes out there that can do the job of the American, but at what cost? Most 20-22 year old's don't have the capital to build a new shop, go to college and buy new machinery all at the same time. I would venture to say that a man starting out with manual equipment will be a better machinist than starting out as a button pusher. No, rather than castigate our OP, you should be giving kudos for his accomplishments.

    Tom
    I am not saying the kid should buy a CNC But he should buy a decent modern machine that was designed for modern carbide tooling that he could actually do a job on. His only accomplishment was to waste a good deal of money. I am only trying to help not castigate. If your son came home and said "gee dad, I want to spend thousand's of dollars and start a turn of the century flat belt driven machine shop" what would your advice be?


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