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  1. #1
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    From a discussion on the Home Machinist forum where the original poster wants to know if he should buy a new Jet or Grizzly lathe.

    Posted By: bill weis

    do yourself a favor buy a southbend,may cost a little more but it will be
    there for years to come.even a used american made machine would be
    preferable to an import.

    Posted By: Sam

    I'm always amused buy the comment, "Buy American. It may cost a little more,
    but the machines are far superior."

    This is the perfect example of "The haves" telling the "have-nots" how to
    get the best bang for the buck. We don't want put-downs. We are looking for
    good, solid information to get the best value for our money. We want a
    machine to do good respectable work, but we don't have a black checkbook.

    There are some real rags of machines with a $1500 to $2000 price tag hanging
    on them. And good luck trying to from a privet party. The deals are few and
    far in between. If the great deals are out the then enlighten us all. WHERE
    ARE THEY? I would love to buy American but I don't see the value for the
    dollar. If I wanted to make money from an operation, then yes I would spend
    the money and buy American. I hope to buy a machine and start my hobby shop
    next fall after I get the inside of my shed finished. And I have been
    keeping my eyes open. The used machine market is a tough market.

    Posted By: AEP

    All of the listed posts have good points. It would be nice to purchase an
    American lathe that is in good condition. I looked for years and never found
    one. I live in the San Francisco Bay area. I went to most of the machinery
    dealers. Their defination of a good machine is one that has just received a
    paint job. Don't let anyone tell you that grinding the "way's" is
    inexpencive. It's not if done properly.

    I setteled on a Jet lathe. Jet makes a decent lathe. It is not ment for
    production. I did do some scraping on the cross-slide for a better fit and a
    smoother operation, and adjusted the headstock. I can cut within 2 tenths,
    which is close enough for me.

    The one thing about Jet is their customer service and parts. They usally
    have the parts in stock. Twice I had trouble with Grizzly in getting parts.

    A used machine rant..........
    Posted By: Jerry(3)


    Cuz I'm drinkin Italian roast coffee and feelin talkative....

    If you look at used machines, you are essentially never going to find one
    that has *no* wear. Somewhere there will be wear.

    If the machine looks like my Dad-in-law's Southbend, with 0.025 ridges on
    the ways, it isn't as good a prospect. (durn mechanic, never oils anything,
    and I gave him a bottle of way oil too)
    But lots of machines are out there with wear in places that it does not
    count so much, like cross-slide screws, etc. (See meridian machinery's site
    for machine evaluation info; www.mermac.com)

    So basically, get used to the fact that nobody is gonna re-scrape a machine
    in except someone who is gonna use it afterwards.

    machinery dealers appear to come in two flavors: Large markup, and low
    markup. Large markup often clean the machine, or paint over dirt, they very
    infrequently actually fix things (Meridian Machinery).
    The others don't do anything. I like them better, they just lay it out
    there.

    Private sellers may know zip, and either want to sell, or want to get a lot
    of money for this "special, rare" machine. The former are OK, the latter
    have no clue.

    You must bring your knowlege, whatever it is, to the sale, and determine
    what the real story is, judging the reliability of the seller's information
    for yourself. Generally, you have to make a decision on less than perfect
    info, based on your observations and judgement, and a little gambling. Most
    bad deals are only not as good as you thought. Rarely is a real dog not
    fairly evident on the face of it, in my limited experience.

    The deals are out there, and the more work you can do for yourself in the
    way of cleaning and fixing, the better your deal will be. I have bought 4 or
    5 bigger machines, of varying vintage and origin, and have yet to get
    screwed. I looked at each one, and then took an educated flyer. Every one I
    knew I was going to tear down and at least clean before use. I feel I got a
    good deal each time.
    Sometimes I ended up paying the going rate, after accounting for repair
    parts. But then I knew I had a good machine. I could have paid the going
    rate and still had to get the parts.
    Sometimes I got a steal.

    But you have to look every week at the paper in the largest city within
    striking distance. Deals appear and disappear fast.

    I gotts go make parts now.




    [This message has been edited by Admin5 (edited 01-05-2002).]

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    I came accross a site www.exchangeandplant.com where some nice used and new machines were listed with thumbnail images.

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    Nick, it's blatently obvious you have something to do with that site. Do you actually think people that so stupid as to not realize that ?

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    pssssssssssssssst Don, why do you say that about Nick, I wouldda never thunk it!!! (is that Nick onn the picture on the homepage of www.exchangeandplant.com hahaha

    SteelCutter

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    I am a guy that prefers the American machines. This is for good reason as I have used the Asian imports.
    The machines I have are mostly old but good.
    I can say that I paid dearly for them.
    It does appear that the smaller good machines are getting hard to find, even ebay is drying up.
    One has to consider the time it takes to find clean quality equipment on thier own or shop at dealers
    The new guys buying machines seem to ask the impossible " what Asian machine is good?"
    I dont have a answer for that. However the 1983 Monarch I/M EE lathe that I have $15000 in is a good one.

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    Here is a very telling tale.

    I stopped in a shop to look at some equipment and the owner showed me a 1979 JET 1550, the one that looks like a Clausing 8000 series which was not that bad a machine when it was new

    It was slap wore out, the ways had deep grooves, the half nut in the carriage was broken and brake didn't work. Well it would cut all threads except the leadscrew wouldn't engage because the gear box doesn't work anymore.

    Sitting right behind it was a modest old 1941 Monarch 12" CK that had just finished a 10,000 piece production run with ways that were absolutely like new, no backlash on the compound
    or cross slide, ready for 10,000 more.

    If you are patient enough to find a good older machine they are still gonna be able to see us come and go.

    Good luck, Doug Baker

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    Howdy, I'm new hear and was wondering what you guys think of a Rockwell 11" w/L 00 spindle, quick change gearbox, ect. I just bought. John.

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    The lathe itself is (was?) probably fine, but from what I could gather, Rockwell parts/support is non existent.


    bb

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    I find it curious that US residents in general use the term IMPORT as a term for something bad and i know for a fact that you do not include most European made machines and tools in that term, even some of the asian countrys are considered very good. So the term only applies to fairly modern times cheap Chinese imports that is a result of us the costumers beeing not willing to pay for a decent made machine.... So all in all the term only applies to about 1% of what it in its word says it does. Strange term i must say.
    Attached images is a few representative examples of import machines both from Asia and Europe

    kern.jpg
    dmg.jpg
    mazak.jpg
    hermle.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick_john View Post
    I came accross a site www.exchangeandplant.com where some nice used and new machines were listed with thumbnail images.
    Thanks for sharing, I was looking for such sources.

  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyreesmuellers View Post
    Thanks for sharing, I was looking for such sources.
    You thanked someone for posting spam 15 years ago, WTF?

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    I'm putting this thread on my "random zombie thread reply-to" list for a new post sometime in 2023. Gotta keep the traditions going!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dualkit View Post
    You thanked someone for posting spam 15 years ago, WTF?
    Lmao. You can't believe how I'm laughing right now.

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    This is an excellent spammer catching thread.....

    Look, read, and learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    This is an excellent spammer catching thread.....

    Look, read, and learn.
    Dammit, DD - this wasn't supposed to come back for two years! You've totally buggered the schedule!

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    I respond with old posts frequently. Noting spam just might save someone who's not read every single post a thread contains. None of us can provide one time "this is OK now, but it wasspam, really!".

    Finding machinery is only 20% luck. All the rest depends on knowledge; what you think it's worth [after studying market, sometimes years], what you'll lack in tooling to support it, realizing difference of want and need, and reserving funds for that opportunity. One more, and probably second only to value, knowing the vocabulary when a negotiation starts.

    I've literally waited decades for some to appear; when they did I might not bite cause it had some detriment. 2 or 3 nights back one landed in my lap; complete - tested - operative - even what steps to pack & ship were. It's mine now, at 1/2 or less expected price. Was 7 days of nail-biting tension, yes.

    Not being a corporate entity with untold resources, that is only reasonable approach.

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    I'll give a perspective of someone that was new to machining and confronted with the new versus used conundrum. The issues against buying used are as follows:
    - boot strap problem: no pre-existing equipment/machines available to do the repairs necessary to fix a used machine that has problems
    - no expertise nor even the knowledge to understand what might be wrong with a used machine
    - one might be doing this machinist thing as a part-time/hobby and therefore may not have a lot of time to fix up a used machine, and might be dis-inclined to spend the first few years fixing machines versus making stuff
    - don't have a lot of contacts in the industry and therefore almost impossible to find a trusted mentor to help find a workable used machine

    On the new side, it seems to me that its basically just about money. If one is willing to spend the bucks you can buy very high quality new machines and avoid all of the issues above.

    The trade-off for most is that they can't afford buying quality machines new, and thus are confronted with:
    - get sucked into the highly risky and highly time absorbing effort of buying used and fixing,
    - or buying a shit new machine

    It is possible I guess, even as a novice to find a used in good shape machine, but that is just a crap shot in my opinion if you don't know what it is you are buying.

    In my case, I started with purchase of a few small used machines, didn't know what I was doing, got really lucky on a little 9" south bend lathe, and totally crapped out on the other machines I purchased. Very rapidly learned a few things, abandoned the south bend lathe, and have outfitted myself with very fine new machines, and dug myself into an impossibly deep black hole financially.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drcoelho View Post
    and dug myself into an impossibly deep black hole financially.
    And you are posting from where?

    I doubt anyone will pay any more mind to yet-another "impossibly deep black hole financially." than a power-outage, forest-fire, or foolish politician.

    I think I'm about $70,000 in by now?

    But... it was "play-with money" I might have otherwise wasted on health care coverage .. if I bothered to have any.

    And - so far - I haven't gotten cirrhosis of the liver nor an STD off the Old Iron and have even lost about 60 lbs of surplus body-mass.

    Money well spent?

    Seems so.

    Never could dance worth a s**t.

    Prolly has higher scrap-value than used politicians, too, speaking of impossibly deep ... <race and gender neutral> ... "holes"?

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    Dammit

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    It's an continuous ongoing theme of entry level people wanting to know what's decent used verses half decent or totally junk off shore garbage. I get that issue and was once there myself. Having forums like these helps, but it's 100% guaranteed any forum is not a replacement for making some effort and spending a few bucks to educate yourself. Too many want everything handed to them on a plate. Do a Google search for a free online PDF of the book Testing Machine Tools by Dr. Georg Schlesinger. Print the whole thing off and read it enough until you understand the complex and interrelated 3 dimensional alignments accurate machine tools require. Those are the entry level basics for industrial grade equipment. At the hobby level then a bit to maybe a lot less might be acceptable depending on your requirements.

    There not cheap at about $150 and $100 respectively, but it's almost universal world wide that most local library's have what's called an inter library lending service where you can request book titles to be brought in from elsewhere. I'd highly recommend the Moore Tools book Foundations of Mechanical Accuracy written by Wayne R. Moore just for it's diagrams of the possible or combinations of the 6 axes of inaccuracy that can be present in any new or now worn machine. Moore Tools still sell it for roughly $150 Publications at Moore Tool: Precision Machining Technology, Precision Tools The second book titled Machine Tool Reconditioning by Edward F. Connelly is mostly about rebuilding any machine and it's a dry tough to get through book, but it can also be used for at least improving what you might already have or figuring out why what you have won't do what you want. It's still also for sale at Machine Tool Reconditioning for Machine Tools by Machine Tool Publications for roughly $100. Printing that PDF off and getting both books through your local library costs very little. Even buying them so you do have that lifetime reference is still under $300. Good reference books are tools and just as important as anything else. If people would take a little initiative and make some effort you'd already have a pretty fair idea of what you might require and what might be suitable without getting ripped off. And that reference information also allows you to then judge who actually knows there ass from there elbow on almost every other forum besides PM and the multitude of YouTube videos that may or may not be full of shit.

    On average most professional machinist's don't need information at this level unless they own the shop. An hourly machinist gets paid to get the job done on equipment that's hopefully already well installed (leveled & aligned) and in good enough condition to turn out work to the accuracy required. Tramming a mill head and vise in might be the most they might need to do for years. That's 100% not true at the one man job shop level or especially for any one at the hobby level that expects to do more than dirt simple + - .010" work. And if more would make that effort you'd see far less dumb ass comments about doing a full machine "rebuild" with paint and a few repairs or making entry level stupid and usually wasted mistakes even when bolting a machine down. If you don't know then go find out.


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