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  1. #1
    Admin5 Guest


    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;

    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

    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).]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    I came accross a site where some nice used and new machines were listed with thumbnail images.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Coastal Dogpatch, SC, USA
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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 ?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    The Land Of Lincoln, where the air still smells fresh (SOME PLACES TOO FRESH)
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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 hahaha


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Walla Walla Wine and Wild Turkey
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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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    detroit, mi
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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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Jenkintown, PA
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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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    The lathe itself is (was?) probably fine, but from what I could gather, Rockwell parts/support is non existent.


  9. Likes Turbo442 liked this post
  10. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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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



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