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Thread: Monarch Lathe

  1. #1
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    Hello, my name is Mike Stumpfig. I repair farm tractors for a living. Many of these tractors are over 30 years old and some of the manufactures of them are no longer in busniss. This makes it somtimes impossible to obtain parts for repairs, so I often must either remachine the old part or make a new part. This is why I have had to add a machine shop to my tractor repair shop. I am no machinest, but the people on this website and the website moderated by Marti E. have been most helpful to me. THANK YOU. Now I must tell you that I have had the good fortune of obtaining a Monarch 12CK (14.5x54) in what I feel is much better than average condition. Every thing works fine, original paint 99%, very quiet gears. Now I realize this is no 10EE, but it should recive honerable mention, I've been looking for a 10EE from time to time, but feel I need to wait until I have room for it this summer.(shop expansion) I must admit, those Monarch 612 or 610 lathes are very nice looking machines also. Now that we are getting picky, the Monarch that really opens my eye is the modle EE1000. I recived a maintainance manual from Monarch for my 12CK and in it there is a picture and lube chart of the EE1000. It looks something like an over grown 10EE. VERY EXPENSIVE to be shure. Never have I seen one of these lathes for sale or in a shop. perhaps they are quite rare, I dont know. If anyone knows of the EE1000, I would just like to hear obout what may have been one of the best lathes ever built. Thanks and Regards Mike

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    Mike

    Seems I have the same manual - with pics of other lathes, including the 1000ee.

    While doing some searching for monarch info, (I have a 12CKK), I found a few threads pertaining to the 1000ee. If you access the rcm site via google http://groups.google.com/groups?num=...s.metalworking
    and do a search - 1000ee - you'll find this info.

    Herb

  3. #3
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    hi, mike,

    my own take on the "ee1000" lathes is that they could well be described as "monarch's magnificient folly"........

    we've never owned one......the tiny extent of my own experience with those was inspecting (read.....getting to play with) a couple of those that were offered for sale, one time and another.....

    the "ee1000" is worth all the superlatives you can say about it......an extremely high level of accuracy, and a wonderfully fast and easy machine to operate.....

    there's no free lunch, tho.....the "wonderfully fast and easy machine to operate" aspect of the machine comes at the price of a literally staggering level of complexity.....

    they were built in the mid to late '50's, and i've no idea how many were built, but it couldn't have been very many......i've no idea what the first cost would have been, but it would have been staggering.....i'd strongly suspect that they were all paid for by the taxpayers, as part of the cold war "arms race" program....

    my own thought is that the development of the ee1000 was driven by the requirement for very accurately machined prototype and developmental components, under extreme time pressure......the idea of a lathe which would reduce operator fatigue over the 12-14 hour shifts worked by highly skilled machinists when developing aerospace and weapons systems under time pressure would, in theory, justify the high first cost of the machine......and, an easily operated machine would help keep some of the highly skilled, but elderly, machinists and toolmakers in a more productive situation....

    and.....i don't know this, of course, but i'd strongly suspect that a large component of the design of these lathes was sheer ego on the part of the engineers and decision makers at monarch.....they set out to design and build the "ultimate lathe", regardless of cost.....and, they succeeded....

    this was, i'd imagine, an example of the same "can do" attitude which saw the u.s. aerospace program putting men on the moon.....and bringing them back alive.....

    one of the nice features of these is the "constant surface speed" feature.....a little gearbox is clutched to the cross-feed screw, which, when engaged, operates the speed control pot for the spindle motor.....with this feature engaged, you set the spindle rpm as "feet per minute" on a specific diameter, with the cross feed screw in the position you choose.

    with the spindle running, moving the compound in or out with the cross feed screw causes the spindle speed to be varied according to the position of the compound....

    when working a workpiece with several diameters, the spindle is sped up or slowed down to maintain the surface speed in fpm, for optimum tool performance....this would be particularly noticeable when facing a fairly large part......

    other features, like the hydraulically operated tailstock, automatic back-gear shifting, and such, were just wonderful for the operator.....one of these lathes equipped you to get highly accurate turning work out in very good time, and stay productive for long hours at a time....

    but......there is a down side to all this wonderfulness.......not only the first cost, but the sheer complexity......the mechanical complexity wasn't a problem, aside from first cost......the monarch machinery was of superlative quality, and well fitted......the devil was in the electricals.....a sophisticated, but ever so complex, system......tho the monarch engineering people specified the best components available, electricals like tubes, capacitors, potentiometers, and suchlike will degrade unpredictably.....and almost no one in the field was able to maintain these systems......

    would an ee1000 be a nice machine to own and use?????......well, thats a very good question.......if one could be found which hadn't been worn out of tolerance (remember, these probably were run hard by their first owners), or with major electricals missing or badly damaged, then i'd say a qualified yes......if you are willing and able to come up on the learning curve about the electricals.....or have an electrical engineer friend who would take an interest in keeping the monarch alive.....

    back in the real world.....your 12ck is one of the finest small lathes ever built.....if the ways and spindle bearings are still good, it is very nearly (we're talking tenths here) as accurate as the "ee", and, as a practical matter, will do any work the "ee" will do, and very nearly as fast......at the trade-off of somewhat higher operator fatigue level. the 12ck is just not quite as easy to use for very small work, but, fitted with a sjogren closer for 5c collets, and with the headstock re-speeded for its 1200 allowable max revs., the 12ck will do very well indeed......

    in short, once properly set up, levelled up, and dialled in, your 12ck will be more than adequate for any work within its size capability, and, in fact, a better machine than the ee for quite a bit of the ordinary run of work, especially in steel, owing to its greater rigidity and heavier spindle compared to the ee.....

    cheers

    carla


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