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  1. #1
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    Default Itemized Cost of A Garage Lathe Shop

    Hey all!

    I bought a lathe from work and threw it in my garage.

    The short details for those looking for numbers:

    $450 machine cost
    $41.40 cleaning tools (harbor freight)
    $65 breakfast for friends (help unloading)
    $40 tank of gas
    $??? Transport and tie down of machine (dad)
    Lumber for sliding/propping (scrap)
    $43.29 5 gal kerosene
    $85.00 sight glasses and V belts, with shipping and tax
    $11.90 gasket material for feed gearbox
    $7.56 grease for change gears
    $308 phase converter
    $300 misc electrical
    $9.34 5 gallon bucket and JB weld
    $72.70 headstock oil
    $258.81 (tool holder, jaws, tool, inserts OD turning only)
    $21.20 threaded rod
    ~$1715 Total
    (+~20 hours shopping and repairing)

    I cannot stress enough that I had a lot of help, an ok amount of knowledge and research, and got the machine itself for incredibly cheap. I am not too proud to say Iíve been given a leg up by the family and community I was raised in, the time invested in my skills, and shear dumb luck. I expect a more realistic value to get a lathe of this size up and going would be about $3000 all else being equal, unless you have the tools and knowledge that I donít on my own. Itís probable a mill would run about the same. Note that I have only limited tooling included.

    Iíve included the story of the install as well, because I want to show people that it is not an insurmountable task to get started, even with very little industry experience (I have less than 3 years, mostly CNC programming, fixture design, and machine maintenance). That being said, it can be dangerous and requires attention to the details if you want to succeed at the task. It is a little long winded, but I am excited.

    If you want the more detailed account, Iíve included my notes below: (pardon the formatting, copied from notes and posted on my phone)

    The move in:

    I purchased an Economaster S-400 Lathe from my work (14Ēx40Ē, no taper attachment, L00? Chuck, 7.5 HP 3 phase motor). The slideways look good, but each part of the machine shows wear, tear, and a little abuse. The paint job is hideous, but kept the rust out.
    (Expected MRR~5.6 cubic inches/minute in 4130 on phase shifter)
    The machine was apparently removed from service for floor space, according to the manager of that department.
    Guestimate weight: ~3000 lbs
    My dad has a Mahindra front loader (Model 3016 Shuttle, year?), but it could not outright lift the lathe off the trailer. Rolling the bucket allowed the chains to snug and lift it, but was unsafe and had to be manually balanced against rolling/tilting (imagine skinny 170 pound me holding it straight, hollering at dad on the tractor, and mom driving the truck and trailer). I Would not suggest this tactic for anyone.
    Lifted the machine a few inches, drove the trailer out from under it. Set it down.
    We set the bottom on 2Ēx8Ēx8í I had on hand from making my daughters sandbox. My suburban driveway has a pretty steep slope. (2x12x12 or 3/4Ē plywood would have probably worked better)
    We slid the machine and plank up the driveway like a sled, with the bucket of the tractor pushing on the wood below the lathe.
    Then we attached chains to headstock casting and lifted the headstock end.
    Using a long pry bar (Mississippi mud stick) at the tailstock end, we inched the lathe over the small (3Ē high) step into the garage.
    We set the headstock end on lumber and slid in (pushing from the back).
    Then we turned the lumber(s) 90 degrees and used the pry bar to walk it sideways, adjusting final location.
    We managed to achieve only minor damage to the concrete, looks like I can feather it in with a sander or something, and with pressure washing wonít be noticeable.

    The Refurb:

    Opened up the headstock, it looks good. Thereís wear on the edge of the teeth where some hard or incomplete shifts were made and ground it down there. Other than that all looks good. Had to remove the quick change gears to get to the drain plug. Drained the old, dark oil (~8 qts!) and wiped out the gearbox. Used a magnet to pick up any stubborn filings and then used kerosene and rags to wipe the inside of the box. There is no oil pump! I had removed a shaft expecting to find one in a small external housing and nope! I now need to replace the safety wire (.041Ē) holding the set screw in place on one of the gears. The headstock Oiler is just a galley that catches oil slung by the gears. Little copper tubes then drain the oil to the bearings. I blew out these tubes with WD-40 catching any trapped debris with a rag when possible. The bearings feel ok turning by hand, but time will tell. Discovered the random black thing on the outside of the gearbox was a sight glass and cleaned it with kerosene. Still somewhat stained, replacement on the way.

    Now for the feed box. Male cast iron square head Drain plug basically welded in place. Used penetrant, almost rounded it off with 12Ē crescent (Iím limited on hand tools, only 27 years old after all, and itís in a bad spot too). Used a dull chisel as a punch, striking counterclockwise, almost shaving a part of the head off. Hand Drilled a small hole in it with a left hand drill to drain approx 2 qts of dark, old oil. Still need to figure out how to get the plug out. Maybe heat with a butane torch? We will have to get it before refilling no matter what. Possibly need higher quality or sharper drills to accomplish this task, and will try larger left hand drills and screw extractors (I prefer the square type). Discovered a homemade threaded plug (aluminum) with an O-ring installed instead of sight glass, what is with these guys? Once the oil was drained, I took cover off the gearbox. It is horizontally facing (itís the SIDE of the gearbox, instead of the top), so you have to remove all of the handles, I took special care not to lose the detent ball bearing and springs from the handles. I have experience with that... each handle had a taper pin that I punched out with an Allen key in a screwdriver handle - I have determined I need to purchase some punches. Some of the screws were hidden behind the feeds chart, that took a second to figure out. Once removed I wiped up a bunch of thick crud out of the bottom of the sump. It looks like the small manual pump in this gearbox may still work. I covered the gear box until the next day. Need to clean all removed components, gearbox, and oil pump.

    I realized the paper gasket to seal on the feed box had crumbled. Iíll probably use permatex blue gasket maker to replace the seal for ease of use. The gearbox was cleaned with kerosene and a magnet to get any filings out of the corners. The pump feeds up into a pipe pinched off at the ends and bolted to the casting. Pumping the manual pump fills this pipe and then the oil slowly drains through copper tubes to all the bearings. The pipe was removed and cleaned, then reinstalled.

    I then went on to replace the belts (label says they were changed in 1991, hah). The OEM sent me A68 V-Belts, but they were cogged, like a synchronous belt. I installed them anyway, I need to see if itís ok from someone who knows a little more. Was struggling to install the belts from the very bottom of the lathe, found a trapdoor on the side that helped, but it had about 10 lbs worth of chips inside, from where they can fall in underneath the spindle. Had to remove and clean the tensioning eye bolt for the motor (which had rattled free of the shaft it holds onto, the motor was free floating). Reinstalled it and cinched the set screw down good. Side note: the motor bearings feel really smooth. Almost pinched my fingers pretty good installing the belts.

    I had taken off and cleaned all the quick change gears and shafts on the back of the gearbox, and found some broken key stock. The keys had been reinstalled in such a way that they will still transmit. Will replace in the future. These gears require greasing and the gearboxes still need sealing and lube.

    I ordered one more sight glass, the keys, and hit the $25 minimum imposed by Romi Parts.

    I ended up sealing the feed gearbox with a crankcase version of permatex, figured it would hold up to oils better.

    I opened the apron gearbox by removing the saddle, the saddle is integral with the top gearbox cover. Pushed the apron to the front of the machine and supported its weight with scrap lumber. Lifted the cross slide (integral with the top of the gearbox) and set it near the tailstock end of the lathe. Had to remove two clamps on the operator side of the lathe and one long one from the other side. The apron was missing a sight glass, and in lieu of replacement the internals were packed with... grease. I scooped, kerosened, and scrubbed my way to clean it. I flipped the saddle over and cleared all the oil ports (also packed with grease) and scrubbed the mess (literally) out of everything. All oil holes in the apron were cleaned. 2 felt wicks were removed (they wicked DOWN, seems weird, but they look good), I soaked them with WD40 and squeezed them out into a dry rag multiple times. They looked like an off-white tan when I was done and held the WD40 pretty well. I think the solvent dissolved some of the old stuff and the light oil displaced it. Worked pretty good.

    I cleaned all the fasteners, flipped the saddle back over and remounted it. The clamps had .005Ē shims on the operator side. I think you can remove these if there is significant wear on the ways to still keep a tight fit. May bind up near the tailstock though, so be careful.

    I used marine grease on the change gears, figuring the water resistance would help in my non-A/C environment. Took the largest gear and saturated the teeth, then reinstalled it and spun it a few times.

    Bought some ISO VG 100 oil from a local company (Dixie Oil) pretty cheap. Filled the headstock and feed gearbox, as well as the apron. General gearbox oils are apparently formulated so that particulates fall into the bottom of the sump, motor oils hold the particles in a sort of colloidal mixture to allow them to be filtered. Just a fun fact.

    The way oil calls for ISO VG 220, for this I feel comfortable using 50W motor oil, so Iíll get some of that.

    Hooked up a static, digital phase shifter... the cheap-o DPS MY-PS-10. This phase shifter will reduce my overall horsepower to 5, but allow me to run on single phase input power. I ran cable from the sub panel where I squeezed in a 40 amp breaker through the attic then wired the motor in per the instruction. I hope it doesnít trip the external main breaker if I run the dryer at the same time... time will tell. The motor triggered in reverse, so I swapped two leads on the Phase shifterís output to correct that. All the gears and bearings sound good at all speeds, feeds and threads engage cleanly.

    Tooling up:

    I Purchased a plain back scroll chuck to salvage the jaws off of. The new chuck is almost a third the price of new jaws. I can also use the chuck once I buy a mill (donít tell my wife)

    I also purchased a CXA turning/facing tool block to go on the tool post that came with the machine. I need to have a special T-nut made for the post, because unfortunately it did not come with it.

    I bought a Mitsubishi DWLNR 12 4D, some shims, and some WNMG 432 MA Mitsubishi inserts, grade is UE6020, good for alloy steels. I donít have the torque or even necessarily the speed to properly utilize a negative chip breaker in the alloy steels I expect to cut, and Iíve had good luck with medium positive geometries in poor conditions. As a general use insert it should be adequate, and the overall negative geometry will still give me 6 corners per insert. I am taking a bit of a risk on Mitsubishi. The price point is good, but Iím used to kennametal at work. Also the smallest machines there run 1Ē stick tools now, so this tool looks kinda skinny.

    Getting excited to be up and running! Will be roughly leveling the machine and hoping for the best, most of my work will luckily be fairly short. I am more concerned with machine vibration/wobbling safety than necessarily way twist (which I expect is minimal anyway due to the design) or exact level.

    I hope to update you as I go, but I tend to get busy.

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  3. #2
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    $65 breakfast????? That's a lot of egg macmufffins.

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    Alphonso,

    It was for me, my buddies, and my parents. We got some good quality Mexican food. I did almost drop a lathe on one of their toes after all.

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    At 65 bucks you got by cheap...try moving a 36 inch Bullard... steak and beer will not cut it...and at my age I dont have that many friends above ground...Phil

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    I doubt that little tractor would lift a VTL like that either. Iím not looking forward to rigging costs if I keep growing

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winsten View Post
    $43.29 5 gal kerosene
    One of the few advantages to being in my area, many service stations sell kerosene at self service pumps for $4-$4.50 a gallon.

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    Yea itís kind of a commodity here. I got it from tractor supply, but it may be cheaper elsewhere.

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    All that verbage and no pictures, c'mon really? I can drive 20 miles to get a gallon of kerosene, or diesel is right across the street, that is why initial wipe down happens before it goes thru the door.

    Good luck with your new toy, learn to post pics

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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
    All that verbage and no pictures, c'mon really? I can drive 20 miles to get a gallon of kerosene, or diesel is right across the street, that is why initial wipe down happens before it goes thru the door.

    Good luck with your new toy, learn to post pics
    Why ?
    Is this the "harry Homeshop garage shop" good time hour show ?

    Please post over at Projects and Articles on Our Forum! | The Hobby-Machinist

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Why ?
    Is this the "harry Homeshop garage shop" good time hour show ?

    Please post over at Projects and Articles on Our Forum! | The Hobby-Machinist
    Sorry, I have not achieved the level of machine snobbery yet, I will try harder. A quick google search showed me that an Economaster S400 is not a toy lathe so it qualifies for discussion here, although he could have chosen another category.
    Economaster S-400 16" Engine Lathe - govdeals.com

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    Yea Iím not fully aware of all the posting tools here yet, itís only my second post.

    Iíve always dug through here if I hit a snag fixing something at work, and figured Iíd contribute. Iíll try to scrape together the pics of the gearboxes and such and make a post after work, if time allows. Thanks

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    Pics are easy, use a REAL camera and get the pics onto a COMPUTER. When you make a post, in your text window there are some icons at the top. Click the icon that is a picture of a tree and follow the prompts. The icon next to the picture iif a film stip, click that on to add a movie-like from youtube or similar.
    The tiny pics on here that do not get large or zoom in are usually from phone cameras, don't be that guy.

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    My buddy owns that same lathe and has lots of miles in it with no issues, itís a pretty decent machine


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Ignore the cu**s and keep posting. There are plenty of us that still love this trade enough to enjoy every level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winsten View Post
    Hey all!

    I bought a lathe from work and threw it in my garage.

    The short details for those looking for numbers:

    $450 machine cost
    $41.40 cleaning tools (harbor freight)
    $65 breakfast for friends (help unloading)
    $40 tank of gas
    $??? Transport and tie down of machine (dad)
    Lumber for sliding/propping (scrap)
    $43.29 5 gal kerosene
    $85.00 sight glasses and V belts, with shipping and tax
    $11.90 gasket material for feed gearbox
    $7.56 grease for change gears
    $308 phase converter
    $300 misc electrical
    $9.34 5 gallon bucket and JB weld
    $72.70 headstock oil
    $258.81 (tool holder, jaws, tool, inserts OD turning only)
    $21.20 threaded rod
    ~$1715 Total
    (+~20 hours shopping and repairing)

    I cannot stress enough that I had a lot of help, an ok amount of knowledge and research, and got the machine itself for incredibly cheap. I am not too proud to say I’ve been given a leg up by the family and community I was raised in, the time invested in my skills, and shear dumb luck. I expect a more realistic value to get a lathe of this size up and going would be about $3000 all else being equal, unless you have the tools and knowledge that I don’t on my own. It’s probable a mill would run about the same. Note that I have only limited tooling included.

    I’ve included the story of the install as well, because I want to show people that it is not an insurmountable task to get started, even with very little industry experience (I have less than 3 years, mostly CNC programming, fixture design, and machine maintenance). That being said, it can be dangerous and requires attention to the details if you want to succeed at the task. It is a little long winded, but I am excited.

    If you want the more detailed account, I’ve included my notes below: (pardon the formatting, copied from notes and posted on my phone)

    The move in:

    I purchased an Economaster S-400 Lathe from my work (14”x40”, no taper attachment, L00? Chuck, 7.5 HP 3 phase motor). The slideways look good, but each part of the machine shows wear, tear, and a little abuse. The paint job is hideous, but kept the rust out.
    (Expected MRR~5.6 cubic inches/minute in 4130 on phase shifter)
    The machine was apparently removed from service for floor space, according to the manager of that department.
    Guestimate weight: ~3000 lbs
    My dad has a Mahindra front loader (Model 3016 Shuttle, year?), but it could not outright lift the lathe off the trailer. Rolling the bucket allowed the chains to snug and lift it, but was unsafe and had to be manually balanced against rolling/tilting (imagine skinny 170 pound me holding it straight, hollering at dad on the tractor, and mom driving the truck and trailer). I Would not suggest this tactic for anyone.
    Lifted the machine a few inches, drove the trailer out from under it. Set it down.
    We set the bottom on 2”x8”x8’ I had on hand from making my daughters sandbox. My suburban driveway has a pretty steep slope. (2x12x12 or 3/4” plywood would have probably worked better)
    We slid the machine and plank up the driveway like a sled, with the bucket of the tractor pushing on the wood below the lathe.
    Then we attached chains to headstock casting and lifted the headstock end.
    Using a long pry bar (Mississippi mud stick) at the tailstock end, we inched the lathe over the small (3” high) step into the garage.
    We set the headstock end on lumber and slid in (pushing from the back).
    Then we turned the lumber(s) 90 degrees and used the pry bar to walk it sideways, adjusting final location.
    We managed to achieve only minor damage to the concrete, looks like I can feather it in with a sander or something, and with pressure washing won’t be noticeable.

    The Refurb:

    Opened up the headstock, it looks good. There’s wear on the edge of the teeth where some hard or incomplete shifts were made and ground it down there. Other than that all looks good. Had to remove the quick change gears to get to the drain plug. Drained the old, dark oil (~8 qts!) and wiped out the gearbox. Used a magnet to pick up any stubborn filings and then used kerosene and rags to wipe the inside of the box. There is no oil pump! I had removed a shaft expecting to find one in a small external housing and nope! I now need to replace the safety wire (.041”) holding the set screw in place on one of the gears. The headstock Oiler is just a galley that catches oil slung by the gears. Little copper tubes then drain the oil to the bearings. I blew out these tubes with WD-40 catching any trapped debris with a rag when possible. The bearings feel ok turning by hand, but time will tell. Discovered the random black thing on the outside of the gearbox was a sight glass and cleaned it with kerosene. Still somewhat stained, replacement on the way.

    Now for the feed box. Male cast iron square head Drain plug basically welded in place. Used penetrant, almost rounded it off with 12” crescent (I’m limited on hand tools, only 27 years old after all, and it’s in a bad spot too). Used a dull chisel as a punch, striking counterclockwise, almost shaving a part of the head off. Hand Drilled a small hole in it with a left hand drill to drain approx 2 qts of dark, old oil. Still need to figure out how to get the plug out. Maybe heat with a butane torch? We will have to get it before refilling no matter what. Possibly need higher quality or sharper drills to accomplish this task, and will try larger left hand drills and screw extractors (I prefer the square type). Discovered a homemade threaded plug (aluminum) with an O-ring installed instead of sight glass, what is with these guys? Once the oil was drained, I took cover off the gearbox. It is horizontally facing (it’s the SIDE of the gearbox, instead of the top), so you have to remove all of the handles, I took special care not to lose the detent ball bearing and springs from the handles. I have experience with that... each handle had a taper pin that I punched out with an Allen key in a screwdriver handle - I have determined I need to purchase some punches. Some of the screws were hidden behind the feeds chart, that took a second to figure out. Once removed I wiped up a bunch of thick crud out of the bottom of the sump. It looks like the small manual pump in this gearbox may still work. I covered the gear box until the next day. Need to clean all removed components, gearbox, and oil pump.

    I realized the paper gasket to seal on the feed box had crumbled. I’ll probably use permatex blue gasket maker to replace the seal for ease of use. The gearbox was cleaned with kerosene and a magnet to get any filings out of the corners. The pump feeds up into a pipe pinched off at the ends and bolted to the casting. Pumping the manual pump fills this pipe and then the oil slowly drains through copper tubes to all the bearings. The pipe was removed and cleaned, then reinstalled.

    I then went on to replace the belts (label says they were changed in 1991, hah). The OEM sent me A68 V-Belts, but they were cogged, like a synchronous belt. I installed them anyway, I need to see if it’s ok from someone who knows a little more. Was struggling to install the belts from the very bottom of the lathe, found a trapdoor on the side that helped, but it had about 10 lbs worth of chips inside, from where they can fall in underneath the spindle. Had to remove and clean the tensioning eye bolt for the motor (which had rattled free of the shaft it holds onto, the motor was free floating). Reinstalled it and cinched the set screw down good. Side note: the motor bearings feel really smooth. Almost pinched my fingers pretty good installing the belts.

    I had taken off and cleaned all the quick change gears and shafts on the back of the gearbox, and found some broken key stock. The keys had been reinstalled in such a way that they will still transmit. Will replace in the future. These gears require greasing and the gearboxes still need sealing and lube.

    I ordered one more sight glass, the keys, and hit the $25 minimum imposed by Romi Parts.

    I ended up sealing the feed gearbox with a crankcase version of permatex, figured it would hold up to oils better.

    I opened the apron gearbox by removing the saddle, the saddle is integral with the top gearbox cover. Pushed the apron to the front of the machine and supported its weight with scrap lumber. Lifted the cross slide (integral with the top of the gearbox) and set it near the tailstock end of the lathe. Had to remove two clamps on the operator side of the lathe and one long one from the other side. The apron was missing a sight glass, and in lieu of replacement the internals were packed with... grease. I scooped, kerosened, and scrubbed my way to clean it. I flipped the saddle over and cleared all the oil ports (also packed with grease) and scrubbed the mess (literally) out of everything. All oil holes in the apron were cleaned. 2 felt wicks were removed (they wicked DOWN, seems weird, but they look good), I soaked them with WD40 and squeezed them out into a dry rag multiple times. They looked like an off-white tan when I was done and held the WD40 pretty well. I think the solvent dissolved some of the old stuff and the light oil displaced it. Worked pretty good.

    I cleaned all the fasteners, flipped the saddle back over and remounted it. The clamps had .005” shims on the operator side. I think you can remove these if there is significant wear on the ways to still keep a tight fit. May bind up near the tailstock though, so be careful.

    I used marine grease on the change gears, figuring the water resistance would help in my non-A/C environment. Took the largest gear and saturated the teeth, then reinstalled it and spun it a few times.

    Bought some ISO VG 100 oil from a local company (Dixie Oil) pretty cheap. Filled the headstock and feed gearbox, as well as the apron. General gearbox oils are apparently formulated so that particulates fall into the bottom of the sump, motor oils hold the particles in a sort of colloidal mixture to allow them to be filtered. Just a fun fact.

    The way oil calls for ISO VG 220, for this I feel comfortable using 50W motor oil, so I’ll get some of that.

    Hooked up a static, digital phase shifter... the cheap-o DPS MY-PS-10. This phase shifter will reduce my overall horsepower to 5, but allow me to run on single phase input power. I ran cable from the sub panel where I squeezed in a 40 amp breaker through the attic then wired the motor in per the instruction. I hope it doesn’t trip the external main breaker if I run the dryer at the same time... time will tell. The motor triggered in reverse, so I swapped two leads on the Phase shifter’s output to correct that. All the gears and bearings sound good at all speeds, feeds and threads engage cleanly.

    Tooling up:

    I Purchased a plain back scroll chuck to salvage the jaws off of. The new chuck is almost a third the price of new jaws. I can also use the chuck once I buy a mill (don’t tell my wife)

    I also purchased a CXA turning/facing tool block to go on the tool post that came with the machine. I need to have a special T-nut made for the post, because unfortunately it did not come with it.

    I bought a Mitsubishi DWLNR 12 4D, some shims, and some WNMG 432 MA Mitsubishi inserts, grade is UE6020, good for alloy steels. I don’t have the torque or even necessarily the speed to properly utilize a negative chip breaker in the alloy steels I expect to cut, and I’ve had good luck with medium positive geometries in poor conditions. As a general use insert it should be adequate, and the overall negative geometry will still give me 6 corners per insert. I am taking a bit of a risk on Mitsubishi. The price point is good, but I’m used to kennametal at work. Also the smallest machines there run 1” stick tools now, so this tool looks kinda skinny.

    Getting excited to be up and running! Will be roughly leveling the machine and hoping for the best, most of my work will luckily be fairly short. I am more concerned with machine vibration/wobbling safety than necessarily way twist (which I expect is minimal anyway due to the design) or exact level.

    I hope to update you as I go, but I tend to get busy.
    Congrats. This is one thing which PM is all about members offering direction in these efforts.

    You got a good deal. They are not so easy to find in my opinion at least unless advice from members will help breakthrough overpriced equipment. I can think of some neat things I can use a lathe for. Myself I would want a Bridgeport or a Lagun mill in addition. Collets and tooling are a major expense. I really like the manual Harding’s lathes-love them in fact so very capable and very acurite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trueturning View Post
    Congrats. This is one thing which PM is all about members offering direction in these efforts.

    You got a good deal. They are not so easy to find in my opinion at least unless advice from members will help breakthrough overpriced equipment. I can think of some neat things I can use a lathe for. Myself I would want a Bridgeport or a Lagun mill in addition. Collets and tooling are a major expense. I really like the manual Harding’s lathes-love them in fact so very capable and very acurite.

    Overpriced equipment?

    You can git into this trade a lot cheaper than you could 30 years ago for sure, and a WHOLE lot cheaper than you could have 50 years ago!

    IDK where you've been?


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    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Posting pics may prove to be difficult, Iíve got a 2 year old that keeps me busy when Iím not at work, or doing contract stuff. I havenít sat in front of a PC in idk how long to do something other than make a print or write a program...

    I am definitely looking at a small mill next (Donít tell my wife), until then, may have my fabricator friend make me a table for the cross-slide... gotta make those key ways somehow. Iíve heard good things about the lathe from the guy who ran it, but heís not hard to please.

    I Donít mind the start up cost as long as I can recoup it, gotta start calling up the shops I contract to and look for roughing/qualifying/overflow work... environments not to great for it right now though here in oil country. Hitting up some manufacturers and quarries around me to keep their equipment operating too... engineering background will help a bit.

    As Doug said, if it doesnít work out as a business, I can always post on hobby machinist

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winsten View Post
    Hitting up some manufacturers and quarries around me to keep their equipment operating too... engineering background will help a bit.
    Quarries? Austin and west area????

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    Quote Originally Posted by alphonso View Post
    Quarries? Austin and west area????
    Between Austin and SA yea. Working in SA right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    Overpriced equipment?

    You can git into this trade a lot cheaper than you could 30 years ago for sure, and a WHOLE lot cheaper than you could have 50 years ago!

    IDK where you've been?


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    To augment what Ox said, equipment is definitely expensive now: if you buy new or refurbished.

    I truly believe more people earlier on were capable of repairing, maintaining, and making due with equipment in used condition. They just seem to have a higher fortitude than my peers...

    I think itís partially growing overhead costs for the manufacturers themselves, partially an economy built on convenience, and a big part a lack of people who have The confidence to or the knowledge buy something and be able to repair it (hint: no one wants dirty hands anymore). A lathe the same size and configuration as mine from Kingston I think is like $12k new... Thereís no way in hell I could get that in my place on my salary, even this endeavor is a stretch.

    I think itís more of the same as it used to be Ox, just a cultural shift.
    Last edited by Winsten; 10-15-2020 at 07:04 PM. Reason: Adding more info

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    [QUOTE=Winsten;3641954
    I truly believe more people earlier on were capable of repairing, maintaining, and making due with equipment in used condition. They just seem to have a higher fortitude than my peers...

    I think it’s partially growing overhead costs for the manufacturers themselves, partially an economy built on convenience, and a big part a lack of people who have The confidence to or the knowledge buy something and be able to repair it (hint: no one wants dirty hands anymore). A lathe the same size and configuration as mine from Kingston I think is like $12k new... There’s no way in hell I could get that in my place on my salary, even this endeavor is a stretch.

    I think it’s more of the same as it used to be Ox, just a cultural shift.[/QUOTE]

    Sounds to me like you need to find more capable peers.

    My friends bridge several generations and I don't think much has changed WRT inclination. There's simply a lot more people than there was years ago.

    I agree with OX. Used machines are dirt cheap today. Have been for more than a decade.

    The tricky bit I find making a buck doing manual lathe work is that you need 2 of them- One with a 3 jaw, one with a 4 jaw and whatever you got invested in the machines themselves, take that $$$ amount and multiply by 5-10 and that's what you need to spend on tooling to do whatever comes through the door.


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