New Engine Lathe Recommendations
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  1. #1
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    Default New Engine Lathe Recommendations

    Hi all, I am a shop owner who started in the trade as a heavy equipment mechanic. 3 years ago I purchased an established hydraulic repair shop which fit well with my skill set, but opened new doors. I am learning the machining side of things, which is a great change of pace and a satisfying job. We currently have a Colchester Mastiff 1400 engine lathe. 21" x 120" and a 3.500" Thru-Bore. It does everything that I ask of it, although it has been used hard and is showing its age. The bed ways are fairly worn at the chuck. I am tossing around the idea of either getting the ways and carriage restored or replacing the lathe. I have tried to do as much as my own research as possible, but find myself looking for first hand advise. We are looking at $10-15K to get the the axes fixed.

    As far as a new lathe is concerned,If I go that route I want something stout, accurate and if maintained and not abused will last. I heard good things about Hwacheon, although I would rather not buy Asian if I can help it. I also was looking at a Tool-Mex with their 4.1 or 5.5" thru bore. We do a lot of large (to me) bars and tubes and a fair amount of job shop work for local manufacturers on things like crusher shafts and auger shafts. Is there any solid advise that could be given to a young man in my shoes looking to upgrade equipment? Is it foolish to buy a new machine? We use it every day of the week, and it is a big contributor to our bread and butter. Also, we could stand to have a little more swing and a little more length, but not looking for a HUGE machine or a true oil country lathe with an 8" + thru bore.

    Thank you for your input, there is a wealth of knowledge on this page, I read all the time, but this is my first time seeking advise. hopefully I am in the correct section.

  2. #2
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    Well, there is one major issue with your desires:

    Y'aint gunna git a new Made in USA lathe.
    The best that you could doo is to git a used one, or even a rebuilt one.

    The next closest will be some European item, but I cannot say who that might be.
    Possibly a Romi - if they make Manuell lathes? If so - it will be built in Brazil.

    I'm not sure how many of the Euro ones that were selling big circa 1990 are still out there?
    Nardini? IDK if they even made a machine with a bed like you are asking for tho?
    Purty sure there was at least one other back then?

    The cost to update your current machine sounds good to me, but - you say that you wouldn't mind having a bit more capacity...
    And then there is the time that the machine will be down for rebuild - on a machine that you "use every day".
    That typically isn't going to werk...

    This lathe looks decent:
    A smidge bigger than yours, Yank (Cincinatti), and from here it appears to have a decent bed ways.
    BUT - that sander on there is of concern! (but might actually be sumpthing that you could use?)

    We have used a belt sander on ours quite a bit one year, but we always fed away from the chuck with it.
    These folks may have done the same?

    LEBLOND REGAL 24" X 144" Engine Lathes Used - Good #473322 - MachineTools.com


    -----------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    For your app, gonna be hard to beat a Toolmex/Polamco. The machines are just beast and so customizable nothing can get on the same page. Oh, not to mention Haas Factory Outlets are the distributor. Years back I bought one from the Atlanta Jeffries HFO (TUR-SC) with a 20" chuck and 5" bore and the sale, service and install was top notch. Two polish guys came in and within a day had the machine dialed in within .001 over 120". That machines took a beating as it was bought to turn stellite welds.

    A few weeks later I ordered the semi CNC TUR-930 with a 60" chuck and 60' between centers with a 12" bore. Same two guys came and set it up within a couple of days and still now 8 years later its daily job is cutting built up shafts with interrupted cuts. Not a single service call, ever....

    Just don't fall for the potato vodka they bring.

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    For new, you'll have to go to Eastern Europe or Far East for what you are looking for. But you will have sticker shock.

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    In Europe is choice probably wider.
    VDF makes still manual lathes Brand - FFG Europe & Americas
    TOS (Trens) TRENS SK, a.s. |
    Probably a few more but I would not look something made in Italy.
    Also it is possible to buy VDF or TOS used, not in bad condition. But good machines have been always expensive and has to be.

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    The Colchester name is still around, owned by 600 Group, although like the rest of British industry its a shadow of what it once was. They reckon a large percentage of their supply chain is sourced from in the UK and the rest from Poland, although I remember reading something about some lathes being built by TOS. Only one I can find a new price for on the net is the Harrison M300 which is just shy of £19,000+tax, or $25,000, and that's the smallest. I have a lightly used UK built M300 from just before they tried shifting everything to China and it's a nice lathe. Not amazing. Just very nice, especially when compared to most Asian lathes.

    However, I will say this for certain. Don't buy an Optimum.

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    Standard Modern lathes, once built in Canada, are now built in the USA. Like anything new, sit down when you ask the price...
    Also, here in Canada we see a considerable amount of TOS lathes, which are Czech ( I think) Well regarded and well priced.

    You would do well to look for old iron that could be rebuilt to your needs, or you night even find a good used one.

    Pete

  10. #9
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    You might want to take a look at these guys offerings. Notice the "or best offer" on most of their stuff. Hint: offer slightly under half of listed price.

    belmontmachinerycompany on eBay

  11. #10
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    Try Weiler or VDF, they are Made in Germany, but they are pricy WEILER Baureihe | FFG Europe & Americas

    Klaus


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