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Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Oldsmobucket, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. Oldsmobucket
    Joined: Dec 11, 2005
    Posts: 330


    this is alittle OT but here goes. ive been thinking about buying a lathe(used) what would be a good all around lathe that wont break the bank. any advice is appreciated:D
  2. S.T.P.
    Joined: Apr 30, 2005
    Posts: 315


    How much will break the bank I have a friend that wants to sell a 2' bed w/ all the tooling for 2500 its an old one cant remember the name but I have used it alot. If you want pics PM me and I'll send them to your e-mail.
  3. what size are you looking for? if you want a smaller one , i say look for a old Altas or Logan lathe. maybe in a 9" or 10" swing . stay away from the imort stuff. my 1941 10" Logan will do about 99% of what i need to do.

    keep you eye on ebay and craigslist..i see them on there all the time
  4. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,102


    It all depends on what do you want to do with it.

    I've got a 13" (6½" swing over the bed) South Bend and it's great for the stuff I do, but it'd be too big if you're just using it for making scale model engine parts, etc. Figure out the size of the parts you're most likely going to be turning and zero in on a particular size lathe. Most common are 9", 10" 12", 13".

    I like the old american built lathes and stay away from the immports, but that's just me. If you're going to buy a used machine, take a buddy with you that knows lathes and have him look at it. Make sure there's all the tooling you'll need - if you buy it separate, it can get pretty costly.

  5. Da' Bomb
    Joined: Apr 8, 2005
    Posts: 438

    Da' Bomb

    I bought a 13 X 40 Grizzly last year....Chinese? Yup! POS? Nope! It's actually a pretty good machine for working at home. The lathe was about $3K, plus another $2K for a good collet set and some decent carbide toooling as well as an Aloris quick change tool post and a bunch of tool holders. A damn good investment if you look at the oppourtunity to save time and money for machined parts and making new friends.:cool:
  6. Glen
    Joined: Mar 21, 2001
    Posts: 1,789


    Yes, the Aloris quick change tool post is a must. Watch for discounts on tooling.
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,907


    I got my old South Bend at a nearby yard sale...with a lot of never know where they'll turn up.

    I think an old American lathe fits quite well with the basic philosophy of a traditional message board. I also realize that quite a few guys have a toyopet as a daily driver, it's hard work to keep your shop and house full of only good old stuff, so maybe you'll resort to buying an import lathe.
  8. 51Gringo
    Joined: Jul 22, 2006
    Posts: 652

    from Nor Cal

    I've heard people say that Jet is a POS too!
  9. Blair
    Joined: Jul 28, 2005
    Posts: 361

    from xx

    I have a south bend 9" with an aloris and a kdk quick change. The tooling is really what will break the bank. An aloris tool post holder with all the attachments is about $600. You can get a chinese copy for about $250 with all the attachments. Chucks are expensive, especially for made in USA ones.

    I would look for any american made lathe with as much tooling as you can find. All of the USA made lathes are pretty good. My dad has had a couple Logans and they are good, you can still get parts for them.

    As far as South Bend goes, some didn't have a gearbox for the leadscrew which is a major detraction. Also most don't have taper attchments which is a slight detraction.

    But the main thing is TOOLING.
  10. ray
    Joined: Jun 25, 2001
    Posts: 3,760


    imports ain't all that bad. a few year old import is probably gonna be in better shape than an abused 60 year old american lathe. i'd try to know enough when looking at a potential purchase to be able to take some cuts on it to check accuracy and tightness, make sure all the gears work, etc. old lathes are great, but can be very expensive to fix, if for example the gear for the speed you will use most is busted, it can cost you many hundreds of dollars to find a replacement gear. if the ways are worn out near the chuck, you're pretty much screwed too, it will be difficult to turn anything accurately, especially long lengths.

    i WOULD however avoid the harbor freight type of imports.
  11. the shadow
    Joined: Mar 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,104

    the shadow

    my buddy who owns a machine shop is selling his old lathe (he bought a larger one- a clausing) it's a old craftsman (basically an atlas), 48" bed w/ 9"swing,multi speed , power feed,3 & 4 jaw chucks,cutters + lots of extra tooling. also comes with a steel base cabinet that has internal shelving for steel stock or tools & a 2" thick solid wood top. the whole set up for $1250.00

    I can get pics if interested?
  12. Chad s
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,718

    Chad s

    I have s South Bend 1932 8" (they only made an 8" from 1931-33). I have owned Atlas lathes before, even have a little Sherline. South bend is the best bang for the buck for a small lathe. As long as its been well kept, and doesnt have a lot of wear, it will be great. The ways are smooth and everything just feels good. They are a pleasure to run. make sure you check the condition of the spindle bearings, whatever you buy. Read this:
  13. I have an old,probably early 50´s,Blomqvist,made here in sweden,and the swing is about 7,5",and I had no troubles with it.I think any us,english,swedish,norwegian,german lathe would be fine. my best tip when buying a lathe:be sure to check the swing " before buying,I bought one by just looking at some pics,and it turned out not to be a full 8" swing,but 7,25" sold it off and bought this one.and you´ll need 9" swing to clear a 16" rim.mine takes a 14" rim whithout problem,but a 15" is no-no.and the thru-hole should be big enough to accept rear axle shafts,just in case.
  14. Rocket Scientist Chris
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 545

    Rocket Scientist Chris

    I have an imported 7X12 lathe that I bought from Cummins Tools. It's the same as the Harbor Freight 7X10 but is 4 inches longer. No, the math is correct. The Harbor Freight machine actually has an 8 inch between center bed! I guess something got lost in the translation! :) It's a very nice machine and a good alternative to trying to find a decent small US made lathe. Though, it wasn't useable right out of the crate! :( It took a day or so to dismantle the thing, clean up all of the red glop, lubricate everything and put it back together. Plan on re-lapping and re-adjusting the gibs, too. When you're done, you'll really know the machine inside and out!
    The import 7X lathes have alot of online support and parts are super easy to get through
    It may have been made in China, but it was made useable here in the US! :D
  15. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,102


    I believe in Europe, lathe "swing" is defined as the RADIUS of the largest part the lathe will handle, while over here (U.S.), we describe it as being the maximum DIAMETER of a part that can be turned, is that correct ? In that case, a 9" "swing as you would describe it, would be an 18" diameter part.
    A U.S. 9" lathe would handle up to 9" diameter part. Preceeding assumes the particular lathe isn't a gap-bed.

    Or am I misinformed ??
  16. flatheadkid1
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 91

    from OHIO

    Hello. New to the forum and just wanted to put my 10 cents in. I rebuild machinery and my own personal lathe is a South Bend model 10K. It is a 9" swing lathe with a taper attachment and most of the accessories that they came with. The machine does about 90% of all the stuff I need to do and keeps pretty tight tollerances despite really pushing it sometimes. I have had about 8 of these models in the past and parts are pretty pleantiful on ebay. These are benchtop lathes and are the perfect size for a small workshop or basement. I have even bought new parts for these from the company who bought the South Bend stock. Good luck
  17. yes,swing here is the radius,also called dubbhöjd, dubheight?never mind,always measure the dia/radius it will actually take,as seller might not know how to measure properly,and some manufacturers call a 7.6" a 8",and so on,and on the gap-bed,most gaps on say 6-8" lathes,will not clear a very wide rim anyway,as the rim sticks out to much.
  18. peanut
    Joined: Mar 16, 2005
    Posts: 489


    i have two south bends a 13 and 15 inch swing they are great old machines the 13 is a 41!!!!! also have a small logan its a good one too much like a atlas. i picked up an old shipley lathe its a biggen gear head 71/2 hpmy dad and i are rebuilding it. the gear box has a drum selector, and the motor is a two speed! it also has a clutch i think its a 20" swing? we never thought we would ever have three lathes but we do? now to the point. i would go with an old US lathe!!! screw the other junk!!!
  19. peanut
    Joined: Mar 16, 2005
    Posts: 489


    what the hell we have four? but really buy the best you can!!!!! you will much happier in the end!

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