small metal lathe

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Ricardito, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. mjydrafter

    mjydrafter evil boy for life

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    Just keep looking.

    I was about ready to break down and get a mini-lathe when my Craftsman/Atlas showed up at an estate auction, semi-tooled, for less than a mini-lathe would have run.

    I would suggest some books as well, old school metal shop texts are cheap. It kind of depends on what you are really interested in doing.

    Do some reading here if it hasn't been suggested.
    #41
  2. kirkster70

    kirkster70 moto junkie

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    Excellent thread. I'm also interested in machining, and haven't a clue, so this thread is great. My current work schedule prevents me from taking a machining class at the local community college. :cry

    A couple other gents here turned me onto Keith Fenner on youtube.

    He is a machinist in Cape Cod who has 260 or so awesome videos on youtube of himself machining parts, welding, fabricating, etc, etc. I have already learned a lot from him by watching about 10 videos so far. I will watch them all in time. Some people can teach. Some people can do. He is one of those rare birds who can do both - and do both well - in an easily understandable manner.

    I'm not currently in the market, but thanks to all for all the excellent feedback. It will help to make a good purchase sometime down the road...

    :freaky
    #42
  3. xcflyn

    xcflyn Long timer

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    +1 Dont get focused on small 115V , my experience finds that a bigger machine sometimes sells cheaper then a small one. If it plugs into your wall in the garage and can be unloaded with the help of a couple buddies - every one wants it, if it takes 3ph + a forklift to unload you just cut the potential buyers by about 80% or more. The only small lathes I really love are Hardinge - from there I look at 15" or bigger. Soon as you get over 17" it seems the price will flatten out a little or the increments in value are smaller, comparatively speaking.
    My buddy loves the South Bend small lathes, has rebuilt a few from Ebay parts, and has great luck with them. I know the old craftsman lathes were great garage models, I believe they were made by Atlas. Every one here has mentioned the tooling costs and that is also spot on, tooling can break the bank, if you have the skills you can get tool blanks cheap, (I actually had a great guy here send me some of his surplus at one time- I owe him still) , and grind your own tooling. I worked with a tool maker about a life time ago that could whip out a turning tool in less then a minute. I have made many of my own small boring tools and grooving tools and there is a science to it, but there are good books out there that can help get you going. And personally I pride myself on making some of my own custom tooling - its just cool (clearly I am amused easily).
    VFD's and phase converters are your friend - dont sweat the power issues- find a good machine, there is always a way to make it work (with in reason). There are tons of guys running 3-5hp 3ph motors on converters. I did it for years and never once had a issue .
    Not sure if any one mentioned this, but - look at the local machinery dealers in your area, they seem to know where to get anything you want most of the time, ya they make a few bucks but sometimes it pays off in other ways , like they know everyone , even the guy with the forklift down the road to help you unload, or a guy with a bunch of cheap tooling, you never know : "what you dont get in grapes; you get in bananas" , (my favorite saying when I let someone talk my price down on a job).
    #43
  4. fritzcoinc

    fritzcoinc Enjoying my last V8

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    +1, but making due usually makes for a good story!
    #44
  5. 2speed

    2speed Puching adventurer

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    Tubalcain on youtube. All you ever want to know about basic machining.
    #45
  6. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    +1 and even if you don't he's a great teacher and time well spent concerning all things shop. I've watched many of his videos repeatedly.
    #46
  7. Wreck™

    Wreck™ Wreck™

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    A customer gave me this Enco 12 X 36 bench lathe a few months ago and I just got around to building a base for it, been sitting on a shelf in their Maint. shop unused for the last 12-15 years, aside from dust it looks little used.

    I have no use for it in my shop as it has step pulley speed changes and no brake or clutch so it would make a slow 2'nd Op machine as well.

    To bad you are so far away as I would sell it for $600.00, it would cost more to crate and ship from NJ.

    220 VAC 1 Phase
    Metric and inch threading
    Steady rest
    Inch dials on X, Y and compound
    3 jaw scroll chuck with reversible hard top jaws
    Tail stock with live & dead centers and jacobs chuck
    4 sided tool post
    Full chip tray, (which I did not install to save room)
    1 1/8" through spindle

    [​IMG]
    #47
  8. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    Thats a perfect sized lathe to start with. I have it's bigger brother and it's been great. Thats a very generous price you have too I suspect your pms will be jumping tonight:D
    #48
  9. stainlesscycle

    stainlesscycle Long timer

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    that will be a good starter lathe for somebody. i bet it's sold in 1 day.
    #49
  10. Wreck™

    Wreck™ Wreck™

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    I just ran a test on it, 3" Diameter 6061 T6, 1250 RPM (Max), .050" DOC and .006 per rev feed, didn't even slow down much. I also don't have the proper tooling for a machine this small. The only holder that would fit was above center, Positive rake coated insert (the molded in chip breaker makes it positive, also a poor choice for aluminum) with a .062 nose radius :cry

    [​IMG]
    #50
  11. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    I agree - big enough to be useful - which many of the mini/micro lathes are not.

    Modern enough for features like the gear box, compared to my Atlas 12X36 - I am sure that has a bit more usable bed - and V ways on the bed are nice features - the southbend has em, the atlas is flat bed.

    Also the stepped belt drive is nice for a beginner so you dont' fixate too much on adjusting your speed, pick what's close and learn to sharpen your tools.
    #51
  12. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

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    Another $600 to ship it and it would still be a smart buy....seriously. Step on up because this is a complete, turn-key lathe.


    • 220 VAC 1 Phase (hook it right up, no phase converter or VFD--which would add to just about any other lathe choice you make)
    • Metric and inch threading (not a lot of older lathes are setup to do metric threading---a huge plus for you)
    • Steady rest (great to have for longer parts and often missing from lathes that have changed hands a bunch of times)
    • Inch dials on X, Y and compound (sounds obvious but, many import machines are primarily metric)
    Then we get to the tooling:


    • 3 jaw scroll chuck with reversible hard top jaws (great size starter chuck)
    • Tail stock with live & dead centers and jacobs chuck (ready to hold long material or do end-drilling)
    • 4 sided tool post (not a quick-change toolpost but, much better than what often comes on lathes in this price range)
    Ricardito: Kick this man an extra $200 to cover the pallet, a case of beer and hassles of packing it, get a shipping quote and do it. Even with the shipping costs, this is a solid machine for that price range.
    #52
  13. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

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    This looks like the manual for the lathe: http://www.use-enco.com/Machinery/110-2034.pdf

    I expect shipping weight would be ~ 800 lb. Similar lathes sell for ~$3k new @ Enco. I expect this lathe uses a 1 hp motor and a VFD could be installed for speed control at ~$300.00 to eliminate belt changes if wanted.
    #53
  14. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

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    $3500 for the cheapest 13" model and it comes with a decent sheetmetal base. OTOH, there would still be shipping on that purchase as well. VFD? I wouldn't bother. Plenty of other tooling he'll need/want that will eat up that money. Step pulleys are not the end of the world.
    #54
  15. stainlesscycle

    stainlesscycle Long timer

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    the teco fm50 will vfd that guy all day. about $100. what's a belt change on that lathe - 30 seconds (as long as you don't stack tooling on the door :) my clausing belt change is less than that with step pulleys.. it's a moot point though - it's 1ph anyways.
    #55
  16. Ricardito

    Ricardito Been here awhile

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    I'm tempted by the NJ offer, but would rather wait for someting nearer here in CO. I've spoken to a couple of machinists in the area and there's an Atlas/Craftsman that's a possibility, largely unused, that an older gent wants to sell. Will know more in a week or so.
    #56
  17. Guy Young

    Guy Young Long timer

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    I was going to ask where you were located, but your last post told me that.

    A local ADV fella (near Richmond, VA) sent me the below a day ago:

    "I have a 12-1/4 inch swing metal lathe with all accessories incl. taper attachment in very good condition for sale, asking 1200. I have not advertised it but I would rather someone in the ADV group have a crack first.

    "It's not as heavy as a SB, but it does have Timken tapered roller headstock, modern v-belt drive, a very wide range range of carriage feeds, power cross feed, long bed.

    "This was my fathers lathe and he is no longer with us. (one owner) and I have a SB heavy 10 so I don't need two lathes..."

    I already have a South Bend 10L Heavy that I'm still trying to learn to use, so I have no need for it. Regardless, PM me if you think you may be interested and I can get the two of you together.

    .
    #57
  18. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

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    Do whatever makes you comfortable. I will tell you now that you will regret it. A FREE Atlas delivered to your driveway isn't nearly as good a deal as that Enco from across the country. Print this post out and hang it on your wall: you will be sorry.
    #58
  19. Wreck™

    Wreck™ Wreck™

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    It's single phase and a VFD would probably cause problems with the centrifugal switch and possibly the capacitors.


    I just noticed that the change gear for metric threading is missing but suspect that could be bought from Enco for a few bucks.

    I own a machine shop and a lathe like this isn't something that I would consider having on the floor, one of my customers employees came by this morning to pick up parts and offered me $800.00 for it for his home shop, out the door it goes hopefully.
    #59
  20. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

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    The $300.00 included a new 3 phase Leeson D80 frame motor and Teco VFD. Out the door it goes! Good luck!
    #60