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Discussion Forum

Re: Lathe ?

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Author  [Modern View]

10-08-2012 07:59:21

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The make or brand that you find that isn't whooped and comes tooled up...! The lathe is one thing... and the tooling is completely another thing. You can easily put as much $$ into your tooling as the lathe itself.
If you have three phase power... I'd go with a good old Warner Swasey. I'd go with a saddle type turret lathe with as big of a through hole as you can get in the size machine you're after. This type will take care of most any turning operation you can come up with whereas some other style lathes won't. Parts and toolholders etc. can still be had all over the place for these sturdy old beasts.
Look at the bed ways and see how badly worn they look. (Almost always more wear close to the chuck...) You can compensate for wear in your cuts on a bed with worn ways but it's nicer if the ways are still decent. Check out the chuck too. When they wear they won't repeat well. Check that it'll run in and out the entire amount. Getting a little tight isn't necessarily a sign it's shot but might have been used in the same size range all its life and just need pulled apart and cleaned and greased. You want to pay special attention to the saddle and rear turret feeds and make sure they're functioning as those repairs get very expensive. Also make sure you get as many tools and holders as possible in your deal.
All brands are good for small amounts of work. Some brands are junk and if used in a commercial or industrial environment they won't hold up very long at all. Since it sounds like you're just gonna tinker around with it I'd look for the machine with the most tool feeding options and that comes equipped with the most holders and any cutters etc.

Good luck!


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