Advice sought on American Turnmaster or Mazak lathe

I have been reading (lurking) this newsgroup for the last year and I'm actively looking for a lathe now and desperately need some expert
advice.
I live in an area that is not blessed with a plethora of used equipment of any cost, so finding a used lathe is rather difficult. We have one equipment dealer a few hours from here (Nova Scotia, Canada) and their selection is limited. They do have a few new, smaller Birmingham lathes, but I'm not really looking for a Chinese or Taiwanese lathe and these seem rather lightweight. Besides they want $6600 CAD plus tax for a Birmingham CT-1440 with no tooling and one 3-jaw chuck.
I would like something in the 14x40 size at minimum. Ideally, I'd like a 15x50 or 17x60 for the stuff I'm planning on doing and I want a decent quality lathe. I've been looking recently at a few lathes at Machinery Values in New Jersey. They have quite a few machines in the size I'm looking for but being new to buying used equipment, I wouldn't know a good deal if it bit me on the ass. They have an American Turnmaster 15x50 that looks pretty nice for $5500 and a Mazak 17x60 for $6500. Anyone have any advice on these lathes; what to watch out for etc? The Turnmaster is at:
http://www.machineryvalues.com/xdetails.cfm/QN/130818
the Mazak is at:
http://www.machineryvalues.com/xdetails.cfm/QN/131014
If anyone can help me out or give me any advice on lathes in general (where to buy, types of machines etc.) it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Rob
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Both of these seem very reminscent of the harrison we have at work. More so the turnmaster.
You should be aware that both of these machines are 'gap bed' which makes them more versatile for turning short, oversized items. If you don't need that feature, you would be paying extra for something you don't need.
Also, the mazak has a bed turret, again an item that will inflate the price, and if you don't really envision a need for it, is best avoided for that reason. Not that bed turrents aren't very handy things of course, DoN.
Jim
================================================= please reply to: JRR(zero) at yktvmv (dot) vnet (dot) ibm (dot) com ================================================
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Rob Landry wrote:

Watch out for these guys! I bought a 1972 Sheldon 15" lathe from them, listed as "excellent condition". Well, it had .013" of wear on the front way, only, which caused some pretty massive errors. I've been rebuilding it for 22 months, now!
It also was supposed to be the model that would do 80 - 2500 RPM, which some units do, but the one they sold me did NOT have that feature. I also had to phone about 6 times over several weeks to get the chuck, steady rest and coolant tank that was supposed to come with the machine. It was supposed to have a 10" 3-jaw chuck, they finally sent a massively wrecked 8" Buck chuck. (The other 2 items were OK.)
I really wouldn't buy anything from them without inspecting it myself, or hiring an independent machinery evaluator.
Their only recourse on all this was to remind me of their 30-day (or whatever) right to return all merchandise (at my expense!)
Jon
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Thanks very much for the heads-up.
Jim
================================================= please reply to: JRR(zero) at yktvmv (dot) vnet (dot) ibm (dot) com ================================================
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i have 2 summit 16-40 with 3 jaw 4 jaw taper attachment gap bed big spindle inch/metric with a gap. coolant system built in with newall dro. i believe these machines sell for 22K new. these machines were bought in 1999 new. they have seen little use and i would like 10k for each of them. they also have aloris tool post on them. i am in florida. you can reach me at (305)505-5985. i could help with shipping and i will load for free and skid. these are very nice machines
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i have a turnmaster same as shown . 15x 50 no real problems with it. lagun ( in california ) now owns them and they have a full line of replacement parts. the only soft spot that i have found is in the feed change gears. you need to be careful with it. we had 3 of these at the community college i taught machining at. they held up very well considering the abuse they took. the one i have is from that school i dont think the price is bad
walter
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Hey, another Maritimer. :D
A lot of the machines at school are from Fundy Grinding, and I know that one of the guys in class or his dad bought a mill from them not too long ago.
http://www.fundygrinding.com /
chem
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Maybe it was Fundy you were talking about in your post... Because it seems like all their stuff is from over the pond... :) Next time I'm going to recommend a site I should look at it first. lol
chem
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Both of these machines were made in China. The Turnmaster is a poor copy of a English Colchester and the Mazaks are made in China for the Japanese Mazak company. They may deny this just like they denied making the one Mazak lathe I have had. I wouldn't touch either of them. If you want a lathe like that look at Harrison, Leblond, Colchester or Mori Seki. Leigh@MarMachine
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