More advice needed: Cincinatti 12x36 "Tray-Lathe"

Many thanks for the helpful input you all have given me via an earlier
thread. I've gotten a response to some inquiries for a local lathe, and
would very much appreciate your input on this:
----------
>I have a large metal lathe with a lot of features and a lot of accessories
>that you may be interested in. It is a Cincinatti "Tray-Lathe" circa the
>early to mid-50's, 12"x36". I have a 2HP 115/230 single phase and a 3-ph
>motor for it, 3 and 4 jaw chucks, faceplate, and other goodies. It has a
>quick-change gear head as well as a quick-change threading gearbox. It was
>appraised at over $1K back when I was using it but I haven't used it in a
>number of years and it is collecting dust in my garage. If you are
>interested I would probably sell it for around $500 if you would come get >it.
Reply to
Andrew H. Wakefield
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Wow, if I am right on what this lathe is, it is worth a lot more than he thinks. Basically, a heavy-duty 12" geared-head engine lathe.
Anyway, if the carriage sweeps only part of the bed ways, then it will leave a ridge between the swept and unswept parts. You can feel the ridge with your fingernail to judge the amount of wear. You can't tolerate much wear, as it will tilt the carriage and cause the machine to cut barrel-like shapes. A few thousandths should be OK for most uses, though. If the carriage sweeps the entire width of the ways, however, it can be hard to judge the amount of wear. If there are deep scratches in the ways, that is a warning sign.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
And if your fingernail will catch on that ridge, that makes it worth... the asking price, all else being OK. Be sure to read "In Praise of Klunkers" on the mermac site
Reply to
Rex B
A tray top Cincie for $500? If its in good working order..snag it NOW! Run! dont walk to the guy with cash in hand.
Its fairly heavy (a good thing) so be prepared for moving it. Parts are pretty much non existant, but they were a rugged lathe and I still see them in daily use in machine shops.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
Reply to
Gunner Asch
Funny------I ran a (new) Traytop when I started in the trade. As I recall, handles in a circle, color coded, protruding at an angle, which shift the headstock gearing.
To be perfectly honest, I didn't think much of the machine, but keep in mind I was comparing it to a new EE Monarch, to which I was assigned after running the Traytop.
I agree, it would be a nice home shop machine, assuming it's not trashed.
Harold
Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos
Thanks, all, for the input. As always, your answers lead me to more questions!
John, thanks for the tip on checking the ways. Rex, where do I find the mermac site? I take it that it is possible to restore the ways if they are worn? Is this a major ordeal?
Gunner, you mentioned the weight -- I was wondering about that. Any idea how much weight we're talking about? 1000 lbs., or less? Can I carry it in my little Ranger, and do I need a forklift to get it into or out of the truck? I've read a recent thread about moving a lathe with interest, but I'm thinking the engine hoist that was discussed in that thread wouldn't be able to lift it high enough for the truck -- yes? no?
As far as parts go -- would there be anything broken that a competent machinist could not fix? (No, I am not a competent machinist yet, by a long shot, but I have a friend who is :)
Harold, you mentioned that you didn't like this lathe compared to an EE Monarch. I'm too new to all this to appreciate the comparison, since I've never seen either one. :) Anything in particular that you didn't care for about the Cincinnati Tray-Lathe? Any particular features that I should be aware of?
I'll be looking at the lathe this weekend. Pictures and/or update to follow ...
Andy
Reply to
Andrew H. Wakefield
Rex, where do I find the
formatting link
I take it that it is possible to restore the ways if they are
Yes, and yes. The "klunkers" article explains how you might be able to live with worn ways.
Reply to
Rex B
snip----
A Monarch EE is likely the finest engine lathe (toolroom lathe) ever made, so it's not a fair comparison. You might say it's like comparing a Rolls Royce with a Ford.
The one feature that I didn't like much was the machine seemed to lack a fine response. I was involved in a lot of close tolerance work---which was made much easier with the EE. As you develop your machining skills, you start to notice how machine tools respond to your commands. The TrayTop lacked the fine feel, nothing more.
Don't take anything I said as a negative. Unless you get involved in work that would better be run on a precision grinder, the TrayTop should serve you quite well. In the scheme of things, it's not a heavy duty machine (think Mori Seiki, or Axelson, for example), but it's very much an industrially rated machine, a tremendous leap above many other machines. Cincinnati made some good equipment, particularly their centerless and cutter grinders.
Assuming the machine is in operating condition and not worn out, it is a killer good deal for you.
Harold
Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos
Andrew,
I have a tray-top and I am very happy with it. The manual calls it a medium duty tool room lathe. It weighs just under 2000 lbs. I moved mine by taking it a part. I have the 30 inch bed. 4 people could carry each part, though it might be worth noting that each person was between 25 and 35. We put a long bar through the head stock so 4 people could carry it. The hardest part to carry was the base under the headstock end. It was very hard to get 4 people on it. I think we dragged it more or less. The trick to removing the QC box was to remove one or two the screws inside the box that attached it to the bed also.
Spare parts are "available". Half-nuts are about $1700. the 2 metric change gears were $6800, but the metric cover plate for the QC box was $25. The oil sight gages were about $11 each.
Good luck,
Vince
Andrew H. Wakefield wrote:
Reply to
Vince Iorio
Well, I'm off to look at the lathe this afternoon. A report will follow :)
Meanwhile, I checked out the mermac site (thanks Rex -- I guess I should have tried the obvious before asking!) and found the two articles on lathes very helpful indeed. I'm going to re-read the article on evaluating a lathe before I go look at it.
I also talked with the seller to set up the time and get directions, and also got some more information. He got the lathe from a community college and used it a little. He said the ways are in excellent condition. When he moved into his present house, he never had time to set it up, and his wife wants him to get rid of it. He said that the only thing that was not quite right on the lathe is that the carriage crank bushing is worn and the crank is consequently "floppy" -- but it still works. (Sounds like part of Gunner's recent repair ... thanks for the story, Gunner!) It has a quick-change tool post, one or two dead centers, 3 & 4 jaw chucks, faceplate, a steady rest that may need some work. It also has the taper jig. He had some bits but doesn't know where they are. I asked him if there was any chance of powering it up -- he didn't rule it out, but there may be an issue of getting power to the machine.
Does any of this raise any red flags for anyone? The fact that it is still on skids from moving into his present house sounds a little like one of the warning signs mentioned by Dave in the article on the mermac site, but the story makes sense. Obviously the key will be meeting the seller and getting a sense about him, as well as inspecting the lathe.
Any further words of wisdom before I go to look at the lathe will be most appreciated!
Andy
Reply to
Andrew H. Wakefield
Some designs can look great, but the wear may not be apparent without accurate measurement. I think someone else pointed out that if the carriage pressure points do not cover the whole width of the way, it can wear a ridge to serve as an indicator. If the carriage contacts the way full-width, then no ridge, although the wear could be there.
That would mean it has some high hours on it.
Not enough to overcome the low price :)
I turned down a $500 SB Heavy 10 last month due to the condition of the ways, despite the fact that the entire lathe had been beautifully restored.
The fact that it is still
Always
Take cash in small bills, in case there is an opportunity for further incremental price negotiation. Also a strong friend, and an appropriate trailer and rigging
Reply to
Rex B
Perhaps a red flag..perhaps not. Chuckle..since my shop is dirt floored..I have a number of machines that are still on their pallets, under power and running.
Shrug..those two articles..and your gut feeling should help you get started. Check for play in the compound..grab the tool holder and push and pull. If it moves say...more than 1/8"..the nuts are worn..the usual stuff.
The one issue with having the guy go through the effort of putting it under power..is Ive seen them change their mind and decide to keep it....lol
I think it was Jim that said...hey..that wasnt so bad afterall...
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
Reply to
Gunner Asch
snip------->
" He said that the only thing that was not quite right on the lathe is that the carriage crank bushing is worn and the crank is consequently "floppy" -- but it still works."
That, to me, would be a sign of a machine that has been ridden hard and put away wet. Check the ways for wear, and the cross slide as well. Look for any gouges, where chips may have ruined the surfaces, and inconsistent form of the ways. Keep in mind that if the ways are not good, the machine, at best, won't be very reliable for anything but rough work.
Harold
Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos
I should mention Harold..that My 15x52 clausing had worn crank bushings, yet the machine is tight, has NO wear on the ways and will hold very good tolerences. Personally I think the way they built it lead to premature wear.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
Reply to
Gunner Asch
inconsistent
Certainly a possibility. The crank handles on my Graziano have worn terribly, but I attribute that to soft steel on soft steel, and no lubrication. I, long ago, made a new one for the carriage and the cross slide is overdue. The lathe is in good condition aside from a couple tenths runout in the spindle.
Frankly, it's hard to judge the condition of a machine without running it.
Harold
Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos
Indeed.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
Reply to
Gunner Asch
No idea. The OP was going to look at it yesterday, so I guess we will all have to wait with bated breath for his report.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
Reply to
Gunner Asch

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