New Lathe Advice

On Mar 6, 12:00 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I am in the SF Bay area. I'll give you a small data dump on what I've found out:
There *are* some decent places for used lathes around here. Gary Aragon in San Leandro has a good reputation. He's on Craiglist a fair amount. Here is one of his current listings: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/tls/292883339.html
Another guy with a good repuation is Bob Rowe in Santa Cruz: http://www.rowe-machinery.com /
I had a Myford Super 7 - very nice but I didn't get to use it often. That meant that every time I did walk up to it, all it's oil would be in the pan. I'd have to reoil it each time (kinda like an English car). But this may be moot since you said you wanted 10" swing and the 7" Myford isn't close to that.
If Myford size is OK, then you might consider Wabeco, which is what I have now. I sold the Myford on Ebay and bought a Wabeco E3000. It's not a rigid as the Super 7, but it is much nicer to use (for me anyway). It's also cleaner. Even in the garage, I didn't want oil everywhere. Even though the Myford had a QC gearbox and the Wabeco does not, the Wabeco still wins on convenience because it has a *separate* variable-spped motor to run the carriage (like on a Hardinge). A 3-position lever selects carriage drive by hand-crank, var-speed motor, or threading gears. Yes, you have to change gears for different threads, but how often do you thread? You can also leave on a set of gears for your favorite pitch. The other advantage Wabeco had it that they have a good sales rep in Gilroy. So I just drove down and picked it up. The seller is: http://www.mdaprecision.com/
I see they now sell Prazi. They didn't when I got my lathe. Not sure about the relation between Prazi and Wabeco.
The best deal of course would be some nice used machine. I know someone who just got a Monarch for about $2k, it was definitely NOT a creampuff, but I'm still jealous. You might lurk on Craiglist for a few months with the phone next to you, cash in your hand, and a truck with the engine running outside (you need to be quick).
If you can't wait and want a beefier machine, Grizzly is probably OK (I have one of their mills because I couldn't wait - no complaints). If you want precision and convenience, but less beef, Wabeco is worth checking out.
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Oh, one other choice I forgot to mention is buy nothing and join this place in Menlo Park:
http://techshop.ws/
I've been in there a fair amount, and I'm beginning to think it makes more sense to pay them $100/mo than it does for me to buy more *undersized* tools for my garage. The $4k you're contempating spending for a lathe alone will last almost 4 years there. They also have mills, punches, shears, welders, etc as well. AND a guy who's job it is to keep stuff running.
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I looked at their website and it looks like a fantastic place. They have everything I'd want or need for my home shop. There are a few downsides, and one of them is a big one:
1. The place is 50 miles from home and 75 miles from work. That's at least a two hour round trip. Sometimes I just like to go into the shop and spend an hour working on a project. Joining the Tech Shop would require setting aside at least half a day (and half of that would be spent driving).
2. I've seen lots of "membership" operations like this come and go. At least they don't offer discounts on 12 month memberships, so I wouldn't be tempted to buy one only to see the place go out of business in six months. I wish them well and hope they last, however.
3. Joining the Tech Shop is kinda like living in an apartment--you pay every month and get nothing when you leave. If I bought used machine tools, I could sell them for what I paid for them (or even more) if I lost interest.
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On Tue, 06 Mar 2007 06:45:32 GMT, "Jerry Foster"

Excellent post!
Gunner
"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western civilization as it commits suicide" - James Burnham
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wrote:

Indeed, particularly the part about carbide tooling. Well-ground HSS is absolutely the way to go for the HSM most of the time. My lathe can handle carbide but I still only use carbide when HSS flat won't get it done. Sharp HSS can skin half a thou on mild steel, brass, ally or plastic. I do that routinely, and I did on my 9" Logan too. Carbide flat doesn't get that sharp.
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Don Foreman wrote:

Very true. As much as I love my 9" Logan, I fought chatter a lot....until I acquired a used 10" Enco with twice the mass. Still have the Logan, but the Enco gets most of the use, even on little bitty stuff.
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The vo-tech schools have guys who maintain the school's equipment. I used to take their "101" class evening class over and over until they quit the program a couple of years ago. Anyway, I suggest you go to the vo-tech during the day and ask to talk with that guy. I'll bet he will be a fountain of knowledge if approached properly. The guy at our school was very good at locating machine tools being eliminated from secondary schools in the area and then repairing/rebuilding them for other uses. **** Make sure you get a lathe with a quick change gearbox. You will kick yourself in the pants later if you don't! I have a 10 inch Atlas lathe that has flat ways. I can do pretty good work with it, especially since I bought a brand new set-true chuck for it several years ago. But, as another poster said, it isn't rigid enough for carbide tooling when you need accurate finishing cuts, so I use HSS tools for that. I have used South Bend heavy 10's at school and I can't see any reason why you'd need anything heavier than that for your work.
Pete Stanaitis ----------------------
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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