--Have reached a point where I need a lathe with greater capacity (in terms of diameter that can be held in a chuck) than my Super 7B. I'm curious what others have adopted as a 'standard' larger lathe: is there any concensus?
In my case, a Harrison M300 - 6.5" centre height, very good speed range and threadcutting abilities, reasonable availability of accessories, D1-4 fitting is easy to find. One of the best improvements over the Myford is the 1.5" bore through spindle (marvellous, once you have experienced it you won't want to live without it. A D1-4 collet chuck and a set of multi-size collets was perhaps the most versatile accessory I have bought for it; the sizeable number of Dickson toolholders I needed was financially crippling but worth it.
Very similar in dimensions to the Colchester Master 2500, slightly less robust but the 3 HP motor is easier to accommodate (through a VFD) than the 5 HP on the Master.
Weights over 680 kg, was very impressive to watch Chris of Home & Workshop move it into position by lifting one end by himself!!
I did seriously consider the various oriental imports of similar size, which I could probably have got cheaper, but I thought I would only wish I had gone for the real deal.
Still have the S7, and use it a lot - it's perhaps a little more versatile, and I have made/bought such a lot of bits for it.
I also favour the M300 but it depends on the money you have to spend, I think a smaller machine as well is very useful so you end up with both! If you have the room and large ambitions a used Dean Smith and Grace is wonderful to have but just that bit bigger. Peter
I'll add a 2nd or is that 3rd now for the M300. I started with a tired Kerry 1140, still have it for some uses, and wanted a newer better condition machine and settled on the M300. In both cases 40" (1m) between centres. While I don't use it often the between centres distance came in useful often enough that I wouldn't buy shorter. Your use may well vary though. BTW my M300 is a gap bed so will swing short items to
18", I did a double take when I saw the face plate that came with the lathe when I bought it. I got mine from
as it came up at the right time and the price was acceptable, with a short haggle, including the 125 mile or so delivery.
As a part-way step between the S7 and heavier iron like a Harrison, a Boxford is usefully bigger (4-1/2 or 5" centre height depending on era) and a lot more robust - and excellent value fo rmoney compared to a Myford with heaps of reasonably priced accessories around. I've personally got a Smart & Brown 1024 which is somewhat smaller in capacity than the M300, but about twice the weigh and a good deal more esoteric making accessories hard to come by, but it _is_ a cracking machine.
--Fear not gang I'll never toss the Myford; I must use it a couple of times a week for any number of things. But 2 weeks back I took on a job that was just too gnarly for the poor beastie: 3" lengths of 3-1/2" dia 304 stainless bar and I had to bore them out to something like 2-3/4" i.d. There's no room for a chuck large enough to grip these properly so I had to use the outside jaws which meant I was gripping the parts by about 3/8" of their length. The torque generated from the cutting tool, even taking shallow cuts, was just too much for the chuck's gripping power. I wound up farming the job out to another shop and I'm thinking I would have preferred to put that money towards a bigger lathe. --Harrison M300 looks very promising. Neat to find out that it's similar to a Colchester. Clausing-Colchester was their name once upon a time so there's a chance I can find something on this side of the pond (I'm in Northern California). Wouldn't mind importing some good 'old iron' tho! --Boxford: good to know there is a variety of accessories and spares to be had: like most folks I've modified my Myford a bit and the next lathe will follow that trend ;-)
Yes, I noticed that one; it's one of the nicest examples I've seen on eBay, been looking (for accessories) for the last couple of years. If it goes for anything remotely near the current price it would be a bargain.
I got a quote for one in 2001 which included coolant pump tank and fittings, 160mm super precision 3 jaw chuck, 205mm 4 jaw chuck, quick change toolpost with 4 holders and 1 plain bore holder, and a few other standard things.
£10890 + VAT for 25" and £11640 + VAT for the 40".