Lathe choice Again!!

First off let me say I'm a new boy in this sort of thing and I know you have probably answered this question and variations of it many
times so please be patient :)
At the moment I have a very old (prox 50yrs) Warwick 3.5" by 18" and frankly it's just a bit rickety and that combined with my inexperience is giving me some problems.
I'm confident that a skilled and experienced engineer could sort it out, there is some wear in bed it's looser near the chuck, the tail stock can move from side to side slightly + so does not always clamp centrally , there is some damage to the tool slide and the bearing clamp behind the chuck has been welded, it must have snapped at some time, but it adjusts now.
On the plus side it's back-geared and has all its wheels. In theory it would be more than adequate for every thing I would like to do, in practice it's a bit of a nightmare.
The Chinese Stuff seems a bit dubious, they have plastic parts in the drive chain or so I'm told, I've room (just) to take a lathe with a longer bed
Assuming a similar format to the Warick sorta 3.5/18 (even down to a 12") but with metric screw cutting what can you recommend?
Many Thanks for you help.
Regards Alan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The Harrogate show is on over next weekend - you will be able to see the kit for yourself and talk with the vendors! Bear in mind that buying a lathe is like putting a deposit on a house...
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Alan, welcome, yes you are right the question has been asked many times before but as all our circumstances vary the answer is always slightly different, so don't worry.
To make it a little easier to help, you need to give us a little more information on what your needs are. For example, have you a budget in mind; what sort of room do you have available to put a lathe? (bear in mind not many of us will have actually seen a Warwick); do you have a real "aversion" to Chinese or are you just concerned about many of the rumours that circulate about them? What sort of work will you use the lathe for and how many of the current facilities on the Warwick do you use? An example here is the back gearing; this is not readily available on the cheaper new small lathes. Do you/will you need thread cutting? Would you prefer the lathe to be imperial or metric or will either be OK? Are you sufficiently "au fait" with lathes to be able to recognize a "dog" when you see it, even if it has been disguised? Size matters with secondhand in as much as if you can accommodate some slightly larger machines then they are much better value for money. The small bench lathes if in good condition seem to attract a hefty price premium. If you can fit in something the size of a Boxford then they can be a real bargain relative to the smaller ones. I'm sorry to answer your question with a string of my own but an insight into your needs will allow you to receive better advice.
The 3 1/2 " x 18" lathe is a very popular size and there are many available to choose from. Unfortunately, many of them that are available cheaply secondhand will be as old (or older) than your Warwick and may suffer the same issues. A Drummond, Atlas or older Myford would seem to fit your needs but will need to be chosen carefully, even if you can find one. The Myford ML7 if you have room is by far the most commonly seen but they do need to be looked over carefully as many are now worn. If your budget starts at the 400 range then we start to see some new Chinese lathes come into the field. These have improved of late but care has to be exercised with choice as although they look similar they do vary considerably in build quality. Don't be tempted to buy on price alone and as Steve has said the lathe is just the start of the buying curve and most of us end up spending much more on tooling and equipment.
My one first piece of advice would be buy bigger than you need and buy better equipped than you need. Not only will it allow the machine to meet your developing needs but if it does prove to need upgrading later on, it will retain more of its value when you sell it.
So Alan, if you can steer us a little I'm sure that you will receive plenty (normally too much) of advice. If you are looking at new then as Alan has said if you can make Harrogate next weekend a bewildering array of new "bargains" will be available to confuse you.
Best regards
Keith
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On May 7, 9:43 am, jontom snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I've decided to go to the show this weekend and see em in the flesh!!!
Thanks all.
Regards Alan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Good choice as all the main contenders will be there and you can handle the machines in the flesh. That's what shows are about. You also get to see just what extra's are available and projected costs to get up and running. As others have said the lathe is only a down payment <g> Hopefully after 40 years of owning lathes I'll soon have mine paid for !! -- Regards,
John Stevenson Nottingham, England.
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:- http://www.homeworkshop.org.uk /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Alan
A good decision to get a feel for what is available particularly if you have decided to go with a new Chinese lathe. A couple of words of caution gleaned from expereince, make sure you make yourself an "essential capability" list as it is easy to get seduced by all those bright shiney machines and buy a machine that when you get home won't do something you really need it to. Don't ask how I know that one :-) Do consider the largest machine you can accomodate, very few people have to change a lathe because it is too big but lots of us find our initial purchase was too small. If value for money is important have a look at the 920 type lathe as a starter, unbelievable value for money these days. Of course there are better lathes available but for the capability per pound these are hard to beat as a starting point. They are a little lightweight though so if you are going to do a lot of heavy work and have a more generous budget better machines are available. If you are lucky enough to be wealthy have a look at the Myfords which are excellent. Expect to pay a very high premium for a "Myford" machine though.
The show is normally less well stocked with secondhand machines although there will be some there at least early on to look at. Don't get too frightened by the high cost of good secondhand machines there, most will be fine examples. Unlike new machines where competition forces the price down the availablity of good secondhand machines is limited so dealers extract a high premium for good used "British" machines.
Whilst many of the new machines come with a reasonable set of essential bits not all do so make sure you know what you are getting for your money. A three and four jaw chuck, steadies, change gears, cutting tools, stand etc will all add considerably to the initial cost of the machine if/when you need them.
Apologies if I am "teaching granny" again.
Best regards
Keith
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Keith wrote:

I agree totally with Keith.
Alan, I am a newcomer of the group too, so just in case you won't find a fit for your need at the show, I would let you consider a lathe not seen on this newsgroup (recently at least) in the size range you are looking for: http://www.ceriani-mu.com/uk/start_uk.htm I've been a pleased user of it in the last 5 years. It is well made (totally in Italy, expertly assembled), and I would place it between the Chinese lathes and the Myfords for price and flexibility, quality of construction towards the latter. I am in no way connected with them, I've just seen them on E-bay selling even to UK now. In case being not really sure of the buying (especially a new one) I would wait spending money.
I apologise for my not fluent English, Best regards
Paolo
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Paolo Di Marco wrote:

Hi Paolo,
Excellent English, and it is interesting to hear about these lathes. I have seen them advertised on eBay and wondered if they were any good (or even Chinese imports re-labelled). Is this the same Ceriani that used to make excellent motorcycle front forks in the 1970s ?
Steve (Cheshire)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Steve wrote:

on
it
would
Steve, I don't think is the same Ceriani of the motorcycle front forks. I have visited their small factory several times (90km, pardon 55 miles, far from my house) for upgrades, accessories,and while speaking, the owners (2 brothers actually) told me that have been involved in machine construction in last 30 years (they built also custom CNC machine in the past); before in their dad's shop built small tractor for the local farmers based on the twin cylinder Ducati engine, that's the only connection with the motorcycle world I know! Now their main production are the "David" lathes and mills. I have both of them, and I can assure that they are 100% built in Italy with good materials and great care, just the standard lathe chuck comes from Poland (or Czech rep., not sure, since is relabelled) and the inverters are Japanese, also the option add-ones are of good quality. Here in Italy they are very well considered among model engineers, being the only alternative with Wabeco to the Chinese small machinery (the import price for a new Myford is out of reach here for most of us!). Speaking about the lathe, there are (for me) some shortcomings, you can fix partially with the usual engineer's ingenuity : -No "T" slotted topslide (but you have 2 bolts and 2 tapped holes to use for "emergency" operation) -Not easy indexing (the Bull wheel is out of reach, inside the belts frame), the best is to arrange a system of indexing ring on the chuck side (like Payne's "Quick step mill" uses) -No tumbler reverse option on 30mm spindle bore version (some people have added an idler gear, but had to cut a small slot in the belt frame for clearance). -Lower gear speed 100 rpm, too high for comfortable screw cutting (no tumbler, remember) , but it goes 25-2800 rpm with the inverter option (a bless!). - The ways are well seasoned cast iron (1 year for the bed, 6 months for smaller components) but are no hardened, so you have to use care not to scratch them.
So I hope I made a little light on these pieces of machinery, of course if anyone wants some more info, just let me know (remove "NO SPAM" from e-mail address).
Paolo
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Well Folks, I went to the show, the Wabco kit was very impressive also very high but CNC kit for model engineers seems over the top.
Still there's was the gear I favour, some very nice quality kit to be had there.
Thanks For All Your Replies.
Regards Alan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
ora wrote:

A Warwick lathe ! - not so many of them around. My main lathe is a Winfield, of similar age and size but in reasonable condition, but hardly a precision lathe. I have been telling myself it is good to learn on an older machine, and then really appreciate a good one. However, a lathe where the headstock bearing clamp has been snapped and repaired is where I draw the line (I have a Zyto in the same condition and I am waiting for a good headstock to come my way).
In your situation I would also be considering a good quality old toolmakers lathe. For example there is a really good looking Smart & Brown on eBay (nothing to do with me). OK such lathes are very heavy to move, and if 3 phase you need to splash out on an inverter or new motor, but they are really built to last, and rarely used in production so may have little wear. Plus you can probably sell it for the same you paid for it, whereas a new Chinese lathe will depreciate quite a bit.
However, were I an apprentice in a works I don't suppose I would be let near the precision toolmakers lathe until I have proved myself worthy (if ever). So thats why I am starting with the cheap and cheerful old stuff and working my way up.
Steve (Cheshire)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Aaahhh, a back to front Winfield, by the time you get trained on that it will be time to learn how a normal lathe works <g> For the unwary the saddle moves the opposite way to what you think. Most have chuck marks on the top slide from the unwashed.
They were made not far from me at Long Eaton and recently I was given some photo's by the son of a guy who worked there. These I passed onto Tony Griffith and he now has them on his web site. http://www.lathes.co.uk/winfield/page4.html

-- Regards,
John Stevenson Nottingham, England.
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:- http://www.homeworkshop.org.uk /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John Stevenson wrote:

Hi John,
The back-to-front Winfield also has a back-to-front Zyto as a companion - there was a lot of it about back then :-)
Those are precious pictures, didn't realise Tony got them from you. I see Tony has also updated his pages and solved a long standing mystery regarding the fact that the Corbett's XL lathe appeared with almost identical spec to the Winfield at the same time that Winfield folded (and Corbett's is the only place I have ever seen a Winfield advertised). He says they were using up Winfield's bankrupt stock. I always suspected it was too much of a coincidence - another mystery solved.
Steve (Cheshire)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.