New Lathe question

I an interested in getting into Model Engineering and looking at my first "home lathe". I have a reasonable budget, but Myford is out of the question.
I did an engineering apprenticeship back in the early 1980's and spent a month working with what I believe was a Colchester Triumph 2000. After my apprenticeship I moved into Electronics and finally ended up in IT where I am now. Somewhere in the recesses of my brain I hope are some residual turning skills. I have looked at Chester and Warco on the web, with the latter looking more attactive. However I am somewhat confused as to which direction to go in. Belt change or variable speed and what features are most desirable? No one product seems to offer what I consider the perfect solution. The Warco WM280V-F looks attractive as it offers a reasonable capacity and a power cross feed. The latter I could consider as pretty much essential from my previous experience. One concern I have on this model is the low end speed, 125 RPM. Is this slow enough? I would rather speed a little more and get something decent than get a machine that I "grow out of". I am not really up for refurbing a machine as it will be my first machine tool. A lot of the work I am planning will be model scale stuff, but the capability to machine larger items is atractive. Have I been "spoilt" by my turning stint during my apprenticeship and am expecting too much from a first lathe?
The advice of the group would be much appreciated
Stuart
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Have you looked at www.lathes.co.uk ? Your experience was likely to be on a Triumph lathe. They were, and are, very popular. Unfortunately, they're 3 phase. They sell regularly on eBay and are very good lathes if a little large for home use. Having said that, I've been promising myself one for years. You need to decide what sizes you're going to machine, that dictates the lathe size. Go for a proper lathe if you can rather than a cheap feature-poor machine. There's lots available second hand. Again, eBay will give an indication of prices. Things to consider Distance between centres and swing over bed Go for a gap bed if possible Look at the clearance above the saddle as well as the chuck swing. Look how high the tool post is as that dictates how large a cutting tool you can use Do you want imperial/metric/both screw feeds Look for a large enough bore through the headstock.
No doubt others will add to this list until there's so many needs that no one lathe will do. Then you will need multiple lathes, oh and a miller, a grinder, a shaper............
Good luck
John
Stuart Bridger wrote:

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Two points:
Slightly confused as to why a good Myford should be too expensive if you have 1500 to spend on the Warco. OK, not a brand new Myford but you should be able to get a nice one for 1500. A good AUD Boxford would be even less and a late one would be a 5" model. I appreciate your desire not to rebuild something but not all second hand machinery is in need of a rebuild! There was a nice Boxford on Homeworkshop the other day - no idea of the price though! See here http://www.homeworkshop.org.uk Remember the bigger machines are cheaper and 3 phase isn't the work of the devil. Most can be run of inverters or converters (or in my case both) if you have some electrical confidence.
As for your specifics: Possibly spoilt but there's no going back. 125rpm too fast IMHO Variable speed is easily sorted with an inverter on a 3 phase motor (and much better than single phase I agree than power cross feed is useful - as is a norton box.
Charles
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Lathes.co.uk was my source to jog my memory on what lathe I used. It was the rotary speed select paddles that triggered the identification. There must have been about 20 of these in the Training workshop at British Aerospace, Brooklands. Who knows where they ended up when the site closed in '87/88.

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I've never come across anything I wanted or needed to machine that I couldn't do on my old Colchester Student. It copes with anything up to normal car engine size such as flywheels, cranks, cams. The gap bed helps for large diameter items. A small lathe like a Myford might be ok for machining tiny stuff but I don't actually think it does it any better than a larger machine. Whatever you're machining it always helps to have a sturdy and rigid machine.
A Triumph 2000 is a nice lathe but a bit large for hobby use.
Dealers always want a huge amount for even old crappy machines but you can often do better asking about in local machine shops if anyone knows of an old lathe for sale. With CNC taking over so much of the work these days perfectly good manual machines often end up in skips if it's too much hassle to try and sell them. A mate rescued a very nice Student from a skip a few years ago after someone moving workshop just binned it rather than pay for it to be moved. Colleges also often sell nice machines for very little money.
So I'd say Student, preferably the later flat top model, if you can find one will do anything you need. A gap bed one for choice. A quick change toolpost and Burnerd collet chuck set are the two best things you can add to it.
--
Dave Baker
Puma Race Engines
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I wasn't saying that I want anything as large as a Triumph 2000, just illustrating what I had used before. Thanks for the responses, my suspicion that 125 RPM wasn't slow enough seem well founded. There is a small machine shop local to me, I will pop in and see if they have anything to suggest.
The general consensus is that I will get much better value by going second hand commercial/British than new Chinese import. The challenge for me will be making sure that I don't get an "old dog". I am certainly willing to undertake some Electrical work and an inverter does seem a good option, for speed control and /or 3ph conversion.

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wrote:

Stuart
I wouldn't argue with the Student type machine but if you can go a little smaller have a look at a Boxford AUD or maybe a BUD they really are very good value for a quality small (4 1/2" - 5") British machine. I have a first class long bed AUD which I guess would fetch about half of what that Warco would cost you. In fact that is the reason I haven't sold it as seems much too good to sell for that sort of money. The smaller Colchester Bantam or particularly the Chipmaster is also worth considering if you can find a good one. As has been rightly said conversion these days to a 3 phase motor is both relatively cheap and simple. If you have limited space to house the machine then do have a look at a later Myford S7 with the power crossfeed - you can pick up very nice ones for a fair bit less than that Warco these days.
While the Warco you specify is fine for hobby use it is a little lightweight for larger more taxing work. Warco in general have a very good reputation for aftercare and that particular machine has been specified with some of the model engineer wants in mind, larger spindle bore than average, variable speed, power crossfeed etc and for a small footprint has reasonable capacity. The last one is double edged though as with lathes there is no substitute for mass of iron to give smooth cutting.
If you do a search on here using Warco, Bantam or Import late youwill find a lot of discussion and a wide range of views, try this thread as an example:
http://groups.google.co.uk/group/uk.rec.models.engineering/browse_thread/thread/545e8a4537e8d62c/d6658e9af2dac8ca?lnk=gst&q=warco+lathes#d6658e9af2dac8ca
Good luck
Best regards
Keith
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Hello Stuart, I'd agree with pretty much everything that's been said so far. A couple of other lathes to consider are a Smart & Brown (like the Boxford it's a Southbend near clone) and also a real Southbend. A very nice Sabel went on fleabay a couple of weeks ago for 200 with chucks, steadies etc (admittedly that _was_ cheap) and Southbends are frequently around that figure. I don't think most people selling stuff like that would mind being asked for an inspection and if they do avoid it. Boxfords especially, seem to be always available and spares and parts are easy. Although not vastly larger than a Myford they are all (Boxford S&B, Sb) much more heavily built.
Machines of that ilk have a much nicer feel than most of the far eastern import stuff. I had a wiggle of the hand-wheels on a Sieg in Axminsters showroom recently and it felt as though it had square balls lubricated with gravel compared to my Sable, I was shocked - but it did have an all enclosed gearbox etc with neat twiddly knobs.
You perhaps need to think a little about 'what you like to do' and what you want to do with it. Possibly also the potential re-sale value/ratio if you decide it's not for you.
Rgds Richard
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Stuart, one quick question. Are you the Stuart I think you are?
Cliff
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Cliff
I suspect yes if you are the Cliff I suspect you are!

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Small world, I'll email you.
Stuart Bridger wrote:

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On or around Thu, 24 Apr 2008 12:15:39 +0100, "Stuart Bridger"
I've got a Colchester student made in 1960, bought s/h and it's still quite a usable machine. Has a few wear issues. Cost 360 quid, since when it's had a new 3-jaw which cost about the same again, as the original was unreliable. Also came with a 10" 4-jaw and a faceplate.
They crop up now and again, as do the smaller bantam and chipmaster. The chipmaster is a lovely thing if all in order.
don't be too worried about 3-phase - the student is originally 3HP 3-phase, but mine now has a high-torque 2HP single phase motor, which don't cost much new. It'd be down on power for the sort of maximum workrates it was capable of when new, but for the smallish stuff I do with it it works fine.
I'd back a decent s/h machine such as this against the cheap Chinese style stuff. Good Chinese is pretty good, mind, and there are some around.
--
Austin Shackles. www.ddol-las.net my opinions are just that
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On Thu, 24 Apr 2008 12:15:39 +0100, "Stuart Bridger"

See Bob Minchin's post. There could be an opportunity there.
From the sublime to the ridiculous, try this for a laugh:- http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item#0245042597
Mark Rand RTFM
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On Fri, 25 Apr 2008 23:10:27 +0100, Mark Rand

Well we could always make him a "Best Offer"...<G>
Regards, Tony
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Typical E-bay seller, wants 4.5K for it and you have to pay extra if you want "the wheels" as well, worth all of 25. Actually the wheels fitted to the stand say it all :-)
Regards
Keith
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On or around Fri, 25 Apr 2008 23:10:27 +0100, Mark Rand

nice, but not really 4.5K of nice, I think. especially if you could have this:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item 0239027661
or if you want smaller, this:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item 0217648993
Nice L5 here too: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item#0246575313
Also noted a couple of chipmasters.
I've never been entirely convinced about Myford. Sure, it's a good machine, but I don't see any real justification for them being twice the price of other good machines.
--
Austin Shackles. www.ddol-las.net my opinions are just that
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I have a shabby ML7. No, I don't think the machine itself is worth more, but what does please me is the easy availability (albeit at a premium) of absolutely any spare part, accessory or upgrade I care to name. This could have been equally true of any number of superior machines, and some, like colchesters and boxfords, aren't too hard to find either .. but it's Myford that's in top position and we might as well live with it. If you can find other, sturdier, stuff then be glad - Myford's popularity is giving you a bargain !
-adrian
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Stuart Bridger wrote:

This:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Wabeco-CC-D6000E-CNC-Lathe_W0QQitemZ180237557898QQihZ008QQcategoryZ112399QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
might be interesting if you have a few bob to spend. Wabeco are good, and while this is CNC it can also be used manually.
no connection (I just want it myself !!!)
-- Peter Fairbrother
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Yet another seller who has ignored the new eBay rules that the bid price must include VAT!
David
--
David Littlewood

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On or around Tue, 29 Apr 2008 18:33:59 +0100, David Littlewood

which, IMHO, is much fairer. I don't approve of people quoting ex-vat prices, except for genuine wholesalers.
I presume eBay will start pulling auctions, before long.
--
Austin Shackles. www.ddol-las.net my opinions are just that
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