Author Topic: need help to buy a small new lathe  (Read 750 times)

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Pauldemob

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need help to buy a small new lathe
« on: 01 January, 2021, 16:59:32 »
Hi can anyone recommend a small new lathe .
I have seen lots for sale on Ebay but all seem to be from China , not a problem , but are they any good .
Any suggestions of British suppliers . I want it to make bike parts and for model making.
Needs to be bench top mountable as limited space

Many Thanks for any help
Paul

Ian C

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Re: need help to buy a small new lathe
« Reply #1 on: 01 January, 2021, 17:10:49 »
Is this any good? Obviously they are a little more expensive than the Chinese lathes. I have been using a Clarke at work which has been a godsend, but the leadscrew failed after cutting one thread with it!! plus changing speeds is a lengthy process..  When I eventually buy a lathe for my home workshop it'll be a British used one or maybe one of these Myfords.

https://www.myford.co.uk/

Pauldemob

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Re: need help to buy a small new lathe
« Reply #2 on: 01 January, 2021, 17:44:37 »
Hi that's a great lathe , but a bit out of my price range , max 900
Many thanks
Paul

Calum

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Re: need help to buy a small new lathe
« Reply #3 on: 01 January, 2021, 18:15:54 »
In my opinion, you'd be better to get an old British built lathe. For your budget, buying sensibly, you could buy a very good machine indeed. Old British ones tend to be more heavily built but easier to repair and maintain, and generally more robust in my opinion. Don't forget a lot of the modern machines are set up primarily for metric work, rather than imperial. Personally I find it easier working on an imperial machine for doing imperial work. Dials on a new machine may well be in both English and metric, and gearbox equipped machines might make imperial threadcutting relatively simple, but I must admit I haven't looked much at many modern machines.

As for bench top mounting, how big? A Drummond or Myford ML4 is a big enough size for most jobs on a motorcycle and spares and accessories reasonable. Boxford another good brand of small machine.

How often you intend to use it also affects what features you want to spend your money on. I use lathes every day and there's several features I wouldn't live without on a larger machine. On the other hand there's some features I've never used. If you intend on doing a lot of thread cutting see if you can get a machine with a Norton style thread cutting gearbox as it'll mean much less work changing gears to get the required TPI (obviously when working with CEI/BSCy threads you don't need to change often!). Another feature not always on smaller machines (certainly old ones) is power cross feed - not necessary but nice to have if you do a lot of facing work. Lots of older machines have a T-slotted saddle top which opens up options for simple milling work with the addition of angle plates or milling slides. If you can't justify the space or money for a separate milling machine it offers more options.

I too am in the market for a new lathe for my soon to be built home workshop, and I'll be going old and British. I'm still undecided how big to go - whilst I am a little pushed for space I am tempted to go bigger if I can get the power issue figured out, as I would like to start doing more work on my own.

ducati2242

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Re: need help to buy a small new lathe
« Reply #4 on: 01 January, 2021, 21:02:10 »
I use a maximat v10 . It even has a small milling attachment . Mine is 3 phase and I use a converter but it is excellent . I have seen them in your price range .  They do them in 240 volt as well .
« Last Edit: 01 January, 2021, 21:13:07 by ducati2242 »
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Mike40M

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Re: need help to buy a small new lathe
« Reply #5 on: 02 January, 2021, 02:05:42 »
One thing I've noticed is that many small chinese lathes can't make single point 26tpi threads. Worth checking before buying. Though most times you can make BSC threads with taps and dies.


Bess

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Re: need help to buy a small new lathe
« Reply #6 on: 02 January, 2021, 14:47:51 »
Hi Paul,

            I had a Chinese lathe for 2 years. The headstock bearing became 'stiff' which needed freeing every time I used it. The speed control failed, not a big issue as there are alternatives out there. Eventually the motor failed which made it uneconomical to repair. Maybe because it was in an unheated garage which reduced its life, who knows, I wouldn't buy another.

Luckily I built up a relationship with a good machinist who makes up anything I send his way. The cost of auxiliary stuff like rotating centres, DTI, faceplate etc, tooling and materials was a nightmare.

However if I was going to buy again it would definitely be a Myford, there was a company on Ebay that offered used machines (single phase) with delivery.


Best wishes...

chaz

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Re: need help to buy a small new lathe
« Reply #7 on: 03 January, 2021, 18:06:13 »
as has been said, Ive gone from a Colchester 2000 with a capacity to do fork tubes down to a Clarke 500 lathe with the milling/drilling head as opposed to the 300 with just the lathe.
its good enough for turning, drilling and tapping. the most complicated Ive done is pushrod tubes in brass for the Triumph. with internal oring groove and slots on top. diameters ok but I am using throw away tip tooling not HSS.
depending how much you are going to use it, I paid 500 and its worth it , sits in a cold garage used once or twice a month. Out of choice, I would pay extra for a Colchester Student but they have jumped up to 1500-1700 now but are far better than the old Myford they replaced.
should the lottery come up then its a CNC lathe and mill again

the Clarke was second hand and now needs a bit of tlc to remove the play from various slides and scales , Ive sent them an email regarding their spares list and quoting part numbers but as yet no reply. I dont know if Machine Mart have spares as they sell them, I have just located soft jaws for boring out special jobs but where they are coming from, I dont know probably China.

Blackthou

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Re: need help to buy a small new lathe
« Reply #8 on: 03 January, 2021, 21:39:01 »
I'm not familiar with the Clasrke ones but an old Colchester Student or even a Chipmaster is good. If space and money were less of a problem I'd go for the Triumph 2000. Harrison alsi make decent lathes and there really is nothing wrong with a good old Myford, always popular.

B Murphy

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Re: need help to buy a small new lathe
« Reply #9 on: 03 January, 2021, 23:50:52 »
I have a Clarke without the mill, its a cracking lathe and does everything I need it to do.

Mark

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Re: need help to buy a small new lathe
« Reply #10 on: 04 January, 2021, 09:41:27 »
Hi Chaz,

I believe this is the parts list with contact details on page 2 HTH.

Best Regards Mark

chaz

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Re: need help to buy a small new lathe
« Reply #11 on: 04 January, 2021, 21:02:36 »
Hi Mark
Ive got the parts list and have emailed them but no reply
thanks anyway.

the Triumph 2000 was too long really especially when I was doing .22 bullet conversions, but was good screwcutting, the clark better suited for small work but wouldnt try screwcutting on it. The Student, we cut our teeth on as apprentices, a good mid size tool, but slightly bigger than the Myford, thing is the Myfords are getting on now, a good student can be found with coolant pump on ebay.

What you can do is keep your ears open to see if there are any engineering companies closing or upgrading, I know if our company moves there may be a couple of CNC mills, a Cincinnatti and a Bridgeport that might come up as not in the planned move, two of us have enquired about them and have been offered a third but its too big. there is also a Miyano cnc lathe with bar feed that might get changed for a larger machine.  Sometimes its cheaper off of the company as a cash sale rather than go through the books. Sorry to say, more businesses may close under the current problems.

Pauldemob

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Re: need help to buy a small new lathe
« Reply #12 on: 06 January, 2021, 12:44:04 »
thankyou for all your replies,
given me much food for thought
will defo look into British lathes
Paul

Alan

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Re: need help to buy a small new lathe
« Reply #13 on: 06 January, 2021, 13:31:30 »
Have a look at https://www.model-engineer.co.uk it is a question that is often asked.