Educate me on ….metal work lathes.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 63 total)
  • Educate me on ….metal work lathes.
  • trail_rat
    Member

    I’ve not turned anything in about 15 years..but I have a want and a need for one -mostly for remachining seal surfaces on land rover bits and the odd bike spacer/axle – and I’d really like to be able to do metric threads.

    I have been keeping a spy out for older lathes but mid size 400ish mm on the bed 120mm centre height ) are right pricy and no guarantees they ain’t worn to hell – I don’t need another resto project.

    Can buy model lathes cheap – they are too small for things I want to do.

    Or massive lathes which are far too big for the space I have.

    Are the likes of warco or proxxon or Clarke any good for a beginner home user ? Namely as these come up more often used than the likes of Myford & Colchester. Perhaps for good reason mind.

    What says the hive.

    nickjb
    Member

    Good quality, mid sized lathes are rare 2nd hand as they are by far the most popular with enthusiasts. The Chinese ones you list are ok just don’t expect Myford levels of quality and precision. You just need to work with the weaknesses. I’ve got an axminster which probably at the upper end of the cheaper ones but still pretty basic. Happy enough with it. It’s very sensitive to tool position and sharpness but if you get it right it cuts fine.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Yeah I figured as much.

    I’m not going to be knocking out a production line of kit. Jtll be one offs and I don’t mind taking time to get the results.

    Practical machinist seemed to rate the 3 for beginner home use but I guess those three company’s pay for add space 🙂

    Premier Icon porter_jamie
    Subscriber

    Anything worth having will be 3 phase. And anything decent now will be worn out so you are into new Chinese. I did look in axminster and wasn’t overly impressed but I suppose better a new one of those than a battered Colchester. Be prepared to spend lots of money and also drop loads on tooling

    Premier Icon porter_jamie
    Subscriber

    And you have to have a dro

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    Ah memories of the school workshops.

    Inbred456
    Member

    See if you can get hold of a boxford. They did plenty of single phase lathes for schools and colleges. There is one on eBay for 600.00ish. Not a lot of wear on these because they don’t allow the students to use them a lot because the teachers or lecturers don’t have a clue how they work. That’s not a dig by the way just fact.

    Inbred456
    Member

    Be prepared to spend more on the tooling than the lathe.

    forzafkawi
    Member

    I would advise looking for a Boxford Model ‘A’. It has a quick-change gearbox with power cross and longitudinal feeds and is also back-geared for slow speeds. I have the equivalent South Bend Model ‘A’ which is an American lathe that the Boxford was based on. They have a 9″ swing over the bed.

    Myfords are mostly over-rated and as such over priced. Colchester are big lathes for industrial use which makes then either cheap(er) and knackered or expensive. If you want something bigger (12″ swing) than the Boxford then have a look at say the Harrison M300 but you are also into Colchester country there but reasonable ones do come up very occasionally, mostly from enthusiasts or schools/colleges, definitely not from machinery dealers.

    http://lathes.co.uk/

    forzafkawi
    Member

    I just re-read the OP and picked up on the metric threads requirement which I overlooked. You can get metric Boxfords although they are more scarce, more sought after and hence more expensive. You can also get transposing gears for the imperial versions though which allow you to cut metric threads on the imperial lathes.

    I have a Warco milling machine and they are decent enough quality for the price so I assume the lathes are reasonable too. You will have to pay a fair bit for one of the larger ones though especially if you want to match the capacity and functions of the Boxford.

    paule
    Member

    Not a lot of wear on these because they don’t allow the students to use them a lot because the teachers or lecturers don’t have a clue how they work. That’s not a dig by the way just fact.

    Not always the case! The 4 Harrison lathes in my workshop get used daily, by y7, 9, 10, 11 and 6th form students as well as by myself and colleagues. I know we’re an exception, but schools do still use these things!

    Otherwise, I’d agree. We’ve got some Axminster tooling at school and it’s a bit flexible and clearly made down to a price. Never used their lathes (very happy with my 40+ year old Harrisons) but the belt sanders aren’t the best, and their pillar drills are a bit fiddly.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Like most things isn’t it the tooling is the bulk of the cost.

    My drill bit set cost more than the drill press and that was pricey enough being a 1950s meddings but no point cheaping out if the shit your drilling is hard.

    My biggest issue with most lathes on eBay is they are all down south and I live in Aberdeen . Been a few for sale up here but they have been rank rotten when checked out.

    Premier Icon trout
    Subscriber

    I have a Smart and brown Sabel lathe which I am thinking about selling
    powered feed and crosslide
    gearbox for screw cutting. but probably not metric

    forzafkawi
    Member

    trail_rat – Member

    Like most things isn’t it the tooling is the bulk of the cost.

    My drill bit set cost more than the drill press and that was pricey enough being a 1950s meddings but no point cheaping out if the shit your drilling is hard.

    My biggest issue with most lathes on eBay is they are all down south and I live in Aberdeen . Been a few for sale up here but they have been rank rotten when checked out.

    What sort of budget do you have for the actual lathe trail_rat?

    simonbowns
    Member

    lathes.co.uk is well worth a look. you’d be surprised just how good something that’s decades old can be.

    gandmtools can be worthwhile too. Plenty of ex-school stuff there, I got a vice there a while back.

    trail_rat
    Member

    About 1k how ever I’d prefer it to be nearer 800. Although the more I look I expect it to be about 1300.

    trail_rat
    Member

    And while I agree Simon . I wouldn’t really know a worn lathe from a just run in one.

    Last one I looked at was built from parts of other lathes and a single phase motor grafted on. Would have only made sense to original builder.

    forzafkawi
    Member

    For that sort of money trail-rat you really only have a couple of choices.

    Something new and basic like the Warco WM240B which is basically a manual lathe so no power feeds or quick-change gearbox. 240mm swing and it can cut metric and imperial threads though but you will need to use change wheels to set up the thread you want to cut. It does come with a whole host of attachments though including 3 abd 4-jaw chucks, fixed and travelling steadies etc.

    http://www.warco.co.uk/metal-lathes-metalworking-lathe-machine/302920-wm-240b-warco-lathe.html

    There are several other suppliers of Chinese sourced lathes like Warco around such as Amadeal and Chester Machine Tools. The lathes sometimes look cheaper for the equivalent spec but they don’t usually come with the attachment list that Warco does and Warco have a good reputation for customer service.

    The advantage with getting a new lathe is you know exactly what you are buying up front. It also gets delivered to your door.

    The other alternative is hold on for a Boxford or a basic Myford, something like the ML7. I used to have one of these and there are quite a lot of good ones around.

    I realise it’s going to be difficult for you to find one in the Aberdeen region but you might want to tap sources like model engineering clubs etc. in your area. Model Engineer magazine also has a classified section and as these people are enthusiasts rather than dealers, they generally are very helpful and won’t try and rip you off.

    Here’s a Myford ML7 which is for sale on there at the moment:-

    http://www.model-engineer.co.uk/classifieds/view_ad.asp?ad=13201

    Inbred456
    Member

    Paule good to know that some of these are actually being used. You are the exception rather than the rule. My dad got 3 boxfords from a school once because they were scared to use them and worried about health and safety. He made a great lathe from the 3 and then kept one for spares and sold the other.

    Premier Icon Twodogs
    Subscriber

    I’ve inherited a Myford Lathe from my father….I know nothing about it but it looks like that ML7. I keep thinking I should keep it and learn how to use it but I know I never will. So if anyone knows anyone in the market for one (South Wales)….let me know!

    trail_rat
    Member

    Cheers forzafkawi You pretty much confirmed what i though.

    an ML7 is what ive been looking out for but few and far between unless i want to drive for 2 days…..

    I may have to . dont really want to buy blind i think that is stupid.

    Mate of mine goes to an auction in Aberdeen that sells all sorts of stuff, I keep meaning to go, I’d try this route – always wee engineering workshops shutting and their kit being sold off.

    I’ll find out the name of the auction.

    bencooper
    Member

    You know of the usual sources – lathes.co.uk, G&M Tools, Home & Workshop? Can still find a bunch of decent older lathes for reasonable prices if you look. I got a lovely Denham for £180 on eBay (then spent about £1500 on DRO, tooling, 6-jaw chuck etc).

    If you’re fitting a DRO, then metric or imperial doesn’t matter – and a bit of wear in the leadscrews is much less of an issue too.

    trail_rat
    Member

    now no beer

    thats a stotting idea. Itll be the craibstone roup , will check it out , never even thought of that !

    never thought about the fitting of a DRO ben , it crossed my mind as something id do later on but not really as a first port of call. Get the basics back before i go down that route.

    forzafkawi
    Member

    I wouldn’t automatically assume that fitting a DRO is going to solve all your problems. The cheap ones are pointless and the decent ones are usually quite expensive. They can also be a bit tricky to fit to older lathes as well that weren’t designed to take them.

    I fitted one to my Myford ML7 and after a while stopped using it because I very rarely used it cross-ways. For depth work longitudinally it was useful but not really worth the outlay. When I sold the Myford and got the South Bend, I just use a simple dial gauge for everything. Maybe I’m ‘old school’ and I’m sure others prefer using DROs.

    You will still need dial gauges for chcking things like runout though so I would advise starting with those before rushing out and buying a DRO.

    I do have a DRO on the milling machine though because you are often working in three dimensions there and it’s just impossible to keep setting up dial gauges in that instance.

    trail_rat
    Member

    absolutely hence why it wasnt on my priority list.

    bit like learning to ride on a hardtail before moving to an FS in my eyes 😀

    Ive never used DRO before only dials.

    mickmcd
    Member

    theres a firm called tayside machinery up your way who clear schools and things

    Ring him tell him your budget and see if he has anything

    irelanst
    Member

    It might be worth a day trawling around local jobbing shops, they often have an old manual lathe stuck in the corner which hasn’t been used for ages and might part company with for cash?

    I have a smaller Warco that I bought for a specific purpose and it is OK really, obviously can’t take heavy cuts in hard materials but for plastics and ali it’s fine. If you go Chinese I would say being handy with electrics (and electronics) would be a bonus, and I’d also strip it down and clean it up properly as a first project.

    Premier Icon porter_jamie
    Subscriber

    i disagree about DRO -imo it’s a total must have. i only paid 500 quid for the no name ebay one on the harrison – it was supposed to be a harrison ‘kit’ but we threw all that away and made our own fitting kit which was a bit of a ball ache. it works really well and if it died on me i’d just get another immediately its such a time saver you can’t not have one.

    we have a newall on the manual mill which is ok, but it has been for repair twice. we leave it switched on the entire time now and its been ok for about 6 years.

    forzafkawi
    Member

    porter_jamie – Member

    i disagree about DRO -imo it’s a total must have. i only paid 500 quid for the no name ebay one on the harrison – it was supposed to be a harrison ‘kit’ but we threw all that away and made our own fitting kit which was a bit of a ball ache. it works really well and if it died on me i’d just get another immediately its such a time saver you can’t not have one.

    we have a newall on the manual mill which is ok, but it has been for repair twice. we leave it switched on the entire time now and its been ok for about 6 years.

    You sound like you are are a commercial environment jamie where time is money and a DRO makes sense. But a £500 DRO on a £1000 hobbyist lathe (the OP not you) makes no sense to me. You might as well put that money towards a better lathe.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Cheers Mick I’ll give him a ring. That’s back by my folks so not bad to get at pops has a big van 🙂

    Will keep an eye out on the Morris Leslie roups if they still going as well.

    mickmcd
    Member

    hobbyist lathe

    DRO

    [/url]IMG_20161215_1436203 by mike.mcdermid, on Flickr[/img]

    [/url]IMG_20161215_1013047 by mike.mcdermid, on Flickr[/img]

    and seriously im told im a hobbyist….

    bencooper
    Member

    Show off 😀

    trail_rat
    Member

    Nice hobby Mick.

    What’s the day job 😉

    trail_rat
    Member

    Thought I was onto a winner last night

    Myford super 7 popped up on my eBay email. 1000bin

    Opened it up. Looked like it had been at the bottom of a swamp for years with no extras and no bench.

    Quick sniff around eBay and he’s a dealer who’s priced it higher than any other super 7 on eBay regardless of what they come with. Although I am aware that polished and painted probably isn’t a good sign the lathe in question looks worse than bits of the landy I threw away

    Equally a Harrison l5 popped up nearishbut it’s 3 phase 🙁

    Got a few leads though, one of the Guys I ride with has a lathe to sell sadly as part of his father’s estate. Just waiting to hear what it is.

    Also there is a used machinery sales place in my grandparents village which does ex school stuff at fair prices.

    Premier Icon tillydog
    Subscriber

    …but it’s 3 phase

    I’ve not looked recently, but you could probably get a 240V -> 3 phase inverter for a few hundred £s.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Yeah about 350 quid how ever takes the lathe out of my budget equally it’s right on the top end of size I’d like really.

    mickmcd
    Member

    I think super 7s are popular because they do lots of things and are sought after with spares etc, you get lots of mods

    The funny thing is when your not looking they are cheap when you want one they seem to cost the earth I sold mine for peanuts to a guy from the NPL who like it more than the Hardinge, go figure

    http://www.quillstar.co.uk can be a bit pricey but they have a speed 10 on there that’s a bit nice for doing odds and sods now I know they might be a bit far from you but pretty much everything he sells is bob on or your money back

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 63 total)

The topic ‘Educate me on ….metal work lathes.’ is closed to new replies.