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  #1  
Old 12-02-2021, 07:59 AM
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Default Southbend vs chicom

I'm thinking about getting a lathe.

They're not something that comes up second hand very often here, we dont have much of a manufacturing history in Ireland.

The budget as always is small so choices are even more limited. I also don't want a huge machine as I have a tiny shop.

This is available locally
https://www.adverts.ie/power-tools/s...lathe/22624399 was asking $1400 but I'd say it would be bought for closer to half that at this stage.

Pros as I see it are that it's a quality old school lump of Iron. cons are that it seems very basic in terms of spec, no tail stock, steady rest or compound. I will easily spend the second half of the price, and then some to buy those parts sight unseen from the states


In the other corner is this guy: https://eur.vevor.com/products/metal...39940263641265

comes with all the bits the south bend doesnt have for what will likely end up as less money, and is plug and play.

I've never run a lathe before. I'd like to learn, pins and bushes type stuff, Threading is probably a long ways off but the ability to make round things with concentric details would up my capabilites a lot.

Would I be mad to buy the chinese lathe?

(I think I know the answer, but maybe someone will surprise me)
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2021, 08:48 AM
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greywynd greywynd is offline
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At the end of the day, do you want to make chips right away, or do you want a ‘restoration’ project?

A steady rest isn’t a make or break in itself for me, I used one a month or so ago, and that was likely the first time since high school. Other shops or work they may get used daily.

The tailstock is a little more of an issue. Without it, even a simple job of drilling and tapping a hole becomes a major effort.

Size and capability wise I’d say they are roughly the same. The import will likely be low on torque at lower speeds, depending how they do the variable speed on the motor, whereas the SB has back gears and will increase due to ratios.

I have a basket case 9” SB in storage in Onterrible, and have ran a few over the years. They are capable, and lots of parts, mods, and support.

I would bet there is likely as much for the import machine as well.


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  #3  
Old 12-02-2021, 10:01 AM
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Go with the Chinese lathe.
You may find it opens a whole new world of repair abilities to you, and may find you need to upgrade in the future. I use mine almost every time I fix something, like installing a garage door opener and to properly locate the cable tension sensor, I machined a nylon roller 1.5" longer than original.

If you can wait and order direct from China, you can get a similar machine for the same money but better features and quality, with a gear drive instead of electronic speed control.
It takes 3 months by boat to get it, but 84kg versus this one at 380kg tells a story. Much more rigid and will make a smooth chatter free cut.
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  #4  
Old 12-02-2021, 11:21 AM
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I'd go with the chicom as well. I've owned the 7" version and the 9" version. Both have done everything I've ever needed, to the tolerances I'm looking for in life. Accessories/upgrades are abundant and YouTube can show you how to make the best of the equipment.

Buying them complete gives you a head start. You know all the pieces are supposed to fit, and you will likely end up with parts that you'll never use--but they'll be available should the need arise. If it turns out to be something you enjoy and you find that you need greater capacity or performance than the machine can deliver, then it's a good time to start looking for a project machine. You'll have an idea of what you can, and can't live without.
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  #5  
Old 12-02-2021, 12:12 PM
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Shade Tree Welder Shade Tree Welder is offline
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I would say a hard NO! on the South Bend.

Quote:
Missing tail stock hence price

ASKING PRICE €1,250

Currently disassembled for storage/transportation
Also the ways are rusty in the photos, that lathe is a basket case and some
idiot took it apart. I be he doesn't have the skill to bring it back or he bought
the POS and is now just trying to get his money out of it. And you really need
a tail stock. How the fuck do you loose a tail stock...

Of the 2 go the china route, but if you upgrade to a larger lathe later you will
still have to repurchase some of the tooling for a larger lathe.

But the china lathe is a good learning machine and you get a warrantee.

Well until China goes to war with us...

I would look around for a used machine, how hard would it be to drive over to
England (via ferry and pick one up?) What about a Myford lathe? Seems a
lot of those over there in your general neck of the woods vs. getting a South
Bend.
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  #6  
Old 12-02-2021, 12:23 PM
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Gerry: What have you done, sending me down the rabbit hole of alibabba.

Shipping to ireland adds a LOT, plus import taxes. Its often cheaper to buy something that came into europe via full container and is shipped locally. you can get a pallet across europe for very small money if you're not in a rush.

But still, gonna look because yeah there's some much better machines on there if the numbers added up.


Ron the English have fucked us yet again. Brexit means they're no longer part of the EU which means import taxes, plus ferries, fuel, hotels, time etc makes bringing anything over from there now is rarely affordable. A bit sickening as I'd have bought a lot of stuff in the UK over the last 20 years. (and I changed jobs too so no more subsidised travel over and back which I may have used to my buying advantage when working for them)
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2021, 12:47 PM
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My vote would be against the south bend too, unless that is the only thing available and darn near free.

My only other thought, is would be very high on my wish list would be ability to cut metric threads also. 75% of what I do are imperial, but I am running into more metrics daily it seems.

Not sure what your main standard is in Ireland, but the ability to cut the main type of threads will be a great addition for you.

Cutting you first threads will be intimidating at first, but gets easier with practice.


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  #8  
Old 12-02-2021, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toprecycler View Post
My vote would be against the south bend too, unless that is the only thing available and darn near free.

My only other thought, is would be very high on my wish list would be ability to cut metric threads also. 75% of what I do are imperial, but I am running into more metrics daily it seems.

Not sure what your main standard is in Ireland, but the ability to cut the main type of threads will be a great addition for you.

Cutting you first threads will be intimidating at first, but gets easier with practice.
Bryan, very good points.

My Romi lathe has an inch lead screw on it so I can cut inch threads all day
long with ease.

I can cut metric with it but one the half nut is engaged in the lead screw on
the first pass I have to leave it engaged and then reverse the lathe (with the
tool backed out) for the next pass. It adds another thing to watch when
threading.

However, I will build things with SAE threads, I only use metric when
repairing existing metric equipment.

Most of my shit is old American iron so SAE it is...
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  #9  
Old 12-02-2021, 01:41 PM
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I've been down this road.

First I bought a table top Taig lathe. Too small and no power feeds much less threading. I kept it, but mostly for sentimental reasons.

Next I bought an antique Barnes lineshaft lathe. Capable, but slow and very painful to set up for threading.

Next, I bought a Hiebert WW II era lathe. Good in theory, but missing steadies and had had crashes that had taken teeth off the spindle pinion of the feed drives. Difficult repair and too much effort to repair and restore- sold it at a loss for scrap val.

Lastly bought a chicom 1440 lathe new on a skid. Came with a lot of accessories, some of which I have yet to use like the taper attachment. Immediately useful after a quick levelling and cleanup of shipping grease. Wish I had done this first - would have got me down the road to single pointing threads and taper turning over a decade sooner. Would have saved me over half of what I have spent on lathes in the long run too.

My 0.02$ CAD. YMMV.
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  #10  
Old 12-02-2021, 03:22 PM
Rob65 Rob65 is offline
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John boy, Do you have a Machine Mart store near you or are you able to get up to the north?

My first lathe was one of these. https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/cl430-metal-lathe/

It’s surprisingly capable. I now have a big Colchester but kept then Clarke for smaller stuff.

Rob


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