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Old 06-08-2011, 05:01 PM
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Default Interest in buying a lathe but what one??

I spent some days in the machine shop side at work and i really enjoy working with the lathes and mills.
It just reminded me how fun it was so I am looking in to buying one. I dont want a cheep one that will rattle apart and make a precision part a peice of scrap when you try to turn it or something.
But i dont want to spend $5000 on one either.
Are there decent low end user machines for $1000-$1500 or so or are there decent older shop grade ones for around that?
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Old 06-08-2011, 05:07 PM
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Jennifer can teach you all about getting a good lathe at a fair price.

Set a number for what You want to spend on a lathe. Start looking around with that number in mind. Study up on the lathe you are using at work and see what you use there and transfer it to what you want. Take the number you have for a lathe and add from there. As your experience grows so shall you spend/invest the money in your project. Do not spend so much you worry about what you spend on your project.

Most of all!!! Have fun starting with the search of it.

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Old 06-08-2011, 05:54 PM
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I had good luck posting a want ad on CL, practical machinist, CNCzone, etc to find myself a lathe. Ended up getting it thru PM but he's also a member here. There are deals to be had, moreso if you are willing to do some cleanup and repair. If you want a biggun I've seen a few go for a scant more than scrap on govliquidation.com, but you'll need the equipment to move and hope its close by (there isn't crap in the midwest on there )

A good site to check out is lathes.co.uk he has some buying guides and info on about anything import or domestic made in the last 150 years.
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenbuggy View Post
I had good luck posting a want ad on CL, practical machinist, CNCzone, etc to find myself a lathe. Ended up getting it thru PM but he's also a member here. There are deals to be had, moreso if you are willing to do some cleanup and repair. If you want a biggun I've seen a few go for a scant more than scrap on govliquidation.com, but you'll need the equipment to move and hope its close by (there isn't crap in the midwest on there )

A good site to check out is lathes.co.uk he has some buying guides and info on about anything import or domestic made in the last 150 years.
i dont mind clean up or repairs but i dont want one that i will need 10 draft horses and a pully system to lift and move around. at my home shop a engin hoist is my only means of lifting. I suppose if i got one a little bit bigger i can pull in some favors but I rather get something a little smaller than a VW. lol
Again i dont mind clean up but i just want it to be able to hold true, auto feed and i dont know what else haha .
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:25 AM
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also are the harbor freight $800 jobbers any good? If so are the mill/lathe combos any good?
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:05 AM
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I would watch out for a good used 9" South Bend or Logan. I see lots of them here in Ohio for a great price...Bob
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:13 AM
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I would keep my eyes on craigslist.org. I use Searchtempest.com to expedite the looking. And take your time to buy one.


One thing I have found is the 9-10" sizes usually go for more money per pound, and the larger lathes are less money per pound.

I think it's the moving it around thing.

My 2 ton engine hoist can easily pick up Lucky and with some blocks and such he gets moved around pretty easily.

After reading all the posts from Gwiz, precisionworks, platypus20 and others (thank you all) I wouldn't go smaller than Lucky's 13" size and more then likely would move to something more modern and same size or larger though it would cost more.

Thats just me though and I have an addictive nature.


I also have more of and idea of what to look for now that I have Lucky. Before this I wouldn't have known what to check or look for so I am now a more educated buyer.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketeir View Post
also are the harbor freight $800 jobbers any good? If so are the mill/lathe combos any good?
I dont own one, but the reports I have heard are that, they do lots of things, none of them well.
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:08 AM
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The HF lathes are ok for what they can do. Just remember, they are limited in the size of material they can swing/machine. Other than that, for a first time user, they might be ok to begin with. There are lots of websites of people that have modified those 7x10 import lathes. That's just good practice until you have mastered the skills.

My Craftsman 12x36 is sometimes way too big for some of the small parts I make. But on the other hand, I have turned a part out of 4" x 25" round bar, so it was perfect for what I was doing at the time.

The Craftsman lathe isn't as rigid as say a LeBlond or South Bend, but it works for me. I have a lot of money tied up in tooling, less money tied up in repair parts & it's beginning to make a few bux for me. The best thing of all, like Jennifer's Lucky, mine was free. So 90% of my expense is in tooling, which could transfer over to a slightly better lathe in the future if I choose to obtain one.

Like other's have said, watch Craigslist. There aren't many listed here in Yuma, I found mine using SearchTempest also.
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  #10  
Old 06-09-2011, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkBall2 View Post
The HF lathes are ok for what they can do. Just remember, they are limited in the size of material they can swing/machine. Other than that, for a first time user, they might be ok to begin with. There are lots of websites of people that have modified those 7x10 import lathes. That's just good practice until you have mastered the skills.

My Craftsman 12x36 is sometimes way too big for some of the small parts I make. But on the other hand, I have turned a part out of 4" x 25" round bar, so it was perfect for what I was doing at the time.

The Craftsman lathe isn't as rigid as say a LeBlond or South Bend, but it works for me. I have a lot of money tied up in tooling, less money tied up in repair parts & it's beginning to make a few bux for me. The best thing of all, like Jennifer's Lucky, mine was free. So 90% of my expense is in tooling, which could transfer over to a slightly better lathe in the future if I choose to obtain one.

Like other's have said, watch Craigslist. There aren't many listed here in Yuma, I found mine using SearchTempest also.
how much was yours?
I have to say i need something a few levels above the beginner level. I have used both before just not perfected yet. If i spend the money on a beginner machine i will out grow it way too quickly.
any pics of yrou craftsman?
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Dewalt power tools
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