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Thread: new lathe

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    S/E Pa.
    Posts
    52

    Default new lathe

    Looking to buy a lathe for the the garage. Don't have any specific jobs in mind but want to get ready for retirement. I have an Index milling machine- told the CFO that one can not have a milling machine and not a lathe.
    I have a $3000 budget.
    Should I look for a used American made or can I get a new import that is not a POS for 3K?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    193

    Default

    My first choice would be a used American lathe. In my area, Northern California, I looked for almost ten years for something decent but there simply wasn't anything available. I finally bought an Enco 13" X 40" geared head lathe and it's been running nicely since 1994 when I got it.

    I bought it in the crate when Enco still had a store in San Jose, California before the Internet got going and they weren't 100% online. It was something like $2,500 in the crate. It weighs about 1,800 pounds so it was quite a load to bring home but I made it.

    Enco still sells the very same unit for around $3,800 including the base. They often have it on sale and with free shipping to your door, which can be very expensive otherwise, say if you bought a used Americain lathe online on eBay.

    My unit does everything that I want. Would I prefer an American unit? Sure but they are few and far between. It's important to note that we are now in the age of CNC machines. Manual lathes are still being built but mostly in Taiwan and China. AFAIK, there are no manual American lathes being built anymore. You can get a rebuilt Monarch from the company, say a 10EE which is a wonderful machine but you would pay more than $50K to have the best.

    Grizzly also sells lathes that are similar to Enco, many of which are probably built in the same factory. They are competitive with Enco and other similar companies.

    I also have a Taiwan built Webb Milling machine that I bought used and refurbished. It's a terrific machine. If you get a mill you will probably need three phase power. I built a rotary phase converter that took care of that.

    Happy Hunting!
    Miller Syncrowave 200
    Milermatic 252
    Lincoln AC/DC "Tombstone"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    193

    Default

    Duplicate post deleted.
    Last edited by Synchroman; 07-19-2014 at 05:45 PM.
    Miller Syncrowave 200
    Milermatic 252
    Lincoln AC/DC "Tombstone"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa
    Posts
    45

    Default

    Synchroman you got your ENCO when they were still Made in Taiwan and pretty darn good. The older Jet machines that are from Taiwan are pretty nice, considering neither are a Southbend.

    I looked for a few years after I got my Southbend Heavy 10 and found a EMCO Super 11, (Made in Austria) had to replace a couple parts in the gearbox but it is very accurate. It will run 2200 RPM at top speed and has a two speed 3 phase motor into a 4 speed gear box 8 speeds total. Had to build a phase convertor to run it on my single phase service.
    Miller MultiMate 200 MIG/ Stick/TIG
    Retired
    Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter
    Master Electrician
    Amateur Home shop Machinist & Welder

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    193

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge View Post
    Synchroman you got your ENCO when they were still Made in Taiwan and pretty darn good. The older Jet machines that are from Taiwan are pretty nice, considering neither are a Southbend.

    I looked for a few years after I got my Southbend Heavy 10 and found a EMCO Super 11, (Made in Austria) had to replace a couple parts in the gearbox but it is very accurate. It will run 2200 RPM at top speed and has a two speed 3 phase motor into a 4 speed gear box 8 speeds total. Had to build a phase convertor to run it on my single phase service.
    My Enco has 8 geared speeds with a single phase 2 hp motor. I've been pleased with it for nearly 20 years now and, unless I win the lottery, that's probably my last lathe.

    The only change that I made was to weld up some risers to raise the unit 4" above the chip tray so that it would be easier to clean out the swarf. Other than that, it's still stock. The only parts needed since new was a pair of matched V belts when the first set wore out. I also added a Sino DRO about three years ago. It's not really as useful on a lathe as it is on a mill, but it does help you to sneak up on a correct diameter when turning things down in the round.

    I have the South Bend book "How to Run a Lathe" that my friend who is a professional machinist and welder gave me. It's still the best book on the market for a home machinist like I am.

    Happy Trails!
    Miller Syncrowave 200
    Milermatic 252
    Lincoln AC/DC "Tombstone"

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