Lathes in Australia

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dennisa49

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Hello,
I am looking for a 9" lathe in Aust.
Plenty of standard quality - H &F, Steelmaster etc.
Is anyone aware of a better quality machine available here please?
The Southbend machines look good, however no Aust supplier.
Many thanks,
Dennis
 

GWRdriver

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Have you ever heard of F. W. Hercus Pty Ltd? They are an Australian company which for decades made lathes which were copies of the old South Bend 9" and 10" lathes. http://www.lathes.co.uk/hercus/ That could be an option.
 

dennisa49

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Thanks for the Hercus info.

Has anyone info on Jet Machinery lathes?
Sold by Gregory Machinery.
Regards
Dennis
 

Hopper

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If you can get a Hercus in good condition they are a very good lathe. Lots were used in TAFE colleges and high schools etc and did not do much hard work. You can still buy new parts for them if needed.
 

rodw

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Having bought a new lathe after owning a used one, I would recommend buying a new lathe.

In all honesty, buying from Hare and Forbes is the most viable option as they stock parts and stand by their warranty. My only regret is that they are so close to where I live so I have spent too much with them (But most of my tooling comes from CTC in Hong Kong). If you can be patient, check out their sales, March and November are good but they may have a end of financial year sale too.

In that size, if you can afford it and don't mind working in metric only, the AL250G would be my pick. I nearly bought it but went up to the AL320G which I love even if it has pick gears (that the 254G does not have)

Don't buy their stand, make our own as they are not very stable (Says he who knocked his lathe over flat on its face and then made a new stand!)
 

Ripcrow

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I have had a lot of problems with my al250g .although hare and forbes standing by warranty some parts have been on order nearly 6 months now as their supplier went out of business and they are trying to source from other suppliers, my electric motor has had trouble with the contacts and the whole machine is a let down as far as precision is concerned
 

polly

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I have a hercus and they are a great solid machine not like them bamboo cutters h&f sell
 

dennisa49

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Hello,
Thanks again for the interest and the advice.

RodW, I think the 320 is a solid machine.
Is the change gear system robust?

It is the only thing that has held me back, the machines seem to have good
chuck speeds, both carriages have feed drive, slotted mount for the cross slide etc.

Has anyone used a Minitech machine?
Sold out of Brisbane by Minitech.

regards
Dennis
 

rodw

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Hello,
Thanks again for the interest and the advice.

RodW, I think the 320 is a solid machine.
Is the change gear system robust?

It is the only thing that has held me back, the machines seem to have good
chuck speeds, both carriages have feed drive, slotted mount for the cross slide etc.

Has anyone used a Minitech machine?
Sold out of Brisbane by Minitech.

regards
Dennis
Dennis, I have not had any problems with the 320 other than the plastic oil drain bung broke twice in the early days. In the end, I replaced it with a metal bung with a sight glass I purchased from www.bolt.com.au who is one of my regular suppliers. I think it cost $15.

This lathe was the biggest one I could fit in my shed. I would have liked the 336 which is the first of the industrial machines. I live with the pick gears as it is rare for me to cut a thread. I did look at the Minitech machines but they had no stock and H&F had this machine and the Seig SX3 mill on special. Buying the mill meant the lack of T slots on the cross slide was not an issue. You could also look at Titan Machinery but you are buying from a one man band so I doubt after sales support would be up there with H&F.

I make a lot of simple plastic parts 60 & 75mm in dia which need facing. I run flat out at 1600 rpm and push the cross feed speed up high. I rarely (eg never) change the belts down to the low spindle speeds as the 6 high range speeds are enough. My production time is easilly twice as fast it was on my earlier smaller lathe. Things happen scary fast at this speed. It is easy to engage the wrong power feed direction as the lever goes forward for cross feed and back for longitudinal. You only do it a couple of times before you get the feel of this! I generally leave the pick gears engaged all the time so I have power feed and have had no problems. You can put the feed gearbox in neutral but the pick gears still spin.

There is a lot of info in my Rods Aussie Shed thread which will show you how tough it is as I tipped this 280kg machine over flat on the operators side and it sustained no damage.

If you do live in Brissy feel free to PM me and come and have a play. I am 10 minutes from H&F on the south side.
 

mattty

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Hi
I am looking to buy a new lathe and I am keen on the AL960B or the AL336 which do you think is the better machine.
Thanks Matt
 

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