Setting up Shop Questions - from an NZ learner

Discussion in 'The Shop' started by joco-nz, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. Aug 1, 2016 #1

    joco-nz

    joco-nz

    joco-nz

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    Yes another newbie is struggling with the “what lathe do I get” question. Later it will be the "what mill do I get". But first things first - Lathe.

    I have been reading and reading on both this forum and many others, as well as looking at peoples personal websites. I have subscribed to MEW and read through the vast bulk of the back issues as well as reading many of the very good Workshop Series books. So now I am drowning in theory and great ideas.

    My primary driver is to learn to make things with metal. I’ve been/am into woodwork and while I don’t claim to be a cabinet maker I can get things done. I’m really keen to learn the art of metal work. At least to a proficient level where I can enjoy the process of creation and in seeing the result being both functional and well made.

    The areas that I’m looking to explore are:
    - Model steam engines
    - Model diesel engines
    - Glow plug model engines
    - Tools described in the likes of the Workshop Series books such as numbers #31, #34, #35 and #37
    - A number of cool looking projects from MEW

    I’m not going to get into turning parts for Cars or motor bikes. I do have a half formed idea to make a go-kart from scratch [not the engine though :) ]. But that is very much in the future after much learning with a yet to purchase lathe and mill, I have the welder.

    I’m in NZ and while I see various Myford 7’s, the odd Boxford and once in a blue moon a Southbend appear second-hand, most look so rusted that I’m suspicious. The rest look used as hell and I have no knowledge on how to filter the good/recoverable ones from the rubbish.

    So I have resigned myself to getting new Chinese iron. I recognise that means I will in all probability have to strip the machine down (arguably a good learning exercise) and clean out all the free foundry material shipped with it then reassemble and re-grease/oil it.

    I have looked around the NZ market and the general options that are not beyond my size and price limits, and allowing dollars left for tooling, would appear to be (in no particular order):

    [1] Sieg SC4
    http://www.sieg-machines.co.nz/lathes-bechtop/325-dieg-sc4510.html
    NZD 2,473


    [2] Optimum TU-2506V
    https://www.machineryhouse.co.nz/L689
    NZD 2,392


    [3] Hafco AL-320G
    https://www.machineryhouse.co.nz/L141
    NZD 3,174
    NB: The AL-250G was discounted as it doesn’t do any imperial threads, only metric.


    [4] CQ6128
    http://www.chevpac.co.nz/catalogue/lathes-small-9_72_582_1631/lathe-cq6128-250-x-750mm-L__120635?p=1
    NZD 2,529


    I’m hoping a few of the members from this part of the world will be able to give me some of their experiences and wisdom. Another factor in the above list is that some of the above units don’t come with many accessories. The Sieg and Optimum being the worst. Adding in those extras alone push many up to the Hafco's price.

    Are the sizes in this mix pretty reasonable? From what I have read I believe they are and should handle what I am looking to get into.

    Any particular brands/models that are generally better than others?

    Or is it just a matter of rolling the dice with the best bang for buck and holding the retailer to account for unreasonable issues?

    I confess to a slight inclination to the AL-320G. Mainly because I have seen some very impressive work by members of this forum using this model machine and its the biggest. :)

    Any ideas, experiences, advice gratefully received.

    Cheers,
    James.
     
  2. Aug 1, 2016 #2

    joco-nz

    joco-nz

    joco-nz

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    Another question ... I did say it would be questions from the newbie. :D :thumbup:

    Looking at collets and they totally make sense when dealing with round stock. I see you generally have 5c system and the ER system. It seems like the 5c system has a draw bar type model pulling through the lathe bore and closing them into the collet holder, whereas the ER system uses a compression ring on the collet holder.

    Any benefit in either direction? Or just a different way to achieve the same outcome?
     
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  3. Aug 1, 2016 #3

    kiwi2

    kiwi2

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    Hi James,
    I'm in Auckland and can offer a bit of advice.
    Last year my old Emco V10P (a really nice example of Austrian engineering) lathe which which I had bought second hand 10 -15 years ago had finally got to the stage where I needed to get a replacement.
    I did a lot of internet based research and based on what I found I came up with pretty much the same list and suppliers you have.
    I went to Machinery House and looked at an Optimum lathe. I couldn't see it running but the cross slide seemed to be intermittently binding and the sales guy couldn't explain why. I wasn't too impressed - if they couldn't set it up as a display unit properly in the shop, what were the chances I would get a trouble free unit out of a crate? I therefore discounted it - probably unfairly.
    I also looked at the CQ6128 at Chevpac. The sales guy was very good and actually ran a long lead to the display machine so I could see it running. I quite liked what I saw. The only drawback I saw with it was that the motor is not one of the newer brushless models which have a wider power band but they get around this by having two pulleys from the motor to the lathe to give good torque at low speed. It did have a lot of accessories as standard with the lathe.
    I had seen a number of favourable reviews of the Seig SC4 at various sites and quite liked the look of it. The problem I found with it was that the local supplier operated out of a warehouse and didn't have any machines set up to have a look at. Regardless of this, I decided to go ahead and order an SC4 based on the positive reviews I had seen.
    Big mistake. Never buy a lathe without being able to touch it and get a feel for how it operates. As soon as the SC4 came out of the crate I wasn't happy with it. I found it to be a badly designed, badly made piece of rubbish. It was so badly made the tailstock rocked diagonally on the bed. The machining of the bottom surface was just awful - it was milled rather than ground and the mill should have been sharpened about 5 lathes earlier. It took a couple of months for a new tailstock to arrive - it didn't rock but there was a tight spot when rotating the hadwheel - I suspect the shaft is a bit bent.
    There a numerous other things I really don't like about the SC4.
    I have decided that next February when (if) it ever stops raining and I can get access across my lawn to the shed I will get rid of the SC4 and perhaps look at the CQ6128 again. Mind you, if I do go that way, I'll be wanting to buy the machine I have inspected in the shop, not another one.
    Given that there is no showroom for the SC4 in NZ, if you want to have a look at one, send me a private message and I'll give you instructions on how to find me (I'm in Papakura). You can try mine out.
    Given the generally favourable comments regarding the SC4 lathe, maybe I'm being too critical but I'm definitely not a fan.
    Regards,
    Alan C.
     
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  4. Aug 1, 2016 #4

    bazmak

    bazmak

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    Hi,i started with sieg sc2 7x16 and was very happy.When the electronics blew
    I sold it on cheap and moved to the sieg sc4.Again very happy.But I would say
    that dependant on what you want to make,then the 7x14/16 at less than half the price of the 8x20 is a good buy.I bought the er32 collet set for the mill
    19 pieces and grips any sizt from 1mm to 20mm,and all imperial between
    cost about $100 from china and well worth it.I made a chuck for the lathe
    and later bought one for the Sc4.When you get a mill again I have the sx2
    with R8 quill again about a thousand dollars.Therefore you could get the lathe and mill with accessories for the same price as the SC4.My advice,if you look at threads under Bazmak you will get a feel for what can be done.Any further advice then send me a PM and I can email photos etc PS I use the collet set more than the chucks in the mill and the lathe.Great for holding screws in the lathe without damage
    Regards barry
     
  5. Aug 1, 2016 #5

    Blogwitch

    Blogwitch

    Blogwitch

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    James,
    As you can see above, two different people with totally different views on the same machine. That is the sort of problems you will get when asking what to buy.

    Another thing is that Sieg, when producing their machines, quality can vary dramatically.
    This is because they are usually made down to a price, given to them by the retailer, so that they can undercut everyone else, so it isn't always a good thing to buy the cheapest of the same model. It is better to pay a bit more and get the basics already included with the machine, 3 & 4 jaws, faceplate, centres and even sometimes not included, a threading dial. What you really need is a package that will get you almost up and running from day one, except for the required set up, and after that you can start to look at all the extras that you MIGHT use in the forthcoming years. I say the word MIGHT because people rush out and say to themselves that they can't live without such and such a tool, only to find it hasn't been used ever since they bought it. I know from personal experience that this sort of thing happens, so I gave most of them away and only now buy or make things that I really NEED.

    If you can get to the retailer, cash usually talks. When buying my mill and lathe, I showed the salesman a wad of notes that he could get his fidgety claws into if he could make the package desirable. It ended up by getting them VAT free (17.5% at the time) plus power feeds all round on the mill (X,Y & Z, it only came with an X axis one as standard) and all sorts of other freebies thrown in for both the lathe and mill. All in, I most probably got both of them a good 1,500 pounds cheaper, plus all the bits for nothing.

    With regards to most makes of Chinese machinery, they come out of the factory just assembled and dropped into a box, not set up to use, and this is how it is delivered to you.
    So that is the time you get to know your machines, stripping down, deburring, cleaning and lubricating, then setting them up for optimal performance and accuracy.
    Some suppliers will do all this for you, but expect a largish bill for doing it. I was lucky that my supplier did all that for nothing, I have only had to fine tweak my lathe in the last 5 years, mainly because I was doing certain mods, and the mill hasn't had to be touched except to replace a very cheap bearing.

    You are now starting down a road that can be one of the most amazing pastimes you will ever come across, making working things from sometimes bits of junk.

    Just enjoy the journey

    John
     
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  6. Aug 1, 2016 #6

    rodw

    rodw

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    I know how you feel. I had a look at all of the options you have identified and I looked at the Seig (which was easy to discount), the CQ6128 which was from a very small importer so I was worried about support and settled on either the AL250G or the AL320G from Hare and Forbes Machinery House (Close to home and proven support). At the time the Optimum was not available. Hare and Forbes gave up the Seig franchise and replaced the brand with Optimum after my purchase.

    Having looked at the Optimum Mill in their showroom that replaced the Seig SX3 mill I purchased, I concluded that the Seig was a vastly superior machine to Optimum.

    In the end, I chose the AL320G despite having to deal with change gears for threading. Mainly becasue it was truly an upgrade in terms of spindle bore, chuck size and swing from my old 3 in 1 and the AL250G was the same size. I would have loved to go up one more size to the AL336 to get DI-4 chucks but did not have the room for it. The AL320G has more or less the same working envelope as the 3 phase lathe we have at work (but a lot shorter).

    Honestly, despite all of the criticism, of Chinese machines, this one stacks up admirably. Mine is now 3 years old and after filing away a few rough edges in the 4 jaw chuck so it spun freely , it is a great performer. The spindle is 100% runout free before you add any chuck (which adds a bit) Its now pretty heavilly modified. The commercial products I make with it, I can smash out in well under half the time I used to and I no longer need to use the 4 jaw chuck to hold the parts I make. Recently I made some parts for work afterhours when everybody was really busy. I did them in the same time that experienced machinists could do them on bigger gear at work. I had to take lighter cuts but gained a bit of time due to having a DRO.

    Now in terms of 5C collets, I did purchase one of the spindle adapters from H&F but later sold it to a forum member and opted to fit a 5C collet chuck from Little Machine Shop in the US. Much better.

    So most of my adventures with my machines are documented in my Rod's Aussie Shed thread at http://www.homemodelenginemachinist.com/showthread.php?t=19885

    Oh, I've still to this day only cut 1 thread with a lot of help from the forum members and its documented in my shed thread somewhere.

    PS: This is a big and powerful beast so treat it with respect for your own safety. Go for the AL320G I say.
     
  7. Aug 1, 2016 #7

    joco-nz

    joco-nz

    joco-nz

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    Gents - thank you for the responses. I do realise the potential can of worms this question can open. As John essentially noted it is very possible to get different experiences on what is essentially the same model but coming from different suppliers who have had it built to different quality levels.

    Its a tricky decision, I’m sure I would have a heap of fun with something like an SC2 or equivalent size. However I have been bitten in the past in getting tools that are “just enough” and within less than 6 months been cursing that I didn’t do it “right” first time. So for that reason alone I am leery of the mini-lathe 7x12+ sizes. Not because they are not capable within their envelop, just that I don’t want to be disappointed when I go to try something and can’t.

    I’ve read a lot of good stuff about the SC4’s but I have also read a lot about the niggle that exists. All able to be overcome but you do end up wondering why so many compromises. In fact in the Sieg range I discounted the S/C6 and above models due to prices v’s capability and having read that the SC4 had Japanese bearings in the headstock yet the larger models didn’t seem to enjoy the same attention. Go figure.

    Optimum look good on paper but have never seen one in the flesh. Heck I haven’t seen any of these in the flesh as the closest retailer is in Auckland and I’m Wellington based. Although Coastal Machinery based out of Fielding has the CQ6128. I would just have to take a day off work to go and see them, just to see a lathe. Sheesh.

    Re Optimum, pity Rod’s assessment on comparing to the Sieg is not so flash. I was hoping their BF20L would be a good option instead of the SX3 when it came to mills. It’s certainly popular in Europe.

    John - you have it bang on. Its absolutely the journey that matters. I recognise that and have already mentally prepared my self for whatever machine I end up with having to strip, clean, setup, lap etc etc it before I can use it for projects. But I think that won’t be a bad thing. I will learn how its put together, how it has been made and what parts will likely wear if I don’t give them the right levels of TLC over time.

    So its smelling more and more like the AL-320G is pushing to the top of the pile. I like its work envelope, nothing I am going to get into will be too large for it. I don’t mind the change gears, not like I’m trying to meet a production schedule so having to swap em now and then isn’t an issue. The lathes not too long/wide for the available space (I could actually get an AL-960B, its just too expensive). And I can follow in the foot steps of people like Rob who have them and learn from their mods and what parts/tools they get. Heck I can even more power it with a 3 phase motor off a VFD if it ever comes to it. :D Yes that AL-320G is a beast, as are any of the lathes, they will all bite you if your don’t give them respect. Machine with high speed spinning parts, and my Dewalt table saw reminds me of that every time I spin it up and see all those sharp spinning teeth whirling about.

    On the plus side I have a very friendly neighbour with 30+ years experience in machining, welding and the like who has graciously agreed to give me some lessons in exchange for beer. Heck he’s even scrounging up some scrap metal for me to run practice welding beads on.

    Rod - read the Aussie Shed thread. And read and read, its what got me thinking more seriously about the 320G. I did wince when I saw those pics of the toppled lathe.

    Any other thoughts, observations, learnings welcome.

    Cheers,
    James.
     
  8. Aug 1, 2016 #8

    purpleknif

    purpleknif

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    The Chevpack looks to be the same as my Grizzly G0602 . It too came with a bunch of accesories . I've been extremely happy with mine over the past 3 years. The 2 chucks and faceplate are a definite plus.
     
  9. Aug 2, 2016 #9

    bruedney

    bruedney

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    Hi James

    Welcome to the forum

    Have you been to a club night anywhere? If not then I would like to invite you to the Hutt Valley Model Engineering Society club night tomorrow night at 7.30pm. Have a look at the website HVMES for directions

    I have a Hafco AL-51 and hope to be upgrading to the AL 336 at some point. A number of the club members have the 336

    What part of Wellington do you live in?

    Cheers and hope to see you tomorrow

    Bruce Edney
     
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  10. Aug 2, 2016 #10

    Hopper

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    I would be wary of Optimum too. I have only had experience with one Optimum machine, a micro lathe the next size down from the C3 size and it was a woefully poorly made machine. Bed ways had about 10 thou drop off at the tail stock end, allegedly hardened ways as soft as butter, carriage and cross slide ways had minimal contact when blued and the lead screw was so far out of alignment at the tailstock end it was jamming up the movement of the carriage and wreaking havoc. It seemed to be a poor copy of a late Unimat 3 but the amount of metal in the castings etc was skun down to almost nothing. All very flexible and very poorly put together.

    If their bigger lathes are at all like it, I would avoid them completely.
     
  11. Aug 2, 2016 #11

    XD351

    XD351

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    I have an al50 g and the al 320 , the 50g has been a reliable machine and done what ever I have asked of it even if it is a little dinky due to its small size .
    The 320 I bought second hand and has done some work but still machines ok, one thing with this lathe that i don't like is that it is not a double vee bed so the tail stock uses two spring loaded detent balls to push the tail stock against one side of the bed instead of the small vee as on the al50 .This is not a problem but you just need to get used to making sure the tailstock is seated properly or it will not be on centre with the spindle .
    Both claim to be hardened beds but i doubt it .
    The 320 also has power cross feed but i found the lever for this a bit vague in locating the cross or long feed position , i had to be ultra careful when switching to the neutral position when machining or it could easily jump across the neutral position usually ruining the work and tool.
    I modified the lever so it has a detent ball system that helped to eliminate this , it is a fairly easy fix . If you want to fit an after market quick change tool post be aware that the top of the compound slide is not threaded but uses a tee bolt that has its head located in a slot inside the compound slide top ( you dismantle the compound and feed the bolt through from under the top of the compound slide), once again not hard to sort out but better that you know it now rather than later ! The change gear chart on the machine is correct but the one in the manual was wrong - probably a printing error . There was one reason why i didnt go the al 250 and that was metric only threads and the 320 came with a new dro fitted and it was still cheaper than the al250.
     
  12. Aug 2, 2016 #12

    joco-nz

    joco-nz

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    Bruce - I haven't been and popping along is a fine idea! :thumbup:

    I looked at the 336 and 960 wistfully but as a learner getting something that large felt OTT. I'm feeling that the 320 is right at the edge on that front and that I'm already suffering from the "next size up" disease. :eek:


    I'm based out in Whitby. I'm setting my "shop/shed" up in my side of the garage. So the car is relegated to the drive. But I have a reasonable amount of space as a result, so long as the bosses car parking space is not impacted.

    Cheers,
    James.
     
  13. Aug 2, 2016 #13

    joco-nz

    joco-nz

    joco-nz

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    That's good to know. I had noticed it didn't mesh with the V on the bed. But given the likes of Myford's have no V I hadn't thought it too much of an issue.

    I seem to remember reading that somewhere with mentions of "stops" being added to prevent over throw on the lever when doing things quickly.

    I did not realise that re the tool post. My memory had me thinking it was a threaded rod. Ultimately though it shouldn't be too much of a hassle should it? Actually one of the "projects" I wanted to do was one of the QCTP designs from MEW. I know I could get something commercial for a few hundred but part of the fun of this is learning so if I can make it and learn in the process I will.

    Cheers,
    James.
     
  14. Aug 2, 2016 #14

    bruedney

    bruedney

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    Hi James

    I am in Grenada Village so feel free to drop me a PM if you want to pop round some time or if you come to club night tomorrow we can exchange details.

    Like I said I have an AL51 at the mo and it does OK. My friend has the 336D and I can use that if needed but I get lathe envy.

    I also have a CNC mill (Similar to the BF20LV). It is in pieces at the mo coz 1mm DOC @ 200mm/min with a 50mm face mill is a bit too much for it. :fan:

    Cheers

    Bruce
     
  15. Aug 2, 2016 #15

    Wizard69

    Wizard69

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    Here are a some comments from a guy with good but not extensive experience with lathes at work and recently bought a 9x20 for a home shop build.

    Number one point -->. There is no perfect lathe!!!! Seriously, even big industrial machines have their problems, quirks and performance issues.

    The trick, if you want to own only one lathe, is finding the right sized lathe. This isn't easy at all because you have to project as to where your interests may go. Beyond physical size a lathe can be configured at will.


    Same discussions happen between Chevy and Ford owners. The big problem is that many Chinese built machines are in fact crap. Worst is that you literally gamble as to the build quality of anyone machine. Unfortunately because so many buy on price and not quality there aren't a lot of non Chinese built machines available anymore. At least not at home shop prices.
    I've seen the work of some guys that use nothing more than Sherline or Tiag sized machines. Those machine are perfectly suited for what they want to do but certainly aren't suitable for everyone into model engineering. In a commercial shop you often see a small machine like a Sherline sitting in the corner as sometimes it is the right machine to reach for. Big isn't always better. New isn't always better neither, I know of one shop that has Hardinge HLV's sitting right next to some Amazing CNC machines. Don't dismiss old simply because it is old.
    The SC4 is a newer machine and like all companies I'm pretty sure they are trying to improve the lineup.
    Don't put too much faith in looking at showroom equipment, at least to the Chinese stuff. What is on the showroom floor can vary dramatically from what you get out of the box. Learned this the hard way with a drill press.
    Optimum is an European brand if I remember correctly. The machines are still made in China.
    Machine maintenance is a big deal no matter who makes the machine.
    Safety is certainly an issue with bigger lathes, there can be a huge amount of torque at the spindle and a lot of inertia.

    As far as change gears vs a quick change box, change gears are a cheaper and somewhat less complex solution. Ideally this means quality is being put into other aspects of the machine. One can hope. Maintenance wise you have an easier to maintain machine with change gears. From a hobby perspective you need to ask yourself how often do you expect to change thread pitches. I suspect the answer will be not often!!! It depends upon the specifics of what you expect to do but many things you will work on will have very little in the way of cut threads.
    This can be a huge help. Do look for sources locally for scrape, cut offs and drops, you can save a lot of money vs buying from a supplier.

    Here are some considerations:

    1. Lathes are heavy!! This is probably obvious but the reason I went the 9/20 route was to be able to easily move it into my basement shop. Sometimes I kinda wished that I went for a bigger machine. In the end you will have compromises to make.

    2. Big isn't always better but if you are to have only one lathe make sure it is big enough for what you have in mind right now. Seriously consider a size larger anyways.

    3. Tooling costs you big bucks! This is where I'm at now outfitting a shop. You can easily double your costs by outfitting a lathe. To off set this expense you really need to do as much DIY tooling as you can. The good thing here is that building your tooling on the lathe can be good training in basic operations.

    4. Unless you buy a mill at the same time you will need to look into ways to do milling on the lathe. Model engineers of course have been doing this for years now but it will likely require additional tooling.

    5. You need to learn to sharpen HSS tooling. This is a requirement even if you do carbide inserts. Note that this could mean an additional expense of a bench grinder and maybe even a die grinder. This comes back to the issue of outfitting a shop. The good thing here is that used grinders often pop up cheap.

    6. Lathes are often sold with three jaw scroll chucks but you will need a four jaw independent. It is pretty much a requirement. Unfortunately it is pretty hard to make these without a mill so this could be an additional expense. The other thing to look out for is a lathe sold with a four jaw that is too small to really be useful. I guess this comes down to knowing what you are getting for your money.

    7. One thing I really hate about the 9/20 is the screw on chuck (threaded spindle). In small lathes you don't have a lot of options here but you might want to consider the alternatives to threaded spindles. If you have any interest at all in CNC don't even bother with a threaded spindle nose. This is one of those things that wasn't obvious to me initially but I just find to be frustrating.

    8. Used lathes can be very good deals. You seemed to have dismissed them already but I'd still would keep an eye open for a deal.

    9. I really like the idea of variable speed capability. It just makes for a more useful or desirable machine. This is something that can be added latter though. One consideration though is that a back gear or other form of ratio adjustment is still important to be able to supply tongue at low speeds. This especially with smaller motors.

    10. Don't expect to get everything you might want or need right off the bat. Sometimes after market solutions are better anyways. For example spindle speed read outs can be useful but can be easily added latter. Same thing goes for fancy quick change tool posts, good drill chucks and the like.


    Anyways that is ten observations right off the bat. Personally I really think you need to zero in on the right size lathe first and go from there.
     
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  16. Aug 2, 2016 #16

    XD351

    XD351

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    If you make your own tool post you can use the original bolt , i bought a unit from ctc in china it came with its own mounting stud that was larger than the one on the 320 .
    I just made a tee bolt for one end and fitted it back together , not hard to do and works well .

    The cross/ long feed power feed lever has its own detent system built in but became sloppy , this meant finding neutral was finicky .
    You could use a movable stop pin also .

    Considering what most people want for a second hand lathe which is usually stuffed you can get a new unit .
    I know that there are horror stories out there some are true many are made up .
    To buy a decent myford , boxford , hercus or similar is going to set you back a couple of grand anyhow then you have to fix whatever is wrong with it, with the new one from H&F you get warranty and back up .
    You could ask if they do pre pick up inspection so you are ensured of getting a good one ?
     
  17. Aug 2, 2016 #17

    joco-nz

    joco-nz

    joco-nz

    Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Wizard69. Good points confirming some of my research and some new stuff i hadnt been aware of or thought of.

    This "zeroing in" on the right sized lathe is tricky. :)

    I keep starting out at an SC4 then next thing i know i'm lusting after an AL-960B. I probably need to stand beside some of this stuff to really appreciate siE and the amount of space they will take.

    On the second hand front I still have a number of automatic alerts on TradeMe (NZs version of eBay or Craigs Lists). But my issue there is i wouldnt know a reasonable deal v's a lemon. At least if i get new i have a retailer to hold to account.

    Cheers,
    J.
     
  18. Aug 2, 2016 #18

    goldstar31

    goldstar31

    goldstar31

    Well-Known Member

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    What utter rubbish. Sorry, Sir- but it is.

    In January I saw local advert for a little Myford ML10- when I was about to go to buy something 'Far Eastern' at the London Show.

    What I got was rather surprising- for £550. I got the classic machine which used to be supplied with a faceplate and a hard and soft centre plus the 'cogs'. None of this usually useless 3 jaw chuck thing that is a tempter sold by people who have never used a lathe anyway. So this little thing had one. Quite decent one and it also had a 4 jaw independent chuck and a catchplate too. There was a several drill chucks and a rotating centre and a number of centres and 1 and 2MT blanks. To add to the interest, I got a vice, an angle plate and a fixed vertical slide. Then came the 'goodies'. There was a Potts milling spindle which few understand but the usual going price is about £400 to the average watch and clock guy. Again, I got a Cleeve swing tool. The earlier one- not the retracting one advertised by Hemingwaykits today. In addition was a rear parting tool. Not exactly my idea of an answer to a Maiden's Prayer but OK. There was a huge assortment of hss and carbide tooling. I've enough but so what?
    What fooled me was a quick change tool holder and bits. Unfortunately, it seemed that it had been a bad buy because the tool height was 1/8th out
    but heigh ho!

    Then I got lost. The Bradley book and the official manual came. There were alterations. The dials had been changed from the rather miserable zinc ones to being able to adjust. Then the leadscrew had a dog clutch which doesn't come with the lathe from the factory. Nice though.
    Then came a broken but possibly repairable change gear mechanism. It was made- I've just found out by a bloke called Dave Noble. Oh, I forgot the fixed and running steadies. Silly me.

    In another box is a set of die holders and sweep face cutters The latter little goodies are like hen's teeth.

    Not bad for half a grand?

    Norman
     
  19. Aug 2, 2016 #19

    rodw

    rodw

    rodw

    Well-Known Member

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    The AL320G gear lever is a bit of a worry as it is easy to pull it into gear instead of neutral. All I can say you learn the right touch very quickly!
    I have not had any real issues with the tailstock alignment.

    As far as fitting another toolpost, its easy as. You just need to make a female bolt. See this thread http://www.homemodelenginemachinist.com/showthread.php?t=20078

    For some reason H&F suggest a different toolpost which is way harder to fit than the BXA which they also sell.

    I will say there is no comparison between using a light weight machine vs a heavy lathe following this purchase. With coolant and carbide tooling, I have no issues parting off aluminium at 1600 rpm.. You tend to stall the machine before you get any chatter.
     
  20. Aug 2, 2016 #20

    Blogwitch

    Blogwitch

    Blogwitch

    Ex Bogstandard

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    Norman,

    What you have to realise is that the member is from NZ, and I think good quality, good condition and fully tooled second hand old styled machines will be few and far between.

    OK in this country if you pick up a cheapo Myford in need of work, you can easily get the bits, but over there, I very much doubt it.

    I expect in 50 years time, they will all be saying 'pick up a good used Chinese machine, as those being made in Tasmania now are no use at all'.

    Sorry if I have offended anyone in Tasmania.

    I have been following the rise and teething problems that far eastern machines have gone through for the last 20 to 25 years, to a point, where today, I wouldn't have a Myford if they wanted to give it to me, I will choose far eastern machines every time.

    John
     

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