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Time to upgrade from my little lathe to a real lathe. I'm no machinist and a hobbyist at best so bare with me. I've been looking for a couple of years now and I think it's time. I'm think a 13x36 or 14x40 will do anything I need done. I am torn between buying an old school South Bend / Atlas / Clausing or a new Taiwanese lathe. Obviously the new machines are not built anything like the heavy cast iron models of 1940s era.

I can't find anything I like local used so I would have to buy it sight unseen and ship it. I have been looking at a couple of South Bends (14-1/2x40 & 13x30) that supposedly have been "refurbished", to what extent I would have to trust the seller. The 14-1/2x40 is a cross between a 13 & 16 and a bit of an oddity. It does have 8" chuck, QCTP. taper attachment, etc....These machines range $3-4k freight shipped. These are big heavy badass machines and probably more than I would ever need but built to last. Moving something like this is a bit of an issue as it weighs 1600+ lbs and the limit of my front end loader is 1400ish. Most of these machines are 460/3 which would require a VFD for conversion (I have many VFDs so no issue).

Machine tool Gas Engineering Machine Auto part


Or buy a new Taiwanese machine such as a Grizzly. These are smaller more compact machines with a lot of nice features. The cost is slightly more but much easier to find parts, tooling, etc... I have been looking particularly at the Grizzly G0776 or G0824 models.
Product Rectangle Machine tool Gas Machine
Machine tool Rectangle Gas Machine Tool


So for you guys that have experience with lathes, suggestions please.
 

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I have an old lathe, and finding/making parts is difficult and time consuming. I hate to say it, but I vote for a new machine. Modern upgrades and parts availibility is key. Getting a worn out machine with worn ways is no bueno.
 

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When I moved mine, we have a dump truck with piggyback forklift so getting it to the house wasn't a problem. But that thing wouldn't get it into the garage (only 7' high opening). I ended up using a bobcat skid steer with forks and was able to get it in with that. If you don't know anyone to borrow from, you can always rent one.

As far as new vs old, that's a hard call, even more so if you can't personally inspect the old used one. I'd go with your gut. I have found that doing so leads to less buyer's remorse and future regret. At the end of the day, the machine is the cheap part. My main advise would be to make sure whatever you choose, that the tooling is common. I'd avoid anything with specialized or outdated mounts.
 

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Time to upgrade from my little lathe to a real lathe. I'm no machinist and a hobbyist at best so bare with me. I've been looking for a couple of years now and I think it's time. I'm think a 13x36 or 14x40 will do anything I need done. I am torn between buying an old school South Bend / Atlas / Clausing or a new Taiwanese lathe. Obviously the new machines are not built anything like the heavy cast iron models of 1940s era.

I can't find anything I like local used so I would have to buy it sight unseen and ship it. I have been looking at a couple of South Bends (14-1/2x40 & 13x30) that supposedly have been "refurbished", to what extent I would have to trust the seller. The 14-1/2x40 is a cross between a 13 & 16 and a bit of an oddity. It does have 8" chuck, QCTP. taper attachment, etc....These machines range $3-4k freight shipped. These are big heavy badass machines and probably more than I would ever need but built to last. Moving something like this is a bit of an issue as it weighs 1600+ lbs and the limit of my front end loader is 1400ish. Most of these machines are 460/3 which would require a VFD for conversion (I have many VFDs so no issue).

View attachment 713187

Or buy a new Taiwanese machine such as a Grizzly. These are smaller more compact machines with a lot of nice features. The cost is slightly more but much easier to find parts, tooling, etc... I have been looking particularly at the Grizzly G0776 or G0824 models.
View attachment 713189 View attachment 713190

So for you guys that have experience with lathes, suggestions please.
I have a chinesium lathe , if you buy one get the biggest one you have room for and can afford ...
 

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When I moved mine, we have a dump truck with piggyback forklift so getting it to the house wasn't a problem. But that thing wouldn't get it into the garage (only 7' high opening). I ended up using a bobcat skid steer with forks and was able to get it in with that. If you don't know anyone to borrow from, you can always rent one.

As far as new vs old, that's a hard call, even more so if you can't personally inspect the old used one. I'd go with your gut. I have found that doing so leads to less buyer's remorse and future regret. At the end of the day, the machine is the cheap part. My main advise would be to make sure whatever you choose, that the tooling is common. I'd avoid anything with specialized or outdated mounts.
I move mine into the shop and in position with my engine crane, worked great.
I do have forks for my John Deere 1050 but that would have been too tall to fit under the overhead door.
 

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I played machinist for a couple years. Had several lathes but mainly used a jet. I saw no problem with the cheap lathe as long as you compensated for it, it had more flex, so you just made the last couple cuts real light. On larger jobs the flex could really add up so I would run some light cuts every so often to kind of true it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've been looking at used lathes and trying to find a deal for a couple of years now. I had no success locally and I would have had to buy a used one online sight unseen while trusting the seller. That's no bueno for me 😂

I looked at several new lathes, different companies, and researched reviews. For my needs, space, parts availability, and budget the Grizzly G4003 12x36 checked all the boxes. So I ordered a new one yesterday.

That got me to looking at updating my old Dayton 9x32 mill I bought used and what it would cost to get it back to OEM specs. Roughly a $1k to get it back the way I wanted. No bueno when that's a 1/3 of a new one. Hmmm.....So I ordered a new Grizzly G0755 10x32 😁

Motivation to get the inside garage walls done before they arrive 🤷

Product Line Tool Gas Machine tool

Product Machine Gas Rectangle Engineering
 

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Here's a quick video of the lathe I operated for about 10 years before I moved into leadership. Powered by a 300hp DC drive electric motor and about 1,400HP worth of hydraulic pumps. I would love to have a metal lathe at home.
 
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