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Considering PM 1228 or 1236 lathes

Discussion in 'PRECISION-MATTHEWS' started by JimT-72, Aug 4, 2017.

  1. JimT-72

    JimT-72 United States Iron Registered Member

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    I am considering buying a new lathe, possibly. For yrs I had an American made SB Heavy 10 from the 70's with collet closer, taper attachment, and 52" bed. It was fine, but I no longer have it. Looking at previously owned American lathes now, particularly south bend, prices are ridiculous. Considering how I used my lathe, mostly making tools, threading, and home shop stuff, I seldom turned anything further than 12-15 inches beyond the chuck and most of the work was within 1" to 8". I used the taper attachment maybe 5 times in 15 yr. I used the collets a lot, as well as the 3 jaw and 4 jaw independent chucks. So that is the background.

    I am older now and want something to use, but probably not daily, and my hand strenth is poor, back is bad etc. I have considered mini lathes but the change gear situation and plastic gears are not appealing. I really like the looks of the PM-1228VF-LB , I have also looked at the PM1236LB. For me, other than the price advantage to the 1236 with the pep, and the cast iron stand, I think I still like the 1228 better. I don't have any of my old equipment so it would be like starting over. I don't anticipate dealing with anything that needs a 36" bed. I think the 1228 would be better for threading because slow speed is less rpm than with the 1236. The only thread that I would need to change gears for is 1/2-13, but I am pretty sure you have to change gears on both lathes to cut that thread. I can't justify the cost of the PM 1236-T, even though it looks very nice.

    My only hesitation is the reverse direction function with the 1228, you have to open the cover and move gears, there is no lever or banjo for that. My request is this, please: would anyone that has the 1228VF-LB respond and let me know if they are happy with their choice, if there are any problems they have encountered, or if they are not happy with the lathe, why? Thanks. Jim
     
  2. fradish

    fradish United States Active Member Active Member

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    I would recommend you look at Frank Hoose's YouTube channel. He has maybe 8 or 10
    PM1228 videos.

    I also have th 1228. I'm happy with my choice, but you may also want to take a look
    at the PM1127. That lathe now comes with a D1-4 spindle, plus more accessories than the
    1228 for a little less money.

    I like the variable speed on my 1228 and the fit and finish is decent. I had to modify the
    t nuts on the compound, as it was the compound could get stuck at 45 degrees. From what
    I understand this is not an uncommon issue with some Chinese lathes. It wasn't hard to
    fix and gave me a first project for my lathe.

    Personally I went for the 1228 over the 1236 because it has variable speed and because it is
    much lighter. I know most people would prefer the heavier lathe, but the 1228 was light
    enough for me to move myself.
     
  3. JimT-72

    JimT-72 United States Iron Registered Member

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    Thanks for your response Frank. I have watched all of the Frank Hoose videos about the 1228. I am in agreement with you on your reasons to buy this lathe, I like the variable speed and it is quiet as well. The weight is not a factor for me as I am pretty sure the wife will not let me put in a spare bedroom, so it will be in the garage. Have you done any traditional single point threading with the machine, if so is it slow enough to do it comfortably? Have you found the reverse function to be a problem with no lever? Thanks for your thoughts. Jim
     
  4. fradish

    fradish United States Active Member Active Member

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    No threading yet. Also the feed direction lever is very much like what I have on my South Bend 9C
    so I am used to it.

    You may already know this, but that lever is only to reverse the feed direction relative to the chuck
    direction. For example normally the carriage moves toward the headstock in forward and away when
    in reverse. If you want the carriage to move away from the headstock when the spindle is turning
    forward, then you have to move the lever under the gear cover. I'm not that experienced, maybe there
    are good reasons you would need to do that frequently, but I haven't.
     
  5. JimT-72

    JimT-72 United States Iron Registered Member

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    Thanks for your reply Frank. The areas where I would reverse feed "on the fly" with my heavy 10 was when I had a larger facing operation I could cut from outside in, reverse feed, adjust depth of cut, cut on the way out. Also similarly in boring with the lathe, sometimes I would reverse on the way out, depending on spring of tool and finish. Lastly which was very infrequent but if you need one you need to reverse, and that is cutting a left hand thread. It is not a deal breaker, just not as convenient as my old lathe. The old lathe had it problems too, so there is always some compromise to deal with. I will go through the manuals for the 1127 and 1228 to compare, and check the site again to see what comes with each lathe and compare prices again. However, my first impression at a glance is the 1228 seems smoother and quieter on video, but that may be different people/cameras/mics making the video. Thanks again. Jim.
     
  6. .LMS.

    .LMS. United States Lathe Noob H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Watching this thread intently as I am rassling with the same thought process.
     

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