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Why no small high-quality lathes?

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Superburban

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#91
Thanks. But the specs say nothing about a power cross feed. The picture is low resolution, but I don't see controls for a power cross feed. No power cross feed puts it out of consideration.

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Keith
Looks like it to me. Even has the power control on the apron. lathe.JPG
 

keithd

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#92
Yes, you are right. I stand corrected. The picture I saw on the Web site was too low resolution to see this.

Thanks. I will look into it.

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Keith
 

samthedog

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#94
Thanks. But the specs say nothing about a power cross feed. The picture is low resolution, but I don't see controls for a power cross feed. No power cross feed puts it out of consideration.

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Keith
I'm pretty certain it has power cross feed. A quick Google search shows 2 leavers on the carriage.
 

george wilson

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#95
Thanks,Dan. I did see that eventually. Those white lathes are hard to see details on! But,I'll guarantee,that they are the easiest of ALL to see the smallest drip of oil,or a stray chip!! WHY do they keep making WHITE machinery??????
 

Smithdoor

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#96
You may need to look at a 9A or old 10K South Bend or even a Logan lathe and have to rebuild the lathe
There are other brands out there but the price goes up

Dave
 

evilwrench

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#97
Be very careful if you are considering a Grizzly. I bought their 14x40 "High Precision" lathe. Quality control is worse than I ever expected.
The inspection report claimed the tailstock was aligned to a few tenths. In reality it was 0ver 1/8 of an inch high! I brought it into usable
condition after much fretting and careful setup on the Bridgeport. Grizzly did say they would send me another one but not send a tech.
to fit it to my machine, thanks but no thanks. That was the most glaring problem, there were others.
 

george wilson

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#98
NEVER believe the spec paper that comes with ANY Asian lathe!!! I think they are all printed the same,and just stuck in with any lathe. The same goes with the poop sheet with a chuck. You really got unlucky! a 1/8" too high tailstock is just out of the ball park!!

I still have my 1986 16" x 42" Grizzly. But,back then,they were made in Taiwan. Now,you have to pay a LOT extra for a model made there. Other wise you get mainland Chinese. The quality control is very poor,and they will send you a lathe full of sand if they feel like it. I can't really blame them,as they get nearly nothing for their work. But,you end up on the short end of the stick. The real problem is Americans wanting something for as low a price as they can get. Try pricing a Standard Modern lathe made in North America.

Grizzly WILL send you a replacement for a really faulty part,but tailstocks need to be made to fit the lathe they are going on.

Their Chinese lathes also have TOO SOFT steel in some parts. I have seen wrecked rack gears,and a wrecked gear that ran in the rack. ACTUAL BENT OVER TEETH both on the rack and the rack gear! My friend Jon's Grizzly lathe had that happen. He now wants to only use that lathe for polishing gun barrels,and buy another lathe for turning.

Jon knows how to use a lathe,too. He worked with me in our Tool Maker's Shop in Williamsburg for MANY years. He is a master craftsman in his own right.
 

Christian Poulsen

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I shoulda', coulda', woulda'...as I think about an old Logan I bought for $500, I reworked, then sold it for $2000 ...then the Cadillac of em' all: A Monarch EE in good shape I ran into for $10000 (including all sorts of tooling, chucks etc.) that I probably could have got for $8500 cash....anyway, now I am also looking. (Note: at the same time as that Logan I had a table top jet Mill (power feed in X) that I bought for $800 that I also gave a little TLC care to and also sold for $2000 (also looking again)....what was I thinking!!!! (I guess I wasn't!!)
 

Downunder Bob

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I currently have an old Jet 9x20 that needs replacing. My problem is that I have very little room in my shop, so I am limited to a 9x, 10x, or maybe 11x24. 12x is just too large, as is x36.

The problem is that I can't find a quality full-featured lathe in that size range. The Chinese lathes I can find are generally in the $1,000 range for a 9x to the $1,600 range for an 11x. But these are not quality or full-featured lathes. Usually no VFD, usually a combo threading/turning lead screw, often no reverse power carriage feed, usually no power cross feed, usually limited thread pitches, usually no Cam Lock chuck, often too slow of a top speed (1,500 RPM or less), usually too fast of minimum turning feed rate, never a brake, ..., etc.

The closest thing I've found to approximately what I'm looking for is the Southbend 8K (8x18) (South Bend Lathe Co.) for about $3,000. But it is a step down in size from what I want, and I'd rather stay at 9x or go a step up.

The next closest thing I've found is the Precision Mathews PM1127VF-LB (PM1127VF Lathe). But it has some threading weirdnesses, is hard to get, and has a bit too large of a footprint for my space.

I want a new lathe, not a used lathe or old-style lathe. I'm willing to pay in the range of $3,500 for a 9x and $5,000 for an 11x, i.e., two to three times the price of standard Chinese lathes from Grizzly/Enco/Jet ...

Does no such thing exist, or have I just not found it? I find it hard to believe there is no market for such a machine.

Any pointers to a new, small, high-quality, full-featured lathe would be appreciated. Or even confirmation that none exist would help.

Thanks, Keith
What is the limiting factor length or depth, I had a similar problem. I wanted the largest lathe I could get to fit in a small space and finally settled on the LD1216 A Taiwanese built machine with an overall footprint of 50"x30" without stand. It has all the features and can be ordered with imperial or metric leadscrew, it also comes with the 120x127 change gears to cut the other pitches if needed. it can also be ordered with left hand or right hand apron. Fitted with a geared headstock and a norton style feed box . I haven't done a lot of work on mine yets, but I am quite satisfied as to the quality of build, everything is tight and firm yet smooth, and very rigid. far superior to anything I could find from China. The 3 jaw and 4 jaw chucks are of excellent quality, the 13mm keyless drill chuck is one of the best I have ever seen.

Check it out, google Liang Dei Lathes.

Happy hunting,

Bob.
 
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Downunder Bob

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I currently have an old Jet 9x20 that needs replacing. My problem is that I have very little room in my shop, so I am limited to a 9x, 10x, or maybe 11x24. 12x is just too large, as is x36.

The problem is that I can't find a quality full-featured lathe in that size range. The Chinese lathes I can find are generally in the $1,000 range for a 9x to the $1,600 range for an 11x. But these are not quality or full-featured lathes. Usually no VFD, usually a combo threading/turning lead screw, often no reverse power carriage feed, usually no power cross feed, usually limited thread pitches, usually no Cam Lock chuck, often too slow of a top speed (1,500 RPM or less), usually too fast of minimum turning feed rate, never a brake, ..., etc.

The closest thing I've found to approximately what I'm looking for is the Southbend 8K (8x18) (South Bend Lathe Co.) for about $3,000. But it is a step down in size from what I want, and I'd rather stay at 9x or go a step up.

The next closest thing I've found is the Precision Mathews PM1127VF-LB (PM1127VF Lathe). But it has some threading weirdnesses, is hard to get, and has a bit too large of a footprint for my space.

I want a new lathe, not a used lathe or old-style lathe. I'm willing to pay in the range of $3,500 for a 9x and $5,000 for an 11x, i.e., two to three times the price of standard Chinese lathes from Grizzly/Enco/Jet ...

Does no such thing exist, or have I just not found it? I find it hard to believe there is no market for such a machine.

Any pointers to a new, small, high-quality, full-featured lathe would be appreciated. Or even confirmation that none exist would help.

Thanks, Keith
This post keep popping up on my screen, but I have not seen an update recently, so just wondering did you ever find a suitable machine?
 

webphut

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I know this is an old thread and Im sure the propper lathe has been taken ownership of. I spoke with Nicole at Presision Mathews today inquiring about the lathes. She made it clear to me that this their brand and the company that manufactures the PM equipment does so to Matt's( the owner of PM) spech's. I wanted to know if I could get a cross feed dial that would read .200" per revolution to take out the math work while maching. Her reply was yes. She also said they can tailor the equipment to customers spechs. So just a heads up, need a 7.5 tpi gear, they can provide it. Need short bed on heavy duty lathe, covered. Anyways, just a heads up. She seamed real accommodating to me per my requests. Im buying my lathe from PM next few weeks. Nice thing also, shipping is a flat fee.
 

Downunder Bob

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I know this is an old thread and Im sure the propper lathe has been taken ownership of. I spoke with Nicole at Presision Mathews today inquiring about the lathes. She made it clear to me that this their brand and the company that manufactures the PM equipment does so to Matt's( the owner of PM) spech's. I wanted to know if I could get a cross feed dial that would read .200" per revolution to take out the math work while maching. Her reply was yes. She also said they can tailor the equipment to customers spechs. So just a heads up, need a 7.5 tpi gear, they can provide it. Need short bed on heavy duty lathe, covered. Anyways, just a heads up. She seamed real accommodating to me per my requests. Im buying my lathe from PM next few weeks. Nice thing also, shipping is a flat fee.
G'day from Downunder, As far as I can tell the PM lathes are near identical to the one in my avatar pic. I know they are both made in the same factory in Taiwan, The specs read the same, and apart from a few cosmetic differences they appear to be the same. It's just not possible to really check because the PM brand is not available in Downunder land. Which model are you getting? I bought this lathe specifically for the following reasons.

1. Made in Taiwan, far superior to Chinese made. all the Chinese ones available here are junk.
2. the dealer here in Downunder, actually in Melbourne 500 m away were fantastic to deal with. Couldn't have been more helpful.
3. it was the only lathe I could find that came in a very short bed, only 16" between centers, and yet still had a 12"swing. No room for anything longer. The only downside is no gap, but honestly I don't think I'll ever need one.

I have no need for the .002" cross feed dial, I was trained to, and have always used depth of cut. But I am interested in what gear they supply for the 7.5 T.P.I

While I haven't tested mine to the limits yet, I'm very happy with it, runs smooth, and quiet, The geared headstock is easy to use and the Norton style quick change feed gear box is a delight.

I hope you enjoy yours as well.
 

parastoo

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Hi,
I haven't read the whole post so maybe someone else has mentioned them but there is a company in Austria that make lathes. It's called Klippfeld. The prices are reasonable to me. I don't know if they export out of the E.U.
Mark
 

ddickey

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From $2500-$5500? No more than the others, are they?
No matter, they don't ship to the US.
 

Nogoingback

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G'day from Downunder, As far as I can tell the PM lathes are near identical to the one in my avatar pic. I know they are both made in the same factory in Taiwan, The specs read the same, and apart from a few cosmetic differences they appear to be the same. It's just not possible to really check because the PM brand is not available in Downunder land. Which model are you getting? I bought this lathe specifically for the following reasons.
I remember reading somewhere that PM lathes are made by Weiss, which now has a dealer in Vacaville, CA (near SF Bay Area). They sure look similar.

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/tld/6114944222.html
 

Dan_S

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I remember reading somewhere that PM lathes are made by Weiss, which now has a dealer in Vacaville, CA (near SF Bay Area). They sure look similar.

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/tld/6114944222.html
some are/were, but that's only part of what you need to consider. A lot of factories in China work more like small job shops in the rest of the world. Depending on the volume purchased, amount of quality control paid for, and fit/finish requested you can get a lemon or a fine watch.
 
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Nogoingback

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I believe Weiss is a distributor.
I'm not sure about that. They are sold as Weiss brand machines in Europe, and I've seen a website that identifies them as a manufacturer. But, I could be wrong.

http://www.rogitrading.com/products/weiss-lathes


some are/were, but that's only part of what you need to consider. A lot of factories in China work more like small job shops in the rest of the world. Depending on the volume purchased, amount of quality control paid for, and fit/finish requested you can get a lemon or a fine watch.
I know that factories in China build variations of basic machines for different customers, and PM may order something different than machines branded as Weiss. But, they now have a sales office
in Florida, so perhaps they plan on expanding their presence here. For some information about the company, have a look at this:

http://www.weiss.com.cn/product/&pmcId=38.html

"THE WEISS GROUP
The top-quality machine tools supplier in USA.


In 2002,Weiss Group was founded by several inspectors in Nanjing with very simply target to provide the qualified products to the market. The headquater Weiss Machinery Co., Ltd. is company that integrates product development, innovation, quality control, service and marketing, located in the golden business area of Olympic center in famous ancient city Nanjing. The trading company Weiss International (H.K.) Co., Limited is in charge of the international import & export business. The factory Weiss Machinery & Eletric Co., Ltd located in Nanjing Riverside Economic Develoopemnt Zone that concentrates on producing CNC machine. Another factory Chizhou Weiss mechanical & electrical Co., Ltd located in Chizhou Anhui, that mainly produces conventional machine tools and accessories. After years efforts, Weiss owns a group of professional and technical personnel, has eindependent import and export right. With the development of market economy, our company has established a giant international sale network expanding as far as Europe, Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania with remarkable quality, exquisite QC, professional service and good reputation, winning high praise and deep trust from our customers.

Under the policy of “quality first, customer uppermost and credit principal” and relying on our strong technical capacity, unique quality control system and advanced processing and testing equipment, we can provide top-quality products in China to all the foreign customers. We sincerely hope to join hands and cooperate with all agents at home and abroad for a glorious future on the basis of mutual benefit and win-win strategy.

USA Office
1691 WEST 37 TH ST SUITE 26 HIALEAH FL 33012
PHONE: 1-305-851-7893"
 
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Downunder Bob

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some are/were, but that's only part of what you need to consider. A lot of factories in China work more like small job shops in the rest of the world. Depending on the volume purchased, amount of quality control paid for, and fit/finish requested you can get a lemon or a fine watch.
Often these small job shops will supply one or two components only to a larger assembler of the final product, this is the real problem with their quality control, because any particular part could come from any one of a dozen different job shops.
 

mksj

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Under the policy of “quality first, customer uppermost and credit principal” and relying on our strong technical capacity, unique quality control system and advanced processing and testing equipment, we can provide top-quality products in China to all the foreign customers. We sincerely hope to join hands and cooperate with all agents at home and abroad for a glorious future on the basis of mutual benefit and win-win strategy.
OMG. Sorry, but if you look at the contact information you have to call China. Having an office or presence in another country is more to seek out distributors, not to provide support let alone work with hobbyist on a problem. Sorry to be so cynical, but I already went down than run with a previous "high quality" Chinese mill, and took many months to get a simple faulty replacement part with a US distributor. The distributor eventually asked me where I got other electrical replacement parts, and eventually no longer carried that brand The mill published specification did not match the machine that I received and the supposed "high quality and attention to detail" was a good laugh that unfortunately I had to deal with. I eventually sold the mill. If you do not have a US distributor that stands behind the product and has some control over the finished product, supports the warranty and has a parts inventory, then do not believe what they say.
 

Downunder Bob

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I remember reading somewhere that PM lathes are made by Weiss, which now has a dealer in Vacaville, CA (near SF Bay Area). They sure look similar.

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/tld/6114944222.html
The chinese made PM machines may be, I don't know, but I believe their better quality, top shelf machines are made in Taiwan by a company called Liang Dei. my lathe is a Liang Dei and carries their label, I understand that PM has a few minor cosmetic changes and puts their own name on the name plate, but essentially the same machine, the specs read identical and it all looks the same. Don't get me wrong, it is a very nice machine. I wouldn't hesitate to get another, and if the PM machines are the same then I have no trouble giving them the nod.

Many Chinese made machines are copies of well known and trusted names, they are good at copying the look but not the quality, a bit like Japan 50 years ago. beware of Chinese and or Indian made machines and tools their metallurgy is quite primitive, castings will have hard inclusions and even holes with slag in them so called stainless steel, often isn't.

When making a batch of iron for casting or steel they will often toss in whatever they have in the scrap bin, melt it down, cast it and go from there. I have come across Chinese made bar stock, angle iron etc, that contains hard inclusions that will wreck your hacksaw, or whatever tool you are using. Also flat bar that aint flat , drill bits that are under size, I recently had a CV joint fail at only 3,000 km. when removed it was found that one of the cages had not been hardened properly, it was hard but nowhere near hard enough. The other cage and balls were fine, still had to replace the whole unit after getting my vehicle towed 300 km. Fortunately my insurance includes road side assist.
 

Nogoingback

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OMG. Sorry, but if you look at the contact information you have to call China. Having an office or presence in another country is more to seek out distributors, not to provide support let alone work with hobbyist on a problem. Sorry to be so cynical, but I already went down than run with a previous "high quality" Chinese mill, and took many months to get a simple faulty replacement part with a US distributor. The distributor eventually asked me where I got other electrical replacement parts, and eventually no longer carried that brand The mill published specification did not match the machine that I received and the supposed "high quality and attention to detail" was a good laugh that unfortunately I had to deal with. I eventually sold the mill. If you do not have a US distributor that stands behind the product and has some control over the finished product, supports the warranty and has a parts inventory, then do not believe what they say.

I think you might be reading a bit more into my post than I intended. What I'm interested in here are two questions: Are PM machines made by Weiss, and whether Weiss is going to increase their
presence in the US market. The fact that I copied something from their website doesn't mean I believe everything they say. I'm not that naive. I'm also aware of the pitfalls of buying
products from China, which was a major factor in my decision to buy a Logan rather than a Chinese machine, and the reason I almost never buy Chinese tools.
What does appear to be true is that they have a dealer here in the US: http://www.dropros.com, and unless their website is wrong, they have some sort of office in Florida.
I've also gotten the impression that people who have bought PM machines are pretty happy
with their quality. If they are, in fact, Weiss machines, and Weiss expands their presence in the US, that would provide an alternative to Jet, Grizzly etc. which I think would be of interest here
on the forum.
 
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MSD0

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I'm not sure about that. They are sold as Weiss brand machines in Europe, and I've seen a website that identifies them as a manufacturer.
I might have misinterpreted what I heard from Matt. Its possible that they were a distributor for PM lathes at some point.
 
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Downunder Bob

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I currently have an old Jet 9x20 that needs replacing. My problem is that I have very little room in my shop, so I am limited to a 9x, 10x, or maybe 11x24. 12x is just too large, as is x36.

The problem is that I can't find a quality full-featured lathe in that size range. The Chinese lathes I can find are generally in the $1,000 range for a 9x to the $1,600 range for an 11x. But these are not quality or full-featured lathes. Usually no VFD, usually a combo threading/turning lead screw, often no reverse power carriage feed, usually no power cross feed, usually limited thread pitches, usually no Cam Lock chuck, often too slow of a top speed (1,500 RPM or less), usually too fast of minimum turning feed rate, never a brake, ..., etc.

The closest thing I've found to approximately what I'm looking for is the Southbend 8K (8x18) (South Bend Lathe Co.) for about $3,000. But it is a step down in size from what I want, and I'd rather stay at 9x or go a step up.

The next closest thing I've found is the Precision Mathews PM1127VF-LB (PM1127VF Lathe). But it has some threading weirdnesses, is hard to get, and has a bit too large of a footprint for my space.

I want a new lathe, not a used lathe or old-style lathe. I'm willing to pay in the range of $3,500 for a 9x and $5,000 for an 11x, i.e., two to three times the price of standard Chinese lathes from Grizzly/Enco/Jet ...

Does no such thing exist, or have I just not found it? I find it hard to believe there is no market for such a machine.

Any pointers to a new, small, high-quality, full-featured lathe would be appreciated. Or even confirmation that none exist would help.

Thanks, Keith
Depends on what you call small and what you call High quality. I know plenty of people would consider my lathe 12x16 small but it's certainly high quality. and I know others who would consider much smaller chinese toy lathes high quality. It really depends on what you need. However the bottom line is to make a small lathe in high quality with all the bells and whistles just costs too much so no one bothers, If you want quality with all the bells and whistles, you need to start at 12xx, and go up not down. You also need to be very fussy where your machine is made. Not just countries, but factories within countries. I looked at a lot of machines before buying mine and I just found it impossible to get quality with good specs under 12xx and even then it was a very limited choice.
 
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