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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Australia
    Age
    46
    Posts
    3

    Cool First lathe suggestions

    Hi All
    I am interested in getting into lathe work with a view to eventually do some smith jobs like chamber and fit a barrel.

    I'll never be doing anything commercially it's just for me and will always be that way.

    Anyhow I have been put off getting a secondhand lathe on account of seeing people ask many thousands of dollars for old lathes that look like they have been left out under a tree.

    If I had more experience I might trust myself to pick a lemon when I saw one but my knowledge at the moment is limited to knowing that if I can find a pristine Hardinge hlv-h for sale for $5K I should probably buy it.

    As far as new lathes are concerned I've been looking at the HAFCO AL-960B.

    Short of that what are good lathes to look out for? Brands, models?
    I guess I'd entertain things like a Hercus but it's a bit hard to wrap my head around paying as much for a lathe that has seen 40 years wear as a new Taiwanese one.

    The cap on my budget is $5K and if secondhand I'm guessing that would need to have a reasonable amount of tooling.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    688

    Default

    Don't knock a lathe that has done 40 years service it is how it has been treated that is more of a concern, there are many lathes out there that have done 40 service that will easily do another 40 years and may well out last a new Taiwanese unit, you will pick one up for less expense this will give you more finance to put towards tooling, chamber reamer sets are not cheap, you will need to be aware of the head stock spindle bore as you will need to be able to pass the barrel through it, it will need metric and imperial threading

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Australia
    Age
    46
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thanks China.

    Don't get me wrong. I think the adage "They don't make 'em like they used to" especially applies to machinery.
    What I am worried about is buying an old worn out lathe without knowing it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    near Rockhampton
    Posts
    5,665

    Default

    I do not think the Hardinge HLV will fit a barrel down the bore.

    Since you have not given a budget. I once had an AL1000C and found it to be a nice lathe.

    The next one down the AL960 is rumoured to be satisfactory as well.
    Gold, the colour of choice for the discerning person.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Australia
    Age
    46
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by .RC. View Post
    I do not think the Hardinge HLV will fit a barrel down the bore.

    Since you have not given a budget. I once had an AL1000C and found it to be a nice lathe.

    The next one down the AL960 is rumoured to be satisfactory as well.
    Hmmm the Hardinge the boys have in the workshop at my work seems to be big enough. What's the min size for barrels?
    I'll check tomorrow. Anyhow moot point Hardinge are out of my league.

    BTW the budget is $5000

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Athelstone, SA 5076
    Posts
    3,463

    Default

    As RC says

    a mate of mine has the 1000 from hare forbes...he is doing his own smithing and reckons my 960 (also from HF) is good enough

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Pallamallawa NSW
    Posts
    2

    Default

    I bought a 960B from a toolmaking place when they went CNC. Spindle bore is 40mm I think which is enough to accommodate most barrels other than cannon;-) Around $1500 for the lathe left me enough to also get a Chinese mill and some tooling. All works OK and the missus quietened down after I did a few jobs for her.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    NSW
    Posts
    543

    Default

    $1500 that's a good buy mate . I also agree that the AL960 is an ok lathe . The argument that the old lathes are better is like saying a 40 year old car is better for commuting than a new one and that is just not so . I bought a new lathe and a mate bought an old Victor lathe . Mine has been used since day one with no down time , his sits out in the yard with a canvas over it because it broke down and he can't find the parts . Off course there is some fine quality made old lathes out there but finding one that is in good condition is a job for a knowledgeable machinist that can pick a good one and maybe make a new part easily . Just like buying second hand cars , some people are good at it and others get ripped off .
    The volume of a pizza of thickness 'a' and radius 'z' is given by pi z z a.

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