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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Melbourne
    Age
    31
    Posts
    1,146

    Default

    I would definitely look at an al960b if I needed to buy a small lathe that had to be new, they don't have any goofy omission like strange thread pitches missing that I know of and have an acceptably wide carriage.

    The one real benefit of newer lathes is having big spindle bores 40Mm is pretty damn good In a home shop machine.

    In terms of mills that H and F stock I would really only look at the bridgport clones, bm23a and above.

    Otherwise I would wait for a good used machine. In my opinion small imported mills need a lot of work to make them usable.

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    227

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    I have a 2008 model RF45 from HAFCO. Itís a good little machine for what it is. It does mark itís territory from the quill seal, but that has as much to do with it being 12years old than anything else. Would I like a bigger machine, sure, but I donít have the space at this point. It gets through the work I feed into it, only time it complains is doing something thatís well beyond its capabilities. For what they are, they do ok in my opinion.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Albury
    Age
    54
    Posts
    45

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewMP View Post
    .... although I'm limited to single phase.....
    If you find a larger s/hand machine in 3 phase you may still be able to use it in your shed. If the motor is no more than 3HP (2.2kW) the conversion is reasonably easy using a standard VSD (also called VFD) for less than $500.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Tamworth, NSW
    Posts
    68

    Default

    I would seriously consider giving this guy a call.....

    https://metalworkforums.com/f282/t204718-setup-getting

  5. #20
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    43

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Grahame Collins View Post

    Google says these guys are near you. https://moderntools.com.au/product-list/

    Grahame
    And they have a great looking Colchester Student for sale at the moment for just a touch more than that Optimum. I'd at least go and have a look. Ask for a discount due to the missing gap piece, but what a starter machine that would make. It's also three phase, but they might give you enough discount to pay for a VFD.

    If you buy new, buy good. I spent a lot of time looking at the Hafco and other machines (including flying to Melbourne and Adelaide to look at machines), and decided to get the H&F AL-960B. Modern Machines sell the same lathe under the originating "Liang-Dei" brand, and it's been a very well made Taiwanese machine to date.

    Phil

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    ACT, Australia
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Danger Mouse View Post
    I would seriously consider giving this guy a call.....

    https://metalworkforums.com/f282/t204718-setup-getting
    Gave him a buzz, he sold it this morning! Looks like a great set up

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Sa
    Posts
    1

    Default

    I was talking to a chap at General Tools in Adelaide last week, they will not stock Optiturn lathes anymore as they have had too many problems with them. Having said that, I have one with a 6 speed pulley system. The quality and finish are excellent, better than other Chinese lathes at least and I've never had a problem with it over the years I've had it. The problems appear to be with the variable speed units. I've heard Sieg suffer the same problems.
    I've found Hafco excellent to deal with as far as buying parts and machines, don't know about warranty service as I never bother with warranties, I simply fixed any problems with machines I got from them myself.
    My machine was bought from a local machinery distributor rather than Hafco. Previous machines have always come from Hafco with no problems.
    If Hafco are a problem with warranty service at least they are good for parts and lathes are easy to repair when you have access to parts.
    Optiturn are made by Optimum Maschinen. They are a German company with factories in China who manufacture machines to German specifications so they are better made than the other Chinese made machines. They stick logos/brands on them according to the requirements of the machinery shop ordering them: Turn and Optium being a couple.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Sydney
    Age
    42
    Posts
    121

    Default

    Hi there, my 2 cents is I have a Al 960B and HM46. The lathe is nice and simple to use with no bells and whistles. It doesn't have 1.75mm pitch and some others. This can be rectified with a 30 tooth gear(kindly made for me by a gentleman on this forum) and use according threading gearbox change to adapt. 40/30 x 2.25(B7) gear will give you 1.75mm pitch. I probably would have wanted a heavier more rigid machine, maybe next size up however that would have meant a Chinese machine or stretch to its big brother the AL1000C/D however at $9K its a big gap.

    My HM-46 Mill has around 0.1mm front to back slope across the bed(Y axis) so not terribly accurate. Maybe one day I will adjust the column. I don't see the value in the HM 48 over the HM 46 for DRO, power feed and coolant. However maybe for you its good value. I fit a DRO myself which was a fun project in itself. I have yet to fit power feed which would be nice. There are lots of good option made on youtube by creative guys.

    Best of luck and enjoy your new machines

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