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Used Lathe Pinnacle PL1340C Gap Bed

Not sure if its a good buy

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Robert Laurenson12/05/2020 13:59:09
37 forum posts

Hi All,

I'm just new to this forum,

I would like some information on a metal lathe i am looking at purchasing

Its a Pinnacle PL1340C, it says in the description its a harrison copy but i can find no information about it on the internet as to whether its a good buy or not.
I live in shetland and its in the middle of england so going to see it is not really possible and i would just have to take the guys word for it that its ok.

second to that is the issue of getting any spares for it if required, if i cant find a thing about it on the net then i would imagine spares are going to be an issue also.

Could any of you help me out, maybe its a lathe which is similar or the same to another one that you can get spares for or something similar.

Thanks in advance

Robert

Robert Dodds12/05/2020 15:59:09
268 forum posts
37 photos

Robert,
Pure guesswork, but have you got any photos that you could compare this machine to the pictures of lathes.co.uk who show details of an "Early 13" Harrison lathe" which just happens to list in the text 40" between centres so giving you the 1340 number.
worth a punt

Bob D

Michael Gilligan12/05/2020 16:17:53
avatar
15712 forum posts
687 photos

I’m guessing it’s this one: **LINK**

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/harrison-lathe-Copy-Pinnacle/333532266920

... If so, it might be worth searching for Excel

MichaelG.

Andrew Johnston12/05/2020 16:27:15
avatar
5499 forum posts
647 photos

Superficially the bed and tailstock look like a Harrison M300. But there are huge differences everywhere else. I doubt that Harrison M300 parts will fit, and they go for silly money anyway. Given that the seller hasn't sold much recently, what he has sold is a right mixture, and he can't be a*sed to write even a basic description I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.

Andrew

Robert Laurenson12/05/2020 17:23:59
37 forum posts
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 12/05/2020 16:17:53:

I’m guessing it’s this one: **LINK**

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/harrison-lathe-Copy-Pinnacle/333532266920

... If so, it might be worth searching for Excel

MichaelG.

Yes thats the one, just a bit strapped for cash ATM and i think i could get it for a good price. not sure what to do, even searching for Excel doesnt bring much up.

Robert Laurenson12/05/2020 17:25:24
37 forum posts
Posted by Andrew Johnston on 12/05/2020 16:27:15:

Superficially the bed and tailstock look like a Harrison M300. But there are huge differences everywhere else. I doubt that Harrison M300 parts will fit, and they go for silly money anyway. Given that the seller hasn't sold much recently, what he has sold is a right mixture, and he can't be a*sed to write even a basic description I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.

Andrew

If i wasnt in the money place im in just now i wouldnt be considering it, but it is just a thing to get me started, cant really advertise as a marine engineering workshop and have no lathe, goes with the territory. I have asked him a lot of questions about it, will just have to see what he comes back with?

Robert Laurenson12/05/2020 17:36:32
37 forum posts

The person selling it has just replied to me, says its a good machine but he has a bigger one and this one has just been used for small jobs, and not enough so he is selling it.

Still at a bit of a loss at what to do TBH.

Brian H12/05/2020 17:51:27
avatar
1637 forum posts
108 photos

Best thing would be to go and see it, and hear it. Take a knowledgeable friend if possible.

Brian

Steviegtr12/05/2020 17:51:31
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1232 forum posts
115 photos

It certainly looks substantial. Which could probably do quite heavy work compared to the smaller type machines. So questions to ask yourself could be.

Do I need a lathe as big etc . What is the biggest I would need for the things I will make.

Being Marine, I guess things like trimming props & making pump parts.

If the gearbox & main running gear are ok & not too much wear on things like the bed etc, then a lot of things if not available could be made.

Some of my friends have large old machines & they tell me in the years they have had them, they have had to replace nothing other than the motors when purchased.

It is really something you need to see. Preferably running to prove drive train.

Steve.

Chris Evans 612/05/2020 17:59:08
avatar
1658 forum posts

I have an Excel 14" x 40" and it is not the same as the pictured one. (mine is Taiwanese)

General appearance of the pictured lathe tells me to walk away.

Brian Wood12/05/2020 18:03:08
2187 forum posts
37 photos

Robert,

I know neither the Harrison nor this machine, but I would be strongly guided by Andrew's opinion. Even now the seller can't be bothered to tell you more than "it is a good machine" which frankly tells you b*gger all about it. Sure, he will big it up because he wants to flog it.

There is a saying about fools and money which I'm sure you know. Let him find another buyer while you look at what is on offer on the sales page on this forum. Another good place to check out used machines, no guarantees offered, but usually a fair description is on the sales page on www.lathes.co.uk.

Tony Griffiths, whose site and archive this is, will not knowingly accept rubbish and I rate his offerings way above much that appears on ebay. You have already had a foretaste with this machine and it's current owner.

I hope you find something much better

Kind regards Brian

Edited By Brian Wood on 12/05/2020 18:04:33

Alistair Robertson 112/05/2020 18:13:05
90 forum posts
6 photos

The Pinnacle lathe would have been sold by this company https://www.excelmachinetools.co.uk/manual-lathes

I used to buy machines from them and I found that they were excellent for support and spares. We didn't need many spares but the always arrived quickly and they fitted!

Robert Atkinson 212/05/2020 18:20:22
avatar
644 forum posts
16 photos

It certainly doesn't look cared for and its not clear what is included in the sale. If there is a 4 jaw chuck and a bunch of tooling that could make a difference. I notice he has put a phone number in one of the images which is against ebay rules because it indicates they ma be trying to sell off ebay to save fees. Trouble is while you might get a better price you loose your protection if you buy off ebay. The seller may not have usesed it much but what about previous owners?
It's a gamble unless you check it out first. Could be neglected but unworn and un-damaged or a complete wreck.

Buyer beware.

Robert G8RPI.

Robert Laurenson12/05/2020 18:28:46
37 forum posts
Posted by Brian Wood on 12/05/2020 18:03:08:

Robert,

I know neither the Harrison nor this machine, but I would be strongly guided by Andrew's opinion. Even now the seller can't be bothered to tell you more than "it is a good machine" which frankly tells you b*gger all about it. Sure, he will big it up because he wants to flog it.

There is a saying about fools and money which I'm sure you know. Let him find another buyer while you look at what is on offer on the sales page on this forum. Another good place to check out used machines, no guarantees offered, but usually a fair description is on the sales page on www.lathes.co.uk.

Tony Griffiths, whose site and archive this is, will not knowingly accept rubbish and I rate his offerings way above much that appears on ebay. You have already had a foretaste with this machine and it's current owner.

I hope you find something much better

Kind regards Brian

Edited By Brian Wood on 12/05/2020 18:04:33

Hi Brian
Thanks for the reply and yes i am kind of thinking the same to be honest,
Too many things to watch out for with this one, and he seems a bit flippant about it all, just had another message saying it runs fine and the power feed works ok, thats as much detail as i have got.
Any suggestions for something around that price range,

as mentioned above i need something quite decent sized and with a good sized spindle bore for shafts and the like, i am very experienced in using these things but just dont know what to try and find for my limited budget.

Kind Regards

Robert

SillyOldDuffer12/05/2020 18:30:30
5772 forum posts
1230 photos

Excel sell imported machine tools, Price On Application. They don't target hobbyists so fairly safe to assume this lathe was aimed at the professional market. It's almost certainly Far Eastern, perhaps Taiwan, and probably well-made. Likely based on a Western design, but no guarantee spares will be compatible or affordable.

Not a current model. When buying second-hand condition is everything. This one looks well-used, but you can't tell much from the pictures, good or bad. Bed wear? Bearings? Gearbox? Lead-screw? Motor & electrics? I'd want to see it cut metal before buying it, taking this risk only after I've learned a thing or two about lathes! Seeing and hearing machines in operation and working their controls is very revealing.

Won't be cheap to move this lump to the Shetlands! I'd get a few quotes before making an offer. And if the purchase goes sour, who pays to send it back? Buyer collect is a condition of sale, so you'd have to pay someone to put it on a pallet etc.

Heavy and awkward to handle when it arrives. Not rocket science exactly but previous experience moving big machines is handy, especially if the route is tricky. Easy enough straight off a concrete driveway through a double-door with a fork-lift, right b***d if a couple of inexperienced weaklings have to manoeuvrer it up a back-lane, over soft-ground, through a narrow doorway, and down a flight of steps!

Power - almost certainly 3-phase. Check you can meet the power requirements. It'll run off single-phase and a VFD or converter, but it's all more money.

A gamble that comes down to how much you trust the seller and how well placed you are to lose money if it goes horribly wrong. Less risky if you're practically good at fixing machines, have a decent workshop already, and time to spare.

Dave

Robert Laurenson12/05/2020 18:41:45
37 forum posts
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 12/05/2020 18:30:30:

Excel sell imported machine tools, Price On Application. They don't target hobbyists so fairly safe to assume this lathe was aimed at the professional market. It's almost certainly Far Eastern, perhaps Taiwan, and probably well-made. Likely based on a Western design, but no guarantee spares will be compatible or affordable.

Not a current model. When buying second-hand condition is everything. This one looks well-used, but you can't tell much from the pictures, good or bad. Bed wear? Bearings? Gearbox? Lead-screw? Motor & electrics? I'd want to see it cut metal before buying it, taking this risk only after I've learned a thing or two about lathes! Seeing and hearing machines in operation and working their controls is very revealing.

Won't be cheap to move this lump to the Shetlands! I'd get a few quotes before making an offer. And if the purchase goes sour, who pays to send it back? Buyer collect is a condition of sale, so you'd have to pay someone to put it on a pallet etc.

Heavy and awkward to handle when it arrives. Not rocket science exactly but previous experience moving big machines is handy, especially if the route is tricky. Easy enough straight off a concrete driveway through a double-door with a fork-lift, right b***d if a couple of inexperienced weaklings have to manoeuvrer it up a back-lane, over soft-ground, through a narrow doorway, and down a flight of steps!

Power - almost certainly 3-phase. Check you can meet the power requirements. It'll run off single-phase and a VFD or converter, but it's all more money.

A gamble that comes down to how much you trust the seller and how well placed you are to lose money if it goes horribly wrong. Less risky if you're practically good at fixing machines, have a decent workshop already, and time to spare.

Dave

Thanks for the comments Dave
I have a contact who is a Marine engineer like myself close to where this is so i may contact him to get him to have a look and a play with it.

The cost for moving it isnt too bad, £170 pounds to aberdeen and another 150 from there on the ferry, the guy selling it says he can put it on a pallet and load it onto a truck with a forklift at his work.
I have 3 phase so that is no issue
And as far as moving it goes i have a 4.5m square door in the end of my workshop and a brother in law with a crane truck so no issues there.

just a shame i couldnt go see this thing myself, ive been working with Lathes for near 20 years and wouldnt normally consider buying something without being able to see it but this is so good of a deal (if its in good nick) that i am considering it.

Regards

Robert

Brian Wood12/05/2020 18:50:21
2187 forum posts
37 photos

Hello again Robert,

Sillyoldduffer (Dave) has made some very good points for you to consider as part of your deliberations.

I would add that shipping any kind of machine to the Shetlands is going to add significantly to the cost of setting up, by maybe as much as £1000 depending on the distance involved and then comes the job of finding someone to take it on.

It might even be cheaper for you to relocate!!

Kind regards Brian

Robert Laurenson12/05/2020 18:54:03
37 forum posts
Posted by Brian Wood on 12/05/2020 18:50:21:

Hello again Robert,

Sillyoldduffer (Dave) has made some very good points for you to consider as part of your deliberations.

I would add that shipping any kind of machine to the Shetlands is going to add significantly to the cost of setting up, by maybe as much as £1000 depending on the distance involved and then comes the job of finding someone to take it on.

It might even be cheaper for you to relocate!!

Kind regards Brian

Hello Brian
Yes he has, the shipping in total door to door will be roughly 300 pounds, so not a lot but would be around that from anywhere in the UK, i have quite a good rate with local shippers and the pallet network is cheap as chips at the moment, south of england to aberdeen for 200 bucks for an oversize pallet.

i have messaged my friend who lives local to where the Lathe is and he will probably go an have a look for me, see what were dealing with, i will also be contacting Excel to see what their thoughts on it are, spare parts etc.

Leaning towards a no so far to be honest but my mind could be changed if it all fits together.

Kind Regards
Robert

Chris Evans 612/05/2020 19:30:05
avatar
1658 forum posts

My Excel lathe is now 20 years old and still in reasonable condition, originally sold as more of an industrial machine than the hobby market lathes. When mine wanted spare parts I had to make a new cross slide and screw/nut as whenever I contacted Excel they never answered any parts query I made. Tread carefully.

Lathejack12/05/2020 23:01:56
278 forum posts
334 photos

The lathe shown in the link isn't a copy of a Harrison lathe, it is actually a copy of the old Colchester Student 1800 lathe.

They are not an exact copy, having simplified internals and different controls, but the headstock, gearbox, bed and tailstock castings are based on the Colchester Student 1800 lathe.

Later versions which grew to 14x40 capacity are still available new, Warco still offer it as their GH 1440 and these are now made in China. Also Chester machine tools also offered a version of it, I think called the Challenger, not sure if they still do.

They are good heavily built machines, so if it's in good mechanical condition it would be fine.

Edited By Lathejack on 12/05/2020 23:11:00

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