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recommendations for used lathes?

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Liam Pocknell15/08/2020 17:31:34
10 forum posts
5 photos

Hello all,
I'm looking at cashing in my woodturning lathe and some of the tools to try and pick up a decent used metal lathe, i assume i can make myself a tool rest and turn wood all the same but being able to make some metal things as needed would be a massive help;
Im going to look used and be patient for a good deal as with much of my workshop as the budget will be about £300 but i'm curious what names people would recommend looking for, of course myford is a name i know but they tend to be a bit above the price range.
Thank you !

Bazyle15/08/2020 18:39:21
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5691 forum posts
208 photos

You can mount a second hand cross slide and topslide off a metal lathe onto a wood lathe and do a lot. Cutting wood on a metal lathe makes a real mess as the sawdust mixes with the oil so not recommended except for the rare occasions that a metal modeller needs to.

Depends on where you are and what the market is like but for £300 you can just get a Drummond or ML1,2,3,4 or smaller Hobbymat each maybe with bits missing. There are some people looking for suckers putting these lathes on ebay at £400 recently but if fully tooled could be worth it to avoid the hassle of looking for the missing bits.
There are some less well known ones that appear too, Zyto, Portas, Randa, and half a dozen more from the period 1930 - 1950 all very similar and often badge engineering.

Liam Pocknell15/08/2020 19:48:35
10 forum posts
5 photos
Posted by Bazyle on 15/08/2020 18:39:21:

You can mount a second hand cross slide and topslide off a metal lathe onto a wood lathe and do a lot.

Depends on where you are and what the market is like but for £300 you can just get a Drummond or ML1,2,3,4 or smaller Hobbymat each maybe with bits missing.

Wouldn't I have the same issue using metal on a wood lathe? I can only have one in the shop due to space constraints and figured the weight and backgear/jackshaft on the metal lathe would be prefferable to making one or the other for the one i have (or buying a new motor for variable speed)

The market here seems very variable, right now i can go look at two, a boxford and a Littlejohn mk.1 for £250-£300 each, but i have seen others £100~ Of course they might be getting what you pay for

Dave Halford15/08/2020 20:05:59
1128 forum posts
11 photos

The short answer is the name doesn't matter. If you want screw cutting it could be very old or worn or both. Check out the pic's of the bed and look for longitudinal lines were there shouldn't be any. Ones that don't look like a ploughed field can still deliver what you want for not a lot despite some wear. Plain or Precision lathes are less sort after and a lot cheaper. There's a Raglan 5" in Telford on ebay with no bids and a day to go

Don't forget a tin of paint and a brush does not refurbish a lathe, but it does double the cost.

Just buy it a new three jaw as a treat instead of a tin of paint.

Either of what you just posted would do.

Edited By Dave Halford on 15/08/2020 20:08:58

not done it yet15/08/2020 20:29:28
5354 forum posts
20 photos

Hi Dave,

Do you have an item number for that lathe, please? Not buying, but not seen it on my searches.

Old School15/08/2020 20:54:14
365 forum posts
32 photos

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/lathe/254683209730?hash=item3b4c4d6002:g:zFoAAOSwJ59fMUE2

Theres the link to it. They are a good solid lathe capable of good work, had one as my first lathe also used one at school.

Dave Halford15/08/2020 21:02:19
1128 forum posts
11 photos

Listed under 'lathe' so I'm not surprised you missed it

Comes with a cup holder too (3rd pic)

link

Edited By Dave Halford on 15/08/2020 21:04:48

Hopper15/08/2020 23:19:41
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5040 forum posts
112 photos

Boxford and Little John are better lathes than Myford or Drummond anyway so well worth looking at. They dont seem to attract the cult prices so good value for money.

Lee Rogers16/08/2020 00:35:56
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91 forum posts

Right now you are in the best buyers market that we have seen for a very long time. Lathes that would have seen £900+ ten months ago are changing hands for half that. I've just bought a lathe that I'd have given £300 for last year for £150. Follow the advise above and go for the hard bargain. Walk away from the dreamers and trade chancers, there's plenty more coming along soon.

not done it yet16/08/2020 08:09:35
5354 forum posts
20 photos

It might be 5” Raglan - but not a ‘Raglan 5”’. All Raglans were 5 1/8” centre height.

That is a Loughborough training lathe - no screw cutting facility and a limited speed range. A very basic lathe.

I’m not surprised there are no bids on it. Good for roughing out but with only 3 speeds and no back gear not really a serious metalworking lathe for most users.

Edited By not done it yet on 16/08/2020 08:10:27

Nick Clarke 316/08/2020 09:08:01
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1009 forum posts
34 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 16/08/2020 08:09:35:

It might be 5” Raglan - but not a ‘Raglan 5”’. All Raglans were 5 1/8” centre height.

That is a Loughborough training lathe - no screw cutting facility and a limited speed range. A very basic lathe.

I’m not surprised there are no bids on it. Good for roughing out but with only 3 speeds and no back gear not really a serious metalworking lathe for most users.

Edited By not done it yet on 16/08/2020 08:10:27

In the past when non-screw cutting lathes were more common ME published advice for buying a lathe where this feature was not considered essential for model builders. (Of course this was when model locos were at their largest 3½" - 5" gauge and often smaller) In addition the lack of back gear might not be an issue as this lathe is 3 phase and so would probably need to be driven through an invertor overcoming the issue of a limited range of speeds and giving close to the equivalent of backgear.

So in my personal opinion - a very basic lathe, missing many features that are found in most other lathes today, but at a bargain price for an industrial quality lathe if in good condition.

Edited By Nick Clarke 3 on 16/08/2020 09:12:10

Bazyle16/08/2020 09:26:13
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5691 forum posts
208 photos

One size does not fit all. As we often say to newcomers you have to think abut what you realy want to do. As you will know form wood turning there is a huge difference between teh requirements of a pen maker and someone making whole trees into four poster beds.

Liam Pocknell16/08/2020 11:13:29
10 forum posts
5 photos

Thank you for all the replies, been very helpful
I think i might hold off for now until i find an older cast iron built one practically being given away; i still wont have room but then i can justify having both. It doesn't sound like wood on a metal lathe is very recommended and i don't have space or time to add a countershaft to the current woodturning one
.. Maybe it will finally give me motivation to build a flip-top bench

Mike E.16/08/2020 11:37:39
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209 forum posts
31 photos

I notice currently there is an old Atlas 612 metal lathe on offer at a clearance price of less than £150.oo on the gandmtools.co.uk site. Worth a look.

Glenn hartley19/08/2020 22:53:24
3 forum posts

Boxford lathe prices are going up a lot lately with people asking retail prices, with no guarantee of what you are getting. Some people can refurbish lathes and sell them with a guarantee, as the old saying goes buyer beware. £300 will only get a small Chinese lathe at the moment unless you are fortunate to get a good deal.

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