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Which New Lathe; choices, choices...

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EtheAv8r26/11/2010 22:22:47
111 forum posts
3 photos
My package is:
D6000E Lathe and standard accessories
Base Stand
Chip Tray & Splash Back
Levelling Feet
Start Set 2:
   Set of 6 Carbide tools
   Precision Quick Action Drill Chuck
   Taper Shaft for Drill Chuck
   Quick Action Tool Holder - Basic Body
   Quick Action Tool Holder for Drill Steel
   Quick Action Tool Holder for Turning Steel
Milling Table
Fixed Steady
160mm Independant 4 Jaw Chuck
Flange for 4 Jaw Chuck
20 Piece Milling & Cutting set
Small Machine Vice
Newall 2 Axis DRO fully installed (again with 5 year Warrenty).
Deliver set for my B'day in February.  Workshop electrics completed yesterday and all certificated, and next I have to get a self leveling floor screed installed - looking for an experienced local contracter to do this as I want it perfect.
Yes, as with most every lathe you can get aftermarket and OEM bits, will I will add in due course, plus I will probably add more Wabeco bits where and when required.  It is very nice kit.
Terryd26/11/2010 23:14:20
1936 forum posts
179 photos
Hi Martin,
If you look at my other post you could've had the M300 and a fully equipped bridgeport and still left with enough for a half bottle of whisky to celebrate

PekkaNF28/11/2010 08:27:08
96 forum posts
12 photos
Hi all,
I hear stories of the lathes that only a vicars wife has been using on sundays to turn candles for diner tabel, but never seen one here.
I'm not wery experienced but maybe I'm not very inexperienced either. I hope someone can learn from this. Long story and fun to have a field day with, enjoy.
MY INPUT: When it comes to choosing a lathe I believe it's hard to buy right one first time.
If you are new to hobby, try to learn from this and prepare to do your own mistakes - it will be a character building experience!

Snif I:

Sometime time round 1993 -  1995 or so I was buying my first own metal lathe, I had been using some ten years earlier good lathes at the school -  I sort of had an idea what lathes do, but I never used cheap/small lathes before.
My choices (Pre EU, Pre internet) were practically limited on what was advertised on ME mag.
I was considering Myford Diamond 10, but the smuck brochure and high price of accessories put me off. Also it was just a tad too big for my two room apartment (HAH! I moved to house only two years later and then I got an in-house-garage).
Because I never seen on tried them before and there was no way asking opinion of fellow model engineers then (ah... the internet), I was buying my first lathe on speck only - you know the claims seller dares to put on paper. Only thing relatively clear is centre height and such. This gives you an idea what you can clamp on chuck or bolt onto face plate. It really doesn't mean you can machine it!
I bought "Minilor" with some accesories and was planning to buy some more accessories. Buying that petit merde was one of the biggest mistakes on my life. Never trust Frencies - incidently I had Citroën Xantia for years and although it had some excentric engineering it was a nice car and gave me years of joy. Not so rosy experince with the lathe though.

See this:
It gives a whole lot more glossy picture of the product than it is in reality. Plastic knobs could be replaced etc. obvious things. It looks quite handsom on the picture, but apron/cross slide, tool holder, tail stock, spindel stoc etc. are made of "Special alloy" or something like that on advertising text. It could be zink or aluminium, but it's pretty miserable stuf for a metal cutting lathe. Also the only the transvese lead screw it trapetzoidal,  all others are standard 60 decrees.
BIG MISTAKE buying on speck only, those numbers give you some indication, but after a mistake you learn to read between the lines.

I did send my letter to a dealer explaining my reasoning on how fit this is to purpose, but I got back a friendly letter, little sympathy and couragement to learn how to use it. I could not have sent it back anyway, losses would have been too great with the customs, air freight etc. I just had to swallow my anger and pride and do with a totaly inadequate lathe.

Part of disapointment was my own fault, I bought a lathe that would be small enough to fit into my appartment easily, but it would not be big enough for anything more than most immediate needs. Think big.

This lathe would have need a major redesing and converting it to a usable one would need a large milling machine and lathe to fabricate all other components but lathe bed, lead screw, chuck, motor and maybe a tail stock barrel. Maybe I'll take it from there after I buy a good lathe and it has done it's purpose of being unused expensive ornament on my garage.
Did I learn from this? NO. Can't even sell it, because only someone who is just startting a hobby would buy it. Karma would get me in the end.

Actually, I learned a little, but it was expensive to learn:
* I learned what not to buy = on tec spec only.
* I knew better how lathe size and work size relates, specially on flimsy machines
* I was pretty fed up with this "quality"
* I will never buy from this supplier again - fool me once....

Snif II:

I checkked Myford once more, and on that time the price was way too high to me. Part was strong pound, part was that they had dropped cheaper machines from production. To me it would have made sense to buy an entry level machine and after assesing the quality be confident eneugh to by later a bigger machine. Call me an old fool, but from any wendor I buy first something small just to find out how it works.
I got pretty good price on about myford size lathe, 120 kg. MT4 head stock, MT3 tail stock. This time I knew that the qulity would not be there, but neither would be the risks. With this amount of the money I could not have had ANY Myford from UK to my front yard and not to mention that I would have bought it without seeing it and arranged pick up, freight etc.
So I bought pretties flower of communism: CQ9325, it was deliverd in a van, I measured it with a test bar and it seemed to be ok. No plastic gears this time. Ugly as hell, but I was buying cheap.

This guy seems to happy with it:

However, this lathe has few short comings:
* Ergometry is very poor, some features are outright dangerous
* Tailstock travell is 35 mm, speck says 50 mm, way too short even on speck.
* Tailstock design is poor in every respect.
* Toolpost/topside design is weak
* Belt drive abysmal, adjustement, dessign, motor mount is marginal. Myford style is superior.
* Handles are crooked, many holes looks like they hand drill these "on situ".
* Weird bed wi
ady28/11/2010 09:54:40
612 forum posts
50 photos
Looks like the biz, fabby spindle bore too.
The only thing I really wouldn't want is the tapered roller bearings, the rest can be fixed, as the guy in the link is doing, make another tailstock bit etc.
if I was you I would get a set of spare roller bearings...or even two...before you can't.
The only thing missing is a t-slotted cross slide

Edited By ady on 28/11/2010 09:59:23

PekkaNF28/11/2010 12:53:05
96 forum posts
12 photos
Darn, lost about 1/3 of my ramblings...Obiviously there is somewhere antirant filter on this board.....
Ady, are those bearing coming scarce? You owe me and answer, you are pressing my buttons with taht slotted cross slide...It would not work anyway with this type bed and cross slide structure - it's not meant for milling.
 Ok, I'll fill the end of this rant here:
* Screws and fairly many parts are sub-standard, these are replaceable, but inside parts are probably worse I'm affraid.

What really pisses me off is that in some parts this lathe is fairly reasonable, but then some corners are cut and some properties are just a bad design and it would not not have cost anything to have them fixed.
I don't have regrets with this one, I'm nor afraid to rebuild the parts, because it's cheap and it can be only improved. Drilling holes to Myford and rebuilding a new cross slide etc. would take a lot of conffidence. Resale value of this lathe is no consideration

Snif III:

I got (as a freebie - when I bought old 1,5 metric ton milling machine) old Myford 10 copy, made in Taiwan. Even judging from the copy:
* Myford design looks odd, but it definately has it's merits
* Myford design is least a magnitude better
* Diamond 10 would have been perfect first lahe for me.
* Can't compare the quality from the copy, but even the copy is better than my first lathe or my "new" lathe.

I'm not saying anything on this line, because it would employ moderators. No need for smilies.

Story does not end here:

I have been looking old light industrial lathes lately in 400-1000 kg range, they are rare and much sought after here.
I need a lathe that is a lathe, I don't do milling with a lathe, so compromises towards milling are not needed. I need to wallow on this mater a litle.

I envy all you guys living in UK, because you seem to have an endless suppy of ex-industrial machines and have a nerve of complaining aboubt the situation!

UK seems to be pretty polarized on two camps:
* Myford owners
* Chinese lathe owners

Trences are dug an bomardment continues. Where the hell are are owners of other brand owners, such Wabeco and industrial machines? Are they all secretly happy and munching popcorn?

ady28/11/2010 13:22:54
612 forum posts
50 photos
Ady, are those bearing coming scarce? You owe me and answer
I aint got a clue.
What I do know is that a really good lathe can become a lifelong friend and if there's a bit you cant fix then get a spare part or two and then(barring a disaster) you're fixed for life because that's the only bit you can't make yourself.
Slotted cross slide:
Plagiarised from L H Sparey "The amateurs lathe" a book you should get by the way, I have two.

The slotted cross slide
One of the essential characteristics of the successful turner is a scrupulous attention to detail, and this practice may well be extended to the choice of the lathe itself. Details which to the novice may seem unimportant can contribute very greatly to the ease of manipulation and the versatility of the amateurs machine.
A typical instance is provided by the cross slide of the small lathe. On a great number of these machines this component is provided with a variety of T shaped slots enabling vertical slides angle plates and milling spindles to be bolted into place on the carriage.
Thus milling operations, and certain types of boring may be readily undertaken and the scope of the lathe is increased out of all proportion to this seemingly insignificant addition.
He then has a go at american lathes etc.
Buy the book, you'll never regret it, the guy was pretty amazing.
Billy Mills28/11/2010 15:41:20
377 forum posts
You have left out the third UK group, the Colchester/Harrison owners, we just enjoy our great British machines that are industrial grade products not hobby machines.
PekkaNF28/11/2010 15:56:33
96 forum posts
12 photos
Ady, thaks for the answer. I'm not sure what bearings (code) it has, but if I have to take it appart for any reason, I'll order the spares , just in case. This is a little problem of course: On a very good lathe you never will need spindle bearings and on very bad one, you don't want! Broken spinde bearings would be very good excuse to save some money towards a good lathe.
I have a Spareys "bible", it's probably the first book I bought on this subject and it is very good and at parts relevant book even today. But, I have a funny feeling, that it was writen for a very different set of circumstances: It was usual to have a lathe, but milling machines were relatively rare hobby equipment. I see the benetit for a milling and boring operations in a lathe, but for my purposes I need lathe only for a lathe work. I understand completely if someone likes to do most of the milling operations in the lathe. Most British instructions assume this and some tools and methods actually exploit this briliant way.
Thanks Alan, I'll have a look.
* typoszz....

Edited By PekkaNF on 28/11/2010 16:05:46

Bill Dawes28/11/2010 17:35:58
534 forum posts
I bought a Clarke CL500M a couple of years ago. I was not sure if the desire to get involved in model engineering would last or how serious it would get but I thought that for about £800 for a brand new machine I could not go far wrong. I have to say that so far I am pleased with my choice. I accept it does not have the quality of Myford etc but having seen a recent advert for a Myford for about 9 grand, well it takes a lot of justification for that sort of money. Lovely looking machine and would love to have one but that is some way off if ever.
The versatilty of the lathe/mill has been a godsend. i know all the arguments about used quality machines etc and this no doubt is the way many people prefer to go and I wouldn't argue that is the right way for them but for the moment the CL500M does me just fine. I have improved it lately by changing to a 3 phase motor and a WEG inverter which is brilliant although still refining the right combination of pulley ratios to get optimum speed/torque out of the motor.
The weight of the CL500M is about 350kg if I remember right but as someone else said it is not likely you will be moving it around frequently (I assume) a one off hire charge for an engine hoist sorted that problem out.
Bill Dawes
Ian S C29/11/2010 11:49:45
7468 forum posts
230 photos
All the bearings I'v seen on Chinese/ Taiwanese machines are standard metric bearings available at any bearing sales place. Even in Christchurch NZ I could go to at least 4 places and get suitable bearings. Get good brand name bearings, and they'll last a life time. Ian S C
Ian S C29/11/2010 14:47:55
7468 forum posts
230 photos
Another quite good little book is Stan Brays' "Introducing The LATHE. Ian S C
Terryd29/11/2010 22:34:11
1936 forum posts
179 photos
Dear John,
You wrote:
If only someone could only get organised a web site, where the sorts of new machines that we encounter could be impartially reviewed. That would go a long way to sorting this confusion out. A bit like the magazine Which, but for the model engineer.
If you are willing to provide the capital for what you obviously believe in, as I am retired and have a large workshop and time on my hands I would be glad to oblige and review a wide range of machines as you suggest.  I also have the Software Engineering expertise to set up the site, Just send the cheque..  
Terryd29/11/2010 22:35:43
1936 forum posts
179 photos
Hi David,
Sorry, should I have sent that last message by email

KWIL29/11/2010 23:06:00
3553 forum posts
70 photos
Heh Terry,
You retired young, judging by your photograph


Edited By KWIL on 29/11/2010 23:06:18

Peter G. Shaw30/11/2010 11:48:48
1421 forum posts
44 photos
That's exactly what I thought.
Peter G. Shaw
Terryd30/11/2010 13:04:22
1936 forum posts
179 photos
I've just aged well,  In fact I'm more like Benjamin Button, I'm just starting to get my adolescent spots which I never had as a teenager.
Seriously, On this question of comparing machines.  For those in doubt or needing advice there is a new book in the Workshop Series called (mysteriously) Workshop Machinery and it is available from Amazon, as are all the other titles for less than a fiver delivered (£9.00+ from MHS delivered).
Anyway, Thanks guys for the compliments but don't go too far off thread otherwise he who must be obeyed may complain and the posts will be deleted whether the other posters want it or not.

Edited By Terryd on 30/11/2010 13:06:23

Justin Keat23/05/2012 16:21:00
1 forum posts

I'm interested in continuing this debate a bit. I too am debating between a Ceriani David 203 and a Wabeco D4000 or D6000.

To those that have a Wabeco or something similar without a gearbox--do you find yourself wishing for one? I feel like parts would take forever to make, rearranging gears each time to thread and then for finishing cuts? I tried using a Central Machinery 7x12 once, and I felt like that, though their gear system is incredibly finicky.

Jon24/05/2012 00:01:47
1001 forum posts
49 photos

Justin i think the only machines available are the newer late 1960's Harrisons and various Colchesters aka 600 Group. Whereby they have a 'proper' gearbox. No need to faff about with change wheels, just dial in the pitch required with 4 knobs or levers including metric and imperial. You will never know what you have been missing.

Been saying it for years, if the chinese copy that like everything else they do, theyre on to a winner. I think the answer lies in why it hasnt been done so far, too difficult.

Dont think you can do it with an M250 though, even thats much larger than what you have in mind.

Some of the chinese machines can take literally hours to change three change wheels, others around 1/4hr. Still a pain

The only other way is some form of electronic lead screw linked to spindle speed.

Gone Away24/05/2012 00:53:38
829 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by EtheAv8r on 11/11/2010 13:09:06:
No calls to get a second hand Myford, or Boxford or the like - I am not interested as they are too big and heavy to get them to my workshop,

Unfortunately, "big and heavy" tend to go along with solid and stiff. I had a Chinese minilathe for some years and most of the deficiencies of the ilk can be addressed with some effort in tuning, adjusting and a bit of re-design. The lack of stiffness however was a constant scourge.

Then I latched on to a Myford ML7 (in rather worse shape than Tony Jefree's Cowells in the latest MEW). Since my health doesn't permit me to manhandle something like that it was delivered to me in a car by two, actually quite elderly, gentlemen who got it into my garage. It was then moved into my workshop (through the house down the stairs - with right angle turn - and into the basement by the son of a friend and his friend (with all the strength of youth). Took them at most 15 minutes. The motor was missing and we took off the obvious things ... tailstock, chuck but complete otherwise.

I spent a winter restoring it and frankly there is no comparison with the minilathe (except perhaps the headstock bore). The minilathe is now gone.

By all means avoid the "big and heavy" if that's what you wish but realise that there is a price.

Springbok24/05/2012 04:41:42
879 forum posts
34 photos

If you look at my photo album you will see my Warco WMT500 and my Chester 626 mill both chinese confessand very pleased with both. I have modified both over the years quite a bit and also fitted 3 phase and variable speed. Well worth it. Oh the WMT (multi task) this part is a waste of money you get whiplash no matter how you use it. and NEVER get a mill with a round pillar you will regret it.

Sorry but can only talk from 50 od years of ME experiance. And also the workshop is the old pub cellar c1700s it was an interesting exercise in logistics to get equipment down to it, ref the distance you have to move your lathe, but fortunately have strapping sons, grandsons and one of the granddaughters her partner is one of these bodybuilder types.

Whatever you decide good luck and enjoy the peace and calm of a nice workshop


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