Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 31

Thread: Metal lathe search

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    638

    Metal lathe search

    I know this is the wood lathe area but I alread have a wood lathe and now I need a metal lathe. I don't know much about metal lathes so I don't know what to look for in one. I will be using it for miscellaneous stuff, making parts for the wood machinery I build, making replacement parts for old machines. I can see needing more than a 6" or 8" swing and 24" length would probably be fine. I have a friend that has what I believe is an Atlas craftsman 618 that he is pondering selling. It seems in decent shape. What is a reasonable price for something like this. Are any of the smaller grizzlys any good or should I be looking at old iron. Thoughts in general?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    1,367
    I have the small 7x12 grizzly G8688 and use the heck out of it. It's a little smaller than you're after, but they have a 9x20, i think that is pretty good. The lathe is only half the cost, just remember that. You'll easily spend as much on tooling - easily. Chucks, tool holders, cutters, centers, etc. That stuff adds up quick. Watch for Enco 20% off and Free Shipping deals they come around pretty frequently.
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Posts
    5,321
    Jet, Grizzley, Enco, and maybe others, too, have a 9" X 20" metal lathe that's worth looking at. They've been making it for well over 25 years, and it's a pretty solid machine with threading capabilities from 2 tpi up to about 56 tpi, and the metric equivalents.

    I've had mine since about 1988, and while I haven't used it a lot, it has saved my bacon numerous times when I needed to make a jig or a part.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Posts
    4,699


    On the eventual list, probably won't happen at this house though

    One thing a machinist buddy told me was if its your first lathe get one with a belt drive so it can slip if you mess up and take to big of a cut. The 100% gear head lathe sounds like a good idea until you strip out all the gears on your first pass (he didn't clarify how he knew this ). That and some exceedingly vague recollections from shop class 25 years ago about sums up my knowledge on metal lathes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    638
    My friend said his is well tooled so that's a plus. He's not sure if he's ready to sell it yet though. He has another in a shed he wants to sell that has a 16" swing and weighs 5000 lbs. I'm not sure how I would load it on a trailer let alone get it in the basement

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Posts
    4,699
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Black View Post
    has a 16" swing and weighs 5000 lbs. I'm not sure how I would load it on a trailer let alone get it in the basement
    Very very carefully but soon befure someone else decides to buy it?

    The trailer part seems doable with sufficient time, motivation and 2x6's, the stairs might be a bit more of a challenge. I wonder how heavy the components are once its broken down some.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Posts
    5,321
    The Atlas Craftsman 6" lathe was a really good one, and they still command good prices today. Be aware, though, that they are gear drive, and the gears are some sort of soft cast metal (pot metal? zinc alloy? ) Anyway, a mis-matching of gears, or a heavy catch in the cut can easily result in stripped gears. A whole lot of us learned to turn metal on an old Atlas, though. They're a great little lathe.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    East Freeetown, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,020
    I have a little Atlas.

    If I were really wanting something I would seriously consider the Grizzly metal lathe as it is more rigid than the old Atlas.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Posts
    5,321
    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Voisine View Post
    I have a little Atlas.

    If I were really wanting something I would seriously consider the Grizzly metal lathe as it is more rigid than the old Atlas.
    Yeah, the Grizz is a much more solid machine. Probably weighs at least twice what the Atlas does. The 1 - 8 threaded headstock is a pretty common size, too, so faceplates and chucks are readily available. Blue Ridge Machinery has a nice milling attachment that'll fit it, too. Also, in case they're needed, Grizzly and Jet both carry parts. Atlas parts are pretty scarce these days.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    112
    I've been slowly researching this too. Lot's of info at: littlemachineshop.com I'd like to have one of their mini lathes with power feed but a bit pricey for the size. However, they have lots of tips, tooling recommendations, and tools and parts for lots of the other small lathes.

Similar Threads

  1. Pens with metal lathe?
    By Faraz Bhojani in forum General Woodturning Q&A
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-17-2009, 11:57 AM
  2. Atlas metal lathe -- approximately 1930
    By Jim C Bradley in forum Old Iron
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 07-14-2008, 05:06 AM
  3. need search help
    By Frank Fusco in forum Site Questions and Test Posts
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-07-2008, 09:34 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •