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Old 06-18-2019, 03:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lathe ?

So I'm at the point I've accepted I need a lathe. I've needed one for the last couple years since I couldn't use the one at work, but made do...

This one came up locally. It's a "Modern 300" AKA any old Chinesium C6236x1000.

Before you tell me you can buy an unused USA made lathe for less than scrap price and the seller will get his daughter/wife to suck your dick and throw in $10K worth tooling just for being such a good sport about it, there is rarely anything used for sale in my area to start with, and it's either too gigantic to fit my shop, fucked out garbage (this might be), or way too much money.

As the ad says:

Modern 300
Coolant system
4hp
Digital readout
Comes with programmable vfd which runs on single phase 240v 30 amp and creates 3 phase power.
Works great
Comes with multiflex to post and holders














Doesn't look horribly abused. I'm guessing it has seen its fair share of use.

Anything I should specifically look at on it? Any know trouble with this pattern of Chinese lathe?

I have a 50A outlet where I would put it, so no issues with power. Does it need to be bolted to the floor, or should it be? I'm guessing I can't/shouldn't put it on casters like my other equipment, as it will twist up the ways?

1800lbs sound about right for weight?
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Old 06-18-2019, 04:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Casters, no. level that bitch up and makes sure you have somewhat even load on the feet. No need to bolt it down.

Looks like a decent lathe. DRO is a plus. Bison chuck is decent.

Only downside is the joystick shifter can be a little finicky. Make sure the fucking gears are engaged before you spin it up or it will make noises like the gears are going to grind apart.

How much?
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Casters, no. level that bitch up and makes sure you have somewhat even load on the feet. No need to bolt it down.

Looks like a decent lathe. DRO is a plus. Bison chuck is decent.

Only downside is the joystick shifter can be a little finicky. Make sure the fucking gears are engaged before you spin it up or it will make noises like the gears are going to grind apart.

How much?
Roger.

He wants $6k CAD but that's an unrealistic Facebook price. I'm guessing he'll take $4k, but I really don't know how motivated he is. If he doesn't want to drop the price much I'll see if he wants to part with tooling, or if he was intending to include any tooling.

I can't find a price on a new one short of ordering 20 (sounds like you can buy [email protected]$3500 USD each?, which is $4700 CAD, plus freight and 12% tax), so I honestly don't know what I should say a realistic absolute maximum to pay for it is. See previous comment about not a lot of used stuff being available.

The only real new comparable, which is nowhere near as good, that I can find somewhat locally is this: https://www.kmstools.com/king-indust...th-stand-12933

Which is $4500 + 12% tax + couple tanks of gas to get it and 2 days of time (not all a loss there, could visit family while doing so). That gets you a motor with half the HP, no DRO, 2" less swing, 4" less length, and it weighs about half as much so you know it's just not built as heavy. But it would be new.
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Looks like it should work. I have that same dro and itís awesome. It takes a average lathe guy and turns him into a good lathe guy.

I have the same machine with a different Taiwanese name. Itís a ok lathe you not gonna do .25Ē cuts but .100Ē off the diameter in one pass is doable. The only thing I donít like is the small through hole. It needs to be about 3-4Ē lol.
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You'll do fine with that machine Price seems a bit steep for the states but I don't know the Canucky market.

Those multiflex posts are tits.
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Looks like it should work. I have that same dro and itís awesome. It takes a average lathe guy and turns him into a good lathe guy.

I have the same machine with a different Taiwanese name. Itís a ok lathe you not gonna do .25Ē cuts but .100Ē off the diameter in one pass is doable. The only thing I donít like is the small through hole. It needs to be about 3-4Ē lol.
Yeah on the DROs, never used a lathe with them but did once on a mill and it made everything so much easier. I felt like I might almost be able to pass for knowing what I was doing.

I'm not expecting anything unrealistic out of it. If it can pull that much off at once it's more than plenty. I'm not a machinist and not interested in doing anything for money, more just making stupid things to save the day (which I always used to go to work for and use the terribly fucked out Boxford). I figure it will pay for itself fairly quickly given that even to get simple stuff done (say turn down a set of D60 hubs so wheels with a smaller center fit) costs me $100 in setup plus another $100 for the time.
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Roger.

He wants $6k CAD

The only real new comparable, which is nowhere near as good, that I can find somewhat locally is this: https://www.kmstools.com/king-indust...th-stand-12933
So what is that, about tree-fiddy in real money

Also, would not buy that new lathe, no foot brake.
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Also, would not buy that new lathe, no foot brake.
Good point.
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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dig it

make sure and grab all the toolholders they've got as multifix are expensive (though very nice), also look around for steady rests and chucks that fit, or look reasonably close that you can schmooze your way into taking with
you'll want a 4 jaw independant chuck pretty quickly working on the wierd shit
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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dig it

make sure and grab all the toolholders they've got as multifix are expensive (though very nice), also look around for steady rests and chucks that fit, or look reasonably close that you can schmooze your way into taking with
you'll want a 4 jaw independant chuck pretty quickly working on the wierd shit
I asked him if he has any tooling or other holders he wants to unload. It doesn't sound like it, says he bought a new lathe (CNC, all he said) and doesn't want to give anything up. His new lathe shows up in a couple days, so I'm hoping he has more stuff that isn't going to be any use with it and realizes that.

I'm not home for a while so I'll let it all stew. I think he'll be far more motivated once the new lathe is there and this thing is in the way.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Are you in Onterrible?

You can buy decent lathes in Ontario for $1500-$2500.. if its got a ton of tooling, add $500-$1000, and the DRO, people like to add $1000, but you can pickup Chineese DROs for $250-300 now, and as far as I can tell, they're very similar guts and furniture wise.

$6000 seems really steep. $4000 seems fair, if its in good shape, comes with tooling, and he's got a way to load it easy, and you're not driving too far.

I picked up my Kerry lathe, probably a hair smaller then that machine, with 5 chucks, and a bucket of tooling for $1400.

If you're not in Ontario.. double the price for some reason.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Are you in Onterrible?

You can buy decent lathes in Ontario for $1500-$2500.. if its got a ton of tooling, add $500-$1000, and the DRO, people like to add $1000, but you can pickup Chineese DROs for $250-300 now, and as far as I can tell, they're very similar guts and furniture wise.

$6000 seems really steep. $4000 seems fair, if its in good shape, comes with tooling, and he's got a way to load it easy, and you're not driving too far.

I picked up my Kerry lathe, probably a hair smaller then that machine, with 5 chucks, and a bucket of tooling for $1400.

If you're not in Ontario.. double the price for some reason.
I'd gladly pay extra for a lathe in order to not be in Onterrible.

So no, I'm not.



Oh yeah, he doesn't have an easy way to load it unless I'm there when he gets his new one (has paid to rent a forklift that day).

I was just going to walk it onto some plywood with a hi-lift, bars, and wedges, then winch it onto my car trailer... Maybe. Would have to think about that one a bit more. Might be better to use a dolly.

But it's literally in the same town as I live, so I can figure out how to deal with it.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I was just going to walk it onto some plywood with a hi-lift, bars, and wedges, then winch it onto my car trailer... Maybe. Would have to think about that one a bit more. Might be better to use a dolly.

But it's literally in the same town as I live, so I can figure out how to deal with it.
they're very topheavy and stupid narrow
I've flopped my lathe, on it's back thank fuck, putting all the dials and tumblers back together would suck, I just broke the motor mount off
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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they're very topheavy and stupid narrow
I've flopped my lathe, on it's back thank fuck, putting all the dials and tumblers back together would suck, I just broke the motor mount off
Yeah, I know, the one we had where I used to work wasn't well leveled and would rock/felt like it would tip over.

I was thinking ratchet strap it to a 4x8 sheet of plywood that had 2x4 runners on the bottom. Should make it wide enough that it can't tip, and would slide.

But I'm not sure.

Forklift would be better.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:01 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Price is decent if it's not too beat up. Pics look like it's been well used, which would make me want to check for slop/backlash/play/etc. Probably still fine and just cosmetic wear, but not something you want to assume and then find out you goofed later.

1800lb seems light to me. Random google search here says about 2000 kg, although that sounds a bit heavy. My 18x60" Voest is a bit over 3000 lb. I'd assume 2500 +/- lb.

The bed twist issue is massively over-inflated IMHO. Yes, proper mounting, leveling and bolting it down is optimal and recommended, but unless you're doing long precision work the small error you get isn't going to matter. Most odds and ends stuff is short and close to the headstock and it's not going to matter. Most work and probably many hobbists aren't going to get precise enough to wear bed twist error would even be significant also.

I have my lather and mill on castors and both seems to work fine. Stability is a concern though - in my case I have a square tube frame that fits outside the castings with cross members that support the machine so it's only about 1-2" higher than normal and the wheel base is about 3" wider the machine base and it's fairly stable. Doing any really heavy work, stuff that out of balance or high speeds and I'd probably want it bolted down, but for general shop work it's been fine. Not exactly easy to move around mind you, but better than not being on wheels. I'm moving every few years, so it's a necessity to have everything fairly mobile.

For loading, I'd probably make platform dollies for the legs (as described above), lift one end at a time with engine hoist or jack and then roll it on the dollies. Then just a matter of stout ramps and winching it on the trailer. Just be careful - you pretty much can't underestimate how tippy one of these things is especially if it not on completely flat level ground. Engine hoist also be a good option - skid/roller it out, set perpendicular to driveway with engine hoist perpendicular across the bed, lift with hoist just high enough to clear trailer and then carefully back trailer under. Then lower onto trailer and skid/roll it forward to a good spot. Probably have to put jackstands under the rear of the trailer when you do it.
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:17 AM   #16 (permalink)
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and the DRO, people like to add $1000, but you can pickup Chineese DROs for $250-300 now, and as far as I can tell, they're very similar guts and furniture wise.
Completely agree. We used a whole fleet of Chinese DROs when I worked tool crib. They never gave us problems and a lot of them were fairly old.

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they're very topheavy and stupid narrow
All the more reason to buy an old flat belt behemoth.
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Old 06-19-2019, 06:26 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I've used one very similar, can't remember what they called that version, but looks 96% the same. I recall that the half nut box being a little fucky on that one, but if you're not trying to single point threads then its a moot point.

Otherwise I agree with about everything else said
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:07 AM   #18 (permalink)
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If you want to get fussy about the wear in the ways, you can measure how much the carriage dips and rises as you traverse from one end to the other.

Make sure it shifts into/out of all headstock gears, gearbox speeds, make sure both leadscrews work as expected, both start/stop levers work, that the foot brake works well at higher speeds, and send it.

Tom Lipton made a video about moving lathes that is very, very good. I made some dolleys similar to what he recommends to get my leblond into the garage, which sounds similar in weight.

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Old 06-19-2019, 10:19 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Looks nice to me. Price maybe a bit high, but I don't know your market. Being in the same town is sure a plus.

The main thing to check on a used lathe is the runout close to the chuck. That is where the bed gets the most use. To check it, put a straight shaft in the chuck. Spin the chuck to make sure the shaft is in straight. Then put a dial indicator on the tool post with the tip on the shaft. When you crank the post back and forth, it should be straight. Many times you will find the bed is straight 10" from the chuck and all the way out to the end, but the first 10" will be warn a few thou. (Mine is like that) there's ways around that problem, but it's nice not to have it. And you could use it as a bargaining chip.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:33 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Price is decent if it's not too beat up. Pics look like it's been well used, which would make me want to check for slop/backlash/play/etc. Probably still fine and just cosmetic wear, but not something you want to assume and then find out you goofed later.

1800lb seems light to me. Random google search here says about 2000 kg, although that sounds a bit heavy. My 18x60" Voest is a bit over 3000 lb. I'd assume 2500 +/- lb.

The bed twist issue is massively over-inflated IMHO. Yes, proper mounting, leveling and bolting it down is optimal and recommended, but unless you're doing long precision work the small error you get isn't going to matter. Most odds and ends stuff is short and close to the headstock and it's not going to matter. Most work and probably many hobbists aren't going to get precise enough to wear bed twist error would even be significant also.

I have my lather and mill on castors and both seems to work fine. Stability is a concern though - in my case I have a square tube frame that fits outside the castings with cross members that support the machine so it's only about 1-2" higher than normal and the wheel base is about 3" wider the machine base and it's fairly stable. Doing any really heavy work, stuff that out of balance or high speeds and I'd probably want it bolted down, but for general shop work it's been fine. Not exactly easy to move around mind you, but better than not being on wheels. I'm moving every few years, so it's a necessity to have everything fairly mobile.

For loading, I'd probably make platform dollies for the legs (as described above), lift one end at a time with engine hoist or jack and then roll it on the dollies. Then just a matter of stout ramps and winching it on the trailer. Just be careful - you pretty much can't underestimate how tippy one of these things is especially if it not on completely flat level ground. Engine hoist also be a good option - skid/roller it out, set perpendicular to driveway with engine hoist perpendicular across the bed, lift with hoist just high enough to clear trailer and then carefully back trailer under. Then lower onto trailer and skid/roll it forward to a good spot. Probably have to put jackstands under the rear of the trailer when you do it.
I found different weights listed all over the interweb, and I think it's actually supposed to be 2000lbs crated but some of the Chinese websites messed up their units. Hard to say, but there's no way it's 4400lbs. I just hope it's not really much over 2000lbs because that's asking a lot out of my overhead hoist if it is, and that's definitely how I hoped to unload it. If it is I can walk it off though, or use an engine hoist to grab one half.

I have two engine hoists actually, which could be the easy way to load it. Pick each end with one of them and back up as far as I can, I could almost get it over the rear axle that way. I could then just walk it ahead. However one of my hoists is at my parents place 500 miles away, since I'm such a bum I let them store it for me, I could go get it or borrow a second one though.

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I've used one very similar, can't remember what they called that version, but looks 96% the same. I recall that the half nut box being a little fucky on that one, but if you're not trying to single point threads then its a moot point.

Otherwise I agree with about everything else said
Yeah, they're a very standard design/pattern, I'm guessing they're based on a lathe from somewhere else and the blueprints got passed around the world a bunch of times. The company that "made" it (Modern) is still in business selling lathes/mills, so I might call them and see if they have access to parts. If not I'm guessing parts from the newer clones are exactly the same. Was the problem with the half nut box something that seemed like a design issue, or just worn out? I'm sure I'm going to want to take full advantage of the thread cutting capabilities.

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If you want to get fussy about the wear in the ways, you can measure how much the carriage dips and rises as you traverse from one end to the other.

Make sure it shifts into/out of all headstock gears, gearbox speeds, make sure both leadscrews work as expected, both start/stop levers work, that the foot brake works well at higher speeds, and send it.

Tom Lipton made a video about moving lathes that is very, very good. I made some dolleys similar to what he recommends to get my leblond into the garage, which sounds similar in weight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJeoaW2Zbhg
Some good tips on moving them in that movie, thanks for that.

Unfortunately I think he will have it disconnected and set aside by the time I get there, so I'm not going to be able to do much for testing. He said everything works correctly, but we all know that what one person thinks is correct can be very different from actually correct. If I find a piece of precision ground bar I can check the wear in the bed at least.

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Looks nice to me. Price maybe a bit high, but I don't know your market. Being in the same town is sure a plus.

The main thing to check on a used lathe is the runout close to the chuck. That is where the bed gets the most use. To check it, put a straight shaft in the chuck. Spin the chuck to make sure the shaft is in straight. Then put a dial indicator on the tool post with the tip on the shaft. When you crank the post back and forth, it should be straight. Many times you will find the bed is straight 10" from the chuck and all the way out to the end, but the first 10" will be warn a few thou. (Mine is like that) there's ways around that problem, but it's nice not to have it. And you could use it as a bargaining chip.
There isn't much/any used stuff for sale here, so the price is what it is, unfortunately.

I'll have to try to find some material to check that. No reason I can't spin the chuck by hand to check the runout? As I said, I think he will have it disconnected by the time I get there.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:16 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Was the problem with the half nut box something that seemed like a design issue, or just worn out? I'm sure I'm going to want to take full advantage of the thread cutting capabilities.
More than likely it was a combination of design, wear, and abuse. It was something at work that sat in a corner and they used and abused for fixturing work by CNC operators that had no business being on a manual. I got along with it fine, but I never really looked into the real issue. I seem to recall no matter how you had it adjusted it would occasionally skip teeth at the half nut.
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Old 06-19-2019, 03:15 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I'll have to try to find some material to check that. No reason I can't spin the chuck by hand to check the runout? As I said, I think he will have it disconnected by the time I get there.
Just to be clear, your not checking the runout on the chuck or spindle. (That is almost sure to be fine.) You just spin it to make sure you have the shaft in straight. Then you run the dial indicator down the side of the stationary shaft. Your checking the ways. All can be done without power.
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Old 06-19-2019, 03:21 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Just to be clear, your not checking the runout on the chuck or spindle. (That is almost sure to be fine.) You just spin it to make sure you have the shaft in straight. Then you run the dial indicator down the side of the stationary shaft. Your checking the ways. All can be done without power.
I thought you meant to do both. 10-4.

I'll still need a precision ground bar though, eh? Not like a piece of cold rolled, DOM, 4130, or anything else I might have around is good enough to do it with?
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Old 06-19-2019, 03:37 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Checking the spindle runout might be a good idea if he can't run it to do an auditory check of the headstock bearings. Excessive runout (0.010" or greater) is indicates an issue with the chuck or headstock, that would warrant further investigation at a minimum.
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Old 06-23-2019, 09:07 AM   #25 (permalink)
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If your picking the lathe up your going to want a forklift with long blades and lifting straps. You'll have it loaded and unloaded quickly. On transporting I would place on a long pallet and strap it to the pallet than strap to truck. You can also use the pallet and long forks on the forklift to lift on and off your truck or trailer. I just moved a mill and lathe 5 hours one way and that's how I did it. Forklift was well worth it!!
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yblow is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
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