Looking for CNC lathe recommendations

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Adirondack
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Location: southern CT

Looking for CNC lathe recommendations

Post by Adirondack » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:06 am

Hi folks.

I'm looking for recommendations on a small desktop machine with a 6" or so swing and a length of 12-15", with a decent sized motor. I'd prefer a turnkey system. Did I mention it needs to be affordable (under $3-4k)? If the only way in at that price point is used, then who would you trust with your money?

Please, no "Get a Bridgeport", etc. I need to be able to move this thing somewhat easily while turning out wheels, axles, and other small parts in mild steel and brass.

Thanks

Chris
Adirondack Car & Foundry
Check out our projects: https://www.facebook.com/ADKrail/
Visit our ALL-NEW online store: https://adirondackcarfoundry.square.site/

A little locomotive with 4 wheels on the track is a lot more fun
than a 1/2 finished one with 16 wheels on the bench!

LIALLEGHENY
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Re: Looking for CNC lathe recommendations

Post by LIALLEGHENY » Sat Mar 28, 2020 3:42 pm

Chris,

Good luck on your search. What you are looking for , 6" swing x 12-15" length falls into the category of a small turning center......not benchtop size. They are available in your price range, but it will be an older machine. You may also find someone who has converted a flatbed lathe to CNC , but again it may not be benchtop size.

Nyle

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Adirondack
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Re: Looking for CNC lathe recommendations

Post by Adirondack » Sat Mar 28, 2020 4:45 pm

LIALLEGHENY wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 3:42 pm
Chris,

Good luck on your search. What you are looking for , 6" swing x 12-15" length falls into the category of a small turning center......not benchtop size. They are available in your price range, but it will be an older machine. You may also find someone who has converted a flatbed lathe to CNC , but again it may not be benchtop size.

Nyle
Thanks for the tip. If I reduced the swing and length requirements, what would be suitable? I'm flexible, as I was "thinking ahead".

Cheers,

Chris
Adirondack Car & Foundry
Check out our projects: https://www.facebook.com/ADKrail/
Visit our ALL-NEW online store: https://adirondackcarfoundry.square.site/

A little locomotive with 4 wheels on the track is a lot more fun
than a 1/2 finished one with 16 wheels on the bench!

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Bill Shields
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Re: Looking for CNC lathe recommendations

Post by Bill Shields » Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:13 pm

smaller CNC machines are not practical for what you are doing....nor are they significantly less expensive or lighter weight.

I could not (in good conscience) recommend anything smaller than this:

https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?fa=M ... cctid=5415
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

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Adirondack
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Re: Looking for CNC lathe recommendations

Post by Adirondack » Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:49 pm

Bill Shields wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:13 pm
smaller CNC machines are not practical for what you are doing....nor are they significantly less expensive or lighter weight.

I could not (in good conscience) recommend anything smaller than this:

https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?fa=M ... cctid=5415
Bill, that seems like A LOT of machine for someone who spends his time on the high line. I'm strictly 3 1/2" gauge, and I can always farm out the odds and ends for something larger in the future.

I was looking at this machine: https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/ ... 3e5fuNQWIE

I imported a large industrial laser cutter a few years ago and was pleasantly surprised by the quality. If you stick with established sellers and avoid the Ebay "bargains", you can find a decent machine.

Chris
Adirondack Car & Foundry
Check out our projects: https://www.facebook.com/ADKrail/
Visit our ALL-NEW online store: https://adirondackcarfoundry.square.site/

A little locomotive with 4 wheels on the track is a lot more fun
than a 1/2 finished one with 16 wheels on the bench!

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Bill Shields
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Re: Looking for CNC lathe recommendations

Post by Bill Shields » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:44 pm

recommend you keep looking

you will be much better off with a solid, used machine that will serve you better in the long run.
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

LIALLEGHENY
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Re: Looking for CNC lathe recommendations

Post by LIALLEGHENY » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:18 am

I would stay away from any "bargain" you may find coming out of China....all is well until something doesn't work , breaks, wears out....good luck
getting support or parts. I'm not very familiar with the smaller end of hobby size lathes, so I don,t really know what is on the market. What I do know is Emco made some small CNC lathes that are decent quality, still supported with parts and somewhat affordable. Check out Ebay. There is quite a bit about them on YouTube if you look. Try the 120T

Nyle

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Adirondack
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Re: Looking for CNC lathe recommendations

Post by Adirondack » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:48 am

LIALLEGHENY wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:18 am
I would stay away from any "bargain" you may find coming out of China....all is well until something doesn't work , breaks, wears out....good luck
getting support or parts. I'm not very familiar with the smaller end of hobby size lathes, so I don,t really know what is on the market. What I do know is Emco made some small CNC lathes that are decent quality, still supported with parts and somewhat affordable. Check out Ebay. There is quite a bit about them on YouTube if you look. Try the 120T

Nyle
As I mentioned, I steer clear of the "bargains". I think of these machines as being "affordable". Most of the used turning centers I've found are massive and would require a rigger just to get it in my shop. Much like my current laser cutter, this would be more manageable. There just isn't a lot of information on US-based users.

http://www.yornew.com/en/ck210.asp

The search continues.

Chris
Adirondack Car & Foundry
Check out our projects: https://www.facebook.com/ADKrail/
Visit our ALL-NEW online store: https://adirondackcarfoundry.square.site/

A little locomotive with 4 wheels on the track is a lot more fun
than a 1/2 finished one with 16 wheels on the bench!

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Bill Shields
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Re: Looking for CNC lathe recommendations

Post by Bill Shields » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:56 am

continue search.

30+ years of experience supporting CNC machines tells me that you are only purchasing trouble..
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

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Adirondack
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Re: Looking for CNC lathe recommendations

Post by Adirondack » Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:18 am

Bill Shields wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:56 am
continue search.

30+ years of experience supporting CNC machines tells me that you are only purchasing trouble..
Bill, I genuinely appreciate the friendly warning.

Chris
Adirondack Car & Foundry
Check out our projects: https://www.facebook.com/ADKrail/
Visit our ALL-NEW online store: https://adirondackcarfoundry.square.site/

A little locomotive with 4 wheels on the track is a lot more fun
than a 1/2 finished one with 16 wheels on the bench!

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Bill Shields
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Re: Looking for CNC lathe recommendations

Post by Bill Shields » Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:30 am

consider the 'accuracy' and reputability of the machines you are viewing - ok convert from inches to metric and look at what you can expect to get - and what your parts will require. Granted - steam loco parts do not need to be terribly accurate, but some things - like axles under bearings and where they are press fit into wheels - DO NEED to be a lot closer than the numbers 'touted' by this machine when new.

if it were me, I would look for an old Hardinge HNC or CHNC or HLV-H that has been or can be retrofitted with a new control.

now you will have something of reasonable size and good accuracy - and a small turret so that you have 6-8 tools to work with...which is really important. (EXCEPT with the HLV-H where you would need a QCTP)

just an example -> not a plug for centroid -> but they do make a good control system and I would have no hesitation toward getting one.

https://www.centroidcnc.com/hardinge_chnc.htm
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

rrnut-2
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Re: Looking for CNC lathe recommendations

Post by rrnut-2 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:26 am

And you are close enough that I can help you with Centroid.

Jim B

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