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Chinese lathe good enough for my needs?

The lathe on the bench in the photo is just one of tens of thousands of machines that look identical and are miserable to use. The gears are noisy and either soft or over hard, the slides are too short and narrow to transfer a cut to the ways, the motor contactor will last 6 months, the tailstock locks feel disgusting and lack any sort of clamping power, and on and on. A lathe shaped object.

$4700 is a bad joke. There’s nothing high-quality about that machine. Anyone here will tell you to get a decent used machine.
The fit on the components of most of these new machines
is not a scraped and fitted precise thing. If it looks like it
has scraping marks, it is probably decorative and an attempt
to retain oil. But if you ink up the dovetail slideways and print
one against another, you will likely find 10 to 20 % contact.
Yes the fit geometry is that bad. Don't believe me, there are
plenty of people of reputation on Youtube showing how
disappointed they are with their import iron.
This ill fitment is the cause of much chatter and accuracy
issues. Take a well fitted SouthBend (that is not worn out) and the cuts you can take are so much more rigid and smooth. This is because of the fitting of the slides.
Now this generally applied to 12" and under machines.
If you get a China 16" swing lathe, they SEEM to be built better.
Fitted pretty well. But that is a new $12,000 minimum machine.
So it is tough to navigate what is out there.
 
Ok so I found a local dealer of used industrial machinery who only imports European machines and has found what might be a gem of a lathe at least in my limited opinion.

It's a Graziano SAG 12 s lathe. He is asking 11 k $ shipped to Lebanon including all fees and taxes.

Doesnt look like I'm going to find anything better than this and the price is right considering I will also need to spend on tooling as well.

What are your thoughts on this unit? Shall I go for it?

I am sold on the aesthetics as it seems to be in pristine condition but from the pictures, I doubt that it comes with a steady rest, follower rest and a faceplate.

Not sure how much those matter but could one order them or have them custom made?
 

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It looks too clean, actually. Are these the actual item on sale, or catalog pictures?

The seller should list exactly what's included. Missing items are likely available, but this should be verified and the price estimated.

I'd also name the dealer in question, to see if anybody has heard of them.
 
It looks too clean, actually. Are these the actual item on sale, or catalog pictures?

The seller should list exactly what's included. Missing items are likely available, but this should be verified and the price estimated.

I'd also name the dealer in question, to see if anybody has heard of them.
Looks like the owner of the lathe even changed the knobs as they look machined and not stock.

These are actual pictures of the items that are being sold.

The dealer actually lives in Germany and his job is to buy used machinery and ship them to his brother in Lebanon.

He fills up containers and sends them on a monthly basis. I visited their warehouse today and must say was pleasantly surprised by the quantity and variety of machinery they sell.

They had a Voest-Alpine lathe that caught my attention, however its max rpm was only 1500 and it was a bit too old and worn for my liking so I am seriously considering this unit.

I doubt anyone would know of him but his name is Hovsep Hovsepian. He is Armenian.
 
Tony's lathes in the Uk says it is a D1-4 spindle nose. So any chuck or faceplate of that size will fit. Steady or fixed rests are custom to that machine . Hopefully others can be made to fit.
It is unclear if the company is still making lathes. Probably no factory parts support either way.
Bill D
 
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Tony's lathes in the Uk says it is a D1-4 spindle nose. So any chuck or faceplate of that size will fit. Steady or fixed rests are custom to that machine . Hopefully others can be made to fit.
It is unclear if the company is still making lathes. Probably no factory parts support either way.
Bill D
The user manual mentions the steady and follow rests but it doesn't say if it is standard or optional equipment.

Good to know that any D1-4 faceplate would work on the lathe.

Would it be hard to find the original follow and steady rests?

Worst case scenario they could be milled on a CNC mill and then fabricated with the help of the lathe itself.

Shame about the parts though, it's one of the tradeoffs of buying an old and used machine.
 

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It looks too clean, actually. Are these the actual item on sale, or catalog pictures?
It looks like there may be paint on the cross slide bushing where it meets the apron - I would think the apron would have been painted before installing that bushing.
 
Can I create inch threads with this lathe? There is only mention of metric and Whitworth.

I would like to make my own pneumatic fittings/manifolds etc, am I missing something?
 
Can I create inch threads with this lathe? There is only mention of metric and Whitworth.

I would like to make my own pneumatic fittings/manifolds etc, am I missing something?
It does not do Imperial threads (meaning US standard screw threads).

Lots of metric systems nonetheless use British pipe threads, which are Whitworth.
 
Don't hold me to this but I think whitworth and inch threads are the same tpi. The only diference being the angle of the cutting tool 60 or 55 degrees. There may be a few TPI only used by one system and not the other. USA water pipe has some threads like 11.5 tpi. which may not be a whitworth tpi.
Tony's description says the lathe has both metric and inch threading in the same feed gearbox.
Bill D
 
So I would be able to make NPT and BSP threads on this lathe then?
I think not, for at least two reasons. First, pipe threads are supposed to seal, and the mismatch in thread included angle and profile will ensure leakage. Second, different thread pitches are used, and a lathe intended for type A threads may not possess all the thread pitches needed for type B threads, and vice versa.

By the way, the reason that British pipe threads won over metric machine screw threadseven in metric countries is that the British pipe threads seal better.
 
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NPT are tapered and that lathe does not cut a taper. You could rough cut in a stairstep fashion and finish with a tap or die.
BilL D
Oddly enough, many “metric” countries use BSP ( inch) pipe threads, but NOT tapered. I have had to do plumbing in Argentina where everything is metric except plumbing, and I had to buy organic, plant based dope and real sisal, as the threads are straight, not tapered.
 
My location is clearly stated below my username. I am not in the States but in Lebanon.

Ya, I get that, but $11K for that lathe is high IMHO.

Here's a thread where one sold for C$3650 (about US$2500), that was 2015 and it had some small issue but still...


Couple others, US$4900 & $7500:

 
I doubt anyone would know of him but his name is Hovsep Hovsepian. He is Armenian.
Then he must be trustworthy. Don't try to talk the price down.

I knew somebody how had four Graziano SAG 12s or 15s. He was getting one painted and working to sell it. I asked how come so many because
the other three were in parts on the floor. He said a cutting demonstration convinced him.
 








 
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