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Need opinion on a Matthews Precision PM1660- Ultra Precision lathe

Longtine

Plastic
Joined
Feb 1, 2023
So back in high school and college I learned a few years of machining and what not. And now since I’m close to retirement I bought a 1660 TL ultra precision lathe from MP. Well long story short it’s too dang big for me. So I ordered another one and researching and got a 1440 coming should be here in two weeks. My problem is what do I do with the machine? Do I sell it or keep it. I don’t plan on anything big but who knows what I will end up doing. I may cut some barrels and make some parts for folks cause I love doing it. Just to keep me occupied. But I spent a lot of money on the 1660. It’s filled loaded all the bells and whistles, 3 jaw chuck, 4 jaw chuck, 10” Buck chuck 6 jaw adjustable, coolant system etc. even made a slide of it. The machine has like 1 1/2 hours of run time on it. I mean I love the machine and it’s dang slick but geez I don’t think I’m gonna need ever 2 machines. What’s y’all’s thought on this and what would you do? Right now it’s about a 4 or 5 month wait on these Oh and I love this forum I love reading everyone’s post here So much knowledge thanks!71096334032__8E02E888-4EC9-457B-B6B3-F34E819EEB03.jpegIMG_1442.jpegIMG_1441.jpeg
 
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My opinion having had both a 14 and 16" at my daily disposal: I would keep the 16 you have and not even consider the 14. All the 14 tooling will fit the 16 but, not the other way. Whenever someone talks about buying a 14 I assume it was because they just couldn't afford the 16.
 
My opinion having had both a 14 and 16" at my daily disposal: I would keep the 16 you have and not even consider the 14. All the 14 tooling will fit the 16 but, not the other way. Whenever someone talks about buying a 14 I assume it was because they just couldn't afford the 16.
So I could just switch out the d-6 plates for the d-5 on the 14” and it would run a 10” chuck?
 
List it in the classified here. If they let you, being new.

Were I independently wealthy I would make an offer as I could use a 16x60 lathe, but, alas, I am not so I can only wish you good luck selling it.
 
So I could just switch out the d-6 plates for the d-5 on the 14” and it would run a 10” chuck?
I don't think you're going to get a 10" chuck on a 14" lathe. At very least you'd probably have to make a custom back plate. Do they even make 8" back plates for the 14? God I hated our 14" lathe. Constantly running out of room and not nearly as rigid as the 16". The only boo-boo you made was getting the 60" bed. A 16x40 is a really sweet size. I'd live with the additional length as long as I didn't have to do everything with 6" chucks for the rest of eternity.
 
Well I mean I don’t need the cash. Wonder how much a low hour PM machine would be worth 20 years from now. I mean I don’t have to sell it. And my shop is 50x50 heated and cooked so rust wouldn’t be an issue. I don’t know. I’m gonna sit on the fence and read some more thoughts.
 
I don't think you're going to get a 10" chuck on a 14" lathe. At very least you'd probably have to make a custom back plate. Do they even make 8" back plates for the 14? God I hated our 14" lathe. Constantly running out of room and not nearly as rigid as the 16". The only boo-boo you made was getting the 60" bed. A 16x40 is a really sweet size. I'd live with the additional length as long as I didn't have to do everything with 6" chucks for the rest of eternity.
Yeah I kinda thought that was the answer. The only thing is the headstock is so long. If I was to cut some chambers on it the barrel would have to be 30”+ to reach spider to spider. I do have the TBAS chuck. But not real crazy about chambering a barrel with an unsupported end. I’ve never chambered one on a steady rest only between spiders on my friends machine.

I will say this. It will cut some serious metal and it’s like 4000 pounds so if I did my part there would my no chattering cause of weight issue. Maybe I’m trying to talk myself into keeping it lol.
 
Yeah I kinda thought that was the answer. The only thing is the headstock is so long. If I was to cut some chambers on it the barrel would have to be 30”+ to reach spider to spider. I do have the TBAS chuck. But not real crazy about chambering a barrel with an unsupported end. I’ve never chambered one on a steady rest only between spiders on my friends machine.

I will say this. It will cut some serious metal and it’s like 4000 pounds so if I did my part there would my no chattering cause of weight issue. Maybe I’m trying to talk myself into keeping it lol.
My gunsmith made an adaptor of some sort to put in his headstock to hold the shorter barrels that do not reach the spider. It works for him. I'm not a gunsmith, so I don't know what he did or how it works, but I know this because he sold me his old 14 when he couldn't get parts for it, and now has a 16.
 
Ive had to do the same ......my 13" is too long for most barrels ,and far from new ..............anyhoo,how many barrels are you going to chamber ?.........you might decide to build a 2ft gauge steam loco ,or something .
 
Ive had to do the same ......my 13" is too long for most barrels ,and far from new ..............anyhoo,how many barrels are you going to chamber ?.........you might decide to build a 2ft gauge steam loco ,or something .
Maybe 20 barrels a year is all. I don’t see myself going more than that but who knows

I did make a couple hard polycarbonate pieces 4” long that just fits inside the spindle to support the barrels but then got to thinking that could not be that accurate. They fit snug and tight in there and I bored and turned the inside and out. Inside is tapered. It seems to work ok for supporting the end and that’s about all. I guess I could use the TBAS and just index the working end bores first 2”. But it just doesn’t fell perfect you know. I’m an extreme perfectionist so it drives me nuts.
 
If you chamber with a rigidly held barrel,then you are going to need a floating reamer holder to avoid oversize chambers ,or worse, broken reamers .
Totally agree. Question then. If you could chuck a barrel and you can adjust the chuck coaxial and angular is it critical to support the other end? Off subject I know.
 
Ive had to do the same ......my 13" is too long for most barrels ,and far from new ..............anyhoo,how many barrels are you going to chamber ?.........you might decide to build a 2ft gauge steam loco ,or something .
Elaborate on the gauge stem please sir. I’ve been thinking in my head on ways to do it.
 
Yeah I would have to eat $8000
Seems steep but, if you do this as a business, that can be depreciated this year. It will probably be comparable to trying to find a buyer of your specific lathe. The market for brand new manual lathes is going to be tough.

This guy's About page has a picture of a machine so much like yours that I had to look at your profile to make sure you weren't somehow him.

 








 
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