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New South bend lathe/machinery thoughts

sfeile

Plastic
Joined
Dec 14, 2022
I work as a maintenance wannabe machinist at a wood processing plant. I often make/replicate custom parts to keep our small fleet of old machinery running.
Right now I am running an old Cincinnati hydrashift 13x48. I also have a much older 16x60 flat belt driven south bend. Both are just plain worn out.
The company is looking into updating a lot of machines on the floor. I may have them convinced to update my little shop also.
I was looking at a south bend 16x60 tool room lathe to kind of replace both in one go, as well as increase my capacity to include metric turning since most new anything is metric.

So my question is does anyone have any experience with the new south bend equipment. Good or bad, or better options are welcome. Manual options though please, as my limited aincient schooling does not include cnc programming.
I'm looking to upgrade my mill also, and debating on getting the pair, or looking for a Bridgeport.
 
I have had one of the 13x30 8 speed South Bends for almost 9 years and it has never had a problem. From my limited experience in metal working it it much better than the Chinese offerings and better than other Taiwanese machines not as good as the Korean or Japanese. I have changed out the motor to a 3 phase with a VFD for softer starts, speed range flexibility and dynamic braking. My primary uses gunsmithing and part repair for friends and fittings for my volunteer FD. Customer service from Grizzly has been good and the accessories are also good quality. I also have a 9x42 variable speed SB mill that has also done well. One of my friends and mentor that sent 40 years in the trade says that he is impressed with the machines.
 
it's just a name ..."the one you trust" . has no connection with the O'brien brothers ,
any more than "the RKL" lathe that "leblond" has to do with the man..RK Leblond ..

they might be ok machines, but might also be JET or Republic or ___ in sheeps clothing or paint . i'd suggest being machine model specific, as they may be sourced
from you may not know, until it's too late.
be careful . good luck.
 
Once you get into the bigger sizes (16x60) asian machines ,the standard of fit and finish seems quite good .......spare parts is always an issue with imports,and an assured supply is essential for a machine that should last at least 20 years .................You have plenty of experience with lathes ,so my advice is go inspect what the big importers have on offer.................and for sure the advice on leadscrews .......you can have either metric or inch ,which means there is going to be some inconvenience either way
 
Sorry for the late reply. Been a lot going on. Thanks for the comments and especially the advice on the lead screw.
 
My advice,.....when you are purchasing for your employer (your job) ,then buy new with a warranty .....these things inevitably have to go through management ,which takes time,and you may have to present a written report ..........I hope it doesnt turn into an episode from Seinfeld.
 
I really like the new LeBlond lathes. They provide excellent support, which is not so common on Asian machines. I like the D1-6 spindle for very common accessories. I like the large spindle bore. Get whatever machine you choose with all the attachments and accessories, because they may not be available later, including a TA. One more point, get as many spindle speeds as possible. A VFD is NOT a substitute for gears.
 
My advice,.....when you are purchasing for your employer (your job) ,then buy new with a warranty .....these things inevitably have to go through management ,which takes time,and you may have to present a written report ..........I hope it doesnt turn into an episode from Seinfeld.
Little company. Two brothers have their name on the shingle. One is the president of the company, and the other is head of maintenance. (My direct boss.) Both are on board and told me to pick what I needed. Definitely going with a new machine.
 
Why bother paying the market up of some branded tool when it actually has nothing to do with the original company. Buy a machine you can get support for and is well built. I bough a Acra a few years ago and its a very well built machine. Still holds tolerances without issue. Its a rebranded Chin Hung from Taiwan:

It does have a standard lead screw, so I have to lock the half nut in and just stop and start the machine. Its not a problem. I just threaded a bunch of studs to a shoulder last week.
 








 
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