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Best metal lathe
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Posted 1/14/2022 16:35 (#9440029 - in reply to #9439900)
Subject: RE: Best metal lathe

Southern Iowa
Sounds like it would be only occasional use. Decide how big & long the work you're likely to have and size it to fit. Buying used is a crapshoot and lathes are about the most abused piece of machine shop equipment.
You can buy a new import machine in 13-15" size fairly reasonable and can get them that run on single phase power. You'll want both 3 and 4jaw chucks and quick change tool post. Most will also come with a faceplate. Both metric and inch threading capability is more important than it used to be. One with a decent size spindle hole is a plus. Digital readouts are nice but not necessary. Never had one in 20+ years in shops.
They're not as heavy as big old equipment but if taken care of will last many years. Keep it clean and oiled, avoid polishing with emery cloth, or if you do, cover the ways. Best to keep machine covered with a sheet when not in use.
Accessories you'll need will include a good drill chuck, ball bearing tailstock center, test indicator and mag base, and measuring tools if you don't have them.
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