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Thread: Looking for a good barrel lathe

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    Happy Camper hcpookie's Avatar
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    Default Looking for a good barrel lathe

    Interested in South Bend lathes as they seem to have plenty of parts available all the time. Where should I look for such a beast? Ebay is REALLY hit-or-miss

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    GuncoHolic kernelkrink's Avatar
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    Craigslist? Practical Machinist website, put a want to buy ad up.

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    No Hope For Me Coils's Avatar
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    +1 on Craigslist, I see a lot of them in this area but people think machinery are made of gold around here
    "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem" Ronald Reagan

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    Gunco Veteran Viper Dude's Avatar
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    Hello HC,
    Southbend lathes are nice and always popular. Early machines tend to have small headstock bores so they will need a longer bed and a steadyrest to deal with gun barrels. I prefer a lathe with a 12 inch or larger swing, 36 inches or more between centers, and a 1.5 inch bore headstock.

    Check the highschool property auctions as more schools close out their shop/industrial arts programs and replace them with crap.

    There are also used machinery dealers to check out. Be prepared to have some shipping challenges. The used manual machinery market varies greatly from one region to another. Outside the rustbelt things dry up quickly though the east coast is yet a target rich environment. Look for a lathe that has tooling !!! Buying tooling after the fact can cost as much (or more) than the lathe !!!!

    Shopping patience is needed. Have fun.

    VD in AZ

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    Gunco Veteran Viper Dude's Avatar
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    Hello HC,
    Here is a nice-looking 10" swing Southbend lathe with tooling available in Tenafly, NJ. It has a QCGB, QCTP, collets, a 3-jaw chuck, and runs on 120v single phase juice. It's a cabinet model too !!! It ain't mine...

    10" South Bend Lathe

    Looks to be plug-and-play useful to me though I like the larger lathes.

    VD in AZ
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    Happy Camper hcpookie's Avatar
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    Thanks for those links! Been a bit distracted by other things but a barrel lathe is still on my radar. Looking around Ebay alone it seems there are "plenty" of lathes to go around. After all my experience with my Chinese Mini Lathe (and Mini Mill!) I am definitely interested in a larger lathe... too much horsepower is actually "just enough" horsepower.

    What really appeals to me is that the older name lathes have TONS of parts and accessories available for them. That is appealing when you start to consider possible upgrades. I am thinking I can get an older one for $500-1000 since around here they do tend to be proud of them.

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    Gunco Veteran Viper Dude's Avatar
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    Hello hc,
    Southbend lathes have achieved almost a cult status among the manual lathe crowd and retired old guys. Early versions (pre-1960's) do not typically have hardened bedways and often have seen wartime service especially in the size for adequate gun-smithing and barrel turning.

    What all that really means is that the pricing will be rather spendy. One option is to buy a rebuildable machine but... that requires some serious machinery expertise and possible expense. Lots of interesting resto-threads on the Southbend sub-forum at Practical Machinist - Largest Manufacturing Technology Forum on the Web . Fun reading and cool pics too !!!

    VD in AZ

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    Gunco Rookie RCBMatt's Avatar
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    Bidspotter auction sight has great deals on used equipment. A lot of the machines you find on ebay are being resold by dealers that got them from a bidspotter auction.

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