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Old 12-15-2017, 08:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Precision Matthews, Bolton, Weiss, Other?

Need to move up to bigger and better but I'm also trying to keep budget in mind.

I know the PM lathes get good response, but I'm curious on some of the others. (and I'm not a fan of Grizzly, sorry).

Needs:
8-10" swing, 24-30" bed
1" + spindle bore size
Variable Speed
Cam lock tail stock
2.5"-3" minimum tail stock quill travel
DRO
110v

Wants:
Independent lead/thread feeds
Quick change thread dials (instead of gears)


Dream features:
Collet closer (yeah right, wishful thinking without going to a turret lathe)
Rapid advance tail stock quill and cross feed (again, turret lathe territory)

I'm sure I'm missing a bunch.

Right now the PM1228VF is a front runner, but it's a bit more than I was ultimately hoping to spend by the time I add in a base cabinet and DRO

Weiss has a nice looking machine in the WBL250F but gives up a few of the want category items but does drop the price by $1k and comes with DRO. But gives up quick change and the independent lead and threading screws


I'm wondering if there is another diamond in the rough out there that I'm missing. My local CL wants a fortune for any metal lathe that comes up and most are antiques that are missing a lot of the features that I'm really after or big industrial 3-phase setups that I don't want.
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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The PM1228 was my choice. It was hard to want to spend over $4k on my pen making hobby, but I knew there was more I could do with it. As I was getting ready to order it, I got a Facebook notification "Your search for 'lathe' has one new match." It was the 13" SB that I ended up buying. I really didn't want something that was an antique and would likely need fixing. However, all looked pretty good (except the belt), so I gave the fellow $2k, and brought it home That lathe weighs in at 1600 lbs compared to the PM1228's 600 lbs with the stand. Moving it to the back of my shop was a chore, but it's there, it's wired for 110V, has 4" of quill travel, no DRO, no cam lock tail stock (but that has not been an issue yet), and there are some versions with the collet closer floating around. I know the vintage machinery issue is that they're harder to find and more expensive than ever, but at least parts are available, and there seems to be quite a few people that know all about their workings.

Having said all of that, if you can't find a decent older machine at a decent price in your area, I would recommend the PM1228. That brushless DC motor, 1.5" spindle bore, etc., ect. sounds like a great lathe! The other thing to keep in mind with it is that it does not include a QCTP (minor price addition). Also, I know you mentioned Craigslist, have you used FB Marketplace as well? You can set up a notification up to a 100 mile radius. As I live on the coast (north of Corpus Christi, TX), I set the center as a little town about 85 miles away from me so as to cover south Houston, all of San Antonio and a little south of me.

Good luck on your endeavors!
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Old 12-16-2017, 05:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Curious

As a long time admirer of your work, what lathe are you moving up from?
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryguy View Post
As a long time admirer of your work, what lathe are you moving up from?
An almost completely unusable Harbor Freight mini that I upgraded to a 7x16 and a bunch of other things along the way.

It's on it's last legs.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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So if anyone is following along, my decision is to go with the Weiss. The 10x30 Weiss is the same machine that Precision Matthews sells as the PM1030V.

I found a supplier in California that will be getting magnetic DRO's installed directly from Weiss and providing the combo at a price I can live with. I just have to limp mine along until March otherwise I can purchase it all and install the DRO myself which looks like a long drawn out PITA since I don't have a mill to adapt some of the brackets appropriately.

It'll be so nice to have a big lathe with a real professional DRO and proper stand. I can't wait.
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default

Do you have a link to the Weiss?
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mredburn View Post
Do you have a link to the Weiss?
Weiss Lathes

WBLE250F is the one I'm looking at.

The Machinist package comes with a bunch of extra goodies and buying from them gets a 25% discount of their higher end DRO kits. So machine, DRO, matching stand, freight and lift gate right now is looking at around $3300. I can live with that.
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I would have sprung for the next size up because the spindle bore is a touch over an inch so you can't fit a 5C collet closer through the bore. 3C maybe but they are smaller and harder to find. Also the chucks are not a D-4 mount so you have to bolt and unbolt your chucks just like the little lathe you are upgrading from. The D-4 lets you do the same in a couple minutes just by turning the cams with a chuck key.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Curly View Post
I would have sprung for the next size up because the spindle bore is a touch over an inch so you can't fit a 5C collet closer through the bore. 3C maybe but they are smaller and harder to find. Also the chucks are not a D-4 mount so you have to bolt and unbolt your chucks just like the little lathe you are upgrading from. The D-4 lets you do the same in a couple minutes just by turning the cams with a chuck key.
I haven't pulled the trigger yet but I have to wonder if that's worth an extra $1k. A 5C collet closer is freaking expensive last time I did any digging around for one but it would be a nice future upgrade.

I'll have to ask them about the chuck mount. I assumed it was the same as the PM which advertises the quick release chucks. However I'd more than likely either switch out to an ER32 immediately to use the collets I have or just leave the 4-jaw on for the most part.
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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That 'aint right. Now you have me 2nd guessing my decision.

I like the electric brake on the next size up too. But again I'm trying to justify the extra $1k
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