Re: Need help buying my first lathe: Hardinge HLV-H, Monarch 10EE, ...
- From: Don Foreman <dforeman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2006 18:16:51 -0600
On 16 Jan 2006 13:48:53 -0800, "Mark Main" <email@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>I haven't worked on a metal lathe since high school shop class in the
>late 70's, and now I have a business that I've been wanting to
>start for awhile and so I'm going to purchase my first metal lathe.
>I've been researching on this site and the web for 3 solid days now
>to try and get up to speed and I'm shocked at how much there is to
>learn about this subject...and so I finally decided to simply ask for
>I know that it will help people if I get specific about my immediate
>needs and so here goes:
>I'm starting my small business (employee of 1) to prototype some
>product ideas that I have in hopes that I can manufacture them in small
>quantities at first to see if they are successful, and if they are,
>well, then I'll have to figure out what to do then.
>My first product will primarily use Grade 5 titanium. I will put
>threads on both ends of 1/2" titanium round bar in lengths of 28" to
>38" generally, with some rare 50" to 60" exceptions.
>I may want to taper a 5/8" round bar down to 3/8" on one end at a
>length of 36" up to maybe 60" (almost pool stick like).
>I will want to put 1/2" of fine threads on the outside of a 3/4"
>titanium round bar and cut it to a 2" length, bore a 1/2" center hole
>through half of the stock and cut 1/2" fine threads into the other
>I want to create some small decorative tapers out of softer metals like
>brass and aluminum using 1" round bar and about 2" length of stock,
>bore the center out a bit and make a 3/4" fine thread inside.
>As you can see, nearly all of my immediate need is working with Grade 5
>titanium round bar and doing tons of male and female fine threading. I
>plan to work with a lot of hard metals (titanium, alloy, stainless,
>etc.) and so I'll need sharp tools, lots of coolant, and the
>horsepower/ability to feed the titanium at a faster than normal rate.
>I don't mind working with 1 or 3 phase, so that's not a problem for
>me. I'm considering the Hardinge HLV-H (it seems to come in 11x20"
>and 11x18" sizes) and the Monarch 10EE (this seems to come in
>12.5"x20", 12"x20" & 10"x20"; I even saw one listing for a
>1969 12.5"x21"), and I would like to know if I should look at any
>Here are my questions:
>1. Which lathe model provides the best (fast, easy, accurate) automatic
>2. Which lathe model provides the best (fast, easy, accurate) tapers
>for small work (e.g. 1" round 2-3" long)? And for longer shafts
>3/4" round bar 36" to 60" in length?
>3. What do I need to know about draw bars, collets and pass-through
>hole sizes? I know that I need to pass-through at least 1" round bar,
>and I would prefer the option of large stock (e.g. 1.25, 1.5 or even
>2") although anything above 1" is not a deal breaker for me.
>4. The high precision Hardinge HLV-H and Monarch 10EE seem great, but I
>think it would prevent me from doing any of the longer 36" to 60"
>taper work that I'm considering. This is a lower priority for me,
>but I will give up on these machines if I can find something else
>that's got nice precision and a 60" or 72" center. What model
>would be best for my taper work? What's a "Number 2 taper in the
>tailstock" or a "taper attachment"?...do I need to make sure I
>get a taper attachment?
>5. What advantages to I get if my lathe can go with the higher RPM's
>(e.g. 1500, 3000, 4000, 5000)?
>6. What should my minimum Motor HP be?
>I am willing to give up some fancy tools at first so that I can get a
>better quality lathe and gradually buy more tools over the next year or
>two. I really would like to have the lathe arrive in my shop (shipping
>included) for under $10K... If I can do it for under $5K even better.
>I live in the Twin Cities and so it's a large enough town to check
>out auctions, newspapers, and talk to some dealers; I just want to
>become more educated before I start truly shopping.
>I forgot to add two other quick points... I like the idea of upgrading
>to digital readout dimensions (E.g. Sony DRO or others that I may not
>know of) and/or CNC, and so any advice on this is helpful.
>My next challenge will be how to properly evaluate a used lathe to see
>if it works ok since I'm such a newbie at it. Thanks in advance for
>all your help.
What kind of precision will you need to maintain? What production
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