View Full Version : NEED HELP Choosing A Lathe

11-21-2003, 07:28 PM
HI Everyone....


Been lurking on this site for about a month now. Found it while doing research on homebuilt cnc gantry tables for plasma cutters. Found a lot of great info on this here. Really like those awesome cnc router tables you guys have made. Some really nice work and good designs.

My Question...

I am currently in the market for a lathe. Size wise, I want 13 or 14" swing and about 40" centers, geared head. Preferably single phase (I only have access to single phase electric in my shop) It will be used mostly as a hobby for now. I don't mind spending $5000-6000+ on it to get a good piece of equipment. I figure I’ll get a good tool that will last a lifetime :)

I looked at Grizzly and did like their "Z" series. The quality looked good and the salesman said it would hold .0005. The price was $5999 and I would not need to convert to single phase. I'm just not sure about imported tools. www.grizzly.com/catalog/pages/408.cfm?

I would REALLY like to buy this South Bend... but I can't see spending $11000.

My next idea was to get a used American/German/Japanese made lathe. So far I have not come across anything I like. Most are very old or too large and seem over priced to me. :(

SO... what is my best bet???
Is an imported lathe a good purchase?
Should I ante-up the extra cash for a South Bend? Or should I keep looking for a used?

Thanks for the help.