View Full Version : Starting from scratch, what would you use as a base for a CNC metal lathe?

22-01-2011, 09:56 PM
As title really.
I've got no immediate plans to invest in anything new, as I've still got my Conect to finish (just some wiring to do, and fit a new set of optos which are on their way from over the pond), and want to finish the milling machine conversion, but I'd quite like something more substantial for turning work.

The conect will do what most of the stuff I'm wanting to do in alloy, but I'd like the ability to do bigger stuff in steel. Something like the Clarke 430 lathe would do the majority of the work, but given the other thread about new lathes, is there something else in that size range (think it's about a 6" clearance over the bed) that would be better?

23-01-2011, 01:24 AM
harrison m300

23-01-2011, 02:36 PM
harrison m300

I've used one of those lathes before quite a lot and I thought it was good...better than a very similar size one from China. The hole through the headstock is a bit bigger than an M250 which helps. I machined a 80mm diameter by 300mm (ish) long steel bar on it on two occasions with no problems. It struggled when I tried 120mm dia steel though. I don't know how big you're thinking?

I think I know who might post here next!!

23-01-2011, 04:47 PM
I've turned 6" dia on my M250 the bigger the lathe is better theory. It all depends if you have the room/access available.

Ive used some very big Colchester's when i was an apprentice it was state of the art brand new with a hydraulic copying setup.

Another lathe to think about is Boxford as they can be got cheap without the screw cutting/feeding facilities etc.


23-01-2011, 05:37 PM
I have managed to push the limits of my Clarke 500, when I had to machine a dummy gearbox mount to shim a tractor axle from 8" round steel, which it handled surprsingly well, but that size of job is rare.
I would really like a Colchester Triumph or similar for doing big jobs, but funds limit that size of purchase, plus I'd keep it manual as the jobs I'd do on it would be one offs.

I'll go and research Harrisons and Boxfords, and then set up some ebay watches/google alerts, so I can keep an eye out for any bargains that may appear.