Best size lathe for home use / new import

Junkman Noparts

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Feb 26, 2021
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Hi everyone I'm retired heavy equipment mechanic and a beginner at machining. I have put a deposit on a pm1236 lathe and could use some advice on the best size lathe for home use ( making parts for my old 50's tractor ,truck,so on ) i think i can call them and change my order to a pm1440E-LB so with not having a size reference only photos . So what do you guys think ?
My first lathe was from Toolots it was a 1330 ANMEC it weighed around 600lb it was ok more like a toy. I know the pm 1236 is twice that . Thanks
 

mmcmdl

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If it were me and $$$$ and space were no object , the 14" would be ordered . JMO . Big lathes can make small parts , small lathes can't make big parts .
 

kdecelles

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I have a machine that is identical to the pm1440e-lb

It does everything I need with my only complaint being that you need to change gears to cut standard threads. Have a look at the manual and work out cutting 3/18-16 , 5/8-18, 1;2-13 and all three require changing gears. Just a pet peeve —- the quick change gears is limited

I also have a southbend 9c and find it does smaller things really well.


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mikey

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Junkman, welcome to HM - forgot to welcome you.

If you can at all come close to affording it, look at the PM 1440GT or the Eisen 1440E. Both are Taiwanese lathes and will give you some serious bang for the buck. The difference in quality of Chinese vs Taiwanese lathes is significant and the collective experience on this forum strongly points to Taiwanese lathes as having much better quality. At this price point, it is a good idea to give Eisen and PM a call to discuss these lathes before buying.

I will offer one more bit of advice. Figure out what size lathe you need and then learn all you can about which features are important on those lathes and why they matter. Camlock spindles, bigger spindle bores, the type of gearbox, the travel of the cross slide and the tailstock ram, width between the rails, weight, HP of the motor and phase, and many other things matter. You cannot put these things on afterwards; they must be there to begin with so take your time, learn all you can, and then talk to the guys on the forum who own the lathe you are interested in. You cannot tell how good a lathe is from reading hype on a web page; the guys will tell you what's what for real.

If you cannot afford the lathe you really want then wait and save up until you can. Don't "make do" just because of money. You will not be happy in the long run.
 

rabler

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i think i can call them and change my order to a pm1440E-LB so with not having a size reference only photos . So what do you guys think ?
My first lathe was from Toolots it was a 1330 ANMEC it weighed around 600lb it was ok more like a toy. I know the pm 1236 is twice that . Thanks
If it's in the budget, go bigger!!!
 
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