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Busy Bee Df-1237g Questions

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Armourer

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#1
Hey all, I found a very nice Busy Bee DF-1237G thats coming up for sale at an auction and was wondering what it would be worth. It looks as if it were brand new out of the showroom, with a 3 jaw chuck, 4 jaw chuck, also the steady rest as well. What would a fair price be for it? I was thinking in the $3,000 range? Also how is this lathe? Anyone have one they use? Thanks for the help!

BTW I do have two bad pics of it I could upload if anyone is interested.
 

mksj

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#2
There are some previous threads on the DF-1237G (looks to be the same as an older Grizzly model), parts are often an issue with an older machine but if in new condition this should not be an issue. Problem is often being able to check out the machine fully before buying. A new Busy Bee 1236 will be $4300, although a totally different machine. If these prices are Canadian dollars, then your price range equates to $2250 US which is a reasonable pricing if showroom condition, if $3000 US then I would be more lukewarm about it.

http://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/busy-bee-df-1237g.38471/
 

Armourer

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#3
Thanks for the info, I was thinking going to $3000 Canadian. I went and looked at it before the sale, the gentleman I talked to let me plug it and and try it. Only problem I have is I am very new at machining, and I wasn't able to figure out how to engauge the automatic feeds on it. The gentleman that let me look at it know nothing about the lathe as it was his fathers who passed away. But in saying that you can tell that the feeds must work proper as it was set up with a thread cutting bit in the toolholder and it was set at its lowest speed to thread with. Poor old guy probably had her set up and cut its last thread with it before he passed. :frown 2:
 

q20v

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#4
Hi Armourer, did you end buying the lathe? I have the DG1224G model (24 inches btwn centers).
 

Armourer

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#5
Yes I did manage to get it! I did pay more for it then I had budgeted but it also came with a ton of tooling that was not listed and also a copy of south bends how to run a lathe book! I got it home about three months ago, then I had to get electricians in to wire a plug for me which was done about a month ago. After all that I haven't had a chance to even turn it on yet!! I am glad some one on here as a similar machine to mine, as I do have a few questions on it. I read the owners manual that came with it and there seems to be a little to be desired. In the manual it says the carriage, and gear box for the quick change gear box has a sight glass for checking oil level in them both. Only problem is I can't seem to find them I can see were you add oil but no were to check the level. How do you know if the oil is at the right level in them? Thanks a bunch!
 

q20v

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#6
Awesome, glad to hear you pulled the trigger. When I got mine I spent a bit of time looking for the same sight glasses and came up empty. I wasn't even sure about putting oil in the carriage but thought it should have at least something. Not sure if you know but the oil plate (for lack of better term) for the change gears is removable, mine had a piece of fabric on it which I'm assuming helps release the oil slower?
 

Armourer

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#7
Thanks for the reply, I finally am starting to find some time in the shop and explore the lathe a little more. I will check the change gear plate out, and try and figure out the carriage oil level I guess!
 

Dabbler

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#8
I also have a fully working 12X37 busy bee lathe from the early 80s. Mine is working very well, and before I moved it had 2/10ths run out on the spindle at 12" - better than most tool room lathes. Let me knwo if you need any help with things.
 

Dabbler

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#9
... I should add that after very low hours and 35+ years, I am looking for a Dx camlock spindle lathe to replace it with. Despite 1000s of dollars of tooling, etc, there are a host of little problems that have come up, some of which are the fault of sloppy movers and not the manufacturer. That being said, I'll see when I replace the main bearing seals and the V belt; rework the threading engagement/disengagement, etc. I'm still left with a threaded spindle. I am getting to dislike the 60mm-8tpi spindle (yes, those mixed units are accurate) - I can't thread backwards (i.e. away from the chuck). I'm kinda looking forward to the rigidity of a #4000 lathe rather than a #750 lathe. I've been using a LeBlond 15" lathe off and on for the same length of time, and it has spoiled me!

- One day someone is going to get a fully rebuilt lathe for a deal.

Oh Armourer - mine has never had a sight glass for the carriage oil level - the reason? It is a total loss oil system. Anything you put in slowly drips through. I hope yours is different! Mine is a 1981 vintage, and I hope yours is closer to 1994, when BB stopped importing them from Taiwan and had them made in China.

Hey Armourer - can you post pics? you know the old adage: "it didn't happen if there aren't pictures!"
 

Armourer

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#10
Thanks for the replies, I will try and get some pics of it tonight if I get into the shop and don't get called out to work!
 

Downwindtracker2

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#11
There are couple of threads on that lathe, Both called " Why nobody changes belts." I've installed a 2hp 3 phase motor and am installing a VFD and a tach right now.
 

Armourer

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#12
Sorry, haven't been able to figure out how to post pics on here yet and will do so when I get a chance. But I did have another question for those with this type of lathe, there are a couple grease zerks to grease the back gear, and also another one under the spindle on the outboard side of the headstock. What grease should I be using in it? The manual doesnt even mention about these. Thanks all!
 

Dabbler

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#13
Any grease will do. I find High Presure grease to be affordable and seems to last longer than regular 'brown' generic grease.
 
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