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EMCO Compact 8 (Craftsman) vs. 9 x 20 from Little Machine Shop

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Steve58

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#1
Forgive the noobie questions, but I'm looking for a little advice.

Having recently taken a couple of lathe classes at the local vocational school, I'm looking for a lathe to play around with. Unfortunately, I'm somewhat space limited in my garage, so a large South Bend or Clausing (or similar) is pretty much out of the question right now.

Most of my work will be turning small parts for old motorcycles and cars, maybe a little hobby gunsmithing.

I've been reading about the 9x20 from the Little Machine Shop, but I'm not big on Chinese products. I've come across a Compact 8 for sale in the area for about half what the 9x20 would cost.

What would I be giving up, other than the power cross feed and maybe the speed adjustability?

Thanks for the help.
 

tkitta

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#2
I am an almost total newbie to this but I believe the 9 x 20 is based on the compact 8 - i.e. the 9 x 20 is a copy of the Compact 8. Apparently both come with the "two screw" issue that almost everyone fixes by making a custom one with 4 screws. The compact 8 has the same issue and the Chinese copied from the original too closely, they didn't think about any improvements.

The 10 x 22 is claimed to be better made machine, through some models also suffer from the "two screw" issue.

As for the Compact 8 for half price of new 9 x 20 I would guess it depends on the state the Compact 8 is in - would need to know that before answering as to whatever its a good deal or not.
 

tripletap3

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#3
I cant really take a side on this but there are a few points to ponder. The LMS lathe is a solid, strong machine and it and LMS will not disappoint you if money isn't the issue. I don't think anyone is happy with the fact that if you want to buy a new machine it has to be a Chinese or Taiwanese made machine, but don't be fooled into thinking that just because its "old" or "not made in China" that it is superior. The U.S. and other countries have made some junk in the past too. BTW. I loved my Atlas 12x36 when I had it, but my new PM1236 will run circles around it.
 

lens42

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#4
If the Compact 8 is in decent shape, I think it wins hands down. There is no comparison in fit and finish, especially when you consider that the Chinese 9x20s are not made as well as the larger import machines. You may also get tooling with it, which often doubles the value compared to a new machine.
 

Steve58

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#5
One correction. The Little Machine Shop lathe is 8.5x20, not 9x20.
 

darkzero

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#6
I don't think anyone is happy with the fact that if you want to buy a new machine it has to be a Chinese or Taiwanese made machine, but don't be fooled into thinking that just because its "old" or "not made in China" that it is superior. The U.S. and other countries have made some junk in the past too.
I completely agree. It's unfortunate that we have to rely on Asian countries for new machines. There are other countries that produce machines still too, even the US but you'll have to pay a hefty price tag.

Many people hate to hear "buy old US iron not asian import". Well now it starting to become "buy Taiwan & not China". But yes it's true, Taiwan can still make crap & older Taiwan & Japan is not the same as we think of them today.
 

mattinker

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#7
I am an almost total newbie to this but I believe the 9 x 20 is based on the compact 8 - i.e. the 9 x 20 is a copy of the Compact 8. Apparently both come with the "two screw" issue that almost everyone fixes by making a custom one with 4 screws. The compact 8 has the same issue and the Chinese copied from the original too closely, they didn't think about any improvements.

The 10 x 22 is claimed to be better made machine, through some models also suffer from the "two screw" issue.

As for the Compact 8 for half price of new 9 x 20 I would guess it depends on the state the Compact 8 is in - would need to know that before answering as to whatever its a good deal or not.
The Compact 8 does not have the "2 screws" issue the the 9X20 copies have. Although it only has two screws, but it is made in such a way as to not have the top slide issues that the 9X20 has. I have a compact 8 it is an excelent machine!

Regards, Matthew
 
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