Feedback on Bolton Metal Lathe

CDarby67

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Hello Gang,
I posted earlier about a looking for a lathe. I decided that I would rather buy new and start my learning out the gate rather than spending time on refurbishing an older lathe. I am a hobbyist and most of my parts will be 1.5" o.d. or less in 6061 aluminium. I found a Bolton tools lathe - the CQ 9332 for a price I am willing to pay.


Has anyone heard anything or experienced lathe time with this machine?

Thanks,
Clint
 

Ed ke6bnl

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My boy has a Bolton 16x40 It was used in a shop so it is warn some but a decent lathe and bought new and taken care of will serve you well. I think they are the same as the Grizzlys or very similar.
 

4ssss

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They've been around a long time. I believe they just have their name on someone else's machine. At that price and with the 5% discount pop up ad they have I'd grab it.
 

markba633csi

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It's a bit limited as far as feed rates and number of gear pitches it will cut but that may not be an issue for you
Also of course it's from China not Taiwan so there may be some quality issues
mark
 

richl

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Decent size lathe. 1hp, you will need to change gears for threading, speeds and such. Do not consider this a machine you are going to push, it is on the low end of chinese. But! If you are money restricted, you really want to play, you can live with the size and power limitations, this is not a bad machine. Be prepared to fix things, build a solid stand for it.
I was given a 13x40 lathe5 years back. Circa 2000. It was a beat up machine, between what the previous owner did and chinese manufacturing I spent most my time fixing and trying to make that lathe better. I have a new Chinese lathe now, it cost some bit more than what you are looking at. I've fixed a number of issues on it, I try to treat her right and I have fun making things in my shop. Whether for the girlfriend, neighbors myself or other machines in the shop. I enjoy making things, the end justifys the means.
You are not buying a high end industrial machine, this machine is on the other end of the spectrum, it is a bigger form factor than the 7x10 type machines. You will have fun with it, you will make stuff with it... but you will also be fixing and making it better.
If you know that in the beginning and are fine with that, than buy that machine. It looks like it can be a great machine to learn on and work with!
 

mksj

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If you are not planning on using it for threading, and just turning, maybe. There appears to be no gearbox, all the threading and I also assume the feeds are managed by changing the gears on the side. You can see a pile of change gears in the diagram, but very limited information otherwise. Probably doe not have a power cross feed. I recall another individual who purchased a Boulton lathe and it couldn't cut a lot of threads he needed. Quality control and service I would rate as mediocre to poor based on other reviews/postings of others and a few people who I know who have purchased Boulton mills and lathes. But then you get what you pay for. I think you would be better off looking for a used lathe in good condition.

 

markba633csi

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It mentions cross feed rates in the specs so looks like it has that feature, but the other items I mentioned are still valid. I believe that Grizzly is a step up from Bolton as far as overall quality and customer service. Griz has really improved their customer service as of late from what I have been reading.
Precision Matthews is a big step above both of those others, especially with Matt's after-sale service. But it costs a bit more.
M
 

kdupuis

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Change gear Feed rates and the 12x36 I have in use does not take heavy cuts but can manage .020 off the o.d. in steel. Anything more will stall the motor or slip the belts. I also do not have a thread dial on mine and I haven't checked lately if it is an option. The factory three jaw holds well and once dialed in it can make parts round.
 

CDarby67

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I appreciate all the feedback, it has allowed me to rule the Bolton out. Threading will be a huge requirement of what I plan to build. I do not plan to cut a large amount of steel, mostly 6061 aluminium. There will all ways be that piece i need in stainless or mild steel, so I want to plan accordingly.
I had been eyeing the Precision Mathews machines; the one in particular that seems to be right for me is the PM 1228VF-LB.

It has only a 3 chuck head. I do not know enough about turning yet to understand 3 vs 4 chuck variables. I do know I want a high HP as that will prevent stalling. does 3 phase just run more efiieciently over standard single phase 120v?

Thanks,
Clint
 

Bob Korves

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the one in particular that seems to be right for me is the PM 1228VF-LB.
If you can possibly fit it in your shop, I recommend the 12x36 as a minimum for length. The 28" dimension is only for turning between centers. With a chuck on the spindle and a drill chuck in the tail stock, you will be looking at about 18" maximum length work, with some other setups, less yet. Versatility is important with machines. You have no idea now what kinds of things you might want to machine over the years.
 
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