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Hafco AL900A lathe, is anyone able to identify what it really is?

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dgrev

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#91
Terry

I will do a search for "TJB", that should find your posts.

Being an Aussie machine, the motor would be 50Hz 240v, that would last a few seconds or less if hooked up to US power?

Australia was part of the British Commonwealth. We take part in the "Commonwealth Games" to this day and the Queen of England is on the back of all our coins. Like England we have a Prime Minister, not a President.

Do you have any idea who the common manufacturer was that all were buying their parts from?

Regards
Doug
 

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#92
Bob

Points all noted with thanks.

Drill bit - I am ok to about 3/8th, after that I struggle a bit to 1/2" as I have quite a small 2 wheel grinder. The bigger bits are a challenge due to wheel size.

The crossfeed and compound are that snug, that any more and it would be hard work to turn the handles!

I will have to investigate a diamond lap, don't have one.

Regards
Doug
 

tjb

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#93
C) Does this type of lathe mean that to change between metric and imperial thread cutting requires cog swapping ie. take a cog off and install a different cog or is it a case of reversing the orientation of the cogs?
If cog swapping is the case, then there are no loose cogs with the lathe.......
Mine had a different set of change gears to convert from Imperial to metric. Unfortunately, I don't remember the specs and no longer have access to the lathe.

Regards
 

tjb

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#94
Terry

I will do a search for "TJB", that should find your posts.

Being an Aussie machine, the motor would be 50Hz 240v, that would last a few seconds or less if hooked up to US power?

Australia was part of the British Commonwealth. We take part in the "Commonwealth Games" to this day and the Queen of England is on the back of all our coins. Like England we have a Prime Minister, not a President.

Do you have any idea who the common manufacturer was that all were buying their parts from?

Regards
Doug
Doug,

The motor on the machine was the only thing missing. As you noted, it would not have worked anyway here in the US. I bought a Leeson motor (had to modify the attachment bracket), and it worked fine. Most likely, the motor was removed when the owner relocated to the US (several decades ago), and the machine was never used since.

I did quite a bit of research when I acquired this machine but was never able to identify the original parts manufacturer. Best of my recollection, it was essentially the ONLY manufacturer for what became the Jet-type machines. (Jet seems to have won the competition for most appealing to the Western market.) The other feature (again, best of my recollection) was that the manufacturer was indeed based in Taiwan.

I located an owner's manual for the Jet P1024 which contained quite a bit of information. If you need a copy, I can send it to you by PM. (Again, as a practical matter, it seems to be essentially the same as your model except for obvious size differences.)

Also, Doug, I just sent you a separate post regarding change-gears necessary to convert from Imperial to metric threading. There IS a different set of gears. Mine had them with the machine. (It was really a pristine find!) Unfortunately, I have no way of getting details for you.

It never became necessary, but it was my understanding (from other very knowledgeable H-M members and from outside sources) that many of the Grizzly parts are 'possibly' interchangeable. A word of caution - evidently, some parts may appear to be interchangeable but in fact are not. Mercifully, I never had to find that out the hard way.

Let me know if I can be of any assistance to you.

Regards,
Terry
 

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#95
Mine had a different set of change gears to convert from Imperial to metric. Unfortunately, I don't remember the specs and no longer have access to the lathe.

Regards
Most medium to large lathes use two gears on the same shaft 120 x 127 T, so it's a two step gear train. that will give an exact metric thread. Most smaller lathes, because the 127 x 120 is too big to fit, use 60 x 63 T gears as its almost the same ratio, there are charts that will show the error.
 

tjb

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#96
Interestingly yours is painted the same green as mine, and most Hafco machines are grey. The cabinet stand looks almost identical as well.
Also the same green as my Kin Shin.
 

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#97
Bob

Points all noted with thanks.

Drill bit - I am ok to about 3/8th, after that I struggle a bit to 1/2" as I have quite a small 2 wheel grinder. The bigger bits are a challenge due to wheel size.

The crossfeed and compound are that snug, that any more and it would be hard work to turn the handles!

I will have to investigate a diamond lap, don't have one.

Regards
Doug
Diamond lap is easy to find most good hardware shops or kitchen shops will have them, they are used to sharpen knives.

a small flat blade about 4" long plastic coated handle at one end, flat diamond surface on other end, they come in at least 3 graded, coarse, medium and fine, may be others, fairly cheap. use them to hone the carbide tips and also HSS.

Speaking of diamonds, did you have a look at the diamond tangential tool holder I mentioned earlier. Look up eccentric engineering. Australian invented and made. makes sharpening toolbits a dream, just one face to grind. they also have some super hard cobalt tool bits. I use the size 12 on my lathe but you'll have to measure the height from the center height to the base of your tool holder, there is a diagram on their website.
 
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Downunder Bob

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#98
Also the same green as my Kin Shin.
Strange because I tried to find Kin Shin in Taiwan and had no luck But I can find Liang Dei.Maybe they have changed their name, who knows. strange things happen in Taiwan, I used to rna business here importing goods from Taiwan, and found I could get identical items from different factories.

I have heard that a small group of parent factories will contract out the manufacturing of all the parts they need to a number of smaller factories. The parent factories will then assemble all the parts into finished products, which they then sell to a group of wholesaler exporters, who then onsell to the importing retailers, and this is how we end up with having identical looking machines, but with different names. one batch will be painted green and another will be blue and another grey etc.
 

tjb

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#99
Good news, the lathe is now mine and is in my shed. Still sitting in the trailer, so still to unload.

It came with 4 micrometers, 2 in cases, small and medium. Also 2 smalls, which are unloved, gunked up and lying in the bottom of the drill
bit box.

Now for a stupid question, the oil level is at the bottom of the LHS sight glass, where do I put more in?

For those who would like to see it, attached a photo of the head gears and pulleys.

Would anyone have a threading data plate that even if it doesn't have the same appearance as mine, has the same data?
Bob kindly took a photo of his for me, but when comparing it to mine, the data is different.
As you will see below, parts of the data are not readable.

. View attachment 269726 View attachment 269729 View attachment 269730 View attachment 269731 View attachment 269732 View attachment 269733 View attachment 269734
Dave,

Attached is a photo with threading plate data that seems to be identical to yours. (It's the green plate on the right with the large 'KS-3.5FK' on it.) Unfortunately, it's rather small, and you lose some clarity if you zoom in, but on first blush it does seem to be identical. Hope it helps.

With regard to oil levels and sight glasses, I had an issue with what I thought was a major leak on the apron (where there is no sight glass). Turns out that these older machines are notorious for leaking because the shafts are not adequately sealed where they mount to the casing. I over-filled my apron and - surprise, surprise - it leaked out to just below the shaft. As it turns out, that's exactly the correct level.

Regards
 

tjb

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Strange because I tried to find Kin Shin in Taiwan and had no luck But I can find Liang Dei.Maybe they have changed their name, who knows. strange things happen in Taiwan, I used to rna business here importing goods from Taiwan, and found I could get identical items from different factories.

I have heard that a small group of parent factories will contract out the manufacturing of all the parts they need to a number of smaller factories. The parent factories will then assemble all the parts into finished products, which they then sell to a group of wholesaler exporters, who then onsell to the importing retailers, and this is how we end up with having identical looking machines, but with different names. one batch will be painted green and another will be blue and another grey etc.
Bob,

That's consistent with what I learned as well - with a bit more detail. My understanding (which may be incorrect) is that after Jet won the marketing prize, the smaller competing factories simply vaporized. In any event, the good news is that very nearly ALL of these vintage machines are essentially alike. Makes it a bit confusing trying to identify a specific brand, but comforting to know that if you find detail on any one of them, you've got it on all of them.

Regards, and thanks for the history lesson.

P.S.: Several have posted this comment and I most certainly agree: These are extremely well-built machines! I was at the seller's large shop to look at some tooling that he had for sale (he's in his late 80's and selling off much of his stock). I saw this little gem sitting among some other large tools, basically just collecting dust. It was immediately obvious that this was a solid little machine. My number one 'go-to' lathe is a 2000's vintage 15 x 40 floor model, and it was clear that the Kin Shin, although smaller, was a much sturdier machine. Should have kept it.
 

tjb

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Good news, the lathe is now mine and is in my shed. Still sitting in the trailer, so still to unload.

It came with 4 micrometers, 2 in cases, small and medium. Also 2 smalls, which are unloved, gunked up and lying in the bottom of the drill
bit box.

Now for a stupid question, the oil level is at the bottom of the LHS sight glass, where do I put more in?

For those who would like to see it, attached a photo of the head gears and pulleys.

Would anyone have a threading data plate that even if it doesn't have the same appearance as mine, has the same data?
Bob kindly took a photo of his for me, but when comparing it to mine, the data is different.
As you will see below, parts of the data are not readable.

. View attachment 269726 View attachment 269729 View attachment 269730 View attachment 269731 View attachment 269732 View attachment 269733 View attachment 269734
Oops!

Here's the photo. Plus another that gives some detail on the far right section.

Regards,
Terry

IMG_1201.JPG IMG_1194.JPG
 

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Bob,

That's consistent with what I learned as well - with a bit more detail. My understanding (which may be incorrect) is that after Jet won the marketing prize, the smaller competing factories simply vaporized. In any event, the good news is that very nearly ALL of these vintage machines are essentially alike. Makes it a bit confusing trying to identify a specific brand, but comforting to know that if you find detail on any one of them, you've got it on all of them.

Regards, and thanks for the history lesson.

P.S.: Several have posted this comment and I most certainly agree: These are extremely well-built machines! I was at the seller's large shop to look at some tooling that he had for sale (he's in his late 80's and selling off much of his stock). I saw this little gem sitting among some other large tools, basically just collecting dust. It was immediately obvious that this was a solid little machine. My number one 'go-to' lathe is a 2000's vintage 15 x 40 floor model, and it was clear that the Kin Shin, although smaller, was a much sturdier machine. Should have kept it.
Yes it all makes sense, just a bit confusing. my lathe is essentially the same just a later model, with a few improvements, like the camlock chuck, a few more oil points, geared headstock. It's a dam good lathe very accurate straight out of the shop. all handwheels are calibrated metric and imperial. Even though Australia is officially metric and has been for some time, I decided to order my lathe as an imperial machine with 8 TPI lead screw cross slide, compound etc are all imperial I just figured that most of what I'm likely to do will be imperial. I am comfortable working in either system and have done for nearly 40 years.

If I need a metric thread I just use the 120 x 127 T gears and I'm in business, basically 127/5 gives 25.4 = mm per inch that's how it works, so its sconverting the leadscrew to a metric equivalent, then the norton box does the rest.

And as Doug said the right hand saddle wheel is a british convention, and seeing as they invented the industrial revolution and built the first lathes we reckon it's the correct way, and Taiwan has long been prepared to make them that way for us. personally I think it's safer, you get a lot less hot chips on your hands. and it puts you further away from spinning things like the chuck. Over the years I have driven a few LH lathes but was never happy.
 

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Hi Doug,
Glad you got the program sorted. I've used it for years and had a few niggles when I upgraded to Win 7 yet others have no problems.
I used it to work out what gears to make as my lathe only came with one change gear, has a metric leadscrew and most of the stuff I work on is Imperial. I set the precision at 0.0000001% and if a thread can't be cut work down to see if I can find something that will work OK. 0.05% is close enough for most things.
Looks like everything is coming together well. Thanks for posting the updates.

- Barry.
 

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Terry, Bob and Barry. Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and photos.

Bob - See attached photos of carbide holders - both SECO. Also see photo of a new surface myself and the carbide tool have invented, I have christened it the "Porcupine Surface"! Probably the result of incorrect rpm for the tool?
20180620_134735a.jpg
20180620_134750a.jpg
20180620_141822a.jpg


Now for my latest problem. This lathe is cutting a taper headstock large to tailstock small of 35 thou in 6"!!!

I tried checking its level and mucked about with the leveling bolts to no avail. Adjusting them does not make a difference.
I do note that when I extend the right rear bolt the right front bolt leaves the floor. But the opposite does not happen.
Do I have a warped bed or am I missing something?
 

tjb

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Terry

The right hand photo - the ratios are the same as mine.

I can't make out the data on the blue plates.

Regards
Doug
Doug,

Try t
Terry

The right hand photo - the ratios are the same as mine.

I can't make out the data on the blue plates.

Regards
Doug
Doug,

Try these photos. I think I figured out how to crop and enlarge a section of a photo.

Regards,
Terry
IMG_1192.JPG IMG_1193.JPG IMG_1201-a.jpg
 

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Terry

Easy to see now - thanks.

The left and right photo, the data is exactly the same as my lathe.

The middle photo the data is totally different.

Weird huh. See attached photo and compare.

Regards
Doug
20180617_162553.jpg
 

tjb

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Terry

Easy to see now - thanks.

The left and right photo, the data is exactly the same as my lathe.

The middle photo the data is totally different.

Weird huh. See attached photo and compare.

Regards
Doug View attachment 270107
That is strange. Any other experts out there have a clue on this one?

Regards
 

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Terry. Did you note that the cross feed is 1/2? But even when those numbers are doubled they don't match yours. Doug
 

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Terry. Did you note that the cross feed is 1/2? But even when those numbers are doubled they don't match yours. Doug
It's not uncommon for the cross feed to be half the long feed, my lathe is the same.
 

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That is strange. Any other experts out there have a clue on this one?

Regards
I have heard that quite a lot of older asian lathes had the wrong feed plates fitted, set it up and do some test cuts, then you'll know exactly what you've got.
 

tjb

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Terry. Did you note that the cross feed is 1/2? But even when those numbers are doubled they don't match yours. Doug
I don't do a lot of threading, Doug, but it's my understanding that the cross feed values are usually one-half the stated values. Here's a photo of my Harrison M300 faceplate. Note the 1/2 ratio below the dial in the lower left corner. I'm pretty sure the ratios you're reading on your table are directly comparable to the ratios on mine, and to get the cross feed values, you halve them. No clue why they're different.

Regards,
Terry
IMG_1119.JPG
 

tjb

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I have heard that quite a lot of older asian lathes had the wrong feed plates fitted, set it up and do some test cuts, then you'll know exactly what you've got.
Interesting. Since the lathe I had is older than Doug's (1976 v. 1980-ish), I wonder which is wrong. Doug, I'd be very curious to know the results if you conduct Bob's experiment.

Regards,
Terry
 

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Interesting. Since the lathe I had is older than Doug's (1976 v. 1980-ish), I wonder which is wrong. Doug, I'd be very curious to know the results if you conduct Bob's experiment.

Regards,
Terry
Interesting. Since the lathe I had is older than Doug's (1976 v. 1980-ish), I wonder which is wrong. Doug, I'd be very curious to know the results if you conduct Bob's experiment.

Regards,
Terry
I was taught when an apprentice, that if your not entirely familiar with a lathe always do a test cut before attempting any screwcutting . also check the operation of the thread chaser dial if you intend to operate the half nuts. Over the years I estimate I have operated at least 50 or 60 different lathes. Some were great machines, a few I wish I had never met them. they were absolute shockers. Probably as many as 5% had errors on the screw cutting charts. There may have been more, I just didn't find them. I have also come across some badly damaged lathes and mills terribly abused by uncaring an probably untrained operators.
 

tjb

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Something has occurred to me. This has been a very interesting set of posts for two reasons. First, the technical issues raised include some relatively common factors but also some that are curious because of their original nature. A second and equally interesting observation is that responses to this issue have come from all over the globe. Quite literally. The original post is from Australia, and responses have been offered from Texas, USA; Ontario, Canada; Australia; New Zealand; Sweden; and here in Madison, GA (SE USA). I suspect most of us have responded with the natural assumption that all of us are approaching the issue as if we are all coming from the same frame of reference. Technically, that's probably accurate, except for different levels of expertise and training. But what about environmental? A quick perusal of a global time clock indicates the following:
Even as I write, in Texas, it's 10 AM; Australia, midnight or so (why aren't you in bed, Bob!?),; in Ontario, Canada, 11 AM; New Zealand, 3 AM; and in Sweden, 5 PM. And that's only part of the story. I wonder what the climatological differences are as well?

I'll start. Right now, it's 11:26 AM, bright and sunny, not a cloud in the sky, and HOT. 92 degrees F, headed to 96, current heat index is 100. Just mowed about half the lawn (no easy task - all total, it's 2+ acres) and am recovering before going to my non-air conditioned shop. My earlier posts today were a little after 8 AM. Conditions slightly more comfortable but about the same. Anybody else?

Regards,
Terry
 

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G'day Terry, as it happened I did go to bed immediately after my last post. That is typically when I retire for the night. I'm up at that hour for a number of reasons, I'm typically a night owl, my daughter lives in Colorado and I often stay up so we can have a chat. I also have other relatives and friends in USA ad Canada so chat with them as well. I have travelled extensively over many years in Nth America, so am quite familiar with your local geography, including your weirder than our climate.

Right now it's 4.40am and your going to say "why aren't you in bed''. Well, I was until I woke up for a pee, old man's bladder. I also needed to stoke and reload the fire, It's 5c 45f here, and will probably drop a couple more deg, before sunrise at about 0700. and it might warm up to 15 or 16c a bit after lunch. The fire keeps the house warm, typically around 22c 68f. The slow combustion heater has a water jacket and heats a large 400 ltr, tank of water. this not only supplies all the hot water for the house but is connected to the under floor heating, which keeps us nice and cosy all winter. The only down side is it needs attention every 4 - 5 hours.

One thing I got used to fairly quickly is that this is a global community. here, Yes the issues raised are often very interesting and are global, also I always like to put my 10c worth in. I feel I have a lot to offer as I am formally trained as Fitter & turner, plus toolmaker, I also have a wide experience having spent most of my working life at sea as a marines engineer, having to fix all kinds of things with only the tools at hand. So I'm well versed in the philosophy "there is more than one way to skin a cat."

Having said that it's jut gone 0500 so I'm going back to bed, until about 0800.

Bob.




'
 

tjb

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G'day Terry, as it happened I did go to bed immediately after my last post. That is typically when I retire for the night. I'm up at that hour for a number of reasons, I'm typically a night owl, my daughter lives in Colorado and I often stay up so we can have a chat. I also have other relatives and friends in USA ad Canada so chat with them as well. I have travelled extensively over many years in Nth America, so am quite familiar with your local geography, including your weirder than our climate.

Right now it's 4.40am and your going to say "why aren't you in bed''. Well, I was until I woke up for a pee, old man's bladder. I also needed to stoke and reload the fire, It's 5c 45f here, and will probably drop a couple more deg, before sunrise at about 0700. and it might warm up to 15 or 16c a bit after lunch. The fire keeps the house warm, typically around 22c 68f. The slow combustion heater has a water jacket and heats a large 400 ltr, tank of water. this not only supplies all the hot water for the house but is connected to the under floor heating, which keeps us nice and cosy all winter. The only down side is it needs attention every 4 - 5 hours.

One thing I got used to fairly quickly is that this is a global community. here, Yes the issues raised are often very interesting and are global, also I always like to put my 10c worth in. I feel I have a lot to offer as I am formally trained as Fitter & turner, plus toolmaker, I also have a wide experience having spent most of my working life at sea as a marines engineer, having to fix all kinds of things with only the tools at hand. So I'm well versed in the philosophy "there is more than one way to skin a cat."

Having said that it's jut gone 0500 so I'm going back to bed, until about 0800.

Bob.




'
Well, when you rise, let me say "Thanks" for your reply. Had a feeling your climate would be significantly cooler than ours this time of year. Sounds like you've had an interesting working career that positions you to be a valuable resource to us rank amateurs. Many thanks for sharing your knowledge. From some of the posts I've seen, there is clearly a load of members like myself who have no formal training in machining but have always enjoyed hands-on activities. Since my professional life kept me tied (no, shackled) to an office environment, my extra-curricular activities tended to be quite physical - woodworking, horse training, street rod building, tractor repair, etc., etc., etc. We have been living on a farm for 24 years and, as you can appreciate, there is never 'nothing' to do. Some of my more gentrified family and friends often ask, 'What do you do during the day?' My stock answer is, I close my eyes, spin in several circles, then open my eyes. Whatever direction I'm facing, it's a certainty there will be something to do. I love it that way. Somewhere in the course of all that, I developed an interest in machining. I needed a part for a street rod modification that I couldn't buy, so I bought a Smithy 3-in-1 instead and made it. That lead to bigger machines and more projects (I've become the local 'go-to guy' when tractors and attachments need a part that's not readily available). Now I'm hooked and have been having fun learning for the last 3 or 4 years, and I hope you veterans realize how invaluable you are to us rookies and how much we appreciate you.

Pleasant dreams and stay warm.

P.S.: VERY familiar with the 'old man syndrome' that causes you to rise in the middle of the night. I'm usually thrilled to death if I can make it to 4:40 AM.

Regards,
Terry
 

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Terry,

I am in Broken Hill NSW, 360 miles NE of Bob and we are in the same time zone.
Climate is effectively the same except it almost never rains here, whereas Adelaide is on the coast.

Ditto to bladder demands.

I am a 56 y.o. Electrician by qualification, but have spent most of my life in the accommodation business. Hence the 3 decades absence from lathes. In short, this Hafco lathe came up for sale and I evaluated it as a good buy. I am somewhat puzzled as to how much use it will get, but often these things attract projects that we otherwise would not have considered due to not having the facilities.

Regards
Doug
 

tjb

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Terry,

I am in Broken Hill NSW, 360 miles NE of Bob and we are in the same time zone.
Climate is effectively the same except it almost never rains here, whereas Adelaide is on the coast.

Ditto to bladder demands.

I am a 56 y.o. Electrician by qualification, but have spent most of my life in the accommodation business. Hence the 3 decades absence from lathes. In short, this Hafco lathe came up for sale and I evaluated it as a good buy. I am somewhat puzzled as to how much use it will get, but often these things attract projects that we otherwise would not have considered due to not having the facilities.

Regards
Doug
Must be beautiful up there this time of year! 40's Fahrenheit at night, and I assume with little rainfall the humidity is relatively low? Humidity is a big factor around here. It's not unlikely for both the temperature and the humidity to be in the 90's.

I think you're right about the opportunities that will arise now that you own the lathe. As I mentioned in an earlier post, except for the larger size your lathe seems to be a dead-ringer for my Kin Shin. It's an extremely well-built machine, and I've had seller's remorse almost from the day I sold it. As with most of us amateurs, I needed the space more than I needed a third lathe. Too bad that one sold first. Such is life.

Every one of my stationary pieces of equipment is used. And all needed some amount of work. I have spent several years restoring and modifying old cars, and I discovered that the best way to appreciate a car or piece of equipment is to know how to work on it. That axiom served me well on my milling machine (Supermax BP clone also made in Taiwan), my Harrison lathe and the Kin Shin. I suspect you'll have the same experience on your new acquisition.

Please keep us posted on your progress. I'm especially curious about the result of Bob's recommended experiment on the threading convention.

It's 7:14 PM, Wednesday here in GA, down to 93 degrees from a high of 98 - hot and pretty humid. I guess it's Thursday morning in NSW?

Regards,
Terry

P.S.: Maybe you've already addressed this, but what came with the lathe by way of tooling?
 

pdentrem

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What I would do, not knowing how it sat all those years, is to level the headstock first and then let the casting relieve itself of any stress that the previous owner put into it. I would monitor the Tailstock end and with less pressure on the screw/foot that you want to drop. In the mean time you can offset the tailstock for the jobs as required and hopefully in a few months the two ends will be on the same plane.
Pierre
 
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