Originally Posted by SidecarFlip
I merely rebutted the statement about SBL and flat ways. SBL never produced a machine with flat ways and like Gary, I prefer domestic machines for 2 reasons, one, they are typically overbuilt (especially in the case of a Monarch EE series) and they were made in America by American craftsmen, not in some shop across the pond in the land of rice-a-roni.
We already have an unstainable trade deficit with China, why perpetuate it with more trade imbalance when used American made machines are still available and can be brought to rerasonable tolerance machining with a little time and refurbishing.
I don't do business with Balola and Grizzly just for the above reason\, but then, I have the knowledge and capabilities of refurbishing used machine tools, it's a labor of love with me.
Monarch was made in Sidney Ohio btw.
People in this country need to wake up to the fact that the end game will have you eating with chopsticks and be gunless as well.
Gary and I will never succumb to that premise, not now, not later.
No rant intended bub, just facts.
Made in China or Taiwan or India or any Pacific Rim country has no place in my shop and never will.
years back I told you folks on this board and some others about Asian built Bridgeport mills and was literally laughed off the planet. But not a single soul ever proved me wrong. Never thought a lot of them anyway, and that was when they were made in the USA.
The Monarch EE lathe is the single most accurate hand lathe ever produced, but closely followed by the small Hardingh secound operation bench lathe. An extremely rigid frame design with a spindle bearing pack that was probably 300% over built. This was a five tenths machine before scales were even invented! You can take that to the bank!
I learned to run a lathe on an American tool room quality lathe. No scales and no digital read outs, but with practice, it would hold five or six tenths in steel. Then I got a brand new South Bend, and easilly held less than five tenths cutting high speed steel. A lathe in use four hours a day, five days a week will need to have the slides scraped in three to four years. But your gonna have a hard time getting somebody that knows the black art to touch an Asian built machine (I've done three or four Okumas and consider them to be throw aways). The compound will need it every couple years if you cut tough stuff. Just the nature of the beast. But you say "I'm only cutting aluminum!" That's worse for wear, as it mixes into aluminum oxide. Also the nature of the beast. So to get around this you bought a lathe with hardened ways. OK, that's a good idea, but aluminum oxide still grinds them away. Plus most folks haven't the foggiest idea how to fix them. The maiting parts are soft cast iron, so they wear even faster. I used to get $400 cash to rescrape the compound on a lathe years back. Usually took me about 12 hours if it wasn't too bad. But if it was bad, then the price went up. Some folks didn't like the fees involved, did the job themselves. Pay me now or really pay me later is the game plan. I scrape to about fifty millionths in a foot with about 17 dots per inch. You want twenty? No big deal, but the price just went up. You want less? Then get somebody else. I never had a problem getting work, and often had to put it on hold awhile. I had a couple job shops that had me constantly scheduled to just scrape compounds and realign the machines. They treated me pretty well, cause if they didn't, I'd not be back.
A Devlieg jig mill (J series) is warranted to postion within .0003" in a foot of travel. But a machine leveled correctly and aligned right will usually do under .0002" in 36" of travel is the Ferrand scales are setup right. Their spindle will bore eight inch holes six inches deep in steel to about .00015" TIR in all directions. Can't get there with a Makino or an Okuma ever! A Sip might and might not, and if it does the cuts have to be very light. The vertical SIP can't; even on a perfect day cause it can't make round holes. The G&L MM series will hit the same hole at about .00035" / .00045", but also will do it faster than the other two. Now a K series Devlieg is even more accurate than the J series, even though they are basicly the same machine. What's the difference? The frame of course. The K series has a well seasoned cast iron fram while the others except for SIP are mostly welded steel. In otherwords they flex all over the place. Have a hard wreck on one, and you understand what I'm saying.