A manual lathe is an ancient tool, born out of necessity as a two-person operation. Over time, with the advent of electricity and servo motors, the manual lathes have become powerful tools with added control.

Lathes are commonly called Turning, since that is their main operation. The workpiece turns around the stationary tool allowing the creation of cylindrical parts. The lathes furnish a smooth finish to any workpiece by shaving off the diameter to a specific requirement.

Glean some basic Lathe configuration

It is essential to keep in mind some basic information on the structure, functions and working of the Lathe machine and its parts and tools, as a whole. Purchasing a used manual lathe machine is no easy task and requires calculated decisions based on a lot of factors.

While reputed dealers offer their services in the acquisition and sales of used machinery, it falls on the purchaser to do some in-depth research on the make and model of the manual lathe required. You can browse through the numerous lathe units that the dealers put up on their websites, listed under ‘used manual lathe machine for sale’ and pick a unit with features that match your needs.

Getting Started

  • When browsing through used lathe units, the most important parts you would need to check for are the bed ways, the carriage, headstock, tailstock, spindle, chuck, the tool turret, and the cross slides.
  • Consider the future need for a movable tailstock in case the workpiece ends up being long and slender. Since the tailstock can move, it gives the additional support to the end of the workpiece preventing any chatter during the machining.
  • The capacity of the chuck to hold intended workpieces, as well as the Barstock capacity, should be taken into account, in case the workpiece extends through the back of the chuck.
  • Ensure the specifications for maximum turning diameter and maximum turning length are met, for the chuck and the bed length respectively.
  • Keeping efficiency and reduction of thermal growth in mind, specify the limit of accuracy you would need including the number of parts needed to be machined. Machine structures vary according to the work needed from them, whether for high-production work or close-tolerance work.
  • Check for wear and tear in the used manual lathe machine. Although it is generally accepted for a used unit to have some wear and tear, the presence of too much wear in the machine reduces accuracy rendering any machining useless.
  • Inspect the working of the important lathe parts by manually moving the parts along their axes. Check for damages or dents in the bed ways. Ensure they are in proper alignment relating to the other parts. Check the gears for any broken or worn teeth. Movements of the tool holder and slide-ways should be relatively smooth.

In most cases, the shelf life of the second-hand machines depends upon the regular maintenance and servicing done on them. Ensure you are buying the right product from a reliable dealer. Buying from a reputable establishment ensures a long and efficient working life of your second-hand lathe machine. Purchasing a second-hand manual lathe machine certainly maybe tedious, but in the long run, they are a worthy investment.