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IndustryArena Forum > Events, Product Announcements Etc > Want To Buy...Need help! > Looking for CNC Lathe With Manual Capabilities
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  1. #1
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    Looking for CNC Lathe With Manual Capabilities

    Hi All. I've been a member for a couple years, but have mainly lurked here, trying to soak up as much as I can.

    I presently have a South Bend Heavy 10 lathe--nice machine, built in 1943...and still accurate, but I want to get something that will allow me to turn tapers and other features on parts, etc., and also do metric threading.

    I took some courses in NC programming in college in the late 70s, and managed a machine shop for the Army for a couple years, and wrote the purchasing specs for the DMG Moriseiki 5 axis lathes and VMCs in the shop, so I'm not totally ignorant on CNC.

    I'd like to find a 1340 or 1440 sized lathe that had CNC capability, but I could still operate manually. I've been looking at a fairly new (2014) CNC Masters 1440, but it's a ways away and the brand has had problems with reliability--primarily limit switches, but also with the CNC system.

    I know it's a Chinese lathe, but that doesn't bother me too much since I'm only getting it for hobby work, tinkering, a little gunsmithing, etc.

    I wonder if I'd be better served by buying a decent quality 1440 lathe, such as one of the Taiwanese models, or a Precision Matthews, etc. then installing a CNC system on it.

    I'd appreciate some input on that course of action, and also an idea of what it would cost me for the CNC components if I do the work.

    Thanks in advance for your assistance.

    Utah Smitty

  2. #2

    Re: Looking for CNC Lathe With Manual Capabilities

    This is the only used one that I know of https://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/...412527108.html

    Manual/CNC lathes are pretty rare. I thought about converting my 1340 to CNC and still keep full manual capability with instant switchover. Basically overlay the CNC over the manual. But I dropped the idea after I got a CNC lathe.

    As far as cost, it depends on the degree of sophistication you want. It could be a few hundred to several thousand.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dawson View Post
    This is the only used one that I know of https://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/...412527108.html

    Manual/CNC lathes are pretty rare. I thought about converting my 1340 to CNC and still keep full manual capability with instant switchover. Basically overlay the CNC over the manual. But I dropped the idea after I got a CNC lathe.

    As far as cost, it depends on the degree of sophistication you want. It could be a few hundred to several thousand.
    Thanks for the information, Jim. Chevalier makes nice machines, and I didn't realize they made a combination lathe like that. But, it's too big for my work area and over my budget.

    Regards,

    Smitty

  4. #4

    Re: Looking for CNC Lathe With Manual Capabilities

    It's pretty easy to convert a manual lathe to CNC, the real challenge is to convert and keep the manual capability, even harder to make it a quick changeover (under a minute). You have to use a ball screw on the cross slide, but it is possible to use the longitudinal rack & pinion for the Z axis rather than installing a ball screw. That way you don't disturb the lead screw and quick change gearbox to keep that manual operation. It took me almost a year to figure out the best way to approach that to eliminate the backlash.

    I would look for a older Jet gear head Taiwan built lathe (1980s), that would be a good platform to start with. Then start adding bits & pieces as you can afford it. Nothing wrong with a PM lathe either if you want to buy new. Matt sells good equipment and has excellent customer service.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  5. #5
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    Re: Looking for CNC Lathe With Manual Capabilities

    I found this on Craigslist yesterday. They say it has never been used... https://richmond.craigslist.org/tls/...438621263.html

  6. #6
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    Re: Looking for CNC Lathe With Manual Capabilities

    Quote Originally Posted by maxspongebob View Post
    I found this on Craigslist yesterday. They say it has never been used... https://richmond.craigslist.org/tls/...438621263.html
    I would say it hasn't been used... and a good price. But, unfortunately, I don't see any manual controls on it...

    Smitty

  7. #7
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    Re: Looking for CNC Lathe With Manual Capabilities

    Thanks, Jim...I'll keep my eye out for one.

    So, what did you do to eliminate backlash on the Z axis?

    Smitty

  8. #8

    Re: Looking for CNC Lathe With Manual Capabilities

    Use an air spring to tension the carriage/motor, the same way I'm doing it for quill on my mill. The air cylinder stroke only needs to be half the length of the carriage travel with a 2:1 pulley ratio on the cable.

    On the mill I'm using a 1:1 ratio, but the stroke is only 5 inches.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  9. #9
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    Re: Looking for CNC Lathe With Manual Capabilities

    Okay, that makes sense.

  10. #10
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    Re: Looking for CNC Lathe With Manual Capabilities

    Here are 2 companies that offer CNC lathes that allow manual operation thru electronic hand wheels.

    Fryer Machine Systems Inc. - CNC toolroom lathes milling machines machining centers

    Southwestern Industries, Inc.

    All you need to do is find one that's used and in your price range

  11. #11
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    Re: Looking for CNC Lathe With Manual Capabilities

    Quote Originally Posted by MO Metal View Post
    Here are 2 companies that offer CNC lathes that allow manual operation thru electronic hand wheels......
    Pretty sure ProtoTrak is another. In fact, I believe you can grab a hand wheel even with the machine running to back off from a cut or approach to a cut and the controller will re-correct from any position and keep running.

    Kind of neat when you are running a job for the first time as you can be there and back off of any next move upon approach. If it doesn't look right, you can feedhold and figure it out.
    Chris L

  12. #12
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    Re: Looking for CNC Lathe With Manual Capabilities

    Quote Originally Posted by datac View Post
    Pretty sure ProtoTrak is another.
    Yes, the second link is for the ProtoTrak, we have one in our shop. You can use it manually with the hand wheels, program it on screen with canned cycles or direct moves, or load a g-code file. When you want to slowly run a program to check for any problems you can use the "Trak" mode as datac described. Instead of "run program", you can select Trak mode and turn the hand wheel to run thru your program, tool moves when handle turns, stops when hand wheel stops, backs up on program when cranked back on hand wheels. If it looks OK you can stop Trak mode and switch to Auto from where ever you are in program.

    Thats my 1-1/2 cents of it.

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