View Full Version : lathe for high school welding shop
I am looking a for lathe for the welding shop, but am not sure what to buy. If you ask the salesmen they will tell you just about what ever think you want to hear. I was thinking about getting a belt drive because I think it might be a little safer. I was planning on spending about 3000 can., I will also buy new. so any information that will help will be greatly appreciated.
05-31-2004, 03:00 PM
Unless conditions in HS shops in Canada are a whole lot different than they are here, I wouldn't spend the money on a lathe.
Shop classes here are more akin to juvenile detention facilitys than they are to any impartation of knowledge.
For a welding shop will you have sufficient time with the students to teach them both welding and bbasic lathe skills? Are your classes small enough to allow you the constant supervision a lathe will require, or will the lathe become just another taxpayer funded object of destruction?
Shade Tree Welder
05-31-2004, 05:10 PM
What size projects do you foresee your students doing? Do you have 3 phase power available? Do you want the ability to cut threads (metric, inch or both?)
Franz, you didn't take your lithium today did you. Well the shop classes out here in farm country actually are attended by students looking to learn. Must be that NYC influence back east.
05-31-2004, 06:56 PM
I believe up there in our neighbor to the North, especially in rural areas. Stundents are more motivated.
Does the Government up there have any kind of a surplus orginization?
You might be able to get one from them. Or you could try large industries. They might get a tax break by donating a machine to a school. For a welding class, you don't need super precision.
But I'd get as heavy industrial machine as I could get.
The old South bend I have in the Magic Garage came from a "school shop".
05-31-2004, 07:52 PM
You cant go wrong with a Old South Bend. Franz: Just because you were unsuccesful in your dealings with the local school system, doesnt mean everyone is a batch of ****. Perhaps you should put your money where your mouth is and go be a Parent volunteer in the local school and make a difference!
05-31-2004, 08:24 PM
I am looking at some basic machining, macing shafts, drilling centers of shafts, nothing exciting, I was planning on using where the drill was not appropraite. as for the students i have they are usually good. my grade 12 students when they finish they come out fist level apprentices, if they can get signed up for an apprenticship within one year. Would you consider a lathe more dangerous than a drill press, the one in my shop a big gear drivr unit. i figure that if the students can work with eqipment that can be 10,000 dollers and not damage i feel that they will be responsiple enough to at least get some experiene on a lathe.
05-31-2004, 10:35 PM
Belt drive vs gear drive doesn't make a difference in safety: if the machine has the power to do a certain cut, it doesn't matter how the power gets to the spindle.
The big risks with a lathe (vs a dril press) are the number of controls makes it more likely for a novice, or experienced, operator to engage a power operation by mistake or engage the wrong operation by mistake; the generally greater rotating mass with a lathe compared to a drill press of similar power (remember, the work is rotating, as is the chuck, gearbox elements, etc. My Logan 10" has 20 oe 30 lbs of rotating weight, most of which has moments more like a fywheel than a shaft. The similarly powered drill press has about 3) I know that power isn't a fair comparison, so I'll note that the Logan has more rotational momentum at a given speed than the mid-size drill press (18" to quill, MT-5 spindle, turns a 2" drill through steel as fast as you want)
EITHER of these tools will happily and verily remove any limb you manage to get dragged into it, though the lathes are probably easier to get caught up in.... more exposed moving parts the operator needs to be close to.
This said, we used 9" and 11?" south bend cabinet lathes when I was in school and they were good for darn near any medium sized job (made parts for safe locks, engines, other machinery, no problem) and they are available used for reasonable cost. The 10" Logan we have as a small lathe does very well, and these are also available used for reasonable cost. For a little more, I saw a 14" American Pacemaker with short bed and taper attachment in good shape for about US$3000 within the last six months (we were looking for a parts machine-ours suffered under previous management) and Pratt and Whitney's are available for similar cost (REAL rugged machines) LeBlonde machines in the 13" range can also be found in a lot of areas, as are several other makes. The South Bend and Logan seem to go for more than many other makes, possibly because they are familiar names, resonable small for a given capacity, and often single-phase powered. If you have three-phase available (I would expect so in a school) the larger used machines are often less expensive.
I don't track new machines closely at this point but features to look for, if the money is avaiable, are a DRO and a taper attachment, especially for automotive and machine repair parts. CNC is not worth the money for a school unless the program is specializing in training CNC programmers.
Shade Tree Welder
05-31-2004, 10:51 PM
enlpck - well said.
I would look at and local mfg's in your area and see if they have an old tool room lathe they may donate it for the tax write off and you can spend your $3000 budget for tooling and upgrading/repairing it. An overhaul on it would make a good classroom project too.
I personally would not put a DRO on it. I think it would be good for a student to learn running the cranks the "old way" doing math in your head and reading verniers.
05-31-2004, 10:55 PM
DRO value depends on the purpose of the lathe. From the initial info, it sounds like the lathe is to be a utility tool, which is why I brought it up. If the purpose is strictly to teach machining, I would certainly agree that a DRO is a crutch.
06-01-2004, 08:34 AM
Way back in the good ol' days, when I lived in Detroit and worked in the shop...I ran a Clausing, Monarch, Lodge & Shipley, American and LeBlond. Of all those lathes, I would cast my vote for LeBlond or Monarch.
06-15-2004, 10:43 PM
This was out of a school that closed it's shop and I'm very happy with it: http://www.wheatfarm.com/rockwell_lathe/index.html
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