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View Full Version : Which lathe to buy????????????



runout1961
04-18-2006, 11:07 AM
Hello everyone. Soon in the near future I will be purchasing a lathe. My question is which one do I get? I have been looking at all of them; Hightower, Porper, Enco, Shaftmaster. If any of you have personal experience with any of these please let me know the pros and cons.

Thanks, John

Cueless Joey
04-18-2006, 03:17 PM
Trust me, get a Hightower.

ceebee
04-19-2006, 08:12 AM
IMO, I would buy a REAL metal lathe. One with at least a minimum Spindle Bore of 1 1/2 inch I.D. You might also want a 36" center to center capability too. That will allow you to make 31 inch plus length shafts.

A REAL lathe has a value to all of the outside world. A lathe made for Billiard products limits your resale, IMO.

Big_Jon
04-19-2006, 03:26 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote ceebee:</font><hr> IMO, I would buy a REAL metal lathe. One with at least a minimum Spindle Bore of 1 1/2 inch I.D. You might also want a 36" center to center capability too. That will allow you to make 31 inch plus length shafts.

A REAL lathe has a value to all of the outside world. A lathe made for Billiard products limits your resale, IMO. <hr /></blockquote>
For a metal lathe, 40" between centers is what is needed.

Why buy a lathe that costs as much or more than a cue lathe, and then have to put in more time/money to modify it to be able to use it for cue work?
Resale?
Is he buying the lathe to use, or to sell?
Unless you have other needs that a cue lathe can't satisfy, get a Hightower. Then lather on, after you have put some time in, and can know exactly what you want in a metal lathe, and have the money/equipment/time/knowledge to modify it, then get a 40 incher.

Jon

BLACKHEART
04-20-2006, 06:17 AM
Did you get the pics I sent?????...JER

SpiderMan
04-20-2006, 08:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote ceebee:</font><hr> IMO, I would buy a REAL metal lathe. One with at least a minimum Spindle Bore of 1 1/2 inch I.D. You might also want a 36" center to center capability too. That will allow you to make 31 inch plus length shafts.

A REAL lathe has a value to all of the outside world. A lathe made for Billiard products limits your resale, IMO. <hr /></blockquote>

I'd have to agree. Unless your objective is portability (such as doing tip/ferrule repairs at tournaments), or if you're pretty inexperienced and want a package deal to get you started on cue work (but you'll soon outgrow it as you learn), it seems silly to spend big bucks on a dinky little restricted-use specialty tool.

Go visit any cuemaker, and see what they use. The smallest lathe I remember seeing on Bill Schick's floor was a 12" Atlas metalworking lathe.

Especially if you live in the northeast or on the west coast, you can get high-quality used metalworking machinery at great prices. I'm in Dallas, which isn't such a great market, so I had to search a little. But I found a nice pre-war Atlas in St Louis, with lots of tooling, and paid less than a 20-lb "cue lathe" would have cost. Now I can do gunsmithing, make motorcycle parts, and cover other general-purpose metalworking chores on the same machine I use for tips and ferrules.

SpiderMan

Chopstick
04-20-2006, 08:42 AM
Go over to azbilliards.com and check the forum "Ask the Cuemaker". They have lots of threads about equipment.