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post #1 of 6 Old 04-30-2009, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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advice on a used lathe

Hi, I am (hopefully) picking up a used jet 1236 tomorrow evening and was looking for advice on things to look for- besides the obvious corrosion etc... Supposedly used a caouple times onlý, and less than 5 yrs old. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-30-2009, 10:41 PM
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One thing I would do and I say this from experience of not doing it is slide the tailstock up to meet the headstock. Make sure the points line up from the side and looking down on it. Now turn the lathe on and check to make sure the headstock center is still running true to the tailstock center and not making circles around it.

I would also look at the headstock and tailstock centers and make sure they don't have a weird groove on them which could indicate something turning off true.

I think the 1236 has the reeves drive for variable speed. When you turn the lathe on run it through the speeds and make sure it seems to find all of them. If the drive needs service (cleaned) it may stick at the lower speeds. This can be remedied by cleaning and proper lubrication but it may also give you some bargaining power.

Good luck and look it over well. Jet sure makes a nice lathe though, I hope it works out for you. Keep us posted.

John
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-01-2009, 01:17 AM Thread Starter
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thanks john - great info! i will keep you posted
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-01-2009, 05:32 AM
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Some things to look for
  • Cast iron headstock and tailstock.
  • Cast iron bed.
  • Pivoting or rotating headstock with solid mounting, positive clamping and convenient means of returning the headstock to the original position.ie pins etc
  • Solid bowl turning banjo which does not flex, this is to accomodate the swivel head stock. Only really available on quality lathes
  • Secure and convenient locking, clamping and repositioning of tool rest, tailstock and barrel.
  • Well shaped tool rests not light weight or shoddy made. Also toolrests that can be adjusted 1/2" above and below centre height.
  • At least four speeds ranging from 500 r.p.m. to around 2000 rpm or higher.But ideally speeds of around 2-300rpm would be better
  • Check vee belt for condition
  • If you can, have a look at the pulley system for rough machining or casting and or sharp edges. This sort of thing will shred your belts in minutes
  • If second hand don’t be too concerned if the tailstock and headstock are not 100% aligned, not all lathes can do this from day one. But check the bearing in the headstock for sideways or vertical movement. It’s a good idea to give the chuck a pull to see if there’s any forward and back motion. This may indicate worn bearing housing which is fatal. Also don’t forget to check the quill on the tailstock for side movement
  • Mechanical or electronic variable speed system to save fiddling with pulleys and belts. Otherwise a belt and pulley arrangement that is easy to get at
  • Dust proof induction motor of 1/2" H.P. minimum for small mini lathes or 1hp for the rest. Try and avoid motors with brushes as it will add to the maintenance bill. Should have capacitor start and centrifugal switch for high starting torque.
  • Push button switch ie safety switch sealed against dust. That is, if you remove the power from the lathe when its running and restore the power the lathe should not start
  • Heavy duty ball or roller bearings not solid or sleeved bearings [these are rare these day mainly applies to old lathes].
  • Widely spaced bearings which preferably support both ends of the spindle.
  • Morse taper in headstock spindle and in tailstock barrel plus convenient means of ejecting taper fitted accessories. Number 2 Morse taper is better than number 1.
  • Easy spindle locking (so you can unscrew the faceplate or chuck easily)
  • Standard headstock spindle thread to enable you to buy chucks from a wide choice of suppliers not just the lathe maker.
  • Register on the headstock spindle nose for true running of chucks, ie normally there’s a little step on the shaft that the chuck screws onto and it acts as alignment
  • Tailstock with hole right through enabling you to drill cable holes in lamps or any long drilling jobs for that matter
  • Long tailstock travel[atleast 50mm or 2", 3" would be real nice] for drilling and good sized hand wheel which is easy to turn. Preferably not plastic but cast iron or aluminium
  • Good reliable make. Well known makes have better resale value and have a reputation to up hold and there fore will have a better finish, design and QC
  • Good dealer backup and spares availability. This is important on the modern vari-speed lathes. As repairs are often beyond average turner.
Features to avoid or watch out for
  • Light sheet metal construction.
  • Spindle with a bearing at only one end.
  • Tailstock with threaded barrel which rotates in the housing when you tighten it.
  • Rough castings – sharp edges poor machining. These all indicate a lack of quality control and you will most likely have problems down the track
  • Weird or unknown brands
  • Weld repairs to the toolrest can indicate severe usage
  • Exposed belt drive
  • Poor electrics ie switches, frayed and damaged cabling
  • Flimsy motor mounts ie light weight pressed steel
  • Check where the motor is situated. Some have the motor high up in line with the chuck and can interfere with your turning capacity
  • Can you access the belts easily for speed changing
  • Small foot print for the bed mounts onto the stand. All good well designed lathes will have strong wide mounting feet
  • Basic ergonomics ie handles and locks are easy to access and use
  • Hows the height for you?

hughie
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-13-2009, 10:54 PM
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advice on a used lathe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Armory1801 View Post
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May I ask what this has to do with this topic? Plus maybe I missed something,but I ahve no idea as to what your taliking about
Sorry
Ken
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-13-2009, 11:04 PM
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advice on a used lathe

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Originally Posted by kingcotrader View Post
Hi, I am (hopefully) picking up a used jet 1236 tomorrow evening and was looking for advice on things to look for- besides the obvious corrosion etc... Supposedly used a caouple times onlý, and less than 5 yrs old. Thanks in advance.
I'm not sure if this is the same one,but I was in a chat room last night and we were talking about lathes and I thinke he was talking about this one and his has the reeves drive system and in two years has had to replace both pullys three times already.So if it is the same one,it seems they have quite a bit of trouble with them.Another thing I would do is compair the price of a new lathe compatible to this one and see what the differance is.The best of luck to you.Keep us updated as to how things goes.
Ken
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