Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

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mr fixit
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Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by mr fixit » Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:54 pm

I have found a lathe for sale locally. It is running and it is being used buy hobbyist who has bought it bigger machine. But I don't know enough about lathes in general or clausing in particular to really know what I'm looking at. What warnings or problems or issues should I know about when I go to look at the machine. I am open to suggestions this is a Craigslist buy

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by AlabamaPaul » Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:35 pm

A little wordy, but this read will answer your question.

http://www.mermac.com/advicenew.html

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by mr fixit » Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:19 pm

That is a good resource. But I guess what I was wondering is does anyone know of any known issues with the late that lathe such as the carriage slide is prone to break or the spindle is prone to bend or what-have-you things that have that model is known for that I should look for

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by partsguy22 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:17 pm

what model number is the lathe ?
It seems they made a few 13x36 lathes

That said I've got a 6914 and my only real wish is that I could cut metric threads and maybe a bit bigger spindle bore

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by mr fixit » Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:03 pm

From the ad:

Clausing Colchester 13x36 Gearhead engine lathe
It has a 6" 3 jaw chuck, Collet Closer, Square indexable Toolpost and 6" Faceplate.
Live center and Drill Chuck
L-0 Spindle Nose, #3 morse taper in the tailstock, and 1.53" thru the spindle.
3 hp single phase motor with reversing switch. Just plug it into a 220v dryer outlet.

Hardened ways look good, and only about .003" backlash in the cross slide leadscrew.
Made in England.

The one issue it has is the power feed will advance to a point, then will need to be advanced
by hand a short distance until it catches and resumes power feed.

Come by and see it run, and I can load on a utility trailer.
$1500.00 obo.

Image

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by partsguy22 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:52 pm

It's a mod 1336
I was actually looking at that ad earlier unfortunately I'm not familiar with that model
I stumbled on it while looking for a new lathe for the shop but disregarded it because the feed issue and the seemingly lack of parts availability

I really want a clausing 15x50 but can't justify nearly 10k

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by cdhknives » Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:24 am

The power feed issue would give me pause...

What kind of collet closer? Any collets or other tooling?
YHM Phantom 30 cal, 22lr form 1 build, 45 cal form 1 in progress
Atlas 10x36

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by partsguy22 » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:06 pm

cdhknives wrote:The power feed issue would give me pause...

What kind of collet closer? Any collets or other tooling?
that collet closer in the pic looks like the 5C closer for my 6914

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by partsguy22 » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:36 pm


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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by mr fixit » Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:47 pm

Is the manual the same for the 1336? What differences are there?

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by crazyelece » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:37 pm

Not that that isn't a decent lathe, BUT I wouldn't pay that much for that machine.

3 reasons - 1) as has been brought up, the power feed issue has trouble written all over it. If it is the lead screw that would also likely effect cutting threads

2) Look at the spray paint job. That would indicate to me that the owner half-asses stuff. Not having touched original worn finish would have been better IMO.

3) 6" three jaw on a 13" machine and no 4 jaw. Seriously? That means you'd be looking to purchase at least a decent 8-10" 4 or 6 independant jaw chuck if not also a larger 3 or 4 scroll jaw chuck

Also do you have a way to move this yourself or is that going to cost extra money?

It may be worth a lower offer if you don't mind projects, and if you are in a position to be able to scrap it and walk away if neccessary

Now this is just my opinion, and around here machines turn up for sale fairly regularly so being picky isn't hard

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by esh21167 » Sat Jun 11, 2016 1:28 pm

Certainly could be a gearbox or apron gear issue and as stated earlier parts are not readily available. We priced 8 gears for a larger, newer Colchester 15" (box basically blew apart) and were quoted almost $6000. They had to be made. Probably could have purchased third party gears, but would have had to have the inside wire EDM machined for the spline drive. Or it could be as easy as a shear pin on the leadscrew or feed rod. If you knew that for sure, maybe.

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by mr fixit » Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:25 pm

Threading works fine, seems maybe a tooth is broken in the apron for the feed shaft. I can move it myself, no extra cost there. Thinking really hard about it, these dont often show up in me neck of the woods.

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by yondering » Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:11 am

crazyelece wrote:Not that that isn't a decent lathe, BUT I wouldn't pay that much for that machine.

3 reasons - 1) as has been brought up, the power feed issue has trouble written all over it. If it is the lead screw that would also likely effect cutting threads

2) Look at the spray paint job. That would indicate to me that the owner half-asses stuff. Not having touched original worn finish would have been better IMO.

3) 6" three jaw on a 13" machine and no 4 jaw. Seriously? That means you'd be looking to purchase at least a decent 8-10" 4 or 6 independant jaw chuck if not also a larger 3 or 4 scroll jaw chuck
That machine has a separate lead screw and feed shaft; you can see it in the picture.

6" chucks are common on 12-13" lathes. 8" is fine too, but 10" can have clearance issues with the carriage. Nothing wrong with that 6" on there, as long as the bore is as big as the spindle bore.

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by yondering » Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:17 am

Mr fixit, as long as you're willing to take a chance on the feed issue, that lathe seems reasonable for the price; that's about what it would go for around here.

One thing I'd want to know before buying it - what is the max speed? If it won't do at least 1,000 rpm I'd pass; that would limit your capability with some of the more modern stainless materials and with carbide tooling. A lot of older lathes will only do 500-600 rpm, and are working hard to do it, but it can be harder to get a good finish with some modern tooling and materials at those lower speeds.

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by mcmaster » Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:25 am

Find a 4-jaw for it, look at the lead-screw and see if it's worn down to V-shaped threads already, put an indicator on the ways and run it back and forth.

watch this too: youtube.com/watch?v=i-94Oh2VgQo

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by mr fixit » Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:12 am

yondering wrote:
One thing I'd want to know before buying it - what is the max speed? If it won't do at least 1,000 rpm I'd pass; that would limit your capability with some of the more modern stainless materials and with carbide tooling. A lot of older lathes will only do 500-600 rpm, and are working hard to do it, but it can be harder to get a good finish with some modern tooling and materials at those lower speeds.

Seller told me on the phone max spindle rpm was 1300 or possibly 1500.

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by yondering » Sun Jun 12, 2016 10:39 pm

mr fixit wrote:
yondering wrote:
One thing I'd want to know before buying it - what is the max speed? If it won't do at least 1,000 rpm I'd pass; that would limit your capability with some of the more modern stainless materials and with carbide tooling. A lot of older lathes will only do 500-600 rpm, and are working hard to do it, but it can be harder to get a good finish with some modern tooling and materials at those lower speeds.

Seller told me on the phone max spindle rpm was 1300 or possibly 1500.
That'll do for any suppressor work you want.

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by mcmaster » Mon Jun 13, 2016 1:42 am

You know, an accurate 3-jaw is pretty handy.
Try to find a piece of drill rod (tolerance usually pretty good) and see how much runout is on the 3-jaw chuck (using an indicator). If the runout is too much, you could see if you can get someone with a toolpost grinder to grind the jaws for you, be careful not to spread the abrasive material all over the ways though, that will wear even old machinery.

Generally toolpost grinders are pretty expensive, but you might be able to make something worthwhile with some ingenuity and ideas on youtube.

I've done quite a bit of work on a small lathe myself, (not making suppressors of course) and the problems you're likely to run into include: not enough torque (I have a 3/4 HP Chinese mini lathe) for low speed cutting, not enough mass to spin something heavy off-center (trying to spin a 7x5 plate with a hole bored in it) fast enough, not enough travel on the tailstock for drilling deep holes, and removing large amounts of material will literally take you all day. The 2HP motor on that thing is likely a godsend. It's better than not having a lathe for sure, but trying to do a lot with it will really take a long time.

And don't spin something long with too much hanging out of either end unsupported, people get killed trying to do that relatively often. Read up on safety.

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by mr fixit » Tue Jun 14, 2016 7:20 pm

*UPDATE** I went and looked at the machine

First, take what I am about to say with some 'grains of salt' if you will, I am a newbie and really don't know alot about lathes.
That being said, overall I thought the machine itself was 'in good shape'. The apron controls and slides moved with a heavy silky feel. I could see just a little bit of backlash in the cross slide. The ways from what I could tell by looking looked good, by that I mean I didn't see any gouges and no obvious worn spots. The flat on the top of the "V" ways seemed to be the same width the length of the bed. Machine ran smooth as far as I could tell.

Now for what I thought were problems;
The original 2 speed 3 phase motor has been replaced with a single speed 1 phase motor. So, the lathe no longer has the full range of speeds, which ones are missing I'm not sure. There is no steady rest, no follow rest, only a 3-jaw chuck and a back plate which appears to be turned down to 8" and cut to mount a new plain chuck on. As the ad said the feed stops and has to be restarted by turning the hand wheel. Obviously a tooth or 2 are missing on the gear in the apron. That feed issue is not a big deal by itself, but it leads to what I think is some history of the lathe.

The chip pan has damage, in fact it had been torn apart and repaired on the front left corner. I also found in the top drawer a broken hand wheel, which the owner told me was the original wheel for the apron, a new(er) hand wheel had been put on in its place. The broken wheel had the outer rim broken and missing between 2 of the 3 'spokes'. Also, the bottom of the top drawer was bent up and in. Taking all this into account, I believe that at some time it's past the machine toppled over or was dropped while moving which did the damage to the chip pan, broke the hand wheel and the teeth on the apron gear and bent the drawer all at the same time.

I don't think the current owner did it, but I think it happened. So, it makes me worried about what other cracks and damage there may be.

I really really want a heavy good old iron lathe. I'm not sure if I want this one though. Thoughts?

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by yondering » Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:19 pm

Hmm, sounds to me like you're thinking about it right, and the concerns are valid.

If you have concerns about the damage, and are willing to wait a while longer, pass and wait for the next one in this size range. For a couple hundred dollars more you should be able to find one like this without damage, and including a steady rest and 4 jaw chuck.

The missing 4 jaw isn't that big a deal, but finding a steady rest to fit that particular lathe may or may not be an issue. I've made my own one one lathe, but prefer to get the original steady with the lathe if possible.

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by Pat M » Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:37 pm

offer him $900

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by mcmaster » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:26 pm

If you are fine with making or buying a new gear for the apron, and installing a two-speed or VFD motor it should be a fine machine.

Alternatively, in the rural midwest (here) the best place to find used machinery is actually word of mouth. There are a lot of used machinery salesmen that don't have websites or any online presence at all. I personally would find a small local machine shop and see if they have any equipment they want to get rid of, or if they know a used machinery salesman. Either way it's a good place to start. The small machine shops that pop up around here like weeds usually are looking to buy and sell, to make room for new machines or similar.

You can find good deals on old machinery too, I recently bought a 1940's or 50's Pratt & Whitney 16" x 54" lathe for around $2,500 (minus 3-phase conversion equipment cost). It's a massive chunk of American steel (over 2 tons with the coolant tank under the chip pan full of chips), and well worth the price. Hanging around the shop afterward a used machinery salesman stopped by to chat with the owner and offered me a slightly smaller old German made lathe for $5,000, supposedly in extremely good condition.

I guess my point is, the trade of machinery and tools is all around us if you know where to look, it just doesn't have a big online presence.
With that in mind, do you still want the machine that may require some repairs? Also of note, if you can't lift the chuck onto the machine you will need a hoist system for changing chucks.

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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by BinaryAndy » Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:19 am

I think your theory about the damage is correct: sounds like it was dropped. That can cause some more significant damage in several areas.

I don't think the drop explains the power feed issue, though. It's possible it happened that way, but the "dead spot" sounds like several broken teeth on a miter gear or worm gear, which seems more like the result of a bad crash. Power feeds are supposed to have friction clutches to prevent this damage, but some don't and they can fail.

All this plus the bad spray paint and missing steady rest suggests to me that this lathe has had a pretty tough life and wasn't cared for particularly well. I don't know many people who would do the paint job that haphazardly, never fix the power feed, AND keep the spindle and gearbox well-oiled. I would pass.
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Re: Help with lathe, 13x36 Clausing

Post by silverbulletexpress » Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:25 pm

I would save for a Grizzly gunsmith lathe. I had an old South Bend that I still love but the Grizzly is just a whole nother world and will do everything I could ever want including metric threads.
"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, 1785

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