Basic Tips for Buying Used CNC Lathe Machines

Basic Tips for Buying Used CNC Lathe Machines
Kitmondo 29 May 2019

Client’s satisfaction continues to remain the most crucial goal of a business. Since the need to meet clients’ specification and ultimate satisfaction can’t be compromised, working with the best tools becomes very important.  

Buying CNC lathe machine

With high-tech equipment such as the CNC lathe machine, the expected finishing touches in a wood or metal work is expected to come out clean and with precision. Apart from giving that clean cutting and facing of your work-piece, a CNC lathe machine is sure to step-up other complex operations that your work-piece requires.

Ranging from knurling, spinning, thermal spraying to any other finishing touches that will give you the desired precision and accuracy on your work-piece, the CNC lathe machine comes really as timely tool for your business.

Why is purchasing of used CNC lathe is the best option?

As you would expect, such a high-tech CNC machine would require a bit more planning and savings to acquire a new one. Well, as scary as the thought about saving for years to acquire a new CNC lathe machine may sound, there is always a way out. And for the CNC lathe machines, the best and most feasible alternative will be to consider investing in a used CNC lathe machine.

With this, if you are lucky to deal with a professional and reliable marketplace for used equipment such as Kitmondo, you will be sure that yes, you truly invested wisely.

So, since you’ve already known where to acquire your used CNC lathe machine with the assurance of quality and the best deal for your money, let's exercise the other side of our professional responsibility as we urge you to read on.

With this in mind, we shall be considering some essential tips which you must know and understand if truly you hope to make the best from a used CNC lathe machine.

Factors you should consider when buying used CNC lathe machine

As we would rightly guess, you are already familiar with the functional parts of your CNC lathe machine. Talking about the bed, carriages, chuck, CNC control panel, head shock, main spindle, tailstock, tool turret, and what have you. So, we wouldn’t sweat talking about these parts again, and what they do. Instead, we’ll focus more on their functionality and the most important criteria you should look out for with regards to any of these parts.

So, let's dive deep into those factors you should consider about a used CNC lathe machine.

Inspect the bed ways

We believe that you already know that the heart of any CNC lathe machine is the bed ways. The bed ways ensure how precise and accurate your work-piece will be as you work on it. Most ideally, the bed ways of your lathe machine should be correctly parallel so that the carriage can also move parallel to the axis of the spindle.

Again, the tailstock center has to be in the center with the headstock spindle. Since most of the jobs done on a lathe machine take place around the headstock, it is expected that the bed ways will wear off unevenly. With this, a work-piece will taper in the same degree to the wear level of the bed. So, your goal here is to inspect the severity of the abrasion on the bed.

Going further, if you want to ascertain this practically, trying out a test bar through the center is the perfect way to tell the accuracy of the bed. If you notice excessive wear around the bed, you may have to avoid the machine. But if you choose to live with it, you should be considering spending about $1200-$1500 to fix an average lathe machine – components hand scraped to fit, and a bed reground.

Inspect the spindle

Another critical aspect to consider is the condition of the spindle itself as well as the spindle bearing. If both are damaged, you will spend much on fixing them. Well, some lathe machines come with a spare headstock which can be used for replacement.

If indeed you want to ascertain the level of spindle defect, running the spindle will help you determine the condition of the bearing. If you have the opportunity to power the machine, running the spindle at high speed will help you to notice some unusual sounds. Also, running the spindle for about a minute shouldn’t cause the bearing to get hot beyond touch.

Furthermore, the state of the spindle nose is another area to determine how well the centers or chuck will spin. Remember that there are different types of spindle types thus; L-type (long tapered spindle), D-type, and the threaded spindle.

With this, many buyers wrongly think that a spindle having 3 cam pins will be a d1-3, then a spindle having 6 cam pins will be a d1-6. But these don't work this way; instead, always remember that a D1-4 chuck has a larger end compared to d1-3.

And for tapered spindles, always check the state of the tapered section as well the camlock or threaded ring as the case may be. Also worthy of note here is the state of the shoulder as well as the threads.

The back gears – If applicable

These set of reduction gears serves the function of lowering rpm and high torque on the spindle. However, some lathe machines such as Logan, Sheldon, Southbend, and Atlas are easier to check for the back gears. While for geared hand lathe machines, a little disassembly of the headstock will be required to inspect the back gears. Let’s hope you can easily access the back gears of the machine you hope to invest in. You should check for broken, worn, or chipped teeth. In case you can’t access them, listening to the sound while the machine runs will guide you.

Geared head lathes

For the geared head lathes a double V-belt or timing belt which runs across the motor to the headstock is a prominent feature. Although it is difficult to have a visual inspection of gears before purchasing the machine, you should understand that damaged gears are usually expensive to fix. Well, you can be on the safer side by running the machine at various speeds to observe some unusual sounds (note that geared head lathes are usually louder than others). But if running the machine is impossible, investing in the machine may turn out a stake – so get your pricing right.

Need to know more? Let’s Help You

The technicalities involved in buying a used CNC lathe machine is what ink will fail us if we try to exhaust them.

Nevertheless, as a renowned market place for used machines, we can help you get the best deal from our list of CNC lather machines for sale. So, instead of taking the stress to read lengthy journals simply to know more about used lathe machines, kindly contact us for used equipment that is comparable to a new one.