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 Post subject: Swing over cross slide
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:37 am
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Location: Madison Heights, Virginia
I am looking at a few different metal lathes, and am curious what measurements those of you with metal lathes have for your swing over cross slide.

What do you feel would be an adequate distance for swing over cross slide?

I realize this is a subjective question, so I guess to clarify, I would like to know if anyone has had any issues with their clearance when trying to face a shank on a pin gauge once the pipe was finished. Or could you elaborate on any other issues that a pipe maker might face by not having enough swing.

The machines I am looking at are:
PM-1030 V with a Swing over cross slide of 5-1/2"
PM -1127VF-LB with a Swing over cross slide of 6-1/2"

Is 5-1/2" enough clearance?

I have limited space in my current shop, so I am trying to find a quality lathe that has good swing, swing over cross slide, and is heavy and stable enough for what Id like to do. Budget is also a factor, given that I am trying to buy a lathe nearly 2 months before getting married.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:53 pm
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Location: Florida
More swing is better if you can get it. I used to work on a 9" lathe and now work on a 12" lathe. 4.5" swing over vs 6" swing over. Most of the time I don't need the full 6" swing, but that extra room is really nice and it allows for some pipes that I would not have been able to make on my 9" lathe. You can make just about anything work, but if you have the space and budget, more space is better.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:20 pm 
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Location: Zimmerman, MN
My thinking is I may want to turn a pipe with up to a 6" long shank. I usually turn smaller, but for the times I need that extra bit, it's sure nice to have the lathe handle it. There aren't many other big tools in a pipe maker's workshop, so having the lathe take up the largest percentage is about right. My first lathe was 7" swing and I couldn't reverse chuck anything with a bowl more than 1.5" tall.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:06 am 
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More swing is definitely better if you can afford it, but I would rather have a smaller high quality lathe than a large low quality lathe. I have done perfectly well making pipes on a 3.5" swing lathe.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:35 pm 
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Location: Madison Heights, Virginia
caskwith wrote:
More swing is definitely better if you can afford it, but I would rather have a smaller high quality lathe than a large low quality lathe. I have done perfectly well making pipes on a 3.5" swing lathe.



Are you suggesting that it would be a good idea to consider another options in the same price range as the two models I suggested? And If so, do you have any suggestions as to what to look into?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:30 pm 
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We have all PM lathes at the Briarworks shop. I've got nothing bad to say about them, but I'm not an expert. They work pretty darn well for pipe making and are solid.


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