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Going to look at a lathe tomorrow

Chris P

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I'm headed to look at a lathe tomorrow and right now I'm kind of walking into it blind. I asked the guy if he knew the manufacture and he said he couldn't recall off hand, but he thinks they were out of New York. This might not be much to go on, but anyone have any ideas who the manufacture could be.

Here is a link to the CL ad:
lathe, with 3 phase converter

At first I thought it was a South Bend, but if its out of NY, then I guess not.

Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

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Hi David,
this is my favourite lathe site at the moment;
Tony has useful tips for assessing lathes to buy, 'Buying Advice' as well as details of many manfacturers.
also i quote 'For some interesting and amusing advice on checking over a used lathe try: Lathe Milling machine shaper collet parts' definately amusing.
ps i'm picking up a lathe tomorrow as well!!! an Aussie 'Premo'

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Tough to tell from the pics but if it is all there and the phase converter works then it is likely well worth the $300, however, I doubt the guy knows how much use it has had or too much at all if he can't even tell you who it was manufactured by.
Look for any wear/play in the chuck and shaft, check for wear and trueness of the ways and play/wear in all moving parts in general, look for signs of abuse or misuse, cracks and missing parts, a better quality and more accurate lathe will have V shaped ways.
Whenever looking at used machines, lathes or milling machines, take into account any tooling that comes with them, how much and if it's any good, decent tooling (cutting tools) can add up well into the hundreds and even thousands of dollars real quick, I'ev seen machines get sold for less than the amount of tooling they come with.

Good luck!


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Well, I picked up the lathe for a cool $250 today. Everything seems to be good on it, supposedly it was in the guys garage for 8 years unused and he just recently moved it out side because he needed the room. It was under a tarp when I got there and there doesn't seem to be any excessive wear on the ways. I couldn't start it, but the bearings feel pretty smooth. Nothing stuck or overly rusted, just a bit of surface rust to clean up.

Does anyone know anything about W.P. Davis Machine Co.? They were out of Rochester N.Y. if that helps. My wife did a quick google search, but didn't find much but other people looking for info. Doesn't seem to be a well known manufacturer.

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