I wasn't looking for another lathe but ...


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A Surpuls Capital Asset

        The University I work for offers surplus capital assets for sale to staff. A Monarch 10EE (SN-EE-48362) showed up on the list. I was not searching for another lathe, but research Universities have a lot of machine shops, many of which sit idle until a scientist needs to have something built, this could be a good deal.  I found the retired toolmaker that had used the machine last, he knew some of its history.  It was built in December 1966 and delivered to Cornell University's Physics Department 1967.  It was transferred to a department shop in Veterinary Medicine some time in the 80's. About 10 years ago Veterinary Medicine moved it to a common equipment room where it is sitting between two centrifuges.  It was wired, so anyone with access to the area could use/abuse the machine.  He figures that there are less than 200 hours on it, however, it looks much more used to me.  

        The ways look very good, there is some light rust on surfaces and some staining.  Something spilled on the headstock and left the paint soft. It looks as if all the oil reservoirs are full.  Some controls seemed locked, but that is probably due to interlocks.  When I move the carriage it leaves the ways oiled. The spindle moves freely.  I saw a small needle twitch on a .0005 dial indicator, indexing the external surface of the taper and the less indexing the the face.  Maybe it really does have only 200 hours of use.  

        The toolmaker believes that the machine requires 3 phase 460V.  He also told me that the last time he had it under power it ran fine except for some choppiness as he ran up the speed.  He said that new diodes would fix this problem.  He called it a sleeper and advised me to go for it.  Based on that information and the fact I knew they wanted it gone, I made an offer and figured that if I couldn't rewire the motor to run on my RPC generated, 3-phase 240V I would replace the drive with a VFD retrofit.  

        The Cornell facilities guys moved the lathe to a hallway adjacent to the loading dock.  I had them leave it blocked up so I could get my pallet jack under it.  I tightened everything down and took off all the covers and the leveling feet. I brought a 50' 3" web sling that we wrapped around the lathe and pallet jack.  The truck winch was used to load and unload the machine.  Slow and easy, no drama.  It cost me $75 for 2 guys and a tilt bed for an hour.  I think they find me and my toys amusing.

        The 10EE came with a set of 2J collets, 1/8" - 1 3/8", by 1/16s  in a lazy susan cabinet, but I am missing any form of collet chuck or closer.  That was disappointing, but the collets are in perfect condition.  The lathe came with a Cushman 3-jaw, a Cushman 4-jaw, a drive plate and face plate all in very good shape.  It also came with a Aloris quick change tool post and one tool holder.

              I found a wonderful resource for information about 10EEs and much more in the Practical Machinist's Monarch Lathe Forum - http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/monarch-lathes.  Most of the technical information in the following pages comes from this forum, and its participants.