Vertical Turret Lathe For Sale (VTL)

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Used Single Column and Double Column Vertical Turret Lathes (VTL) for Sale

Looking for a used vertical turret lathe? CNCMachines.net carries used vertical turret lathes (VTL). These machines are ready to make large quality machined parts for you. We buy and sell used vertical turret lathes from a wide range of manufacturers including Bullard, Bourn-Koch, Summit, Froriep, Okuma, Mori Seiki, Hyundai, Doosan, Hankook & Betts, Youji, Tos Hulin, Motch and more. Our website is updated daily. We only promote current listings from either our inventory or machine shops using our services to market their equipment.

Contact one of our CNC experts to see which machines are going to fit your needs. This way they can keep you updated with VTL machines that will be coming up in the near future. Our team is constantly working on bringing more used vertical turret lathes to the market and can let you know about the next wave of used machines coming available.

Vertical Turret Lathe Description and History

Used Vertical Turret Lathe For SaleThe VTL is lathe where the headstock sits on a horizontal table or faceplate which rotates on a vertical axis. The lathe has a side head that can be fed either horizontally or vertically and on single-column lathes, a turret slide that is mounted on a cross rail for feeding nonrotating tools. It’s used for many kinds of machining on large parts including facing, boring, drilling and milling. Vertical turret lathes were designed to take advantage of the weight of heavy workpieces rather than work against the weight in the way that horizontal milling machines do. The first vertical lathe was developed in 1883 by E.P. Bullard and then carried on by his son E.P. Bullard Jr. Bullard VTL’s were made all the way until 1989, and many are still in use today.

The size of the vertical turret lathe is designated by the diameter of the table/turret. For example, a 30” lathe has a table that is 30 inches in diameter. However, the size of the table may not be the maximum outer diameter of a part. A 34” workpiece could fit on some 30” vertical turret lathes. Sometimes vertical turret lathes are called “boring mills”. An indexable tool turret head generally distinguishes a VTL from a traditional vertical boring mill (VBM).

Used Vertical Turret Lathes for Very Large Work Pieces

Vertical turret lathes were designed for handling larger workpieces that the previous engine lathes could handle. Some VTL’s hold workpieces up to 22,000 pounds. These are great for making shafts and shanks in turbine engines, beginning with pre-machined forgings. Very large workpieces demand highly rigid rams. The ratio of ram deflection to its extension is a key indicator of the cutting ability of a VTL. In operation, it’s a good practice to lower the cross rail so the ram is extended only as far as necessary to reach a workpiece. Some machines have a half-travel rail system. This concentrates the mass and allows the use of shorter ballscrews. Machines with a half-travel rail system require both left-and right-hand tooling. Certain machines are better designed for high-mix, medium volume production of high precision parts than others.

Used vertical turret lathes are often listed as either single column or double column. As the names imply, double column is shaped like a house over the workpiece (a column on each side), and single columns only have one main upright component with a horizontal cross-rail over the workpiece. The original, older turret lathes are all single column.

How Vertical Turret Lathes Work

Vertical turret lathes capabilities vary in feed and speed ranges, angular turning limits and other special features. Earlier models of vertical turret lathes may have a coarser minimum feed. Models may have a minimum of .008” per revolution or go as low as 001” per revolution on very old models. There is also a lot of variation in the maximum feed rates. As compared to horizontal lathes, the speeds tend to be much slower. The evolution of lathes has been from handwheels to electric motors to CNC controlled motors to position the workpieces and tools. Electric drives may be controlled by levels. Typically, when there is a feed control lever on a vertical turret lathe when you move it to the creep position, the turret head moves in the direction selected in increments as low as 0.0001 inches per minute. This creep feed is independent of the table revolution. Attachments are available on some machines to permit threading up to 32 threads per inch with a single-point tool. Lathe manufacturers specify gears which are positioned in the attachment to provide a certain ration between the revolutions per minute of the table and the rate of advancement of the tool. This attachment also allows the operator to turn or per an angle up to 45 degrees in any quadrant by position gears in the gear train. When you engage the correct feed lever, it cuts the angle.

When buying a used vertical turret lathe, specifications should be available for the following:

  • Faceplate diameter
  • Maximum turning diameter
  • Swing diameter
  • Maximum turning height
  • Control type (for CNC’s)
  • Spindle motor horsepower
  • Spindle taper
  • Distance between columns (for double column mills)
  • Vertical travel of Ram (for single column mills)
  • Column maximum travel distance (for double column mills)
  • Maximum table load (weight)
  • Table speed rotation
  • Cross-rail support horizontal distance/time
  • Cross-rail support vertical distance/time
  • Clamping table dimensions
  • Total power requirements
  • Table torque
  • Table speed (RPM)
  • Floor space required

15 Check Points – How To Buy A Vertical Turret Lathe:

  • Inspect for damage and worn components.
  • Call the VTL manufacturer to see if they still support parts and service (if the company still exists.)
  • Research the brand and model online and with other VTL owners think about the brand and support.
  • Call a local distributor and talk with sales and service about support.
  • Look up independent service techs to get their opinion if the machine breaks or needs work.
  • Search online similar year makes and models to see price points.
  • Get the hours of operation, if available.
  • See if any maintenance records can be found or major repair work. Repair work isn’t a bad thing, in many cases it will help you know what been replaced, what hasn’t and if it was done right.
  • Find out the types of material and industries it made parts for in the past.
  • Ask the owner why he’s selling the machine.
  • For CNC’s, find out what process controller is on the machine. For older machines, the processor may have been upgraded.
  • Consider tool-access, how long will it take to switch out tools?
  • Review chip & coolant management options
  • Consider the ergonomics of the machine
  • Find out the electrical requirements for install

Keep in mind when buying a VTL that the age may not be an important factor for the machine’s ability to make quality parts. Many of these machines were designed for durability with excellent craftsmanship and engineering. Buy the best fit for your parts, budget and in-house expertise.

If you are ready to buy a used vertical turret lathe, we are a leading expert in used vertical turret lathes for sale and have a wide variety of years and sizes available. We would love to help you find the perfect VTL for your shop. Contact one of our used vertical turret lathe experts today for more details: 844.262.6789.

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