If you're interested in completing complex customizations to materials, be it through cutting or sanding, then a lathe is a good machine tool to invest in. You'll find a model suited perfectly to your needs if you approach this machine tool purchase carefully.
Consider a Heavier Design
With a lot of things, heaviness isn't always a good attribute. That's not the case for machining lathes. Heavier models are actually better for milling because they will have more stability because of the extra weight holding them to the ground.
So when you go out looking for a lathe from a manufacturer, assess its weight and try going with something significant. Your machine will then remain stable when it's running and that keeps vibrations to a minimum during your machining. Then your fabrications will be high-quality and you won't have to waste as much money because of insufficient end results.
Figure Out What Axis Best Serves Your Needs
Machine lathes vary in their axis design. There are traditional 2-axis designs that allow operators to complete basic material customizations. Such a design is ideal if you don't think you need to do a lot of things to materials.
Whereas if you have to make complex customizations on a regular basis, you'll be better suited to going with a multi-axis turning lathe. You'll have more angles to make adjustments to materials, which opens up your machining. Look over both axis designs to pinpoint an option that you feel is best for the foreseeable future.
See What Manufacturer Can Deliver on Time
Occasionally, there are wait periods for those interested in ordering machining lathes. You need to account for this when finding a manufacturer to buy from. You won't be put in a tight spot from a timeline standpoint if you see what manufacturer can deliver on a time that works for you in the beginning.
Talk to different manufacturers, getting an idea of their manufacturing capabilities and the current amount of clients they're working with. Each one should give you a date when they can have the lathe completely manufactured and shipped to your location. Then you can choose accordingly.
If you're in the material fabrication industry, there are a lot of machine tools that can help you come through on different projects. A lathe is one of these machines and it deserves your respect when purchasing it. There are a lot of good models are there. You just need to shop carefully. Visit a shop that has custom machine shop tools available.