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Mill drill lathe combo machines?

Old 12-06-2018, 02:24 PM
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firstgear
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Default Mill drill lathe combo machines?

I have been looking a long time and my wife told me if it was something I wanted and I had the cash, go ahead....

So my question to fellow forum members, those that have one of these combo units, what unit do you have, how long have you had it?

Have you had any problems with it?

Are there any features that it doesnt have that you wish it had?

Other comments?

thanks, in advance....
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:45 PM
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AZDoug
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What do you want it for? What are your precision requirements? Are you making stuff that is happy at +/- .010" or do you need +/- .001"? Machining plastics and soft metal, or tougher stuff like 304?
Combo machines don't do anything as well as two dedicated machines.
Also, who made it will have a large impact on whether it is garbage, or reasonably useful.

I would like to have this for a small lathe: https://www.ebay.com/p/VICTOR-6-X-18-Electronic-Variable-Speed-Toolroom-Lathe-618EVS/1868532998?iid=382216185272&chn=ps

Just because.

These people make pretty good stuff, but not combos. http://www.sharp-industries.com/


Here is some info on budget milling machines:
https://www.thesawguy.com/best-bench...lling-machine/

And for lathes: https://www.top5reviewed.com/mini-metal-lathes/

Doug

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Old 12-06-2018, 03:07 PM
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Robert61
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I have a Bridgeport type mill with 2 axis bcc. And an 18" swing lathe. You can buy a used mill cheap on eBay. I did and added the cnc also from eBay.
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:00 PM
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Not looking to do stainless nor precision items...but to make brackets and mounts and turned pieces. I am trying to not keep going over to my buddies machine shop as I end up breaking into his routine like making money. He owes me a boat load of favors, but there comes a time when one can wear out their welcome so I would like to only go to him when I really need something that needs to be awesome beyond all words and adjectives! He can make stuff that other companies have tried but cant...before he opened his shop he was a model/prototype machinist at the company we both worked at.

Hence got me looking at a combo machine....so the $25k lathe is a bit more than what I need or even want....I dont want to have to deal with the footprint of a big mill....but I can give up the space for a combo....hence kind of where and how I got here....also I have 220V single phase in the garage for my air compressor and thought that I could take that connection and turn it into a connection like a dryer, that way I could put the combo on a cord and then also put a long cord on my welder and run that off a plug too.

Also I like the idea about someone that has longevity in this space and has spare parts available...service would be nice as well.....

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Old 12-06-2018, 05:18 PM
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Default Mill Drill

This is a rant I guess because I feel like I am well experienced is this area.
I have a Chinese RF45 Drill Mill that I CNC converted and it is super helpful to me. It is a pretty big machine with X40" x Y12" x Z19" capacity. If you buy one these type units, I recommend Precision Matthews machines from Pittsburgh, PA. They are hands down the best bang for your buck and they have the best warranty. I use my machine to make car parts, chassis parts, etc. After the CNC conversion, I can hold +or- .001 all day long every day. Don't buy a unit with a unit with a round column! They are a PIA to work with and they flex like crazy. A Precision Mathews PM25MV, PM27, or PM30 would be my choice for a home car enthusiast shop. All three of these are easy to handle and set up. I have no connection with these people, but I am a professional engineer and do have 40+ years doing this stuff. Go to the CNCZONE site if you want an education on bench-top mills. You don't have to CNC it, they work fine as a manual mill. You can buy CNC kits for the PM25MV ready made. If you have a friend that knows how to machine it will be very helpful. Getting the machine is just the start of the expense though. You need tooling and a good machine vice. A friend on CNCZONE did a how to CNC conversion thread on a machine like mine if you get interested. I think I have about $4,500 in my machine, including CNC parts, ball screws, stand build, tooling, vice, etc. The basic machine was about $2,300 delivered. I had years of experience with Haas Machines, which are several cuts above the Chinese clones. Most of the used Bridgeport machines are way too worn out, heavy too move, and old technology compared to today's stuff. There are a some good ones out there though. I had a Bridgeport for 30 years. I also have lathe, vertical and horizontal band saws, belt sanders, drill presses, TIG welder, blast cabinet, and many other tools and machines. These are the essentials. There are loads of Youtube videos from guys like Franco, Hoss, and others that will wet your appetite. These things are great fun and quite useful. The links have no connection with corvette or car stuff. The mods may (will) probably delete them.
Good Luck Michael Richardson P.E.
https://www.cnczone.com/forums/benchtop-machines/
https://www.precisionmatthews.com/pr...es/benchmills/

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Old 12-06-2018, 05:53 PM
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A lathe is going to be a little more exspenive but you should be able to find a decent one for 3-4k. Mill 1k manual 4k4k plus for cnc. Like MRichard I retired after 42 years of this.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:26 PM
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So I am self taught and not overly accurate but I use my stuff or brackets and such.. Look locally like I did on Craigs list (find it locally as it can be expensive to move) and I found a J40 Bridgeport with a DRO for 1500 and a Logan Lathe with a 13" swing (much bigger than I need) for 500.

Used me John Deere to get the BP off my trailer and into my shop and it was all that machine could do to take it off but we managed. We used a bunch of 2" pipe to roll it around like Egyptians.....

Then I had to buy a 3 phase converter for 300 and that was 15 years agao...

For real technical stuff I out source but for most stuff at my level, it works fine. If my logan ever poops out, i'd go with a smaller unit since I never swing 9" of metal...

Now if you want awesome old school in a lathe, look for a Hardinge....and there is a small on on CL in my state for 1500 right now...and I see Bridgeport J40's for sale in the 1200-1500 range now too
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:12 PM
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I paid $1000 for my mill plus 2200 for the Proto Trak control. I had to put them together but it was pretty easy. The lathe I bought new 30 years ago. I'm redoing the ballscrew on the x axis now. A few weeks after I bought the Proto Trak set up the seller called and asked if I wanted to sell it back. He said I didn't need it then and I do now. He was hoping I bought but didn't follow through with using it. I had a large full 3 axis cnc but I gave it to a friend because I just don't have anymore room. You can pick this stuff upcheap now days. I built my rotary phase converter for almost nothing.




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Old 12-06-2018, 10:11 PM
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I'm pretty lucky in that my son has a Haas. I send him drawings. He sends me parts.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:13 PM
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Focusing now on a new mill.....hey it’s just money!
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:28 PM
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I have access to my father's 50's vintage 10" South Bend tool lathe, but I found it easier to schedule time in friend's shops that are closer. The welcome mat schedule is not always cooperative and working with the newer technology is always interesting. My son recently found a place that allows access to newer machines and tech, with a club membership, something that may fit the odd hobby need.

An interesting idea:
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/lg...762930261.html

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Old 12-06-2018, 10:48 PM
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I would think there would be some decent used machines in your area. Here in CT a majority of the many machine shops have closed the past 10 years because of the high taxes in CT, worked shipped out of the USA and lack or new talent coming up. Many used machines were sold to customers outside the country as well. I sold a worn out 50 hp compressor to a guy who buys everything and ships it to South America to rebuild and sell there.

For general automotive work and fabrication I have a 42" Bridgeport with a J head I rebuilt, a 10k SBL, and Boyer Schultz surface grinder. A little larger lathe would be nice but I don't have anymore room! It is great to walk out to your own garage and machine something instead of using someone else's. I wired in a rotary phase converter to a 3 phase GE panel box and breakers for each machine. I can run all 3 at the same time if needed.

If you have the room I would go with individual machines vs a combo unit. I paid $1300 for the 3 machines - delivered.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by GTR1999 View Post
I would think there would be some decent used machines in your area. Here in CT a majority of the many machine shops have closed the past 10 years because of the high taxes in CT, worked shipped out of the USA and lack or new talent coming up. Many used machines were sold to customers outside the country as well. I sold a worn out 50 hp compressor to a guy who buys everything and ships it to South America to rebuild and sell there.

For general automotive work and fabrication I have a 42" Bridgeport with a J head I rebuilt, a 10k SBL, and Boyer Schultz surface grinder. A little larger lathe would be nice but I don't have anymore room! It is great to walk out to your own garage and machine something instead of using someone else's. I wired in a rotary phase converter to a 3 phase GE panel box and breakers for each machine. I can run all 3 at the same time if needed.

If you have the room I would go with individual machines vs a combo unit. I paid $1300 for the 3 machines - delivered.
In South America because of extremely high import tariffs on new equipment, they can bring in used machines at pennies on the dollar, spares arent charged as high as import tariffs and the labor is cheap...they can then sell a USA machine at competitive prices. The high import tariffs are crazy there and in India.....but we dont hear about those from Trump...at least not yet!
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by GTR1999 View Post
I would think there would be some decent used machines in your area. Here in CT a majority of the many machine shops have closed the past 10 years because of the high taxes in CT, worked shipped out of the USA and lack or new talent coming up. Many used machines were sold to customers outside the country as well. I sold a worn out 50 hp compressor to a guy who buys everything and ships it to South America to rebuild and sell there.

For general automotive work and fabrication I have a 42" Bridgeport with a J head I rebuilt, a 10k SBL, and Boyer Schultz surface grinder. A little larger lathe would be nice but I don't have anymore room! It is great to walk out to your own garage and machine something instead of using someone else's. I wired in a rotary phase converter to a 3 phase GE panel box and breakers for each machine. I can run all 3 at the same time if needed.

If you have the room I would go with individual machines vs a combo unit. I paid $1300 for the 3 machines - delivered.
I want to avoid buying a used machine....so I am discounting that avenue...
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by 63 340HP View Post
I have access to my father's 50's vintage 10" South Bend tool lathe, but I found it easier to schedule time in friend's shops that are closer. The welcome mat schedule is not always cooperative and working with the newer technology is always interesting. My son recently found a place that allows access to newer machines and tech, with a club membership, something that may fit the odd hobby need.

An interesting idea:
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/lg...762930261.html
great idea....especially for California where there are lots of start ups that dont want to spend capital on machines but they can spend the membership dues to make their own. That is a great idea!
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:15 PM
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Harbor Freight had a $600 unit mill online for simple projects! But a foreign cheap job!

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Old 12-06-2018, 11:26 PM
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I have a 8" x 40" south bend and a 12" x 60" sears lathe . both get the job done. both are late 50's so they don't rock and are really heavy.

I also have a 3 hp Walker-turner drill press / light mill with a wet table that works very well for my needs. I converted it to 110 volts and 1.5 hp. Again late 50's era and all heavy cast iron.

I purchased these items in the 70's. 3 years ago I got a 4" x 36" lathe that the woman wanted out of her house because she was moving. Cost me $25.

I just passed on a horizontal mill because I could not get it out of the basement in 2 days as they were moving. Husband had passed. $100.00
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by firstgear View Post
I want to avoid buying a used machine....so I am discounting that avenue...
A $1300 mill lathe combo is never going to come close to a used larger lathe and mill. The only people that are going to be happy are the Chinese that made it and the American reseller that sells it to you, IMO. Your money your decision. When I bought my lathe I bought a cheaper smaller one first. It had so much chatter it was unusable. I put a 2x4 under the chuck and a dial indicator on the Chuck. I could move the chuck .007". They had all kinds of answers. I said this thing is nothing but a drill press laid over on the side. They sent me the larger lathe, of course I had to pay for it. It's been great for 30 years.

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Old 12-08-2018, 03:28 PM
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I have a ShopMaster/ShopTask Tri-Power (Mill/Drill/Lathe). Mine does manual, power feed, and CNC and I have a DRO. (~$5K + tooling). This is probably the best Chinese unit made. But it is a Chinese unit subject to all of the Chinese faults and quirks and I spend as much time "fixing" the machine as using it. It has two 1-1/2 hp motors (later have two 2 hp) as well as the three CNC motors, and runs on 115 a/c.

Mine is similar to this, but uses screws instead of these updated ball movements.


The newer ones are nice.

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Old 12-08-2018, 07:21 PM
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