Tooling shopping list (for a newbie)

I have my first-ever machine equipment (Jet BDB-1340A lathe and JVM-836 mill) coming my way and I'm scrambling to figure out what tooling I'm going to need to do anything useful with them.

Here is what additional items I have ordered so far:

Kurt Anglock 6" vise (with mounting kit) Starrett 436 mics in 0 - 5" range Mitutoyo test indicator (.0001) Mitutoyo dial indicator (.0001) Mitutoyo magnetic stand Mitutoyo dial calipers (.001) Starrett 12" straight edge Starrett center gage Starrett thread pitch gages Starrett steel parallels (just one set, 6"x1/2"x1") Te-Co 52pc clamping set Several grades of Mobil oil and grease (as spec'd by the Jet manuals) WD-40 (to be used as cutting fluid for aluminum) Safety glasses

It might seem stupid to list WD-40 and safety glasses, but I'm literally starting from scratch here.

I'm also trying to find a good precision level for setting up the machines as was discussed in another thread.

Other items I'm thinking I should get are a good drill chuck (at least for the mill, if not one each for the mill and lathe) and a live center.

The mill is coming with the Jet R8 collet set (which was on sale for only $65 and I figured I couldn't go too wrong). The lathe has the 3 and 4 jaw chucks, and 4-post tool holder and I have added the 5C collet drawbar and 5C collet set (both also on sale for crazy prices).

So the obvious thing that I'm missing is the tooling itself. I really have NO idea what to get as far as lathe cutters or end mills. Since I'm starting from scratch, I'm not going to be diving right in and trying to make some super complicated pieces, I'm just going to be practicing more than anything. Mostly aluminum for now. Does anybody offer a "starter kit" that is decent quality and has a nice assortment of such things? Or would I be better of just buying individual pieces as I need them. The biggest thing I'm lacking is any kind of intuition for sizing these items. For example, when looking at end mills, I don't have any idea why I'd pick a

3/8" one vs. a 1/2" one. I'm *guessing* that the 1/2" one will be more rigid, which is good, and will remove material faster, but obviously you couldn't cut a 3/8" slot with it. Are those the only types of things I need to consider or do I have to be looking at the spindle speed range of my machine and then factoring in cutter diameter translated to surface speed and cross referenced with material type, etc? I'm used to buying carbide burrs for die grinders where you basically just eyeball it and say "that looks like it ought to tear some stuff up" :-) I have a feeling that end mill selection needs to be more scientific.

On the lathe cutters I'm even more clueless about angles, radii, etc...

I'm very excited about jumping in to all of this, but I've just about burned up every penny I have in what I've bought so far, so I don't really have a lot of room to buy a bunch of stuff that isn't the stuff I need!

Thanks for reading, Jeff

Reply to
Jeff B
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Good investment.

If you're worried about money, this was probably (most likely) a bad purchase. Naturally that depends on what you're doing.

Do you have a surface grinder? This indicator will be virtually useless unless you're doing some grinding.

You *will* however need a .0005" dial test indicator. 513-402 from Mitutoyo. Get the set if you're going to be doing grinding (513-402T). You'll also need something to hold it on the mill. There are various options. You'll do well for about $20.

Virtually useless unless you're doing some very specific work.

You should get a .001" plunge indicator though. They're very usefull.

Good buy. It's nice to use a quality mag base.

I can't understand why anyone buys dial calipers any more. Digitals are very accurate, more durable than dials, and read both metric and inch.

Just what _are_ you doing with all this equipment? I'm thinking engines or something. I don't think I've ever had occation to use a 12" straight edge. Typically a combination blade or 12" rigid rule (of Starrett/Mitutoyo quality) will do a good job.

Good choice. You'll need it to cut threads.

Also useful.

Get a set of the Chinese 1/8" thick parallels. You'll use all the different sizes all the time. No such thing as one-size-fits-all here.


Good plan.

Great stuff to have. I've never used it to cut though. It smells when it's at room temp. I can only imagine it will smell worse when heated. Our shop (160,000 square feet) used to smell like WD-40 until it was decided that it was too expensive or dangerous to the environment or whatever (boo).

If you're in the shop, they're on your nose, period. Eye injuries suck, and the later in the day you visit the hospital, the longer you'll have to wait. I've had three pieces of metal pulled from my eyes and it really sucks.

This should have been number one or two on your list above. Seriously. Bad drill chucks will fill your swear jar in a jiffy. Jacobs Super Ball Bearing chucks are the best. I'm not sure how to quickly switch the chuck from the lathe to the mill. You can get straight shanks for the chuck which makes it easy to slip into an R8 collet on the mill. I think you can get MT arbours for the lathe which have standard holes in the end. Others will have a better idea.

Very nice. You'll enjoy using the drawbar. Very quick if you're going to be doing small production runs.

Probably not! Usually cutter sets are garbage unless you pay a *lot* for them. You're basically paying for every cutter and then getting the nice wood box for free. If cutting tools seem too cheap to be true, they're usually garbage. You're paying for quality materials, heat treatment and grinding.


Ideally you want the largest cutter you can use. They can take a heavier chip load, they'll deflect less, and they'll be less likely to break. There are always exceptions, of course.

You should get a flycutter or facemill. Flycutters are cheap, but they're loud, rattle the machine and beatup your spindle bearings. Facemills are expensive and use carbide inserts. Because they usually have three or more flutes, they'll pretty quiet, take off lots of material and don't typically rattle your machine as badly. If you're going to be doing a lot of surfacing (cutting large flat areas), these tools are a virtual necessity. They're also very good for squaring and sizing blocks of almost any size.

You should start with high-speed steel blanks and grind them yourself. You'll need a nice bench grinder. I would recommend nothing less than an 8", but bigger is better (although more expensive, heavier, and theortically more dangerous).

You should have asked us first! You'll spent a lot of money on tooling you'll never or seldom use.

Tell us what you're going to be doing with these tools and we'll give you a better idea of what you'll need to accomplish your goals. There is literely centuries of combined experience on this newsgroup. Metalcutting is a mature trade. There are many here who are willing to share their experience so that you can get rolling more quickly, and more inexpensively.



Reply to
Robin S.


Thanks for taking the time to respond to all of my questions!

As far as many of the "not needed" items, you were on track with your guess that I build engines. 1500hp-2000hp race engines to be exact, so I feel that the mic set is a must-have that I have foolishly put off for too long. I have a very competent local machine shop that performs my major engine operations, but I know I will sleep better being able to "double check" everything myself. I already have various dial indicators that read in the .001" range for "quick and dirty" work as well as ones that read in the .0005" range for things like rod bolt stretch. I figured that I would like to be able to very precisely measure run-out on the new equipment and that having something that goes to tenths wouldn't be a bad investment. The video course I watched on tramming the head on the mill made it seem like a test indicator that was sensitive in the tenths range wouldn't be a bad idea either. Maybe I'm getting overly optimistic about accuracy here, but I just figured the extra precision couldn't hurt.

I already had a cheap-o set of digital calipers that do metric/inch and what not, but I honestly prefer the manual dial because I can "see" more precision than what is indicated. With the digital, you have no idea how close you are to that next tenth, for example. Again, probably me being a bit over the top of wanting to live in a world that is machined to the tenth of a micron. :-)

For the drill chuck, I am wanting one or two of the albrecht keyless chucks. I have decided if I should get a single one with two arbors or get the one piece units in R8 and MT-3. The latter is more expensive, but seems like a better end result (gee that's a surprise).

So you really think a lathe newbie like me is best off getting blanks and grinding them myself? I have an "ok" craftsman professional 8" bench grinder. I really only use it for grinding tungstens for the Tig at this point... what grit wheel should I get to throw on the other side for grinding lathe tools?

Thanks again! Jeff

Reply to
Jeff B

I forgot to respond to this one thing. As far as what I'm wanting to do with the equipment, at this point my mind is literally overflowing with ideas. I've always wanted to learn how to do this stuff. My grandpa was a machinist and a true inventor. He had a lathe (among many other tools) in his basement and was the type of person that basically only required raw materials and could do the rest himself. Its not just that he _could_ make his own screws, springs, etc. he always did. I used to play with model trains as a kid and asked him if he could build me a little house to set next to the track (I was like 6 years old at the time). He built a complete house with lighting, glass windows, and a fully working water wheel. The house actually had fully functional metal gutters that drained onto the water wheel. The roof most made up of individually hand carved shingles. And the list goes on. It must have taken him a thousand hours to build this thing and at the time I just took it all for granted. After all, it was a toy.

Unfortunately he passed away when I was young, and I never had a chance to learn anything about being a machinist from him. But I've had this intangible "lathes and metal working machinery are the coolest things in the world even though I don't know how to use them or even what all can be done with them" feeling that has stuck with me for the last 25 years. I suppose that things that make a strong impression on you as a child stick with you for life. I finally figured it was time to dive in and just do it. So bottom line, what will _I_ be doing with this equipment? At the moment I'm justifying it as a way to quickly and cheaply make custom parts for race cars. Whether it be turned parts like fuel injector bungs, or precisily notched and drilled items like suspension brackets, I'm sure a day won't go by that I won't think of something. At the same time, I find myself thinking that now I can make _everything_ myself so I need a dividing head and a hundred other accessories so I can get right to work on making complex helical gearsets and other such pipe dreams. I hope to find a balance somewhere in between the extremes, and I know that at the very beginning I need to start off really simple. "This is how you face a piece of rod on a lathe", "this is how you surface a block on the mill"... I know that this craft will take many, many years to learn so I'm trying to pace myself.

Sorry for rambling!

Reply to
Jeff B

"Robin S." wrote in news:

100% agree here, 2 sets wouldn't hurt. Sometimes you need one to support the center of something thin.

I would also suggest a couple of the Stanley Quick Clamps (bar clamps) in the 8" and 12" opening size. Very handy for clamping multiple thinner plates together for end work while standing up in the vice.

Gotta disagree with ya on this one Robin. Albright is the chuck of choice for me for the lathe or mill. Jacobs are junk in comparison.

Reply to

Do you mean Albrecht?

I used to like their keyless chucks. We do a lot of drilling and tapping in tool steel with large diameters on very large gearhead machines. We used reduced-shank drills when necessary so I don't believe a keyless could perform as well as a keyed Jacobs. For instance, tapping D2 with an M20 tap on a drill press.

Albrecht keyless chucks are nice for general work, however.

If you're talking about their keyed chucks, I have no experience with those. I'm sure they're very nice.



Reply to
Robin S.

The Albrecht does seem like a jewel for its intended application, but when I spoke to Albrecht yesterday they indicated the same thing: don't use stepped shank drills. This will overtorque and possibly damage the keyless chuck. At the same time, the biggest chuck they make only goes to 5/8", so my plan was to have a 1/32" - 1/2" keyless and a X" - Y" keyed for the really big stuff if necessary. I use 3" and bigger hole saws from time to time and I can't imagine that they would be keyless-chuck-friendly.

Reply to
Jeff B

If you make up a laundry list and go buy everything and then start, you will waste your money. First start, and go until you're stuck because you can't think of a way to make what you're making with what you have. Then find the minimum you need to make that, get that, buying wisely hopefully paying about 10 cents on the dollar, and go on that way.


Reply to
Grant Erwin

I use both Albrecht MT40 intergral shank and Jacobs/morse on my Bridgy/Beaver mill. Albrecht is good for rapid drill changes, but it can be difficult when working close to a shoulder as the keyless designs are fatter at the jaws, whereas Jacobs are narrower.

Reply to

Way cool!! Leigh take good care of you?

Need a Reliable Tool Care Package?


"The importance of morality is that people behave themselves even if nobody's watching. There are not enough cops and laws to replace personal morality as a means to produce a civilized society. Indeed, the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of defense for a civilized society. Unfortunately, too many of us see police, laws and the criminal justice system as society's first line of defense." --Walter Williams

Reply to

Reply to
James P Crombie

Get 100 pounds of steel and Aluminum to play with, round, rectangular, and other shapes.

Get some Cool Mist and cutting oil and two plastic indoor plant spray bottles.

Get a plastic faced hammer for hitting the top of the mill draw bar.

Get a good quality ~$100 115 piece drill set.

Get some taps and dies from 4-40 to 1/2-13.

Get some "tap magic" and "tap magic aluminum".

Get pin gauges through .500"

Get a high tension hack saw and bi-metal blades or a metal band saw.

Get a great big tap and die chart to hang on the wall in the shop.

Get some die-chem for painting blue lay out paint.

Get a shop vac for sucking up chips inside the shop.

Get a place outside the shop or way over in the corner for sandblasting and grinding.

Get compressed air to hose off dirty parts outside the shop.

Get various articulated arm reading lamps and mount them in ways to shine on the work in bench vise, mill vise, and lathe chuck.

Get a regular grinder and a "carbide" grinder with white wheels.

Get a piece of granite surface plate and a height gauge for scribing lines.

Get a mag base with arm for the dial indicator.

Get a mag base without arm that the dial indicator and a Mighty Mag Base.

Get a book, I like "Machining Fundamentals" by Walker. It shows how to grind lathe tools.

Get a drift punch set.

Get lots of files.

Get various grits of sand paper, wet and dry paper, Scotch Brite pads, and steel wool.

Get a protractor.

Get a depth micrometer.

Don't fool around for years before you finally spring for the quick change tool post for the lathe.

Get some boring bars.

Get some center drills.

Get some "V" blocks.

Get some 1-2-3 blocks.

Get a set or parallel bars for the mill vise.

Reply to
Clark Magnuson

sigh..let me know a week or two before delivery of your machines..and Ill make you up a Reliable Tool Care Package. Pay what it cost me and the shipping and its a done deal.

I get brother in law pricing, a smidge better than their $4 a pound rates


"The importance of morality is that people behave themselves even if nobody's watching. There are not enough cops and laws to replace personal morality as a means to produce a civilized society. Indeed, the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of defense for a civilized society. Unfortunately, too many of us see police, laws and the criminal justice system as society's first line of defense." --Walter Williams

Reply to

Albrecht are nice...if you can afford the space penalty. They are nearly twice as long as an equivelent Jacobs chuck and if you are cramped for space..can eat it up quickly. Ive at least 4 various Albrecht and Royal keyless chucks..and generally grab a Jacobs.

And the keyless chucks are a bitch to tap with, at least in my experience. Ive reversed the mill too many times to find the tap still stuck deep in the work.


"The importance of morality is that people behave themselves even if nobody's watching. There are not enough cops and laws to replace personal morality as a means to produce a civilized society. Indeed, the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of defense for a civilized society. Unfortunately, too many of us see police, laws and the criminal justice system as society's first line of defense." --Walter Williams

Reply to

With the HP available from your new mill..the biggest you can really run well is about 1- 1 1/8" and you will be using Silver & Deming style reduced shank drill bits for a 5/8 is about the largest chuck you will really ever need.


"The importance of morality is that people behave themselves even if nobody's watching. There are not enough cops and laws to replace personal morality as a means to produce a civilized society. Indeed, the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of defense for a civilized society. Unfortunately, too many of us see police, laws and the criminal justice system as society's first line of defense." --Walter Williams

Reply to

According to Robin S. :

Though the feel of a good Starrett mic is a lot better, I would limit myself to 0-1" and 1-2" -- and perhaps 2-3" for initial purposes, and perhaps get a cheap set of Chinese mics to cover the rest of the range.

Perhaps useful with a surface ground bar for testing runout in the collet system, beyond that, it will only make things look worse than they are. :-)


One with the 0-1" range, not any shorter range.

And the old Vernier will handle both metric and inch and never have their batteries go bad.

Dial calipers tend to swallow a small chip and pop the gears out of mesh, so it no longer zeros properly. (You can either rotate the dial to fix that, or spend a bit of time teasing the pinion back into proper mesh.

Or perhaps scraping of ways? But with new machines, you should not need to worry about that for a *long* time.

Agreed. Get the three-part combination -- square, protractor, and centering heads on a shared blade.


I've always worn the safety glasses, and (so far) missed having metal pulled from my eyes.

I think that separate chucks for the lathe and the mill are the better way to go.

Agreed. One of the nicest features of my old Clausing lathe. The other is the bed turret.

However, I would suggest that instead of the four-way toolpost (which is what I *think* you meant), you would be better off with a wedge style quick-change toolpost in the BXA or Series 200 size for that lathe.

Agreed. The five insert tool sets for lathes tend to be the poorest quality ones that I have seen, and to have the most expensive (for their size) and weakest inserts. They give you the sets, and then kill you on the inserts.

Now *good* insert tooling can be bought from eBay (or at least could a few years ago -- I haven't been keeping up with those recently.

And -- get the largest shanks that will fit the toolholders. For the BXA/Series-200 toolposts, that maximum shank size will be 5/8". Each step up in size improves the rigidity, and reduces the chatter.


Yes -- the smaller the endmill, the easier it is to break. Reasons for the smaller endmills, other than your mention of slot size (for which you should get two-flute endmills, four flute or greater are better for side milling, but poorer for slots).

The primary other reason that I can think of this late for smaller endmills is if you are milling a pocket, and need corners as close to square as possible, the smaller the endmill the closer you can get. But the shallower the pocket can be before you run out of endmill length.

And you want to remove most of the pocket with the larger endmills, which will remove more metal faster. Save the small diameter ones for the finishing cuts.

Of course -- it is possible to overshoot intentionally, if the pocket only needs to accept a square something without needing the corners to be truly square. Cut them like this:

//| |//// //| |///// /(__________________)/// ///////////////////////

and they will clear the corners of what needs to fit.

Yes. Of course, with a mill and a lathe you could easily *make* your own fly cutter with just a few HSS lathe toolbits ready to grind.

And *always* stand out of line with the stones when you first turn on the grinder. If something has bumped into the stone and cracked it, it *will* fly apart, sending stone shrapnel all over the shop. (Before mounting the stone, support it by a screwdriver through the hole, and thump the stone with a hardwood dowel or a plastic screwdriver handle. If it rings, it is a good stone, if it just goes "thunk" don't even mount it on the grinder -- it has a crack somewhere.


Of course -- he may not yet *know* what his projects are going to be. Some of us just start out knowing that we want to be able to make "stuff". I started out wanting to make hardware for electronics projects. Of *course* it changed. :-)

Enjoy, DoN.

Reply to
DoN. Nichols

According to Robin S. :

There are Albrecht keyless chucks with diamond grit jaws, which will grip a hardened tap shank with no slip -- but the problem is when you want to reverse out of the workpiece -- the Albrecht chucks will release as they were designed to do. (Though there are ones which can be locked to grip in either direction of rotation.)

Absolutely. I have them (or clones in my lathes and mills, but my drill press happens to have a keyless Jacobs, which is quite as good as the Albrecht chucks to my experience.

Do they *make* them? I know that Rohm does (who made the earliest clone of an Abrecht keyless which I experienced).

Enjoy, DoN.

Reply to
DoN. Nichols

I've got a couple old crappy hacksaws. Anybody got a link for a good economy-priced hacksaw they like? (Regular old manual kind.)

Reply to

What does that mean, Gunner?

Reply to

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