what should I expect to pay for a first time Lathe with an overhead milling arm?

looking to buy my first machine and I am a complete newb so I need help.
what do I look for and what should I be spending. I have been lurking here
for a while but havent posted here I dont think.
I am in Vancouver Canada and would love to find something in my area so
shipping doesnt kill me.
Doug
Reply to
Doug Schultz
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I've been looking at a first-time lathe and mill, and I've decided against a combo machine. You'll spend so much time tearing down to switch between operations that the work will quickly turn into a chore that you'll avoid, and you also end up with a machine that compromises on important features that will leave you disappointed in your purchase. Also, consider that your setups, once torn down, will be very difficult to repeat, should the need arise.
If you're willing to be patient, I would suggest shopping the used market for separate machines. You can find better equipment for similar money, and you'll have a much more flexible, adaptable workshop. I know it's hard to wait when you think you can get started making chips for a small cash outlay. If you've got a project in mind, and space and money are no object, go ahead and get the combo machine. It will do a lot of good work, and it'll be very handy to have around when you get separate machines, later, and need a backup, or you need to make parts to restore your newly-acquired old iron.
One of the discussions I read that steered me away from the combo lathe/mill concerns height above the cross slide. Once you stack a turn table, a vise, and your workpiece on the cross slide, your end mill or face cutter may not be high enough to ride above the work. Another consideration is that you'll end up with some very heavy parts on top of your lathe bed, and the ways will take all the punishment of any milling operation you need to perform. Couple that will the limited travel of the cross slide, and the lathe/mill combo starts to become a serious liability to a long-lasting, accurate operation.
Having said all that, I don't see many combo machines on the used or surplus markets, so people are buying them and keeping them. That may mean that the combo machines are doing what they're being asked to do, and providing good service.
I'm not trying to steer you away from a combo machine, if your heart is set on it, but I think you do yourself a disservice if you don't do enough research to make sure it's what you really need in your shop. Just be prepared to compromise on some functions and features, and remember that it's a hobby. If time is money in your machine shop, a combo machine could be a huge mistake.
I don't know about shipping to Canada, but Grizzly has some nice combo machines, and Enco has good prices, and the occasional sale.
Best of luck, and let us know how you make out.
Reply to
Kevin Singleton
Look up Guy Lautard in the phone book and give him a call. He's in West Van, on Roseberry. He is the author of The Bedside Reader books, knows a lot about machine tools (and comes across them now and then) and he's a friendly fellow.
Reply to
Don Foreman
Hi Doug, - In 1999 I bought a Shop Task 17-20 XMTC Gold Series on closeout sale for about $2,000. Shipping to NY from Tacoma, WA was free but I had to hire a guy to go fetch it with his tailgate lift truck for about $125. Also I got me my own "cherry picker" break down engine hoist to move it. Crate weight was about 1/2 a ton. Figure another $2,000 in accessories later. I have my own machinist tools, now retired, working 20 years in the trade. - This is my Group: =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
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3 in 1 brands are represented by about 1,000 guys across the globe, but mostly USA, Canada and England. - 3 in 1's are toys and usually not very well made. Ditto via CNC models, though the evolution of the Shop Task is looking better, year by year. In all cases to get a good precise machine, tear it down to the bed. Using a granite surface plate and Prussian Blue, hand scrape it down dead flat, then refit as necessary. Or like I do, just use it to rough out, then use files and Crocus cloth to finish to size. Almost all the 3 in 1 machines are Chinese. But compared to Gingery's homemade lathe, at least I had something that worked (more or less) right out of the box. My apprenticeship into the trade involved me using files to do precise finishing work before I even turned on a machine. I think my 1st year was almost all bench work. - The better 3 in 1 machines are the Shop Task and the Smithy Granite, but realize what I mentioned above. Though you may luck out with a fairly decent machine. =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
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accessories checkout Grizzly or Smithy for better Chinese. Enco; J & L; MSC; Travers for USA and other better quality import accessories. - If you have the room, have the money to play with, know what you are doing, buy used industrial American, English, or German old iron and separate machines. You will need at least 220 volts AC electrical service and a phase converter to run 3 phase motors with. In most cases you will need to do a bit of work before actually using the machine. In all NY and NJ tool rooms I worked in, I ran used machinery such as Bridgeport mills, South Bend and LeBlond lathes, etc., not new. Even the Warner & Swasey NC and CNC's were used. - My Yahoo! Group is mostly hobbyists and mostly beginners. Some are working professionals or retired with not much money to spend to play with. - My Group is a good resource for information whether you go with a 3 in 1 or other conventional, so checkout my LINKS stash. - I have a Dell PC and I run McAfee, but I prefer WebTV to do Usenet. So spammers go ahead and load up my e-mail box here, I don't care! And I laugh at trojans and viruses---Ha, Ha, Ha!! - - Guy Lautard is in your area. I have a few of his books and a castings kit to his TINKER grinding jig: =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D Guy Lautard.Com Machinists Books & Supplies: Lathes, Milling, Drills, Gunsmithing and Clock making
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well as not too far away to the east, in British Canada is Shooting Star's DRO company: =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D
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- And if you ever stroke or brain hemorrhage I can put you in touch with another Yahoo! Group for strokers right out of your city. - Busy Bee 3 in 1 is out of Canada but I don't think the quality is too good. - Take care Doug, - - Kurt {:{
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D re:
what should I expect to pay for a first time Lathe with an overhead milling arm? Group: rec.crafts.metalworking Date: Sun, Jul 10, 2005, 8:01am (EDT+4) From: Douglas snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Doug=A0Schultz) looking to buy my first machine and I am a complete newb so I need help. what do I look for and what should I be spending. I have been lurking here for a while but havent posted here I dont think. I am in Vancouver Canada and would love to find something in my area so shipping doesnt kill me. Doug
Reply to
Metal Man
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They have an outlet out your way . I would offer a lot under what they ask . I am fairly sure they will move a lot on prices . Luck Ken Cutt
Reply to
Ken Cutt
Thanks for all the info so far guys. I guess my first question should have been what kind of machine should I get? I want the ability to do milling work, in aluminum mostly but some wood working too. As in electric guitar work. I want to be able to knurl custom knobs for guitar amps and the like. would love to be able to do fine enough work to actually letter the face plates of the amp right into the aluminum chassis but I think this might be for a second machine. also the ability to make the custom tools I need every day in my shop so ability to machine steel is important
these are just a few of the needs I can see right now. I thought since I wasnt going to be doing too much in the way of extremely accurate work that an all in one type machine might be the one to get.
let me know what you think?
Doug
Reply to
Doug Schultz
First of all, I am also a Newbe and my machine tools consist of ONE very old sick green painted bench top drill press with a cross slide visetable and a broken belt. But at a Tractor Supply Store I was in recently in Indiana, I saw a Lathe/mill brand new for $799 US. I don't remember the name on it, but it was a fimiliar name. This was not a bench top toy, it stood on its own stand and was maybe four feet long by five feet high? the mill and lathe each had their own motor. Now considering that I heard someone talking about $2,000 for one, what was I looking at? I too would like to hear some more NAMES of reliable tools and relative prices for both new and used if they can be found. Unfortunatly right now my budget does not even have the $800 for the machine I saw, nor did I have an idea how to get it from IN back to NJ where I live. Hope you hear more on your quest, and hopefully we all will learn something.
Reply to
Clamdigger
You can probably do most of what you'd like with the combo machines, but I think guitars are large enough that the short throw of the cross slide will hamper your productivity.
If it were me (and, really, it is!), I'd be looking for a Bridgeport-style mill, and a lathe in the 9-12 inch range. Look for Logan, South Bend, and Clausing labels. The larger mills have square or fixed columns, with the Y axis controlled by moving the table, or "knee", and highly accurate, repeatable designs. Larger lathes are not just larger, but heavier, with greater mass and stiffness, which translates to greater accuracy.
The combo machine will get you started, though, and, like I said before, will make a great backup or second machine, when you progress to larger, more accurate machines. Just don't expect the combo to be your last metalworking machine purchase!
Reply to
Kevin Singleton
Don't forget you have the length of the carriage travel for the long stuff.
Sieg makes a 10x24 lathe with a milling head mounted midway on the bed. This is the same milling head used by the minimill. You can leter separate them by buying the base from Littlemachineshop.org.
Grizzly sells the combo under model G0516.
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Reply to
Rex B
Thanks again for all the help good places to start looking now. and I will let you know as I find machines if anyone is interested.
Doug
Reply to
Doug Schultz
Doug, You might try KMS tools to compare prices and quality. They often have a lathe/ mill machine display. They are near the Ikea in Coquitlam and there is one in Abbotsford just off the freeway. Ted Edwards sometimes posts and he has had one for years up in Okanagan Falls. He might chime in with some ideas. Randy
Reply to
Randy Zimmerman
I have been out to both of them as well as House of Tools and I have come to realize that I am going to have to buy a used machine. so keep your eyes peeled for a good used one for me if you can.
Doug
Reply to
Doug Schultz

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