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
This is my Group:
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
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
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:
Guy Lautard.Com Machinists Books & Supplies: Lathes, Milling, Drills,
Gunsmithing and Clock making
well as not too far away to the east, in British Canada is Shooting
Star's DRO company:
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
Take care Doug,
what should I expect to pay for a first time Lathe with an overhead
Group: rec.crafts.metalworking Date: Sun, Jul 10, 2005, 8:01am (EDT+4)
From: Douglas firstname.lastname@example.org (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.