Which machine?

WOW!
wrote:


first,
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It being a dull day, I decide to respond to what Gunner
rec.crafts.metalworking , viz:

    I can see the cascade now ...
    Mill.     Lathe!     Mill!     Lathe!!     Mill, you technoreject from the eight dimension!     I'll mill you, you unrepentant purchaser of Harbor Freight's rejects!     Ah your dog is ugly and your mother dresses you to look like a rutabaga!     Bourgeois Commie product of the oppressor class!     Right deviationist Trotskyite! You couldn't make a square part if your paycheck depended on it!
on and on and on ...:-)
Get what you want to do first. there's stuff you can do easier on one than the other. So I'm looking for something in the multi-mode line. (space considerations.)
--
pyotr filipivich.
as an explaination for the decline in the US's tech edge, James
  Click to see the full signature.
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Which ever one presented itself to me, first. You'll know it when you see it. Just start looking for both of them. One will wander into your sights soon enough.
Jim
================================================= please reply to: JRR(zero) at yktvmv (dot) vnet (dot) ibm (dot) com ================================================
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It's kind of a toss-up, but generally people tend to go for the lathe first. I did it sort of differently, myself. My first major machine purchase was a small lathe and mill pair (individual pieces, though). Then later, I got a large lathe (13 x 40), 2 mills and a 20 inch drill press.
If starting over, I think I would take a serious look at one of the 3-in-one combos in the largest size and best brand I could afford. That way, threre'd be a little more machine "capacity" than the tiny lathe and mill pair I started off with. IMO, a 3-in-one would launch you into machine work in good style. Besides, you'd be so happy to get away from hand tools it would take a while before you began to notice the deficiencies.
Bob Swinney

first,
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Depends on what you want to make. Most of the stuff I do is small. Personally I've found the mill to be much more useful. Anything I needed to lathe I've done on the mill. I'm only getting and setting up a lathe now, more because I want it, than I need it. I think this fits into the 'addiction' catagory as Scott says. I've had the the mill now for 10 year & 2 days.

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Check out the "gingery" books. You'll end up with metal casting equipment, a good sized lathe, mill, shaper etc, no free time .. and a divorce :P You can build a lathe with a mill or a mill with a lathe actually. Most people start with lathes. I started with a mill.
You can get a minimill for about 500. A minilathe for about 400. You can get micro versions of either for about half (the lathes dont actually get much cheaper). You can get a used industrial mill lathe MAssively cheap on ebay. Ive seen full sized manual mills go for under $500. Of course you need to add $1000 shipping, have three phase power, a LARGE amount of space and a LOT of money for tools and reconditioning. You can get a minilathe, minimill, and all the stuff to get you equipped pretty good for about $1000 total (including tools). Whatever you spend on the lathe or mill you will spend that again on tooling for them (vises, endmills, calipers, etc etc).
Grizzly mills are immensely popular for hobbyist/home shop types like me. As are the harbor freight mills and lathes. For smaller ones look at sherline/taig (i emphasize smaller work). Id really reccomend one of the harbor freight or grizzly mills. With a full sized mill you really need to get high quality endmills etc, and they literally cost 20 times more.
Just my opinion :)

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