Equipment advice

Discussion in 'Introduction' started by tnbshr, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. Oct 23, 2017 #1

    tnbshr

    tnbshr

    tnbshr

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    Good day, I’m planning on getting into machining as a hobby. I was going to wait till I retire which is a long ways off! But I ended up getting sick and having to be off work. I’m back at work now but doctors orders are to find a hobby that will keep me and my mind away from work. I haven’t done any machining since high school over 20 years ago but I remember really enjoying it. Anyways I would like some advice on what I should buy for a lathe and milling machine? I want good quality and something that I can get parts and acesories for easily. Obviously I have a lot to learn about machining but my end goal is to be able to make small engines. All I want is some small equipment that I can put in my basement that will last me for years. I have been looking at grizzly equipment are they a good manufacture or should I be looking elsewhere?
     
  2. Oct 23, 2017 #2

    bazmak

    bazmak

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    The bench lathes and mills are basically all the same.Made by Sieg in china
    Good quality but need modding or fine tuning to get the most benefit
    If you are in Canada then i would go for something from a local supplier
    that you can see before buying.New /2nd hand whatever suits. I have done some threads on lathes and mills under Bazmak .You can learn a lot from posts
    I did
     
  3. Oct 23, 2017 #3

    PhilPassmore

    PhilPassmore

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    They may be thin on the ground in Canada, but you will be hard pressed to beat a Myford lathe. Though dating back 50 plus years, spares can still be obtained as the manufacturer only recently stopped trading. They can double as a mill, though I am really lucky to have a small Boxford mill that looks like it was taken out of a high school and has almost zero wear on it.
     
  4. Oct 23, 2017 #4

    Journeyman

    Journeyman

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    Having had an old Myford and currently using a WM250 (Grizzly G0602Z) I think Myfords are vastly over rated and usually vastly over priced:hDe: If you want "old iron" look at Southbend where you are but unless you know your stuff (or know someone who does) it is easy to buy something less than useful. Busy Bee are a useful supplier in Canada and their CX700 is a good starter model.

    There is currently a thread running on the Model Engineer forum discussing much the same, worth a look.
    The link in my signature line has some pages about my lathe choice, a bit out of date now but the WM250 lathe is still available.

    John
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
  5. Oct 23, 2017 #5

    PhilPassmore

    PhilPassmore

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    No need to hide under the chair :) I agree that Myfords have been slipping into the 'silly money territory' for some time now, but occasionally a decent one seems to slip under the radar. I am interested to know what your experiences have been that downrate your opinion of these wee beasties? My personal findings (as someone who has come back to lathe work after a 40 year hiatus since high school) are of a solid machine capable of a level of precision that is better than my own. That said, I am only just now coming into the model making field, most of my other lathe stuff has been motorcycle or aviation related, so perhaps I haven't yet been demanding enough.
     
  6. Oct 23, 2017 #6

    Journeyman

    Journeyman

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    There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the Myford and for an 80 year old design it has lasted pretty well. My particular lathe was a 1950's one it had been somewhat mis-used before I got it but could still do accurate work, you just had to take into account the worn bed and sloppy leadscrews. I was going to re-furbish it but the cost of new feedscrews and nuts, new leadscrew, new bearings and spindle, bed regrind and a new motor was a good bit more than the cost of a new Chinese lathe. So it was basically cost that drove my decision.

    I think you have to try and ignore a lot of the hype in engineering magazines and websites where the Myford is lauded to the nth degree. There is nothing wrong with it, it is simply a lathe of a particular design. There are better, much better and certainly much worse lathes out there. If I had my choice (space and cash) I would probably go Boxford, Colchester or Harrison which were the lathes I used when I did my training many years ago. A nice Hardinge toolroom lathe with be good but I probably couldn't afford one of those!

    John
     
  7. Oct 23, 2017 #7

    abby

    abby

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    Having owned several 31/2" (7"US) lathes including a round bed Drummond , 2 Myford ML7 's , one purchased new , an Emcomat7 and my current machine a Boxford model A , I can say that all were good machines but without doubt the Boxford has proved to be my favourite.
    Based on a very popular US made lathe , pre-owned machines are still available in the UK at very reasonable prices.
    Most of the machines offered for sale are ex school or college stock so can vary from almost unused to fit for spares only , but even the spares can be bought for sensible prices.
    The model "A" is an accurate machine and capable of heavy work , it comes with 8 speeds plus back gear , and what I like the best , a powered cross slide so no more tedious handle winding whilst facing those large diameter parts , fitted with a screw cutting gear box it is a breeze to cut a wide range of threads.
    I would definitely recommend.
    Dan.
     
  8. Oct 23, 2017 #8

    packrat

    packrat

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    You might find a lathe like the one you used to high school be it a South Bend or a Boxford. I see a lot of posts on the SBL site from members in Canada asking about there South bend Lathes so there must be some available..?
     
  9. Oct 24, 2017 #9

    ninefinger

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    Which part of Canada are you in? I occasionally hear of a lathe going up for sale before it hits the general public through the local model engineering club / live steam club. Sometimes there are really great deals to be had on those machines.

    Grizzly do ship to Canada - but be aware that getting it fixed could be frustrating - not unheard of to have something go wrong, and Grizzly do tend to back their machines but could be a process if its all done internationally.

    Other sources of new machines in Canada:

    BusyBee Tools - I think all their stores have the machines on display which helps give you a feel for the size, fit and finish.

    KBC Tools (cater towards shops / industry)

    My recommendation is if you have the means and the space then a 11" to 13" swing machine is the way to go. Realistically speaking the larger machine takes up maybe 1 to 2 feet more floor space length wise but the increased capability is more than worth it. Getting it to the basement can be a trick but disassembly can usually get the pieces to reasonable weights (head, bed, saddle and carriage, tailstock, etc).

    Milling machines - here I have to say to be careful about the Busybee machines - they used to have MT3 tapers - thats a good thing for a drill press and a lathe but on a mill it makes it much harder to source tooling(in Canada / US). Stick with R8 tapers and you'll be able to source a ton of tooling from the US (i.e. Grizzly and others) for significantly less $ then MT3 tapers.
    Ok - after I type that I just looked on Busybee and it seems they are now R8 tapers! Still - beware of clearance machines or 2nd hand that are the MT3 (unless they have a ton of tooling with them).

    Lastly - stay away from the 3-in-1 machine. I had one. I experienced all the negative things said about those machines and more. Get separate machines. Enough said on that.

    Good luck.

    Mike
     
  10. Oct 24, 2017 #10

    tnbshr

    tnbshr

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    Ok, so I’m from Medicine Hat Alberta and just happen to be in Calgary today and went by busy SE to see what they had for equipment. I was very disappointed to see brandnew equipment with the paint just coming off in flakes and by just looking at the equipment it just didn’t look like good quality! I’m no expert by any means in the machinist trade but in my trade as a sheet metal worker I wouldn’t spend money on new equipment that looked that poor on the show room floor. I want something of good quality and reliability that I can enjoy for years. You comentented that grizzly may be hard to get repairs done on but are they any better quality? Or do you have more manufacture suggestions ?
     
  11. Oct 24, 2017 #11

    john_reese

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    If buying a used lathe try to avoid one with flat ways. You can't do accurate work if the ways are worn. Ways wear more closest to the chuck. If you adjust the carriage gibs to fit the least worn part of the bed there will be slack when the carriage is near the chuck. On a V way machine you can do accurate work even if the ways are worn. The carriage is guided by the V an will have no play.

    There should be South Bend, Logan, Sheldon, and other used machines available. Parts should not be a big issue. I had my 10K South Bend since the 1970's and I bought it used. The only part I had to replace was the flat belt. These older quality lathes were built well and almost never break down. Repair parts for many out of production lathes are available in eBay. You are getting into machining. You could make many of your own repair parts.
     
  12. Oct 25, 2017 #12

    ninefinger

    ninefinger

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    Quite frankly all the Chinese made machines from Busy Bee, Grizzly, King, Precision Matthews, Bolton, etc are the same basic machine, some may be slightly better than others due to better on site QC / QA but it is a crap shoot. That's the issue - buy from China or go for something that is 3 to 10 times the price - i.e. a new Standard Modern is made in Canada but will run you $22k for a 13" lathe https://www.kbctools.ca/products/MACHINERY/LATHES/MANUAL%20LATHES/10137.aspx

    KBC carry the King brand, but really its the same lathes as Grizzly and BusyBee rebranded again.

    Grizzly may be your best bet. They are the largest distributor of these hobby size machines so they will at least have some pull with the factories they buy from in terms of demanding quality or no repeat business....

    Good luck - your only other option is used - and that is a whole different game.

    Mike
     
  13. Oct 26, 2017 #13

    tnbshr

    tnbshr

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    Thanks for all the advice. I guess I’m leaning towards the grizzly G0768Z lathe and the G0758Z mill. If one of you guys have a few minutes could you visit the grizzly site and review these pieces of equipment and give me your thoughts. I know it’s a lot to ask but I would appreciate some who knows what to look for give me their opinion before I pull out my cheque book. Thanks.
     
  14. Dec 12, 2017 #14

    RodRico

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    I’m certainly no expert, but after much research, I’ve decided to go with the Tormach PCNC 770 with the Rapid Turn lathe accessory (turns the mill into a lathe). For my project, the smaller/cheaper PCNC 440 would be suitable, but it doesn’t support the full line of accessories available for the PCNC 770. My needs may be different than most as I plan to build two engines, 50cc and 125cc, and want to be able to do low volume production once the prototype is tested and the design optimized. I’ve been really impressed with the work I see in YouTube videos, and really appreciate all the training opportunities and videos provided by Tormach. Note I plan to be working 7075-T6 aluminum as well as Maraging 350 steel (in the soft annealed state prior to heat treatment). My son’s a mechanical engineer with hands on machining experience, and these Tormach tools are the cheapest that meet my needs and earned his approval.
     
  15. Dec 12, 2017 #15

    bazmak

    bazmak

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    I would advise against an all in one unit.Its not much more expensive to buy a lathe and mill. Its bliss to have both units working together with a lot less setup time.You ate forevever changing setups with all in ones or lathe V/slide
     
  16. Dec 12, 2017 #16

    Blogwitch

    Blogwitch

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    If/when you go to buy a new lathe, compare prices for the same machine from different suppliers..

    There is a reason for this, most box shifters have their machines made down to a price, so 50 bucks difference between suppliers can usually mean that the higher priced one is built to a better standard, as I found on my lathe. When the slides were removed for modding, I noticed that all the ways had been hand scraped and lubrication channels milled into the ways, these are not noticeable just looking at the machine, but it does give you a feeling of security because extra care had been taken with my machine, and it has definitely satisfied all my needs.

    If/when you are looking for a milling machine, as already stated, get one with an R8 spindle, plus also, if you can afford it, get a machine with a knee. I doubt if you will get much more throat, but you will gain better control of the three axis, plus it will be easy to fit power feeds and DRO's to all the axis, maybe at a later date.

    With regards to toolholding on the mill, have a look at spindle collets rather than ER ones. They both cost about the same price, but if a higher job comes along, you will automatically lose 3" throat because that is how far the collet holder sticks out of the spindle, whereas spindle collets are flush with the end of the spindle and you don't lose any throat depth..

    John
     
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  17. Dec 13, 2017 #17

    RodRico

    RodRico

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    Good point. I hadn't considered setup time, only shop floor space.
     
  18. Dec 13, 2017 #18

    bazmak

    bazmak

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    Been there ,done that.You can guarantee that when you want the lathe the
    mill ,is in the way and vice verser.My shop is only 5 ft x 14ft but i still have room for 2 lathes and a mill.Its great to be on the lathe and just switch to the mill an d back again etc.I have learned my lesson
     

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