Necessary/desired machine tools?

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Makin chips

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I might be spoiled because I am still employed so I get to use the machines at my employer’s shop on my own time to do my projects. I believe a Mill, lathe, small band saw are your basics. With them you can make your sander, polisher, and most of your tooling needs. Next I’d add a welder. gas shielded mig is your best choice, flux core mig is more economical, a tig is even better but not necessary ($$) any exotic metal welding you can farm out. Personally I’d also add a surface grinder to add a degree of precision to your tooling and your projects. I’ll probably take some heat for my choices but 46 years as a tool and die maker has shaped my choices. Best of luck on your quest J.
 
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On Machinetools.... . I worked my whole metal work.

But I'm curious about the suggestion above of doing it by using variable speeds. I can certainly replace the motor with a DC motor and speed control, or a 3ph motor with a VFD controller. But if I slow them down electronically like that, would it not lose torque? I imagine torque is even more important on a bandsaw for cutting metal than cutting wood, though I could be wrong. I'm pretty sure a DC motor loses torque at lower speeds, not sure if that's true of a 3ph on a VFD, as well....
Sorry if redundant. Yes to both "But (Behold the Underlying Truth) it depends . If you don't know yet what you want to do, start small, make some things, and if you need more, you can get more help figuring it out. Hand tools you purchase to work around will never go to waste regardless of what you up grade to later. Just another $.002 USD
 
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One rule is that no matter how much space you have you will exceed it. If you have 500 sq ft you will obtain 600 sq ft of stuff. If you have 1000 sq ft you will you will obtain 1200 sq ft of stuff.
When I saw financial retirement coming I built a 30'x40' shop. Bought a Japanese mill (much better than my Bridgeport), and a small Atlas lathe. I started making parts for a professional Ferrari restoration shop. Bought a Grizzly 13-40 lathe (new), and full tooling group. Then small bandsaw, rotary table, angle-lock style vices, tooling cabinets, 5-c collet fixtures, A larger bandsaw and then the Bridgeport. I was able to make anything in my shop. Then my crash. Motorcycle wreck. Brain hemorage and disability. I'm back in the shop making things now. Brain damage about 95 percent gone. Able to make everything I like. Point is? All this stuff is relative. I love my shop. If I quit I'll be a worthless 74 year old granpop. I ain't quitting. I taught my boys and am teaching my grandson. Thanks for the rant.
 
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I am new to this hobby and find it very much like owning a horse. Your daughter wants to ride so you buy a horse. Of course you need all the kit, saddles, bridals, riding outfit, boots and no end of brushes and what-nots to keep the horse looking good and shiney. Then the daughter joins a riding club so you need a trailor to haul the horse and a truck to pull it. And a piece of land to keep it on. The horse itself ends up being the cheapest part of the deal.

The shiney new lathe and mill in my shop look lovely but are useless on their own. You need tooling to do anything, and the variety of tools and knick knacks for machining is mind boggling. So after buying a vice and collets for the mill and cutting tools for the lathe my rule is that I only buy anything else if I need it. Starting small engine builds reveals that you need an awful lot. So bit by bit each month. The wife has worn out a spot on the ceiling looking at it every time I tell her I need something else.
 

animal12

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Clockworkcheval , not to hi-jack this thread , but can you give some more info on your motor setup for your Taig ?
. For needed tools for a shop one tool that I don't see mentioned much which I uses all the time is a belt sander . I have a couple setup with different grit belts which get constant use .
animal
 

Vicaro

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On Machinetools.... . I worked my whole live in machineshops all over the Western World and upon retirement I find that actually manufacturing something yourself is quite different from managing it or talking about it. I limit myself to the technology from about the 1960's. So a lathe, a mill and a drill. And a bandsaw because it is faster and much more precise than sawing by hand. Being able to use the bandsaw vertical with a narrow blade vastly expands its usefulness. Upon making small stuff you are limited by the spindle speeds of the machinetools available to the amateur, say 2000 revs, sometimes 4000 revs. So I got a TAIG lathe which I drive with a 40 Volt DC motor, revs controlled between 30 and 6.000 revs. With the TAIG pulley set-up 3:1:3 this gives a very useful speed range from 10 to 18.000 revs - you can finally drill a decent 0,5 mm hole in a 1 mm shaft, and then slowly controlled tap it! For semi-finishing I use very simple horizontal and vertical band/disc sanders. And as soon as the cutting tooling becomes more complex you start considering a toolgrinder. The next step is controlled heat treatment. For HSS this means an oven that goes up to 1200 -1300 degrees Celsius, a second oven that goes up to 500 - 600 degrees Celsius for the second step and for the third step a simple small oven up to 200 degrees Celsius if you want to avoid discussion over the use of the oven in the kitchen.
My machineshop is at the back of the big shed in the garden. Problem is rust: in the morning the metal mass of the machinetools stays longer cold then the surrounding air which results in surface rust everywhere. I successfully fight this with an electric dehumidifier and with floor heating. The discussion why floor heating in the machineshop was necessary, but too expensive for the master-bathroom, was also heated.
One trick I've seen to avoid corrosion caused by dew-point condensation is to wrap the tools in industrial cling-film wrap.
Bit of a pain but worth a try perhaps...
 
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Hi Animal12, as for me a TAIG or Sherline falls very much in the category of desired machinetools, I'm happy to oblige. I've mounted the TAIG on a length of U-beam. The electronic motor controls are at the underside of the U-beam. The motor is of the type used in Robotics, 40 Volts, 5 Amps and 6.000 revs. The motor sits on a simple hinge at the back of the U-beam. See foto's. The other stuff you see are the DRO's - my thinking is limited to metric and the TAIG spindles are inch so I needed them. I mounted the DRO's out of the way on the back of the carriage.
Hi Vicaro, daily wrapping and un-wrapping cling-filmed machinetools doesn't quite feel like the thing for me. I'm afraid the salty sweat from that effort would add greatly to the corrosion of my machines.

TAIG Overview.JPG
TAIG Motor controls in base.JPG
TAIG motorplaatje.JPG
TAIG drive arrangement.JPG
 

timo_gross

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I find it very interesting as to what others think is necessary. I have been playing around with this hobby stuff for about 20 years now and find that some folks find things necessary that I never even thought about. I do not have a surface plate but use a piece of Corian. I do not have a disk sander but have a home made belt sander which gets used multiple times a day. I find that I use some things like collet blocks that others never seem to use. Part of the satisfaction in this hobby is making your own tooling and holding fixtures. Sometimes I look at something which I have built or repaired and think that was dumb. I just spent all day making something which I could have purchased for $25 but as the commercial says "priceless". As to the original question. Purchase the basic equipment and get started. Things will soon grow to fit whatever space is available.

I constantly buy new "tooyls", it feels like I never do anything with them :). It seems that everything can be bought. Trying to make anything cannot be motivated by "saving". Make or buy decision: If I can built something for less than 10x the buying price.
I built a belt sander, it looks like crap, it works sort of, it runs every time I try to make something. I like it and never got around to make a better looking replacement for it.

I thought the vertical belt sander is a nice to have extra, but was totally shocked how useful it is.
Make one as a first project or buy one, but get one.
 

Mike Ginn

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Looking back I started with a Myford lathe and vertical slide, set of drills and a 6inch grinder. I also had a pillar drill, bench and vice. With this quite modest kit (doesn't need to be a Myford but a 3.5inch gap bed is very useful) I was able to build a Dore Westbury mill* (). I then gradually extended the shop to a larger manual mill (Warco) followed by a small CNC mill. I then fitted DROs to the manual mill and lathe and consider these to be essential especially on the Warco which has loads of backlash. I purchased cutters and other stuff as needed. My first surface plate was a small bathroom mirror which I encased into a wooden frame.
*the main surfaces and large borings were as supplied ready machined in the kit.
Hope that helps
Mike
 

Mike Ginn

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Umm... I'm not sure how Vicaro wraps his lathe in cling film. For around 45 years my shop has been in an unheated, uninsulated garage and I agree that the dew point can be a major issue but in my experience is easily solved. I keep chucks and other tools, like squares, in a wooden cupboard above the lathe. The doors are kept shut. The lathe is covered using the (expensive) Myford cover which is open underneath (its like a 5 sided box) The mill and other steel machines are covered with plastic bags - again open at the bottom. Steel stock is coated with a thin anti rust wax-like substances from a auto shop. The issue with the dew point is when a cold object is introduced to warm air (simplistic view) and this can happen when the garage door is opened. The covers produce a thermal buffer which protects the machines. The previous post shows the Dore Westbury mill which was always kept in the garage but covered and had no rust. The lathe cross slide and one of the chucks is shown below and I can confirm that there is no rust on any part of the lathe thanks to the cover/cupboard.
I should point out that I try to avoid using any of the machines in cold weather and fan heaters are a complete no-no. The simple test re opening the garage door is to see if there is condensation on the door - if so I find something else to do!

Fortunately I now have a heated workshop with a dehumidifier so all is well 24/7!
Mike
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Thanks for the for me new idea of plastic covers. Only my (recent) Myford has one. Now that I understand I will fabricate some for the other machines.
Australian sheepfarmers found that steel posts after rubbing by sheep don't rust. It seems that sheeps wool fat is about the most effective and tenacious anti-rust fat we know. In my home-town it is to be found in small jars in shops that sell herbal thea, honey and other healthy stuff. The fat mixed with a little light oil for easier application is indeed quite effective against rust.
 

Mike Ginn

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Hi CWC (its easier than typing Clock....... ! The material I use is called Waxoyl which is made by Hammerite and seems to be widely available in the EU. Its basically Lanalin (from sheep wool) and white spirits plus other chemicals. It never completely dries but leaves a thin waxy layer. It can be sprayed (usual precautions) or brushed. Dipping is messy! I've got 50 year old steel still coated and rust free! It does get dirty in time with dust but the steel is protected. Rubbing with a cloth and a little white spirit cleans the metal. Wacoyl is sold in 5Ltr cans which is probably more economical then using the small jars from the health shop!!!!
Hope that helps
Mike
 

swarf

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On keeping away rust. I rub my machines down with chainsaw bar oil. No problems. Works good on ways as well
 

awake

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Unfortunately, between the need for permits and the fact that every contractor in my area is backed up, it's probably at least a year or two before the shop is built and I can get my equipment out of storage.

Actually, we can help with that. Simply ship your equipment to us, and we can put it to use now. This way it will be well tested to be sure it will work for you. If you are amenable to this idea, I will gladly submit a list of equipment that I believe you should definitely go ahead and purchase ...

:)
 
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jgalak

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Actually, we can help with that. Simply ship your equipment to us, and we can put it to use now. This way it will be welled test it to be sure it will work for you. If you are amenable to this idea, I will gladly submit a list of equipment that I believe you should definitely go ahead and purchase ...

:)


Wow, what an amazingly generous and helpful offer. :D
 

Henry K

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Rust can be a very strange creature. I belong to a historic group that is restoring Battery Gunnison at the Gateway National Park (NY city area). I have a WW2 vintage lathe, shaper, milling machine, and drill press alng with tools and tooling. The strange part is the machine shop is located in the concrete Battery building that is about 300 to 400 years from the ocean. The good part is that the walls are at least 2 feet thick reinforced concrete. One wall, just on the other side of nearby passageway is about 12 to 14 feet thick. the ceiling is 2 feet thick concrete covered with 6 feet of soil. No heat
Yet in spite of an occasional Hurricane (like Sandy) stirring up the ocean, plus regular New Jersey weather,
we have no problems with rust. Just keep the bare metal surfaces covered with a light oil and we are ok.
Weird.
 

jgalak

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Rust can be a very strange creature. I belong to a historic group that is restoring Battery Gunnison at the Gateway National Park (NY city area). I have a WW2 vintage lathe, shaper, milling machine, and drill press alng with tools and tooling. The strange part is the machine shop is located in the concrete Battery building that is about 300 to 400 years from the ocean. The good part is that the walls are at least 2 feet thick reinforced concrete. One wall, just on the other side of nearby passageway is about 12 to 14 feet thick. the ceiling is 2 feet thick concrete covered with 6 feet of soil. No heat
Yet in spite of an occasional Hurricane (like Sandy) stirring up the ocean, plus regular New Jersey weather,
we have no problems with rust. Just keep the bare metal surfaces covered with a light oil and we are ok.
Weird.
That's really cool! I keep meaning to take the family to Sandy Hook, that'd be a cool thing to see.
 

Henry K

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Like visiting any historic site, you may want to know more about it so you know what to expect. Try typing
"Fort Hancock, New Jersey"into Wikipedia to start. Most of the Batteries (cannon installations) have entries in Wikipedia. You can get their names in the Fort Hancock article.
Battery Gunnison is open on random week days when we are restoring it. It is also open one weekend a month. Unless something critical is happening, our team, AGFA, will usually stop, give a battery and machine shop tour, and describe everything. No Charge but a donation is appreciated to help restore the Battery.
Trivia: the 6 inch gun at Gunnison (we have 2) has a barrel weight of 10 tons and is 25 feet long. In army service, it was capable of penetrating 7 inches of armor at a distance of 2 miles.
 

Jonken44

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Rust can be a very strange creature. I belong to a historic group that is restoring Battery Gunnison at the Gateway National Park (NY city area). I have a WW2 vintage lathe, shaper, milling machine, and drill press alng with tools and tooling. The strange part is the machine shop is located in the concrete Battery building that is about 300 to 400 years from the ocean. The good part is that the walls are at least 2 feet thick reinforced concrete. One wall, just on the other side of nearby passageway is about 12 to 14 feet thick. the ceiling is 2 feet thick concrete covered with 6 feet of soil. No heat
Yet in spite of an occasional Hurricane (like Sandy) stirring up the ocean, plus regular New Jersey weather,
we have no problems with rust. Just keep the bare metal surfaces covered with a light oil and we are ok.
Weird.
Your problem is moisture in the air, we call it Humidity in Oz, you may find a Dehumidifier will help your problem, keeping the air dry, size of the unit required depends on the Cubic Mts of the area to be contained, they are used in swimming pools to keep the place form falling down over time. No more rust on tools to
 
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