I just got the flyer from Smithy about rising costs. New to this, are there higher end machines any good? Won't being doing anything real heavy.
I think in the long run you'll be a lot happier if you get a separate lathe and mill, of good quality. If you can find "good used American," think that's the best route.
Assuming you keep at this, you'll have these machines for the rest of your life, so amortized over 20 or 30 or 40 years, extra money up front isn't all that significant. And this hobby is difficult enough without being subtly aggravated by the quality/limitations of your machinery every time you go to use it.
Buying used, if you're a neophyte, can be pretty intimidating (been there, done that), so see if you can find a friend who can help you out. Reliable used machinery dealers I know about are Meridian Machinery (on the Internet); Plaza Machinery in Bethel, VT, and Dave Sobel in New Jersey. I think all of them advertise in HSM. The Meridian Machinery web site has some tips for buying used machinery that may be helpful.
If the idea of buying used is still too worrisome, take a look at Jet equipment. Of the imports, Jet may have the best reputation.
09-28-2001, 04:28 PM
I've got a Smithy CB 1220 XL and all things considered I love it BUT if my budget allowed I would much rather have a seperate mill and lathe. I believe the Granite series is substantially more expensive than the "CB" series.