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sabrejet
07-22-2009, 02:55 PM
I am retired and would like to get involved in this as a hobby. The Smithy seems to me a good way to go because of space. I would like to hear from Smithy ouners about what you think of your machine? What model you wish you had? What about the Max and the Industrial Max?

Thank you, Sabrejet

rotate
07-22-2009, 03:05 PM
Avoid 3in1 like the plague.

Fasttrack
07-22-2009, 03:10 PM
:D I suggest you use the search function and read up on some of the other threads about 3-in-1 machines and Smithy products.

I own the smallest 3-in-1 machine (the Midas) and I find it very frusterating to use. There is usually a big argument vs buying "American Iron" and "Import" machines. You can buy new import machines or used American made machines and I am a proponent of American machines. I've had the displeasure of using and owning several different import brands, as well as the pleasure and pride of owning some very large American made models.

Regardless of that argument starter, I suggest that you go for two independent machines, if there is any possible way you can fit them in your workshop! Also, it would be worth making friends with a local machinist who can teach you some basics and give you some ideas on what features you want on a machine.

If space is truly a limiting factor, you can get pretty decent small machines that are still independent. The Smithy lathe feature is ok, but the mill is sub-par, even for a small mill, imo.

I'm sure alot of people will be able to give you good advice on the smaller machines, if that is what you have your heart set on. As far as a lathe goes, I think you will find that you really want a quick change gearbox. I've used lathes with pick gears and it really hurts your momentum when working on a project. It only takes about 5 minutes, but its still frusterating.

What kind of projects do you see yourself working on? Where are you located? There may be some of us nearby who would be more than happy to "show you the ropes".

(And Welcome Aboard!)

tattoomike68
07-22-2009, 03:38 PM
I own the smallest 3-in-1 machine (the Midas) and I find it very frusterating to use.

Regardless of that argument starter, I suggest that you go for two independent machines, if there is any possible way you can fit them in your workshop!

If space is truly a limiting factor, you can get pretty decent small machines that are still independent. The Smithy lathe feature is ok, but the mill is sub-par, even for a small mill, imo.


I agree with all that, I have a midas 1220 also and will not even use the mill head, it sucks.

Buy two machines.

Liger Zero
07-22-2009, 03:39 PM
I have a Grizzly 3-in-1. It's ok, great for projects where I have to turn a part then mill a slot or a hole. The mill is... meh. The lathe is meh.

I got it because it was cheap and I needed to replace a lathe that I had sold to cover a medical bill.

It gets the job done, but on the other hand you can get a small mill and a small lathe for the same price and actually get some decent capability.

All depends what you want to do. If you are going to bore out hardened castings daily, don't get a wee machine like these. If we're talking model parts, gadgets, small engine repair parts, HOBBY BITS AND PIECES and the like... It'll do.

Stay tuned, others will be around shortly with opinions... some of us actually have used the machines too, not just repeating what they read. ;)

radkins
07-22-2009, 04:04 PM
For about the cost of a Granite machine from Smithy , which I found to be very much compromised in most functions, I bought a 14x40 engine lathe from Harbor Freight that has turned out to be much more than I expected. None of the horror stories I have heard about import machines seems to be true on the bigger models but seems to be very much true for anything less than 12". This lathe has exceeded all my expectations and with a home made milling attachment I find I can do almost any milling job my buddy can do with his Smithy Granite, key word here being almost. Any limitations on milling with this attachment are far more than made up for in the extra versatility of the much bigger lathe because this machine can do things that the Smithy could not even dream of doing, I know this thing is a lot bigger (heavier) and will take up more space but it is almost indescribably more useful! Cost with a Harbor Freight discount coupon, which they have been issuing about every two weeks, was only $2559.20 + sales tax delivered to the store for pick-up.

sabrejet
07-22-2009, 05:54 PM
:D I suggest you use the search function and read up on some of the other threads about 3-in-1 machines and Smithy products.

I own the smallest 3-in-1 machine (the Midas) and I find it very frusterating to use. There is usually a big argument vs buying "American Iron" and "Import" machines. You can buy new import machines or used American made machines and I am a proponent of American machines. I've had the displeasure of using and owning several different import brands, as well as the pleasure and pride of owning some very large American made models.

Regardless of that argument starter, I suggest that you go for two independent machines, if there is any possible way you can fit them in your workshop! Also, it would be worth making friends with a local machinist who can teach you some basics and give you some ideas on what features you want on a machine.

If space is truly a limiting factor, you can get pretty decent small machines that are still independent. The Smithy lathe feature is ok, but the mill is sub-par, even for a small mill, imo.

I'm sure alot of people will be able to give you good advice on the smaller machines, if that is what you have your heart set on. As far as a lathe goes, I think you will find that you really want a quick change gearbox. I've used lathes with pick gears and it really hurts your momentum when working on a project. It only takes about 5 minutes, but its still frusterating.

What kind of projects do you see yourself working on? Where are you located? There may be some of us nearby who would be more than happy to "show you the ropes".

(And Welcome Aboard!) I live in the Leesburg, Fl area.

tattoomike68
07-22-2009, 06:28 PM
I do like smithy tools for the home shop just dont get a multi use machine. they do make lathes and mills.

If you can find space for two machines here are some thing to look for..

On a lathe....

Quick change gear box. And change gears for metric threading

threading dial.

cross feed is nice to have.

4" of compound and tailstock quill travel.

Cam lock chuck mounts, no threaded spindle unless its a taper nose spindle with a threaded ring to draw it onto the taper.

If buying new get a 3 jaw chuck, 4 jaw chuck, live center, traveler steady and a steady rest.

A quick change tool post is sweet if you can get one and lots of tool holders.

For a mill....

power feed on the quill and any axis you can get.

R8 or 30 taper spindle, there is tons of tooling for them that can be had used cheap.

Not a round column, they work but are lets say they are "touchy"

If you get flyers for auctions go have a look, its free to look and watch. if something is dirt cheap grab it and you can get started real cheap.

Also the machines are cheap, its tooling and measuring tools where you spend the big bucks.:cool:


If you do get a 3 in 1 plan on going slow and changing the set up all the time, the mill will take light cuts and is real slow, the lathe does fine but you best have a good 20 amp breaker to keep it running . Late at night I would try to turn my 8" chuck at 1,500 RPM and it would blow the breaker and I was in the dark all of a sudden.:eek: To get it to run I would have to spin the chuck by hand then kick it on to avoid the load from a stopped chuck. 110vac power sucks ass, it just dont have any balls. ( Not an issue in most of the world)

I wish you good luck in your search for tools, when you find something post it and lets us see what you are looking it. Tool shopping is like christmas to us.:)

smiller6912
07-22-2009, 10:15 PM
Well, I have a Smithy Granite 1324 that I use 3-4 times a week for one or another of my little projects and it has served me very well. I have easily spent the cost of the basic machine on add-ons and extras, and tools. I do some gunsmithing and it has always been more that adequate to get the job done. (Now I did do most of my smithing for the first 30 years with not much more than a file, so). I have added a great vise and a DRO which have made it a blessing to use. I have run some serious nice threads with it and made a few bucks doing some odd one-off jobs for my neighbors real machine shop and a local car club. I recently took a machining course and it handily got me a 100% on all of my lathe and milling projects.
I think that if you are going to play with a hobby machine and you are limited on space and you go into it understanding that you don't have a Bridgeport and a South-Bend you will be very satisfied with the Smithy.
They also have an outstanding support team that has always been right there when ever I needed anything. Really great folks.
If you have the cash and the space, The G1340 Industrial Max would obviously be the best choice. And, I recommend that you get the stand, it really makes a lot of difference in the stability of the machine.
Good luck.....

sabrejet
07-22-2009, 10:27 PM
I do like smithy tools for the home shop just dont get a multi use machine. they do make lathes and mills.

If you can find space for two machines here are some thing to look for..

On a lathe....

Quick change gear box. And change gears for metric threading

threading dial.

cross feed is nice to have.

4" of compound and tailstock quill travel.

Cam lock chuck mounts, no threaded spindle unless its a taper nose spindle with a threaded ring to draw it onto the taper.

If buying new get a 3 jaw chuck, 4 jaw chuck, live center, traveler steady and a steady rest.

A quick change tool post is sweet if you can get one and lots of tool holders.

For a mill....

power feed on the quill and any axis you can get.

R8 or 30 taper spindle, there is tons of tooling for them that can be had used cheap.

Not a round column, they work but are lets say they are "touchy"

If you get flyers for auctions go have a look, its free to look and watch. if something is dirt cheap grab it and you can get started real cheap.

Also the machines are cheap, its tooling and measuring tools where you spend the big bucks.:cool:


If you do get a 3 in 1 plan on going slow and changing the set up all the time, the mill will take light cuts and is real slow, the lathe does fine but you best have a good 20 amp breaker to keep it running . Late at night I would try to turn my 8" chuck at 1,500 RPM and it would blow the breaker and I was in the dark all of a sudden.:eek: To get it to run I would have to spin the chuck by hand then kick it on to avoid the load from a stopped chuck. 110vac power sucks ass, it just dont have any balls. ( Not an issue in most of the world)

I wish you good luck in your search for tools, when you find something post it and lets us see what you are looking it. Tool shopping is like christmas to us.:) Are there machines that meet these requierments?

tattoomike68
07-22-2009, 11:42 PM
Are there machines that meet these requierments?

yes you just pay more but spend less time fiddling with them and make more chips and less scap.

A 30 taper mill is on the large size and the 4 inch travel on the lathe compound and tail stock are more common on the large size machines.

Its just a few points to think about.

If you never worked as a machinist and ran real machines that growl and grunt and fling blue chips gingaling all over the shop, the 1220 smithy will impress you.

If you are an pro machinst about all you can say is "Its better than no mill or lathe" it will fix a rototiller or lawnmower. It just is not the tool to make race car parts.:cool:

kendall
07-22-2009, 11:43 PM
There are several companies that sell a 3 in 1 where the mill is placed behind the lathe, which gets around most of the limitations of the smithy type.

Only one I can find on a quick search is the grizzly G0516, but I've seen larger and smaller ones available.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/Combo-Lathe-w-Milling-Attachment/G0516

Advantage with that one is that the mill part is a mini mill head and column:

http://www.grizzly.com/products/Mini-Milling-Machine/G8689

without the table and base assembly, which can be purchased from a couple other sources at a reasonable cost if you decide you want to move to seperate machines.

I have no idea about the quality of the lathe, but I know a lot opf people are very happy with the mini-mill.

Ken.

tattoomike68
07-22-2009, 11:58 PM
Yea, point the man in the right direction.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/Mini...-Machine/G8689

I want that mini mill, it has to be better than the smithy 3 in 1 mill head and the price is right.

Pherdie
07-23-2009, 12:08 AM
I offer another thought for consideration, a fairly decent lathe can be used to do some light milling. It may not be as handy as a dedicated mill, or as stout for the intended purpose, but it can be, and is done, frequently.

Using the lathe for milling will allow to put your initial money towards a good lathe and accessories till such time as a mill becomes a essential and possible. When you see some of the frequently shown machining setups on Myford lathes (and others), you'll get a real sense of appreciation of just how versatile a lathe can be.

Make sure to search the forum for more information. There is some really good information to be had for beginners. It has always been my experience that a machine that does all, never does any single thing very well.

Welcome,

Fred

tattoomike68
07-23-2009, 12:45 AM
I offer another thought for consideration, a fairly decent lathe can be used to do some light milling. It may not be as handy as a dedicated mill, or as stout for the intended purpose, but it can be, and is done, frequently.

Using the lathe for milling will allow to put your initial money towards a good lathe and accessories till such time as a mill becomes a essential and possible. When you see some of the frequently shown machining setups on Myford lathes (and others), you'll get a real sense of appreciation of just how versatile a lathe can be.

Make sure to search the forum for more information. There is some really good information to be had for beginners. It has always been my experience that a machine that does all, never does any single thing very well.

Welcome,

Fred



It has always been my experience that a machine that does all, never does any single thing very well

Oh yea, thats no kidding, Thats so true.

The one place a lathe kicks butt over a mill is line boring, that in its self is an art. Its a mill type job but the lathe does it best.:cool:

Astronowanabe
07-23-2009, 02:05 AM
I am retired and would like to get involved in this as a hobby. The Smithy seems to me a good way to go because of space. I would like to hear from Smithy ouners about what you think of your machine? What model you wish you had? What about the Max and the Industrial Max?

Thank you, Sabrejet


I have a small mitas, got it real cheap ... first one is free ...
think of it as a gateway drug (he said eying a Van Norman)