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View Full Version : I am interested in buying a Smithy bench top?



Woody Hales
11-03-2003, 12:56 AM
I'm interested in buying a Smithy bench top mill/lathe/press. Can anyone tell me if this is a worth while machine. Also has anyone every retrofitted one with a Flash Cut CNC? I just don't wait to spend that kind of money just to be disappointed. Kinda like buying cheap garbage from China, you think your getting a deal until you try to use it...

Evan
11-03-2003, 01:14 AM
Woody,

All the gear from China isn't junk. Your computer is made in China. My new end mills are from China and they work great. I am not Chinese, I am a Viking. I really like Dormer, they are made in Sweden and Italy.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 11-03-2003).]

rmatel
11-03-2003, 09:32 AM
I have owned a 1220 LTD for 2 yrs and have spent a lot of extra money compensating for the 3in1 concept. Unless you have a super compelling reason for the 3in1, I suggest that you look at separate machines, even if you have to buy them 1 at a time.
This is not a discussion of asian vs. other. It is a put down of the 3in1 concept.
The general consensus on this and other forums is that if you buy asian, you are buying a "kit" that needs to be disassembled and tuned up before reassembly. I agree with that.
Bob

jstinem
11-03-2003, 09:40 AM
I have a ShopTask 3in1 machine. I like it. When i get my act together and do what must be done on any machine to achive close tolerances the ShopTask will do the job. If the part is wrong it's because I missed the setup.
I have heard of folks that have had start-up problems with chinese machines but mine arrived in good condition and ready work.
I have seen no manufactuing or assembly flaws that would have been unacceptable on a new U.S. machine.
In short, Go for it and start making chips!
Joe

bikenut
11-03-2003, 01:32 PM
I against Chinese machine tools due to the piece of junk Grizzly lathe I bought. The set of Chinese end mills and the set of drill bits they bought for us a work are trash. Maybe the Chinese do make some good machine tools, but bear in mind that any machine that is made to try and do the work of 3 different machines, is a compromise on everthing. Like my Dad always told me "Pay your nickle and take your chance". Also don't spend your money on Chinese made junk, and complain about 3 million jobs going overseas. Notice how it's called a "Smithy" just to give it a nice friendly Anglo Saxon name. As a Smith by surname, and coming from a long line of real "Smiths" and millwrights, I take the name of their Chinese made machine tool personaly. It should be called "Mao Tse Dong 3-in-one machine tool company"

kenc
11-03-2003, 01:45 PM
I used to own a Shoptask Eldorado quadralift.
Decent machine, you could certainly do some good projects on it. I sold it and bought a Sharp Mill and Sheldon lathe, I'm happier because there are compromises in a 3n1. However, if room is an issue a 3n1 is a hell of a lot better than nothing.

Evan: Viking? I thought you were Canadian? Everyone here in the U.S. is "Irish" or "German" even though most couldn't even point to Ireland or Germany on a map. I don't know what's wrong with being American or Canadian, pretty decent countries IMO........

skrobe
11-03-2003, 03:10 PM
My opinion:

Don't waste your money like I did. I bought a Granite 1324 their so-called "top of the line" machine. I have spent more time fixing the machine itself, than making other items with it.

Problems I have had include:

Graduated dials on lead screw and Z-axis are incorrect - lead screw dial is off by .020", Z-axis off by .012"

Z-axis feed has backlash in excess of .045" which due to the design you cannot eliminate. It is impossible to perform a plunge cut under power.

Within 1 month the 90 VDC motor and controller failed. Original motor was a USA made Poly-Scientific motor - they replaced it with a China import which didn't fit. I had to fabricate a new bracket myself to mount it.

Lead screw has noticable errors to it. I cannot chase threads longer than 2.75 inches without problem.

Within 3 months of limited run time 3 gears in the change box self-destructed.

Tailstock is way too flimsy.

Tool post hold down holes stripped out. Metal is not hardened at all.

Personally spoke with "Chuck Martens" about my machine and the problems I've had - it was not a very pleasant conversation - he was rude and flat out said that I was incompetant. I've been a machinist for the better part of 20 years.

I could go on...

lone waddie
11-03-2003, 06:39 PM
Oh I could tell the many tales of woe that came from attempting to do precision work on my Smithy 1220xl. I bought it new for $2500 in the early 1980's (seemed like a deal at the time). The quality was very, very poor. I took a real beating when I sold it, but my sanity is worth it. Maybe there are 3 in 1 machines that work...EMco, Prazi, Unimat, etc. But buying a new Smithy is not a good investment. Used and very cheap...maybe to get started. But you will want to move on to better stuff. JMHO

Joel
11-03-2003, 07:34 PM
You should search the archives as this question is as old as this forum. Many people with good opinions have answered it so many times, they are hesitant to repeat themselves yet again. My opinion: buy larger separate machines. The cost for this route is hardly any different, but the features and convenience you receive is large.

Woody Hales
11-03-2003, 09:20 PM
Thank you to all that have taken the time to reply to my interest in the smithy. I have decided to search out two seperate machines as I need to be able to produce with reable machines. Woody

Ragarsed Raglan
11-04-2003, 02:01 PM
Woody,

If you want a 3 in 1 machine there are some which can handle just about any job you can throw at them, they are rare, they are expensive, but they are very desirable!

The Meyer & Burger is a classic example of this 'multi machine', one of these was recently advertised in the UK for £3500 ($5000 USD):-

Lathe set up (http://photobucket.com/albums/1003/BillyGunn/Universals/Lathe_set_up.gif)

Now a drill press (http://photobucket.com/albums/1003/BillyGunn/Universals/Drill_Press.gif)

Now a horizontal mill (http://photobucket.com/albums/1003/BillyGunn/Universals/Horiz_mill.gif)

Now a facing lathe (http://photobucket.com/albums/1003/BillyGunn/Universals/Facing_lathe.gif)

Now a long reach horizontal mill (http://photobucket.com/albums/1003/BillyGunn/Universals/Horiz_mill2.gif)

Now a slotter! (http://photobucket.com/albums/1003/BillyGunn/Universals/Slotter.gif)

Having said that, don't forget that a 'standard' lathe (of good quality manufacture) is capable of doing more than just turning! A vertical slide attachment will allow vertical milling type work, a boring table will allow work similar to a horizontal mill and a drill pad in the tailstock will allow the lathe to be used as a reasonable 'pillar' drill.

Save up for a good quality machine, spend your money wisely, buy the accesories as you need them!

RR

davestea
11-04-2003, 08:09 PM
check out networking on this forum and
the 3 in 1 on http://www.chaski.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php