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View Full Version : New Guy. What machine(s) to start with?



madwilliamflint
09-22-2010, 11:17 AM
Good morning,

I poked around a bit for a sticky "getting started" thread but didn't come up with anything. I'm looking for an entry level lathe and probably miller to get my feet wet with a home shop setup.

The only relatively odd constraint I have is that I need to be able to horse whatever it is up and down 5 flights of stairs to my small Brooklyn Apartment. (That may imply power constraints as well.)

I was looking at the Sherlines but a buddy of mine, who spent his former life as a tool & die maker, expressed some concern about the physical capacity of their machines. I was also looking at that Bolton combo machine but, while cheap and small, it seems like it might be so cramped that it would be difficult to work with.

The biggest difficulty is that I'm not terribly sure, past a few ideas kicking around in my head (bench mount cigar cutters and other odd miscellaney), what it is I want to be making.

After decades in software development I've got to make something tactile and this just seems like the right thing. I've got half a dozen of those numbered workshop books and reading them is borderline porn.

Thoughts? I'm rapidly approaching an impulsive "oh just BUY something!" point.

Thanks,

- Mike

dp
09-22-2010, 11:23 AM
Some things to consider in small and shared areas is noise, smell, and mess. These smaller machines have gear trains that can make a hell of a racket, need a lot of oil to keep running smoothly, smoke comes from the cutter, and any machine is going to fling chips where it is difficult to clean them up. The common solution (except for the smell) is to explore enclosed machines. The motors still make pretty good noise but more of a robotic whine than gear meshing.

Brett Hurt
09-22-2010, 11:32 AM
i would frist take a class on machinest and learn how to machine, from a triad school ect then get a lathe, if you wont a frist lathe get mine lathe 7x10 and learn on that I have one works well and fun also have 13x40. Go to a show like the in Porland or. this week end, and see what they do. it is a lot of fun Brett

madwilliamflint
09-22-2010, 11:50 AM
Well, noise I'm oddly unconcerned with. Mess I can handle. My plan was to build some kind of enclosure (back, sides, bottom and a hinged front and top, each that would latch in place), depending on the size of whatever I ended up with.

Paul Alciatore
09-22-2010, 11:50 AM
"Small Brooklyn apartment" stands out in your post. That makes it difficult.

My first thought was a Sherline or Taig machine because they are compact and can be set up with different accessorise to do different operations. I guess you have to consider what kind of work you want to do. How big? What kind of machining operations?

If you need a bigger machine, I would start with a lathe. Some milling can be done in the lathe if you buy or make some attachments. Although it is possible to make turnings in a mill, it is much more difficult and there are many more restraints that way.

As an aside, the machines I use the most are probably the 4x6 band saw and the drill press.

planeman
09-22-2010, 11:54 AM
The key phrase you said is “I need to be able to horse whatever it is up and down 5 flights of stairs to my small Brooklyn Apartment”. That leaves you with very few options. Add that to the possibility of moving a few times.

I would say the Sherline would be your best bet for portability (I have a Unimat among other lathes). It would be nice to move up to a larger lathe/mill, however you will be dependent on having willing and hefty friends to help you move every time. You can slide the headstock and tailstock off of most lathes to break down the load to be carried which would help. Also, you can invest in a hand truck that would help in moving things up and down stairs. A 7” Chinese lathe weighs around 80 to 90 pounds which is doable with a friend and a hand truck. A 9” Chinese lathe weighs around 300 pounds. If in doubt, you might want to try carrying that amount of weight up and down your stairs using some concrete blocks tied together.

Also, keep in mind that the metal swarf from lathes will really scratch up a wood floor and is impossible to get out of a carpet. I would lay down some 1/8” masonite on the floor and keep a broom and dust pan handy.

Planeman

RB211
09-22-2010, 11:58 AM
I was never happy with the quality of the mini lathe.
I enjoy my Taig MUCH more, although it has a much smaller envelope.
If you are working in an apartment, I would look at the Sherline and taig stuff.

garagemark
09-22-2010, 12:12 PM
I would look at the Grizzly combos. No, you won't make shuttle parts, but for the money and portability, one of the machines in this link would be a hell of a good place to look first.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/category.aspx?key=465000

madwilliamflint
09-22-2010, 12:13 PM
Nice. Ok, sounds like we're zeroing in on Sherline or Taig.

I'll make whatever accomadations need to be made in the space for cleanup. That I can handle.

I plan to move someplace a bit more spacious in the next year or two, so as much as it kills me to say it, if I end up buying something and outgrowing it while "getting the machining bug" then buying something "big enough" after I move, then that's just win all around.

The thing that scared me about the sherline was that when I bought whatsisname's book, all the work examples are dinimutive little steam engine replicas. Sure, pretty impressive, but it doesn't help me get a feel for the size of what I can reasonably chuck and work with in either machine (their lathes or miller.)

madwilliamflint
09-22-2010, 12:34 PM
I would look at the Grizzly combos. No, you won't make shuttle parts, but for the money and portability, one of the machines in this link would be a hell of a good place to look first.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/category.aspx?key=465000

Those look like they fit most of the bill as "get your feet wet" machines (if perhaps a bit cramped.) But even the smallest has a ship weight of 475 pounds, which sadly puts them way outside of my unfortunate parameters.

camdigger
09-22-2010, 12:46 PM
You have set a pretty tight set of constraints right off the start...

5 flights of stairs?:eek: That's going to put a major crimp in the size of machine and the size of project you can handle. Even if you could get a large amchine up there, you'd still have to carry up all the raw stock for your assorted projects.

Power should not be a concern until you get well above the 9 x 20 size machines. Old SB and assorted antiques run 110 power for surprisingly big machines, and if properly motivated, you should be able to find 220 single phase in just about any apartment. The older machines sometimes were easier to disassemble into pieces to move.

As far as work size, I'd suggest a visit to the Sherline Craftsmanship site for a look around, as well as a visit to a local distributor if possible. The Taig and Sherline lathes are similar in capacity, but as a Taig owner, I believe the Sherline lathes have more support and better accessories (like taper ability, threading kit, etc).

It's been said before, but the price of admission to one of the shows would be an excellent investment at this stage for ideas, networking, tooling up, and possibly even watching a few demos. I learned a heap going to the Oregon show even after I'd been making chips for a decade using what I could glean out of books and some rudimentary skills from shop class.

RobbieKnobbie
09-22-2010, 12:47 PM
Starting out with a decent quality small machine and planning to trade up as situations allow sounds like a good plan.

The nice thing about this hobby is that nearly all the hardware has decent resale valve when you decide to move up. In fact, if you buy something used and manage to keep it in decent condition then you're just about gauranteed your money back when you trade up. Buying new involves a little more loss, but fewer risks.

If you're interested in seeing some of this hardware in person, the Grizzly store in Muncy, PA is only about 2 hours west of NYC.

KiloBravo
09-22-2010, 01:31 PM
well I would buy a small square column mill and a small lathe

Mills on this page start at 150 LBs (G8689) or 290 lbs (G0740) could work

http://www.grizzly.com/products/category.aspx?key=480000

Lathes start at 90 lbs (G8688) 300lbs (G4000)

http://www.grizzly.com/products/category.aspx?key=460000

Here's a good comparison of the size difference of the lathes

http://www.fignoggle.com/machines/8x12lathe/figNoggle_hf8x12_massive.jpg

Here's a good comparison of the size difference of the mills

http://www.ihcnc.com/images/clip_image010.jpg

Pictures are representative of the size differences they are not the exact models I mentioned in my post

madwilliamflint
09-22-2010, 01:44 PM
The comparisons between Sherline and Taig are interesting to me. Looking at them (and knowing nothing) the Taig looks like a far beefier thing. And the price differential is nearly alarming. $300something for their lathe will all the trimmins'? That's... I can spend that on a couple boxes of cigars.

But the "whups, can't do that on this" possibility makes me shy away from it.

madwilliamflint
09-22-2010, 01:59 PM
Hmm... Those do look pretty slick. Price is sure right as well.

G8688 G8689

Any other thoughts on Grizzly vs. Sherline?

Deja Vu
09-22-2010, 02:03 PM
Here's a site that may help you decide on your direction of creating a small machine shop:
http://sites.google.com/site/digitaljeweller/operating-mill

http://sites.google.com/site/digitaljeweller/_/rsrc/1244089074953/operating-mill/IMG_6454.JPG?height=420&width=315
http://www.minitech.com/mill.php?step=Step+1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rxwhEzLh7E

Fasttrack
09-22-2010, 02:04 PM
Before you waste your money on those small machines, I would urge you to get out of your appartment and buy a house with a large garage. Or maybe buy/rent an old industrial building there in Brooklyn. Then you can start buying enormous old American iron and you will be happy. That is the secret to a happy life: old American iron.

;) :D

I couldn't resist. I just had to make a plug for thos beastly old machines. No chance of getting them into an apartment, even if it was on the first floor, though.



What was that German company that makes pretty high-end small machines? Anyone know what I'm talking about?

madwilliamflint
09-22-2010, 02:19 PM
Yeah, you got me. I was a sentence or two in, blood pressure raising before I got the "no no, he's doing a thing..."

I'm guessing you're right about the key to happiness; so much so that, well... you'll see. Hopefully it won't be TOO long.

UPDATE: Awh, it didn't plug my new sig in here. Harrumph.

taydin
09-22-2010, 02:27 PM
What was that German company that makes pretty high-end small machines? Anyone know what I'm talking about?

Proxxon? (http://www.proxxon.com/)

Not very high end, but above the chinese crowd I would say ...

S_J_H
09-22-2010, 02:58 PM
I would pop for one of the 7x12 or 7x14 Sieg c3 lathes commonly known as a Mini Lathe.

At around 80 lbs they are light enough to lug around if you don't need to do it often. They have decent power for it's size and with a variable speed drive along with threading make for a nice little lathe. There is a big following for the machine and tons of modifications for it.
http://www.mini-lathe.com/Default.htm

I had one sometime ago as my first metal lathe and did nice work with it.
I turned this 2.5" OD 8rib serpentine pulley for a Vortech supercharger from 3" OD 6061 barstock.

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n48/S_J_H/misc/080Lathenew-1.jpg
http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n48/S_J_H/misc/005Pulley1.jpg
Steve

toolmaker76
09-22-2010, 03:02 PM
What was that German company that makes pretty high-end small machines? Anyone know what I'm talking about?

Prazi? I remember some small machines that seemed to have a good reputation!

The old adage (among the old toolmakers when I was an apprentice) was to buy the lathe first- then you could build all your other machines! Did not know anyone who actually did, but it seemed right in theory!

Good luck on your venture! After doing this for 34 years, I still love it!

Farbmeister
09-22-2010, 04:11 PM
If you start with a mini mill/lathe) then just remember to keep your references in perspective.

Most machining references are for much larger machines and you will have to reduce your ops appropriately.

Mcgyver
09-22-2010, 04:17 PM
Before you waste your money on those small machines, I would urge you to get out of your apartment and buy a house with a large garage. Or maybe buy/rent an old industrial building there in Brooklyn. Then you can start buying enormous old American iron and you will be happy. That is the secret to a happy life: old American iron.


that is the key to happiness, no doubt. I've seen enough cartons to know that you should be able get a Pacemaker or DSG in through an outside hoist like they do with pianos and anvils

failing that, its a tough bit of criteria. If I was constrained like that, I would decide two things; I would seek a very high quality lathe and I would decide to make very small items. Small holds it certainly holds challenges and it avoids feeling like every thing's a compromise based on the work being too big for the machine(s) and using a high quality lathe is a treat in any size.

Depends on your commitment; I'd be trying to carry a myford super 7 up the stairs and many have prove you can darn near build anything on them....but if you're moving every 15 months, well, might kill a regular man

Fasttrack
09-22-2010, 04:18 PM
Prazi? I remember some small machines that seemed to have a good reputation!




Prazi! That's what I was trying to come up with. I've never heard of Proxxon before; interesting.



Madwilliamflint - Well, the key to my happiness is old American iron ;). It's not for everyone; I'm just lucky to have opportunity to play with some. Some people collect classic cars, some people collect baseball cards or wine ... I collect old machine tools :D

dp
09-22-2010, 04:20 PM
Those look like they fit most of the bill as "get your feet wet" machines (if perhaps a bit cramped.) But even the smallest has a ship weight of 475 pounds, which sadly puts them way outside of my unfortunate parameters.

You're going to have to disassemble any new lathe you buy to clean the shipping crud off of it. When they're taken apart the individual parts don't weigh so much so it may be simpler to take it apart and clean it first, then assemble it down stairs.

My wife and I were easily able to lift the G0516 lathe onto the bench with the mill off, and with the removable components left off.

Rex
09-22-2010, 05:58 PM
I'd have to vote for the minilathe, specifically the MicroMark 7x14, which is the best of the breed IMHO. Seig minilathes are sold by the thousands all over the world, parts are interchangeable between makes, and there is a mindboggling amount of support for them. You buy the lathe and tooling, use it, learn on it, and then if you decide to sell it years later you get back pretty close to your purchase price. that's pretty hard to beat.
I'm on my 3rd now. The first two were sold at a nice profit before I got to use them. All the while I've had larger lathes. When you have a small project, the little machines are just a bit nicer to work with.
Same goes for the minimill. Get one of each.

Back to a previous post about the combination machines from Grizzly: The only two I'd consider are the G0614 and the 12x36 version at the right. Those are a real lathe with a real milling column added. The G0614 milling attachment is the same as the minimill. You can later buy a base/table for a minimill and move the column to end up with separate lathe and mill - which you will want to do anyway.
I'd sure hate to lug that 12x36 up those stairs though

whitis
09-22-2010, 05:59 PM
Stairs and machine tools are a bad combination. Even a single small flight of stairs is a significant impediment and the lathe will seem to double in weight with each flight of stairs.

The big limitation of the sherline machines is their work envelope. You need to decide if that is adequate for what you want to work on. If it is, they can cut pretty well. You aren't going to make really heavy cuts (sherline does have some videos of pushing their lathes). And you can lift with one hand. And move into an apartment discretely, which may be an issue. The sherlines do not use gears, except for threading, but the motor has a substantial whine at high speed (at least that was the case with the old motor) though that may not carry that much through walls; can be annoying in the same room. Some vibration isolation is a good idea for the floor, though. People used to big iron don't expect the sherlines to be solid enough but when you consider their small size (lilliputian effect) and low horsepower, they do pretty well for hobby use. If you were to scale the sherline 5000 mill to double its size it would weigh about 250lbs and if you made it out of steel about 750lbs (which would tripple rigidity). There is used market if you decide you need bigger. When I first got my (then) model 5000 mill, one of the first things I did was to make a tool out of a piece of stainless steel shaft. Fortunately, I didn't know at the time you couldn't do that on such a little machine. :-) But the size can be very limiting if your inclination is to make bigger stuff.

If you need a significantly larger lathe, you might look at something like the lathemaster 9x30 which is about the biggest I would even consider unless you can put some serious resources into moving. Assembled weight about 330lbs. Contact Bob at lathemaster and find out how much each major piece weighs (bed, headstock, tailstock, spindle assembly, motor). And prod him to put that on the web site. Disassemble it to move it up stairs with a few people. Or use an appliance hand truck with stair climbers.

Or consider the Grizzly G0516 combo machine to add milling capability but with a small work envelope. Assembled weight 397lbs of which perhaps 100lbs is in the milling attachment (ship weight 127lbs). I think you can purchase the XY base from little machine shop if you decide to separate the milling head.

Once you get into the 12x36" class, or higher, the machines are better but it is a lot more weight to move.

Logan has some notes on moving a logan lathe. Note that their definition of moving doesn't include going up 5 flights of stairs.
http://www.lathe.com/faq/index.html#_Toc95180270

If you use the disassemble and carry method, have two small but sturdy tables available so you can set the lathe bed and other heavy parts down on each landing. Lifting from floor level is very bad for your back and carrying the tables is a small price to pay to avoid this. 5 flights of stairs adds cumulative stress to your back.

The bed for a 7x14" lathe weighs about 26lbs. If you double the length, the bed weigh, for similar rigidity, should increase about eightfold, so you can see that weight goes up pretty rapidly for larger machines.
http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=1896&category=

As far as the suggestion on taking a class, you could start with the Machine Shop series on MIT TechTV. Be finished with it before a class would even start. An actual class would probably cover more and give you some hands on time on different machines.

In general, the usual advice is to buy the biggest machine you can afford (and have space for, can actually move, and your floor can support) because you will also need to replace most accessories if you move to a bigger machine later. But if the machine is too heavy and you move frequently (or can't get it into you apartment to start with), you might also find yourself downgrading.

rohart
09-22-2010, 06:44 PM
It's just my guess, but someone who's been in software as long as the OP says he has is probably used to learning things for himself. They didn't teach software back then. The would be teachers were still coding themselves, and you couldn't afford to take on people who weren't self-starters.

I run old iron, and it's light enough to carry upstairs in two bits, headstock and bed. But, and its a big but, it's a plain lathe with no leadscrew, so very limited compared to the functionality of today's machines. It's a Lorch, a fine old German make. There is a leadscrew version, but it's rare. Great to learn on though, and I converted it to cut threads, but you want to dive in quicker I assume.

In Britain the Myford is extremely popular with the model making fraternity, and in bits that's a fairly easy carry. It's oldish iron, but over here parts are as available as Boxford part (Southbend clone).

So I'm really saying that there's some medium old iron that isn't too heavy, and it'll all be, at least originally, high quality kit. Look around, and take your time. Read the porn and wait.

Rex
09-22-2010, 06:59 PM
Good advice.

Other US-made lathes worth looking at:

10" Atlas/craftsman. Headstock, tailstock, carriage comes off relatively easily. Lightweight lathe for the work envelope. Even the later 12" (much better lathes) are manageable. Easy to find, often in mint condition after 40 years.
Get one with the QC gearbox.

Atlas 6x18 - High quality "minilathe" Well tooled they go for $600 - $750
fairly plentiful, about the same weight as Seig minilathe

Logan 9" (X17" and X28" - Top-quality, about as heavy as I'd want to carry with 2-3 burly buddies. Also look for a QC gearbox. Rarer than the other two above.

Pete F
09-22-2010, 07:29 PM
After decades in software development I've got to make something tactile and this just seems like the right thing.

I hear that! My wife calls it exercising the other side of my brain.

I have the Harbor Freight version of the Sieg X2 mini-mill (#44991), and I like it a lot. Their prices seem to have gone up about 20% recently, though, so I'd probably look at the Grizzly version if I were buying now. I'm hoping to acquire a Grizzy 7x12 lathe soon.

A note about the mini-mill, if noise is any kind of factor (you say it is not, but still, it can be a bit annoying), the stock gears can be a little bit loud. However, littlemachineshop.com sells a belt drive conversion kit that is supposed to dramatically reduce the noise.

I work in fairly small parts, mostly aluminum, and I find the mini-mill quite adequate. Not that I'd mind having a full size mill, mind you, if I had the space... Someday, maybe.

If you do end up working in aluminum (don't knock it - Evan built his whole mill out of it), one nice thing is that you can cut stock with a woodworking bandsaw, which are a lot smaller, lighter and cheaper than a metal saw. If you lube the blade with WD-40 it doesn't scream too loudly.

Have fun!

-Pete

garagemark
09-22-2010, 07:42 PM
Don't forget that most of the combination machines can be parted into smaller pieces to lighten the overall load. And surly you have a friend or two who will help you up the stairs. If you don't, then I'd take up feather painting! :rolleyes:

I'd still consider the combo machines. I actually use my mill more often than my lathe- though both are very handy at times. No, mine are not mini, but if I had your restraints, I'd sure think about every angle and get the mostist (functions) for the leastist (weight).

Waterlogged
09-22-2010, 07:46 PM
I would also consider the Emcomat 7 with milling head or maybe the 10 (slightly larger and includes gearbox). Emco machines are made in Austria. Emcomat 7's are very high quality and have a nice compact footprint but accessories can be a little more difficult to find. Prazi made similar machines which are at least as nice as an Emco but the prices are higher and accessories are scarce.

http://www.lathes.co.uk/emco/page4.html

MrDan
09-22-2010, 07:51 PM
Good advice.

Other US-made lathes worth looking at:

10" Atlas/craftsman. Headstock, tailstock, carriage comes off relatively easily. Lightweight lathe for the work envelope. Even the later 12" (much better lathes) are manageable. Easy to find, often in mint condition after 40 years.
Get one with the QC gearbox.


+1 for the Atlas 10"

I was clueless when I started in this hobby (and still am, before anyone chimes in)

I bought an old used Atlas for a few hundred dollars. It wasn't in great shape, but it allowed me to learn and make mistakes and I wasn't freaking out if I messed something up. I had enough power and capacity to do plenty of work, just a bit slower than the big lathes. Nobody seems to wear out the tailstock end of their ways so a little capacity does go quite a long ways.

There is quite a cult following on the Atlas lathes and they are supported by Clausing with parts. DO get the quick change gear box. You can find these lathes on Craigslist in nice shape with good tooling.

In support of buying used iron, I sold mine for $200 more than I bought it for and I learned quite a bit while I had it.

As for five flights of stairs, take off the stand, motor, tailstock, etc, (all easy to do) and you have a unit that two people can carry easily. I'm not a good source on which brands are better than others, but I've rarely heard good things about the combo machines. They seem fine for doing stuff in miniature, but not for much else. Again, I'm just repeating what I heard.

madwilliamflint
09-23-2010, 12:54 AM
uhm... My head asplode.

I'm gonna have to print this at work and sift through it all. The last thing I expected was an explosion of brand names like this; especially in the smaller sizes.

Thanks very much everyone. I'll pour over all this with an Ardbeg and a Tatuaje and let you know what I come up with.

Tony Ennis
09-23-2010, 01:09 AM
Unless you desire to repair an old lathe before you use it, and it could take a lot of time and cost some money, I'd recommend buying a new lathe. Or at the very least, make sure any used lathe you get has not been abused.

If you have a machinist pal, see if he'll go with you to look at lathes.

madwilliamflint
09-23-2010, 01:46 AM
Unless you desire to repair an old lathe before you use it, and it could take a lot of time and cost some money, I'd recommend buying a new lathe. Or at the very least, make sure any used lathe you get has not been abused.

If you have a machinist pal, see if he'll go with you to look at lathes.

Yeah I don't want the first one to be a project. I made that mistake with a makerbot. What an awful purchase.

I'm not sure "going to look at lathes" is in the cards, especially without independent transportation. I'm probably going to pick one off the intertoobs and have the nice guys in the brown trucks come and bring it.

Mcruff
09-23-2010, 02:06 AM
I would use this page to help you pick a small lathe and milling machine. These units are decent and a ton of stuff has been built with them over the years.
http://www.mini-lathe.com/

Replacement parts and upgrades to these machines can be found here:
http://littlemachineshop.com/

You can also buy kits to convert most of these mini mills and mini lathes to CNC at a later date if you choose to.

Good Luck, practice safety and have fun!!

rockcombo
09-23-2010, 02:07 AM
on the lathe side of things , I have one of the common Chinese 7x12s, had a grizzly 0516 (sold but kept the mill ), Atlas 12x36 (sold it) and a little 1920s Dalton lathe ( in excellent condition ) , I find that the Dalton is a really nice machine , in my opinion a much nicer machine then the 0516 or the little 7X12 , all these lathes have a user groups on yahoo but the Dalton is a great little lathe and small enough to get up 5 flights of stairs and is a lot of fun to use .
the only real downside is you may have to do a bit of looking for one but you can normally find them reasonably priced .
another nice lathe if you don't mind spending a bit is the Myford .
warning lathes can be addictive , a 10ee is in my basement now:) .

Too_Many_Tools
09-23-2010, 03:10 AM
Might I suggest looking at this situation from a different angle.

How much weight are you comfortable in moving up those stairs?

I would think that one could use a handcart to move ~300 pounds up those stairs...a step at a time.

That will tell you what weight of machines you can consider.

They also go downstairs much easier than they go up. ;<)

TMT

macona
09-23-2010, 03:11 AM
Prazi? I remember some small machines that seemed to have a good reputation!

The old adage (among the old toolmakers when I was an apprentice) was to buy the lathe first- then you could build all your other machines! Did not know anyone who actually did, but it seemed right in theory!

Good luck on your venture! After doing this for 34 years, I still love it!

Also Emco Meier

darryl
09-23-2010, 05:18 AM
Yes, the handcart. I was going to suggest that when I got interrupted. What I was going to suggest was for you to actually build a cart and put four wheels on it.

Take a tape measure and have a look at your stairs. Measure the distance across three and four steps- go from the leading edge of one tread to the leading edge of another tread- you should be in the 30 to 44 inch range, depending on how they are built and how many you measure across. My stairs, which seem fairly typical, measure 37 inches over three steps. Build or have a friend help you build a rectangular box of that length, plus about four inches. Use some good solid plywood and steel corner brackets, and make sure the handles at the low end can apply their lift directly to the bottom of the cart. That's what will be holding the weight of whatever you haul up the stairs in the cart. The sides won't need to be all that high, and you might consider drilling a number of holes that you can pass rope through to tie down what it is you're toting.

Mount each axle two inches in from each end, on the bottom of the box. Use 8 inch wheels. With handles at the lower end and a handle on ropes at the upper end, two people can raise it up stairs. At each step, the cart will have its wheels all on the treads, so it won't automatically roll downhill. You can rest at any step. The wheels won't steer, so you can go straight down any hallway, but to turn you just operate it like a wheel barrow. Figure out how wide or narrow you have to make it so it can make a 90 degree turn and get through the narrowest doorway.

When you mount the axles, space them from the bottom by about two inches or so. This will ensure that at no point will the bottom touch or scrape on the stairs. The landlord will like that, and that'll make it easier to cart it up. If you use six inch wheels, space them off the bottom of the cart by three inches.

I suppose a disclaimer is in order- I am in no way and no how responsible for any harm whatsoever that may come to the guy on the bottom getting run over by a 420 lb lathe- By the way, it seems that maybe 250 lbs is about all you're going to get upstairs in one go. Being the guy on the bottom isn't too bad, since he has decent leverage to lift. The guy on the top will have to adjust the length of the rope so he can get the best pull on it without breaking his back.

Tony Ennis
09-23-2010, 08:59 AM
It occurs to me that there are guys who move heavy stuff for a living. Call a moving company and tell them what you want to do. They can quote a price that is likely to be less than repairing damage to the steps or to the wall if the lathe gets loose. Certainly it will be less than a trip to the emergency room.

AllThumbz
09-23-2010, 09:05 AM
I too, live in NYC, though not in an apartment. You ought to speak to the landlord about renting a small space in the basement, perhaps a room, near the door to the outside, to do your machining. It would make moving and power issues a bit easier.

Best,

Nelson

gaston
09-23-2010, 11:58 AM
First I'd take a class or two on basic machining. Usually at your local public evening college. That way you will learn how to use the equipment and gain a better idea of what you want . It also might satisfy your desire to get "hands on" without having to lug "it" up 5 flights of stairs. If that don't work for you, look for a hobby machinist close to you who will let you "look over their shoulder, then move on to your own stuff.

madwilliamflint
09-23-2010, 12:22 PM
How much weight are you comfortable in moving up those stairs?


Well this is the clincher. I'm noticing a delightful trend in this thread. It's starting to lean towards "Well, with a few body builders you can get some really great stuff up the stairs." Alas I'm restricted to me myself and I, so the gross weight per trip is maxed out at a bit over 100 pounds, depending on how ambitious I'm feeling.

That said it looks like "lathe now, mill later." I still have to compile this list together and go over it with that in mind. I really do need (heh) a pretty full feature set (a couple of the things on my short list involve thread cutting.) So some of those "motor + bed + chuck" looking things will have to wait until I'm addicted and just want them.

Unfortunately I'm gonna get myself shot if I keep reading/responding here while at the office, so I'm gonna have to drop out for now.

dp
09-23-2010, 12:51 PM
Just stay smarter than the problem and you can have the machine of your dreams. See if you can rent something like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rycfK_8o0lk

Arthur.Marks
09-23-2010, 01:12 PM
Hey! That thing is awesome! I could have used that thing many, many times in getting my shop up and running. I probably bought it in moving costs by now :)

[EDIT:] Whoa!!! $6.7k --- I have DEFINITELY not bought it in moving costs by now! :eek: haha! dp, have you ever seen one for rent? By whom?

Ries
09-23-2010, 02:22 PM
I believe Kevin Wilkins has his shop on the 5th floor, in Berlin-
http://www.wilkins-knives.com/atelier_e.html
but somehow he got a Haas TM-1 up there.

I think it may have been craned in, though.
In europe, they have these nifty little towable tower cranes, and also they have what they call Hi-abs, which are truck mounted articulated cranes, in every size you can imagine, and they will move stuff for you quite reasonably. Many many ordinary house moving companies all over europe routinely use cranes to get furniture from upper stores- I have seen it in Italy, and France, and other places- a crane being used to move a dresser from a 4th floor apartment, in an old building without an elevator.

which just goes to show you- the only limitations are the ones in your head.

KiloBravo
09-23-2010, 03:46 PM
Hey! That thing is awesome! I could have used that thing many, many times in getting my shop up and running. I probably bought it in moving costs by now :)

[EDIT:] Whoa!!! $6.7k --- I have DEFINITELY not bought it in moving costs by now! :eek: haha! dp, have you ever seen one for rent? By whom?

Well you could build one with a lathe and a mill to get the lathe and the mill up the stairs :D

whitis
09-23-2010, 10:49 PM
Some cautions about old iron. An apartment is probably not the place to be doing degreasing, rust removal, paint stripping, and painting operations. Fumes could be an issue and neighbors may provide sources of ignition (like stepping out on the balcony or leaning out the window for a smoke) or object to fumes. Solvent fumes are noxious and explosive. Rust removal operations can give off hydrogen gas. Plus in an apartment, there may be internal sources of ignition nearby. Even in new machines, it might be best to avoid those that come covered in cosmoline. The sherline and the lathemaster are pretty much ready to use. Grizzly products probably need cosmoline removal. OP may or may not be of the temperment to restore old machines. New users can become discouraged if the machine needs extensive work and OP may well not have enough existing equipment to fabricate existing parts (though they can sometimes be purchased online). It does sound like OP wants to start making shavings yesterday. Also, a brooklyn apartment dweller may not have a vehicle suitable for transporting old iron or even visiting to inspect it, though those can be hired. Also, finding decent old iron can involving waiting for something suitable. At least there is likely to be some old iron within driving distance.

The old Emco 10" lathe with milling attachment is nice but they are scarce. Some of the new emcos are made in china. There is a V13 for about five grand on ebay in NJ.

The atlas lathes are lightweight for their envelope, to the point that this is generally considered a flaw. Pretty close to the bottom end of old american made lathes available today but still popular. Collector appeal aside, as a working lathe an atlas in mint condition if pitted against a 9" chinese hobby lathe might lose. Not something I would want to invest in accessories for and used ones often don't come with the basic accessories which are standard on your typical 9" chinese hobby lathes today. If a good deal on an atlas in good condition with accessories comes along, consider it, but I wouldn't ordinarily go looking for an atlas in preference to other lathes, most of which are likely to be superior in their original condition. I wouldn't schlep it up stairs just as a temporary starter lathe - only if I thought it was worthwhile longterm. You can do good work on an atlas, or almost any hobby machine in reasonable condition, if you take small cuts, though. And when it comes to used lathes, the particular units available in the right time and region may dictate what you buy. In this case, the light weight does make it at least worth considering. But comments on solid beefy old american iron don't have much bearing on the atlas lathes. Here is someones review of an atlas lathe; it reads like a review of some of the lower quality imports:
http://pico-systems.com/atlas.html

7" chinese lathes often lack accessories found on the 9" models and when you consider the price of accessories, the price difference is pretty small. Most of the hobby chinese lathes require you to do some finishing work on them before they are really ready to use.

Quick change gear boxes are convenient but can add weight and can get in the way if you decide to add full CNC (OP is a software guy) or electronic gearbox (rare). They also are not as flexible as change gears.

A 5C collet holder is available for the lathemaster 9x30, though it does stick out from the spindle nose rather than the collet fitting inside. The spindle isn't camlock, but it is sort of the budget equivalent with some nuts that have to be tightened but not removed. The chuck isn't going to spin off if you brake suddenly or run in reverse. It can use an AXA toolpost. So a lot of the accessories that don't come with the lathe can be used if you step up to a larger lathe.

When buying a lathe, consider whether the accesories which are rather specific to that model lathe are included: steady rest, follower rest, 3-jaw chuck, 4-jaw chuck, faceplate, compound slide, milling attachment, change gears, and live/dead centers, drill chuck, and collets or collet holder if the taper is unusual. Other non-specific accessories are a plus.

Here is the review of the C6 which is the G0516 without milling attachment:
http://www.mini-lathe.com/C6_lathe/C6/c6.htm
With the milling attachment, it is still no rival for a separate mill but better than the milling column over headstock style combo machines. Having the option to purchase the separate XY milling base for the column is a plus, but even that may be on the small size.

The new grizzly G0704 mill looks interesting and at 265lbs (not counting stand) should be manageable when broken down.

I recently acquired a 121 year old seneca falls lathe, myself, though for actual use the lathemaster 9x30 or a Logan would probably have been better suited for my purposes. With new models, you pick the lathe; when buying used, the lathe picks you. :-)

Too_Many_Tools
09-23-2010, 10:59 PM
Some cautions about old iron. An apartment is probably not the place to be doing degreasing, rust removal, paint stripping, and painting operations. Fumes could be an issue and neighbors may provide sources of ignition (like stepping out on the balcony or leaning out the window for a smoke) or object to fumes. Solvent fumes are noxious and explosive. Rust removal operations can give off hydrogen gas. Plus in an apartment, there may be internal sources of ignition nearby. Even in new machines, it might be best to avoid those that come covered in cosmoline. The sherline and the lathemaster are pretty much ready to use. Grizzly products probably need cosmoline removal. OP may or may not be of the temperment to restore old machines. New users can become discouraged if the machine needs extensive work and OP may well not have enough existing equipment to fabricate existing parts (though they can sometimes be purchased online). It does sound like OP wants to start making shavings yesterday. Also, a brooklyn apartment dweller may not have a vehicle suitable for transporting old iron or even visiting to inspect it, though those can be hired. Also, finding decent old iron can involving waiting for something suitable. At least there is likely to be some old iron within driving distance.

The old Emco 10" lathe with milling attachment is nice but they are scarce. Some of the new emcos are made in china. There is a V13 for about five grand on ebay in NJ.

The atlas lathes are lightweight for their envelope, to the point that this is generally considered a flaw. Pretty close to the bottom end of old american made lathes available today but still popular. Collector appeal aside, as a working lathe an atlas in mint condition if pitted against a 9" chinese hobby lathe might lose. Not something I would want to invest in accessories for and used ones often don't come with the basic accessories which are standard on your typical 9" chinese hobby lathes today. If a good deal on an atlas in good condition with accessories comes along, consider it, but I wouldn't ordinarily go looking for an atlas in preference to other lathes, most of which are likely to be superior in their original condition. I wouldn't schlep it up stairs just as a temporary starter lathe - only if I thought it was worthwhile longterm. You can do good work on an atlas, or almost any hobby machine in reasonable condition, if you take small cuts, though. And when it comes to used lathes, the particular units available in the right time and region may dictate what you buy. In this case, the light weight does make it at least worth considering. But comments on solid beefy old american iron don't have much bearing on the atlas lathes. Here is someones review of an atlas lathe; it reads like a review of some of the lower quality imports:
http://pico-systems.com/atlas.html

7" chinese lathes often lack accessories found on the 9" models and when you consider the price of accessories, the price difference is pretty small. Most of the hobby chinese lathes require you to do some finishing work on them before they are really ready to use.

Quick change gear boxes are convenient but can add weight and can get in the way if you decide to add full CNC (OP is a software guy) or electronic gearbox (rare). They also are not as flexible as change gears.

A 5C collet holder is available for the lathemaster 9x30, though it does stick out from the spindle nose rather than the collet fitting inside. The spindle isn't camlock, but it is sort of the budget equivalent with some nuts that have to be tightened but not removed. The chuck isn't going to spin off if you brake suddenly or run in reverse. It can use an AXA toolpost. So a lot of the accessories that don't come with the lathe can be used if you step up to a larger lathe.

When buying a lathe, consider whether the accesories which are rather specific to that model lathe are included: steady rest, follower rest, 3-jaw chuck, 4-jaw chuck, faceplate, compound slide, milling attachment, change gears, and live/dead centers, drill chuck, and collets or collet holder if the taper is unusual. Other non-specific accessories are a plus.

Here is the review of the C6 which is the G0516 without milling attachment:
http://www.mini-lathe.com/C6_lathe/C6/c6.htm
With the milling attachment, it is still no rival for a separate mill but better than the milling column over headstock style combo machines. Having the option to purchase the separate XY milling base for the column is a plus, but even that may be on the small size.

The new grizzly G0704 mill looks interesting and at 265lbs (not counting stand) should be manageable when broken down.

I recently acquired a 121 year old seneca falls lathe, myself, though for actual use the lathemaster 9x30 or a Logan would probably have been better suited for my purposes. With new models, you pick the lathe; when buying used, the lathe picks you. :-)


Good discussion.

In one of the writeups I lost when the site locked up, I also recommended the EMCO (not ENCO) V7/V10 series.

I sure wish parts were more available.

TMT

madwilliamflint
09-24-2010, 11:56 AM
An apartment is probably not the place to be doing degreasing, rust removal, paint stripping, and painting operations.

Indeed. I need to go with something new.


Fumes could be an issue and neighbors may provide sources of ignition (like stepping out on the balcony or leaning out the window for a smoke) or object to fumes.

One advantage of my location (there had to be at least ONE besides the statue of liberty outside my window) is that I'm on the top floor with awesome ventilation. So I'm not really concerned about getting neighbor complaints.



OP may or may not be of the temperment to restore old machines. New users can become discouraged if the machine needs extensive work and OP may well not have enough existing equipment to fabricate existing parts (though they can sometimes be purchased online).

Precisely. While I AM of that temperment, such an endeavor is going to have to wait. And I'm going to need to spend thousands to tool up to be even marginally functional with whatever I get.


It does sound like OP wants to start making shavings yesterday.

You ain't kidding. Given the amount of options you people are giving me, I'm hoping for Monday + ship time.


Also, a brooklyn apartment dweller may not have a vehicle suitable for transporting old iron or even visiting to inspect it, though those can be hired.

Precisely. Entirely not an option. It's got to be shipped to me.


Quick change gear boxes are convenient but can add weight and can get in the way if you decide to add full CNC (OP is a software guy)

I'll no doubt go the CNC route some day. But whether I'm up to speed enough to do a conversion myself or not by the time I want to, who knows. Gotta keep my eye on the ball and forget about it for now.


I recently acquired a 121 year old seneca falls lathe, myself, though for actual use the lathemaster 9x30 or a Logan would probably have been better suited for my purposes. With new models, you pick the lathe; when buying used, the lathe picks you. :-)

Ok, now THAT sounds like a special piece of kit right there.

dp
09-24-2010, 12:00 PM
haha! dp, have you ever seen one for rent? By whom?

http://www.newhaven-usa.com/rent-stair-climbers.cfm

http://sullysrental.com/home/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_14&products_id=412

madwilliamflint
09-25-2010, 01:11 PM
So I've spent the last few days cobbling together the recommendations and comments here and something occurred to me. Most of these recommendations are for lathes.

Don't I want a miller first? Assuming, of course, that I had to pick one over the other? (combos and the Griz G0519 notwithstanding.)

It sure seems to me that most things I'm going to want to make (let's start with tools and accessories, in the dogfooding spirit) are things for which I'll need a milling machine. Flat cuts and such.

Arthur.Marks
09-25-2010, 04:41 PM
So... before this goes any further, what has your thinking evolved into? Are we still looking at a Sherline size working envelope, a 7x12 size, or 9x_ size? I think it would benefit the discussion to hear what you have so far dismissed or not. At this point, I am reading:
1) New
2) CNC adaptability is not a factor
3) Lathe must have threading capability

If you are in the micro-machining (Sherline) size, there is always one other brand you can buy new, has good support, and is high quality: http://www.cowells.com They offer a traditional, change-gear lathe unlike Sherline's hand-driven adaptation. They also offer a nicely made small milling machine.

KEJR
09-25-2010, 04:45 PM
You will ultimately want a mill and a lathe. I find I enjoy lathe work alot more than milling. The lathe is brilliant for making pins and bushings for just about anything and you start to get used to it being there.

Alot of guys like the G0516 combo, and it should be able to be separated to *nearly* 100lb chunks fairly easily by taking the milling head off, taking off the tailstock, carriage, chuck, etc.

I owned an EMCO compact5 with the milling attachment (miller was useless) and let me tell you it was very light duty. I can't recommend something of that size especially for a novice unless all you are doing is turning 3/8" brass or something like that.

Do some more research on the grizzly, or look for a Logan 9" or 10" lathe (heavier duty than atlas, but still can move in pieces) and consider buying/making a milling attachment that bolts to the cross slide. Alot of folks do some basic milling that way.

KEJR

Arthur.Marks
09-25-2010, 04:55 PM
Regarding mill vs. lathe if you only had to pick one...

I believe this is a personal preference. It also is partially dictated by the work to be done. For me, a milling machine was more intuitive when beginning in the newfound world of metalworking. It was essentially, in my mind, an evolved drill press. I understood its fundamental operation more clearly than a lathe. I originally bought a lathe and mill at the same time. The lathe sat for a while until I felt sufficiently comfortable to tackle understanding it. I am not saying it was more complicated; it was just less familiar. It seemed that I took a lot of time with trial & error just learning how to get anything done with a lathe. The mill, meanwhile, was accomplishing something in my hands. Sure, the work wasn't accurate and could be better, but the task was actually done. The part made was useful. That gave me enough satisfaction to counter my frustration in learning the lathe.

Now that I would consider myself familiar with both machines---I actually find the lathe more pleasurable to use. It is more interesting to me, holds possibilities that are more appealing to the work I want/need to produce. I'm not saying that is how it will happen for you, just that it was my path into this hobby. Perhaps you will find something of use in it to your own progression.

madwilliamflint
09-25-2010, 06:22 PM
So... before this goes any further, what has your thinking evolved into? Are we still looking at a Sherline size working envelope, a 7x12 size, or 9x_ size? I think it would benefit the discussion to hear what you have so far dismissed or not. At this point, I am reading:
1) New
2) CNC adaptability is not a factor
3) Lathe must have threading capability

If you are in the micro-machining (Sherline) size, there is always one other brand you can buy new, has good support, and is high quality: http://www.cowells.com They offer a traditional, change-gear lathe unlike Sherline's hand-driven adaptation. They also offer a nicely made small milling machine.

Yes, Yes and "when I get a lathe, whether I do so before a miller or not, yes."

After spending a couple weeks looking at these things, Sherline now just seems... tiny to me. I'm going to want to be cutting steel (at times) and there's a lot of "Sherline's great...but."

The G0516 looks interesting but I worry about the miller functionality being cramped because of it's positioning. I have no idea if that's actually true yet, as I'm just looking at pics online, trying to imagine. If that's not so, then it might be an easy pick.

As for sizes, I'm definitely not going into the 9x range. That's just gonna be too much. It appears that on the lathe side, a 7x12 or 7x14 might be just about right.

But of course, it would help an awful lot if I had a better idea of what I wanted to DO. :p

Nicad
09-25-2010, 06:50 PM
One of these small bandsaws would be useful.
http://www.lathemaster.com/Benchtop%20Bandsaw.htm
For a vertical bandsaw (Also very useful) the three wheel Deltas (Also sold as Beavers and Rockwells) are not that popular for wood anymore, but will cut metal well when you run the drive belt off the motor shaft.

Arthur.Marks
09-25-2010, 07:46 PM
As for getting in front of an actual machine, that is beneficial. Even with dimensions, scale is sometimes hard to picture accurately. Toward this end, here are two ideas. Both would probably require about 2hr. travel round trip.

Travers tool is based in Flushing, Queens. They have a retail floor at their main distribution center: http://www.travers.com
The closest Harbor Freight is in Woodbridge, NJ. About 1hr. travel from NY-Penn Station on NJT. Many of the machines sold there are very, very similar in size and construction to Grizzly. You might call and see what is on the floor to go and actually put a hand on.

airsmith282
09-25-2010, 11:47 PM
well if you looking in to the 7x12 7x14 lathes then you might want to consider a 7x20 milling machine grizz or busy bee, stay clean of the micro mills ther just a watst of good money, take a look at the busy bee model ct129N mill its a geat mill i have the ct129 its has only 2 differences over the 129n the 129n has MT3 and its control box is out on a stem where the ct129 its box is flush to the head and is Mt2 but its also upgradeable to mt3 for 175.00, ok now there are grizzly that are very similer, one feature i adore on my ct129 is that not only is a milling and drilling machine but its also dove tail and the head will go 90 left and 90 right plus all other angles but the advantege here is its not only vertical milling and drilling but also horzontial as well. bit advange there and not seen on many machines in its size range, and even lesser in the big boy toys. and its the perfect size mill for small to larger jobs to it can handel some large stuff if need be, for a lathe 7x12 7x14 are ok , i had one once a 7x12 but it went up in smoke so i got the busy bee b2227l 10x18 lathe and had it for long time now and never regreated my purchase.. i make alot of pellet gun mod parts and i do some small stuff and some larger stuff to so its an all around great machine for me needs and im not going to out grow it any time soon, the mill i got also is great as i have done small stuff and some medium range stuff on it and again great mach well built worth every penny, combo machines are nice but have their draw backs to like anything else but once you can adapt to the tool you can be suprised what you can pull off, ..

you can also some some very basic millig on a lathe as well but you will have to make a milling attachment for it,and that pretty simple really, a real mill is always the better way to go..

as for the noise the mini lathes are really pretty quite really not eniught noise to really bug anyone, same as mini mills not to bad on noise, the micro mills there a bit loud and like i said not very rigid on the micro mills ,

alot of this comes down to you choice your budget your needs, , if oyu do out grow then you can upgrade, and then eiter keep the smaller stuff or sell it off to pay for toys for the bigger stuff,
someday i would like to try another 7x12 or perhaps smaller lathe just for really small items i make, the bigger you go the less you see, but sometimes you just need bigger,

knowing what i know now and having gone bigger ,if i had to do it all over agian, id still buy the same stuff i got now, cause i wont out grow it, but thats the place iam at with what i do,,

nothing wornge with 7x12 7x14 lathes there cool and work well, but for me not a good size at all.

a grinder is a must if you are making your on cutters other wise use carbide cutters smaller machines can hadel them just fine and they do a nice job to ,the big benifit of carbide cutters is you can run them 2 to 3 times the speed you would over HSS cuttters and still not need coolent, just take light cuts, no need to try hogging on a 7x12 youll burn the motor out fast doing that,, they only use a cordless drill motor in thoes tiny little lathes , you dont get a real motor till you go 10x18 9x20 and so on,

the dc motors in the mini mills will stand up to alot of abuse so no need to worry much there at all..

i dont do much threading at all on my lathe but i have done it and it works great but i just perfer taps and dies iam used to them and iam good with them so why change now..

well best of luck in your choices you got lots of choices for sure..

whitis
09-26-2010, 12:48 AM
Travers tool is based in Flushing, Queens. They have a retail floor at their main distribution center: http://www.travers.com
The closest Harbor Freight is in Woodbridge, NJ. About 1hr. travel from NY-Penn Station on NJT. Many of the machines sold there are very, very similar in size and construction to Grizzly. You might call and see what is on the floor to go and actually put a hand on.

Don't know about the one NJ but the Harbor Freight in Richmond has almost nothing in the way of machine tools in the showroom. 7x12 minilathe and a 4x6 bandsaw is all I remember. Maybe the bottom of the line mini-mill.

Travers doesn't have a huge selection of small machines, period, but I think they were the first to offer the G0516.

It would be a bit of a trek, and OP isn't really set up for travel, but Grizzly has the "worlds largest" showroom of machinery in Muncy, PA. That would probably be half a days travel by train (or ZipCar). That kind of trek repeated ten times over looking for an old machine that isn't clapped out would be prohibitiive but to see that many machines assembled in one place is worth considering, at least, though it would likely involve an overnight stay. http://www.grizzly.com/showroom_pa.aspx

Do you need a mill first? Really depends on what you do. You can do some small turning on a mill (no threading without CNC) and you can do some small milling on a lathe. Lathes have been around a lot longer than the vertical mill, though horizontal mills and shapers have been around about as long as the lathe as we know it. It helps to have both.

Is the work envelope for milling on the G0516 limited? You better believe it. About sherline size. It doesn't get any bigger if you add the X-Y base (http://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=1765&category=-888582885), though at least then you have a bigger table to clamp work too and you can hang work over the ends (if you space up over the hand wheel). Small hobby mills have tiny work envelopes.

The G0704 or lathemaster LMT25L can machine work about twice as long as you can do on a sherline (about the same width, though) and is about as much as you are likely to get without a 600lb+ machine. a2zcnc (http://www.a2zcnc.com/machinetools.asp)
offers an extended travel table for the sherline (14" X travel), but you still have the narrow 3" wide table. The sieg X3/SX3 is in the same size class as the G0704 but you lose about 4 inches of X travel. The G0704 is apparently made by Weiss which is one of the better Chinese small import makers.

Hossmachine has a bunch of G0704 videos on youtube. Includes taking 1/2" deep 1/2" wide cuts in aluminum and steel.

winchman
09-26-2010, 02:58 AM
I apologize if this has been mentioned before, but the first machine you'll need is one of these:

http://media.artdiamondblog.com/images2/MoneyPrintingPress-thumb-468x280.jpg

madwilliamflint
09-27-2010, 12:18 PM
Is the work envelope for milling on the G0516 limited? You better believe it. About sherline size. It doesn't get any bigger if you add the X-Y base (http://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=1765&category=-888582885), though at least then you have a bigger table to clamp work too and you can hang work over the ends (if you space up over the hand wheel). Small hobby mills have tiny work envelopes.

It just looks like either the G0516 or the G8688 & G8689 then. I'm at the "sick of shopping" point.

Going once... going twice...

Now there's the "what's the starting kit I need to get with that?" question.

But that's a topic for another thread ;-)

Thanks very much for all your help guys. You've saved me from an awful lot of mistakes (so far.) Hopefully I'll be able to return the favor at some point.

madman
09-27-2010, 03:12 PM
Was my Faithfull Beer Fridge. I keep water in it in case i satrt a Fire and usually have it full of Cold Beers so i can do something while Machining.

madwilliamflint
09-27-2010, 03:14 PM
Was my Faithfull Beer Fridge. I keep water in it in case i satrt a Fire and usually have it full of Cold Beers so i can do something while Machining.

HUZZAH! That's like the primary accessory for my soldering table: My coolidor (cigar humidor made from a rather indiscretely oversized coleman cooler.) It provides things I can light on fire and something to do while soldering.

madwilliamflint
09-28-2010, 11:03 AM
Gentlemen, I just pulled the trigger on the Griz G8688 and G8689.

In the immortal words of Obi Wan: I've "just taken my first step into a larger world."

UPDATE: w00t! The lathe, miller, and the starter kits from Little Machine all showed up yesterday and, while my back hates me for carrying 253 pounds of machinery up 5 flights of stairs, it's at least all there and mostly de-greased.

Thanks again for the recommendations. Clearly anything even a marginal step bigger would've been impossible for me to horse up those stairs.

Tonight we cut!

madman
10-30-2010, 02:27 PM
The Shop Fridge...

madwilliamflint
10-30-2010, 02:30 PM
Man, you ain't kidding.

My next two pieces of equipment are almost certainly:

1) Bench grinder (getting a LITTLE sick of not being able to make and sharpen lathe bits "the way I want 'em dammit."

2) An air purifier so I can smoke some Don Pepin Garcias while working.

Since I already live alone, my fridge is generally full of beer and mixers, my freezer with vodka. So I've got that squared away.