View Full Version : Newbie from SW Georgia

Bulldog Z
12-26-2013, 07:52 PM
I am new to this forum. I am interested in learning machining with a manual lathe and a milling machine. I have some knowledge of machining, but I would like to learn more. I am looking for a lathe or a milling machine. My space is somewhat limited in my garage. I have been looking at CL and government auctions as well. Is there a for sale section on this forum? Are there better places to look for used machinery besides CL and auctions? Thanks for the information.


12-26-2013, 08:30 PM

I suspect space is at a premium for most of us...to me one of the other "first things" is to have in mind the scale of work so as to help determine what sizes of equipment you should be looking at...to me it seems a lot of home shop sized lathes, mills etc. are at a premium, perhaps for that reason. Really small stuff, watch makers lathes say, to me always seem a bit cheaper proportional to size as do true industrial size machines (3 phase can sometimes be a bit of a determining factor...in a very, very general sense). Its that 10" to say 14" lathe you can fit in the space (garage or smallish footprint shop) that, to me, gets reflected in the price. An opinion, YMMV.

No sales on this forum. FYI there are numerous threads about the whys and wherefores etc.

Where to look, other than what you have listed, is sort of a locale thing. IF I recall correctly from other posts in your general area, you are not in a wasteland but you are also not in an area where you are stumbling over like new Bridgeports or South Bend Heavy 10s for dirt cheap either.

Everyone's tastes are a little different but on Youtube I like the work done by Keith Fenner, "Abom79", "Tubalcain/Mr Pete", Keith Rucker, "Myfordboy", "Factorydragon" all of whom have sort of a series of videos and I believe all have channels by now too. That is from a pretty green newbie's perspective.
The long shop made thread here is very good as well.

Edit: I would add my location to the personal description area, for this thread we can see you in "SW Georgia" but in future threads your location will likely be of benefit. It is not required, just a suggestion.

Edit II: depending on $$$, room, needs...to me you could do worse than that Sheldon on CL in Hawkinsville (very much a home shop size)

Bulldog Z
12-26-2013, 09:40 PM
Thank you, RussZHC for your reply and guidance. I will continue my quest. Hawkinsville, Ga is about 60 miles from me. I have seen that Sheldon lathe on CL. I am waiting to see if the price will drop.


12-26-2013, 11:45 PM
Find somebody who knows the difference between a lathe a and pile of scrap iron get a truck and a pile of Benjamins and go look at that lathe. If it is not a pile of scrap make an offer and be prepared to haul it back otherwise it will be wuda, cuda shuda. Remember to ask about any tooling that might be with the machine.

12-27-2013, 04:07 AM
See if the guy will send more pics of the Sheldon and any available tooling, and post them here so we can take a look. You really can't make much of an evaluation from pictures, but we can probably spot the obvious issues you'd need to look at in person.

12-27-2013, 11:22 AM
I myself am a Georgia guy who was born here. I've been an amateur machinist since I was 18 years old and I'm 72 now. I can tell you that used metal lathes and milling machines are rare as hen's teeth in the Southeast as we never have been much of a manufacturing area like the "rust belt". They exist, but they are few and far between. I tell you this as you need to be very patient in locating what you want and be ready to jump on it when you find it. Your other alternative is a new Chinese-made lathe. Though roundly condemned by many (who see their jobs threatened), the recent Chinese products can be of very good quality, especially for the home hobbiest type. At the moment you happen to be in a machine tool buyer's heaven in that Chinese products have reached a good level of quality while their wage level is still relatively low. From what I read though, Chinese wage rates are beginning to climb and are forecast to continue to climb up to Japanese, USA, and European levels eventually. So you have a window in getting a hell of a deal just now. Planeman

12-27-2013, 04:44 PM
The other item I would suggest you keep an eye open for (very good deal on used or sale of new) would be one of the generic 4 x 6 metal cutting bandsaws.
There are a fair number of threads here, an entire Yahoo! site (perhaps more than one ?) but, if you plan on doing much work, I think most would concur those little saws, when adjusted and with a good blade, are one of the better deals for the $$$ and often of great value (cutting through much 3" round with a hacksaw gets very old, very quickly :rolleyes:). Don't spend a ton of money, HF has sales on all the time and there are lots out there just sitting so...

Bulldog Z
12-27-2013, 09:47 PM
Thank you guys for all of the great information. I will continue to be patient in regards to my lathe purchase. I have been reading some good things about enco lathes. Do you guys have any opinions about enco? Some people have told me that I should purchase a milling machine as well. What are some good milling machines consider purchasing. I have heard that Bridgeport is a great machine. I just do not have the room for a knee mill. I am leaning more towards a bench top milling machine. The Benjamin's are a little low being just after Christmas and everything.