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RZR Trey
04-19-2018, 12:12 PM
Hello,

I'm new to the forum and new to machining, sorta. I'm a gear head and built my first car at 15. I used to operate a full 4x4 fabshop but realized don't make your hobby a job. Lol. I'm now doing the UTV thing out of my shop in my spare time. I just purchased a new 9x39 mill and 14x40 lathe. I have little to no experience with either. Other than the typical tooling, what is the one tool you find you can't live without? It can be home made or bought. I'm in the middle of a huge RZR project, 100% custom, only Polaris parts being used are the motor long block, transmission, and front differential. A project of this size I decided it'd be worth it to have my own mill and lathe, even if it's just for all the little stuff.

danlb
04-19-2018, 12:29 PM
Not typical tool? Google and the internet, often accessed via a cell phone.

I can look up the owners manual for most tools in my shop. I can find the expected hardness of that stick of 4140 that's in my junk bin. I can order parts.

It's a very handy tool.

754
04-19-2018, 12:35 PM
The thing I used daily on those two machines was a dial test indicator, with an Indicol holder.... that fit onto both machines.
And of course also a 6 or 8 inch Vernier caliper.

JRouche
04-19-2018, 12:48 PM
My reading glasses. JR

enginuity
04-19-2018, 01:12 PM
Max and I each made a list of 10 tools that are important to us in our home shops in a podcast:

https://thecogwheel.net/2017/02/05/home-shop-machinists-podcast-episode-3-10-tools/

Here is the direct mp3:

https://thecogwheel.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/episode_003_10_tools.mp3

JoeLee
04-19-2018, 01:21 PM
An assortment of end mills, and a coffee pot !!

JL...............

Paul Alciatore
04-19-2018, 01:41 PM
The ONE tool? No such thing. Different tools exist for different purposes.

Screwdriver? I can't imagine doing almost anything without one.

Vise? I have many.

Saw? That's the most basic tool for cutting things and not just metal. I deliberately did not specify any type of saw as I need and use many.

Etc., etc., etc. I can't imagine doing any project, even the simplest one, with only one tool. And different projects require different tools.

Lee Cordochorea
04-19-2018, 02:22 PM
If it can't be fixed with a hammer, then it isn't actually broken.

gambler
04-19-2018, 02:43 PM
really good flashlight

MrFluffy
04-19-2018, 03:11 PM
Big old vertical bandsaw. I use my Doall almost every day. A friend came over to see me and we were talking about this subject, and he's the same, he could manage without his lathe or mill etc and just pop round here if he gets stuck, but if the vertical bandsaw is down, he's trying to get it going pdq. I have a abrasive chop saw, a power hacksaw etc, but the vertical is the go to. True to form today I've been sawing out repair plates for the rear xmember of my van, I could have cut them other ways but it was just quicker to walk up to the saw and *zing* done.

In my opinion its best not to get a newer/wood cutting one and try to convert it if you do. You can slow the wood saws down, but they're not made as robust in the first place. I went round this loop for a few years, made roller bearing guides up because the blade guides kept breaking sawing steel etc, and in the end just picked up a old dinosaur and wondered why I bothered wasting my time for so long.

dalee100
04-19-2018, 03:20 PM
Hi,

There is only one must have tool. The ability to really think before you do and see where things can go wrong before you do them. Everything else is just an adjunct to the final product.

Mike Amick
04-19-2018, 03:39 PM
I know its not very machine tool related but I want to give kudos to my Jawhorse. Amazing how useful it is. If your unfamiliar
with it Here (https://express.google.com/product/14800603787813587479_8832607063272022998_1699011?m all=WashingtonDC&directCheckout=1&utm_source=google_shopping&utm_medium=product_ads&utm_campaign=gsx&dclid=CPbgkb2Lx9oCFcl5Ygod-zcPKw)is a pic.

Arcane
04-19-2018, 07:00 PM
Hi,

There is only one must have tool. The ability to really think before you do and see where things can go wrong before you do them. Everything else is just an adjunct to the final product.

You nailed it!

Since a tool is defined as being something used in performing an operation or necessary in the practice of a vocation or profession, a person's BRAIN is the only true must have tool.

Dan Dubeau
04-19-2018, 07:43 PM
Everytime I make or buy a "must have tool" I find another tool I must have. It's a never ending cycle. There's going to be one hell of an auction at my place when my wife finally kills me.

dbq49er
04-19-2018, 07:57 PM
You mean those 7, 4 1/2" right angle grinders that are always plugged into the power strip on the work bench. All brand names and with different disks and wire wheels. I even can not live without the dremmel grinder plugged into that same power strip.
DBQ49er

garagemark
04-19-2018, 08:16 PM
My reading glasses. JR

And enough lighting to use them.

CCWKen
04-19-2018, 09:09 PM
What's an "RZR project"? :cool:

If you bought a new mill and lathe, I'm sure you must know by now no "one tool" exists. However, I couldn't get by without a roll of toilet paper. :)

randyjaco
04-19-2018, 09:39 PM
A 2x72" belt grinder. I built mine for about $200 and stuff from my scrap bin. I have a full shop with about every tool that I ever wanted. I use that grinder just about every day for all sorts of things.
Randy

Tundra Twin Track
04-19-2018, 11:20 PM
Big old vertical bandsaw. I use my Doall almost every day. A friend came over to see me and we were talking about this subject, and he's the same, he could manage without his lathe or mill etc and just pop round here if he gets stuck, but if the vertical bandsaw is down, he's trying to get it going pdq. I have a abrasive chop saw, a power hacksaw etc, but the vertical is the go to. True to form today I've been sawing out repair plates for the rear xmember of my van, I could have cut them other ways but it was just quicker to walk up to the saw and *zing* done.

In my opinion its best not to get a newer/wood cutting one and try to convert it if you do. You can slow the wood saws down, but they're not made as robust in the first place. I went round this loop for a few years, made roller bearing guides up because the blade guides kept breaking sawing steel etc, and in the end just picked up a old dinosaur and wondered why I bothered wasting my time for so long.

X2 on that,There is a reason why they called them Doall

754
04-20-2018, 01:41 AM
Altho he is a fabricator, I read the guy was asking about tools to use with a lathe or mill..
Not fabricating.... maybe my screen displays different than the others,, ?

vpt
04-20-2018, 07:20 AM
Money, money is the number 1 tool every guy in every shop needs to have.

Don't get excited about lathe and mill tools right off the bat. Wait till you start using them and see what you need along the way and buy what you need when you need it. Otherwise you'll spend all your money for the next 10 years on "stuff" for the lathe and mill.

If you don't have the simples, that is the place to start though, like mentioned calipers are the most used machinist tool. That is the first tool you should get and then see what you need when you need it after that.

RZR Trey
04-20-2018, 11:17 AM
What's an "RZR project"? :cool:

If you bought a new mill and lathe, I'm sure you must know by now no "one tool" exists. However, I couldn't get by without a roll of toilet paper. :)

A RZR is a side by side sport utility vehicle, like a big go cart with 20" of suspension and 400hp.

MikeL46
04-20-2018, 11:45 AM
This thread is a very bad idea. I've always told my wife that every tool is a must have. Please don't even hint otherwise!

Mike

JRouche
04-20-2018, 02:39 PM
A RZR is a side by side sport utility vehicle, like a big go cart with 20" of suspension and 400hp.

400hp? Hahaha.. Polaris doesnt make a 400hp engine do they? That is turbo charged v6 area. Thats a gang of hp for that light vehicle. JR

RZR Trey
04-20-2018, 09:48 PM
400hp? Hahaha.. Polaris doesnt make a 400hp engine do they? That is turbo charged v6 area. Thats a gang of hp for that light vehicle. JR


Stock Polaris turbo RZR makes 170 HP, with a tune bigger injectors and race fuel plus meth injection you can get about 220/230 crankshaft horsepower at 20 psi boost. Now if you spend 10k on parts you can get in the high 3's low 4's. Lol I know it's stupid, there are plenty of better engines I could swap in that easily make that HP. It's more of a challenge making a 925cc two cylinder make 400HP. A big turbo, nitrous and the best parts available and attention to detail it doable. I wish I could post pics. I'm shooting for October to be done, of course I didn't say 2018. Lol I quit racing Ultra4 to save money, now I have a $60k side by side. Horsepower is a hell of a drug.

Rex
04-22-2018, 05:11 PM
Mitutoyo digital calipers
4x6 horizontal band saw

for the lathe
QCTP and extra toolholders
indexible carbide toolholders

for the mill
Tramming tool shop made
quality vise
holddown kit

Cenedd
04-23-2018, 05:17 AM
Would second the Mitutoyo digital calipers. Went for the IP67 Absolute ones as I intend to use them for general use rather than reference use. They're not cheap but the imports just don't compare. They slide nicely out the box (you don't have to spend time deburring them, cleaning them up and getting them adjusted) and not once have I had to re-zero them or had them give me the wrong result like the set of imports before them.

I'd also agree on the Quick Change ToolPost and the carbide tooling. I have import versions of both and while I'm sure that someone with the expensive versions of these could point out the differences, they're a big step up from the standard 4-way toolpost.

Vise for the mill definitely. Just don't do what I did and go over the top with it. I was convinced that I'd need it to tilt and swivel. To this day I have used neither feature and although it's a good vise, the added height makes for complications with my small mill - just can't fit the parts in and get the cutting tool to clear it.

Decent indicator holder is something that will save your sanity. The standard rod type holders (at least the cheap versions I've come across) are a real pain to use. You loosen a clamp to move something around and your indicator falls out the end. They're a pain to get in the right position too. I tried a segmented arm - like a snake that goes solid when you tighten the draw wire. Problem is that it doesn't go solid enough an moves on its own. Best I've found is the Noga style. The Nogas are really nice to use but very pricey - at least here in the UK. Bought an imitation one by Sodial (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01DXBB6XW) and it's actually surprisingly good. The finish isn't as good (but it's not bad) and you have to turn the knob more to tighten/loosen the arm but it's solid enough when tight and flexible enough when loose. The mag base could maybe be a little stronger but it's a mini one and might be improved by lapping it a little flatter as it can spin but doesn't slide.

If you're completely new to lathe and mill as I was (not sure if you did any at school) then it's worth doing a basic course on using them safely as if your workholding is inadequate things can fly out. It's worth knowing what the safety issues are at least. Eye protection is a must.

How you mount the lathe is worth looking at too. Mine is on a wooden bench and given how heavy and solid the cast iron frame is, I didn't expect twisting to be an issue. Had to make levelling feet for mine when it wouldn't cut straight parts.