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Thread: Mythbusters: Their 3in1 Machine.

  1. #1
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    Default Mythbusters: Their 3in1 Machine.

    I watch many hours of TV, I like it.

    Mythbusters has always been enjoyable for me. The new series showed a 3 in 1 machine.

    I started on a three and one machine. The machine did exactly what I tried to do.

    Even to this day the limiting factor of my machining abilities would still have to be me.

    My 3 in 1 was (and is) well beyond what my skill level could come up with. Just sayin'. JR
    My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

  2. #2
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    Fairly low skill applications where a lot of material needs removing in a reasonable period is where their milling capability falls down, mainly to do with breaking the cardinal rules of keeping the job machining surface and mill head as close to the x-y slides as possible for best possible rigidity.
    If you benefit from the Dunning-Kruger Effect you may not even know it ;-)

  3. #3
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    I've actually been looking into a 3 in one, the type with the mill/drill mounted behind the ways, not on the headstock. Think that would be the best compromise for a small shop. That style looks like it has a real lathe and the equivalent of a mini mill with a huge table.

    Never really cared for how far above the ways everything was on the typical 3 in one or the small work space.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kendall View Post
    I've actually been looking into a 3 in one, the type with the mill/drill mounted behind the ways, not on the headstock. Think that would be the best compromise for a small shop. That style looks like it has a real lathe and the equivalent of a mini mill with a huge table.

    Never really cared for how far above the ways everything was on the typical 3 in one or the small work space.
    There is a 3 in 1 listed on my local CL for $850. I've looked at it two or three times with a little lust, but then I realize its just the appeal of the exotic face. LOL. I would like to pick up another manual mill for my shop, buts probably going to be a decent full size import knee mill. I've already got a decent import full size lathe and a couple baby lathes. I really don't need another lathe and the milling capability of the 3:1 is just not big enough for what I need it for.

    That being said, I can certainly see the appeal of a 3 in 1 machine. I bet some guys can just do wonders with them within their capabilities. Two small machines with the foot print of one.

    Several years back Harbor Freight had a 3:1 machine outside in one of their parking lot sales. I remember thinking it was a bigger lathe than anything I had at the time whether I used the mill head or not. And... its was a lot cheaper than a comparable size lathe. Even from Harbor Freight.

  5. #5
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    If their built tight the biggest concern i see is "room" that means lathe length and esp. mill Z axis...

    how preciousto have space to still bolt things on top of things like once your R/T is mounted to still have room for a chuck to mount to it and still have room for your boring head and or drill chuck and still have room for the drill bit --------- it all adds up very quickly ---- room to work is priceless because many times if you don't have it you cannot do the job

    3in1's are "cramped" to say the least...

  6. #6
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    Ive got the mill and the lathe part,but what is the third function? (mythbusters is an interesting show but I liked "junkyard wars" for the backyard engineering solutions...)

  7. #7
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    3 in 1 = mill drill lathe

    THANX RICH
    People say I'm getting crankier as I get older. That's not it. I just find I enjoy annoying people a lot more now. Especially younger people!!!

  8. #8
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    Will they remove material? CERTAINLY! And for many folks that need occasional or casual work to be done I think they can be a good solution. For example my other hobby of building and flying model planes could easily allow me to make do nicely with even one of the poor 3in1 machines for things like turning my own spinners, prop adapters, wheel bearings and other parts. Even making my own folding prop hubs would be easily done on such a machine to more than "good enough" accuracy levels.

    Where I've always been against them is that MOST of them do not work well as a lathe or a mill when one wants to go further than the basics. They often have way too much room from the spindle to the bed which will have the effect of increasing the flexibility at the work and cutter simply through the leverage arms involved. And that makes for the machine to set up a lot of chattering and howling. And while they often have far more room than needed from the bed to the spindle they are short where it counts from the mill head spindle to the small table. That causes lots of problems in finding spindle to table room for work holding tooling or larger items if you want to work them in a vertical mode.

    The cross slide "table" is often quite small too. And the long dimension is oriented on the direction of least travel. So that compounds the lack of work positioning flexibility. But for the 95% of the little things I find I commonly do it CAN be just fine.

    For me the biggest reason I don't like most of them is the small number dials on them. They typically use .002" divisions which are stupidly short spaced on a really small diameter dial. Yet there's easily lots of room to support using 3" or even larger round dials with decently spaced .001" graduations.. Or the equivalent metric option.

    Even when I first started looking the 3in1's over in the stores I was far from being any sort of expert. And I'm only slightly down that road now. But what little experience I had with my father's lathe already indicated to me what the issues would be soon enough with many of the smaller and lower cost 3in1's.

    But things have improved over the years. I've seen a few options that were actually very usable and which I could easily see myself owning if I did not already have my separate machines and if I had very limited shop space. The flagship of this range of new combo units has to be the Grizzly G0791 and a worthy smaller option is the G0773 Both are pretty good lathes from what I can see and both have reasonable table to mill spindle distances for doing a reasonable range of smaller milling jobs.

    The one main and still noteworthy failing is the lack of usable table space for the milling end of things. If it won't fit in a mill vise or other limited options for work holding then you're stuck. Things COULD be improved slightly with an oversize "pallet" that fits the table. But you can't go crazy on that either. You don't want to exceed the foot print of the carriage on the bed by much if anything and if the pallet is very much larger than the table then it has to be made fairly thick to be rigid enough. And that further cuts into the available working room between the spindle and table. So basically no parts that need longer cuts to be made which extend very far past the limits of the table. And no fancy clamping arrangements that tend to take up more table space than the part does. On the upside though the lathe part of both seem to look darn nice by the standards of their size ranges.

    For example I could see someone duplicating some of Brian's slick engine projects on that G0773. And easily doing so on the larger G0791.

    I think I would still want a separate drill press though. Even the 12" on the larger isn't much room after adding a drill chuck and drill press vise. Stick a 1/2
    drill bit in there and I don't know if there would still be room for more than the thinnest sort of work piece.
    Last edited by BCRider; 01-12-2018 at 05:55 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kendall View Post
    I've actually been looking into a 3 in one, the type with the mill/drill mounted behind the ways, not on the headstock. Think that would be the best compromise for a small shop. That style looks like it has a real lathe and the equivalent of a mini mill with a huge table.
    That type has serious milling limitations. The mill table is very small, even the $5000 Grizzly with the geared mill head only has a 6 x 9 table. On some of them, the cross travel is so small (because of the table) it cannot travel the amount needed to face a workpiece that uses the max capacity of the lathe.

    And the long axis is an illusion. As soon as you travel the width of the table (6" on the Grizzly) the cutting action is taking place off the side of the saddle - no support under the work being machined. Remember - in a milling machine, or even a normal 3 in 1, the saddle stays under the spindle and the table slides in the saddle. In this design the entire saddle moves away from under the spindle.

    I have had a Shopmaster for 17 years with the Quadra-Lift and bridgemill and am quite happy. Lots of powered vertical travel for the mill head and the overhead arm for the bridgemill tightens to the column off the far end of the lathe to greatly stiffen it.

    Dennis

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