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  • Combo lathes

    Hey a newbee here. I'm wanting to purchase a metal lathe, money is no object (meaning it's an object I don't have) so I'll be going the cheap rout. I've looked at Gizzily, Smithy, Jet etc. What I'm not sure about is a lathe or combo lathe (lathe& mill) what are the disadvantages if any. The size I'm looking at is around 12-20 inch between centers.

    Thanks Hex
    Better to be silent and thought a fool, than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt.

  • #2
    I am not real thrilled with combination machines, too many parts and if one thing dies, you may loose the whole thing. For new machines I like Jet, but there are a lot of older well loved machines out there for sale. You have to know what to look for to get a good buy.

    Jerry

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    • #3
      I have the smithy midas 1220, it is great for a garage to do hobbie work.

      I also added a 8" 4 jaw chuck and a live center and had the whole thing for $1,388 delivered.

      they are simple and realy fun to run.

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      • #4
        Well, it probably isn't what you want to hear, BUT....

        I bought a Logan lathe, and a Lewis horizontal/vertical mill for, total, less than that figure given. In fact, you'd have to add one of the Atlas shapers to get up to that amount.

        Thus, I have two machines, not one. They can be set up separately, do different things in sequence, etc.

        Yes, I bought them used. Yes, I have nearly zero fear of reasonable fixer-upper machines. So?

        The mill was essentially perfect as bought, all I have done is oil it, and change a pulley because I wanted a different speed range.

        The lathe I did do work on, but it was working as bought also. What I did was refinement, not essential repair. Biggest problem I had was finding a bench to put it on.

        I have examined some of the combo machines up close, although I have not used one. I was not impressed, take that as you will.

        [This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 06-14-2005).]
        1601

        Keep eye on ball.
        Hashim Khan

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        • #5
          I think what makes the most difference is what you are
          planing to make or do.

          I think any lathe can be used with a milling attachment
          In a pinch.

          I have seen horizontal mills used as lathes.

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          • #6
            My friend has a Smithy dual use and he uses it for basic hobbyist gunsmithing and he loves it. I'm with Tinker, it depends on how much accuracy you need. You want to start building small motors you might need more accuracy than can easily be obtained by the average guy on a dual use machine.

            I don't need serious accuracy so I didn't opt for any pricey equipment. I fool around mostly with building tooling for wood working, camera brackets and such. It's a real blast to be out there making chips!
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