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So if you had a spare $1000.. what to buy?

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  • So if you had a spare $1000.. what to buy?

    Really? Every once in awhile I save up a grand.. sorta mad money... and buy something for my shop. Usually end up spending double but it always starts out that way.
    Right now I'm in pretty good shape.. 3 welders, decent plasma cutter.
    The machine shop side... ho hum... not great. I really need a bigger, better lathe. Got my hotrod mill/drill. My old Ohio universal and the Van Norman with BP head coming this spring. Lathes and mills are out of the $1000 range of course.(I have a plan.. selling my Harley in the spring... buying a better lathe)
    I'd really like to buy a good mag drill but that only means one thing... big steel. I'm not quite ready to deal with heavy iron yet. I have an overhead crane I bought but no building to put it in yet. Forklift has them little smooth rubber tires so it won't work in this yard. Still looking for a decent offroad forklift that I can afford.
    Just got a good workhorse saw.
    Just got the turret lathe.
    Got my homebuilt cutter endmill for me.
    Lots of sheetmetal stuff.. ring/bead rollers. Small brake, smallish press with dies.
    Got mandrel tubing bender and a cheap bow and arrow bender.
    So.. new or used... any ideas?
    I want my shop to be very versatile. I'm thinking some of the brainpower here may be a good thing to get ideas.
    I have tools I don't even know I own...

  • #2
    A new jointer.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Forrest Addy
      A new jointer.
      Don't need one. I bought a like new 8" long bed jointer last summer when I was rebuilding my house.
      Also bought a new tablesaw. Not as good as my Unisaws I had at one time but it'll do for me now.
      Where do we sign up for Machineaholics Anonymous?
      I have tools I don't even know I own...


      • #4
        New Tools

        How about welding equipment? That is what I'm saving for. I'm getting tired of making all joints held together with bolts or roll pins. I want to be able to make weld joints. I'm currently enrolled in local college's evening welding class so I can learn how to do it.


        Being ROAD KILL on the Information Super Highway and Electronically Challenged really SUCKS!!

        Every problem can be solved through the proper application of explosives, duct tape, teflon, WD-40, or any combo of the aforementioned items.


        • #5
          Bill, I already have one of the best equipped welding shops in the area. Only things I'd like to add to that.. a big ol' 600 amp engine driven unit for heavy duty gouging and I'd like a good O2/Acet burning table. Still lookin for one of the older ones with the photo eye. Found a 4X8 table out in Saskatchewan but they want too much loot for it. Be ok but add on $1000 or so in gas to go get it. No... not spending the grand on gas...
          I have tools I don't even know I own...


          • #6
            As one museum curator to another. You ever loan out parts of your collection or maybe put them on tour?

            Actually, for serious answer, lighting. Make all stations convienant to be around with good solid lighting and you'd be spending your coin wisely IMHO. You'll appreciate it everytime you walk up to the machine and turn'em on.

            Or, as another idea. How about this. It's looking like it's gonna go cheap!

            Last edited by Your Old Dog; 02-22-2008, 09:53 AM.
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            Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

            It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.


            • #7
              More tools, of course.
              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


              • #8
                I'd buy raw stock and lots of it, while it's "cheap". The cost is only going to go up after all. And a decent drill press. Mine is a POS.

                Stuart de Haro


                • #9
                  Priority #1 right now is more square footage

                  Sitting on $5000 now and hoping to pull the rest out of pocket as I go. Adding 600 square ft to the existing 450 should cut cost slightly excepting my taste for what passes as descent shop space has been refined some what.

                  6" slab with radiant heating run off of solar assisted heating equipment(with diversion valve to heat swimming pool in summer time), 10' ceiling height minimum with at least 1 skylight to add some true daylight to the fluorescent lighting. Piped for air, vacuum, 3 phase, single phase and data


                  • #10
                    Ebay iron worker?!??? 45 Ton C/W dies. Made of gold for a welding/fab shop. Accurate cuts minimal flash. No oxidation or other slag on cuts. Holes to 1" dia in 15 seconds.
                    Design to 0.0001", measure to 1/32", cut with an axe, grind to fit


                    • #11
                      Propane forge and power hammer?
                      Induction heater? (Okay, probably not for a grand...)
                      Electrostatic paint sprayer setup?


                      • #12
                        Get started building a CNC plasma table. You might even get pretty close to finishing it for $1000, and I'd think you certainly could finish it for $2000. You can run your torch on it too. It would be a tremendous complement to your welding business and you could likely do some light manufacturing with it if you think of some products.



                        Try G-Wizard Machinist's Calculator for free:


                        • #13
                          Sounds to me like the best use of the 1000 dollars is to send it to me. I am very good at managing money and would be delighted to spend yours for you.

                          Seriously though - either keep saving it for bigger equipment, buy tooling or look at getting an ironworker. I love ironworkers. (err... the tools i mean) I'm sure you already have lots of expierence with them and maybe they aren't what your shop really needs but if i had some extra cash lying around and already had the basics, i'd look at an ironworker.


                          • #14
                            Is there a project you want to build that has been out of your reach? I've been wanting to build a Gatling gun and between taxes, bonus, and overtime, I have the money plus a bit to put in savings. I've been ordering material and tooling for the last week. UPS is getting tired of coming here.



                            • #15
                              300 gallons of heating oil?
                              Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
                              Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
                              Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
                              There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
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                              Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie