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    I would like to know if anyone has any experience with (or opinions about) the Smithy Midas 1220 machine. I am a newbie although I took several quarters of a machine shop course about 16 years ago. Space is a major consideration in my shop. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    This is a sore subject with me. I am a newbie and the Smithy 12220xl I purchased was not exactly user friendly. Quite the opposite! If I was starting from stratch, with limited room, and limited budget. I would consider one of the 7x10 mini lathes like on Varmint Al's website. They can be tuned up to do good work, then maybe ad a benchtop mini-mill and tune it up also. You could do some small projects, gain experience and have fun for $1000 to 1500 including tools and gizmos. I really did not like my 3 in 1. Best of luck!


    • #3
      I have owned a Smithy 1220 LTD for about 7 mos now. The other 1220s do not have 2 motors and therefore cannot power feed while "milling". I used quotes on milling 'cuz the machine isn't rigid enough to do more than light cuts while milling. Lots of tuning up required. Also the wide carriage(mill table) and oddball tailstock make turning short pieces between centers almost impossible. If I were to do it over, I would opt for separate machines. If I couldn't afford both I would rig up a tabletop drill press behind the lathe to use as a milling head until I could get a real mill.


      • #4
        I have owned a Smithy Midas 1720CNC for almost a year now. I also have space limitations which was a condsideration when purchasing a machine. Here is where I break from the rest. I have had 0 problems with the machine. You must set it up, but after the inital setup upkeep has been nil if you keep it clean. I use mine for gunsmithing and keeping the hare scramble bikes running. Smithy appears to have quit selling it as I don't see it in the catalog any more. However Grizzly has the same machine in non CNC version with a longer bed G9729 for about $1500. Had this been available then I would've bought it.


        • #5
          I also own the Midas 1720CNC for a little over two years. I knew nothing of "REAL" machining. After I learned how to set it up(have a buddy that does this work for a living) I have not had much problems with it. I am still in the process of just making chips(ie two tries to get the right one part!) but if I knew then what I know now, I would have saved my money and gone a different way.
          My 2cents worth.


          • #6
            I recently puchased a Smithy 1220XL - just for the lathe bit - and am really pleased with the quality and value for money. I was lucky in that I told them I just wanted the the lathe bit and they had just received one with shipping damage to the mill head (which I removed). The oversized carriage (mill table) can be quite useful!


            • #7
              The April/May 1996 (vol. 50) issue of SIC had this letter regarding a Smithy 1220.

              I'll quote from portions of this sad letter: "In May of 1995 I purchased a Smithy 1220XL. This has been a nightmare ever since. I have replaced two on/off/reverse switches, milling machine drive shaft, rebored backplate for the faceplate (the hole was too small for the dead center to fit through), the dead center was too short by 1". The X table feed screw is bent, the cross slide feed screw is bent."

              The writer went on listing the many other failings and concluded with this: "I am so tired of working to make this thing work. I will give up. It will sit on the bench'till I get enough guts to take this $1695 worth of junk to the scrap yard."

              In fairness to this machine, I recently saw one in a machine shop. The owner, obviously a skilled machinist was pleased with it. I have to admit that I was impressed with the (apparent) good workmanship and sturdiness of the machine. Perhaps the model that I saw (it looked brand new) was the top of the line.

              I am of the opinion that a Smithy, in the hands of a skilled machinist who knows how to compensate for the shortcomings of a multiple operation machine will perform adequately, but it is not a machine for the beginner who does not possess the machining capabilities and versatility of years of experience.

              A 10" Logan and a small Clausing vertical mill would take up very little room and would be infinitely more useful.