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what are the two most important machines to start your shop?

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  • #31
    Yes, two tools makes it an 'it all depends' question.

    If you're saying which two tools could I buy and do stuff with before I get others, then it's the bandsaw and eithe the drill press or a welder. That way you can make structures and weld or bolt them.

    If you want to make small tools and mechanisms, just using a hacksaw, then a lathe and a mill, because you can use either as a drilling machine.

    I think I prefer the latter approach, because then you'll need the bandsaw and the drill press to make progress. With the former approach you might end up good at building frames, and never properly enjoy the wonder of machining.

    For my 'bang for the buck' choice as the tool I might never have got, I'd choose the welder. It changed the characteristics of what I could do more than any other tool.

    I started with dirt cheap lathe, drill press, bench grinder and a hacksaw. I could do a lot, small, mill in the lathe, cut stuff slowly and so on. Everything got better bit by bit, but the welder was the quantum leap.
    Richard - SW London, UK, EU.


    • #32
      Originally posted by coalsmok
      Lifting device of some sort.
      Then you get to start getting the other stuff.
      This guy has the right approach. You need to have some sort of lifting capability. You will need a way to off-load and position your equipment probably more than just one time.

      Good luck with your aquisitions...
      Who do I think you are...?


      • #33
        Start with the 2 tools that will make the money to buy more tools. Not knowing your skills or interest it could be stick welder & bandsaw, or lathe & mill,etc. Try to make your tools pay for more tools. Just my opinion. Good luck!


        • #34
          Large shop building and a credit card. toys are nice but a warm dry place to play with them is priceless


          • #35
            Originally posted by gaston
            Large shop building and a credit card. toys are nice but a warm dry place to play with them is priceless
            +1, and I'd add that it needs to be close to, or at home. Mine is neither.

            The nice thing about having a separate, roomy shop building, is it gives you the space to put those extra machines you stumble across at a can't-pass-that-up deal, and later cull as you decide which ones you use the most.
            Some people don't have that problem, but I sure do!

            Rex - 5 lathes, 3 mills, 1 shaper, still shopping CL every day.