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

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

    I'm a beginer and just putting togather my shop.
    would a lathe and mill be the most important investments?
    there are no schools near me so its all live and learn.
    I had a best friend who has passed on but got me intrusted
    in machining.I miss him dearly cigar and his jokes.
    his you-all need to listen here boy.

  • #2
    Starting Out

    Lathe, Mill, small Bandsaw.

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    • #3
      Lifting device of some sort.
      Lathe
      Mill
      Then you get to start getting the other stuff.

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      • #4
        I think it depends on what your doing.........my bandsaw gets the most work of any tool..........
        Opportunity knocks once, temptation leans on the doorbell.....

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        • #5
          What you intend to do dictates the best tool and most needed.

          So you can say "lathe and mill", but then find out the guy only does massive weldments and is SOL because of lacking a welder...

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          • #6
            I have to pick three. Drill press, 4x6 horizontal/vertical bandsaw, and a stick welder. Most bang for the buck.

            Obviously highly dependent on what you want to do and what you already have.

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            • #7
              I would have to agree on the Horizontal Bandsaw. For cutting things to length, I use this constantly. Almost every application that requires turning or milling requires cutting from stock to begin with. I'm no real machinist, but my noodling around in the garage with welders, lathes, shapers, mills, etc......it all starts with the horizontal bandsaw.

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              • #8
                Angle grinder, Mig welder :P

                Followed by a 500RPM drill, a drill press, few dozen others.. Mill and Lathe.. air compressor, air tools..
                Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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                • #9
                  You guys forgot to mention "FUNDS".

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                  • #10
                    Most important investments
                    ...I think I feel OK with used machinery but less so re: welders so to me buying a welder new becomes important in that I want to do it rarely and do it right (unless circumstance change and it puts big $$$ into the coffers to pay for more/better).
                    Much of the rest is, to me, eliminating the hassle factor, a band saw as already stated as paying cut fees at the supplier or doing it by hand (hacksaw, recip saw, cut off, ox-acy) gets old quick. You can put holes in things with a hand held drill but it makes the task way easier to have a drill press (though one could use the mill for that).

                    Lathe and though you can do some milling with it (I plan to) a milling machine is a better plan; for what its worth, I would look for a universal type (the horizontal has huge advantages IMO for some simple stuff) but many get a vertical (I'd look for a horizontal with a vertical head or the capacity to use one).

                    Sorry to say but some of the smaller day-to-day stuff is throw away or nearly so (angle grinder, hand drill).

                    The whole idea of weldments is interesting...how long can you just bolt stuff together? For me a welder has been fairly far down the list, the light stuff I can braze and the small number of times its truly needed, I can usually find someone or low bucks to have it done.

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                    • #11
                      I first bought a mill, then the lathe and so on, when i got my lathe and started making chips i thought to myself i should have gone with the lathe first, for me hands down go with the lathe first.. but thats my opinion.

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                      • #12
                        I gotta say, I missed the boat and waited FAR, FAR too long to get a bandsaw for cutting stock. I was buying cut-to-length from the small stock suppliers for a couple years. That or using a hacksaw. I never realized how much more useful stock is available from the use of a bandsaw... and I'm only talking a 4x6 here! As far as I'm concerned now, it should be one of the first items in a shop. The other? Whatever suits your need

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                        • #13
                          I think the most important thing to start out with is a fairly complete set of tools for measuring, layout, and benchwork. Machines and power tools get a lot done, but the majority of the work is still done before and after at the bench with a flat file and/or mic in hand. Machine work can usually be replaced. Hand work cannot.

                          Also, if you dont have a decently large amount of basic mechanic's tools, you should invest in these before ever considering machine tools.
                          Last edited by justanengineer; 02-21-2012, 10:57 AM.
                          "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."

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                          • #14
                            Metal cutting band saw and drill press. At least those are the two that I use the most.
                            Paul A.

                            Make it fit.
                            You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SimpleSimon
                              I would have to agree on the Horizontal Bandsaw. For cutting things to length, I use this constantly. Almost every application that requires turning or milling requires cutting from stock to begin with. I'm no real machinist, but my noodling around in the garage with welders, lathes, shapers, mills, etc......it all starts with the horizontal bandsaw.

                              this was my first purchase. brand new force international 7 x 12 hydraulic downfeed and coolant. cost me $800 bucks

                              i spend many many many hours sitting in front of machine

                              i love my bandsaw


                              someone said drill press also. i had a nice delta rockwell that i completely restored.
                              sold it when i got my first mill drill.

                              i miss my old drill press constantly
                              Last edited by legendboy; 02-20-2012, 10:58 PM.
                              https://www.flickr.com/photos/csprecision

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