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

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  • Rex
    replied
    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.

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

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  • flylo
    replied
    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!

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  • HAP
    replied
    Originally posted by coalsmok
    Lifting device of some sort.
    Lathe
    Mill
    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...

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  • rohart
    replied
    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.

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  • MichaelP
    replied
    For a basic DIY machine shop, besides the obvious stuff like hand instruments, calipers, mics, rules, vise, etc., I'd suggest a bandsaw, belt and tool grinders, lathe and a milling machine. I'd also get some heating/cutting/welding equipment (I most often use my oxy-acetylene setup and TIG). Try to buy quality stuff whenever possible and avoid " I'll buy a small garbage lathe now and then upgrade later" mentality. It will cost you an arm and a leg, considering the cost of tooling. Let alone a total frustration. And be prepared to spend a lot on tooling for the machines (much more than the cost of the machines).

    Good luck and welcome to the psychiatric ward of HSM!

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  • philbur
    replied
    + 25,000,000 for the the Bandsaw (or a powered hacksaw).

    It's probably number 1. You can use a lathe as a mill and a mill as a lathe. Cutting a 1" slice off a 4" diameter mild steel bar by hand with a hacksaw is no joke.

    You will put off projects because you can't face that first operation.

    Phil

    Originally posted by Toolguy
    Lathe, Mill, small Bandsaw.

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  • AD5MB
    replied
    coffeepot
    mill
    bandsaw
    grinder
    plasma cutter
    tubing bender

    in that order

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  • Carld
    replied
    The three most used machines in a home shop are a lathe, drill press and cutoff band saw. The hand tools will be acquired as needed. The next things you will be looking for is a good bench grinder. A mill is handy to have but you will find a lathe and drill press used more than the mill for most home work.

    When you need a tool put it on a list and then put the date each time you need it and don't have it. Over 6 months or a year, does the list show you really need it or just think you need it? If you have a lot of money just buy it whether you need it or not.

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  • SGW
    replied
    As others have said, it depends on what you want to do. If you want to do "classic" model engineering and build small steam engines, etc., I'd recommend a lathe, vertical milling machine, and 4x6 H/V bandsaw. If you've got a vertical milling machine, I see no need for a drill press. For models, you won't need a welder, either. Any small assemblies requiring strength can be silver soldered (more correctly, silver brazed) with a propane torch.

    If you're going to build a metal-frame utility trailer, a rack for your truck, and that kind of thing, then you'll need a welder.

    You will also need tooling: drills, end mills, collets, drill chucks, micrometers, parallels, lathe chucks, centers, faceplates, clamp sets, rulers, center drills, protractors, squares, levels, toolbits, boring bars, boring heads, vises, rotary tables, dividing heads, taps, dies, tapping drill size charts, files, reamers, other hand tools, a copy of Machinery's Handbook, dial indicators, and undoubtedly other stuff. This hobby is a tool freak's paradise.

    Have patience. You don't need to (probably can't) buy everything at once. It took me about ten years to get to the point where I felt reasonably confident I could start a project without needing to get an additional tool or cutter of some kind.

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  • vpt
    replied
    Most important and used tool in my shop is the bandsaw.

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  • wb2vsj
    replied
    1) Ability
    2) Imagination

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  • Black Forest
    replied
    On second thought I would say electrically insulated gloves and boots!!!!

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  • Black Forest
    replied
    It would be easier for me to tell you what I could get rid of and not miss a lot.

    A drill sharpener is in the top three of what I think is most important.

    My shop has a life of its own. Removing any of the machine tools is like removing an organ from a living body. Some you can live without but maybe not so good as before.

    I think it depends on what you want to build as to what is the most important.

    I do a mix of fabricating and machining in my farm shop.

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  • chevy3755
    replied
    la lathe and a mill with tooling...

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