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Premium combo machine?

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  • Premium combo machine?

    I know there isn't much respect given for combo machines, but this one seems like it could be decent. I just saw an ad for a Shopmaster 3 in 1 machine in an older issue of HSM. I wonder if anyone owns one of these and what they think of it? The one I saw in the ad was called an Eldorado.

    My official position is that separate machines is a better way to go, but for the right reasons a combo machine might be someones best choice. If that's the case, you would at least like the choice of what might be the best of the lot, or nearly so anyway. This one has a milling head that rides up and down on dovetails, and there's an outboard support at the tailstock end. To me that's a couple of major features.
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  • #2
    I have the model before the one with the extra support for the mill head at the tail stock, and it is a capable machine.

    I wish I had a Bridgeport or similar, but I have been able to do a good amount of milling with good success. The lathe works very well also, though I wish it had a longer bed sometimes.

    BTW, the mill head does not move up and down on dovetails; there are (4) 1.5" diameter vertical steel rods fixed to the headstock, and the mill head is equipped with (4) lengths of DOM tubing that slides on the rods.

    Probably the worst feature of the Shoptask Shopmaster is the Z axis mechanism-The handwheel turns a worm gear that turns a spur gear which shares a shaft with a pinion, which engages the rack cut into the spindle quill-with all those gears it's hard to get less than .017 or .022 backlash on the Z.


    • #3
      Premium combo machine? I have reason to nominate the maximat series as such Later "v" series had round colums but there early MQ i'm doing has box ways for the mill.


      • #4
        Hmm- I'll have to look at that picture again- I could have sworn that it was on dovetails- maybe I'm seeing the head all the way down-

        That sounds like a compromise with the z axis actuation. Guess it's hard to find all the good features on one machine.

        Oh, yeah there it is- I just looked at some close-up pictures of it. One guy called it a frankenlift-
        Last edited by darryl; 03-13-2013, 12:38 AM.
        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


        • #5
          There is a whole forum for this sort of machine over here:

          I used a shoptask for many years while I was a student. That's the predecessor to the machine you mention. I knew I would be moving 5 or 6 times in 8 years. Yeah, try that with a bridgeport, on a student's budget, with no machinery to help...

          It's not a bad machine. I did a fair amount of work with it. You can attain pretty good precision and accuracy once you learn the tricks. As soon as I quit moving, I got a bridgeport and the 14 x 40 grizzly lathes. Glad that's over with.