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  • #16
    If you have a lot of time and access to cheap or free materials you could consider looking at some of the home built machines out there and make your own. My South Bend 10" cost me $600 on a $700 asking price...personally I wouldn't want anything smaller or lighter than my 10K. I know you want the mill now, but I would suggest investing in a fine machine and waiting to purchase the next rather than two sub quality machines. Do your research, watch your local papers and ebay to get a feel for what the market is, there's always somebody looking for a machine. If you don't pay over market rate you should be able to get your money back out if you decide to change directions later.

    If you have a harbor freight in your area I would suggest looking at and feeling the quality and then go to a local trade school or job shop and see if someone will show you a domestic or higher market machine. I think the difference in quality will be apparent. You might even make some connections and get a deal.

    Freight on a used machine can cost as much as the machine itself...so beware of ebay.

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    • #17
      ......Since it sounds like you're planning on doing light stuff you should be able to get by with a domestic 9" lathe and a toolpost milling attachment. The milling attachment is for light cuts as it overhangs some, but they're simple, foolproof and can usually be sold for as much or more then you paid for it, when the need for a real mill arises.

      I just bought a used Palmgren #250 toolpost miling attachment on E-Bay for $149, and that included shipping on a "Buy it now" action. These retail for about $250 or a bit more.

      I would spent the bulk of your equipment budget on a lathe first. Tooling it up beyond what you might get with it can be as much or more then the lathe cost, depending on what you need. Another option is to buy the tooling you need as you run up against the need.

      But that means you have to wait to scrape up the money or spend the time looking for it. All the while your project sits. Maybe a sticking point and maybe not.

      Being in Colorado is kind of a compromise. Here in So. Calif you can find lots of stuff locally but it seems some stuff you want just always happens to be in NJ, or CT. At least you're kind of in the middle :-)

      But again, beware the tooling. I heard it said that they oughta just give everyone a lathe who wants one as they'd make their money back quickly on tooling! I was lucky in buying a really nice later model Logan/Powermatic 11x36 lathe from a friend for $1500, and it was pretty well setup with chucks, faceplates, 5C lever collet, etc.

      You probably wouldn't believe the incredibly short time it took me to suck out another $2300 in additional stuff and doo-dad tooling for it from the savings account.

      It's an illness.

      Regards,
      Rick
      Son of the silver stream ..... Bullet caster.

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      • #18
        What about the milling/lathe/drilling combination machines??? I have seen some for around 700-800 or so that would fit inside my budget. Any suggestions on those??? Edit: By the way thanks so much for your replies you guys are Very HELPFUL. THANKS! I found a central machinery 7" x 10" on ebay, $45 shipping for $475. Any thoughts, would this be a good lathe to start out with??

        [This message has been edited by OREDIGGER! (edited 04-24-2004).]

        [This message has been edited by OREDIGGER! (edited 04-24-2004).]

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        • #19
          Harbor freight carries the central machinery brand 7x10 for $329.To me bigger is better if you have the room and two individual machines beteer than 3 in 1.How much room you have? Ive heard three in one are ok for lathe but milling is weak and hard to set up. I have never been to the co spgs store but I would think harbor freight has machine on hand for viewing and touching. They are at circle dr and fountain blvd next to king bypass.

          Jeep

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          • #20
            I have plenty of room, I just thought of another thing to consider though. One of the applications I need the lathe for involves a drilling a large diameter hole (about 1" Diameter) into peices of aluminum about 6-8" long. What size lathe would I need to do that? I was thinking a 7" x 12" would be ok but a 1" bit would have to be too long for that to work, unless I use a short bit and use longer bits as I drill in further. Any thoughts? Edit: Oh yeah, I know most lathes can be used to thread a piece but what about tapping a peice?? Just like before I'm talking about a fair decent size hole.



            [This message has been edited by OREDIGGER! (edited 04-24-2004).]

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            • #21
              Hi I was raised in pueblo and lived in Denver for a couple of years (still have family both places.
              Grab the Denver Post or Rocky Mtn News and watch estate sales. I found my first lathe that way. It was a 1917 model 16" Sb, but only 50.00 and please haul this 3500# monster out of my garage.
              Used it for 20 years ( and still do occasionaly). Lots of times the kids don't know what dads stuff is worth.
              Jim

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              • #22
                If you need to drill 6-8"x1" holes in stock, forget the 7x10/12. The spindle and chuck won't handle that large of stock going through them NOR would you have a long enough bed to extend it out and use a drill bit.

                The through-hole size on the 7x10 chuck is only about 5/8". I bored mine out to take up to 3/4" stock. I don't know what the 12's are but I suspect they're the same.

                You will need a MUCH larger machine to bore 1" holes in long stock! My 14x40 will only take 1 1/2" stock through the spindle. But with a longer bed, you can extend stock out from the chuck. (With a steady rest.)

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                • #23
                  Agree with Shooter's advice on the local ads.
                  Bought a Rockwell wood lathe from a guy that cleaned out school shops and when I picked it up, he asked if I was interested in a couple of old SB's. Got two 9 X 24's for $100 CDN. One is an 'A' and the other is a 'B'. Both need work, but plenty good enough for my hobby work.

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                  • #24
                    Oredigger,
                    Check out www.metal-club.org That is the local metal working club with folks from both Denver and C Springs. Attend a meeting and ask there. Also there is a "metal" show the second weekend of June in C Springs. As it is the first one for the area, I'm not sure if they will have anything for sale, but there should be a good number of folks to talk to.
                    Jim

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                    • #25
                      I've been "getting started" for a little over a year now. Started with an Atlas 6", the "hobby" version, that I bought new a long time ago and never used. Then added a Harbor Freight benchtop knee mill.

                      In the process, I've learned 2 important lessons.
                      a) This newsgroup is the most valuable resource you'll find, anywhere. Its members are remarkably patient with us newbies.
                      b) Tooling for the mill is costing a lot more than tooling for the lathe.

                      Perhaps I don't know any better, but I'm pretty happy with the H-F mill. I pulled a lot of it apart to get it into my shop, and cleaned a lot of chips and debris out of it in the process. Seems to work very well now. Like all discount machinery, it has its limitations, but its a good first machine. I'd rather be making chips rather than trying to figure out how to recondition an old machine. That can come later.

                      Have fun.

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                      • #26
                        The latest HSM describes a new show to be held in June (I believe) in Boulder. That would be a great place for you to see equipment, what various machines can make, and talk to home and pro machinists like us. Wish I could go...

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                        • #27
                          Oredigger,

                          Drilling holes that size is near the max capability of my South Bend 9" lathe. Anything smaller wouldn't be able to do it. However, much larger holes may be made by boring rather than drilling. There are lots of ways to make holes in material and a lathe is capable of at least six of them. I happen to be extremely biased but recommend you look for a good used SB9 or larger. I know I would never be happy with cheap Chicom junk. (no flames please, I apologise in advance)
                          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                          • #28
                            Like someone mentioned the price for the 7X10 mini lathe can be had at a price of around $369, regular I got mine on sale from harbor freight a year ago for $329 goto Harborfrieght.com and see what products they have for light duty work, I bought my micro-mill drill for around $269, I have a lot of fun with these 2 machines, the mini lathe takes up about 81/2" by 24" not including handle extensions and stuff but small enough to fit in a confined workspace. I like its variable speed and reverse feature makes it easy to do threading.

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                            • #29
                              Since space isn't a problem, how about taking a look at some of the old turret lathes. They will bore a 1" hole with no problem and usually are very cheap.
                              Biggest problem will be running enough power to make one spin. But even that isn't a really big problem.
                              If your planning on doing any threading, you'll have to buy a geometric head, cause most of them don't thread.
                              David from jax
                              A serious accident is one that money can't fix.

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                              • #30
                                Apology accepted but I feel obligated to point out that my 12 x 36 Chinese lathe regularly drills 1 1/4" holes (in steel) without putting up any fuss whatsoever. I also have to drill lots of 1" x 5" deep holes in some nasty hard drill rod, also without difficulty. I recently started doing them using the machines power feed, so I am keeping my fingers crossed. Aside from the supplied tailstock drill chuck being a joke, I have had zero problems from my el-cheapo in years of fairly hard service. It came out of the crate nicely aligned and relatively burr free. 2 chucks, a faceplate, and a steady and follower rests were included. The supplied 3 jaw indicates from .001 to .003 (I just ran out and re-checked it, .0013 at 1 1/2â€‌). I think I must have lucked out with the chuck.

                                I looked for a used machine for a long time. As CCWKen points out, there isn’t much of a used market down here (TX). I did find a worn out South Bend that was missing the change gears and some handles. They wanted $1,500 for that POS. I gave up and went with an import.

                                This is only MY experience, your mileage may vary. I am not sure I would trust smaller than a 12 x 36 import for any heavy work, but for lighter jobs, you can’t beat the price of a 7 x 12.
                                Location: North Central Texas

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