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  • Starting up...Need Help

    First off, I'm sure your probably sick of these types of posts, but I have been trying to figure this stuff out on my own and I'm just not getting anywhere. I'm trying to get my own machine workshop going, for the stuff I want to do I'll need a Lathe and a Mill. For the mill I was thinking about something in the 7" x 12" range, not smaller though, and a mill of comparable capabilities. I want to try and keep it under $1000. This is of course just for the lathe/mill, not including bits and chucks and such. I plan on buying the lathe first, and I need help on brand/make/ and where to buy. Thanks.

  • #2
    More likely question that needs answering, is not where do you buy one, but where are you? (Blanks in your profile)
    Knowing what part of the country makes all the difference in the world. Or better yet, knowing what country your in would help.
    Different parts of the country lend for different deals. Shipping will kill many a good deal, so buying one close by is helpfull.
    Yes sometimes it is ok to transport one across the country, but deals are to be had most everywhere.
    david from jax
    A serious accident is one that money can't fix.

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    • #3
      Ha, sorry, I neglected that part of the register process. I am in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I really don't know of any shops around here that sell this type of equipment. Mainly I have been looking on the internet just to find out what make/model I want, but I'm getting nowhere fast. At this point the lathe is more important, I was looking in the 300-500 range, I know that is the low end but I am limited on funds.

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      • #4
        You have a Harbor Freight store in C.S. (I know--I've been there.) Go down and take a look at their 7x10/12 or 9x20. Grizzly has about the same thing. These are pretty good machines for the price. You WILL need to clean and adjust them though. Nothing you find, in your price range, will make chips out of the box.

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        • #5
          Ken, that's not true, at least around here. I see small southbends all the time in his proce range. They might not hold .0005 tolerances, but would work fine as a first machine. I also have a friend that has a 6" Sears/Atlas with all sorts of tooling in good condition that could be had in that proce range and could be easily transported in most cars if removed from the bench if you find yourself near Los Angeles.

          John

          ------------------
          Pursue Excellence and the rest will follow.
          Pursue Excellence and the rest will follow.

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          • #6
            Ok, that helps, I might change my price range a bit if I can get better quality for just a bit more, I don't know yet. Could anyone give me a quick list of Brands that the general concensus of people here stand behind??? Oh yeah, what do you mean 'make chips'???

            [This message has been edited by OREDIGGER! (edited 04-23-2004).]

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            • #7
              John - Los Angeles is about as far from Colorado Springs as I am. (Spurs Country! ) My impression was he wanted something local or Mail Order. Junky, worn out SB's go for $2400 around here. Forget even finding an Atlas. You seem to forget that you live in the land of plenty out there. Machines are easy to come by and the price shows it.

              "Make chips" - cutting, drilling, milling and making cookies.

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              • #8
                Well, so what do you think??? Should I keep my ear to the ground around here in Colo. Spgs. for a good used lathe, check ebay a bit maybe??? Or should I not even bother with internet stores at all????

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                • #9
                  My south bend is 10 times more lathe than my micro mark 7x14, and it cost me less money too. However, I did have to clean it up, replace the oilers, and etc. Its not so bad working with a warn out machine. My 1941 SB can usually work to .0005 tolerances on the cross slide, the compound however needs a little help.

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                  • #10
                    Digger - Personally, I don't think you'll find much in the used market in your area. The economy there is on the way up and you'll be competing against "shops". (All them Califoreigners moving in.) Unless you can find a shop that is upgrading, your best bet will be catalogs or the net. Just watch the shipping on ebay items. It could cost as much or more than the machine. AND... More times than not, you'll be putting more money into them to get them running. (3-phase, converters, gears, missing/broken parts, etc.)

                    Check for auctions. I missed a good one by a day on my way to C.S. last year. (Have a sister that lives there.) It was in Pueblo, I think. You should also check Denver. Neither is a far drive.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks Ken, I'm going to school up in Golden at Colorado School of Mines, which is right next to denver, I'll have to check out stuff around here I guess.

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                      • #12
                        Welcome aboard! One question that you haven't been asked is what kinds of things you want to do? Are you going into business or doing hobby stuff?

                        PS. My sister is almost certified as a Paramedic in Colorado Springs. Don't worry, if you get hurt she'll take good care of you and she won't even screw up her nails.

                        Ha.. Just kidding. I'm sure she would do anything and everything possible. She's gung-ho and always will be.

                        I never would have thought she would go into that but she always did like that show "Emergency 911"

                        Have a great day,

                        Spence

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                        • #13
                          Uhh, mainly hobby stuff. I enjoy designing various things but haven't been able to build them. That is why I want to have my own machine shop, some of the stuff will require fairly good tolerances though, but anything under .001 would work perfectly fine.

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                          • #14
                            Have you done any casting? I've been playing with "lost foam" casting and it has been pretty good. I haven't measured the dimensional error yet. I usually cast aluminum and then machine it to tolerance. I'm still learning and developing my techniques. I would say I am the same as you. I like to design and make my own things. I don't have much to show yet but I am working up to it and learning a lot from my mistakes. I can always melt my mistakes down but I keep them around to remind myself of my progress. I like having something in my hand made of metal that I designed myself.

                            My only advise is don't expect everything to be possible in one try. Keep working at it. It is about development and development is a process of models, mock-ups, prototypes, working models and then taking that and starting again. I wish you the best of luck and don't be afraid if things don't work out the first time.

                            It would be interesting to hear what you are working on, but not necessary. It is understandable.

                            Good luck,

                            Spence

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                            • #15
                              Yeah, trust me I know design/production process. One of my designs has multiple moving pieces, I have modified ONE piece on paper probably like 30 times and it still isn't right yet.

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