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Questions Regarding Combination Lathe Mills

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Lew Hartswick View Post
    My standard comment of any device that does more than one thing; I doesn't do any of the multiple things as well as a dedicated machine. :-)
    ...lew...
    I doesn't do either

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    • #17
      Beans.

      Plenty of people use them. They CAN be used, they spin work, and they spin cutters and move the work That's what is required.

      After that, you are just arguing about how WELL they do these things.

      I DO think, as I wrote, that the "Menz Shed" is better off with separate machines, and that a combo will lead to problems of many sorts that have NOTHING to do (quite) with how well it works. The way in which it DOES matter, is that it will probably take SIGNIFICANTLY LONGER to do a specific job on the combo, and so will make the problem of one-at-a-time users that much worse.

      Then also, if use is on a timed, appointment--based system, so much of the time will be taken up doing the setup, and taking it down before time runs out, that it may be quite a frustrating issue.

      I have used POS machines. I owned an "AA/109", and I have used a bouncy, limber, milling attachment on a lathe.

      I COULD DO most anything, but it took half of forever to do it, so the practicality aspect was bad. Which is the issue I see that makes the other issues worse in terms of using the combo at the "Shed". I just do not see it working out well, and they will have spent their money, so they will be pretty much stuck with it.
      Last edited by J Tiers; 10-25-2016, 05:19 PM.
      CNC machines only go through the motions

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      • #18
        10% machine & 90% machinist as it is in most things.

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        • #19
          Only opt for the combo if space is severely limited.

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          • #20
            I am a member of our local Menz Shed and as you say the majority of members spend time on wood working projects while the engineering shop stands mostly idle even though it is well equipped.

            My suggestion is that everything in the M's Shed engineering workshop should be able to handle Kiwi size jobs as you are much more likely to be making trailer axles than 'O' gauge live steam models of the Flying Scotsman. 12x36 lathe minimum.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by flylo View Post
              10% machine & 90% machinist as it is in most things.
              Yeabut Menz Shed members are not typically retired machinists who are most likely to have a shop at home.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by The Artful Bodger View Post
                I am a member of our local Menz Shed and as you say the majority of members spend time on wood working projects while the engineering shop stands mostly idle even though it is well equipped.

                My suggestion is that everything in the M's Shed engineering workshop should be able to handle Kiwi size jobs as you are much more likely to be making trailer axles than 'O' gauge live steam models of the Flying Scotsman. 12x36 lathe minimum.
                Good point, IF they have the budget. It does move into a new price level, and may not be practical, especially if the equipment stands idle a lot.
                CNC machines only go through the motions

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                • #23
                  Been using a "Combi" (Emco V 10) for last thirty years. Lathe part always has been used most and it's "Only" a 10" swing.

                  Regards Ian.
                  You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

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                  • #24
                    I began this hobby with an Atlas lathe that I inherited from my father in law, a tool box of his filled with tools and a Sears drill press.
                    After a while I bought a milling attachment for the lathe to expand my expierence.
                    That, as I soon learned, was a mistake.
                    I have never operated a combo machine other than that "lathe-mill" but if that counts then I would highly recommend you save your money untill you can afford separate substantial machines.
                    I like used equipment but in your part of the world that may be problematic.

                    By the way, be prepared for a giant increase in population.
                    Lot's of people on BOTH sides of our political isle are threatening to move to NZ if the other party wins.
                    Maybe they will bring machines with them.
                    LOL!
                    Welcome aboard!
                    Bill

                    (This is not a political post)
                    Last edited by Seastar; 10-28-2016, 09:38 AM.
                    I cut it off twice and it's still too short!

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by The Artful Bodger View Post
                      I am a member of our local Menz Shed and as you say the majority of members spend time on wood working projects while the engineering shop stands mostly idle even though it is well equipped.......
                      As much as I don't like most combo machines if it is to be used in a rental/coop sort of setting where the focus is strongly on wood working then perhaps a combo machine for folks that don't know all that much about machining might just fill the fill for making up things like spacers or bushings or other simple turning jobs where they may need to do some simple milling.

                      The members on this board are certainly all what I would consider as enthusiastic and knowledgeable hobbyists and some are even making their living from metal machining. So we tend to look down our noses and dwell on the short comings of these combo machines. But someone needing to make a simple part or clean up an existing part would find this sort of machine to be just dandy. And if it'll sit there idle for much of the time while the wood area is buzzing with activity it doesn't make any sense to buy fancy machines at a higher cost.
                      Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                      • #26
                        Even in that case, it likely makes sense to buy individual machines, although they do not have to be fancy, and may cost no more than the combo.

                        My example above shows the individual machines falling right in the middle of the price range of combo machines from same source. US prices, of course, but it's the ratio that matters.

                        At least then each function is separate, and each is likely to be better. Certainly the cheapest 3 in one has a worse mill than the low end of mill-drills, even if it is only in terms of table size. And, on a mill, table size is everything, because the parts AND the clamping have to fit on the table. A slightly nicer mill is of no use of the table is too small. One can often tolerate a lesser machine if the part will at least fit on it.
                        CNC machines only go through the motions

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                        • #27
                          Hobby machinists have their own tools at home because; A: We don't like to share, B: We don't want others touching our stuff, C: Don't trust others with our stuff, D: We don't tolerate others interfering with our setups.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Trevor Dennis View Post
                            how they compare with a stand alone vertical mill?
                            well they make a better lathe than a stand alone vertical mill would.

                            A woodworking analogy would be a shopsmith instead of a sliding table saw jointer and planer. Absolutely better than nothing, but i'd bet most pine for the day it leaves for separate machines and its not how the serious guys go.

                            imo an Emco is in a different league. Very high quality and the mill head is adjustable on the column.....but you're stuck hunting and pecking in the use market until one comes along
                            Last edited by Mcgyver; 10-28-2016, 08:04 PM.
                            in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                              Even in that case, it likely makes sense to buy individual machines, although they do not have to be fancy, and may cost no more than the combo........
                              I'd buy into that direction as well.

                              I've seen too many combo machines that don't have features or have poor versions of features that I take for granted on the separate machines. Things like large enough dials that we can actually read the spaces. There's other issues as well. Particularly in the milling area as you've pointed out in the earlier posts
                              Chilliwack BC, Canada

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