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Old 02-26-2009, 04:26 PM
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Bench top machining

Has anyone knowledge of these machines:

http://www.smithy.com/news.php?cat=12&nid=65

I am thinking of purchasing one of these for the lite work I need to do..What I am wondering isif it has enough capacity..I do not intend to do engines just making some small parts for chassis and such..

Thanks
Sam
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Old 02-26-2009, 05:08 PM
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Speedy Deedy has one,It is a nice little machine..It has bailed us out many times,I now have my own,Not a smithy.Talk to speedy,He will let you know.
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:05 PM
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OMT, I would strongly suggest going with a stand-alone mill and lathe or just a decent lathe because you can mill most anything with a milling attachment on the lathe that you could with that combo apparatus. Those 3-in-1 machines just have too many drawbacks, the swing is usually way too much for a machine that light so you get a lot of flex (read inaccurate) and they come only with a 3 jaw chuck, good luck finding and installing a 4 jaw which you will need sooner or later. The mill is just too light to do any real work with and I found it to be just more in the way than useful. For a Chinese import the Smithy is decent quality but then there are a lot of equal quality import machines out there that are actually a much better deal. Grizzly has about anything you would ever need at decent prices and believe it or not Harbor Freight machine tools are as good as most of the "name brand" import outfits and it is no wonder why, they are the same thing except for the color! Enco, some of the smaller Grizzly, some of the JET lathes, Birmingham (the Chinese units anyway) and several others all import the same machinery except for the price and the color. Don't confuse their heavy machines with the tool shaped pieces of scrap metal they carry in the stores. Actually these machines are not at all bad for the money when you reach the 12" swing and higher and with the gap bed they have you will be able to handle a heck of a lot more with one of these than with a Smithy. That much money will get you a decent China import (The Smithy is also Chinese) 13x40 gap bed lathe that will swing 18" with the gap and it will come with a 6" 3 jaw and 8" 4 chuck, it would be a heck of a lot more useful than a Smithy 3-in-1.
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:20 PM
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Something like this?

Red,
Found this at HF:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=33274

Probably way more than I need but then the extra capacity I would need to look into the mill attachment which I do not have a clue on that..Space is ata premium at the new place so having it all is out of the question..

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Sam
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:36 PM
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I was GIVEN a similar machine below, mine has a small vise that clamps the turret tool holder but it still does have it's limitations. It's hard to envision everything you will be whittling on, and trying to chase down the perfect single do-all machine is next to impossible. Oldred has sound advice.



My best advice is to buy stuff used if you can. Craigslist, Ebay, Local auctions and even the local machine shop.

I've made quite alot of parts on my little Chinese made toy, but hey if it splits into two pieces tomorrow, I won't be out a penny.
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Last edited by C-10; 02-26-2009 at 10:56 PM. Reason: brain fart
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:38 PM
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This is the one I was going to buy,Before I found mine. Seems like a nice one.

http://www.billstoolcrib.com/Lathbir1236.htm
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneMoreTime
Red,
Found this at HF:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=33274

Probably way more than I need but then the extra capacity I would need to look into the mill attachment which I do not have a clue on that..Space is ata premium at the new place so having it all is out of the question..

Thanks
Sam


I don't know why their web prices are so much higher than store prices but this is a much better buy from their "special order" book at the store, this price is for delivery and pick-up at the store.

http://www.harborfreightusa.com/usa/...o?itemid=46951

[edit, I just noticed that link does not show the price but it is $1999.99]

Now it gets even better if you are ready to buy now. With the 20% off coupon that is only $1599 for a 13x40 gap bed bench lathe with both chucks! That is the same lathe except for price and color that will cost you over $2700 including shipping from Enco!

Don't let them tell you that coupon is no good on special order items because I have used them before, so do some other people I know at other HF stores.

http://www.harborfreightusa.com/usa/...3&keycode=0000



Just like air compressors and welders get the biggest you can afford, I have never heard anyone complain about their lathe being too big but being too small brings complaints all the time! You will also hear advice to avoid the imports and look for old American iron which is all well and good IF you can find something that is not worn out and with a decent price. These are getting extremely hard to find these days although they do pop up occasionally it is not like it was a couple of years ago, there are a lot of people looking these days. The imports are not as bad as some will say and they are in fact surprisingly good for what they cost plus they are ready to run instead of facing expensive and time consuming repairs on worn American/European machines. Check out the the Yahoo group on Harbor Freight lathes (lots of good info on all imports there) and you will find these things have quite a following and few complaints.

Last edited by oldred; 02-27-2009 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:06 AM
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Spindle bore 1-1/2'' Is good too.You don't want one with only 1''..
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:09 AM
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I have a Smithy CB 1239 in my shop, it is not an extremely accurate machine, but you can do quite a bit with it. It's got me out of a few binds before.


Quote:
Originally Posted by OneMoreTime
Red,
Found this at HF:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=33274

Probably way more than I need but then the extra capacity I would need to look into the mill attachment which I do not have a clue on that..Space is ata premium at the new place so having it all is out of the question..

Thanks
Sam
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:01 PM
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Thanks to Oldred..i will be getting the HF lathe when I get into the new shop..and making the milling attachment per the PM he sent me..With minor mods of course..

Sam
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