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3 in 1 - Anything Worthwhile?

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FMC1959

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I am not in a hurry, but am checking at used and new mills, what kind of deal I can find. I am less interested in a lathe for now but would get one down the road.

I have read many posts, the majority are against 3 in 1 machines for various reasons....compromise and not really good at either, underpowered, too small...etc. I m looking at a small mill, like X2 or X3; anything much bigger becomes a problem for space, budget, or transport for a decent used big machine. For now, I want to get into machining with something small and see how I like it. If I get the bug, then down the road I'll see about bigger and better.

I ask about 3 in 1 because there are a few used machines in my area, there are 2 different people selling an Emco Maximat V10p. Then a 3rd machine which I am not sure what it is, I would need to contact them for more info.
Also, Smithy has some great deals on their 3 in 1 till April 30 + free shipping (in the US). I read on the Smithy thread, most that have a Midas are not too happy and would not repeat their purchase. Those that have Granites are generally more happy and find they can accomplish quite a bit.
I have been looking at the Granite Max, one up from the entry level Granite; the same power as the 2 higher models, minus some bells and whistles.
https://smithy.com/granite-max

Any opinions on the V10P's, terrible, mediocre, or better than most 3 in 1 machines?

Then the Smithy Granite Max, with about $1200 off till the end of the month + free shipping to a place I can pick up in the US; decent machine for the money or money better spent elsewhere?

For anyone that is going to ask what I will be making, not sure, looking to get my feet wet for now.
 

NortonDommi

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Hello FMC1959,
It does help to have some idea about what you want to do but the modern crop of 3 in 1's are a big step up from even 5 years ago.
I worked in a garage years ago that had a 3 in 1 and it was used,(and abused), by all and sundry. We used it to modify sometimes make bolts, nuts ect.
True armatures, wind springs ect. ect.
The machines on offer today are much superior an example is this:
K147 | TU-2506V-20M Lathe & Mill Drill Combination Package | For Sale East Tamaki - Auckland | Buy Workshop Equipment & Machinery online at machineryhouse.co.nz

If you are just wetting your feet so to speak have you considered looking up a local modeling club? The members of clubs like this have proberly forgotten more than I will ever know and can provide a lot of valuable advise. You may also be offered the chance to try a few different machines.
Spend a little time on research and don't overlook secondhand,(although being accompanied by a wise and jaundiced eye is advisable), ask a lot of questions and when,(if), talking to a dealer remember their job is to sell you something. You can always come back after a sleep aye?
A seperate lathe and mill are the ideal, that said there are advantages in being able to complete a job on one machine without moving the work from it's inital setup.
All just depends on what you want to do aye?

- Barry
 

FMC1959

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Hi Barry, thanks for the advice. I would need to look around as I am not sure if there are any maching clubs nearby.

The 3 in 1's are not what I first started looking for but there are some deals on some and they would fit both budget and size wise.

Another thing I noticed also is that any used machinery, the smaller stuff for home user is slim pickings. When you get into the bigger stuff, there are some 220v but the vast majority is 575v. A member on another forum mentioned to me that the 575v machines can probably be had cheap as many companies have gone away from 575v. That may be true in the US but here in Canada or at least in the Montreal area, I have been told that many commercial & industrial companies run most equipment on 575v.

So the 3 in 1's would not be my first choice but it might be where I have the most selection and deals.
 

NortonDommi

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Hello FMC1959,
In know where you're coming from. An option if you find a great deal on a three phase machine is to fit a VFD, I've got one on my lathe and love it,(variable speed),and pretty reasonable cost up to 3HP.
I bought my present lathe new just because I was able to but in hindsite could have saved a lot by buying a secondhand 3phase and converting it although you have to have a suitable motor to do so. That said 3 phase motors in the smaller sizes can be sourced cheap secondhand. Something else to consider is you can do small work on a big lathe but it can be impossible to do big work on a small lathe without wild modifications.
Don't forget that whatever you end up with you will need tooling and you can never have enough!
One thing to consider since you are not sure what you want to do is if you do buy a 3 in 1 or small lathe that if it is slim pickings in your market you may be able to sell without problem. Myself I would never want to be without a lathe of some description, so many projects fall over for want of.
Check out:
Home - Projects In Metal LLC , http://www.bedair.org/index.html , http://www.gadgetbuilder.com/, http://mikesworkshop.weebly.com/
& http://www.toolsandmods.com/ for some ideas.

Good luck with the search.

- Barry.
 

FMC1959

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Barry, thanks again for the info. If I find something hard to pass on that is 3PH, a VFD will definitely work. It is the abundance of units that run on 575v, and typically also 3PH; this would require a VFD and a separate transformer. Anyway, if the right deal comes along, I will deal with whatever is necessary.
 

FMC1959

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Emco lathes are excellent in general and the V10-P has a very good reputation. You might ask about it on the Yahoo Emco Larger Lathes group and you'll have all the info you need: https://beta.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/emcoV10lathe/info?referrer=Over_There
Mike, good to know about the V10p. I am not sure when I will purchase as many things going on right now. When the time is right, if one of the V10p's is still around, I will consider it if what I want in a mill is not available.....thanks.
 

markba633csi

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The Emco Maximat is far and away a better, more accurate machine than any of the 3 in 1s. No comparison. Probably wired for 220v in your area.
The V10P has power cross feed (the V10 doesn't). Spindle thru hole is smallish I think 0.78 inch? The electrics and pushbuttons can be problematic, and the headstock gears can get damaged, need to check those items. I lusted mightily for one years ago. Made in Austria. No parts available anymore except Ebay.
Mark S.
 
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mikey

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Even better is the Emco Super 11. Built like a watch, it is precise for such a small lathe. Mine is the CD Imperial version, with a D1-4 camlock and 1-3/8" spindle bore. Mine is tight, quiet and with a 2HP motor, powerful enough for me. I have been fortunate to be able to fully tool this lathe except for DRO and taper attachment (which I don't really need). I even have the optional foot brake, brand new but uninstalled - waiting for the DRO so I can do all the electronics at once.

Emco no longer makes parts for any of their Austrian lathes. All parts are from the used market but they do come up for sale if you're patient. Well made and very tough, Emco lathes are a good option if you're lucky enough to find a good one.
 

markba633csi

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I was going to say "built like a watch" also. It's like Black and Decker vs... Deckel :cool:
 

Dataporter

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I bought my Smithy 1230 off Craigslist and got a lot of tooling with it for a super deal. Is it a great machine? Not really. It's an acceptable lathe with a usable mill attached. Can you do a lot of stuff? You bet! For example: http://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/im-making-a-halo.28708/ Would I like to have a real mill and lathe? Yes. If I get a real mill and lathe, will I keep the 3 in 1? Yes. So, to get started, get your feet wet, see if the hobby is for you, then I think getting a used 3 in 1 with tooling is a great idea!
Best regards
Dave
 

FMC1959

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Looks nice, if that was close enough to me I would get it, provided there are no problems with it.

I bought my Smithy 1230 off Craigslist and got a lot of tooling with it for a super deal. Is it a great machine? Not really. It's an acceptable lathe with a usable mill attached. Can you do a lot of stuff? You bet! For example: http://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/im-making-a-halo.28708/ Would I like to have a real mill and lathe? Yes. If I get a real mill and lathe, will I keep the 3 in 1? Yes. So, to get started, get your feet wet, see if the hobby is for you, then I think getting a used 3 in 1 with tooling is a great idea!
Best regards
Dave
Because I am not in a hurry, I am hoping to find a "super" deal also. Thanks for the feedback.
 

Chips4Lips

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I see a number of advocates for the Emco - Super-11 lathe - would agree with all of the positive comments - this is an excellent "all around" lathe - not the largest capacity for sure but if "size" is your issue, then look at the Emco V13 - pretty much the same controls but can handle larger O.D. parts (D1-?) chuck mounting. The Super-11 uses a D1-4 triple pin mounting method which when coupled with one of the "QCTP" mounting devices makes this an extremely useful lathe. The other "add-on" is to setup a digital readout on both axis - now you're totally out of the scope of any of the "3in1" machines and accuracy would probably excel over most of them as well. The Emco lathes were built in Austria and the attention to quality where it counts shows.
I've got a bad habit of watching "X-bay" on a regular basis and have found a good deal of the "extras" that I have from there. About two weeks ago there was a Super-11 for less than 4k - pictures looked terrible from the remaining grease and dirt but from what I could tell this was the best deal on there for quite a while - the paint (or remaining portion) looked fairly decent under the grease and I suspect a few hours of elbow "grease" of your own making would turn this into a very nice purchase - I just checked and see that it's still on there for $ 3600 - and it's a 110 vAC version which could be more useful than some of the others. It's out of the "Oregon" territory but don't let the miles scare you away - there's ways of getting things moved without cost both arms and legs... This is one of the lowest prices I've seen for some time and most go for around the 4.5 to 6k range - higher than that must have a truckload of "extras" which can run into more money than you might expect simply because the parts are not as readily available as some others - have had mine now for over 6 years and have had no problems with it at all.

Good luck in your searches - CH
 

FMC1959

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Thanks CH. For those of you that are familiar with the V10p, provided the machine has no issues when I check it out in person, is $2200 US a good price? From what I know there are no accessories included and there may be a bit of wiggle room on the price....but not sure. Just want to know if it is a good price or not. There is another guy that includes a metal bench and he is asking $3300 US for his, but less interested in this one because of the price.
 

Downunder Bob

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I am not in a hurry, but am checking at used and new mills, what kind of deal I can find. I am less interested in a lathe for now but would get one down the road.

I have read many posts, the majority are against 3 in 1 machines for various reasons....compromise and not really good at either, underpowered, too small...etc. I m looking at a small mill, like X2 or X3; anything much bigger becomes a problem for space, budget, or transport for a decent used big machine. For now, I want to get into machining with something small and see how I like it. If I get the bug, then down the road I'll see about bigger and better.

I ask about 3 in 1 because there are a few used machines in my area, there are 2 different people selling an Emco Maximat V10p. Then a 3rd machine which I am not sure what it is, I would need to contact them for more info.
Also, Smithy has some great deals on their 3 in 1 till April 30 + free shipping (in the US). I read on the Smithy thread, most that have a Midas are not too happy and would not repeat their purchase. Those that have Granites are generally more happy and find they can accomplish quite a bit.
I have been looking at the Granite Max, one up from the entry level Granite; the same power as the 2 higher models, minus some bells and whistles.
https://smithy.com/granite-max

Any opinions on the V10P's, terrible, mediocre, or better than most 3 in 1 machines?

Then the Smithy Granite Max, with about $1200 off till the end of the month + free shipping to a place I can pick up in the US; decent machine for the money or money better spent elsewhere?

For anyone that is going to ask what I will be making, not sure, looking to get my feet wet for now.

I don't know what is available in Canada, but here in down under land, all the 3 in 1's I can find are Chinese junk. I did have the pleasure some years ago while working as an engineer on a ship. the ship was fairly large 136,000 T crude oil. In the main workshop we had this lathe which also had milling capability and surprise, surprise a small shaper.

the lathe, I don't recall the brand, may have been Mitsubishi, the ship was built in Japan by Mitsubishi, and most of the equipment carried their name.

This lathe was unusual for 3 in 1, as all the accessories were outboard of the headstock , not inboard as most are. The lathe itself was first class. from memory it was about 1440 in size, 3ph, 5HP. The one motor ran all functions, and the lathe could be used while the shaper or mill were in use. each accessory was operated by its own clutch from the main motor.

There were mechanical and electrical lockouts, for instance you could not engage the clutch for the shaper if the table was not low enough to clear. you could not raise the table if the shaper was not stowed and locked.

The mill had both horizontal and vertical spindle. the mill table was on a knee, and when wound well down the shaper head was exposed, the shaper using the mill table as it's own.

I tried to find such a machine before buying my lathe, but could not find anything like it. I would have been prepared to pay a good price for one. In the end I bought the best lathe I could to fit the space available.

I'm planning a project to build my own vertical spindle mill, mounted over the bed, Hopefully I will have made enough progress to post some pics in a few months time.
 
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KevinMaiorka

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I bought my Smithy Midas 12x20 lathe 11 years ago and while it does have some limitations I have loved it! I will list the pluses and the minuses below and you can go from there.

Pluses
1) Great support by Smithy. First week I owned I broke one of the change gears. I told them what I did and they sent a replacement free of charge.
2) great size for the money
3) pretty darned accurate! I have held tolerances to within .0005" on the lathe
4) smooth finish with the two power feed speeds
5) will hog through tough metals on the lathe without too much difficulty.
6) belt drive so some sort of crash protection for while you learn what not to do.
7) tooling from Smithy is reasonable (example 4jaw Chuck was around $200)
8) adaptable with minor modifications (quick change tool post)
9) free tooling included to get started and decent too!

Minuses
1) milling head is not very rigid so light cuts are in order.
2) only two speeds for power feed.
3) no threading dial
4) no power cross feed
5) milling vise broke after milling some heavy cuts in steel. My fault for pushing the vise beyond its design.


I have made threads on it and while it was a pain to do it will do them but you must be patient and methodical about it with plenty of foresight into what you're doing. I have made a lot of parts for cars and some airplanes as well with it and have been very pleased with it.

Here recently I had to tighten up the spindle head bearings a bit as I was getting some chatter in my finish but since I have done that (not a hard job to do btw) it has been flawless again.

I would not hesitate for a second to buy another machine from Smithy.

Call them and they can usually set you up with someone in your area where you can go and meet them and see the machine in person and talk about it. I have shown my machine to several people over the years and some have bought one and others haven't. And there is no incentive for me to show it to someone when smithy calls me and asks if I mind showing it.

Hope the above helps.


Sent from my LGLS991 using Tapatalk
 

FMC1959

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I don't know what is available in Canada, but here in down under land, all the 3 in 1's I can find are Chinese junk. I did have the pleasure some years ago while working as an engineer on a ship. the ship was fairly large 136,000 T crude oil. In the main workshop we had this lathe which also had milling capability and surprise, surprise a small shaper.

the lathe, I don't recall the brand, may have been Mitsubishi, the ship was built in Japan by Mitsubishi, and most of the equipment carried their name.

This lathe was unusual for 3 in 1, as all the accessories were outboard of the headstock , not inboard as most are. The lathe itself was first class. from memory it was about 1440 in size, 3ph, 5HP. The one motor ran all functions, and the lathe could be used while the shaper or mill were in use. each accessory was operated by its own clutch from the main motor.

There were mechanical and electrical lockouts, for instance you could not engage the clutch for the shaper if the table was not low enough to clear. you could not raise the table if the shaper was not stowed and locked.

The mill had both horizontal and vertical spindle. the mill table was on a knee, and when wound well down the shaper head was exposed, the shaper using the mill table as it's own.

I tried to find such a machine before buying my lathe, but could not find anything like it. I would have been prepared to pay a good price for one. In the end I bought the best lathe I could to fit the space available.

I'm planning a project to build my own vertical spindle mill, mounted over the bed, Hopefully I will have made enough progress to post some pics in a few months time.
Bobshobby, interesting read, look forward to seeing your pics and progress.

I bought my Smithy Midas 12x20 lathe 11 years ago and while it does have some limitations I have loved it! I will list the pluses and the minuses below and you can go from there.

Pluses
1) Great support by Smithy. First week I owned I broke one of the change gears. I told them what I did and they sent a replacement free of charge.
2) great size for the money
3) pretty darned accurate! I have held tolerances to within .0005" on the lathe
4) smooth finish with the two power feed speeds
5) will hog through tough metals on the lathe without too much difficulty.
6) belt drive so some sort of crash protection for while you learn what not to do.
7) tooling from Smithy is reasonable (example 4jaw Chuck was around $200)
8) adaptable with minor modifications (quick change tool post)
9) free tooling included to get started and decent too!

Minuses
1) milling head is not very rigid so light cuts are in order.
2) only two speeds for power feed.
3) no threading dial
4) no power cross feed
5) milling vise broke after milling some heavy cuts in steel. My fault for pushing the vise beyond its design.


I have made threads on it and while it was a pain to do it will do them but you must be patient and methodical about it with plenty of foresight into what you're doing. I have made a lot of parts for cars and some airplanes as well with it and have been very pleased with it.

Here recently I had to tighten up the spindle head bearings a bit as I was getting some chatter in my finish but since I have done that (not a hard job to do btw) it has been flawless again.

I would not hesitate for a second to buy another machine from Smithy.

Call them and they can usually set you up with someone in your area where you can go and meet them and see the machine in person and talk about it. I have shown my machine to several people over the years and some have bought one and others haven't. And there is no incentive for me to show it to someone when smithy calls me and asks if I mind showing it.

Hope the above helps.


Sent from my LGLS991 using Tapatalk
Kevin, yes, the above is very helful. Good to hear people with a Midas and satisfied with the results. The reviews I saw were less favorable than the Granite. I have someone in my area selling a Midas, but not the best price. Depending on how things go, I might still consider it
 

FMC1959

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Check out this website for examples of work done on Smithy 3-1 machines. http://www.home-machine-shop.com/projects/
Thanks for the link, interesting stuff. I figure it comes down to expectations, some are expecting too much from these 3 in 1's (or even small/mini mills) and rant about them. Others who know the limitations and work within the machines capabilities are happy and able to produce excellant work.
 

jbolt

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3-1's have their place. While I owned my Granite 1324 I was happy just to have a machine to do work on.

I went with the 3-1 due to space constraints as most of my garage/shop was full of wood working equipment that I had as part of my construction business. Most of the wood working stuff is gone now and I have moved on to separate lathe & mill which is preferable.

When I sold my Granite it was 14 years old and well maintained. I listed it with what I thought was a high asking price thinking I would get beaten down some. It sold at my asking price within 3 hours of listing and was gone that afternoon. I probably could have gotten more.

Looking at all the variation they now offer, if I were to buy one again, I would go with the 1340 MAX model. It has the extended mill head and tail stock. The extras on the I-Max and Elite are fluff. Their marketing still drives me crazy especially the "Free" starter tooling package. I can understand the chuck, cheap vise and tool bits as optional items by why would you list the compound, draw bar and v-belt kit as part of that?

As with any Chinese machine, adding a DRO makes an okay machine a decent machine to use.

I don't know about your area but it seems like used equipment is becoming more readily available and reasonably priced. That wasn't the case here a few years ago.
 

FMC1959

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3-1's have their place. While I owned my Granite 1324 I was happy just to have a machine to do work on.

I went with the 3-1 due to space constraints as most of my garage/shop was full of wood working equipment that I had as part of my construction business. Most of the wood working stuff is gone now and I have moved on to separate lathe & mill which is preferable.

When I sold my Granite it was 14 years old and well maintained. I listed it with what I thought was a high asking price thinking I would get beaten down some. It sold at my asking price within 3 hours of listing and was gone that afternoon. I probably could have gotten more.

Looking at all the variation they now offer, if I were to buy one again, I would go with the 1340 MAX model. It has the extended mill head and tail stock. The extras on the I-Max and Elite are fluff. Their marketing still drives me crazy especially the "Free" starter tooling package. I can understand the chuck, cheap vise and tool bits as optional items by why would you list the compound, draw bar and v-belt kit as part of that?

As with any Chinese machine, adding a DRO makes an okay machine a decent machine to use.

I don't know about your area but it seems like used equipment is becoming more readily available and reasonably priced. That wasn't the case here a few years ago.
Jay, thanks for the feedback. I came to the same conclusion as you did. If I were to get a Granite, the Max was the model I would go with. The two more expensive models were nice but did not offer anything I would be willing to pay the extra for. But the Max did offer more powerful motor and capacity over the Classic, which I thought was worth the price.
 
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