Input on hobbyist combination machine choice

CAG.Thompson

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Than
Matt -
First off, welcome to the forum!

I can't add much to what's been said, as I've never owned or used a combo machine. But I can indeed understand your reason for wanting one. And you can learn from using it!

Bein's how you're in Phoenix, you might want to check out the local machinists' group, Valley Metal, at http://www.valleymetal.org I don't recall if any members have 3-in-1s, but it wouldn't hurt to ask around. Our discussion group is at https://valleymetal.groups.io/g/main/topics

Best to you, and I'll look forward to the possibility of meeting you in person.
Thank you I will check this out!
 

CAG.Thompson

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Mine is similar to the Bolton. Being that it is a Grizzly 12 x 27 it may not be as robust as the Bolton. I am a hobbiest, so it fit my needs. I've started a Grizzly G0773 thread documenting improvements to it along the way. Also, there is a Facebook Group for Combo Machines that you may want to check out. They are a majority of Smithy type combo owners who love them.
It's too bad that this machine is discontinued, seems like a solid option. How is the milling head fastened to the lathe? welded, bolted, how many bolts and in what way if so? Also, do you have a link for that combination machine facebook group? Thank you
 

Larry$

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how important it might be to have a D series camlock chuck mount
I have the D1-4 cam lock on my lathe. Very easy to change chucks. I have 4 chucks and a face plate. Most of the time use a 3 jaw but often change to the collet chuck for short or small items, especially if they need to be reversed in the chuck. Bigger items needing to be reversed, or turned off center, go in the 4 jaw. Castings and odd shaped parts go on the face plate. Turning between centers requires lathe dogs to drive the work. They need to be driven by either chuck jaws or face plate. So with that many operations the easier it is to change the more likely you are to do it and use the proper tool for the job.
 

mksj

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D1-4 (D1 series) is a lathe standard chuck mount, the bolt on are not. So say you wanted a collet chuck like ER or 5C, you can get them in a D1-4, but not as a bolt on unless you want to make your own. Same goes for most other chucks. Spindle bore is also important so you want at least 1.5" if possible, the D1-4 is usually 1.59" (40 mm).
 

BROCKWOOD

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CAG.Thompson wrote: "It's too bad that this machine is discontinued, seems like a solid option. How is the milling head fastened to the lathe? welded, bolted, how many bolts and in what way if so? Also, do you have a link for that combination machine facebook group? Thank you"

The mill portion has the unfortunate 'feature' of 45deg left or right. That means 1 large bolt to secure it to the rear of the lathe bed. It's on there tight now ;-) But the dove way column is hollow, so it is Not rigid. I've thought of ways to brace it & even epoxy fill it. But, for now I need a shelf behind there, so I'm just going to tie the shelf into wall studs & top of the column - sort of a triangulation. Doubt my depth of cut will improve much without rattling the wall LOL. It's great for small stuff IF you're not in a hurry & NASA doesn't need the part. Glad I got it. Even with the addition of a large stand alone mill, I still use it all the time. When I find the right large stand alone lathe, this unit will still be of use!

The things you have addressed as important considerations for your given circumstances lead me to believe you're on the right path. Just remember (Precision Mathews being the exception) these Asian hobby machines are kits made to be fine tuned to suit your needs. Some can be more challenging than others though & sure as shooting everyone's experiences do vary.
 

matthewsx

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Camlock spindles are the bees knees. This is what I was working on for my Bolton.

 

matthewsx

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My Bolton adventure.

 

CAG.Thompson

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Thanks guys, appreciate all the feedback and welcomes. I didn't expect this amount of feedback. I am also looking more into Alibaba. I have never used it, but I know it is a major and well known player in the global online market options. It's just the virgins fear of spending thousands online from a mainly Chinese website. It seems I may also be able to find a weiss machine proper or equivalent on alibaba too, so I am continuing to research and hunt and compare before committing. It can drive me crazy going back and forth, but I want to make sure I have certainty getting my first maching knowing that:
1) like previously stated, it is a kit in need of some TLC
2) It will likely not be my perfect, last machine
 

matthewsx

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Most important is that time is your best friend here.

If you have cash in your bank account and are willing to consider used you can get a much better deal than you'll find from Bolton or AliBaba.

Here's one in Tucson.


Yes, two separate machines but if it's too much hassle to move them when you get reassigned just sell them and buy what you really want at your next post.

I realize you've thought it through but you made a smart move by coming on here and asking for advice. Many of us have been exactly where you are now and will hate to see you make the same mistakes we did. The desire to have both a lathe and mill is strong and reasonable but once you start working with a lathe you'll realize how much can actually be done by just that one machine. But, you must get one that's capable of doing what you want.

Fixing up tools can be very gratifying but if you spent good money on something new you really shouldn't have to do that. You can find example after example of people on this list who bought new from eBay, or somewhere else and regretted it immediately. Don't be that guy....

If you have a friend that's familiar with machines then go look at some used ones that are under power, you'll learn more in half an hour than in days of looking at internet ads.

John
 
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