New Forum for 3 in 1 machines

Pmedic828

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Hi Ya'll - i have a 3 in 1 machine and now have a forum to discuss setup, tooling, etc for people with smaller lathe / milling machines - Is anyone else working with a 3 in 1 machine? If so, how does setup and tooling differ from the "big boys". Now we can discuss these topics here.
Thanks to the administrators for adding this topic selection for me.:anyone::thanks:
 
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wa5cab

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You're welcome. :))

I don't happen to own a 3 in 1 so can't really comment on setup. But I can't see why tooling would be any different from an equivalent size single function machine.

Robert D.
 

scrollsawer61

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I don't have a 3 in 1 machine but have been looking at them but keep getting told that they are fiddled to set up for lathe work then change over to milling or drilling and still maintain precision so I will be following this to see what others think
 

Rbeckett

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Hi Ya'll - i have a 3 in 1 machine and now have a forum to discuss setup, tooling, etc for people with smaller lathe / milling machines - Is anyone else working with a 3 in 1 machine? If so, how does setup and tooling differ from the "big boys". Now we can discuss these topics here.
Thanks to the administrators for adding this topic selection for me.:anyone::thanks:
There are quite a few of us on the site that have combo machines from HF, Bolton, Grizz and others. They fill a special need and are an excellent choice in a shop with no room to spare. Mine is as basic as you can get, but it is more accurate than me from the beginning. I will be a long time out growing that machine due to the unique sizes of material it is capable of managing.

Bob
 

Dataporter

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I have a 3 in 1 Smithy 3 in 1 model CB 1220 XL.

Fortunately, I didn't get the memo that said you can't make anything will them...

IMO having worked on larger machines, it is a decent lathe and an okay milling machine.
The work envelope is what it is... The mill spindle is too darn close to the column and I can only mill a little less than 8" travel, so you have to pick your battles. The round column can be a PIA, but having used it a couple years now, I just think ahead when doing setups, which is always a good idea, right?

It is really a 4 in 1: lathe, drill press, vertical milling machine and horizontal milling machine! I often use the lathe spindle with a fly cutter or mount a cutter in an arbor between the centers to bore a long straight hole in work mounted on the cross slide/carriage!

It does seem like whenever it is set up as a milling machine, I need a lathe and vice versa. But, I can change it from one to the other in minutes! Of course you have to dial in your vise, etc.

The tooling is the same as single purpose machines. Because the spindle at it's lowest is still pretty far from the table, one possible needed extra is 2 x 4 x 6 blocks or one of those riser blocks to put under your smaller vises, toolmakers block etc. I like the work up where you don't have to have the spindle all the way extended.

I for one, will never look down on 3 in 1s. If you have limited space and or budget, and you are not building a full size locomotive, you can't beat them. If you find a good deal on one, I think it is a great way to get your feet wet as a hobby machinist!

I would like to get a better mill and maybe a better lathe one day, but if I do, I think I'll keep this machine, too!
 

ACS_Super

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I also have a Smithy 3 in 1 (Granite model). I have no complaints. It does what I need. To change from Mill to Lathe doesn't require much more than remove/install the vise, flip the lever for the the drive for mill/lathe and indicate the vise if needed. Literally takes a few minutes if you don't have to indicate the vise.

Limited space, and funds is what pulled me into the Smithy. I took my time setting it up, followed the manual and have had very positve results with it.

Like the previous poster said, if I found the space and money for an idividual mill and lathe I'd still hold onto the Smithy.
 

Ulma Doctor

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i have a central machinery early 90's LH009 mill/drill/lathe combination
with only a couple hours of run time with my machine, i'm initially happy with it.
it is by no means a tool you would want to use for any heavy milling. medium milling in soft materials is very good, but harder materials require light cuts. the short distance between the quill and the milling table limits the size of the part you can machine.
the lathe function works very well. fairly large work can be chucked up or put between centers.
mine has a quick change gear box. very easy to make changes for threading and feed rates.
with the stock gearing it will thread 7 to 24 tpi.
mine didn't come with a threading dial and i don't see a place where it would mount on the carriage:thinking:.
But that's another project....

threading entails reversing the machine on every pass, but it does thread ok.

it has a 3 jaw scroll chuck. it has about .003" runout measured on a round tool steel blank
the dovetails appear to be robust and a lot of iron was used to give it a solid bed.
the tool holder appears to be mismatched for the lathe function and sits about .020" below centerline
the compound doubles as a vice for small milling operations. the lathe toolholder mounts to the moveable jaw on the vice and has a micrometer on the compound.

all and all a good machine, don't expect to make or repair very large things with it but used within it's capabilities it will prove to be very useful.
 

tweinke

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I purchased a used Shoptask 1720 XMTC about six months ago. I think I got a pretty fair deal being it came with some basic tooling. I really have no room for individual machines so I thought to give this a try. Lathe seems ok mill takes planning but there are no production expectations here. Now if I can just remember all the knowledge my school shop teacher tried to fit in my head 30 years ago.
 

Spud

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I have a CraftEx B2071 Mill/Lathe combo machine.

Lathe works OK for me. The slowest carriage travel is a little too fast though. There is a considerable amount of leverage, that allows for chatter, because the cutter tip is so far up from the bed.

As far as the mill goes it's fair. A little too close to the chuck. I have a X-Y table that I can mount on the carrage so I don't have to use the little compound/tool holder vise.

I would assume that the newer models with the mill mounted at the middle rear would be better.

All this being said, I am a total noob ! :victory:
 

wa5cab

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If the slowest available carriage feed rate is too fast, perhaps you don't have all of the change gears. If you do, look into acquiring some additional size gears. Keep in mind that in a straight single plane spur gear train, only the first and last gear tooth counts matter. Unless any of the intermediate gears are compound (two gears stacked on a common axle with one gear being driven and the other driving).

Robert D.
 

Rapscallion

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I bought my Chizhou 3-in-1 about 15 to 17 years ago. I've done plenty of paid work on it and it's paid for itself many times over.
True, they are not the sturdiest of machines but, if you're not the type of machinist who tends to hammer a machine and you know what you're doing, then there is not much that you can't do with it.


The reason that I choose a 3-in-1 as my first machine was because I wanted a lathe and a mill and if you're going to be an all-round machinist then you really need at least those two machines. Starting out back then on a budget it was a good first choice and I have no regret in purchasing a 3-in-1.
 

countryguy

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Re: Me and My Shoptask Patriot - Was: New Forum for 3 in 1 machines

Hi everyone! I have been posting on this forum for a few months. Looks like I missed this one being announced! Nice surprise.... I have the ShopMaster Patriot 2010 model. It's a hobby machine and I've become fully enamored with it! It's beefy(ish) and weighs 1260 LBs. That's just the 3:1 itself. I have Mach3 and CNC w/ DRO installed. Came w/ some extra's (they were in 2010) 4th axix, DRO, ball screws (nook std. accuracy) which are about OK for a mill like this.

Anyone w/ Q's please feel free to ask away. Anyone have some Pics? Here is mine.
MillyMillPainted1.jpg

MillyMillPainted1.jpg
 

foleda

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Re: Me and My Shoptask Patriot - Was: New Forum for 3 in 1 machines

Hi everyone! I have been posting on this forum for a few months. Looks like I missed this one being announced! Nice surprise.... I have the ShopMaster Patriot 2010 model. It's a hobby machine and I've become fully enamored with it! It's beefy(ish) and weighs 1260 LBs. That's just the 3:1 itself. I have Mach3 and CNC w/ DRO installed. Came w/ some extra's (they were in 2010) 4th axix, DRO, ball screws (nook std. accuracy) which are about OK for a mill like this.

Anyone w/ Q's please feel free to ask away. Anyone have some Pics? Here is mine.
View attachment 79887
I am looking for a mill and have been intrigued by the Shopmaster. Would you please share your experience with the machine. My main interest is in using it as a manual mill but the possibility of full CNC is interesting.
 

boodogboo

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I just got mine back in may 1324 max, I am very happy. no more 50 mile trips to get something small done and waste time.
 

toolholder

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I love my 3 in 1 machine. It is my first machine which I'm sure influences my feelings but I doubt my feelings will ever fade. :worship:
 

caster

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I purchased a smithy at-300 3-in-1 in the early 90's. The machine has gotten a fair amount of use making replacement parts. It has been idle for the last 10 years but recently I started using it again. I am able to turn parts on the lathe with little problems. The mill is limited, the .042 graduations on the quill dial are not useful, I machined a quill ring and mounted a HF caliper as a poor mans DRO, it is now a "precision" tool. It was so successful I mounted a caliper on the cross slide too, I made it easily removable so it wont interfere with the tail stock drilling. I broke the casting locking the mill quill and had to fabricate brackets to lock the quill. It locks much better now, next I have to improve the locking on the mill head support. It locks the circular (horizontal) motion of the head but on rare occasions it will rise up (vertical) while milling. It still has the original 3/4 hp motor that was designed to run 50hz and was modified to run 60hz which means the rpm are 20% faster than indicated. I used a laser rpm meter to verify the speeds, the slowest, 160rpm, measures 200rpm. Try cutting a thread at this speed. The motor has developed an intermittent rattle, something must have broken inside and is bouncing around. I am planning on replacing it with a 1hp vfd so I can have variable speeds. The 1 hp motor has a .875 shaft while the existing has .750 shaft which means I have to make a new driver pulley (3L step pulley with .875 shaft and the appropriate diameters are nearly impossible to find).

Over the years I learned how to get precise cuts on this machine and it has served me well. As all tools age they get dinged or nicked, my only gripe is the large amount of body filler used on the surface of the machine to produce a smooth finish on the castings. I would have liked the painted metal surfaces to be finished rather than puttied.

Overall I can build most anything, as long as its not too big.
 
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rockwell

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i have had a smitty 3in 1 for over 20 years , in that time i have loved and hanted it , but it allways has ben verry usefull ,
i have as you have used it as a horizontal mill .
i now have a enco mill 42 inch table and a rockwell lathe 10x36 lathe.
i am useing the smitty fo make a new back gear for the rockwell .
the smitty is allways the first machine i goto to make something ,even new tooling see my post i made a mt2 aubor for a gear cutter as i could not find one .
i love my smitty and use it more than i ever thought i would , yess it has some limits but they can be worked aronund , you will find you can do more than you think with it .
 

Richie B.

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I have the Harbor Freight 44142 3in1, but the manual that came with it also says Central Machinery. Bought new in 2002, expand my tooling almost every month. 4-jaw chuck for the lathe, rotary indexing head for the mill setup, 4" bed 'lifts'.

I've had capacitor problems over the years (burn out) but replacing with higher rating caps has pretty much 'cured' that problem. There have been several minor problems, mill spindle draw-up rod breaking, feed roll pin shearing, other small stuff.

I like the long bed; I can fit a 21" rifle barrel and turn it down. Mill table only has ~5" of travel in the Y axis.

My gibs need adjusting, but the manual is useless for anything. I see that Sears now sells the 44142, and Grizzly and Smithy have machines so similar that they must all be made by the same company.

The plate on the lathe shows Metric threads, but the manual [useless] doesn't say how to get them. I suspect it is a simple intermediate gear to transpose to Metric threads, but which one??? It doesn't say... :(
 

wa5cab

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Richie,

"Central Machinery" is the Harbor Freight house brand.

I've never actually seen a 3 IN 1 machine, let alone used one. But on cutting metric threads, it is probably possible but may not be practical without changing the lead screw and half nuts and threading dial. On the Atlas machines, it is done by introducing a 44/52 ratio which is within one part in 3000 of 1/3 of the 2.54 ratio between inches and centimeters. But counting the spindle gear and the screw gear (on the lead screw), the Atlas machines have the space to swing up to 6 idler or compound gears. I can't tell from the photograph you posted (actually to show the wiring) how the gears are mounted. Or what drives the first gear.

Robert D.
 

juiceclone

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Here is my 3 in 1 Sumore SP2304. I found Sumore in Shanghai is the mfg of a lot of the lathes etc sold under other names like HF. I was able to talk them into importing just one to me directly. PITA! The gov/CBP does not make this easy...

SP2304.jpg


Added very inexpensive DRO's ...just can't get my head around metric
1 both axis dro.jpg


The headstock raise/lower handle was designed by an idiot
I replaced it with a pwm controlled motor drive .. actually works well
enough to use as a down feed.
2 headrive.jpg

Added an auto disengage and auto shutoff on the feed
3 feedstop.jpg

And there was NO fine feed on the mill spindle at all ! It was
just a glorified drill press handle. The solution (After I learned how to cut gears :>)
was suprisingly simple and works perfectly.
fine feed.jpg

I've been using it for about four years now, and have no complaints..
held up well. to my surprise!!

SP2304.jpg 1 both axis dro.jpg 2 headrive.jpg 3 feedstop.jpg fine feed.jpg
 

Hopperdog2010

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Re: Me and My Shoptask Patriot - Was: New Forum for 3 in 1 machines

Hi everyone! I have been posting on this forum for a few months. Looks like I missed this one being announced! Nice surprise.... I have the ShopMaster Patriot 2010 model. It's a hobby machine and I've become fully enamored with it! It's beefy(ish) and weighs 1260 LBs. That's just the 3:1 itself. I have Mach3 and CNC w/ DRO installed. Came w/ some extra's (they were in 2010) 4th axix, DRO, ball screws (nook std. accuracy) which are about OK for a mill like this.

Anyone w/ Q's please feel free to ask away. Anyone have some Pics? Here is mine.
View attachment 79887

View attachment 79887
I just ordered my shopmaster Patriot w/4th axis. How do you find working with the Mach III software? Have you done any threading with it?
 

Hopperdog2010

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Countryguy,
I just ordered my Shopmaster Patriot 2015 version. Totally new to machining and decided this to be my first machine. I did opt for the 4th axis as I plan to make some gun stock programs for cutting rifle and shotgun stocks. How do you like the Mach III software? Have you done any threading with this machine?
 

LX Kid

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I purchased a used Shoptask 1720 XMTC about six months ago. I think I got a pretty fair deal being it came with some basic tooling. I really have no room for individual machines so I thought to give this a try. Lathe seems ok mill takes planning but there are no production expectations here. Now if I can just remember all the knowledge my school shop teacher tried to fit in my head 30 years ago.
I sold my 1720 XMTC and they are a decent machine! I turned around and bought a Grizzly 17x20 and was a "BIG" mistake. The old ShopTask XMTC were a better made machine than they put out now.
 

Leonard

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I have a older Chinese model combination machine I've been using for a couple of years. I'm mainly building custom bike parts. The machine is a bit tired but I have produced some parts I am very pleased with. The machine is a bit under powered with 3/4 horse motors on both lathe and mill, but you get what you pay for and I have been very happy with it. My biggest complaint is height issues on the milling table. You end up wasting a lot of time on set up as you can not adjust table hight up or down. I've just upgraded my lathe to a 12x36 Craftex. I will start saving my bucks for a milling machine upgrade at which time I will sell my combo machine and get someone else hooked on machining. Lol
 

LX Kid

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If you like the lathe portion, you could remove the top mill portion and buy a mill. Just store the mill and give yourself some head room. Here's a pic of what I had done but the mill was still attached when I took the pic.

S6002626.jpg

S6002626.jpg

S6002626.jpg

S6002626.jpg

S6002626.jpg

S6002626.jpg
 
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Leonard

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As I said in my last post I have upgraded to a 12x36 lathe. The combo machine is a bit underpowered. It's been good to me, but I feel it's time to upgrade to move to the next level in terms of quality and productivity.
 

Dwight202

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image.jpeg
I posted this on another 3 in 1 forum and then saw this forum was more appropriate.

I use a Smithy Granite Elite I-Max 1340 3 in 1 in my fabricating shop and think the 3 in 1 is way under-rated and too often laughed off as a toy. These are very capable machines as long as it is realized they are not a 2 ton Bridgeport or large South Bend lathe. The first thing I did when I got mine was take several days to set it up level and then clean, de-burr, lubricate, tram, scrape and tighten everything. Out of the box they are not the most precise equipment that exists for sure, but a little time and work and I have found it to be as good or better then separate machines. I added a 3-axis DRO, a coolant system and am in the planning phase of conversion to ballscrews on X and Y axis. Once the ballscrews are installed and working right I have a full CNC 3 axis system that is going to be installed.

To a lot of people it may seem crazy to put this much time, effort and money into a 3 in 1, but space considerations do not allow separates. The capacity is 13 x 40 which as of yet has not been too small for any fab job. Not going to line bore a V8, but that is not the type of work I do. Part of the reason for doing all this is just because I can and I like to do it, but also when I get done, like most other projects, I have exactly what I want and need for my application and needs. To get the same capabilities would require 3-4 times the money and considerable shop real estate that I don't have.

I could not agree more with another poster who said that a lathe is a lathe and don't think that any idea for a lathe cannot be adapted or used on a 3 in 1. I have seen some very incredible work done on these machines and like any other machine tool once you get used to the way the machine operates it is just as good or better than any of the Myfords, Craftsman, South Bends, or other smaller lathes that I see people own. I have been able to hold 2/10's on some precision work as long as I take my time and go slow and easy.
 

domperna52

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Hello everyone. I am a retired mechanical engineer that is finally getting to do some actual machining myself. About a year ago I purchased a Craftsman 12 inch lathe built about 1951 (slightly older than me). I refurbished it to the best of my ability and have done a few small jobs on it. Every time I use it my respect for real machinists increases a LOT. My question now is about purchasing a 3:1 machine. I am a mentor for the local high school robotics team and have helped them get a working shop together for the past 4 years. Shop space is limited. We have a variety of general purpose stuff (band saws, etc) but are considering upping our game to be able to machine some items in house. The robots are not large and are limited to an overall base perimeter of 120" max and 120 pounds total weight. Funds are not provided by the school district and must be raised by the robotics team independently, consequently money is tight and precious. The majority of machine use will be during the "build season" which runs from early January through mid February, with occasional use after that. I would love to get some recommendations for a decent 3:1 machine that would cost under about $2000 including some tooling. Thanks for your help in advance.
 
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