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Bresh

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Does anyone on this site have experience or knowledge on The Smithy products? I am seriously thinking of buying one but I dont want to make $5500.00 mistake. I want to use it for hobby purposes and maybe try some gunsmithing. Any advice, good or bad would be much appreciated.
 

Bob Korves

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If space is truly the big issue then 3 in 1 machines can do multiple functions in a smaller area on parts bigger than mini machines can hold. The down side to them is that the compromises made in getting all three functions in one machine make each of the functions less than ideal. The prices usually seen for them, in my opinion, are often too high for the actual capability you get. It is common with all kinds of machines that the more things they do, the less well they do each of them. Still, it is all there in one machine, and for hobbyists it is definitely a real option. If you can find room and money for individual machines, you may be happier in the long run, depending on what you plan to do with your machine(s). I think the Smithy machines are overpriced for what they are and what they do. Just my opinion, and I have never owned one, but have helped somebody learn the basics of using one.
 

BenW

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They are certainly not as capable as a decent separate lathe and mill but if you lack the space they can definently be a good option. I would probably look for a nice used one with tooling and save some money for more accessories.

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Bresh

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They are certainly not as capable as a decent separate lathe and mill but if you lack the space they can definently be a good option. I would probably look for a nice used one with tooling and save some money for more accessories.

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I have looked on line for used but don't see anything local. Any suggestions?
 

Submachine

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I have one. Milling sucks, it's just.not stiff enough. With modifications it's barely ok.
Lathe, not do bad. Outside of space, get separate used machines. I bought my Smithy for 1700 with about 1700 in tooling. Look for a used one if you're going to buy.

My 1.5 cents.
 

Bob Korves

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Any suggestions?
Patience, and keep looking... The best deals come up the least often. Also, do not be afraid to negotiate and/or try to get the seller to see reality. If you talk somebody down several hundred dollars in 5 minutes, calculate your wages for that...
 

Bresh

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I have one. Milling sucks, it's just.not stiff enough. With modifications it's barely ok.
Lathe, not do bad. Outside of space, get separate used machines. I bought my Smithy for 1700 with about 1700 in tooling. Look for a used one if you're going to buy.

My 1.5 cents.
SubMachine any suggestions on where to look?
 

Submachine

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This is what I did with my Smithy...it is being converted to single purpose milling machine with additional xy table
SubMachine any suggestions on where to look?
I hate to say it, but Craig's place is a good way to find deals(buyer beware). You can find local dealers through Craig's list also.

Either buy really cheap or with lots of tooling. I also have lots of parts for Smithys since I am not using most if it anymore.
Picture of my IMG_20181223_102506.jpgSmithy, currently be modified.
 

BenW

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I'm in europe so don't know much about your local market. Here Emco(not to be confused with Enco) machines are common. They often have milling attatchments on the rear and are probably both more well designed and well built and as far as I know well liked machines. There are a number of diffrent sizes, I think a maximat 3 or 5 is similar to the smithy in size and there are lots of accessories available. No matter what you always make some sacrifices when chosing a combination machine, like bob said. Usually the main thing is convenience, it takes time to switch between late and mill and tram the things in, etc.

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Bresh

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This is what I did with my Smithy...it is being converted to single purpose milling machine with additional xy table

I hate to say it, but Craig's place is a good way to find deals(buyer beware). You can find local dealers through Craig's list also.

Either buy really cheap or with lots of tooling. I also have lots of parts for Smithys since I am not using most if it anymore.
Picture of my View attachment 283161Smithy, currently be modified.
Yah i just looked on craigs list, nothing but junk
 

Submachine

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Like said by others, it takes patience. Just now I went to “all of craigslist”, searched for Smithy and saw a lot of nice machines. The postings may be a few monthes old, but never hurts to call. They will not all be local. I searched everyday viewing all new tool postings for the day. That allowed me to be first in line for the widows selling husbands old junk. Lol

I forgot to ask, or missed..what are you cutting. The Smithy worked pretty well on aluminum, but not steel.
 

Bresh

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Like said by others, it takes patience. Just now I went to “all of craigslist”, searched for Smithy and saw a lot of nice machines. The postings may be a few monthes old, but never hurts to call. They will not all be local. I searched everyday viewing all new tool postings for the day. That allowed me to be first in line for the widows selling husbands old junk. Lol

I forgot to ask, or missed..what are you cutting. The Smithy worked pretty well on aluminum, but not steel.
what area did you look? I'm in NJ. I would like the machine to be able to cut anything from Aluminum to steel and brass
 

bill70j

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Does anyone on this site have experience or knowledge on The Smithy products? I am seriously thinking of buying one but I dont want to make $5500.00 mistake. I want to use it for hobby purposes and maybe try some gunsmithing. Any advice, good or bad would be much appreciated.
I bought a new Smithy Granite 1324 15 years ago, and have been happy with it. If you are limited on space and you are limiting your work to hobbies and gunsmithing I think a Smithy 3 in 1 would be a good choice. The lathe performs quite well, and the mill is certainly adequate, though you are limited on travel and set-up's can be a challenge.

My Smithy machine has been reliable. I have had only 2 problems - a bad bearing in the gearbox and failed motor brushes. Both were simple fixes - and the Smithy technical service is very good.

I have machined plastics, brass, bronze, aluminum, and steel, including tool steel on the machine. It took me a while to learn its capabilities, but once there, I find that any of these materials can be successfully machined to include meeting tolerance and producing a fine finish. Cutting metric and Imperial threads is also straightforward.

I have found that rigidity of the stand is crucial since the machine is quite top heavy. I bought the Smithy stand, but ended up anchoring it to the wall studs to firm it up. There was a discussion on stands for the Smithy here.

Like others have said, you may find some used Smithy's on Craig's List, but you will want to be very careful. They are sometimes starter machines, plus the earlier models lacked protection against crashes, resulting in badly damaged components.
 
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Bresh

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I bought a new Smithy Granite 1324 15 years ago, and have been happy with it. If you are limited on space and you are limiting your work to hobbies and gunsmithing I think a Smithy 3 in 1 would be a good choice. The lathe performs quite well, and the mill is certainly adequate, though you are limited on travel and set-up's can be a challenge.

My Smithy machine has been reliable. I have had only 2 problems - a bad bearing in the gearbox and failed motor brushes. Both were simple fixes - and the Smithy technical service is very good.

I have machined plastics, brass, bronze, and steel, including tool steel on the machine. It took me a while to learn its capabilities, but once there, I find that any of these materials can be successfully machined to include meeting tolerance and producing a fine finish. Cutting metric and Imperial threads is also straightforward.

I have found that rigidity of the stand is crucial since the machine is quite top heavy. I bought the Smithy stand, but ended up anchoring it to the wall studs to firm it up. There was a discussion on stands for the Smithy here.

Like others have said, you may find some used Smithy's on Craig's List, but you will want to be very careful. They are sometimes starter machines, plus the earlier models lacked protection against crashes, resulting in badly damaged components.
Thanks , I have been checking craigs list today and nothing in NJ
 

ttabbal

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I've seen people post ads here from Craigslist for individual machines in that area before. The 3 in one machines are likely more rare.
 

Submachine

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Here is one in Delaware..not to far
https://delaware.craigslist.org/tls/d/buy-my-shop/6770343395.html

'All of Craig's list', searches everywhere. Dozens of other Craigslist seach engines exist. Try a few and find one you like.

Simply type "Craigslist search engines" into Google.

I use an App called cplus on my ipad for my local daily searches. It's not perfect, but I like it alot.

The 3-1 machines seem to go fast and as you stated, they are not as common.



Cheers
 

Bresh

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Here is one in Delaware..not to far
https://delaware.craigslist.org/tls/d/buy-my-shop/6770343395.html

'All of Craig's list', searches everywhere. Dozens of other Craigslist seach engines exist. Try a few and find one you like.

Simply type "Craigslist search engines" into Google.

I use an App called cplus on my ipad for my local daily searches. It's not perfect, but I like it alot.

The 3-1 machines seem to go fast and as you stated, they are not as common.



Cheers
Thank you
 

Aaron_W

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Another consideration for combo machines, you may out grow one function before the other.

I have a mini-lathe and a mini-mill, I just bought a bigger lathe because I was bumping up against the size constraints of the lathe. So far I am still well within the capacity of the mini mill.

It looks to me like most of the 3 in 1 machines are based around a fairly good size lathe combined with a rather small mill. Not sure which machine you are specifically looking at but the Smithy Granite is based on a 13x24 or 13x40 lathe, which is a respectably large lathe for a home shop, but the attached mill (Spindle to table 13.38", XYZ 9.5" x 7.63" x 10.25") is not much larger than my Sherline mini-mill (Spindle to table 12", XYZ 8.65"x 5.0"x 10..25"). The Smithy mill does have a more powerful motor and larger table.
 

tjb

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I get the impression from your initial post that you have little to no machining experience. Not too many years ago, I was in the same category. I had developed a curiosity in machining but had an immediate need for a small drill press. I ran across a good deal on a very nice Smithy 3-in-1 and figured I could satisfy both issues simultaneously. Here's what I learned: The Smithy was indeed a very good machine, but in a very short period of time, I found that it is extremely limited in its capacity and capabilities. It seemed to be very well built but clearly could not handle much more than the smallest of projects. While the multi-function nature of the Smithy was attractive, I also discovered that its capabilities for each of them was somewhat compromised - along the lines of Bob Korves' comments above. It didn't take long for me to realize I would need to get sturdier pieces of equipment if I wanted to do anything approaching normal machining.

The second drawback to the 3-in-1 is setup time. I found through experience that it is not uncommon to move from one function to another on any given project. With independent machines, that's not such a big deal, but with a 3-in-1, it could involve several complicated and time-consuming setups. Moving, for example, from mill to lathe then back again to mill can involve far more setup time than the actual operations themselves.

My general assessment - based on my experience with exactly one Smithy - is that it is a very nice machine but extremely limited for anything more than absolute minimal applications. I do not regret buying it, but it didn't take long for me to begin accumulating large independent machines to satisfy my developing interest in machining. I sold the machine to a man who had some marginal experience in machining and only needed it for a very narrow range of applications. In his case, it was ideal. In mine, it was a good first introduction, but I very quickly outgrew it.

Another observation: The $5,500 cost is not bad for what you are getting (in my opinion), but understand it's highly unlikely you'll get anywhere near that if you decide to sell it. I don't remember exactly what I paid for mine, but I seem to recall it was noticeably under $2,000. And it was in great condition and came with all the original equipment and attachments. I used it about a year and sold it for about the same.

I would suggest you carefully consider what your long-term interest might be, as well as, your space and budget constraints before you buy one. If it satisfies all your anticipations, fine. If not, you might want to consider another strategy.

Good luck,
Terry
 

tjb

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'All of Craig's list', searches everywhere. Dozens of other Craigslist seach engines exist. Try a few and find one you like.
How do you access 'All of Craig's list'?

Regards,
Terry
 

Bresh

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Another consideration for combo machines, you may out grow one function before the other.

I have a mini-lathe and a mini-mill, I just bought a bigger lathe because I was bumping up against the size constraints of the lathe. So far I am still well within the capacity of the mini mill.

It looks to me like most of the 3 in 1 machines are based around a fairly good size lathe combined with a rather small mill. Not sure which machine you are specifically looking at but the Smithy Granite is based on a 13x24 or 13x40 lathe, which is a respectably large lathe for a home shop, but the attached mill (Spindle to table 13.38", XYZ 9.5" x 7.63" x 10.25") is not much larger than my Sherline mini-mill (Spindle to table 12", XYZ 8.65"x 5.0"x 10..25"). The Smithy mill does have a more powerful motor and larger table.
Aaron what did you buy?
 

Aaron_W

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Aaron what did you buy?
I started with a Sherline 4400 mini-lathe and a 5400 mini-mill. I recently bought a used Logan Powermatic 10x24 lathe.

I'm not doing gunsmithing. I started off with the Sherlines for doing model work and have expanded into wanting to occasionally do something larger. I don't have a big shop so a 10 or 11" lathe was about the largest I could comfortably get in there.


I just point out the size difference between the lathe part and the mill part on these 3 in 1s because most mini-mills are bigger than the comparable mini-lathes, not smaller.


Is space an issue for you? You haven't mentioned if you were looking at the Smithy for space issues, cost, or the convenience of one stop shopping.



Just for a price comparison for the same $5500 or less you could buy a slightly smaller 12x36 lathe ($3000-4000) and a larger bench mill ($1500-2000) from Grizzly or Precision Matthews.

A 13x40 lathe is going to run about $5000 alone, but it will probably be a better lathe. A small bench top mill about the size of that included with the Smithy can be had for $800-1200 and if you find it too small you can sell it and upgrade, or just spend a little more upfront and get a better mill.
 

Bresh

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I started with a Sherline 4400 mini-lathe and a 5400 mini-mill. I recently bought a used Logan Powermatic 10x24 lathe.

I'm not doing gunsmithing. I started off with the Sherlines for doing model work and have expanded into wanting to occasionally do something larger. I don't have a big shop so a 10 or 11" lathe was about the largest I could comfortably get in there.


I just point out the size difference between the lathe part and the mill part on these 3 in 1s because most mini-mills are bigger than the comparable mini-lathes, not smaller.


Is space an issue for you? You haven't mentioned if you were looking at the Smithy for space issues, cost, or the convenience of one stop shopping.



Just for a price comparison for the same $5500 or less you could buy a slightly smaller 12x36 lathe ($3000-4000) and a larger bench mill ($1500-2000) from Grizzly or Precision Matthews.

A 13x40 lathe is going to run about $5000 alone, but it will probably be a better lathe. A small bench top mill about the size of that included with the Smithy can be had for $800-1200 and if you find it too small you can sell it and upgrade, or just spend a little more upfront and get a better mill.
Wow I looked up the model you started out with and Man they were small. I can see how you can make models with it. A guy at work made a truck for his kid. It was about 12 inches long and about 4 inches wide and It turned out beautiful. I was really impressed with his workmanship.

Any way The shop I’m making is exactly 14’x14’x10’ on the 1st floor, it should be enough to handle a 12x36 and a 9x39 mill. Its not so much the room. Like I said the shop will have 2 floors so a lot of my Electrical tools can go up there. And machinery on the first floor. It’s more the money. As you may have heard it’s very expensive to live in Jersey, Taxes are a killer here especially since I’m not making the money I use to.

That being said I thought the Smithy 13x40 I Max would have been a good fit for me plus it came with a lot of tooling but as I stated I also want to do some gunsmithing as well so I want a good machine for boaring and so on. Not sure a 3 in 1 will give me that much persision. Which why I’m reaching out to the forum for advice.





One thing I don’t like about the 3 in 1 is the small spindle boar, it only has 1” while the Grizzly has a 1.57 “ on their 12x36 and 2” on their 14x40. I’m a firm believer in do once and do it right, and I just can’t make up my mind between a 3 in1 or a stand alone or even which company to buy from Smithy or Grizzly. These are my dilemmas.
 

BenW

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If space is not a big issue I'd definently go with 2 separate machines. Maybe figure out what you want/need the most right now; a lathe or a mill, and buy that now then wait for a good local deal on the other machine.

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tjb

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I’m a firm believer in do once and do it right, and I just can’t make up my mind
That's a great principle to employ! As you gain experience, you will eventually become aware of the tolerance levels of your equipment and recognize a larger/heftier machine can do more. That's a no-brainer. But IF you do your homework and buy right the first time, that's nothing more than an observation. If you under-buy, you'll find yourself selling and upgrading. That'll be frustrating and cost you money in the long run.

Regards,
Terry
 

Road_Clam

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I had been thinking of purchasing the Smithy 3-1 1324 Max a few years ago. After a LOT of research and crunching logistics #'s in my basement I had to pass. Primary reasons were weight limitations. There was really no realistic means for me to get a 700# mill down into my 1st floor basement. The second was also the elevated cost. I was looking at about $4800 with the DRO option. I already do CNC machining so I have limited access to full size machines anyway. I realistically just need a small versatile mill/ drill for small recreational / home widgets. So ended up recently purchasing the LMS 4190 deluxe. I'm confident I made a great choice in my situation.
 

Chipper5783

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All machine arrangements have limitations. The work envelope on any machine gets used up much quicker than most people new to machining think it will. Certainly really think about what you want to do, go and see/talk to people that are doing what jobs you want to do. There are many examples here of people who started with a combo machine, then bought stand alone machine once they had a better idea of what they wanted to do, and a basic knowledge of machining. If you want to buy once, then start with stand alone machines. The multi machines have limitations sooner than you think.

Also, buy the biggest and best you can - then even if you keep growing in this activity, that first lathe will still a good useful piece of kit. There are many posts here on HM about how big a machine to get? The two responses are, to consider the type of work intended, and get a machine that is a bit bigger than needed to do that work. The other response is to get the largest that you can fit in the space, provide power to, or move (depends on what the constraints are). Of course there is a top end to that idea of, “bigger is better”. Nobody is claiming that a 36” swing lathe is better than a 6” swing lathe - they are completely different. On a lathe, a swing of about 18” is pretty handy, and still no problem working down to pretty small stuff. On a mill, a 9 x 49 knee mill is a very useful work envelope.

No machine is going to cover all the bases. That is fine, it is an excuse to get multiple machines. You mentioned both 12x36 and 14x40 lathes. The larger one will be more versatile, however a nicely set up 12x36 will always be a good piece of kit.

I do general mucking around machining. I have an 11x24 lathe and a 15x60 lathe. I use them both. I have used every inch of the larger machine, the little machine is great for certain tasks. There have been times that a larger machine would have been nice, but I was able to figure out a work around. Having a good sized machine just gives a person more options.

Let us know how you make out. David
 
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