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Hobby lathe or combo machine

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Sparkynutz

Plastic
Joined
Mar 4, 2022
Did occaisional machining for over 20yrs at work and the place closed down. Now 3 jobs later still doing occaisional machining and fabrication this new job does not allow Government work even off the clock.
I've always had projects and have one I need to complete within the next 2 months for my tractor or I'll have to pay someone to do it for me.

Space is an issue so anything I buy can't be as big as the Leblonde or Bridgeport grade machines I'm used to. We did have a tiny Harbor freight bench top lathe for tiny parts that was junk but worked ok sometimes.
I would like to find something in between. I have a 5ftx3ft area in my garage it could fit or a slightly larger area in my basement hobby room.

I've turned a lot of shafts and see that being a main part of my use.
The largest pass through the chuck I can get the better to keep the bed shorter. I've threaded on occasion, but bushings and shafts will be 99% of my lathe use. A combo unit would be nice too tho since I don't have a drill press and precise hole spacing would be very handy for other projects vs a caliper, center punch and hand drill. DRO is nice but not required.
I don't need to hog material off and have plenty of time to make parts. I do not want to be spending that time fixing a crappy machine tho so robustness and accuracy is a definite requirement.
Budget- $3k max but lower end of that and used would be ideal unless its a combo unit to help justify higher cost and use for a combo unit.
I've seen a few used units on Facebook marketplace but skeptical if I will get the accuracy I need.

Any Suggestions? Especially that fit my use and large pass-through needs which don't seem to come up often.
2-1/2 to 3 inch would be ideal if such a thing exists on a small lathe. As of the date of older threads I've found it wasn't at the time of the posts. Hopefully things have changed lately.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
Did occaisional machining for over 20yrs at work and the place closed down. Now 3 jobs later still doing occaisional machining and fabrication this new job does not allow Government work even off the clock.
I've always had projects and have one I need to complete within the next 2 months for my tractor or I'll have to pay someone to do it for me.

Space is an issue so anything I buy can't be as big as the Leblonde or Bridgeport grade machines I'm used to. We did have a tiny Harbor freight bench top lathe for tiny parts that was junk but worked ok sometimes.
I would like to find something in between. I have a 5ftx3ft area in my garage it could fit or a slightly larger area in my basement hobby room.

I've turned a lot of shafts and see that being a main part of my use.
The largest pass through the chuck I can get the better to keep the bed shorter. I've threaded on occasion, but bushings and shafts will be 99% of my lathe use. A combo unit would be nice too tho since I don't have a drill press and precise hole spacing would be very handy for other projects vs a caliper, center punch and hand drill. DRO is nice but not required.
I don't need to hog material off and have plenty of time to make parts. I do not want to be spending that time fixing a crappy machine tho so robustness and accuracy is a definite requirement.
Budget- $3k max but lower end of that and used would be ideal unless its a combo unit to help justify higher cost and use for a combo unit.
I've seen a few used units on Facebook marketplace but skeptical if I will get the accuracy I need.

Any Suggestions? Especially that fit my use and large pass-through needs which I haven't seen come up in any other product suggestion threads I've come accross yet.

Go for the gold, get the bestest machine:
Granite XT 1340 220V Lathe Mill Combo – smithy.com

Better yet...Put a PC on it:
Shopmaster Mill Turn Cnc Lathe -mill Combo - - Amazon.com
 

TDegenhart

Diamond
Joined
Mar 26, 2011
Location
Geneva Illinois USA
This IS a professional machinist forum. Normally we chase people like you to the hobby forums where there is a greater chance you will find what you want. Most of the members here make their living from machining.

So what are your expectations? You want good equipment but don't have the space or budget. $3000 is not much for two machines in decent condition along with tooling. I personally don't go for combination machines, there is too many compromises that have to be made. Small lathes, 9" to 12", are usually priced at a premium because every hobbyist wants one in that size. Same with mills.

Tom
 

deltap

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 3, 2004
Location
Wisconsin, USA
Both of the recommended machines look like they use the same castings. They are the not to be discussed here type. I'm guessing no more than 1" through head stock and 22" between centers. Hard to find any small lathe with 3" hole through headstock.
 

Sparkynutz

Plastic
Joined
Mar 4, 2022
This IS a professional machinist forum. Normally we chase people like you to the hobby forums where there is a greater chance you will find what you want. Most of the members here make their living from machining.

So what are your expectations? You want good equipment but don't have the space or budget. $3000 is not much for two machines in decent condition along with tooling. I personally don't go for combination machines, there is too many compromises that have to be made. Small lathes, 9" to 12", are usually priced at a premium because every hobbyist wants one in that size. Same with mills.

Tom

2inch+ pass-through.
36inch or less bed
.0005 machining tolerance would be nice.
I don't need a fast production machine, just an accurate one for one off parts a few times per month for the next 30-40 years would be nice.

At home I am a hobbyist true. 4 years my job title was tool and die machinist even though I did it way longer than that with other job titles. I may not know all the lingo but made many many parts over the years knowing what does or does not work from personal experience. Unfortunately I did not have any lengthy formal training but did the best I could with what I had.
There isn't much I didn't make at work one time or another.
At home I make shafts, bushings and small parts even the crappy harbor freight could have made most of the time.
I am hoping for a little better quality, longevity and accuracy than a $500 machine tho and was hoping someone here would know more than a bunch of hobbyists especially on the larger spindle bore small machine topic.

Does any newer manufacturer make one that fits the bill and size for my needs at any cost? Atleast even if its $10k I know what to work up to or save for.

Searching big bore or large diameter lathe turns out mostly large 100+ inch machines with 9" bore.
The closest I could find was
Fastenal Industrial Supplies, OEM Fasteners, Safety Products & More
Smaller 32" bed could be made fit my space and atleast something to save up for or try find used.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
2inch+ pass-through.
36inch or less bed
.0005 machining tolerance would be nice.
I don't need a fast production machine, just an accurate one for one off parts a few times per month for the next 30-40 years would be nice.

At home I am a hobbyist true. 4 years my job title was tool and die machinist even though I did it way longer than that with other job titles. I may not know all the lingo but made many many parts over the years knowing what does or does not work from personal experience. Unfortunately I did not have any lengthy formal training but did the best I could with what I had.
There isn't much I didn't make at work one time or another.
At home I make shafts, bushings and small parts even the crappy harbor freight could have made most of the time.
I am hoping for a little better quality, longevity and accuracy than a $500 machine tho and was hoping someone here would know more than a bunch of hobbyists especially on the larger spindle bore small machine topic.

Does any newer manufacturer make one that fits the bill and size for my needs at any cost? Atleast even if its $10k I know what to work up to or save for.

Well then you should know quality when you see it.
 

jccaclimber

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 22, 2015
Location
San Francisco
Not nearly as convenient, but is there a co-op shop with a larger lathe anywhere near you?
That through hole request is going to be tough in that size or price range. Do you by chance only work near the ends of your shafts (remove the tailstock and use a steady) or do you need to work the middle as well?
 

drcoelho

Stainless
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Location
Los Altos
Reasonable quality lathe in a very small space: track down a southbend 9" lathe
Reasonable quality milling machine in a very small space: track down a Rusnok head mounted on a vintage horizontal mill like a Burke No 4.
Within the very small limits of these machines you can do real work.

That being said, find some more space and get a Bridgeport mill, a Millrite or better yet a Deckel FP1.
 

Sparkynutz

Plastic
Joined
Mar 4, 2022
Not nearly as convenient, but is there a co-op shop with a larger lathe anywhere near you?
That through hole request is going to be tough in that size or price range. Do you by chance only work near the ends of your shafts (remove the tailstock and use a steady) or do you need to work the middle as well?

Mostly facing the ends, making multiples of larger bushings out of longer material, drilling and boring, sometimes polishing. I'd need a long bed or cut shafts to shorter lengths if they didn't pass through the chuck.

I wish I knew someone local with a big lathe I could use for stuff like this. I have oodles of tooling from when my employer closed they gave away. I coulda got the Bridgeport for almost nothing but had no space or way to move something that big. The lathes were even bigger.
 

CITIZEN F16

Titanium
Joined
May 2, 2021
Make your wife park in the driveway, that will get you an extra 90 square feet for machinery.
Do you have access to rigging equipment or an inexpensive rigger, like a buddy with a flatbed wrecker?
A lot of used hobby sized equipment goes for more than you would think because it is easy and inexpensive to move.
On the other hand some older large equipment, still perfectly usable will go for scrap price due to the cost of moving. Just a thought.
 

Scottl

Diamond
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Eastern Massachusetts, USA
It might be a bit longer than your workspace but a used Maximat Super 11 with mill head would do quite good work and the later models had larger bores as I recall.

The mill head is not super sturdy but can do nice work with lighter cuts.

Last one I saw for sale in this area was close to $4k.
 

Scottl

Diamond
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Eastern Massachusetts, USA
Make your wife park in the driveway, that will get you an extra 90 square feet for machinery.
Do you have access to rigging equipment or an inexpensive rigger, like a buddy with a flatbed wrecker?
A lot of used hobby sized equipment goes for more than you would think because it is easy and inexpensive to move.
On the other hand some older large equipment, still perfectly usable will go for scrap price due to the cost of moving. Just a thought.

"Make your wife park in driveway", that will get you a chance to use the couch as a bed.
 

Sparkynutz

Plastic
Joined
Mar 4, 2022
It might be a bit longer than your workspace but a used Maximat Super 11 with mill head would do quite good work and the later models had larger bores as I recall.

The mill head is not super sturdy but can do nice work with lighter cuts.

Last one I saw for sale in this area was close to $4k.

I saw this unit recommended in a few other threads. Unfortunately I have yet to see a single price of one for sale.
 

Scottl

Diamond
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Eastern Massachusetts, USA
I guess that depends on how expectations were set up front.
We’re assuming that a regularly used vehicle is what fills the rest of the garage.

My point was that most wives would tell their hubby "YOU park in the damn driveway", and as we know they DO have their ways when they don't think they are being treated right.
 
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