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Hobby lathe or combo machine

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ignator

Cast Iron
Joined
Oct 8, 2012
Location
Marion, Iowa
Have you tried looking at craigslist and facebook marketplace?
Do not pass up an affordable 3phase machine. You can get VFDs that convert single phase to 3 phase. They are easy to connect. That seems to be a show stopper to many wanting a garage powered machine.
If you have to hire a rigger to move the machine, it may be worth that cost. So don't pass up a 1-3 ton machine. If the seller has the forklift or overhead crane, then rent a trailer and figure out how to safely get it on to your garage floor. That may be where a rigger can do the job for an hour of their time.
Look for one machine, and hope you can find it with tooling. That will be the real thing you spend money on.
I think your budget for both machines is a bit low. If your lucky about 6K will get you a mill and a lathe, with some tooling.
 

Scottl

Diamond
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Eastern Massachusetts, USA
I guess I missed the part about the huge spindle capacity, which AFAIK has never been offered on any machine that would fit in that space. The largest I know of is 1.5 inches on a few modern Taiwan-made 12 inch lathes I've seen ads for.

It almost sounds as though a self-built one-off is the only machine that would fit all the OP's requirements if he insists on a huge bore spindle.

I saw no mention of shaft lengths and most home shops make do with a long bed lathe and a steady rest. If a shaft is splined you make a spider to run in the steady.
 

PDW

Diamond
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Location
Australia (Hobart)
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.

The later model Maximat 11 is D1-4 spindle and 35mm spindle hole.

As far as I know asking for a short bed lathe with a 2" or larger spindle bore is a nice idea but not going to happen. I've NEVER seen such an animal. Have to build one yourself I think.

In fact I'm in the process of upgrading from a Monarch CY to a DS&G of the same-ish swing *just* to get a bigger spindle bore than 1-1/2".

As for the combo machines - no. The Maximat combo isn't bad but really - the milling head is quite weak, 2MT and not very powerful, nor is the column much for rigidity. I speak from experience - I have both the lathe and mill. But I also have real milling machines so the Emco mill is just for plastics & aluminium in my shop.

PDW
 

Sparky45

Aluminum
Joined
Jan 20, 2020
If you lived closer I have a Sheldon that has a ~2" spindle bore however the Bed is 70". Old iron that hasn't been abused is good equipment. She's also been retro fitted with a Aloris quick change toolpost. Has a Steady Rest, ect. Picked it up for $3000 and she's a beaut! You need to be checking Craigslist.
 

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Cole2534

Diamond
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Location
Oklahoma City, OK
Heavy 10 would be an excellent choice, somewhat bigger than the 9" I had proposed, BUT hard to find Heavy 10's these days that aren't all warn out.
They're out there, but they're priced higher than the Mazak Quickturn I bought last summer. It's just a downside of the hobby market.

Programmed via Mazatrol
 

drcoelho

Stainless
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Location
Los Altos
And, as I usually do when giving recommendations to hobbyists......skip the pain of super small hobby machines and just take over the garage (sell the car that was previously stored there to pay for your machine shop) and install:

Hardinge HLV-H
Deckel FP1 or better yet FP3

Or why screw around, just buy a used professional CNC machine.....
 

drcoelho

Stainless
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Location
Los Altos
Also, OP is totally unrealistic about budget, just can't get there with budget proposed. Bump it to $10K and you setup something reasonable including some tooling.
 

Ron Hofer

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Location
Brookfield, WI
I've been happy with an Emco FB-2 for 15 years. For a bench-top mill, it's far stouter and more powerful than any cheap 'n cheesy asian mill I've ever seen. But....I work primarily in brass, so YMMV.

Ron
 

Sparkynutz

Plastic
Joined
Mar 4, 2022
It doesn't matter if it costs $10k. As I posted before that gives me something to work up to. My current budget within 2 months is $3k. If thats not reasonable I don't know what is.
Is a smallish 32-36" bed lathe available at ANY cost with over a 2" bore?
I found a recent thread on this forum of a 40" Chinese Dalian with over a 2" bore but no luck finding one actually for sale. There was a few on Alibaba with 3" bore 36" bed for $1500 but I'm sure thats get what you pay for territory. I'm hoping to find something in between but don't know where to look yet.
I've been looking at Facebook, ebay, Craigslist for years and seen many for sale under $1k but unsure if its worth taking the chance on something worn out and no better than new Chinese.
 

Vecair

Aluminum
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Location
Prescott
Sparky, You're going to have to get more realistic on your requirements. You are never going to find a 2.5 to 3 inch thru hole in anything like a 'small' lathe, thats oil field equipment your talking there. My big Monarch is only 1.75 so you need to figure out what you really need. Also 3K is pretty unrealistic as well in this day and age. Maybe some old machine, which is fine, but those come with their own set of problems. First figure out your exact needs, if you need 3 inches might just pay to have the stuff made elsewhere. That Heavy 10 or the like is a good starting place. Good luck!
 

PDW

Diamond
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Location
Australia (Hobart)
I've been happy with an Emco FB-2 for 15 years. For a bench-top mill, it's far stouter and more powerful than any cheap 'n cheesy asian mill I've ever seen. But....I work primarily in brass, so YMMV.

Ron

As I said, I have one. I'm not impressed. It's a useful little machine but it'd probably be the first one I disposed of if I needed to downsize. It doesn't really like machining 316 and has no power feeds so it's a bit tedious making lots of small cuts. OTOH it's a nice compact size for plastics & aluminium low tolerance jobs.

PDW
 

kustomizer

Titanium
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Location
North Fork Idaho
wish in one hand and shit in the other, let us know which one fills up first.

you can make chicken soup out of chicken shit but who wants to eat it?

you will have a hard time making a living working with junk

Too much truth serum tonight perhaps, I just don't see why anyone would want to try to make a job0r shop work with junk, what is the point?
 

rrrgcy

Aluminum
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
South Florida
2inch+ pass-through.
.0005 machining tolerance would be nice.
My job title was tool and die machinist even though I did it way longer than that with other job.

I call this silly. Couldn’t imagine a Tool & Die Machinist couldn’t see this one through. I’m an amateur w intermittent odd products at hi enough tolerance sold to certain professional folk in various work industries, I’ve been getting away with it for awhile, but Im green w envy at the sheer unreasonableness of the OP’s envelope and demands he’s wanting a machine for. So it’s really a mystery machine to me.

Too much truth serum tonight perhaps…

I’m w Kustomizer, Forget the “pass through” fantasy. Just buy anything and creep-up-spring-skim-pass and use a file for your .0005”. Voila’. Er, except for the inevitable taper issues on anything longer than a couple inches at best, and the finish issues… so then after a lot of time working out the taper, and file work for tolerance, your answer is to end every job w emery cloth. Now voila’. (You did say you had a lot of time.)
 

Superbowl

Cast Iron
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Trust me. You need more money. $3,000 doesn't buy shit for two decent machines. You will only throw your $3,000 away chasing junk and be sorry later. Take your $3,000 and borrow another $5,000-$8,000. Pay $150-$200 a month for a couple of years. Get a side gig if you must. Uber, Lyft, deliver papers, paint a few houses. Do what ever it takes to get a couple of machines worth having. You will be glad you did.
 

drcoelho

Stainless
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Location
Los Altos
For the OP, here's a nice writeup for the South Bend Heavy 10: South Bend (Heavy) 10-inch Lathe
FYI, this web site is a fantastic resource which you should spend a lot of time at reviewing the many lathes and mills available out there. Read up on the South Bend 9" as well.

There are several Heavy 10 for sale on ebay in the $4-6K range, but you'll want to have a local machinist check-out the machines before you buy to make sure you know what you're getting...and you'll have to deal with crating, rigging and shipping which often will add another $2K.

For benchtop mill, this is what I recommended before, Rusnok on Burke No 4: Rusnok Vertical Milling Head and Burke No. Horizontal Mill - YouTube

Rusnok are fantastic super small mill, historically used in laboratories,etc...can be found and very solid for their size. See this: Rusnok Milling Machines

Bad news is that the Rusnoks typically run $2K+ and again you'll have to deal with crating,rigging,shipping....they are occassionaly found on USA wide craigs list searches. Burke No 4 is easier to find, maybe $500 if you are diligent.
 

Sparkynutz

Plastic
Joined
Mar 4, 2022
I think the part too many responses are missing is my original post stating my budget was $3k. Please read my other posts in this thread.
$3k is my budget right now not for the rest of my life.
I don't need a fancy lathe to make me money. $3k was how much cash I'm willing to throw at it right NOW. If I need to wait a year or 2 or 5 to find my dream machine and it ends up costing $20k so be it. If I need to rearrange my garage to make room for a larger machine then I will. I have 2 garages and lots of toys I can move to a storage shed or sell if needed. Finding the perfect machine for my wants is the problem, not the minor details. I need to know where and how to look. What search terms to use and keep an eye out for. Searching big bore lathe turns up 99% not what I'm looking for, yet might turn up what I am. People selling what I am looking for aren't using that as the key words to allow me to find it easier. Its not like car shopping where you can narrow them down by color and many other options on hundreds of websites to find exactly what you want easily.

I worked very hard over the last 25 years to get where I am now working only part time partially retired at 41yrs old. Wife was a stay at home mom for past 12 years and now its my turn. I mainly work for something to do and for vacation/fun money. We lived a very comfortable life on my income alone and once she started working with good insurance I no longer had to. I job hopped after my employer suddenly closed till I found a part time job working 138 days a year paying a very reasonable wage with overtime paid after 8 hours anytime I choose to work it. I could work full time but doing what I want before I'm dead to me is more important. I missed out a lot over the past 20+ years working 70+ hours a week rarely getting a day off but it was worth it since I knew my kids were well cared for and spoiled at home. Now they are older and still spoiled but wife enjoys her new career and change of scenery.
I have a decent amount of freetime and would like to make my own parts for my projects.
It seems logical to make changes to parts on the fly myself at home instead of takeing 5 trips to pay some shop miles away over needing to take another .002" off a part. I don't know what I need until I need it and then fabricate away until the vision becomes a useable part or paperweight to lesson learned.

Yes, I'm looking for a unicorn lathe so it seems and either way ill keep looking until I find it or my wants change.
For the time being I'd like to find a reasonably cheap lighter weight newer smaller unit with big ish bore no smaller than 2"
Powering is not a problem. I carry an Electricians license and have many sources to whatever is needed to power any lathe.

Could I get by with filing and sanding a crappy finish sure. I could get by with a pipe threader and an angle grinder too if I chose to and it would fit a 3 inch shaft through it. I know what quality of lathe and results I got making parts on 10 or so lathes at work over the years and rather not sacrifice if I don't have to. I once used a lathe so worn the part I made had a .007" taper over 10 inches on every cut. Yes, I was able to work around that and finish within print tolerances with extra work but if I don't have to on every part at home I won't. I couldn't choose the machines my employer provided but I can at home. I don't need a machine capable of making parts for nasa but I don't feel that reasonable repeatable tolerances is too much to ask for in whatever lathe I end up buying. If sloppily made Chinese lathes can be good enough then why doesn't everyone buy them and save cash? Instead most posts shy from them or complain about harbor freight, grizzly, etc? Why is that?
Seems hypocritical to shy away from those makes yet say I'm unreasonable looking for a lathe of better than mediocre quality and tolerances.
I don't know what I don't know. Some cheap made parts can be decent quality if you know what to look for and where. I do not, thats why I asked for help here incase some no name company makes a decent lathe you or someone you know happens to have with good results.
To everyone that left suggestions and help in my search. Thankyou!
The search Continues......
 

kustomizer

Titanium
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Location
North Fork Idaho
If you buy one that is not really what you want, is too far away and costs too much then within a few days you will find your neighbor has exactly what you want in a storage place 2 miles away and just wants to give it away so he can quit paying rent.
At least this works for me many a time.
 
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