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Hobby lathe or combo machine

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BillE

Hot Rolled
Joined
Dec 6, 2010
Location
Sydney Au
One of these was for sale last year....

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One of the only combo machines where the milling side looks half robust, lathe half looks toyish. Bore probably 38mm - if lucky!
 

memphisjed

Stainless
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Location
Memphis
Integrex is a good looking combo machine. It has option for a 3d metal printing head too.
Combo machines do exist. Not in the home shop price point, but you can not get everything in one machine.
 

plastikdreams

Diamond
Joined
May 31, 2011
Location
upstate nj
To OP, just because you want something for $3K doesn't mean you will find it. You really have not confronted the reality that having a home machine shop is a VERY expensive hobby. You are better off IMHO just out-sourcing your needs to a local machine shop. IF you really want to get into this hobby, you're gonna need a lot more cash to get started. I was in the same situation as you a few years back, targeted very small benchtop machines initially and spent 10s of thousands of dollars, then realized part way through that process that these little machines were just too limited, and started setting up a real shop with professional machines and bumped my budgets by 10-100x. I REPEAT, THIS IS A VERY EXPENSIVE HOBBY.

You could of course buy some shit chinese product, but you will be immediately confronted with a whole bunch of problems that will be very frustrating. The folks that I am aware of that make these machines work properly have torn them apart and done wholesale replacement of major parts of the machines to get them working. AND, in every case, these folks will tell you the whole experience was a mistake and they would have NOT purchased said machine.

If you want to trade time versus money, you can get old good quality machines that need a lot of work to get running, but you are looking at months to years of repair work if you are doing this yourself in your part-time.

And that large bore spindle on a lathe IS JUST NOT GONNA HAPPEN in your very small space, such a beast just does not exist.

One other parameter: your space. IF you had a LOT more space, you could buy a VERY LARGE old lathe in excellent shape for practically nothing. You would however also need the proper foundation and massive electrical panel (3phase) to support such a beast, and you would have to pay for riggers and shipping. Most folks don't have this much available space in their garages, etc...

And my last thought: you probably should visit the hobby machinst web sites, there are thousands of folks on those sites that have the exact same mind-set that you have, want a lathe on the cheap and don't have much space. Maybe some folks there can give you insite into how to aquire and setup such a lathe. Folks on this site are doing professional quality work and just cannot fathom doing work with the kind of machine you will be limited to with your budget and size.

Have you visited the hobby sites lately? I mean, your just a hobby guy with the money to buy good tooling right? :rolleyes5: If I rolled my eyes any harder they would come out of my head.

Your post was very well thought out until you got to the hobby forum part.
 

PeteM

Diamond
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Location
West Coast, USA
Once you get into the specified 2.5 to 3" spindle bore, everything has to become more massive and more expensive - if it is to perform accurately as a lathe.

Huge spindle hardened and ground. Expensive $$$ precision bearings to support it. Larger gearing to drive it. Larger head casting. An expectation that if 2.5-3" plus stock is running through the head, buyers might want enough HP and rigidity to productively cut it. Chucks and collets that rise dramatically in cost as their size goes up.

Just a single decent quality chuck in the D1-6 to D1-8 spindle nose range could cost the $3K. And the machine still won't likely be a combo capable of working as a decent mill and drill press. And not likely to be rolled into a 36" x 60" space. Nor likely for $3K in good working condition, much less with tooling. A hundred of us would be waiting in line with more money should such a metal cutting unicorn appear.

As others have suggested, it will be useful to moderate expectations rather than insist on searching for a machine that doesn't exist. There are entirely usable machines out there in the used market, but with more like half the spindle bore, a bit longer, without impersonating milling and drilling machines as well.
 

Sparkynutz

Plastic
Joined
Mar 4, 2022
Sparkynutz,
Looks like the usual dead beats and hog washers are here in force tonight.
Don't let them run you off. You CAN get good, serious advice here but you have to sort through the trash sometimes..
What is your location?
There is what looks like a pretty nice little Sheldon showed up on Minneapolis Craigslist tonight. Doesn't have the spindle bore you want but...
What I want to know is the brand/model tractor you keep.
I have one of my Ford tractors in my wife's stall. Have to pay her $50 a month to rent it.

Thanks for the reply!
My tractor is a Kubota Bx1870. Pretty small unit but plenty for around the house and hunting land.
I live near Madison.
I drove almost 6 hours to buy it for a smoking deal and paid cash. Intended on spending $5-7k but after driving all over looking at junk I found the tractor I bought. 3 yrs old with 24hrs on it for $10k with mower and loader. Glad I held out for what I wanted and put a lot more into extra implements since.
I'm sure Lathe shopping won't be any different and have no problem holding out for the right machine. My nearest lathe project is building bushings for a forklift mast so I can tear out a bunch of sidewalk sections easily and replace in about 2 months when I pour another section of driveway to my detatched garage/shop.
During winter months my wife has a van and a car in the 24x24 house garage and I keep my truck, motorcycle,tractor and atvs in my shop garage.
During the summer the vehicles sit out, detached garage is always full of projects with the atvs tractor and Motorcycle moved to the house garage along with a pile of bicycles and my zero turn thats stored in a shed at my hunting land each winter.
Eventually I'll build a bigger shed out there and keep more out there leaving more room for shop equipment.
 

PDW

Diamond
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Location
Australia (Hobart)
Once you get into the specified 2.5 to 3" spindle bore, everything has to become more massive and more expensive - if it is to perform accurately as a lathe.

Yep. I'm buying a DS&G lathe with a 2.5" spindle bore. 16"+ swing, 48" between centres, 7.5HP 3 phase motor.

It's 10' long and masses 2.2 tonnes.

Pretty typical of a lathe with that size bore.

The OP is going to have to change one or more of his criteria else it's going to be a very, very long wait.

Shrug. Not my problem. If he doesn't want to believe us, that's on him.

PDW
 

BT Fabrication

Stainless
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Not to be on topic or anything like that, but the OP did express that they wouldn’t mind saving up to a higher price point until their capability requirements were met. What is the smallest lathe with a 3” spindle through hole? How do driveshaft shops do this, or do they all have a monster lathe on hand?

You all mention cutting down a big lathe. Not a small task, but I’ve seen that on a factory Clausing Colchester. It was whatever the next size or two up from the 15”x50” is. The shop it was in had a couple 15x50s and needed more diameter but didn’t have the floor space for a 20x80. They special ordered it as a 20x50ish, but it was very clear looking at it that the factory had simply cut down a longer bed and put on a shorter lead screw.

YES most driveshaft shops have a bed on a 20" lathe that is about 8-10 ft long or about 15 ft long total with it weighing in about 8000# or more
 

BT Fabrication

Stainless
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Thanks for the reply!
My tractor is a Kubota Bx1870. Pretty small unit but plenty for around the house and hunting land.
I live near Madison.
I drove almost 6 hours to buy it for a smoking deal and paid cash. Intended on spending $5-7k but after driving all over looking at junk I found the tractor I bought. 3 yrs old with 24hrs on it for $10k with mower and loader. Glad I held out for what I wanted and put a lot more into extra implements since.
I'm sure Lathe shopping won't be any different and have no problem holding out for the right machine. My nearest lathe project is building bushings for a forklift mast so I can tear out a bunch of sidewalk sections easily and replace in about 2 months when I pour another section of driveway to my detatched garage/shop.
During winter months my wife has a van and a car in the 24x24 house garage and I keep my truck, motorcycle,tractor and atvs in my shop garage.
During the summer the vehicles sit out, detached garage is always full of projects with the atvs tractor and Motorcycle moved to the house garage along with a pile of bicycles and my zero turn thats stored in a shed at my hunting land each winter.
Eventually I'll build a bigger shed out there and keep more out there leaving more room for shop equipment.

so a couple bushings, but will need to spend thousands to make it?
so yes, most spindles aren't that large when the bed is only 36". most parts are only held between centers and the chuck fyi.
through spindle bores are all in relation to the chuck size. most 3" are well over 20" diameter chucks. and that is why they are not short. my 16x80 between centers is close to 12-13 ft long and 4500 lbs and 5hp to turn that amount of iron to speeds like 2000rpms.

find a good hobby engine lathe that is about 13x36 or similar with a 10" chuck. lots of standard modern out there, but be willing to spend $8000 ish to get it and another $1000 to move it into the shop.

or you just source it to a local shop for $50-100 once a year or so, and invest the other $9000 in something else with a better return rate of %10 a year.
 

Milacron

Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 15, 2000
Location
SC, USA
Have you visited the hobby sites lately? I mean, your just a hobby guy with the money to buy good tooling right? :rolleyes5: If I rolled my eyes any harder they would come out of my head.

Your post was very well thought out until you got to the hobby forum part.
As long as folks were discussing machines like Emco Maximat and Rusnock I let it slide but now as deterioated into forbidden zones.. locky poo time...
 
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