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    Default Help me spend $75k for my dream machine shop...

    Hello to the group,

    I recently retired early and Iím in the process of deciding on what tools and equipment to buy to get my dream home machine shop setup. My budget for the first year is $75,000. I need some help with what equipment will be optimal to get me started. I want to make tools for my metal studio, accessories and select parts for my Ferrari and SonderKlasse Benz and various things for our home that we are currently remodelling.

    Ever since I was a wee lad in middle school, I have wanted to have a machine shop. Iíve spent most of my life in insurance/real estate sales (20 years) and as a professional full-time studio woodturner (20 more years). Since I retired, I have decided to chart a new course with metal turning/milling and fabrication, instead of woodworking.

    Whilst I have loved my two decades standing behind my beloved Oneway 2436 wood lathe and turning pieces up to 48Ē in diameter, the time is right for me to complete a goal I have had since I was 14 years old... To setup a machine shop and learn to be a machinist. I have always loved math, producing things myself and the science of precision metrology.

    I have been researching tools and equipment for the last couple of years and my initial thought is to buy a new Precision Matthews 1640 TL 3ph Ultra Precision lathe (Taiwan not mainland China) ($~15k with basic tooling, power feeds etc.) and a new PM 1054TS 3ph Ultra Precision Vertical Mill (Taiwan) (~$10- $12k) with basic equipment instead of getting used equipment and restoring it. Any thoughts on the PM equipment thatís made in Taiwan? Other manufacturers to consider with my budget?

    Whilst I have a fully equipped wood turning studio ($65k in equipment and tools), I do not have any equipment restoration experience. Also, I need running tools to be able to rebuild/restore older equipment that I purchase in the future, like a surface grinder, Deckel universal grinder, vertical bandsaw, etc.

    So, hereís my initial budget: $75,000 all in first year...

    Lathe and Mill plus basic tooling, rotary phase converter and rigging/transport cost:

    $40,000 give or take a few thou...

    That leaves $35,000 left for assorted tools, milling cutters, boring bars, collets, jigs, a good supply of various metals and metrology related equipment. I already have a bit of Mitutoyo things like three digital mics and a two column height gauge. I also have a black granite surface plate (grade A) coming (18Ē x 24 x 3Ē) on the way.

    What I need help with is jigs and fixtures like a rotary table, dividing head, hold down jigs, additional measuring equipment, a high precision collet set, ultra precision chucks, a digital boring head and kit for insert tooling. I prefer ultra high precision equipment over lesser quality equipment. Any favourite brands that I should look at?

    So, if you had a lathe and a mill with only the basic equipment from the equipment manufacturer, how would you spend $35k on for all of the rest of the equipment you need to hit the ground running? I will be doing various work (including making accessories/parts for the Ferrari and Benz), so a broad bit of kit will be needed to cover my bases. I know this endeavour is none too cheap and Iím willing to pay for high quality equipment and tools. Buy the best and cry once!

    I have some limited metal turning and milling experience (as a teenager), as well as welding experience with stick, Mig and Tig. I also routinely wrench on my cars and have a broad experience with remodelling homes. I have extensive experience with sharpening systems (I have eight different systems - four dry grinders and four wet grinders). I also have tons of tools for many other things, but alas not much for a machine shop. I would greatly appreciate your advice to point me in the right direction for some of the supplemental bits of tools and related kit. My plan is to add a CNC lathe and mill next year to expand my capabilities.

    Thanks and Cheers!

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    crikey!

    I reckon you'd be ahead to spend some of that chunk on a machining course at a local community college or similar. That'll give you a feel for what you like/ don't like about certain machines, what metrology equipment you need now vs. maybe in the future and also give you the awareness of how easily these things can hurt you, so you don't end up wrapped around your lathe.

    Other than that I'll leave specific recommendations to people who know more about it than I do. Either way, you're in for a lifetime of learning - there's always something more challenging to master!

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    What equipment you buy is largely dictated by what you need to do and what level of quality you like.

    New manual machines are expensive for lack of demand. Same money goes much further with top notch used machines, but you have to educate yourself.

    How shiny or new a machine is doesn't correlate with quality or capability.

    For basic hobby retirement automotive parts I would want a 40x20 sized CNC mill and a good CAD/CAM package. A tight Asian copy of a Bridgeport mill with a good DRO. A 16" manual lathe with atleast 6 ft between centers.

    I would shop for deals on used top name machines and try to buy with tooling. $75k would easily cover those machines in nice used shape.

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    You could take a part time job in a machine shop, a small portion of that 75k would buy a nice little fishing boat, poles, gear and a bunch of gas & beer.

    Getting a better Idea of the kind/size/quantity of parts and materials you are wanting to make will be key in figuring out how to guide you.

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    We have a retail machine sales shop here that deals in top-quality used machines, likely you have the same in texas.


    The PM is a nice-looking machine but I have not run one.
    PM-1640TL 16X40″ ULTRA PRECISION TAIWAN HEAVY DUTY METAL LATHE FREE SHIP! DRO | eBay

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    If you have an equipment dealer and have cash they can provide a usually good selection of old to new iron with support.

    A good monarch can be purchased for less than new import and will be far better and hold value.

    Your dealer can possibly provide ready to go units.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

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    Default Thanks for your reply...

    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    crikey!

    I reckon you'd be ahead to spend some of that chunk on a machining course at a local community college or similar. That'll give you a feel for what you like/ don't like about certain machines, what metrology equipment you need now vs. maybe in the future and also give you the awareness of how easily these things can hurt you, so you don't end up wrapped around your lathe.

    Other than that I'll leave specific recommendations to people who know more about it than I do. Either way, you're in for a lifetime of learning - there's always something more challenging to master!
    I do have a bit of experience with a Bridgeport mill and a manual metal lathe from my teenage years. Our next door neighbour was a master gunsmith (and a machinists mate in the Navy during WWII) and I started helping him in his workshop when I was twelve years old during the summers.

    We bored custom rifle barrels, drilled and tapped for scopes, bedded stocks and built custom rifles, as well as pistols. We also produced custom ammo and cast bullets as well. He had a well stocked machine shop in his car park and I hung out there every chance I could...

    With Covid and the major remodelling we are doing on our home now, there is no time for classes. Luckily, I have some experience to build on (I occasionally see blokes restoring the same mill I used as a teenager on YouTube) and my 20 years of full time turning behind a wood lathe will help as well.

    I do appreciate your assistance and I sincerely thank you for your comments!

    Cheers!

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    Garwood... Thanks for your comments... My preference for a new lathe and mill was because I have no experience checking machinery for wear and tear. If I have a solid lathe and mill, I can tackle some restoration work on other used equipment.

    My use of the lathe and mill for the Ferrari and the Benz would be limited to smaller items (they are both still under warranty, so anything major the dealer will handle) and accessories, so I think a 16Ēx40Ē lathe should suit me well. Iím not sure if I could fit a six foot bed length lathe in my available space...

    Also, I have other space considerations as my car park is only about 1,000 sqft and two cars are parked in there as well.

    Thanks so much!

    Cheers!

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    The first thing I'd buy is a Phase perfect to run the machines. If you decide to go CNC or electronics in the future you are covered. I'm a woodworking guy who is morphing into metalworking like you but I've rehabbed so many wood machines I have little desire for anything new and " value engineered". In the 15K for a mill or lathe i would at least look at both new and used. Mori Seiki or Korean clone, Schaublin, Monarch, or other high end stuff. There is a ton of work needed to bring back a 3K machine but at 15K and a little patience you can get into the 50K+ new area. Worth a shot. When you get used to seeing how the good stuff used to be made, it is tough to go with lesser new, even if it is the rational choice. Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by kustomizer View Post
    You could take a part time job in a machine shop, a small portion of that 75k would buy a nice little fishing boat, poles, gear and a bunch of gas & beer.

    Getting a better Idea of the kind/size/quantity of parts and materials you are wanting to make will be key in figuring out how to guide you.
    That takes me back... Ah, I loved my boats! As for the cars, I would like to make accessories for them and small parts as needed. For example, my Ferrari has Oz racing rims with Titanium lug bolts. I want to make threaded Titanium rods to insert into the bolt hole, so itís easier to remove the heavy rims without damage to the cc disks.

    You can buy them, but I prefer to make my own. If you damage the carbon ceramic disks, itís a stack of real money to replace them... Parts alone for the front carbon disks (must be replaced in sets) and pads are ~$11,500.00 (not including labour)... So a simple threaded and tapered Titanium rod to help support the weight of the massive tires when removing them is good insurance!

    Also, my Ferrari has 11 threaded bolts that hold the underbody aero shield. These are steel with a black oxide finish. I want to turn them out of Titanium or Stainless steel and replace the regular steel ones. Plus things like a custom inlaid oil filler cap. You get the idea. No engine or suspension work, or DCT/gearbox parts.

    As for other things, lots of tools and jigs for the lathe and mill. Also I would like to make simple car parts for friends in the Ferrari club and Benz club who have older cars and need milled or pressed brackets and specialty screws and bolts that are hard to find, or are no longer made.

    Also, I enjoy gourmet cooking, so I want to make some items to assist me in the kitchen when cooking, such as stainless steel shallow sheet pans that are custom made to fit the Gaggenau convection oven and steam convection oven, as well as the Irinox blast chiller and the shock freezer.

    Lastly, I want to help small startups with prototype work, which will be one of my main focus areas... So a mixed bad for sure, but nothing super large in size, or thousands of anything. No doubt other things will be added, but you get a general idea of my initial needs.

    Cheers!

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    Thanks so much for your reply! Iím planning on getting most of the big equipment in 3 phase, so a converter will be needed. My Oneway lathe is 3 phase with a VFD that runs on 220v, but I want a better option like a rotary converter for the metal equipment. I have not heard of Phase Perfect, I will check them out.

    One thing that concerns me about some of the old iron lathes is the top speed. I want to use some indexable carbide and CBN cutters and they seem to like higher speeds and feeds. I watched a YouTube video of a bloke who restored a old big iron lathe and he said the top speed was only 800 RPM, IIRC... Isnít that too low for optimal use of carbide and CBN cutters?

    Cheers!

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    Buy a Haas TM2P and a manual lathe. That combo can build almost anything on Godís green earth. I havenít had the need or desire to have a manual mill in decades.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    One of my concerns about a used lathe like a Monarch, or a similar big iron icon is being able to inspect it properly for wear and tear and the top speed of the lathe. I want to use indexable carbide, CBN and diamond coated carbide cutters. Everything I read says these need high speed and feed rates. The older lathes Iíve seen seem to have low top speeds... Will a lathe that only turns at lower speeds do well with the cutters I want to use?

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Monticello; 03-12-2021 at 12:57 AM. Reason: Revised info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by G00 Proto View Post
    Buy a Haas TM2P and a manual lathe. That combo can build almost anything on Godís green earth. I havenít had the need or desire to have a manual mill in decades.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thanks, I will check out the Haas TM2P. Looks like it might be a solution for me!

    Cheers!

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    I'd still check out the Webb, Whatcheon, Takisawa, Mori Seiki type 17x40 machines. top speed in the 1800 rpm range. They show up at dealers like Machinery Consultants, MachineryValues, etc. I'm not recommending any dealers but you will get an idea of the top price end of the market ( they will be high price ). private sale will be less and if you get lucky and find a machine guy who takes care of his stuff and will give you a fair assessment of machine's precision, the knowledge will be useful. Dave

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    First the OP is off on his cost estimate by an order of magnitude. No offence meant here, but naivety it expensive. Not only the wrong machines can be purchased, but machine priorities will likely be wrong as well. So guidance from an experienced machinist will be necessary. I'm sure the OP can locate one near him for the required help. Tool acquisition for a hobby shop is not the same as for a commercial shop. New machines can be written off over time with taxes and such. Not so for a hobby. The true cost of any machine is not represented by the machine itself, the rest of the real cost is tooling and accessories, at least 50%. The best method of acquisition is to work off a wish list, which you must be prepared to change over time as your knowledge increases. The purchases you make should be based on opportunity and price more than anything else. Buying new is almost always wrong. The best deals are auctions, deaths and bankruptcies. Chase those. This quest is fun, do not deny yourself. To do this you must have your shop space ready and cash in hand. Try to buy well tooled old quality iron. Do not be in a rush! Remember also that these machines must be fed with material, so you will also need material storage, a horizontal band saw to cut your stored material. Much of what you will be doing will be doing fabrication as well, so you will need a vertical band saw, plasma cutter and welding equipment. As a hobbyist you will be using HSS tools much more than carbide and you will need to grind your own form tools, so you will need tool grinding machines and stone dressers. The list goes on. This shop will never be plug & play. You will build this over time. That too is part of the hobby.

    One more very important point. As a hobbyist, your machine and tool choices should center on capability over efficiency. The object here is to be able to do as opposed to profit from. For instance, you will want to be able to use your lathe as a horizontal boring mill as well as a lathe. You will want your mill to be a universal, as opposed to either a horizontal or a vertical, because at the end of the day, the most expensive commodity in your shop will be space.

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    quite an odd thread this one... metalworking machine shop to maintain a Ferrari and a Benz that are still on warranty, and wants to start with manual machines with little to no machining experience? I can't think of many things that go wrong with couple year old cars these days that you'd need lathe/mill to make a replacement or repair something...

    If keeping yourself busy with a hobby in retirement is the goal, then I think a much better idea would be to attend one or two of Richard Kings classes on machine rebuilding and scraping, then buy a used machine worth of restoration and set off on rebuilding it - you'll keep yourself busy for a year or two, obtain lots of skills and knowledge that will be useful working with metal and end up with a machine that you'll trust, because I doubt that the 17k spent on a new 16x40 lathe will bring you lots of joy, more likely you'll get more and more depressed using it as your skill grows and you'll start to figure out what you actually have bought

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    Quote Originally Posted by Monticello View Post
    my initial thought is to buy a new Precision Matthews...
    Save yerself the grief.

    Keep the money. Drive a rusty nail through yer dick. Scoot around in circles.
    That way, you can still afford something to take yer mind off the pain.

    You wouldn't mistoook a BBQ rotisserie spit for a WOOD lathe would you?



    "Ab initio shortcuts" - off the back of VERY superficial research - just do not wear all that well in the real-steel and expensive alloys and exotics craft.

    FIRST... find you a War ONE era Hendey "tie bar".

    Fix it up. It is neither hard nor expensive. More than just a few examples, and plenty of support "Right here, on PM".

    Hendey Lathe and Patrick Black

    There are more. Google it.

    If that IS too hard?
    You are in and out cheaply.
    And off to some other dream that fits you better.. with a LOT more money with which to chase it.

    If, rather, the exercise brings you pride in a job well-done, and the joy of it actually being USEFUL?

    You have your "first" real LATHE!

    One that doesn't need any apology for easily another hundred-plus years.

    Now you can continue learning. Keep it. Trade it. Peddle it. Go all CNC. Buy a "nearly new" Webb, Hwacheon, etc. Real-deal Asians, IOW... Not "LSO's"

    Whatever.

    That basic.

    You'll HAVE "the basics" by the time you rebuild that first METAL lathe.

    And still have most of the money to make FAR wiser choices with.

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    Say, you will get too many different answers, no exact right one.

    I am also building my retirement shop. Only difference is I started machining 40 years ago and got maybe 20,000 hrs experience. The pros here will say I am still new at it.

    My route may be of help to you.

    Mill - Sharp taper 40 knee mill, box ways, for 15K new. WAY more mill than your selection. Plan on installing a southwest industries ProtoTrak CNC control - have not priced it yet - another 15K. I suggest this for you as it leaves a basic CNC option open.

    I am going used on the lathe - a Monarch 10EE. Finest piece of american iron ever made. I will need to add a new VFD drive to it and DROs. paid $2500 for the machine at auction after rebuild and tooling i will have 10K in it. Again, light years more machine than your asian lathe. But, like you say, got to rebuild an old used lathe.

    I will get a roll-in bandsaw - VERY versatile. I would really suggest this one at about 5K.

    I will get a Miller blue box MIG TIG stick welder have not priced as i am looking gently used but $5K will cover this.

    I do sandblasting so i need a big air compressor - 7.5 hp quincy will cost me $3K.

    I will make my own shop press using an enerpac pump and hydraulic unit - gives me option for lots of other things

    Lots of other misc stuff will end up taking another $20 K

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl_T View Post
    Say, you will get too many different answers, no exact right one.

    I am also building my retirement shop. Only difference is I started machining 40 years ago and got maybe 20,000 hrs experience. The pros here will say I am still new at it.

    My route may be of help to you.

    Mill - Sharp taper 40 knee mill, box ways, for 15K new. WAY more mill than your selection. Plan on installing a southwest industries ProtoTrak CNC control - have not priced it yet - another 15K. I suggest this for you as it leaves a basic CNC option open.

    I am going used on the lathe - a Monarch 10EE. Finest piece of american iron ever made. I will need to add a new VFD drive to it and DROs. paid $2500 for the machine at auction after rebuild and tooling i will have 10K in it. Again, light years more machine than your asian lathe. But, like you say, got to rebuild an old used lathe.

    I will get a roll-in bandsaw - VERY versatile. I would really suggest this one at about 5K.

    I will get a Miller blue box MIG TIG stick welder have not priced as i am looking gently used but $5K will cover this.

    I do sandblasting so i need a big air compressor - 7.5 hp quincy will cost me $3K.

    I will make my own shop press using an enerpac pump and hydraulic unit - gives me option for lots of other things

    Lots of other misc stuff will end up taking another $20 K
    Only observation I can add is that the 20" c-to-c of 10EE is too often a "show stopper".

    The mere ten inches more daylight of the HBX-360-BC (nominally a 14" X 30", and not surprisingly @ 40,000 shipped and still going as a CNC "teach in" Optica, is close to the very common mass-market 30" and 40" volume-production "sweet spot" of ever-so-many "medium" industrial lathes) opens FAR more options than a still relatively short "extra" span might first hint at.

    Over 40 years? You've been there, arredy, I am sure.

    Even an old cone-head as second lathe - with a long bed, perhaps also larger swing, simple, slow, low-powered, and ponderous or not.. might earn its floor space - even if a layout or inspection plate lives on the end of the ways most months of the year?



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