Picking a basement hobby machine shop - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by EPAIII View Post
    Gentlemen, we obviously have a hobbyist here, and a beginner hobbyist at that. He has not said one single word about setting up a commercial, money making shop. I will grant you that he is in the wrong place so the first piece of advise that should be offered to him is the web address of a board that is more suitable to his situation. Digger-doug suggested one and I will offer another:

    Forums -

    The Home Shop Machinist & Machinist's Workshop Magazine's BBS


    I think he will be more at home in either of these BBs. And there are others that are more suited to his present needs. I will also offer the suggestion to the OP that he should take the time to read the rules of any BB that he joins before posting there. Many boards have unique situations and therefore, unique rules.

    Steve, as to your advise I would suggest that it is a bit too harsh to be giving to a beginner hobbyist. It is great, even almost perfect for a person who is starting a pro shop. I would agree, up to a point at least, that purchasing the hobby style, imported machines, most of which are from China or other Pacific Ring countries, is not a good idea for a professional shop where things like reliability, accuracy, and longevity are very important. The machines in such an environment are expected to perform day after day, month after month, year after year. They are expected to make parts with the least amount of trouble and with the required accuracy. There is no place for a machine that has to be babied and coaxed into doing it's job.

    But I did say, " up to a point". A professional shop is in business to MAKE MONEY, not to collect high quality machines. The machines that such a shop needs are the ones that will give the best return on investment when all factors are considered. For instance, it is easily possible to envision a professional shop that must make a simple part or parts. Perhaps these parts are not required in great quantity, but they must be made in a timely fashion when needed or ordered. Such a shop may indeed make use of a less expensive machine that can produce acceptable parts. And the purchase of a more expensive, high quality machine may make those parts far more expensive. That would destroy the profitability of that shop. So, with all due apologies to those who disagree, I do feel that even the Chinese import machines can have a role in not just the hobbyist shops, but also, in some circumstances, in professional, money making shops.

    I know the feelings of those who control this board and I do respect them. I do understand that professional machinists who are "on the job" do not have the time to read and answer the endless repetition of the same basic questions of the beginner hobbyist. But my feeling is that any machine that fits into the financial picture of a given business or shop and that produces acceptable results in that frame of reference, IS a professional machine. I personally do not care where that machine was manufactured or what the price tag on it was. It it makes money in a professional shop, then it is, by definition, a professional machine. But again, that is not the rule here and I do respect the rules of the board. And I say go easy on the hobbyists who stumble in. I politely try to redirect then to more suitable boards.
    I think your advise is also valid. Perhaps the OP should spend some time on the hobby forums if for no other reason other than a comparison between forums. However, it is wrong to assume that all hobbyists fit a generic definition. We do not know enough to define the OP and most likely, the OP doesn't know yet how to define himself. He is, after all, just beginning. As an example, I am a hobbyist in so much as I am the only customer of my shop. My shop though is a professional shop. I have more equipment and tooling than many professional shops that earn their crust with their shop. In that light, I disagree with your definition of a professional shop. My professional shop exists not to make money. It exists to allow me to CONVENIENTLY make what I want, when I want it. Let there be no doubt in your mind, it is financially impractical, but for convenience, necessary. Further, if I wish to make professional products, I also need professional machines and the skills to use them. Professional shops are almost all CNC today. High quality manual professional machines are scrapped or usually sold for scrap prices. Some of those are junk, but many just need a little TLC and these machines are sold for MUCH less than small hobby machines. Those little SB 9" machines still sell for premium money and most are all clapped out. Now compare those prices with larger, heavier commercial machines and there is no argument where the deal is. So for clarity, I repeat my advise, the most expensive commodity in acquiring a machine shop is space and power.

  2. #22
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    QT OP: [I already have is a worn Bridgeport and an even more worn Seneca falls screw....]
    Both decent machines even with wear..You might ask about certain machining task and get good advice.
    Basement lathe likely start 1,500 to 2,000.
    Guys here get ticked off with the word hobby...and yet some hobby guys have real and quality machines and do fine work.
    Do choose real and quality machines like Logan/south bend or better.

    The main problem with hobby is guys who won't even read How to Run a Lathe or watch YouTube enough to get past the hobby questions so may ruin a site with the very same question a thousand times.

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    Look around and get familiar with 3 phase power. Many very good small machines go cheap because they have 3 phase motors. I bought a 600V 3 Phase Bridgeport for $1500 with readouts and 208 V 3 phase Hardinge HLVH well equipped for $3000. They had gone begging since they were 3 phase. For the Hardinge I built a rotary phase converter for about $300 in used parts. For the Bridgeport I purchased a small lighting step-down transformer and a VFD used, about $350.

    Now I have two very good machines with little wear at less than hobby machine prices. Having owned cheap machines it is not worth the effort when you need to make accurate parts. I mechanically restore pre-war Rolls-Royce cars so I make a fair number of parts and tools. On that thought, get a TIG welder if you have the need, very handy doing repairs or making odd tools.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
    Have not had to disassemble any yet, but did pass on the big jig bore machine because that would be the only way to get it in
    What, you don't want to cut a hole in your kitchen floor? Just reinforce the joists and throw a rug.

    I visited a PM'er who has just that. There are a set of outside double doors off the kitchen and he lowers through the floor with a fork truck and boom. The clearance issues of it all must be quite a challenge. It does not help that the staircase is in the path of the door and machine area. There are Five Moore jig borers down there, and a bunch of other machines - all of them industrial class, except the washer and dryer.

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  8. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by crossthread View Post
    I'm not sure he means he is equipping a basement shop. He said FROM a basement shop. Correct me if I misunderstood.
    I see there is alot of confusion. I'm buying things out of a basement. I have a steel pole barn and plenty of space. I already have a Bridgeport and lathe so I don't know if I would be buying a smaller ones unless it's a great deal. My question is more like small stuff that I have to dig through boxes for. Like something many older machinists would have that are a good tool to get and at a good price.

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  10. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Budget? View Post
    I...My question is more like small stuff that I have to dig through boxes for. Like something many older machinists would have that are a good tool to get and at a good price.
    Then bring along an older machinist. 1) they know what they're looking at, 2) they already have that stuff so they won't
    try to outbid you for it.

    I'd offer to go with but obviously live near nowhwere near you.

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  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim rozen View Post
    Then bring along an older machinist. 1) they know what they're looking at, 2) they already have that stuff so they won't
    try to outbid you for it.

    I'd offer to go with but obviously live near nowhwere near you.
    That sounds like a good idea but I don't know very many of them.

  13. #28
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    Go back and get the rotab and any still sharp tooling. If you can get the collets separated from other dross grab them too. Any vises resembling a Kurt would be a good thing to scope out...
    Joe

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    Probably doesn't change chucks too often.
    mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Rogers View Post
    Go back and get the rotab and any still sharp tooling. If you can get the collets separated from other dross grab them too. Any vises resembling a Kurt would be a good thing to scope out...
    Joe
    I ended up with an amount of 5c collets, some Jacob flex collets and the chuck for it, an 8" four jaw chuck made in japan, and then an Ellis dividing head with I think a full set of plates. I had previously bought a BS dividing head the trunion type when I went back to the place I found the box of change gears and the faceplate and such. I got much more that I can remember but those are some off the top of my head. Thanks for the input even tho I didn't realize I was in the wrong forum. I'll make sure I do it right next time.


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