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  1. #1
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    Default Core machines needed

    Back ground- I own an operate a millwork shop making parts for old houses, run a couple moulders, buy, sell and rebuild equipment for myself and a steady flow of customers.

    My biggest bottle neck is now my local machine shop (or any other ones for that matter) everyone is several months out.

    That's not good when I need to get a customers equipment back on line for them fast.

    I am considering starting to offer in house machining. I have a few potential guys that I could hire on a PT basis to start out.

    What do I really need to cover the basics?

    I had a SB 13" precision lathe with 7 foot bed, it seemed lackluster to me so I sold it.

    I assume core machines would be a decent sized lathe, a mill and a smallish surface grinder?

    Any particular models that would be good to look for? I guess most mills are some variant of a Bport clone.

    Feel free to flame away if needed.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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    Mr Green,
    This is the shop management and owner issues forum, your post is actually better suited to the general forum unless you want feedback on your business model, which in my opinion could be workable.

    I have extensive experience fixing woodworking machinery and I have a well equipped machine shop for my fabrication work.
    If you are not able to do the repair work yourself with the equipment that you want to buy then it may not work to hire someone to use the equipment to do the repairs. Basically unless you can specify exactly what you want to your employee and have the equipment to do the job then don't expect them to magically know how to carry out the repairs with only a few tools. The investment in tooling and other shop equipment to create and then measure etc etc is extensive.

    It takes a pretty well equipped shop to do even simple repairs, the machines are just the beginning, think of it like a moulder without any profile cutters, it can't do much without expensive cutter heads. What you are asking is like someone asking you " hey I have a tablesaw and want to make all the mouldings, windows and cabinets for my house, what other equipment will I need?". It may cross your mind that they might not have all the skills required even if they had the right equipment.

    One important job that often needs doing is replacing bearings, without my 50 ton Dake I would have (and did have) a lot of trouble simply replacing worn bearings. Also common is broken castings that need to be welded, cast iron welding is possible but you need a good welding machine and the right rods etc. (and a lot of patience) There are a real variety of repair jobs and you don't get into any specifics so it will be an impossible task to recommend the required equipment.

    Not all mills are a variant of a bridgeport, I have two mills, a Milwaukee and a Cincinnati, neither of which is anything like a Bridgeport. Both are way bigger, way beefier, way more capable and really nice to use. I paid $750 for the Milwaukee.

    Good luck with your endeavours and feel free to post again in the general forum with a bit more info about what kind of repairs you would be undertaking on a regular basis.

    Michael

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    Being in repair and custom work for many years, my go-to lathe choice would be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 16 to 20" swing, with a large spindle bore (like 3 to 4" through capacity).

    A 10 to 12" diameter chuck is fairly handy if you have to chuck larger parts than just plain shafting in small diameters. The jaws take up a fair portion of the clamping area available, and the longer slides of a bigger chuck give you more room before you have to reverse the jaws, etc.

    The swing over the cross slide of a larger lathe is greater, too, of course, and this is handy. The general rigidity of the bigger machine is a plus for heavy cutting or interrupted cutting on welds, etc.

    The down side of the bigger lathe might be the inertia of the heavy spindle: takes more time to start and stop and you won't want to wind it up to 1500 rpm all that often, So have a small lathe for the small work. Having only one lathe is a bit of a headache: more lathes with different chucks = greater convenience. I used to waste a lot of time changing chucks when I had only one lathe. It would literally pay off to buy two identical lathes, one with a 3 jaw and one with the 4 jaw chuck, so that is what I did. You might regret spending the wad of money up front, but you'll forget about that in convenience factor later on. Of course, you do what you must to get started, that is normal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Moore View Post
    Mr Green,
    This is the shop management and owner issues forum, your post is actually better suited to the general forum unless you want feedback on your business model, which in my opinion could be workable.

    I have extensive experience fixing woodworking machinery and I have a well equipped machine shop for my fabrication work.
    If you are not able to do the repair work yourself with the equipment that you want to buy then it may not work to hire someone to use the equipment to do the repairs. Basically unless you can specify exactly what you want to your employee and have the equipment to do the job then don't expect them to magically know how to carry out the repairs with only a few tools. The investment in tooling and other shop equipment to create and then measure etc etc is extensive.

    It takes a pretty well equipped shop to do even simple repairs, the machines are just the beginning, think of it like a moulder without any profile cutters, it can't do much without expensive cutter heads. What you are asking is like someone asking you " hey I have a tablesaw and want to make all the mouldings, windows and cabinets for my house, what other equipment will I need?". It may cross your mind that they might not have all the skills required even if they had the right equipment.

    One important job that often needs doing is replacing bearings, without my 50 ton Dake I would have (and did have) a lot of trouble simply replacing worn bearings. Also common is broken castings that need to be welded, cast iron welding is possible but you need a good welding machine and the right rods etc. (and a lot of patience) There are a real variety of repair jobs and you don't get into any specifics so it will be an impossible task to recommend the required equipment.

    Not all mills are a variant of a bridgeport, I have two mills, a Milwaukee and a Cincinnati, neither of which is anything like a Bridgeport. Both are way bigger, way beefier, way more capable and really nice to use. I paid $750 for the Milwaukee.

    Good luck with your endeavours and feel free to post again in the general forum with a bit more info about what kind of repairs you would be undertaking on a regular basis.

    Michael
    I can copy my OP and put it in the general area.

    I will leave the brazing to my guy that does it for my now.

    I have a couple arbor presses, welders, bandsaws, etc.

    What I am really lacking is a lathe, mill and surface grinder. I know more stuff will be needed, OD grinder, etc.

    Yesterday i needed a spacer, all work has come to a halt until my local shop can get to it.

    It's my bottle neck right now.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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    I'm certainly not seeing why this question is out of line for this board?


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    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    I would recommend the following:
    16" lathe for you bigger stuff $5-25K
    6 - 12" lathe for small stuff. $3-6K
    B-port clone, or common (read: inexpensive) milling machine. $2-5K
    6 x 12 - 18" surface grinder. $0.5- 1.5K

    The tooling would be about $2-20K depending on what you need, and can locate on the gently used market.

    Doug.

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    I can see it fit here or there.

    I don't really care if I sink 10k into some equipment, if it saves me time waiting on stuff. It's not different than having a tool room in a millshop.

    I think I can keep a guy busy with what I need, plus maybe other stuff?

    As to the mills, had a 2HL. Great mill, but slow set up for one off parts/repairs.



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    Update, bought a nice South Bend 13" lathe with 6 foot bed, I found it underpowered so I sold it. Moved out of 7000 sqft into 23k sqft shop. Has a great spot for metalworking area. Took a chance on a couple machines this week that were close and cheap. I was pleasantly surprised when I picked them up, they may actually turn out to be decent machines. Got a Hendey 14x54 for 350.00 with a fair bit of accessories and a G&L No.30 with an Eaton mag chuck for 100 bucks.

    I wont be out anything if they end up being broken or worn out.



    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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    I think the lathe may be pretty nice, visually nothing is broken, gears all sound good turning by hand. Needs new sight glasses, leaks a bit needs a bit more cleaning.

    Have to swap reversing starter out due to the apparent rarity of older AH 240v coils. I do have 480v, just not real convenient to use yet, plus I don't like 480v at the buttons.

    Had a AB reversing starter laying around with 120v coils and the lathe just happens to have a control transformer on it already.

    Basically need to do same thing to grinder before I can test it too.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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    Had to get the Hendey set up and running this weekend. Learned I can't rely on others for things I need. I am a total newbie, but I made some chips and started to get familiar with the apron controls.

    I still have a lot to learn and I need bigger tools holders.

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    I think you have set up pretty well......I was in the same field for years...industrial maintenance and repair.....and without your own machines to make parts ,you cant do anything in a reasonable time frame......One big advantage is that if the part turns out a bit rough ,doesnt matter ,as you will be fitting it and no one will be the wiser.....A lot of guys in this field try to get through with fitting all new parts.....if available ,it turns out very costly ,and lots of customers have a dollar limit on what they are prepared to pay for the service.

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    Like everything in life what you buy, you will not need, what you pass on will be needed.
    Machines will be cheap unless you need them.
    Good deal come along when you don't want them.

    A good lathe with large through spindle is great, 10-15" is where most of my stuff falls into.
    Had a 21" gap for the larger stuff...
    Hardinge for smaller precision items you don;t want to fight on the other lathes.

    Bridgeport is not robust...but highly adaptable to do a great deal of work.



    Saws, horizontal band to cut larger lengths, vertical for shapes.

    Bench grinders for custom tooling and sharpening.
    Belt Sander...3" or so is almost invaluable for tweaking, de burring.

    Drill presses...sometimes better and faster to use then a Bridgeport, smaller one to bring to larger work. Magnetic when its big.n heavy.

    Arbor press
    Hydraulic Press

    Hand grinders, hand tools and measuring tools and gauge blocks to calibrate them.

    Calipers

    OD Mics- 0-6"
    Depth mics
    ID mics or tube mics
    height gauge
    surface plate

    Tooling, inserts, holders...


    Auctions can be your friend Or enemy depending on how you buy.

    Good luck to you.

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    I have a buddy that needs a place to store/use some of his equipment so I will be bringing in a couple vertical mills, another lathe, an iron worker and a couple welders soon. Just need to make the time as I can't keep up with work currently.

    Been a fun trip so far.

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    It only took three tries until I got this motor shaft correct. I guess you have to actually buy the hunk of steel to get it right, the first two attempts were with moulder shafts I had laying around. Yes, I made the actual shaft end of the motor a bit longer. Be helpful in getting the placement of the motor right on the BS it goes on.

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    Looks like there's some smear on the OEM shaft that you failed to duplicate properly.


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    Ox

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  26. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    Looks like there's some smear on the OEM shaft that you failed to duplicate properly.


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    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox
    Maybe the 4th time will be the charm.

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    A knob. Handy thing this Hendey is.

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    Nice...it's cool what can be done with the right tools.

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