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New lathe/mill

Discussion in 'A BEGINNER'S FORUM (Learn How To Machine Here!)' started by gregc, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. gregc

    gregc United States Iron Registered Member

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    Greetings
    I am basically a newbie, but had done limited machining while in college. I am considering doing some more machining as I am planning to retire and a couple years and thought it would be a good hobby to get into.

    I am debating what to buy for my first mill/lathe. I could get older machines that are in decent shape (saw a SB 1002 recently at a good price) or buy something new (maybe the PM1030). I think the small cheap machines would make more frustration that good output. I am thinking that around 2K each is about right for the size machine I would like from a budget and space consideration.

    Any recommendations on old or new and maybe any other considerations in limiting the choices. There are so many choices and many can be found at a lower price w/ patience. I live in the Dallas area and wondered if there are good resources here.

    Thanks
    Greg
     
  2. gregc

    gregc United States Iron Registered Member

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    BTW I was thinking of doing a CNC mod in the future (electrical engineer).

    The thing that seems odd that that even modern lathes use gears/transmissions for threading. Many of the new machines had a brushless DC motor so why not drive the lead screw with another BLDC or stepper motor. A simple computer could then simply calculate the relative angles to arrive at any thread pitch desired (and repeatable start angles). If I am doing threads I like to run the machine 'backwards' so that I thread from the chuck out so I don't have to worry about the tool hitting the chuck. Alternately the CNC can take care of all of these issues like looking at the dial to start.
     
  3. jamby

    jamby United States Active Member Active Member

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    Well that's a tough question it varys so much from person to person. If your going to retire soon will you be staying in your home or is your wife planning to move? I retired and moved out of the city to get away from the local tax crazed officials. That allowed me to build a much bigger shop and hence larger machines.
    Old or new? I lean towards new since they can cut metric threads, have higher speeds for carbide and if lucky there are parts available. But I do have both in my lathes, one is 1946 Sheldon, other a 2000 Enco chinese. But my mill is a Bridgeport clone with 3 axis cnc and Linuxcnc.
    Price and availability are the main considerations. If you want to do machinist work for a hobby you might will require a bit of space both for the machine and the supplies and tooling, power saw, bench grinder, tool holders, etc.
    Smaller the machine smaller the tools.

    Jim
     
  4. gregc

    gregc United States Iron Registered Member

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    Thanks Jim,
    I think you confirmed what I was thinking that new or newer would be best. I am mostly thinking of building small engines (IC and steam).

    We may move just for all of the hobby stuff. We live out where there weren't so many people and taxes but it seems this has been quickly following us so that may be another incentive.

    My wife likes to repair/paint/refurbish furniture and I also have a lot of woodworking tools and supplies. Seems we need a shed/barn/garage larger than the house now.

    Smaller tools means smaller projects. Except for furniture you can usually scale to what fits.

    Thanks
    Greg
     
  5. jamby

    jamby United States Active Member Active Member

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    My wife has a piece of my shop / our shop where her kiln sits, she uses it to heat glass until it squeals and flattens out or droops into a form. Its her piles of stock that take up the room.
    Good live to you in retirement, I've been retried for 10 years and have started machining more all the time. Golf is getting harder.

    Jim
     
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  6. JimDawson

    JimDawson Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    Welcome aboard Greg!

    There are a lot of options for machines out there. I don't know your local market, but used equipment is not a bad thing, just find a good value. Usually it's a balancing act between space and budget.

    As far as adding a stepper or BLDC motor to the lead screw, no problem at all. As long as the computer knows where the spindle and the lead screw is, then you can cut any size thread you want.
     
  7. gregc

    gregc United States Iron Registered Member

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    On the lead screw I don't understand why they don't just replace the gears on most machines . Seems it would not add much cost if one is not buying the gears and associated hardware
     
  8. jamby

    jamby United States Active Member Active Member

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    Greg
    You being an spark engineer you might want to buy a older nc lathe and rebuild it with a new control/drive system. They are a much stronger and purpose built.
    Jim
     
  9. TakeDeadAim

    TakeDeadAim H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    First off welcome to the forum, were glad to have you here. Buying machines can be daunting but also lots of fun! I would encourage you to think about what you would like to do with your tools and then size your machines a bit bigger, trust me you will be glad you did. Bigger projects are always on the horizon, within limits of course, and the added rigidity that goes with size is nice to have. You will be happy in dealing with Quality Machine Tools, Matt is a great guy who helped me out when another supplier kept me at bay with a machine that was delayed several times and still, several years later, has never shipped to anyone.

    Look around at the posts about machines, many questions and discussions on this topic exist and may make for some interesting reading. Feel free to post questions you have. You will find this a friendly place to visit. So much so you may spend more time here than you expected. Enjoy
     
  10. JimDawson

    JimDawson Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    Well, they could, and it might actually be cheaper than the gear train.. Then if you added a motor on the cross slide you would have a full CNC machine.

    The problem that I see is that you would lose manual capability. This is one of the things that is slowing me down on converting my lathe to CNC. I haven't really dove into the design yet, but when I get to that project, it will be manual/CNC convertible with a flick of a lever/switch. My mill is full 4 axis CNC or manual with a flick of a lever and a switch.
     
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  11. gregc

    gregc United States Iron Registered Member

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  12. JimDawson

    JimDawson Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    Well the picture looks nice and the price is right, in fact maybe too right. :cautious: I have never heard of the vendor, they are in Indonesia. Grizzly was selling a line under the Southbend name, but I think they discontinued the line. This could be overstocks or something.

    I wonder how much shipping is, and how much the stand (not included) is? At least when Grizzly was selling them, you have a USA company to go to when things went south. Not sure what you might have here.
     
  13. TakeDeadAim

    TakeDeadAim H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Looks like a nice machine. I know some SB dealers, including Grizzly I believe, were selling their stock of SB off. Not sure why but they make a nice machine. Some nice features on this like cam lock spindle, (makes it easier to find other chucks; also retains accuracy better when changing chucks). These are also a nice machines at prices well below normal
    http://equipments-tools.com/metal-wood-machinery/178-grizzly-g0776-gunsmithing-lathe-with-dro.html
    http://equipments-tools.com/metal-wood-machinery/214-baileigh-pl-1236e-metal-lathe.html
     
  14. gregc

    gregc United States Iron Registered Member

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    For that I was thinking that one could easily do that with a handle attached and just remove all power from the servo/stepper motor
     
  15. gregc

    gregc United States Iron Registered Member

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    Shipping on the sb was 227. Still a good price but I was concerned that they might take the money and run. If they are in Indonesia what could you reasonably do.
     
  16. JimDawson

    JimDawson Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    On the cross slide, you could just cut power to the servo. You would want to use a brushed DC servo, they don't cog. The longitudinal travel is a bit more difficult. Normally you use a motor attached to a ball screw that drives the carriage. But the ball screw, even if mechanically disconnected from the motor, still presents some resistance to movement. And that would not be acceptable in my book. But it is entirely possible to use the rack & pinion to drive the carriage. That coupled with a brushed DC servo might make an acceptable system. Then the only issue is controlling the backlash in the rack & pinion, and that actually pretty easy.
     
  17. gregc

    gregc United States Iron Registered Member

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    Found a lathe that looks intersting
    https://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/tls/6099775766.html
    Looks like it may be nearly worth it just for the tooling. I have not been able to schedule a change to look at it.
    Just wondered what you guys thought.

    If that falls through I was leaning toward one of these two options.
    1. My parents live in Springfield MO so the next option is to drive there and pick one up.
    I was thinking of the G0752Z (G0602 w/ extras) and the G0704 mill. Would be nice just to walk into a show room and then have them load it up.

    2. The precision mathews pm1022v and pm25mv. These are a bit more but the extras IMHO more than makes up the difference.

    Just wondered what you guys thought.

    TIA
     
  18. tweinke

    tweinke United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I would in my opinion give QMT a call and talk, you may be surprised with there helpfulness. I will vouch for the customer service there. And by the way if the electronic driven leadscrew thing is still a thought Google electronic lead screw and read up on the ELS project. I did some research on that a couple years ago and was fascinated . Or this link http://autoartisans.com/ELS/
     
  19. fradish

    fradish United States Active Member Active Member

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    Just curious, why the pm1022v instead of the pm1030v? Seems like it would
    be worth the additional $100 for the extra 8".
     
  20. gregc

    gregc United States Iron Registered Member

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    I was considering the pm1030 and may still do it if that is the option taken.

    Some interesting experiences

    I did call QMT. They were friendly but when I asked why I shoukd buy there vs someone else selling what looks like the same machin the response was that there really wasn't much difference. I was hoping to here something more mutually helpful. Like he keeps a better control on the quality from the manufacturer or customer service. Too bad PA is 1000+ mi away. Would like to see and talk face to face.

    I tried to call the weiss phone # from the US site but never got an answer and many machines list for $0 on the web. Hmmm

    Found a few used machines. Low end machines here seem to ask what the current retail prices. Some good deals on big machines but don't have the space for 2000# + machines. Other mid range like sb 9 or 10's go fast or are junk. Asked one what the brand or model or the swing and they respond that they don't know anything about machinery.

    LMS machines are a bit smaller than desired.

    On the web site above with the sb with a "great" asked me to wire the money first to Indonesia. Many of the machines on amazon do the same By asking for email first. Reported but they still show up every Friday eve and disappear in a few hours only to show up again under different name.

    Quite an experience so far. Lol
     
  21. fradish

    fradish United States Active Member Active Member

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    Have you looked at the dropros.com site? They carry a few Weiss lathes and milling machines.
    I would think Dro Pros would be a more reputable way to buy than some place which asks you
    to wire money to a foreign country... :)

    http://www.dropros.com/DRO_PROS_Weiss_Lathes.htm
    http://www.dropros.com/DRO_PROS_Weiss_Mills.htm

    For what it is worth, I have a PM727 mill and a PM1228 lathe and
    am happy with both of them. However one of the deciding factors
    for me was that PM is ~1/2 hour drive away from me and I was
    able to pick them up myself. Matt seems like a really good guy
    to work with and he has always gotten back to me quickly, though
    I try not to pester him.

    I also recently bought a set of 1/2" shank carbide insert tools from him
    and was again very happy with what I got.
     
  22. fradish

    fradish United States Active Member Active Member

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    One thing I noticed about the Dro Pros lathes is that they are cheaper mainly
    (I think) because they do more of an ala cart thing where the base package
    doesn't include as much as a PM1030v (for example). If you wanted to get
    a 4 jaw and a faceplate and a steady rest and a follower rest those would all
    be extra on the Dro Pros site. This could be a good thing if you really don't
    need all of those or it might be more expensive than buying the PM1030v if
    you wanted it all.

    I should also point out that the WBL290F on the DroPros site (11x29) has
    a D1-4 spindle. This may not be that important to you, but I really like the
    flexibility it gives you. It is much easier to buy a 3rd party D1-4 chuck or
    attachment than it is to have to machine a back plate each time for a non-standard
    chuck. That being said, I just looked and one of the options listed as an accessory
    for all 3 lathes are backing plates, so maybe that wouldn't be that much of a hassle
    after all. You would still probably need to machine the boss that the chuck
    mounts up to as well as drill and counter bore the holes for mounting a plain back chuck.
     

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