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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
     
    JimDawson likes this.
  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.
     
  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.
     

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