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What should I get first?

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snyper1982

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#31
As a newbie too, my advice is probably not all that valuable. I started with a lathe: it's a very popular old hobby lathe here in Britain and it didn't take me long to find second-hand milling attachments.

The thing with mills seems to be that the more rigid the spindle and table the better and a milling attachment in a hobby lathe is not all that rigid, so it's a viable solution if you are on a budget and are planning on light milling for small parts. But, now that I've got myself a serious mill, I think that I'd have been better off not spending the money on the lathe attachments and putting it towards the mill.

As others have said, the hobby tends to suck you in and once you have one machine you soon find that you "need" other machines to support it and get the best use from it... grinding wheels, saws of different types, welding kit, plasma torch, measuring equipment, collets... my poor postman must have lugged several cwt of tools up my drive over the past couple of years!

In short: I don't think it matters where or how you start; simply understand that the first purchase is the beginning of the wallet-drain, not the end.

Good luck,

Nick
I think you are right. I think I will bite the bullet and get a lathe first. No just which one. I would really like to get the PM, But I think I will go with the G0602Z. It is 400 cheaper than the PM, AND comes with DRO. IF the PM had a DRO on it, I would get it, but I just can't justify the extra expense otherwise.
 

Chipper5783

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#32
Make some money on the side? If you are set up and you know what you are doing, you can make enough as an excuse to buy more tooling. You are neither. Machining as a business is very competitive.

Invent some trinket for the RC guys, or the off roaders, or the gun guys, . . . Them sell that.

Why do you need to buy the lathe now? Wait, save your money. Take that JC course. Go look at as many lathes as you can (just a tire kicker).

That DRO version? A DRO on a lathe is not a big deal. I have a DRO on my one mill, it is awesome, basically it is a game changer. I have never used a lathe with a DRO, I think it would be handy in some places, but it is not a game changer. I buy tooling all the time, a DRO for the lathe is way down the list.

You can add a DRO any time. Put the money into the basic machine, not the glitzy trinkets.
 

Eddyde

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#33
I think you are right. I think I will bite the bullet and get a lathe first. No just which one. I would really like to get the PM, But I think I will go with the G0602Z. It is 400 cheaper than the PM, AND comes with DRO. IF the PM had a DRO on it, I would get it, but I just can't justify the extra expense otherwise.
You may wan to look closer at the PM lathe. In my opinion it is easy to justify the extra $$. A quick look at the specs shows it to have several more useful features over the Grizzly. 1. It has continuously variable speed 50-2000 rpm that, alone is worth it. (the low rpm is much more useful for threading especially for a beginner).
2. It comes with a quick change tool post, Thats something you'll would probably want you upgrade the Grizzly to right away.
3. it has power cross-feed, a very nice feature especially for getting nice finishes on facing. That's a feature you cannot add on later.
4. A three year warrantee.
VS a DRO that you don't really need. (DROs are a lot more useful on a mill than a lathe) Also, that DRO isn't a proper full featured DRO, it it a stripped down position only unit.
Choose wisely!
 

ttabbal

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#35
You can add a similar position only DRO to any machine for about $130 using igaging parts. You can upgrade that to a touchdro with a $70 board and an Android tablet or even an old phone. You can also buy a full DRO from aliexpress for about $200.

My budget was 3k as well. I was a little hung up on DRO as well. I decided I can add it later and use magnetic mounted dial indicators for now. And with shipping I went over $98. It will take some time as the one I chose is backordered, so I'm picking up bits here and there to fill in. Primarily ebay. I expect I'll spend a few hundred more before I make chips, but I think overall I will enjoy the machine more.

A few things I was convinced by..

Full variable speed.
Power cross feed.
Included QCTP. Note that some machines can't just bolt one on...
D1-4 chuck, very compatible. Easy to get things like a collet chuck later if I want to.
1.5" bore. I have some projects in mind right now that will use it. It sounds like some of yours might as well.
Wider bed, rigidity is increased, less tool chatter, flex, etc.
Hardened ways. More durable.
Included tooling. Things like steady and follow rests, 4 jaw, QCTP, face plate..
Comparing reviews between Grizzly and PM users.

As for what you need to make chips, some HSS bits, or carbide. A couple dial indicators and a magnetic base. A tailstock drill chuck. Some center drills. Calipers and micrometer. Oil for the ways, cutting etc.. I'm going with cheaper indicators to start, tests show them to be very accurate, and it's always nice to have some you don't mind getting beat up. I'll add some nice ones later. I'm sure I'll break at least one, I'd rather it be a $15 indicator than a $150 unit.

Just putting my reasoning out there from a fellow newbie. I don't know that my way is best, but it makes sense to me. Whatever you get, use the hell out of it and make cool stuff. Then post pics. :)
 

Ulma Doctor

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#36
Hey snyper1982,
i just saw the thread,
welcome to the forum.
here is my .02
buy the largest lathe you can afford, then buy the largest mill you can afford.
i did things the other way around, and bought small- then bought big. :bang head:
now i have a shop full of both.
you are close enough there in modesto, i live in Tracy-
you could swing by my shop and see some of the different equipment i have and talk shop
send me a message
 

snyper1982

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#37
Make some money on the side? If you are set up and you know what you are doing, you can make enough as an excuse to buy more tooling. You are neither. Machining as a business is very competitive.

Invent some trinket for the RC guys, or the off roaders, or the gun guys, . . . Them sell that.

Why do you need to buy the lathe now? Wait, save your money. Take that JC course. Go look at as many lathes as you can (just a tire kicker).

That DRO version? A DRO on a lathe is not a big deal. I have a DRO on my one mill, it is awesome, basically it is a game changer. I have never used a lathe with a DRO, I think it would be handy in some places, but it is not a game changer. I buy tooling all the time, a DRO for the lathe is way down the list.

You can add a DRO any time. Put the money into the basic machine, not the glitzy trinkets.
Its not that I need the DRO. But the 2 lathes I am looking at, one is 400 cheaper and it comes with a DRO.
 

jlsmithseven

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#38
Lathe has it's special place and is a lot of fun to watch your projects turn into something really stunning and artistic, but the mill has so many uses and it's much more practical. I would choose a mill first if I had a choice, but that's me.
 

snyper1982

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#40
You may wan to look closer at the PM lathe. In my opinion it is easy to justify the extra $$. A quick look at the specs shows it to have several more useful features over the Grizzly. 1. It has continuously variable speed 50-2000 rpm that, alone is worth it. (the low rpm is much more useful for threading especially for a beginner).
2. It comes with a quick change tool post, Thats something you'll would probably want you upgrade the Grizzly to right away.
3. it has power cross-feed, a very nice feature especially for getting nice finishes on facing. That's a feature you cannot add on later.
4. A three year warrantee.
VS a DRO that you don't really need. (DROs are a lot more useful on a mill than a lathe) Also, that DRO isn't a proper full featured DRO, it it a stripped down position only unit.
Choose wisely!

Thank you. Thats info that is more useful. I know I can add a DRO later. I didn't realize that it had all the features you listed. I didn't notice it had a powered cross feed. The tool post I did notice, but again, thats not a $400 dollar upgrade. As for the variable speed, I seem to remember reading that the variable speed motors are sometimes not as good? I can't quite remember what it was. But I think it had something to do with being better off just upgrading to a higer end 3 phase motor with a VFD or something like that.

But you have given me a lot to think about. I do like idea of having a powered cross slide. Just out of curiosity, how useful is that feature?
 

snyper1982

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#41
You can add a similar position only DRO to any machine for about $130 using igaging parts. You can upgrade that to a touchdro with a $70 board and an Android tablet or even an old phone. You can also buy a full DRO from aliexpress for about $200.

My budget was 3k as well. I was a little hung up on DRO as well. I decided I can add it later and use magnetic mounted dial indicators for now. And with shipping I went over $98. It will take some time as the one I chose is backordered, so I'm picking up bits here and there to fill in. Primarily ebay. I expect I'll spend a few hundred more before I make chips, but I think overall I will enjoy the machine more.

A few things I was convinced by..

Full variable speed.
Power cross feed.
Included QCTP. Note that some machines can't just bolt one on...
D1-4 chuck, very compatible. Easy to get things like a collet chuck later if I want to.
1.5" bore. I have some projects in mind right now that will use it. It sounds like some of yours might as well.
Wider bed, rigidity is increased, less tool chatter, flex, etc.
Hardened ways. More durable.
Included tooling. Things like steady and follow rests, 4 jaw, QCTP, face plate..
Comparing reviews between Grizzly and PM users.

As for what you need to make chips, some HSS bits, or carbide. A couple dial indicators and a magnetic base. A tailstock drill chuck. Some center drills. Calipers and micrometer. Oil for the ways, cutting etc.. I'm going with cheaper indicators to start, tests show them to be very accurate, and it's always nice to have some you don't mind getting beat up. I'll add some nice ones later. I'm sure I'll break at least one, I'd rather it be a $15 indicator than a $150 unit.

Just putting my reasoning out there from a fellow newbie. I don't know that my way is best, but it makes sense to me. Whatever you get, use the hell out of it and make cool stuff. Then post pics. :)

What did you end up getting? After areading all the posts on here, I am now leaning towards the PM-1030V. The QCTP is around $200, and then the variable speed also. That makes up for the $400.

http://www.precisionmatthews.com/shop/pm-1022v-pm-1030v/

I selected the 1030V, then the addons I selected, The Stand, The drill chuck for the tailstock, The AXA master turning/boring set, and the 1/2" internal/external threading set.

Any other tools you would recommend?

I like the idea of using magnetic calipers for a temp, dro solution. I know I will need some center drills. Also Some cutoff tools. Cutting oil too. Can't think of anything else right now.
 

ttabbal

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#42
I was originally thinking of going with the 1030. I became convinced that the 1127 was enough of an upgrade that it was worth going that way and picking up tooling a little bit at a time rather than grabbing sets up front. The things I mentioned apply to the 1030 as much as the grizzly version. I decided that getting the better machine was the way to go.
 

Downunder Bob

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#43
Oh. I am in Modesto, California. A mentor would be awesome!
Snyper, to get an idea of some milling operations on a lathe have a look at a recent post by Mark F. He builds a new fixed steady and uses his lathe for milling parts, because his mill isn't big enough.
 

coherent

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#44
I have a G0602... I put my own dro on it later. An option to consider. Get the lathe first. Learn how to use it. Get a mill later.. Then learn it. I also have a G0704... Didn't want dro because I converted it to CNC. If you are even considering CNC conversion for either machine, skip the dro costs... Kinda redundant. Ifyou have a limited budget,a lathe and tooling would be better than both machines and no tooling or accessories. Its pretty easy to match or exceed the machine e cost for tooling... Especially with a mill.
 

tq60

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#45
In modesto you have the whole central valley to look.

Mills like Bridgeport are scarce and go fast if priced decent and lathes are all over the place in both location and price.

Search every market in the valley and check first thing in the day or at bedtime as they do come up.

We picked up a 1917 vintage sb for 200 and used it for 10 years and sold it for 600 3 years ago in the first day.

Plenty to look at and carry a wad of cash as many will bargain as they usually are clearing out an estate or divorce or upgrade.
 

Chipper5783

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#46
Thank you. Thats info that is more useful. I know I can add a DRO later. I didn't realize that it had all the features you listed. I didn't notice it had a powered cross feed. The tool post I did notice, but again, thats not a $400 dollar upgrade. As for the variable speed, I seem to remember reading that the variable speed motors are sometimes not as good? I can't quite remember what it was. But I think it had something to do with being better off just upgrading to a higer end 3 phase motor with a VFD or something like that.

But you have given me a lot to think about. I do like idea of having a powered cross slide. Just out of curiosity, how useful is that feature?
A powered cross slide is very useful (not something you can realistically add later). A work around I`ve seen is to make up a drive shaft and motor the cross slide with a cordless drill.

You seem to be trying to purchase the cheapest product on the market, the trouble with that is you are likely to end up with the cheapest thing available. Being tight on cash is very common here and often people spend years (decades) building up their shop. Perhaps its` just me, but my experience of buying super cheap is that I end up paying more in the end.
 

Aukai

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#47
Every machine I own now, had a cheaper smaller predecessor. Which means I payed twice. For my mill I bought Grizzly HSS stuff to learn, cheap(probably China), and good for learning. The experts know the sounds to listen for. Burn a couple of bits you will know the sounds too. Then go on the prowl for better quality stuff, there is a huge difference in performance. Matt has basically taken the import machines, and had them modified to what a true machinist would want/needs in a machine. Not the knock off of the original to import standards that are lacking in quality, or ability. Kind of a hands on upgrade.
 

snyper1982

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#48
A powered cross slide is very useful (not something you can realistically add later). A work around I`ve seen is to make up a drive shaft and motor the cross slide with a cordless drill.

You seem to be trying to purchase the cheapest product on the market, the trouble with that is you are likely to end up with the cheapest thing available. Being tight on cash is very common here and often people spend years (decades) building up their shop. Perhaps its` just me, but my experience of buying super cheap is that I end up paying more in the end.
I don't want to buy the cheapest on the market, I just have a limited budget. I have decided to step up to the PM-1030V. I was under the impression the precission matthews were good quality machines? I would absolutely love to be able to drop 15-20K on an awesome machine, but I just don't have that kind of cash. Not only that I don't have the space for a machine of that size. My lathe is going to be setup in an already cramped space, so the 1030V is going to be pushing it as is.


I have a G0602... I put my own dro on it later. An option to consider. Get the lathe first. Learn how to use it. Get a mill later.. Then learn it. I also have a G0704... Didn't want dro because I converted it to CNC. If you are even considering CNC conversion for either machine, skip the dro costs... Kinda redundant. Ifyou have a limited budget,a lathe and tooling would be better than both machines and no tooling or accessories. Its pretty easy to match or exceed the machine e cost for tooling... Especially with a mill.
I didn't think about that as far as the mill. But I have been toying with the idea of converting the mill to CNC when I get it. Thanks for the input, I will definitely forgo the DRO on the mill. I also have been noticing the tooling costs for mills vs lathes. There just seems to be so many more types of tools for the mill.
 

Eddyde

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#51
Thank you. Thats info that is more useful. I know I can add a DRO later. I didn't realize that it had all the features you listed. I didn't notice it had a powered cross feed. The tool post I did notice, but again, thats not a $400 dollar upgrade. As for the variable speed, I seem to remember reading that the variable speed motors are sometimes not as good? I can't quite remember what it was. But I think it had something to do with being better off just upgrading to a higer end 3 phase motor with a VFD or something like that.

But you have given me a lot to think about. I do like idea of having a powered cross slide. Just out of curiosity, how useful is that feature?
You're welcome,
The variable speed, three phase motor VFD combo is a good way of achieving variable speed control for a machine that didn't already have it. However, I don't recall reading about anyone removing factory installed VS system and replacing it.
Power cross-feed can be used for parting off and giving fine finishes on facing operations. Also, if you do get a milling attachment, you'll have a power feed for milling!

What did you end up getting? After areading all the posts on here, I am now leaning towards the PM-1030V. The QCTP is around $200, and then the variable speed also. That makes up for the $400.

http://www.precisionmatthews.com/shop/pm-1022v-pm-1030v/

I selected the 1030V, then the addons I selected, The Stand, The drill chuck for the tailstock, The AXA master turning/boring set, and the 1/2" internal/external threading set.

Any other tools you would recommend?

I like the idea of using magnetic calipers for a temp, dro solution. I know I will need some center drills. Also Some cutoff tools. Cutting oil too. Can't think of anything else right now.
Now your talking! Good choice and smart to upgrade to the 30" bed, length will likely be more valuable than turning diameter for the work you described. Sounds like you will have enough lathe tools to get started. You will also need calipers and or a micrometer. A dial indicator with magnetic base is helpful too. Oh, and some steel and aluminum bar stock.... and.....
 

talvare

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#55
you are close enough there in modesto, i live in Tracy-
you could swing by my shop and see some of the different equipment i have and talk shop
send me a message
Snyper 1982,

Take him up on his offer. I know Mike and you will gain more knowledge in two hours spent with him than you will in two years trying to figure out everything on your own.

Ted
 

kitch

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#56
If you go with Grizzly then I would suggest you upgrade to the GO752Z. I own one and it is the same lathe as the 602 with the addition of a VFD (variable frequency drive). This gives you variable speed from 100 - 2000 rpm for about $400 more bucks. I have been overall very satisfied with mine. Only complaint would be the spindle is threaded 1 3/4-8. Grizzly does not seem to stock chuck backplates in this size, so if you ever need one to add another chuck, you would have to go elswhere to get one. I added a 5C collet chuck and got the needed backplate from Shars.

kitch
 

fradish

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#57
I think you'll be happy with the 1030. It looks like it comes with a lot of accessories and I think you'll be glad
you went with the longer bed. One thing which would have bothered me in the past was the non-standard
spindle nose, but Matt now even has space back plates you can buy, so you can just buy plain-back chucks
and mount them to that back plate. The 1" spindle through bore is better than my South Bend 9".

I have a PM1228-LB and I really like the variable speed and powered cross feed. Matt has been really good to
deal with. I also have a PM727M and I bought a set of 1/2" turning tools from him. Very happy with all of my
purchases.
 

Bob Korves

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#60
https://sacramento.craigslist.org/tls/d/1936-south-bend-workshopy/6388436013.html

I found this for sale in my area. Is it worth it? Or should I go with the precision matthews?
Those are decisions YOU need to make. For machines we have not seen, we can only give general advise. I am in Sacramento if I can be of assistance. Have you contacted Ulma Doctor (Mike Walton) yet? He can perhaps also help with your questions, lives in Tracy, has machines of his own he may want to part with, and is a kind, helpful guy, and my friend...
To contact H-M members, hover over their handle in the blue text, a box pops up, and click on "Start conversation." You can then discuss things with others away from the main forums if that better suits a specific need. You can invite others to the conversation as well.
 
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