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Old 06-27-2013, 07:43 PM   #1
Beamklamp OP
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Knee mill and a lathe

Here's the story friends,

Time, patience, and some money made working in the middle east has granted me a chance to buy/setup a small machine shop for meself.

I'd love to buy a Bridgeport mill and a lathe for my small shop, but
I really don't need something all that large. I do need machines that will hold up well. I do not want to rebuild older machines.....already been there.

You, good people, always have ideas & experience in this area.

Suggestions?
Thanks aplenty
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:55 PM   #2
oldschoolsk8ter
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I would really try to fit a Bridgeport in if I where you. Look out for a J-head using R8 collets.

I use one of these weekly working on prototyping and it is the perfect size for components and pieces for small vehicles.

It also has great support for tooling and service.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:57 PM   #3
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what are you looking to do?
I've been very happy with my Enco 13x40 lathe. I'd love a restored American beauty but reality is this lathe does exactly what I need it to. Not too big that I can't make tiny parts, not too small I'm fighting it the whole cut either.

I've been using a Jet vertical mill and it's very nice too. I think having a DRO is a must for me on the mill and takes a lot of wear out of the equation.

I buy most of my machines at industrial auctions
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:00 PM   #4
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A good rule of thumb on machine tools is always buy a bigger machine than you think you need.

There is no way you can go wrong with a Bridgeport. Buy one.
A manual lathe is less clear cut. A Mori Seiki MS850 or one of the numerous copies would be safe picks.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:44 PM   #5
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Yes, yes

I've got the welders, grinders, sanders, etc, but its time for machining.

I would love to have a Bridgeport, but time, distance, money....you know.

I am digging your suggestions.

Please, Carry on, Cheers
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:35 PM   #6
GreaseMonkey
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If you can consider a bed mill instead of a knee mill, Charter Oak has some pretty nice products and are made here in the USA:

http://www.ihcnc.com/pages/products.php
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:58 AM   #7
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Not quite a Bridgeport but good enough for me

I have Grizzly G0704 that I like a lot. http://www.grizzly.com/products/Dril...th-Stand/G0704 I reversed the head to get more distance to the table and added a mTech digital readout. http://www.thedrostore.com/ I also replaced the stand with a Craftsman 7 drawer tool chest for lots of storage and wheels to move it around. Lots of info about this mill: http://www.bf20.com/ People like to convert these to CNC, but I have no plans to do that to mine. This machine was a huge improvement over a mini-mill I had previously.
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Old 06-28-2013, 08:49 AM   #8
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I have a G0463 with a liner optical DRO installed. The DRO is very useful. That stand for the Grizzly G0704 is what I want.

While it's a nice small mill, its not a knee mill (or even close). I expect a decent Bridgeport knee mill would weigh about 2000 lb. Having used one with a Sony DRO, they are nice and bigger is always better.

Some things I would consider (presuming I found a nice Bridgeport) are the foundation, moving the equipment, available space, and power. Sometimes creative thinking (i.e. doing with what you have) will still allow work on a smaller machine. But a smaller machine requires smaller cuts and longer machining time for milling.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:10 AM   #9
sailah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagofast View Post
A Mori Seiki MS850 or one of the numerous copies would be safe picks.
I'm guessing if he doesn't want to throw down the cash for a Bport a Mori is a little overkill. But wow is that a nice lathe I checked them out and the prices, about $8500 was what I saw as normal.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:14 AM   #10
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I was in the same boat. Opted for a Grizzly 9901. While the Bridgeports are great machines I wanted something that would run out of the box.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:11 AM   #11
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yes buy both !

if you find a mill and lathe for a good price, that are tooled up, great. tooling and 'extras' are expensive as hell, heavy, and hard to find without paying catalog prices.



also, the quieter the machines are, the more you'll enjoy using them.


also, make a list of friends you have now and hang it on the wall. watch how fast people try to add their names when they find out. ;-)
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:38 PM   #12
Guy Young
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Always having an interest in machine tools, two of the items I KNEW I had to have was a mill, and a lathe when I was building my garage/shop a couple of years ago.

First thing I bought locally was a South Bend 10L Heavy lathe:



I have since added a new 3 and 4-jaw chuck and a slew of cutting tools.

Second item was the Bridgeport J-head.



I looked at a couple of smaller Clausing knee-mills early on, but finally settled on the Bridgeport when it became available. Found it up in NJ and it came with a good vise, a slew of collets, and rotary table. I immediately picked up a TECO FM50 drive, and a DroPros DRO that I mounted. I also went a step further and added a 4th Z-axis scale and a combination box that allows me to combine the table and quill height. Raise/lower the table, I get a reading. Raise/lower the quill I can bring two together so I always know where each is relative to the cutting surface.

Having no formal machine training what-so-ever, my learning curve on these guys is near vertical - but - I haven't lost any fingers yet and have managed to produce enough chips/swarf to keep the recycle guys happy.

So my comment would be is to buy both if you can afford it. Haven't looked back.

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Old 07-01-2013, 12:51 PM   #13
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I wouldn't even drill a hole in a 2 x 4 on anything less than Bridgeport after owning one. It's night and day.

Get a Bridgeport. The time and money will be well worth it.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2speed View Post
I wouldn't even drill a hole in a 2 x 4 on anything less than Bridgeport after owning one. It's night and day.

Get a Bridgeport. The time and money will be well worth it.
That's gonna be a problem sometimes.
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:06 AM   #15
Ironwood
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You can get more for your money and a better machine as well if you avoid Bridgeport. Like most of the comments here, they are held in high regard by lots of people looking for a home shop. Good versatile machine, but you will pay a lot for them. And the R-8 tooling is not the best system out there. Lots of cheap tooling available though and fine for a home shop.

I just came home with a Tree 2UVR. Same footprint as a BP but 25% heavier and more standard features. Built in table x-axis drive and spindle drive standard as well. It uses the Z collet with a unique locking mechanism that doesn't use a drawbar. I can change tools in 10 seconds or less. Fully tooled including a rotary phase converter it was well under $2k. And I mean fully tooled.

Another great machine to look for is a Wells-Index. A wonderful US made machine that is still supported by the manufacturer. Gorton, Cincinnati, Burke Millrite (also sold under the Powermatic brand), Clausing 8520, Lagun and a few others were candidates in my search.

For a lathe I found a Maximat Super 11 from Austria. A beautiful piece of equipment that was not much money. $1650 with tooling.

I am new to machining metal as well but have a fabrication and woodworking background. Good luck with your search. Joe
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