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Old 10-02-2011, 11:11 AM
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slyder slyder is offline
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Default 3in1 machines

Not sure where to post this since there is no "tool" forum but does anybody have any experience with a 3in1 lathe/mill/drill? Ive been tossing around the idea for years and have looked at various ones. I know people will say to buy 2 separate machines but space is limited as well as power needs. Ive had my eye on a shoptask Patriot and now they come standard set up with all the CNC goodies. Computer and software included for $4900. They even have VFDs now so they run 3 phase motors on standard 220v power. Made in Tiawan in an ISO plant. http://www.shoptask.com/

Ive also seen people convert a small benchtop mill to CNC. Some even can change tooling on its own. But the cost of that would far exceed the $4900 of this machine.
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:16 PM
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It will last a long time if seldom used. Cheap chinese tools wear out quick and often suffer from bad casting, ect
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:23 PM
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What do you plan on machining?
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:30 PM
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For that kind of money, you could probably pick up a nice little used lathe and mill. You can still get parts for almost any older American lathe or Bridgeport. But if space is a problem, the 3-in-1 may work for you.
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:46 PM
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http://www.smithy.com/

Try this I think it is made in the US and have watched it grow for years
never bought one though
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:56 PM
Shredding rubber Shredding rubber is offline
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I have found that when a tool is purpose built to do a job it usually does it well. Sure it's does 3 things. But does it do them well
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:28 PM
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I picked up a used cheap one not long ago the bigger Grizzly G9729 model and if you don't have a clue about machining it would be ok for a garage toy . The mill part is weak and limited at best and the lathe is only a margin better it's all very light duty and lousy for any kind of tolerance under.010" . Plus you have to completely tear it down get all the old lube and leftover casting sand out of it because it turns into a heavy grit lapping compound fast , plus all of the bearings need to be replaced with non china junk preferably sealed ones not the open crap they come with fast or the thing will vibrate and chatter like crazy . Biggest bitch is the rough machining and cheap materials it comes with will lead to some parts failures the can take 5 months to get from china and we,re talking $13 parts but critical make the the mill part work , the cross slide lead screw nut goes fast and of course it's a goofy metric / Acme thread dedicated thing nobody in the world makes then I've found yet . There's several brands out that look just like this so expect the same level of anything from them .

Reading reviews before buying lead me to believe the Grizzly was a solid name brand , not ! It's the exact same machine Harbor Freight sells , painted green instead of red . The unit your looking at is a knock off but it's been R&R ed and all the stupid worked out of it already and several very needed improvements to the design made already .

The smaller Smithy 1220 XL is better mechanically I've found out since so the one I have will be moving one when I find a better one .

Big but for $5K you can you do better in 2 compact machines that will work a lot better for turning or milling , that thing will take up much more room than you think as I found out .

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:07 AM
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I've never owned a 3 in 1 but I have run a CNC controlled heavy duty mill/drill as well as a Bridgeport CNC mill. I would advise against going the CNC route unless you want to crank out multiple duplicate pieces. Those programs take a while to write and then if you have a mistake, it could get ugly. Saw a guy do a rapid traverse (negative Z in this case) right into the vise. I thought that whole Bridgeport was going to explode.

There are many machine shops going out of business and used lathes/mills are on sale all over the place. You might consider picking up one of each. It's also a good idea to really sit down and think about what you want to make before buying.

The 3 in 1 is going to be sort of limited to smaller stuff. Would be fun to own though.
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:17 PM
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mostly plan on doing head work and small parts. Some gun parts. I have machining experience and schooling. Id love to have a Bridgport knee mill in the shop but that just aint possible. Most small southbend lathes around here are going for $1000 to $2000 with no tooling and are in tuff shape. From what ive read the Shoptask is not a knock off. At least ive never seen one that looked like it. I have no plan on buying Grizzly or HF products. Ive learned my lesson on crap tools. If you read into the Patriot model it is all standard bearings like Timkins and has ball lead screws. They have a 1 year trial period. True I dont need CNC but what the hell I wouldnt mind messing around with it in my spare time. All I read on Smithys and Shoptasks on forums is that they are total crap.......but i have yet to see one for sale either locally or on ebay. Ive seen the old ugly models of smithys before on ebay but not the new models. I understand the limitation thing but im not setting out to turn crane wheels or 20 foot axles. 9 to 12" swing and 24 to 36" centers is fine for me.
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:39 PM
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Your in a tough part of the nation for finding tools used or otherwise I feel for you , almost as bad here in the bay area everything you see is CNC anymore or the huge knee mills . I've looked at the rig you mentioned and it takes up a lot of floor space , add at 3 foot or more all around because you have to have access to change gears and do setups something not mentioned on the website or info you'll get . You may want to look at the bigger Smithy Granite series not the lower end imported main stream models .I've seen a couple of the bigger Granite units and they are solid , well made and are cnc compatible already . Pricey but after seeing 2 of them in actual machine shops doing piece work I'm rethinking a few things too .

Good luck anyway you go and keep us updated , this beats the hell out loud pipes and poser threads .
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:39 PM
 
 
 
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