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Sticky What Machines Do You have?

Jwest7788

Well-Known Member
Administrator
Premium Member
#1
What machines do you have, what do you like and dislike about them, any upgrades you're looking at?

Personally, I have a Craftex Mini Mill (CT133)
-- I like that I have access to a mill in general. Dislike that I have to work within the little guy's limits. Hope to upgrade to a bridgport or similar manual mill in the next couple of years.

I also have a Craftex 10X18 lathe (B2227L)
- This machine is actually perfect for what I've been working on. Need to get it a quick change tool post, as it has the lantern style, which is a pain. Wish it had a quick change gear box, as changing out the gears is a bit tedious!

What about you guys?
 

Mphenley

Member
Moderator
Premium Member
#2
I have a Craftex Lathe/Mill combo (B2229)
--Like that it has a 16x20 lathe and the quill has 4.25" of travel, so it has a fairly large work envelope. I don't plan to work on anything really large or even with very heavy materials (mostly aluminum) so rigidity over the entire envelope isn't as huge a deal for me. Certainly won't be making any production parts, and my project ideas thus far are all props or replicas, so precision isn't absolutely necessary.

Most of my "machines" at this point are woodworking and in some state of non-functionality as I bought them "in need of repair". I do plan on making motors and electrical transformers, so being able to make the arbor/spindles and magnetic cores to build/repair machinery will be a plus.

Haven't had enough use of the metalworking machinery to form an opinion on what works and what doesn't, however.
 

kylemp

Active Member
#3
My lathe is this one - http://www.lathes.co.uk/torrent/ - It's a pretty nice machine after all the re-wiring to bring it down to 208v from the original 600v.

My mill is effectively this one - http://www.grizzly.com/products/Horizontal-Vertical-Mill/G3617 - Although its not actually that machine, its the same style and probably almost the same castings. 208v 3phase. I haven't used too much of the horizontal option yet, but I just picked up about 200 slotting cutters so I will be.

I also have a CNC plasma I built a few years back, its 6' x 12' and can handle a full 5' x 10' sheet. Running a Hypertherm powermax45 currently with a full water table so it can cut submerged (stops warping from the heat of the plasma).

If you are wanting to pick up a new toolpost I have a 40 position (once you use one, you won't ever go to anything else) that will fit your machine complete with holders.. I just bought one that it better suited to my new lathe. I've attached pictures below, the reason for the 40 position is that you have 40 positions of indexing so you can change angles for cutting with multiple tools without ever having to loosen the toolpost and therefore not lose the original position.. pretty hand when doing something like parting, threading and other operations.

20150101_174255.jpg 20150101_174312.jpg 20150101_174336.jpg 20150101_174352.jpg 20150101_174428.jpg
 

Mphenley

Member
Moderator
Premium Member
#4
That's a pretty slick toolpost... I'd been considering making my own quick change post, but if a decent one came along otherwise I certainly wouldn't pass it up. How big of a shop do you have, if you have room for a 6'x12' plasma cutter in addition to a full size lathe and mill? I'm so envious...
 

kylemp

Active Member
#5
It's a little more complicated than it sounds.

If you are into making your own tools check out http://www.homemadetools.net/ there are some pretty impressive things on there. At some point, its just not worth the time for mediocre results in my eyes, although it is all a learning experience.. I was going to do the same but abandoned that since I didn't seem to have time and it made more sense to buy.

I strongly suggest checking this out, this guy has made some really impressive stuff:

http://homepage3.nifty.com/amigos/

I'll post some links in the links sections shortly I recommend checking out.
 

Alexander

Super User
Administrator
#7
@kylemp I have the exact same mill as you. Mine says Force on the front instead of grizzly. It looks the same and has the same dimensions as the one you say you have. Just curious what is your mill branded with?
 
#9
My name is Brian. I live in Edmonton.

I started out with this ShopMaster Bridgemill combination unit, about 5 years ago. It was my first experience with metal machining, after years of fabricating with a hacksaw and a file. I ran it for about 3 years. Not a bad first machine.


I sold this unit a couple of years ago and worked with a friend and his more sophisticate equipment.

Recently, after a year of watching all of the classified ads, I came across these two units within a month of each other.

This is a generic 12X36 chinese lathe, denoted CQ 6230


This is a Grizzly X6320


I brought the mill home yesterday.

Now to make some chips!
 
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Jwest7788

Well-Known Member
Administrator
Premium Member
#10
Hey Brian, Great looking mill indeed!

Welcome to the forum! What kind of projects are you working on? (or planning on?)

JW
 

Tom O

Active Member
#12
It seems you never get set up there is always something that makes you go hmmmm! I buy a lot of tools that will come in handy sometime in the future removing most roadblocks on projects.
 
#14
I have some craftex machines, not bad at all for small stuff. Got a nice angle rotary table, a combination vise,, and tons of tooling. I tried to retire but am being drawn into the small runs, small parts business in Calgary. Next machine coming into my shop,, a sweet little Hardinge turret lathe. The little beast will bang out small parts faster than a Haas tl2. Here's my little lathe.
 

Attachments

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#15
I'm just getting into machining. I have been woodworking for several years and have a shop full of woodworking machinery.

I have been doing some metal fab with basic cutting tools and a millermatic 210 mig welder.
Recently picked up an old Altas 12 x 36 Lathe. It was non-operational when i picked it up however I have just recently pieced it together enough to make my first few passes. Thanks to John (Janger) for letting me use his milling machine to mill a custom T-Nut for the quick change tool post that I picked up. I'm pleased with it and I'm sure I will get into all sorts of projects soon. I need to make a custom washer / shim for my bandsaw and I am also planning on re-making 2 rollers for a 6" belt sander that I have.

I just picked up a milling machine today (Kijiji). Busy Bee (Craftex) Knee Mill. Seems very well made and the guy I bought it from only put 5 hours into it. All of the ways still have all of the hand scraper marks so that is a tell tale sign that the machine has not seen many hours. It came with a nice R8 collet set and a clamping kit (both brand new - still in the wrappers). I'm very excited to make my first cuts on this machine! I happened to score a bunch of lathe and mill tooling at the same Kijiji haul as Josh so I have a bunch of end mills, Indicators (including a co-ax), etc! I do need to buy a vice for the mill.

Here are a few photos of my old Atlas Lathe and the Knee Mill.

Photo 7-19-2015, 2 42 06 PM.jpg Photo 7-19-2015, 2 41 40 PM.jpg Photo 6-13-2015, 10 22 39 PM.jpg Photo 7-3-2015, 10 17 07 PM.jpg
 

Jwest7788

Well-Known Member
Administrator
Premium Member
#16
Hey Geoff, Yeah, glad you and @Janger could get those tslot nuts sorted out! Figured connecting you both would be an elegant solution to the problem. :)

Did the kijiji fellow mention when his move date was? I might want to go visit and grab some more goodies....


JW
 

Tom O

Active Member
#18
Hey Geoff, Yeah, glad you and @Janger could get those tslot nuts sorted out! Figured connecting you both would be an elegant solution to the problem. :)

Did the kijiji fellow mention when his move date was? I might want to go visit and grab some more goodies....


JW
What kind of goodies does he have? I have pretty much everything I need but no rotary table I went with the dividing head instead but am always looking for the old machines/tools. one day I will post some pics! lol
 

Jwest7788

Well-Known Member
Administrator
Premium Member
#19
He had just about anything you can think of, from dozens of guages of all sorts, to drawers upon drawers full of machining related stuff. His garage was essentially full of good stuff.