Lathe/Mill Talk

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john.t.little1
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Lathe/Mill Talk

Post by john.t.little1 » Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:58 pm

Haven't really seen a post like this but figured it could help people who are in the market for new machines. Post up info on your Lathe/Mill make/model, what you like and what you'd change. I used to have a Jet GHB-1340a and its what I learned lathe work on. It was an ok lathe I had changed every knob on it because it seemed to have threads a size smaller than what the knobs on it came with but were wrapped in a type of tape so the knobs would "work".
"A man is known by the silence he keeps. - Oliver Herford"
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CMV
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Re: Lathe/Mill Talk

Post by CMV » Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:38 pm

I have a 13x40 geared head lathe, 2hp, 220V single phase & a 7x20 knee mill, 1hp, 110V single phase.

Only thing I'd really change or maybe look for if doing over would be DROs on both and power feed X axis on the mill. I don't use them enough to justify the cost, but would like them if I had them.

Mine are from Western Tool but unbranded. Very similar to a G3102 mill & G4003G lathe. I'd like bigger machines - esp the mill at times - but they do what I need. I don't have the space for anything larger and not messing with 3ph power was a big plus to me because I'm even less an electrician than a machinist.

I think one thing I got right (lucky) buying machines I knew very little about was the geared head lathe. It's so nice not to have to fiddle with anything to change speeds/feeds. Just move the levers & go. Dicking around changing gears out or moving belts from pulley to pulley would get old.

The other thing I got right was quickly realizing the vise that came with the mill was a POS. I went overboard with a huge Kurt that's very nice, but too big for a lot of things and ended up getting a decent Grizzly vise that was a little smaller.

The mill has a one-shot oiler & R8 spindle. I think those are both nice also.

A few things I didn't get right:

Faux-loris quick change tool post. Should have spent the $ for an actual Aloris. Works, but the quality you'd expect for 1/3 the cost.

ebay rotary table. The kind with the 3-jaw chuck. I'd have been happier in the end donating the money spent on it to the DNC.

Syn-Kool coolant. I thought synthetic would be perfect for low maintenance & something that could sit for a long time between uses & not get all funky. Advertised as excellent rust protection, but my lathe didn't have a speck of rust when I got it and now I battle surface rust nonstop even though I use the coolant infrequently and wipe everything down when I do. It does last a long time & the only coolant maintenance I really have to do is suck off the tramp oil with a shop vac & add water. It has never gotten rancid. But overall, I think I'd have done better with Castrol 6519 or similar & an aerator.
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sub-sonic
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Re: Lathe/Mill Talk

Post by sub-sonic » Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:50 pm

grizzly G4000 with a milling attachment.
its a good basic lathe but the spindle hole is too small
when I got it I spent about 6 hours truing up the parts.
the only major problem was one of the jaws on the 3 jaw chuck was out of timing so I sold it on ebay and got a quality chuck.

HF 3 in 1 machine. (sold it 2 years ago and I still miss it)
did a lot of milling on this machine and it was better than the small milling machines
I have two hobbies. Shooting and reloading. The more I do of one the more I can do of the other.

Sealtee
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Re: Lathe/Mill Talk

Post by Sealtee » Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:49 am

Bridgeport 3ph 1-1/2hp made in Feb of ’61. Lots of accessories. Would love to get it fit with 2 axis DRO. I use this thing almost daily. Drove down to So Cal to pick it up about 7 years ago. Brought it and another (larger mill) back up to WA State in the back of my 1 ton Dodge! Sold the other mill and paid for mine with the profits! :mrgreen:

Small lathe: Monky Ward 10 x 24” made in 1954. Great little lathe. This thing gets used almost daily. I have several chucks and a fair bit of tooling. There is nothing that I would change on this machine! Can only do ¾” through the head though.

Large lathe: 20” x 8.5 feet made at the turn of the century, no not this last century, the one before! 220v - 3hp great for the larger stuff. On 3 occasions I have turned items over 8 feet long! This older lathe does not thread, but runs well. At some point I will replace the bronze bearing sleeve with a roller bearing!

Would love to get a medium sized lathe that would do about 48 – 60” center to center, one that could thread and would have about 1-1/4” through the head. It’s on my wish list in case you are wondering what to get me for Christmas! :wink:

Someday I will have a real shop AND I will be able to park one or more cars in the garage! (My wife would like that!)

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ken226
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Re: Lathe/Mill Talk

Post by ken226 » Tue Oct 07, 2014 5:27 pm

I have a KBC Tools Taiwan made 7x31 knee mill and a Smithy MI1237 12x37 lathe. Both work well and I have no complaints.

Its a minor nuisance changing speeds on the mill, belt and pulley system. But otherwise its rigid enough for ALL the gunsmith work I do. Biggest thing I've cut on it was a 3x3x8 block of carbon steel, taking facing cuts off the corners, turning it from square to octagon with a 2 inch facing mill. It handled it like a champ.

The lathe is awesome, quick change gears for the spindle speed, leadscrew ratio, autofeed drives, 1 1/2 inch spindle bore, d1-4 camlock.

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sub-sonic
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Re: Lathe/Mill Talk

Post by sub-sonic » Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:15 pm

Ken your stuff is way too clean
I have two hobbies. Shooting and reloading. The more I do of one the more I can do of the other.

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john.t.little1
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Re: Lathe/Mill Talk

Post by john.t.little1 » Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:31 pm

I was just thinking that looks like its sitting there waiting for a F1 :mrgreen:
"A man is known by the silence he keeps. - Oliver Herford"
"Gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot..."

wp6529
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Re: Lathe/Mill Talk

Post by wp6529 » Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:36 am

The main thing I would change is shop space as my shop is seriously overcrowded. I am working towards that goal though and hope to move to a new location with a new 3,750sf shop building in the next year or so (current shop ~1,250sf).

I have two manual Bridgeport mills (older and newer), two manual metal lathes (older and newer), a small CNC mini mill, a large CNC mill (larger than a Bridgeport), a CNC lathe, surface grinder, TIG welder, Plasma cutter, etc. In the past few years the shop has finally reached critical mass where I can do most anything I want without buying more than raw materials and perhaps a cutter or two.

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