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  #11  
Old 11-30-2004, 12:35 AM
Stickman
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Get a lathe first. There was an old timer here that used to say " if you've got a lathe you can make a square piece round or a round piece square". His point was that the lathe is the most versatile of the machine tools.

A lathe can be used for turning a shaft to a precise outside diameter, for drilling a hole dead center in the end of a shaft, for boring a hole to a precise inside diameter, for puting threads on the outside of a shaft or on the inside of a bored hole, for facing off a disc so that it runs true (like a flywheel or a brake rotor), for milling key ways in a shaft of limited size, for producing flat surfaces of limited size................ok my typing finger is getting tired .

Here are some photos..............

How to cut a keyway on the lathe


Turning the outside of a washer down


Threading a shaft


Threading a hole (you can also see from this set-up how a square block can be produced on the lathe).


Drilling with the lathe


My home built horizontal milling machine (built only using a lathe)
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  #12  
Old 11-30-2004, 12:37 AM
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It would really depend on what you want to accomplish with it. If you had the time I would take a machine shop class at a community college, that would let you know what to expect from each machine. http://www.jjjtrain.com/vms/library.html
This may give you some answers. You can do allot with a mill but if you're planning on doing mainly round work the lathe will be faster than using a rotary table or a boring head. The mill will be best at square work, slotting, flycutting, etc. As Franz said, the tooling for the lathe will be cheaper unless you get lucky finding a rotary table, indexable head, boring head, etc.

RE: your post about the perfect welder, I offer this advice. In "my opinion" TIG produces the best welds, but at the expense of time. A good MIG or stick weldor will make you look like a slacker. Again it depends on what you expect to accomplish with it. You could cut down a tree with a handsaw but a chainsaw is faster.The TIG is good on the smaller stuff unless you have a BIG machine, haven't seen anybody MIG weld a razor blade to a railroad track yet I think for the hobby weldor that will be doing various metals the TIG would be best because with the flip of a lever and a different filler rod you can go from steel to aluminum (or stainless/inconel/titanium/magnesium/etc.) More of a pain to switch wire in a MIG welder. The MIG welders can be had cheaper though. My TIG machine (which is old school as they say these days) will do stick or TIG although I've never tried it with stick. Most of my welding is repair welding, broken frame brackets/exhaust pipes/cases/etc. They really work good on helping to remove broken off bolts and taps if they're not too deep in the hole. If I was going to build a trailer for example, I would only use the TIG as a last resort because of the speed, better to borrow a MIG from somebody for that much welding, or dust off the stinger I got with this welder and weld 'er up with the stick.
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  #13  
Old 11-30-2004, 08:27 AM
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Mikey,

I'm no pro at the machinist thing, but I do like to tinker. If I could only have one, it would definately be the lathe. It is a truly versatile tool in capable hands. Get all the attachments you can, such as a taper attachment, steady rest, follower rest, milling attachment, collet/draw tube, and anything else you can find to go with it. One can easily spend more on tooling than the machine itself in the long run. However, that is dependent on your aspirations and success. Trust me when I say that machine tools can be more addictive than any drug that ever hit the market. Good luck with your decision.
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  #14  
Old 11-30-2004, 09:39 AM
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Mikey,

Motordoctor gave some good advice. If you have a technical college close by go pay them a visit. You can see the equipment in operation and get a good feel for what each is capable of.

Of course, if your pockets are deep get one of each.....

Last edited by madam X; 02-27-2011 at 06:45 PM. Reason: remove hacker link
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  #15  
Old 11-30-2004, 09:45 AM
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Stickman,

Is the spindle on your homebrew milling machine mounted in an engine block of some kind. What function does the connecting rod perform. Very nice job, very interesting.

Last edited by madam X; 02-27-2011 at 06:44 PM. Reason: remove hacker link
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  #16  
Old 11-30-2004, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arbo
Mikey,

I'm no pro at the machinist thing, but I do like to tinker. If I could only have one, it would definately be the lathe. It is a truly versatile tool in capable hands. Get all the attachments you can, such as a taper attachment, steady rest, follower rest, milling attachment, collet/draw tube, and anything else you can find to go with it. One can easily spend more on tooling than the machine itself in the long run. However, that is dependent on your aspirations and success. Trust me when I say that machine tools can be more addictive than any drug that ever hit the market. Good luck with your decision.
Welcome Arbo !! Where is the junkyard dog ?
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  #17  
Old 11-30-2004, 10:36 AM
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Hey Jack,

Thanks for the welcome mat.

I had been lurking around for a while now, and thought I would finally chime in. Thor is alive and well, but I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out the avatar thing here. Maybe because I am a new member? Let me know if there is some secret.
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  #18  
Old 11-30-2004, 10:44 AM
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Because of some giltch in the software you have to email your avatar to shade tree welder. Kind of a pain but it works.
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  #19  
Old 11-30-2004, 11:19 AM
Stickman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moe1942
Stickman,

Is the spindle on your homebrew milling machine mounted in an engine block of some kind. What function does the connecting rod perform. Very nice job, very interesting.
Yes it is an engine block. The connecting rod is part of the over arm support.



I posted the photo to show that you can make your own milling machine on the lathe but it would be very difficult to make a lathe using only a milling machine.

Another reason to get the Lathe first.
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  #20  
Old 11-30-2004, 11:57 AM
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hey stickman, what are you doing in that picture ? cutting splines on that gear ?
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