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Need info on machinery

Started by Ridgerunner, 03/14/2008 10:40PM
Posted 03/14/2008 10:40PM Opening Post
Guys,
I have a small shop at home, and I will be putting in equipment too help me build small telescope parts and small local jobs . I am looking for smaller eqipment.
I want too put a small Layth, Mill, Surface grinder, bandsaws, etc. I have training in Machineing and electrical.
Can anybody tell me where I can find a U.S. company that sells these kinds of machines ?
I have looked threw several companies I googled,but all them sell large equipment. I might consider newly referbished equipment.
Thankyou,

Bill

-----------------------------------------------

Be a Blessing too someone today !
Clear Skys,
Bill - Astro Hillbilly 8)
And Pluto is still a Planet !
Posted 03/15/2008 05:38AM #1
Hi Bill -- Sherline builds/sells very nice mini lathes and mills. So does Taig. I have a Taig mill which has served very well.

Bob Polcyn
Posted 03/15/2008 08:09AM #2
Bill Madewell said:

Guys,
I have a small shop at home, and I will be putting in equipment too help me build small telescope parts and small local jobs . I am looking for smaller eqipment.
I want too put a small Layth, Mill, Surface grinder, bandsaws, etc. I have training in Machineing and electrical.
Can anybody tell me where I can find a U.S. company that sells these kinds of machines ?
I have looked threw several companies I googled,but all them sell large equipment. I might consider newly referbished equipment.
Thankyou,

Bill

Bill,

I recall seeing a magazine at Barnes & Noble recently titled Home Shop Machinist. Might be some info there. Here is a link.

http://www.homeshopmachinist.net/

Oklahoma State University--The University of Oklahoma!--GO POKES!! GO STATE!!
Posted 03/15/2008 11:42AM | Edited 03/15/2008 11:44AM #3
Hi Bill:

I think your choices depend upon what you mean by a "US Company." Grizzly Tools sells all kinds of small and medium sized metal and wood shop tools. Grizzly is a US owned importer/retailer. But the tools are made in China. As you might expect, you get a lot of tool for the money, but the precision and finish are probably not up to US standards. I have a Grizzly table saw and a small metal mill. I like them a lot.

Here is Grizzly:

http://grizzly.com/

Also check out these guys; they specialize in upgrades and parts for the small Chinese machine tools sold by many distributors.

http://littlemachineshop.com/

Jim
Posted 03/15/2008 02:49PM #4
www.use-enco.com

One of the biggest resellers. Very good prices and selection on consumeables like drills/mills etc, less so on small machinery.

Michael
Posted 03/16/2008 08:27AM #5
Bill,

I went that route 15 years ago (Enco lathe & manual mill) and found that the results were more instructional than useful. Other than some simple turned parts it is not possible to do precision, repeatable metal work with these low-cost machines. And buying the machine itself is just the start. Even minimal tooling for a $499 lathe can cost as much as the machine. IMO you would be better off taking your ideas to a real machine shop. It will certainly cost you less and the quality of the parts will be far better.

If that isn't possible or practical, look for used machines that include the tooling and spares. Also consider that basement stairs and 1600-pound chunks of cast iron are not made for each other. 8)

There is nothing wrong with owning a drill press, hand tools, band saw, etc., as these can be used for many other tasks. But if you need to turn precision threads for a custom eyepiece barrel, that Grizzly mini-lathe or Shop Smith 3-in-1 wiz-bang is probably not going to do a very good job of it.

Jim McSheehy
Posted 03/16/2008 11:45PM #6
Thanks Guys for ALL your help. I have collected your suggestions, and will look for the best route. More ideas are always welcome.
For James and Tony, I am a "Machinest One" and have the papers too prove it grin . I refused to do any sloppy work, and cutting threads on a Layth, is a piece of cake. 8)

Most of the Machine Shops around here, have closed up, or in the process. I rather do the work on my own, than have people, pull the wool over my head with cost and shoddy work.

For David, as for Pluto, each his own. If you ask a person what color is the Sky, you would say Blue, and I would say, what shade of Blue ? I want let 400 people out of 10,000 tell me that Pluto isn't a Planet.... wink

Again, thankyou guys for your help, and I do learn alot from you as time goes.

Bill

-----------------------------------------------

Be a Blessing too someone today !
Clear Skys,
Bill - Astro Hillbilly 8)
And Pluto is still a Planet !
Posted 02/11/2021 01:50PM #7
Originally Posted by James McSheehy
Bill,<br><br>I went that route 15 years ago (Enco lathe & manual mill) and found that the results were more instructional than useful. Other than some simple turned parts it is not possible to do precision, repeatable metal work with these low-cost machines. And buying the machine itself is just the start. Even minimal tooling for a $499 lathe can cost as much as the machine. IMO you would be better off taking your ideas to a real machine shop. It will certainly cost you less and the quality of the parts will be far better.<br><br>If that isn't possible or practical, look for used machines that include the tooling and spares. Also consider that basement stairs and 1600-pound chunks of cast iron are not made for each other. 8)  <br><br>There is nothing wrong with owning a drill press, hand tools, band saw, etc., as these can be used for many other tasks. But if you need to turn precision threads for a custom eyepiece barrel, that Grizzly mini-lathe or Shop Smith 3-in-1 wiz-bang is probably not going to do a very good job of it.
James,,,,that is some of the very best advice I have ever heard anyone give regarding purchasing machinery. I would like to add to what you have said. If someone came into my fully equipped shop that has a host of professional grade machines, unless they have at minimum several years of experience, they are not going to produce close tolerance work. Folks, it is not the machines that matter as much as the Machinist. A good Machinist will make good parts on a less than ideal machine but a non-Machinist will not be able to make precision parts on the best machines ever produced. There is a misconception that all that is required is precise machines to produce precise parts. That notion is false. That is why Machining is a skilled trade not just a job. 

Barry Young
Young Camera Company