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Machines and equipment sourcing chronology...

What do you buy first for project car builds and general tinkering?!

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Chris Walter31/05/2020 21:25:23
6 forum posts

Hi all,

First post here! So be gentle...

I've recently bought a 7x14 lathe from Amadeal and am generally very pleased with it. I've stripped it down and replaced the saddle (the dovetail that partnered the gib strip was a radius!) and lapped in most of the lubricated interfaces.

I've also bought a vertical milling slide and pretty underwhelmed with it (too large a moment around it's centre to the headstock, limited range, etc..)

I am currently looking for a mill similar to a Centec 2A or ideally a 2B for <£1k and sourcing parts for a CNC plasma table build.

I do not have a bandsaw though! And am growing tired of all the tiny bits of steel powder everywhere in the workshop...

So I'm now wondering whether I should delay the mill and finance the bandsaw first (~£250?) or just speed up the plasma build!

What order did people acquire their kit in!?

Ta,

Chris.

Martin Connelly01/06/2020 09:56:45
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1364 forum posts
159 photos

I suspect a lot of the people in this forum have done the same thing as you and bought a lathe in the knowledge that they can use it as a limited milling machine. The limitations of using a lathe as a mill soon become apparent so if space, money and any other considerations allow then a milling machine which also doubles up as a drilling machine is the next machine. You can get away without a bandsaw for a long time using hand saws, angle grinders and slitting saws in the lathe or mill.

The cop out answer which covers everything is to buy what you need when you need it.

Martin C

Thor01/06/2020 10:38:26
1228 forum posts
37 photos

Hi Chris,

As you I started with a lathe and made a vertical slide so I could do some simple milling operations. I eventually upgraded to a Mini Mill that was a huge improvement over the vertical milling slide. Later I made a motorized hacksaw as I had a surplus small electric motor. Whether you need the bandsaw before the milling machine I guess only you can decide that. Depends on what projects you plan to do, I needed a milling machine more than a motorized hacksaw so I bought a milling machine.

Thor

Ronald Morrison01/06/2020 10:42:40
26 forum posts

i put off buying a bandsaw for years, using the hacksaw for all my small cutting and oxy-acetalene or plasma for the bigger cuts. What a mistake! Now that I have a bandsaw I will carry parts 100 meters to the bandsaw instead of picking up the hacksaw that is 1 meter away. The accuracy of the cuts is better than I ever managed with the hacksaw and I can clamp the stock in, start the bandsaw and walk away to do other things, knowing that the bandsaw will just shut itself off when the cut is done.

SillyOldDuffer01/06/2020 11:37:00
5746 forum posts
1211 photos
Posted by Ronald Morrison on 01/06/2020 10:42:40:

i put off buying a bandsaw for years, using the hacksaw for all my small cutting and oxy-acetalene or plasma for the bigger cuts. What a mistake! Now that I have a bandsaw I will carry parts 100 meters to the bandsaw instead of picking up the hacksaw that is 1 meter away. The accuracy of the cuts is better than I ever managed with the hacksaw and I can clamp the stock in, start the bandsaw and walk away to do other things, knowing that the bandsaw will just shut itself off when the cut is done.

+1 in favour of the bandsaw! Not sexy but my goodness they save time and effort. Doubly appreciated because hand-sawing must be the most boring, tiring and least rewarding of all workshop activities.

In order:

  • Hand tools, Taps & Dies, Digital Caliper, bench, vice
  • Pillar drill & Grinder
  • Mini-lathe
  • DTI, Stand and Micrometer
  • Bandsaw
  • Insulating Bricks, Seivert Torch
  • Engine Crane
  • Milling Machine with Drill and ER32
  • Parallels, Boring Head, Rotary Table, improved vice
  • X,Y DRO for mill
  • Angle gauges, Wixey and Angle plate
  • Replace mini-lathe with big lathe
  • Ball cutter, knurling tool, rear toolpost, Reamers, centre set & other accessories to fit big lathe
  • Planisher
  • Improved lighting
  • Air Compressor

Dubious purchases: 3-in-1, Height Gauge, Scribe Block, milling vice for Mini-lathe, Flood Coolant system, Clamp Set, Press, Engineering Blue

Made Redundant by Milling Machine: Pillar Drill (mostly), Tap Stand.

Completely Daft: cross-vice.

Dave

Chris Walter01/06/2020 12:58:07
6 forum posts

Thanks for the responses all.

Where would people look for second hand mills of a Centec 2A size? ~£1k mark?

I've looked on lathes.co.uk and obviously the classifieds here, Gumtree and ebay...

Going to respond later to your (exceptionally useful!) list Dave. I may have broken the order a tad...

Chris.

T.B01/06/2020 15:35:46
27 forum posts
3 photos
Posted by Chris Walter on 01/06/2020 12:58:07:

Thanks for the responses all.

Where would people look for second hand mills of a Centec 2A size? ~£1k mark?

I've looked on lathes.co.uk and obviously the classifieds here, Gumtree and ebay...

Going to respond later to your (exceptionally useful!) list Dave. I may have broken the order a tad...

Chris.

There's a Centec 2B on gumtree at the moment , located in SE.

Nothing to do with me , i noticed it this morning !

Chris Walter01/06/2020 18:38:22
6 forum posts
Posted by T.B on 01/06/2020 15:35:46:
Posted by Chris Walter on 01/06/2020 12:58:07:

Thanks for the responses all.

Where would people look for second hand mills of a Centec 2A size? ~£1k mark?

I've looked on lathes.co.uk and obviously the classifieds here, Gumtree and ebay...

Going to respond later to your (exceptionally useful!) list Dave. I may have broken the order a tad...

Chris.

There's a Centec 2B on gumtree at the moment , located in SE.

Nothing to do with me , i noticed it this morning !

I saw that one!

It's gone already!

Thanks though.

Chris Walter01/06/2020 18:47:19
6 forum posts

Can't quite stretch to this either...

**LINK**

C.

martin perman01/06/2020 18:48:42
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1827 forum posts
78 photos

Just out of curiousity what are the benefits of a rear tool post, I would have to extend my cross slide as it wouldnt be long enough and I couldnt use the power feed unless I could turn towards the tailstock.

Martin P

Edited By martin perman on 01/06/2020 18:49:18

Chris Walter01/06/2020 18:50:17
6 forum posts

Thanks Dave! My order so far.....

  • Hand tools, Taps & Dies, Digital Caliper, bench, vice [2]
  • Pillar drill & Grinder [3]
  • Mini-lathe [8]
  • DTI, Stand and Micrometer [4]
  • Bandsaw [NEXT?]
  • Insulating Bricks, Seivert Torch [7]
  • Engine Crane [6]
  • Milling Machine with Drill and ER32 [NEXT?]
  • Parallels, Boring Head, Rotary Table, improved vice
  • X,Y DRO for mill
  • Angle gauges, Wixey and Angle plate
  • Replace mini-lathe with big lathe
  • Ball cutter, knurling tool, rear toolpost, Reamers, centre set & other accessories to fit big lathe
  • Planisher
  • Improved lighting [1]
  • Air Compressor [5]

Andrew Johnston01/06/2020 21:00:44
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5495 forum posts
647 photos
Posted by Chris Walter on 31/05/2020 21:25:23:

What order did people acquire their kit in!?

Can't remember precisely, but I started with a centre lathe and vertical mill bought from the same dealer. After that I think it went roughly like this:

Surface grinder and donkey saw

DRO for vertical mill

Pillar drill

Horizontal mill

Tool and cutter grinder

Shaper

4-axis CNC mill

Cylindrical grinder

Professional quality machine vice

Box and pan folder

Power guillotine

Repetition lathe

Instrument makers lathe

Horizontal bandsaw

Everything, apart from the CNC mill, machine vice and DRO, is secondhand.

Accessories and tooling have been bought (all secondhand) as available from all types of sources.

Andrew

Edit: Forgot to mention the welding gear (oxy-acetylene and TIG) but can't remember where they fitted in. I bought a propane burner relatively recently.

Edited By Andrew Johnston on 01/06/2020 21:03:04

Thor02/06/2020 05:43:36
1228 forum posts
37 photos
Posted by martin perman on 01/06/2020 18:48:42:

Just out of curiousity what are the benefits of a rear tool post, I would have to extend my cross slide as it wouldnt be long enough and I couldnt use the power feed unless I could turn towards the tailstock.

Martin P

Edited By martin perman on 01/06/2020 18:49:18

I have a rear tool-post on my 290 lathe that I use for an inverted parting off tool. The cross-slide is long enough to accommodate a rear tool post.
I also use it for a chamfering tool. The rear parting off tools work well, and it is handy to have the tool ready, just wind the corss-slide forwards.

Thor

Chris Walter04/06/2020 22:18:07
6 forum posts

Well, slight change of plan...

Putting together a Plasma CNC now, and making do with a VMS on the lathe (unless, obviously the right mill turns up down the road...)

Thanks for the input! (And I'm also going to buy the bandsaw to help cut the box section for the plasma table).

Chris.

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