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    • February 10, 2019 6:06 PM EST
    • I appreciate everyone's comments and considerations. Still in the fence. I cant afford quality milling equipment for a few one off parts. Just cant justify it. 

      As far as multi tools, I own THE multi tool. A Shopsmith. Does it compare to my stand alone equipment, not a chance. But is it useful, allows me to do things I otherwise would not get to do. 


      I havent decided to pull the trigger. But it NOT a case of not buying this or saving up for better stand alone equipment. It's a case of buy this or nothing at all. Milling equipment is a too expensive luxury I dont have 


      I asked because I am leary of these sorts of things and have had bad experiences with these sorts of purchases. But on the other hand I have had some good ones with cheap tools allowing me to do stuff I otherwise wouldn't. Tough call. 


      I do thank you all for the input. Its sincerely appreciated. IF i buy it I will let you know how it goes. 

    • February 10, 2019 2:25 PM EST
    • Devon Sinsley said:



      Thanks. I am think I am gonna give it a try. The main thing i see myself doing with it is turning an milling brass and plastic for detail parts, cribbage pegs, etc. Nothing precision. 




      I have to agree with Rick Marty and his comments about multi-use tools. Bottom line is that they are not sturdy enough to give you ANY kind of precision :). Save your money and buy individual tools for your work. A simple hand drill would be far better than this combo tool. You WILL be frustrated beyond belief with the results from this combo machine or ANY combo machine. Really a waste of good money. I am a retired tool&die maker by trade, so you know where I'm coming from :). 

      I built my Gene Allen ten-wheeler (1/8th scale) using a mill/drill combo machine. It weighs 800 pounds and yet it still flexes on heavy cuts. But I know how to use it and where I can get precision down to 0.001. But it takes experience to do this. The average hobbyist who hasn't done machining before, won't know how to get precision out of ANY in-expensive tool. I only use the mill/drill for milling ONLY. I have a separate drill press, 12X36 Clausing lathe. Another combo tool I have is a Shopsmith. Bought it brand new in 1978. I never use it as a table saw. I use it in combination with the Shopsmith bandsaw accessory or as a nice drill press for large work. The ONLY reason I have the mill/drill and shop smith is because I don't have the room in my shop for the full-size mill (Bridgeport). As it is now, I am cramped for space and it's 500 sq. ft.! Full-size Delta contractor shaper with 1-1/4 shaft, full 12 inch radial arm saw.

      Bottom line is that you can find individual tools for specific jobs. In fact, Amazon just sent me an email showing "reconditioned" tools available for about half the cost of new. They come with warrantees, too. Just remember exactly what you said at the start "I know you get what you pay for, but.......". And in tools (any tools), this could not be more true :). You mention that you want to mill or turn brass and plastic....don't be so cavalier concerning these materials :). Without being able to adjust speeds or only 3 or 4 different speeds at your disposal, you will be frustrated quickly. Please "rethink" this purchase :).

    • February 10, 2019 3:27 AM EST
    • Devon Sinsley said:



      Thanks. I am think I am gonna give it a try. The main thing i see myself doing with it is turning an milling brass and plastic for detail parts, cribbage pegs, etc. Nothing precision. 

      Bought mine for exactly the same reason, couldn't justify to myself the purchase of a lathe for some maybe/might happen in the future projects. 

      Bought mine years ago from Hobbyking for about $50 and have still not used it in anger yet (found a drill press at a garage sale).  Matter of fact I only just pulled it out of a cupboard and added it to the removalist pile in readiness for my move to my retirement abode.

    • February 10, 2019 1:44 AM EST
    • Good enough, we can compare frustrations er successes!

    • February 9, 2019 11:15 PM EST
    • John,


      Thanks. I am think I am gonna give it a try. The main thing i see myself doing with it is turning an milling brass and plastic for detail parts, cribbage pegs, etc. Nothing precision. 

    • February 9, 2019 10:18 PM EST
    • I have one, I set it up with 3 or 4 reducing blocks to turn carving wax.

      It does fine on wax, I had fun playing with it, but I've never pushed it hard to see what it can do.


      edit: part 2

      I consider it a lathe and mill 1st.

      If you need a drill press, get a drill press.

      This is more like a toy that can do several tasks ok, but none well,

      kind of fussy and uses friction locks.

    • February 9, 2019 9:43 PM EST
    • Well no multi-tool is as good as individual tools of each type. But, for hobby use, unless your expecting to machine parts for live steam, it will probably work great.

      I know 130 bucks is a 130 bucks but when it comes to machine tools well, that's not so much, pay more than that for an impact driver.

    • February 9, 2019 9:34 PM EST
    • As long as you don’t expect  precision and close tolerances, the only Harbor Freight tool I am not happy with is  my compound miter saw, its drives me nuts every time I use it to set it to square. But then again my Craftsman table saw is out of square too so my house is full o odd ball things

    • February 9, 2019 7:56 PM EST
    • Does anyone have any experience with THESE I think it would be fun to play with. I was looking for a mini drill press and don't really use a rotary tool enough to buy a variable speed one and a drill press stand for it. I also don't want to spend a fortune on a good one from say micromark. This will be a very limited use sort of thing so just can't see dropping a bunch of money even though I know "you get what you pay for". But like my harbor freight pin nailer and my harbor freight disc/belt sander I find cheaper tools work just fine for my limited use. So with that said I was looking at little bench top jewelry drill presses in the 50 buck range that would be about right where I want to be. But then stumbled on this. I could see having a lot of fun with it. But if its complete garbage I don't want to waste my money. Its $130 on Amazon. Ratings are somewhat lack luster but I kinda expected that. 

    • February 10, 2019 12:13 PM EST
    • Eric, That's awesome.    Sign me up please.    Would you be so kind and send the PayPal link to my email address as you had done for the two jigs?    I will gladly send you the $20.00 asap.    This is great.    Now I will have a complete USAT wheel set repair kit.    And the whole works can be shipped it one package.    Thank you Eric.  Mark Betlem

    • February 10, 2019 11:40 AM EST
    • Yes, I'd do the same deal as the blocks: $20 shipped.

    • February 10, 2019 11:10 AM EST
    • Really cool.....again. That device looks very helpful as well.  Any chance of you offering the completed version of this for sale also?  We could pick up the screws locally. 

    • February 10, 2019 10:44 AM EST
    • Here's another new 3D gadget for you.  It pulls the wheels and gear apart.



      Here's the file for printing:

      The linked file has a larger wheel cutout, sized for the SD70, which I believe is the largest diameter wheel.  The cutout for the gear is sized for the larger 2-axle gears.

      The jig requires three #10 screws and nuts.  I found with fine thread screws, I could turn them by hand, even with gears that hadn't yet cracked.


    • January 25, 2019 11:55 PM EST
    • Just now went to go attempt some more very slooooooooooow progress on a couple HLW Mack modifications and found this.

      What's happening with these adhesives tubes?

      They have been in a ziplock bag in a box on my kitchen table for several months, so it's not like they've been in an extreme environment.








      And in another 'What's up with that?', because my body has been difficult to get along with the last several days, I've been doing a lot of sitting in front of the computer, when not lying down and/or sleeping.

      (there are reasons I don't/can't watch TV, so there isn't even a TV set in my apartment with which to pass the time watching)

      Use the mouse with right hand, (this desk's size and configuration kind of make that mandatory) but, no, it's the LEFT hand which has been having spams today.


      There is no logical cause and effect in this neurological & endocrine & musculoskeletal, crap.
      Ya know, it's no wonder people who have these things often end up as mental cases.

    • January 16, 2019 10:46 PM EST
    • And the old nails really sparkle when I come across them with the table saw blade.

    • January 16, 2019 1:33 PM EST
    • I love reclaimed wood over new for a lot of things. I ended up with some rough cut Douglas fir 2X4s that once cut down and sanded just popped with detail in the grain in a wood not know for grain. The way the lights and darks separated just can't be duplicated. You can see it in your pile of cedar. I made a picture frame a few months back, a very simple thing and sanded it down just enough to take away the splinters and man it looked awesome. Even old nail holes look good as they stain and turn black.

    • August 28, 2018 11:45 PM EDT
    • I recently got about 250 feet of redwood 1x4 T&G siding that I will be processing next. I will likely cut into dimensional lumber to build a model of the Colorado and Southern Clear Creek truss bridge. 

    • August 28, 2018 8:08 PM EDT
    • Love it !

       Best part of recycling old lumber like that is hitting the nails that you didn't catch. What's great about a saw "the sparks will alert you" causing an instant decision making session of whether to continue to push it thru or stop.

    • August 28, 2018 6:19 PM EDT
    • David Marconi,FOGCH said:


       You might want to add the use of a metal detector wand to make sure you have found all the possible metal bits from said wood

      If detectors weren't so expensive, I would have done that. I've recycled about 50 boards, and I missed one nail piece. 


      Note: then I just found (Googled) that Harbor Freight sells one for $17. Cen-Tech Metal Detector I will definitely get one of those, as I still have a bunch of wood left to cut up, and many bridges to build! 

      Edit: Here's one on Amazon for $25: Little Wizard 2

    • August 28, 2018 5:59 PM EDT
    • Russell,

       You might want to add the use of a metal detector wand to make sure you have found all the possible metal bits from said wood