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    • February 14, 2019 4:05 PM EST
    • Craig Townsend said:

      I've always heard its not the machine that kills the bank, but all the tooling....

       

      I semi casually check estate sales for machine tools, but I doubt I will ever have the room for a mill or a lathe. 

       

      I thought I also have been told that if you can only buy one machine, buy a mill. A mill with the proper tools can do the work of a lathe, but you can't do it the other way around. 

       

      Just my 2 cents.

      You probably posted this prior to me posting the milling attachment for the Lathe. But with a 68 dollar add on you can do some basic milling.

    • February 14, 2019 4:00 PM EST
    • I've always heard its not the machine that kills the bank, but all the tooling....

       

      I semi casually check estate sales for machine tools, but I doubt I will ever have the room for a mill or a lathe. 

       

      I thought I also have been told that if you can only buy one machine, buy a mill. A mill with the proper tools can do the work of a lathe, but you can't do it the other way around. 

       

      Just my 2 cents.

    • February 14, 2019 3:53 PM EST
    • While more than I really wanted to pay for such a thing I think I could convince the wife to let me have this if I save my lunch money. Would this be a sufficient machine? Is there some must have that this does not have? Am I plain stupid?

       

      You can also buy a milling attachment for this lathe which would be handy

       

      $68.

    • February 14, 2019 3:44 PM EST
    • Well looking it over I think if I were to drop the cash today I would likely buy the Taig 1017 package. For those in the know about machining equipment would this be a good machine for what I want to do.

      m1017

      Collet set

      Chuck

      1091 Jacobs Chuck

      tool set

      Tailstock

       

      Pulley set

       

      Package #3 (1017-3) Just about everything you will need


      1017
      1040
      1050
      1091
      1095
      1150
      1023
      1022
      1162
      1021wired
      Total

      - Micro lathe assembled unit
      - Collet set with 8 collets and closer
      - 3 jaw self centering chuck
      - 0 to 1/4 inch Jacobs chuck
      - 6 piece tool bit set
      - Drilling tailstock with 3/8-24 thread
      - 12 x 18 mounting board
      - motor mount bracket
      - 1/2 inch pulley set (3M 500 belt)
      - 1/4 hp Marathon Motor (1725 RPM) wired with switch and cord.

      $214.10
      $36.70
      $70.40
      $12.30
      $33.10
      $44.60
      $8.65
      $5.95
      $30.25
      $123.10
      $579.15

      Internet special
      with free shipping
      in the U.S.A.
      $544.40

       

      Now the only thing that I can see is the speed is controlled by pulleys and not a variable speed control, but is this a problem for an amateur hobby guy.  Anything else I should be seeing, needing, or knowing.

    • February 14, 2019 2:54 PM EST
    • Greg Elmassian said:

      I went Sherline, they are about a mile from where I work, very nice stuff, but they do not make a combo machine.

       

      Greg

      Thanks I will have a look at them as well. The Taig that Al is recommending is not a combo tool either. The mill is far less important to me at this point than the lathe is. While I am sure I would use a mill if I had one, I can't thin off the top of my head why I would need it given the modeling I am doing already. A lathe is a whole other ball game, I know I will use that the minute I get it. So I am not opposed to buying a lathe and then later buying a mill.

       

      looking at their website, while not truly making a combination machine they make a vertical milling attachment for the lathe. That could be a real deal maker there. They are a little spendier than the Taig but add that option and they become a whole lot less and it would seem on the outside they are roughly equivalent machines.

       

       

    • February 13, 2019 9:21 PM EST
    • I went Sherline, they are about a mile from where I work, very nice stuff, but they do not make a combo machine.

       

      Greg

    • February 13, 2019 9:12 PM EST
    • Devon,

       

      I have had this lathe for many years. pickup new accessories from e-bay sellers from time to time. while they advertise the 1/8 cut it is all relative to the material you are cutting. one project I did early on was to make some 0-80 bolts from square brass. I needed longer than was available and once a plan was developed I made a bunch of them. it is a machine that will take some time to get used to, like any fine machine they all have quirks. I think there are support forums out there for these as well but beyond my scope.

       

      Al P.

    • February 13, 2019 3:23 PM EST
    • Okay Al, thats what I need to know. How do you like this unit. I assume you have the micro lathe? $456.00 for a package deal for basically a complete starter set. I can do that with a little saving.

    • February 13, 2019 11:31 AM EST
    • Devon, have you looked at Taig tools? I have a lathe with a milling attachment. only downside on the mill is limited travel of  two axis's is around 1" or so. largest thing I have turned is 26" wheel sets, 1:20.3 of course.

      http://www.taigtools.com/

      Al P.

    • February 13, 2019 11:03 AM EST
    • John Caughey said:

      Good luck, many years ago my frugality led me to the Unimat.

      I heard so much negativity regarding the Chinese knock offs that like you the price shot up to the never gonna happen range.

      I'll be interested what is suggested on the open market or if somebody decides to sell you an old one they have ... my money is on the second...

       

      Should I survive my latest challenge, I've been thinking of turning some brass, jut to see.

      That's the conundrum isn't it. Don't buy this tool because it sucks and won't do what you want, which then leaves you with no tool for the job and you still can't do what you want. Until a rich uncle that I don't know I have leaves me a large sum of cash, I will never ever have good small hobby tools. $1500 for a mini metal lathe or a brand new drum sander. Another 1500 for a mill and I can instead have a shaper. I have limited income and too many hobbies. And if I am going to get a divorce over buying machinery it will be wood working tools.

    • February 13, 2019 10:36 AM EST
    • Good luck, many years ago my frugality led me to the Unimat.

      I heard so much negativity regarding the Chinese knock offs that like you the price shot up to the never gonna happen range.

      I'll be interested what is suggested on the open market or if somebody decides to sell you an old one they have ... my money is on the second...

       

      Should I survive my latest challenge, I've been thinking of turning some brass, jut to see.

    • February 13, 2019 9:49 AM EST
    • So since I got talked out of this purchase I will be getting me a little drill press. So that then brings up the question what would be a good, non budget breaking, mill and lathe to start saving for considering that I am not going to be doing much more than small projects in soft metals and plastic. Turning and milling steel would be nice and if that doesn't jump up the price to horrible then I would go the extra to have a more stout machine. $1500 for a lathe and another $1500 for a mill are not gonna happen. Just not. So what, if any, are the alternatives. I see lots of less expensive machines but where to we break the "toy" and "cheap tool" barrier and move into real hobby level equipment at an affordable price point (I know affordable is relative)?

    • February 12, 2019 8:19 PM EST
    • Devon Sinsley said:

      Again thanks all. Gonna pass on it. Just afraid it isn't gonna work well enough. 

      Smart choice Buddy :).

       

    • February 12, 2019 6:43 PM EST
    • Again thanks all. Gonna pass on it. Just afraid it isn't gonna work well enough. 

    • February 11, 2019 8:12 PM EST
    • While it can never compare to Gary's professional tools and would be aggravating for him to try and use it, I don't regret buying my Unimat.

      I bought longer beds  and extra heads for speed reduction, because I want SOMEDAY *to build a Sterling Silver loco, probably in 0n3. I can turn the boiler in wax and cast it... And with Gary's beautiful drawings, I can make drivers with odd number of spokes. He drew them to fit my divider plate, the thingy with all the holes... He drew them for me, when it actually sounded like I could make my casting shop worth turning on... but my 'marks' all shied away at the thought of paying...

      I have a HF drill press, but mostly I free hand with the variable speed flex shaft.

       

      * should I live so long

    • February 11, 2019 6:47 PM EST
    • Devon IMO ...put the $130 elsewhere.

    • February 11, 2019 6:33 PM EST
    • Neat.   I love the smaller tools myself...

      So, if you just want to drill holes...why not something like this stand? (assuming you already have a rotary tool...)

      I have one and used it to drill holes when I was making my hoppers.

      And once you get a good transformer you can also get a bunch of neat mini tools, like this little belt sander from Micro-Mark

      They also have a VERY handy drill, jig saw, and a bunch of other really handy tools.   The transformer allows for variable speed for all of these.

      Of course, a mill might be cheaper.

    • February 11, 2019 6:13 PM EST
    • David Maynard said:

      A milling machine would be cool, but toy machine is a toy machine. Years ago I bought a Harbor Freight, bench top drill press, and while its not production grade, it does for me what it was advertised to do. And with a little creativity, I have turned some wood forms on it too, even though its not a lathe.

       

      Why would you look at that machine when you have a shop-smith?

      Couple reasons. First my wife would have a real problem with me bringing my shopsmith inside, . This started out because I want a small drill press, Not a shop bench top, but a hobby bench top one I can use for repetitive drilling on my small projects and then have it tuck nicely away somewhere. Basically the same concept as why I bought a small belt.disc sander. I don't like going out in the shop and setting up the shopsmith to sand a tiny piece. The little sander works great and can fit in a cabinet. A small drill press would be the same way. While looking for them I cam across that and thought some of the other features would be fun to have as well; a mill/lathe mainly, for turning small brass and plastic pieces. I can do plastic on my shopsmith, never tried brass but I am assuming the light duty stuff I want to make I can pull off with it. But it would be nice to do it inside at my hobby bench. So a drill press snowballed into wondering about this and for 130 bucks if people found them useful for hobby work then it would be a cool little tool. 

       

      I was fully expecting the "don't buy a multi-tool, because they are never as good as individual machines" response, I hear it all the time on wood working forums about the ShopSmith. But as a ShopSmith owner I find great usefulness in its flexibility. Sure its not as good but a guy who is going to make a few bird houses it would work great as a single tool. Do I prefer my table saw to my shopsmith, yes. Do I prefer my router table to my shopsmith, yes. But it does great for a drill press for my needs. It is also very practical as a lathe, for most anything I will ever do. So on and so forth. Would I recommend one to a cabinet maker, heck no.

       

      I also fully expected the "don't buy cheap tools or you will be disappointed" answer. The same type of response I got on pin nailers and my harbor freight cheapy is still going strong as is my small belt disc sander. Again I wouldn't recommend them to someone who uses them professionally or intensively in a particular hobby. But they are more than adequate for what I do. So not all cheap tools are worthless. You expect limitations and work around them. The price point allows you to buy more of other stuff. And if it works to a persons satisfaction then why spend more just to say you spent more.

       

      So I know for 100% certain I will not be buying a quality mill or metal lathe. Just not gonna happen, way out of my price range. I don't want to just throw money away either. So if this tool sucks and will not do what I expect it to do adequately enough for what I want to do, then I want to know that too. But if people have used them with passable results for working on model parts then it would be a cool little toy to play with at a price point that won't be prohibitive. I am still on the fence. It has very mixed reviews with enough bad that I am leary still.

    • February 11, 2019 5:47 PM EST
    • A milling machine would be cool, but toy machine is a toy machine. Years ago I bought a Harbor Freight, bench top drill press, and while its not production grade, it does for me what it was advertised to do. And with a little creativity, I have turned some wood forms on it too, even though its not a lathe.

       

      Why would you look at that machine when you have a shop-smith?

    • February 11, 2019 11:27 AM EST
    • Oh yeah, that‘s a totally different animal. Thanks, Greg.