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Discussion Starter #1
I want to be able to make some small parts from scratch and need some suggestions on tools that would be a must and some that would be nice to have. I figure as a minimum I would need a drill press, band saw, and metal lathe.

If you do this kind of work I need your advice. I have never used a metal lathe so that will be a learning experience. What extras do I need for the lathe
 

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You need a Bridgeport or vertical mill, not a drill press. You need a metal lathe. You need a tig welder. A band saw is nice to have but not a need to have. 4' bench lathe is plenty big enough for small parts. You need a belt sander. You need a grinding wheel to sharpen the tool bits.

The lathe and mill will be the cheap parts. The tooling for them is expensive. Especially if you need carbide, but if you are messing around with aluminum high speed steel will do.

You will need a mentor. guys like Brian make it look easy, but it ain't.
 

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You need a Bridgeport or vertical mill, not a drill press. You need a metal lathe. You need a tig welder. A band saw is nice to have but not a need to have. 4' bench lathe is plenty big enough for small parts. You need a belt sander. You need a grinding wheel to sharpen the tool bits.

The lathe and mill will be the cheap parts. The tooling for them is expensive. Especially if you need carbide, but if you are messing around with aluminum high speed steel will do.

You will need a mentor. guys like Brian make it look easy, but it ain't.
Carl you pretty much covered it.
Regarding making some 'parts' from scratch..the equipment you 'need' will certaintly depend on 'what' you intend to make and obviously master to achieve the desired end result.
I am 'self taught' on the equipment I have as I am a carpenter/joiner by trade...however have had many sucessful years in model making/engineering as I posted recently http://www.mvagusta.net/forum/showthread.php?t=47074.
Along with the 'machinery'..you'll need various measuring tools (vernier gauges, measuring calipers, steel rules, calculator, pencil & paper etc) an array of drill bits, taps & dies etc etc.
But most of all you'll need a.. problem solving, imaginative, creative, patient approach to what you plan to make..'seeing' it in the various stages in your head 'before and during' it's construction. 'Knowing' what you can do with various metals..because each of them will 'work' differently.
Start slow to get a 'feel' for how the metal reacts..the speed you turn it at..the amount of metal you 'remove' .. lubricant etc.(stainless steel versus mild steel versus brass versus aluminium..etc etc)
All the best with your venture...
Brian:)
 

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You might consider a course at the local technical school. Probably be a wise investment of a few months just for a basic machine shop operations class.
 

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Good you are thinking about what you need. After a lifetime I finally have the BIG 3, a mill, a lathe and a TIG welder all at the same place at the same time. I wish I had a school I could go to to learn some basic machining skills but I will have to rely on what I already know and work hard at it by self study and doing.
Having the correct tools for the job is wonderful. I was a welder in my former life and now I just look at what some other guys did and how the welds are holding up over time and service life.
Rule #1 for a shop is figure out how much room you will need and how big to make it then double it.
Like was said tooling is not cheap. Don't try to do it all at once and get what you need as you go. The mill will take the place of a drill press for sure but it is still nice to have a small one. I still have mine and use it all the time because it is easy and fast to do simple operations with.
Good luck with your efforts. Always protect your eyes and your hands!
 

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That's a great suggestion from Ed regarding enrolling in a class in the technical school as it will give you a feel for this equipment especially as you say you've ''never used a metal lathe''. It'll also give you an idea for the size/type of equipment you'll need...before you spend any 'big' money unnecessarily.. and you can get 'hands on'.
Also as Roderick (Sagerider) says don't buy all the equipment at once rather get what you need as you go..great advice.
But as I was trying to 'get at' above...making stuff successfully doesn't necessarily depend on the amount or professional quality of the machinery...rather your mastery of it and your thoughtful approach to each stage toward the finished product...a bit like the statement...''it aint 'what' you ride but 'how' you ride''.
It's not work..it's a hobby so 'time' is not an issue...the 'end result' is what matters not how fast you made it. Enjoy it and apply the advice given and you may surprise yourself.
Brian.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks. It would be mainly a hobby and is something I've always wanted to do. Maybe I will make some stuff you guys can Buy :). I might become another Jesse James
 

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George , get yourself a combo lathe&milling machine ( check online) inexpensive and great for someone who wants to learn. Also You'll need Outside diameter micrometers, calipers, indicator with magnetic stand . There is a lot more tools you may need but these are just to start with. I have seen some mill&lathe combo at Harbor Tool store. Very inexpensive , don't know about quality but it may just be enough for someone who wants to learn. Also comes as a kit with everything you'll need to start. google Smithy , lathe mill/drill combo.
 

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George , get yourself a combo lathe&milling machine ( check online) inexpensive and great for someone who wants to learn. Also You'll need Outside diameter micrometers, calipers, indicator with magnetic stand . There is a lot more tools you may need but these are just to start with. I have seen some mill&lathe combo at Harbor Tool store. Very inexpensive , don't know about quality but it may just be enough for someone who wants to learn. Also comes as a kit with everything you'll need to start. google Smithy , lathe mill/drill combo.

Hey nico how you doing. Haven't spoken to you in a while
 

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lathe work

Only if you can make me a life size Sandra Bullock:laughing:
Brian.
I have a Myford lathe and loads of tooling. It's sat at the back of the garage. I really need to clear some junk out and get it set up...It would be so handy for making special bolts and spacers.
I've lost confidence with lathe work. Last time I used one I was 16 !

I made a steam traction engine at school..But blimey, if I could do it then I can do it again..can't I. ?

I have a friend who is an expert at lathe work but he's either working or out chasing girls/mature ladies..actually scrub girls just the latter..

It's very irritating he told me he'd help me and then just bogs off and leaves me stranded lol

joe
 

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[Q;540776]George , get yourself a combo lathe&milling machine ( check online) inexpensive and great for someone who wants to learn. Also You'll need Outside diameter micrometers, calipers, indicator with magnetic stand . There is a lot more tools you may need but these are just to start with. I have seen some mill&lathe combo at Harbor Tool store. Very inexpensive , don't know about quality but it may just be enough for someone who wants to learn. Also comes as a kit with everything you'll need to start. google Smithy , lathe mill/drill combo.[/QUOTE]

It takes a long time to set up a machine to cut straight and level. A friend of mine got one of those Harbor freight laths and lost interest because he could not get stay in tolerance. Lots of times I would have something in my milling machine that took time to set up and tied up the machine for other simple projects. So it is nice to have a drill press and other tools so you don`t have to spend time changing out setups.

I have been making things for the boat with hand tools, as I no longer have a shop. I do a lot of stuff out of Star board (plastic sheets) that is very easy to carve. It is amazing what you can do with a drill ,hacksaw, file and lots of time. If only I had a bandsaw and drill press:banghead: but just no room on the boat.
 

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What are scrub girls?
I don't think he's talking about 'cleaners'!:laughing: cause that's what my wife is and if I call her a 'scrub girl' when she comes in!!!.......:thewife:
Joe.... get that myford dug out quick....it's a far better lathe than mine!
If I was over near you...you'd be making spacers and bolts in 5 minutes flat!
Brian.:)
 
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