View Full Version : Metal Lathes Thoughts/opinions on Grizzly mill and lathe combo

David Warkentin
07-30-2011, 10:29 PM
Hi. I am wanting to buy a lathe and mill for some light metal working stuff. I want to be able to turn my own pen bushings and closed end mandrels and will use the mill to make some tools. Will a combo machine work ok for this? I know that I may want to upgrade at some point but at this time it looks like this is all I need. My neighbor does have a 14x50? Sydney lathe built in the 40's that I could get for about the same price but that thing is HUGE! Any opinions here?

ray hampton
07-30-2011, 10:54 PM
David, A combo will work for you but did you consider the time that you will spent switching from a lathe to a mill machine and back to a lathe

David Warkentin
07-30-2011, 11:13 PM
Hadn't considered it. Will usually use one or the other. Been looking around some and the consensus seems to be that these little combo machines are pretty limited. So I will likely just buy a lathe and do my little bit of milling with it. Any opinions on a small lathe? Are all the new little ones made in China or Taiwan?

ray hampton
07-31-2011, 12:07 AM
smithy had been selling a combine lathe and mill machine for a number of years, I not sure about the point of origin of the small lathes

Terry Beadle
07-31-2011, 1:48 PM
It's generally recommended that you buy a mill separate from a lathe. It's true you can do some milling on a lathe and it's usually done with an attachment that you mount the stock on. However, it's cumbersome and limited doing milling on a lathe. Limited mainly by the amount of time it takes to set up and the length of cut. A smaller mill, about 400 pounds or so, will cost less than $1500. A good smaller lathe about the same. Tooling costs for the mill will run a bit but not too bad. The milling vice is the expensive part as you'll need some thing to hang on to the material real well.

That being said. You can do some really good work on a 3 in 1. Just be prepared to do some hoop hopping to Get R Dun.
Smithy, Grizzly, Enco, Lathemaster etc. All have good small shop machinery. Littlemachineshop.com is a good source of info. Home machinist etc. Lots of info on the web and I'd advise you read a lot of it from the users until you know about where your needs fit in the machinery experience you'll read about.
Jose Rodregiz is also a great place to learn.... http://tool20895.homestead.com/jose7x10taig.html
Keep us posted !