how many guys have larger machine tools like a MILL ,lathe,

Discussion in 'Tools, Procedures, and Testing trouble shooting' started by grumpyvette, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    how many guys have larger machine tools like a MILL ,lathe,drill press, a a decent welder or even more than one welder,or even a decent location to work and a few sturdy jack stands and a mechanics creeper, and a few hand tools.. I purchased 6 12 ton jack stands and a mechanics creeper over 38 years ago, and I bought engine stands and a 4 ton rated shop crane over 30 years ago, the stand alone drill press I owned for decades eventually failed and I said screw-it, and bought a real milling machine, now I freely admit it was a huge investment that might have had the money better spent else-ware, but if your a tool junky like I am its hard to be rational at times I know it took me decades to collect the basics I have acquired.
    remember it took me over 40 years to acquire the tools I have so if your just starting out don,t expect to get all the tools you want in a few months, it takes decades of side jobs, trading work for tools and looking for deals on used tools.
    when I started out I had only the basic $140 craftsman mechanics hand tools and a couple really crappy jack stands, I was constantly asking Friends to help, to teach me or to loan tools or expertize on how to do things, I look back and remember when simple things like replacing brakes or a wheel bearing were far beyond the tools AND SKILLS I had. but as soon as I could afford to I bought all the tools I could afford and rarely regret doing so!

    but as I read car articles, watched friends, and helped on projects I also acquired tools, and skills and a sense of accomplishment when I could do something as well or better than the local service station or dealership, and usually for far less money
    every once in a blue moon I have access to some extra cash, its becoming a darn rare occurance!
    in fact just paying bills is a challenge at times, lately!
    now over the last few years , having any funds that were not already pre allocated has, not happened much, but it used too , occasionally, as I sold off old cars and engines I had stored, but decided I no longer needed, and used those funds to purchase TOOLS!.
    obviously the first thing you need is a decent flat concrete floor and a place to store a few tools, but as you progress theres a near endless list of tools youll find not only useful but darn near mandatory if you want to do some jobs.
    or got small jobs that gave me extra cash over what I needed to pay the bills and almost without fail I used that cash to buy more tools.
    now some guys have asked me why I failed to buy car parts as it seems it would be far more beneficial to completing various projects and I can,t deny that might be true.
    theres something rather satisfying in owning the larger tools and knowing how to use them, and once you learn the skills its rather frustrating to be without them, when your helping a friend, who doesn,t have access to tools you both have and know how to use, because you get used to fabricating parts or repairing parts that the average guy may find difficult or impossible to work on.
    parts and projects seem to come and go! engines I build get sold or raced,but tools tend to stay in the shop and prove to be very useful.
    I can,t imagine working without a decent tool chest, an engine stand, an engine crane, sturdy jack stands, floor jacks, etc.
    well its a bit of an addiction I guess, I really like to build and modify as many parts as I can and I absolutely HATE to pay machine shops for sub quality work I see so often.
    I may be rather optimistic or even UN-realistic but I want to do as much work as I possibly can myself!
    and one thing I just can,t imagine is working in a garage that doesn,t have at least minimal tools like
    a drill press,
    an engine stand,
    shop vise
    and a welder,
    an engine crane,
    several floor jacks
    several 12 ton jack stands
    mechanics creepers,
    a air compressor, a lift,die cutters
    etc. Im sure the list is nearly endless,
    I,m sure theres a hundred other tools that Id love to have.
    so what major tools, like car lifts, milling machines, lathes, welders,drill press, compressors, plazma cutters etc.
    do you have or tools do you fully intend to buy as soon as you can?

    related info ... ise/T10064
















  2. Indycars

    Indycars Administrator Staff Member

    Re: how many guys have larger machine tools like a MILL ,lat

    Money is always a factor, but more of a factor for me is the space the new tool will take. As it is now I'm always moving things to make space for the task at hand. A better compressor is high on the list, but it will not take additional space since my present compressor is not fully utilizing the space it has.

    Next on my list is a good TIG welder, not sure where I will put it, possible if I get rid of my Lincoln 225 stick welder it could go there. But I suspect it will stick out considerably further from the wall.

  3. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Re: how many guys have larger machine tools like a MILL ,lat
    what I always find rather amazing is the fact you constantly need additional tools,you never really thought about, that become almost mandatory, once you buy a new tool. now you might think Im crazy but I take pride in owning good tools!
    Im always amazed at the guys I see in this hobby that don,t own the basic major basic tools like welders,a good shop vise,a decent stand alone drill presses,etc. and while I fully understand that cost or lack of floor space prevents most guys from owning a MILL or LATHE I can,t see how you get along without at least a drill press, welder and bench vise in this hobby. so how many guys own the larger tools?
    which tools do you own and why did you select those particular tools?
    yes I remember how frustrated I was when I was much younger , Id taken dozens of shop classes and engineering classes and learned how to work mills, welders, lathes etc. and once you have those skills it almost makes you insane to know you could not only do the job better but do it far faster and cheaper and in many cases with a good deal more skill that the local machine shop your forced to deal with , simply because you don,t yet own the required tools.
    Its rare to find a guy who has the larger machine tools like mill, lathe, several different welders, a car lift etc. Ive rarely even seen guys with a 12 ton hydraulic press and stand alone floor mount drill press, both of which are constantly in use. it took me decades to acquire what I currently have, so far,its a darn sham because there are so many things I used to be forced to pay to have done at a local machine shop that I can now do in my own shop.

    I've got a good mill in my shop but I have yet to find a good deal on a reasonably good lathe.
    buy a decent floor jack and you need 4 decent jack stands, and a couple portable LED lights, a new mechanics creeper , and eventually a second floor jack,etc.
    obviously and lathe you buy should be large enough to handle the jobs required , so think it thru , and don,t waste cash on anything too small to be useful just because of its initial low cost, compared to the correct more expensive machine, and theres a huge difference between entry hobby level and a decent quality tools




    Buy a welder you find you need shield gas tanks, a cart for the welder and tanks, welding wire or rods, clamps, a pair of gloves, a self darkening face mask, a die grinder, a plazma cutter , a welding table,etc,

    buy a MILL, and you need, a coolant pump, a coolant filter, rust preventative sprays, an adjustable tool chuck, to hold the cutters ,a precision mill vise, milling bits, micrometers,tool holders, a few gauges, tool storage, instructions, etc. ... ise/T10064 ... 0Q8wIwBDgU
    while I totally agree ,that cheap tools are rarely a bargain, in the long term, and think about the true cost of cheap tools the 6" version of that vise is close to $760, I just wish I had a job I could depend on, that made me enough
    to make expenses and allowed a bit of cash flow for tools


    Id also prefer a large mill vise that you can be able to be set to hold angles if I must spend a great deal of cash

    build a decent shop, and you find you need , many more electrical outlets, better ceiling fans, a security system, better drainage, shelving, a bigger tool box, a car lift, better jack stands air tools a compressor, die grinders, a drill press, a hydraulic press, a belt sander,a place to store gaskets, bolts, assorted cotter pins, o=rings clamps, sealants, solvents, scrapers, etc.
    theres always a long list of tools you need and every time you buy a tool you find that adds to your ability's but also adds to the list of tools you can and should have to further expand the extent of work you can do!

    Im sure you gentlemen have a few related stories or ideas, as theres a never ending list of tools, and as soon as you can do a certain job you can ALMOST do the next more complicated jobs ..if you only had a few more tools?
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2017
  4. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Re: how many guys have larger machine tools like a MILL ,lathe ETC. ?

    I purchased a fox milling machine several years ago when I got frustrated at local shops absurdly over billing me for darn simple milling machine work, I may or may not have made the smartest financial move as the cost of the mill is only a small part as you need rather extensive accessories and tooling before the machines useful and I'll admit I was not expecting those components to cost almost as much as the mill. I took several classes in college, and learned the basics, but you really learn more once your hands-on and youll find you always need to do more research, watch videos and occasionally pay some local machinist to show you how to do something correctly.. and of course theres an expensive and endless list of new tooling to be purchased , on the plus side the tooling and mill cost is partly offset by the savings in work your not sending out.

    Weighing in at over 2400 lbs of cast iron and hardened precision ground steel, Model M1003 has the size and stability to handle the toughest jobs. With a 2 HP motor driving 8 speeds from 78 to 2400 RPM, 3 speed quill feed with a micrometer depth stop and auto reverse, and a variable speed longitudinal power feed, this machine has the ability to do the most complex and precise jobs. This brute has both power and finesse!
    One-shot pump lubrication
    Auto down feed
    Quill feeds/spindle rev.: .0019", .0035", .0058" Auto stop with micro adjustable stop
    R-8 spindle Longitudinal power feed
    Hardened and ground table surface Chrome plated, precision-ground quill
    Adjustable micrometer quill depth stop
    Motor: 2 HP, 110V/220V, single-phase, TEFC, prewired to 220V
    Spindle travel: 5"
    Table size: 9" x 49"
    Table travel (longitudinal): 27"
    Table travel (cross): 12"
    Max. dist. spindle to table: 18-3/4"
    Max. dist. spindle to column: 18-1/2"
    Knee travel: 16"
    Head tilt: 45° both ways
    Head swivel: 90° both ways
    T-slots: 3 on 2-1/2" centers, 1/2" studs
    Speeds: 8 Range of speeds: 78, 98, 197, 278, 670, 850, 1700 and 2400 RPM
    Approximate shipping weight: 2405 lbs.

    every shop needs a few very basic machine tools, and a decent place to work, if you have the room its going to be a huge help to at least have a sturdy work bench, a drill press and a shop vise

    at the time a good drill press cost $800-to-$1200 and a MILL with the basic features I WANTED cost $3800, THE PRICES HAVE GONE UP BUT THE RATIO STAYS SIMILAR

    I wish I had a bench this nice and as soon as funds allow I WILL GET ONE, NOW I have a bench and a vise but not one this nice..YET!



    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2017
  5. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Re: how many guys have larger machine tools like a MILL ,lat

    now you might not agree here but I can,t imaging having a garage and working on cars without owning a few basic tools and I bought a Mig and TIG welder and a decent drill press decades before I bought a lift.
    yes Im sure you can get someone to weld your car frame for far less than the cost of a decent welder but not having one is a big void in your tool inventory and skill list.
    this might be an excellent time to at least look into finding where you can learn to weld and try welding and gain some experience, even if all you do is hire out the frame repair work.
    yet in the long run I think you'll find acquiring a MIG welder and the skill to use it a very valuable asset
    you do know that we have a whole section on the site devoted to improving welding skills?
    like Ive said before, learning to weld is a bit like having great SEX,

    if you never did either activity, you might not see the point,
    but after learning how and having experience at either activity and gaining the required experience and skills, you almost always wonder how you ever managed in life before without both before you acquired the experience and skills as they make life far more interesting!
    BTW a good cleaning with a rotary wire brush over the area to be welded and beveling the edges to be welded may help improve weld strength, over just blazing away with a mig expecting full penetration ... ory_Code=M ... ory_Code=L










 ... 49-/T20828
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2016
  6. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

  7. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

  8. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member

    " GRUMPY, I tried to do as much work on my car as I can, but Most of the time I think it's more cost effective to just buy what I need already made."

    Its rare to find a guy who has the larger machine tools like mill, lathe, several different welders, a car lift etc. Ive rarely even seen guys with a 12 ton hydraulic press and stand alone floor mount drill press, both of which are constantly in use. it took me decades to acquire what I currently have, so far,its a darn shame because there are so many things I used to be forced to pay to have done at a local machine shop that I can now do in my own shop.
    I've got a good mill in my shop but I have yet to find a good deal on a reasonably good lathe. theres no doubt at all that it can easily cost you more in time and materials and in the cost of the tools and tooling accessories to, do most projects on a one and done basis,
    yet If you have access to the tools and want to learn, or if you will be repeatedly doing similar automotive repair work, having learned the basic machining skills required to correctly operate most larger machine tools in college , I have little trouble with the basic operations but Id hardly consider myself an expert machinist even after nearly 50 years of having used a good many tools.
    now Id certainly rather pay to have a pro do anything, that,
    I could very easily mess up, that would be real expensive to fix if I screw it up, but the more I do, the more I see myself fully able too do, as I gain more experience and skills... the one hint Ill put out here is practice a great deal on parts that you find that you or your buddies have already screwed up, or if you crack a cylinder head, don,t pitch it in the dumpster UNTIL you have a chance to practice milling valve guides for valve seals or doing a valve job, the heads trash to begin with so use it to learn and improve your skills!
    if your buddies aluminum intake has a badly corroded t-stat housing area, that's a good candidate to learn milling and tig welding, etc.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
  9. T-Test

    T-Test Well-Known Member

    I have what you have, and was a long time to acquire. But the problem is that the youth of today doesn't want/have the time/brains to invest in the things we did. Hence all manufacturing and mill work/wright jobs have gone South and abroad.
    I no longer have the ability physically to do those things I enjoyed as a young Hot Rodder, but am teaching my children and grandchildren how to use all I have.
    I tell them knowledge is power and once you learn something, no one can take it away from you and one day you might need it to survive a situation. Or fix what others say can't be fixed.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2016
  10. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member

  11. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member

  12. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member

    one of the two most impressive tools I ever used in college ,
    (due to the very obvious potential too duplicate and fabricate parts,
    once the skill required to properly exploit both those tools full potential became obvious)
    was a decent quality lathe, the second was a milling machine!
    if you have those two basic tools, along with a vise and work bench,
    and a good quality TIG or at least MIG welder there are few basic parts you can,t repair or build or modify.
    I've had several times where parts were no longer available for repairs on older cars,
    and as a result you were forced too think, measure and modify similar components, and with a bit of imagination you could and usually did envision, major areas of improvement if you fully understood the way things work,
    many times these similar parts were rather easily modified to fit and function ,
    in many cases better than the original components ever did,
    by modifying newer similar components to fit and function.
    sometimes all it takes is precision measuring and minor modifications,
    , one example was making brackets for disc brake conversions






    Last edited: May 4, 2018
  13. Maniacmechanic1

    Maniacmechanic1 solid fixture here in the forum

    Watching the last video now Grumpy.
    Its a South Bend Heavy 10 Lathe.
    Just like I used had in the Old Barn workshop.
    God I miss.
    That Heavy 10 & same era Bridgeport Vertical Mill.
    Made custom parts like you.
    Modified as needed.

    My Little brother has a machine shop.
    His garage.
    Have to take photos sometime for you.
  14. Strictly Attitude

    Strictly Attitude solid fixture here in the forum

    It's the engineer in you grumpy makes you want design and build

Share This Page