mill and lathe info you might need


Staff member
theres info, with videos included, in the link and more videos below
theres a ton of valid info that you would need in these links that will allow you to gain a basic understanding of whats required to use a milling machine or lathe

yes I know this stuff is only of interest if you actually want to know how things get machined or if you own a milling machine, but it never hurts a darn thing to have the basic concepts down when some machine shop starts to B.S. you about the difficulty of doing some things, if you've got a good grasp on what you want done and how its accomplished you'll make smarted decisions.
the milling machine and the LATHE are the two real basic powered machine tools that allow most machine work to get done, add a decent welder and you can do a great deal of the work on your car or fabricate many custom parts



Staff member




and every drill press or mill needs an adjustable vise
most of us have new years resolutions where we try to improve over the last years,
most of us want to do the common, deals of loosing weight, exercising more, make more money etc.
but on this thread, Id like you to post ,what LARGER new tool are you looking to acquire?
theres hundreds of things most of us wish we had that are on a wish list we are working on?
is it a CAR LIFT?
an engine crane with engine leveler?
a new torque wrench?
better jack stands?
a better engine stand?
IR temp gun?
new larger tool chest?
oil change drain/collection tank?
better battery charger?
solvent parts cleaner sink?
belt sander?
cross cut miter saw?
welding table?
engine test stand?
flow bench?
car ramps?
a paint spray booth?
a cam degree wheel?
dial indicators?
new multi meter?
new trouble code scanner?
valve spring compressors?
exhaust gas analyzer?
air compressor?
paint spray guns?
air ratchet tools
a bead blaster,
new TIG or MIG welder?
hydraulic press?

if you can afford to buy one a MILL is a great shop tool addition




when I was in college I had several classes in how too use larger machine tools like lathes and mills,edm machines etc.
(this was well before computer controls)
I thought I had the basics down rather well, as I was rather skilled if you were to judge by the grading parameters, at the time.
we were only given a dozen or so simple tasks like to machine a steel block to a precise 2" x 3"x 4" size ,
drill a precise size hole and cut a steel rod that would slide through that hole with less than .0003-.0002 clearance,
but it gave you a feel for the machine function
once I decided I wanted a mill I looked for a deal on a used mill,
and could not find one in decent shape at a reasonable cost, I eventually found the FOX mill on sale
(about $5k delivered to a local dock, then I paid about $300 to have a guy move it to my shop)
then the realization hit that the collets, tooling, cutters vise, coolant pump were all needed in addition to the basic mill.
and yes Id forgotten some of the basics so I needed to read and watch videos, but over time the mill has saved me far more than it costs.
sb1217.jpg ... ise/SB1217
you might find this thread and its links useful also
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There are lots of youtube videos about machining for any beginner or someone looking to pick up a few tips or secrets.

You don’t have to buy new.
I will say and take it from me because I had one. DO NOT BUY A SMITHY OR SIMILAR.

Find a good full size machine, one will come along that you can afford.


The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer.
Staff member
yeah Id agree, if you can buy a used full size mill (preferably a recent brand name) in good condition,
from some machine shop thats going out of business or moving and wanting to upgrade

hotrod coupe

Well-Known Member
Getting my shop together from just being a large shed with too much junk in it. I have an old south bend lathe, multiple drill presses one floor stand and two bench, 4x36 belt sander, 2 lincoln tombstone ark welders, ox act welder, and a miller mig, 50 gal air compressor, and the mighty M head bridgeport mill. The M head is slow and wont take much off at a time, just a 1/2 hp single phase motor, but it gets done what I can do. No formal training and i don't know how to use half the tooling I inherited from pop but I learn as I go which is why I was on this thread.


The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer.
Staff member
it looks like you have a good basic start in larger tools!
Im forced to start over in most cases as the move to texas allowed me to keep a mig, arc and oxyacetylene welder but I was forced to donate a semi working TIG and sell my MILL and compressors


The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer.
Staff member
as always, its just a mater of priorities, cash and desire to build a shop, after I get my second knee replaced and recover from surgery Ill start the slow process of replacing what I lost in the move


solid fixture here in the forum
Grumpy old man comes to mind while recouping and getting use to the replacement. It hurts doing the therapy.i Really hope you are doing good, though..
Wife had a hip replacement September 6 and stubborn as a mule. Doing great though, and Birthday was Wednesday, 82.
Dementia is a bitch to deal with along with the immobility. Most things on hold for now..
Life is good when I wake up in the morning. Wants me to not get out of her sight hinders me from doing what needs to be done.