When you’re ready to purchase that first lathe, or upgrade to something bigger than a miniature lathe consider the mill and lathe combo especially if you’re tight on cash and space.
You get the advantage of milling and turning without crowding your work area or draining your savings. After you have purchased a lathe, there is still plenty of cash to layout for all those tools and accessories that you’re going to need and your shop won’t become larger right away.
Furthermore, using a combination drill-lathe is a great for a home shop for people who do small-scale work.
Having a milling head on the lathe will allow you to do a number of other tasks hobbyists or model makers will require to carry out in their shop. Nothing is more annoying than having a lathe that isn’t fully functional. You’ve got an amazing concept or are planning to create something unique, but you have to limit your options simply because a lathe isn’t enough.
Milling heads could mill keyways, splines, flats, slots or drill holes and the list is endless. Stub axles with keyways, shafts fitted with Taiwan Machine Tools spanner flats. With a less powerful mill and lathe cutting, smaller cuts can be able to overcome the most common issues that can arise when trying to get a good finish.
And remember, you can’t use a drill as mill if you’re looking for accuracy and, of course, safety since the chuck for a drill press is not made for milling operations.
Getting hold of a dial indicator or mini-mag holder will also help you achieve high-quality precision. The Shop Fox M1018 is a top machine for small shops. With the machine you get four ways to turn the turret post, 4 inch 3-jaw chuck and a built-in rotating vise. It is available with millimeter and inch threads, an 11 1/2 inch swing across the bed, a distance of 20 inches of space between the centers and an inch spindle bore.
The motor is 3/4 horsepower 110volt, and it is strong enough to handle the types of projects coming from the hobby shop. Lathe speeds can be changed between 160 300, 375, 470, 600, 870, 1360 RPM and there are 14 Mill/Drill speeds.
With an estimated weight of 475 lbs this machine is not lightweight and you’ll require a lifting device unless when you get it delivered you are paying the carrier to arrange lifting equipment. Generally free shipping only means from the vendor to a fully equipped loading dock that has forklift facilities.
In the end The Shop Fox M1018 Lathe will be an excellent asset for small-sized shops, and you’ll be able to start working on projects that may be out of reach.
Switching from the lathe to the mill might take some time, and you’ll have to watch adjustments and measurements, but as you get used to it, it will be less difficult and with some time, you’ll be producing your own masterpieces , and then moving into high-end intricate and complex projects.