I'm wanting to start machining some of my own parts. I was wondering if anyone knows of a good starter mill and lathe, and what kind of prices I'm going to see.
I have been looking at a Sherline kit...will this unit be good for me?
6000/6010 Ultimate Machine Shop Package
You need to start looking at auctions for used but not abused equipment. You will be much better off to buy quality used than new crap. If you don't know what to look for find someone who does to go with you to look at the equipment. You don't want excessive backlash or completly worn out slides ect.
thanks for the info jmarkma. I'll keep that in mind.
Auctions for used equipment from a machine shop is the way to go. The last time I looked around you should be able to get a decent bridgeport for $2500 or less. You should also be able to find a good used lathe. There are still a lot of them out there from WW2. Almost all of our machines in school were from the 40s. They are well built, and most are very rigid. You won't have the RPMs available like on a newer model, but most are still exellent machines.
That would be a good setup for making small plastic model parts or RC parts. IF you want to cut metal find some decent used up insdustrial mills and lathes and fix them. I bet you could get both a used industrial grade lathe and mill for under $5000.
The Sherline stuff really is too small to do much beyond models.
I'm using the Grizzly mini-mill and a Harbor Freight mini-lathe, and they are quite capable of making gun parts and tools. I got them both for well under $1000.
This is a partial list of some things I've made on my equipment recently:
Front accessory rail for Robarms M96
Picatinny scope mount for M96
replacement firing pin for Baby Eagle pistol
set of brass & nylon punches
primer pocket chamfering tool for reloading
Die set for flaring rivets (for use in Kydex holster fabrication)
1911 beavertail grinding jig
1911 slide lapping tool
1911 plunger tube crimping tool
drill bit for making 1911 grips
1911 disassembly tool
carbon scraper tool for HK P7 gas tube
I have a page that shows my mill & lathe setup: www.geocities.com/kemays. Hopefully it will help you decide whether these machines will fit your needs.