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Combo Mill\Lathes or separate machines?
#1
Has anyone used a combo lathe/mill before? I've been set on getting a Grizzly G0704 mill for a while now and I'm about ready to pull the trigger on it, but more more I'm entertaining the idea of holding off a little longer and picking up a combo machine instead. I've read around online and it seems like many people recommend separate machines, but as it stands if my wife came home and found a one ton Bridgeport like the the ones I drool over in her parking space on her side of the garage she'd probably murder me (the DMZ running down the center of the garage has already seen many a bloody incursion by various machines and projects lol). I've been looking at a Smithy 1220 LTD or a Grizzly 9729 as far as combo machines go and the 9729 is winning in my mind right now. Anyone ever used one of these combo machines before? I don't really care if the work is slower since machining will never be my main hobby as far as I can see. I just want something to mess around with 80% AR's and the occasional small part fabrication so speed isn't much of a concern. Are the combo machines really that bad? I'm just most interested in getting the most utility in the smallest footprint.

The machines I'm looking at...

http://www.grizzly.com/products/Combo-Lathe-Mill/G9729

http://www.smithy.com/midas/pricing/ltd

https://www.grizzly.com/products/Drill-M...tand/G0704
The forum poster formerly known as Emoticon...
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#2
I don't know about the machines you're talking about in particular, but normally when you have a multi-function type machine, doesn't matter what it is, the individual functions of the machine will be mediocre at best. Mostly because manufacturers have to cut the cost of the machine to make it appealing to the consumer. If you have a multi-function machine that the individual devices would cost $150, how are they selling the MF device for $99?
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#3
I've never worked on one of the Grizzly combo machines so I can't comment on them directly. I do however own one of their 6x48" jointers so I can tell you that their stuff is top notch. It wasn't cheap but it works perfectly every time. My guess is that the mill/lathe is no exception.
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#4
Buy separate units. I have a grizzly 10x22 lathe and their small milling machine. Streaker is right about the combo machines, you give up a lot when you go with them. If you are careful you can get both lathe and a small mill for the price of the combo.
There are forums dedicated to those smaller machines as well and off a lot of good info.
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goofin, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#5
It depends on the frequency of use, the space one has to accommodate, and the materials to be cut. Bridgeport vertical milling machines are industrial, so they figure you are going to build adequate space to house it. It's also large so it is versatile to accept a wide variety of sizes of work. It also, has to have a large motor to power through tough metals, and it has big beefy bearings so it doesn't wear out from daily use. With that said, if you are going to take an occasional cut on plastics or aluminum, relatively small parts, go with the combo unit. Anything above that, go with the separate machines. Will your usage change over time as you become more involved? Another consideration for perhaps the separate machines. At the end of the day, a file in the hands of a skilled craftsman beats a Bridgeport in the hands of a hack.
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DeadEye, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Jun 2013.
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#6
from my experience all three are little better then toys. the combo machines give up too much to do real work. and the mill drill does neither well mill or drill.

my uncle bought s combo and six months later he bought a real lathe. buy real machines the first time around . that way you pay once and cry once.
bob308, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#7
streaker69;161145 Wrote:I don't know about the machines you're talking about in particular, but normally when you have a multi-function type machine, doesn't matter what it is, the individual functions of the machine will be mediocre at best. Mostly because manufacturers have to cut the cost of the machine to make it appealing to the consumer. If you have a multi-function machine that the individual devices would cost $150, how are they selling the MF device for $99?

What he said. Then there is also changing from one mode to the other.
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Normanvin, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#8
[Image: Picture001.jpg]

my 2 machines after unpacking.
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goofin, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#9
Nice!
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DeadEye, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Jun 2013.
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#10
Thanks for the input! Looks like G0704 is probably going to be the first machine. Honestly for the things I wish to do I need a mill far more than a lathe so that bit can wait for a while. Been looking for a used one on CL for a long time, but these bench sized units almost never come up for sale it seems.
The forum poster formerly known as Emoticon...
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