Machine Shop Work – Should You Buy a Multi-Purpose Machine?

Machine Machine shop work is varied and needs a different tools for different jobs. With this in mind should you buy one multi-purpose machine which will take up a small space while allowing you to do a range of different jobs.

While there are many brands to choose from most combine: a lathe, milling machine, and drill press. This gives a combination of the three machines most needed in machine shop work in one.

The question we need to ask is: will one combination machine perform as good as three separate specialist ones. Those with limited space for instance the hobbyist or start-up professional will already have given this some thought.

When deciding think first of ewhat your needs are. If your planned machine shop work is on tough materials, e.g. stainless steel and mild steel, you might not get either the performance or quality of work you need. On the other hand if the machine usage is occasional and you work on aluminum and brass parts an all in one machine is well suited to the work.

It better to buy this equipment new rather than used and to buy the heaviest model your budget will allow for. This will give you greater flexibility in the work you can undertake, while reducing vibration, and improves productivity.

Multi-purpose machines perform best in the home work shop where space may be limited and the work is fairly light. By contrast the day to day machine shop concentrates mostly mill work.

If your budget is limited and you can only afford one machine the better choice is a good bench top mill. This will do a variety of work including that of a drill press. Although a lathe is very useful to the hobbyist and the model maker, it is used less frequently in heavier machine shop work

In the resource box there is a link to more information on tools and what is needed to set up a new shop.

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