Considering a mini lathe/mill setup...

Joined: October 11th, 2014, 3:36 am

July 4th, 2018, 8:04 pm #11

The proper brand is a very open book with lots of pros and cons.  The one point I will strongly emphasis is to get a local reputable dealer, that handles reputable goods.  As Doc said a few years ago, cheap goods gets cheap results to often.
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Joined: June 2nd, 2015, 3:34 am

July 6th, 2018, 3:39 am #12

I avoid multi-function machines whenever possible.    Any time you build in more than one function you build in potential inaccuracy and potential failure.     
It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.
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Joined: November 30th, 2014, 1:36 am

July 7th, 2018, 4:38 pm #13

A real problem with the multi function machines is having to reset between operations.  It's not too bad when you can plan things out in advance but someone new to machining doesn't yet have the background to be able to do that.

Additionally most of the multi function mill heads have round columns.  This means that you'll have to find the hole you just drilled in order to run that long reamer (or cut the reamer down in which case you'll need it long for a job tomorrow).

I avoid all those problems by keeping 2 lathes and 2 mills (well 3, if you count little horizontals) around.
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Joined: September 16th, 2014, 7:01 am

July 7th, 2018, 8:14 pm #14

If there isn't enough room in the garage - Where else could you put your little machine shop?  If you own the house that opens up many options - Garden shed out back, either stick-built on a little concrete slab or get a used Shipping Container and disguise it to look like the house with a truss roof and shingles and some T-111 plywood siding.  Advantage being it's movable if you move, just leave room to get in and hoist it back on a trailer.

Or if you don't have ground water issues (because waterproofing it after the fact is a job and a half...) dig underneath the house and make a crawl-space into a proper basement.  And no, you don't need to be "Stalag 13" and rig a bunk-bed into a hidden hatch (100 Internets) put a proper door and a half-flight of stairs.

Then you have the room to go a little bigger on the machines, and can buy far cheaper because you don't need the specialty "mini" nachines, just stay at the smaller end - Unless you have lots of 230/415 3-phase available...
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Joined: November 17th, 2014, 11:09 am

July 8th, 2018, 11:46 am #15

I have an apartpent on the top floor of a 2story apartment biulding(It's kind of a co-op, really. 8 apartments, 8 owners.). The ground around the building is 'common' and except for a toolshed for the lawmower gardening tools, there's only the building and the garages. The ground is so rocky that it's bl**dy impossible to dig anywhere. (I spent hours just trying to set up a couple of sticks for the snow plough last year....)
I have the attic, since I'm on the top floor, but it's standing room in a narrow stripe only. And besides it's full of camping gear, books(around a 1000), DVDs(I will soon have a complete collection of published Dr. Who DVDs... And hundreds of others... ) and my computer collection...   Don't ask...
I do have a 'shed' about 2x3meters or a little smaller, but that is stuck to the side of the building, and on the other side of the wall is the downstairs neighbour's livingroom. Probably not a good idea to set up metalworking there...  
Basiclly, if I want a bigger workshop I will have to move.

I'm working on clearing it out, but mostly so that it's easier to store stuff there instead of in the garage. I already have my inflatable RIB there, electricc trolling motor, bike trailer, large planters, firewood and yeah... lots of stuff.
Maybe, when I get that cleaned up a bit I can move the 'firewood'(mostly chopped up bits left over from when we built the garage) from the garage and into the shed.  And I can sort out a ecent place to store my fishing rods when they're not in the back of my car.
Another project there is to build 'interior roof bars' for my car to store the rods safely when they're in the car. Of course the parts are cluttering up my garage...
(Google Berlingo Interior Roof Bars. There's even a genuine set on eBay right now, but they don't ship to Norway.)
So I'm working on cleaning up, and are also trying to finish some projects in the hope that they'll take up less space when finished.
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Joined: November 30th, 2014, 1:36 am

July 8th, 2018, 3:20 pm #16

A friend of mine used to live in central London where it was impossible to maintain a shop, so he rented some storage space with power and built himself a small shop in the 8x12 space.  Around here that amount of space would be something like $60/mo without power so it's not too unreasonable.

Also - look into using someone else's space.  Some of the local community colleges allow you to use the complete shop if you're taking a class.  Not too bad having access to commercial level facilities for a few hundred a year.

Same for maker spaces, if there's one available.
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Joined: November 17th, 2014, 11:09 am

July 8th, 2018, 3:53 pm #17

My garage and my 'office' is probably the closest there is to a Makerspace within 1hour's drive... 
(ShapeOKO CNC mill in the garage, 2 working 3D printers in the office, waiting for a Resin type from a Kickstarter project. A HP Agilent 16700 Logic Analyzer and DSO under the bench in the office) 
The place is too urban to have much in 'low rent' workshops, and not nearly citified enough for storage spaces and stuff like that. (And they've only recently started putting up things  like that here in Norway, and then mostly containers.  Nope, can't have a 10 or 20' container placed here, either. ) 
There's a few farms that have closed down, but they're now used for caravan/camper van/boat storage during the winter, and I can't come up with the cash to compete with what they can fleece out of those morons...
(If I could, I could probably afford to buy a bigger place... ) 

I'll just have to keep picking at all my junk and see if I can clear up some space... 

At the moment I'm leaning towards a standalone mill, probably something like the Proxxon FF230(which seems to be sold out everywhere in Norway)  
Then consider a lathe later on.
(It's so many years since I even tried a metalworking lathe that I really, really need a refresher course. Lathes can do some scary shit... )
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