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Old 01-04-2013, 08:40 AM   #63
sailah
Lampin' it
 
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Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Turning expensive metal into scrap
Oddometer: 5,261
My experience with all in one machines for woodworking is that they are compromises everywhere. If you have $3000 to spend you can buy two real machines if you shop around.

Believe me, you'll outgrow one of those hobby machines quickly

Having a real lathe that uses standard tool is a huge plus. I learned on a big enco and I had never made a chip in my life. I wish I had better instruction but it's not terribly hard to get the basics. A real machine is so much heavier and cuts better because everything is solid. I think it allows you to learn faster too.

If I were you I'd buy a $1000 american machine that is tooled and learn the basics. Once you've used it you'll have a better sense to sell it and go bigger or what to shop for in a milling machine like a bridgeport or clone.

If you buy right you won't lose a penny these machines don't depreciate in a home shop setting. A smitty will though so def buy one used.
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