View Full Version : Machines to start with.

02-09-2009, 10:10 PM
Hi all, first post here.

I'm looking (going) to invest in a small-medium lathe and milling machine. I have machining experience from university but havent done anything for a few years so will be rusty but should pick it up quickly enough. I plan to use whatever i buy manually at first, then when time allows (probably next year when i return from having fun in afghanistan) learn the whole cnc thing and convert them to cnc machines. I do anjoy a good project.

Anyhow, usage wise, i make/modify motorcycles and oftern require many small aluminium components making such as spacers etc but have started a new project and my freshly designed subframe (to hold the seat unit and other parts) has over 20 machined parts alone (hence investing in my own tooling rather than paying for stuff to be made).

I'd like to eventually knock bits and pieces up for other builders / undertake more adventerous components such as brake calipers, cam shafts, yokes, suspension components etc. hence the cnc interest. The biggest part i aspire to produce is a cylinder head to my design but scale wise is probably beyond the scope of anything i'm looking at purchising.

Anyhow, to budgets and limitations.

Anything i buy will need to be single phase, bench mountable is desirable for storage and moving (being in the army i move about oftern.

Ive had a look about but you guys are probably alot more experienced as to whats available and best.

Lathe wise, the axminster branded CIEG C4 / C6B lathes have caught my attention and Cieg seem to get good reviews for their smaller C2/C3 machines.


my budget for the lathe is around 1000 and from the above you can see the sort of scale i'm after. What else is about for the budget and compares to these.

Milling machine wise, i'm less sure whats available, but i'm after something along the scale of the axminster zx25/zx30 machines and although the zx30 appeals, i'm not sure of its quality and accuracy. Again, i'll cal my busget for the milling machine 1000.



Both budgets are for just the machines, any cnc conversion and parts upgrade will be on top of this when it happens.

I'm planning on mounting both lathe and milling machine (with a drip tray) to something along the lines of this giving me storage for tooling/metal and using the lower two draws to house the future cnc conversion components. What are your thoughts here guys?
Any thoughts/opinions/advice you may have is greatly welcomed guys.