The ultimate 3-in-1 machine

This forum is dedicated to those hobbyists with the 3-in-1 metalworking machines. Mill-Drill-Lathes. Tips, techniques, modification and use of these machines is topical.

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SteveM
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The ultimate 3-in-1 machine

Post by SteveM » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:54 am

Now THIS is a 3-in-1 that would interest me.
Dalton[1].jpg
Can't decide if it's a mill with a lathe bed stuck out the back, or a lathe with a milling machine stuck on the left.

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Re: The ultimate 3-in-1 machine

Post by spro » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:13 pm

Both and something else. It really is neat and 18 speeds for the milling head! Dalton had something going on with their change gears which isn't apparent. I expanded the picture to see the features and they are impressive.

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RussellCofIdaho
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Re: The ultimate 3-in-1 machine

Post by RussellCofIdaho » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:51 pm

I think it would be interesting, maybe even successful, if someone made a reproduction machine like this, like Singer did with their original electric sewing machine- they sold reproductions at CostCo a couple years ago. While I can’t imagine CostCo selling 3 in 1 machines, maybe John at ShopMasterUSA would be interested in partnering with someone to produce such a machine. I can dream, can’t I?
Russell Courtenay
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Re: The ultimate 3-in-1 machine

Post by spro » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:05 pm

Well yes you can dream. I can too but we have to figure the timing. It isn't what we see know or how it fits later stuff. Screw it. Go for it and if you find a pair of "Combination Machines" , One of us will gladly take one:) Great info about these. I'd been there looking for info about my "Dalton Six" some years ago. The Combination Machine is referred as Lot 1 ( 1920-1929 ) the gap-bed lathe section could be 10' long. Dalton never had a QCGB but what they did with the gearing is interesting. lathes.co.uk/dalton/

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RussellCofIdaho
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Re: The ultimate 3-in-1 machine

Post by RussellCofIdaho » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:43 pm

spro wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:05 pm
....

The Combination Machine is referred as Lot 1 ( 1920-1929 ) the gap-bed lathe section could be 10' long. Dalton never had a QCGB but what they did with the gearing is interesting. lathes.co.uk/dalton/
Thank you for the link. I haven’t been to the site in a long time, the amount of detailed history on that site is phenomenal! I don’t remember seeing the Dalton page before.

I really liked this quote:

“Not, in the modern sense, a mass-produced item, Dalton lathes had a lot of handwork in their manufacture and, although some small items like leadscrew clasp nuts and changewheels can be swapped over, major items cannot. An experienced rebuilder of these lathes reports that, having put together over twenty of them - and accumulated a good stock of spare parts - he never found an apron that would fit another saddle, nor a saddle that would fit exactly on another bed.”

So no real mass production of these machines. Any ‘reproduction’ would therefore have to be an entirely new machine ‘styled’ to look like this classic Combination Machine, not likely going to happen unless done by a historical machinery enthusiast. Still would be cool...
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Re: The ultimate 3-in-1 machine

Post by spro » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:13 pm

In addition to the custom fit of key elements, the mill spindles were driven from the back of the lathe section. There is an equal good description of how the power was transferred.

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Re: The ultimate 3-in-1 machine

Post by pete » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:43 pm

Machines like this were for the most reason made like that due to the much more common line shaft drives at the time. One drive belt to the machine got the power to it from either a line shaft or a single electric motor. Once those electric motors became more common and cheaper or even having electric power in a shop then separate machines became the norm in hobby or small business shops. The combination machines were still being made for other reasons and got a whole lot bigger, much more complex and far more expensive. Scrolling down on this link http://www.lathes.co.uk/ to where it says combination machines will show the Dalton product is a very long ways from even close to being an ultimate machine though.

Some years ago Tom Lipton on his Youtube channel showed a machine I think he's since sold. A horizontal jig borer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXDOvAa6Mus made by Kearny & Trecker with a built in rotary table. Within it's size limits which are still fairly large for a home shop, I can't think of much that couldn't be either turned or milled and to jig boring accuracy levels. It would far out perform both my 11" swing lathe and 3/4 sized Bridgeport clone other than that clone having a bit more travel in it's X axis. No it's not a combination machine, but would certainly do about anything that Dalton could. Horizontal Boring Machines (HBM's) are way more versatile that many at the hobby level might think. This guy https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8_CK6 ... Jnw/videos is a real artist with one. His machine is way outside what a home shop might be using, but the methods and techniques are still the same for the smaller one's.

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Re: The ultimate 3-in-1 machine

Post by spro » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:11 pm

I guess the deal is; It is so Rare!

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Re: The ultimate 3-in-1 machine

Post by pete » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:29 pm

Yes that's a good point Spro. :-)

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Re: The ultimate 3-in-1 machine

Post by RussellCofIdaho » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:22 pm

pete wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:43 pm
....
Tom Lipton on his Youtube channel showed a machine I think he's since sold. A horizontal jig borer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXDOvAa6Mus made by Kearny & Trecker with a built in rotary table. Within it's size limits which are still fairly large for a home shop,
...
‘Mechanical DRO’- I like it. Would be a good machinists project to build some ‘just for fun’...
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pete
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Re: The ultimate 3-in-1 machine

Post by pete » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:43 pm

Apology's to the OP since this is a bit OT.

Yeah it would Russ, but at the level those Vedder-Root (SP?) mechanical dros were made to and showing actual 10ths movement you'd need ultra high precision hardened, ground and possibly lapped gearing. The average feed screw pitch on most lathes and mills with there built in lead/lag errors presents further issues. Moore Tools in there book The Foundations of Mechanical Accuracy goes into quite a bit of detail about the efforts they went to trying to build perfect pitch feed screws for there jig borers/grinders before electronic dros were invented. Even though they could at the time measure the errors into the single digit millionths of error, they still found it impossible to get what they were wanting for there jig borers and grinders no matter how much money they threw at the issue. And any wear at all in use again adds to the measurement errors. No matter how well made the screws and nuts are there's also going to be at least some back lash present. So the end run around those problems was to use an independent system of linear measurement that didn't depend on the ultimate accuracy of the feed screws and nuts at all. They started using high precision 1" travel indicators and "distance setting rods".

On some of the older jig borers and grinders you'll see circular depressions they cast into the machine to accept and fixture those dial indicators in place for the X,Y travels. Those high precision distance rods in 1" increments were much like micrometer setting rods that 2" and larger mikes come with now. Except those distance rods were made to far higher accuracy than micrometer setting rods are. A lot today don't recognize them for what they are, but those jig borer/grinder distance rod kits show up on Ebay sometimes at usually pretty low prices. Once high accuracy and dependable electronic dros were invented they quickly killed off the purely mechanical methods like those Vedder-Roots and dial indicator systems.

Today there's some so called cheap dro systems that are made for a few specific Chinese lathes that mount between a lathes hand wheel and slide that uses a rotary encoder and built in battery powered display. Technically they are a dro and do pretty much what those Vedder-Roots do. In reality because of the accuracy of the feed screws and nuts there more of a hand wheel counter system that I might trust to maybe a couple of thou at best since any back lash when reversing direction is still counted as the slide moving when it isn't. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTcRaAPjQB4 shows one made for a lathe tail stock.

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