Shoptask 1720

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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Keyair
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Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:09 pm

Shoptask 1720

Post by Keyair » Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:37 pm

Hi Everyone,
Going to look at a Shoptask 1720 from the late 80's.
Just need a basic lathe/mill combo for home stuff and have limited space and budget.

Any thoughts, opinions or advice would be welcome!

Harold_V
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Location: Onalaska, WA USA

Re: Shoptask 1720

Post by Harold_V » Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:06 am

Without appearing to sound discouraging, do keep in mind, any machine that is capable of multiple operations is generally clumsy to operate, and often very inconvenient to use. The also have a tendency to be limited in capabilities.

One often finds they are in the midst of a setup, yet must perform an operation using a different head, so tear down and setup is in order, only to repeat the previous setup once finished. That, of course, would not be true with individual machines.

There are several who own three in one machines and are pleased to have them, with reasons that make sense to them. You may be one of them, but don't dismiss what I've mentioned if you expect to spend a lot of time on the machine. It can become quite discouraging, especially knowing that you might have been able to equip a small shop with single purpose machines. Only you can tell how it will turn out, or if you will be happy with your choice.

Welcome to the board! :)

Harold
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

Keyair
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:09 pm

Re: Shoptask 1720

Post by Keyair » Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:51 am

Thanks for the input Harold, and I completely understand your comments, and grasp that Combination = Compromise.
My history is that I was a time served, journeyman Patternmaker, so have some experience in milling, turning and general practice, but in no way am I a machinist!
I have need of a Lathe, Mill, and HD Drill press, and just don't have space for them in my 2 car garage! I am a project guy and have a myriad of stuff that is either stalled or done to a lesser standard because I cannot machine or turn things. Having always had access to machines at work for "Government Jobs", I have been extremely frustrated since my health related retirement, 5 years ago. Trying to finish an Car Restoration Rotisserie, an English Wheel, and make some small parts for them.

Been on the lookout for a Lathe and Mill for a while and with my limited space and budget, i kept hoping I will find something.
The one I have been looking at is the Shoptask 1720. Its mine, by verbal agreement, but as we well know, that is not worth the paper its written on!

Info on this model is limited, but I gather it is a basic machine but built better than the HF units that are popular, and has a 17" swing and 20" bed.
It does not have a power feed or threading, but I can live with that for now.
I have seen and heard it run, and it looks in good health.

Can anyone tell me if a manual is available for it, and any other links or info on what its weaknesses are?

toddalin
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Location: Orange County, CA
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Re: Shoptask 1720

Post by toddalin » Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:36 pm

ShopMaster/ShopTask is still around (I get their ads regularly for their new CNC 3-in-1), and you may be able to get the manual from them.

Make sure that everyting works as parts will not be readily available.

http://www.shopmasterusa.com

http://www.shopmasterusa.com/content/15 ... achine-cnc

Torch
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Location: Muskoka

Re: Shoptask 1720

Post by Torch » Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:25 pm

There were a number of variants bearing the "1720" model designation. Early ones were pretty limited in capability, and suffered from various shortcomings that contributed heavily to the poor reputation of the 3-in-1 format. Later models sported improvements and upgrades to make it more usable.

I have a 3-in-1 of similar overall format. Everything that Harold said is true. However, it fits in the available space. If I didn't have a 3-in-1, then I would have either a lathe OR a mill, therefore for me the 3-in-1 machine is offers much more capability than the alternative.

That said, I personally would not settle for a machine that is incapable of threading or that has a fixed mill height. For some reason, at least 50% of my turning projects seem to involve cutting threads. In your case, where you indicate the need for a HD drill press, I would think a fixed height mill is probably a deal breaker, so verify which mill head comes with the version you are looking at.

Of course, if it comes with a good selection of quality tooling at a killer price, you might want to get it just for the tooling. ;-)

Keyair
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Re: Shoptask 1720

Post by Keyair » Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:04 am

Again, thanks for the input guys.

This may well be just a stepping stone to a better unit sometime, but right now its all I need, and can afford.
I will probably need a rotary table at some point, so will have to keep my eyes open!
More info coming soon, so watch this space!

toddalin
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Re: Shoptask 1720

Post by toddalin » Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:40 pm

The problem with adding a rotary table may be that you severly limit the height at which you can work to a very small margin. You'll will need to look for the lowest profile table you can find.
Keyair wrote:Again, thanks for the input guys.

This may well be just a stepping stone to a better unit sometime, but right now its all I need, and can afford.
I will probably need a rotary table at some point, so will have to keep my eyes open!
More info coming soon, so watch this space!

Keyair
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:09 pm

Re: Shoptask 1720

Post by Keyair » Fri Aug 05, 2016 1:18 pm

Thanks Todd.
I am still trying to get my head around the "column Height" issue mentioned twice now...
This pic from Shopmaster website shows a "Shopmaster 1720 with what looks like an adjustable height column?
http://www.shopmasterusa.com/content/15 ... achine-cnc

Quick question...
My Pickup truck is playing up, so I will have to take a smaller vehicle to get the machine.
One is a Subaru Outback wagon... the liftback height is 33" or so, and the seller tells me the machine is some 36" tall, but if the top cover is removed, its about 5" lower.

Anyone know if or how it can be broken down???
Or maybe I could lay it down sideways?

Torch
Posts: 1543
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Location: Muskoka

Re: Shoptask 1720

Post by Torch » Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:54 pm

Keyair wrote:Thanks Todd.
I am still trying to get my head around the "column Height" issue mentioned twice now...
This pic from Shopmaster website shows a "Shopmaster 1720 with what looks like an adjustable height column?
http://www.shopmasterusa.com/content/15 ... achine-cnc
I'm going by memory of comments by others so I could well be wrong. But if I remember correctly, the early models were not adjustable and relied solely on the quill for height control.

From your link, it certainly looks like the quill was adjustable from 1985 on, so your "late 80s" prospect may be adjustable. I guess you'll find out when you meet it. ;-)

Oh, and it's probably preferable to transport it on it's side if you can't securely guy it vertically. This type of machine has a reputation as being tippy! I think mine is in excess of 700 lbs. net weight (closer to 800 with chuck, tool post, etc. mounted) and the mounting holes in the cast bases are 6" apart. It wouldn't take much application of the brakes to send that thing crashing down if left unsecured in the back of a vehicle.

I can't say the Shoptask is the same, but my entire mill column bolts to the lathe headstock with 4 bolts. Wires would have to be disconnected from the motor first, of course.

Keyair
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:09 pm

Re: Shoptask 1720

Post by Keyair » Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:04 pm

Thanks Torch,
That does clarify things somewhat...
I have looked closely at the pics and video the seller sent me and I am thinking this one is not height adjustable, so maybe pre 85.

From what I see and know, this is a single motor unit, so I bet its a mechanical link/clutch to swap between the lathe and mill drive.
I gather this one weighs in at about 500lb, and I am a bit of a safety sally, so it will be probably on its side when I am driving with a sheet of ply below, strapped down and lots of movers blankets to protect the vehicle... I dont want 500lb in the front with me!

Magicniner
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Re: Shoptask 1720

Post by Magicniner » Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:39 am

Crikey Bob! Look at the overhang of that head combined with it's tiny, tiny mounting area, presumably this machine was made in Switzerland with the sole idea of correcting the hole size in cheese for export to the EU!
My Aunt Shirley has a lovely turn of phrase and I believe that thing is what she might label as a "Learning and Growing Experience" ;-)

- Nick

spro
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Re: Shoptask 1720

Post by spro » Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:59 am

I think your Outback will handle it okay. I've had 400 lbs in the back of my Legacy and it took it. Definitely sheet of plywood. The Outback has longer stiffer springs than the Legacy wagon but the bearings and stuff are the same. They were but yours is probably 21st century and stronger. Good moving luck to you.

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