3-in-1 Advice Needed from the Experts

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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Re: 3-in-1 Advice Needed from the Experts

Post by Blaster2019 » Sun May 05, 2019 8:23 pm

SteveHGraham wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 6:17 pm
My advice is not to buy anything used unless someone who knows what he's doing can look at it for you first. Learning to machine is a challenge. Fixing a screwed-up machine tool before you learn to machine is just too much.
Believe it or not I liked fixing things and would probably learn a lot from it as well. I remember back a few years and I took a basket case JD Gator 6x4 and completely rebuilt it. However, I need working tools to do this, hence your suggestion is well taken.

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Re: 3-in-1 Advice Needed from the Experts

Post by Blaster2019 » Sun May 05, 2019 8:44 pm

toddalin wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 2:23 pm
Both machines are by the same company with the difference (e.g., # of motors) by generation. you can go to the Shoptask website and they have the history of their machines. I have the Tri-Power with manual feed , power feed , and full CNC control and 3-axis digital readout (Jenix DRO).

This is similar to mine but mine is in nicer shape and I added table limit switches after I exceeded the limits and broke the spline shaft on the Y-power feed because their scale was so far off. Know that with ANY CHINESE MACHINE you may spend as much time fixing it as working with it. Also know that when these are assembled, they have all the parts in the world to choose from (and do). But if you break a part, and get a replacement (if you even can), it probably won't fit, at least to the same tolerances. I had to buy three spline shafts from ShopMasters competition (Smithy) and one of the three fit and then it had to be cut down in length to make it work. Luckily I was still able to use the mill portion to cut this length.

Good info and appreciate the video as it got my blood pumping wishing I had one already... :)

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Re: 3-in-1 Advice Needed from the Experts

Post by RussellCofIdaho » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:23 pm

Good thread, I appreciate everyone not jumping on him about buying a 3 in 1. I bought a used Shoptask 12-22 from ShopTask in the late ‘90’s, I had done a lot of research and knew this machines limitations but I just couldn’t afford a new one at the time.

It has served me well, but yes, I did spend an amount equal to the original purchase price on tooling and wish I currently had an MT3 to MT4 adapter to use the mill chuck in the lathe on a small 4mm special screw I need to make! Not expensive but not available locally either...

The mill is indeed quite useless as it is too close to the lathe Chuck so the lathe Chuck has to be removed each time you need the mill, that said, except for a few times in the last 20 years, I have found a way to just use the lathe to make what I needed!

The newer ShopMaster Millturn is a much improved machine and I hope to upgrade to it but am seriously considering just buying the Turnado lathe (or another brand, if I don’t really need the 3 in 1 functionality it opens up a lot of possibilities!) simply because I have learned to do without the mill.

There are unique things you can do with a mill though such as 3D milling parts from a CAD file and engraving brass number plates, which may be useful in backyard railroading.

Many brands of machine are nearly identical so I would look for service and technical support after the sale. I am thinking of Grizzly as they have full service and a retail shop in the Pacific Northwest and I can go pick it up!
Russell Courtenay
Idaho - USA
Big trains and big dreams...

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Re: 3-in-1 Advice Needed from the Experts

Post by spro » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:24 am

By your post I went to a reply and there was a link. It was good and the next, pretty deep. Another afterwards, which I would have never seen. Good happens from this.
I was lost for awhile, watching and trying to understand the programming going astray but we could see. We could see very basic tooling setups which were wrong .

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