Reply by Planeman40

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Posted on To mill or not to mill?

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1273 posts in 2936 days

#1 posted 06-10-2012 02:26 PM

Ah! A young woodworker!

As you will be building your shop, here are a couple of recommendations from a seventy two year old woodworker who started building his shop with the purchase of a Sears 15” floor drill press at the age of seventeen (and its still in use).

Unless you have plenty of money for the large fancy new stuff, buy good used light industrial machines and clean them up. I have machines from the 1940s through the 1970s that are mostly Delta machines and they work beautifully and hold their value. Look at machine auctions and watch for high schools that are to be closed down (I bought out an entire classroom of heavy oak chemistry lab floor and wall cabinets for less half of the price I could have bought the lumber to build cheap cabinets and I refinished them for my shop). Keep an eye on Craig’s list too. Light rust is easy to clean and polish up so don’t let that deter you. Look for surplus places, and wander the flea markets for hand tools. You would be surprised how well these dirty and somewhat rusty but superb old hand tools can be cleaned up with a wire brush in an electric drill. Bearings can be replaced too. Just watch out that the machine doesn’t have a 3-phase motor.

Good luck!


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