Smithy 3-in-1

Milling Slide.... Hmmm. Didn't know there was such a thing. But of course in a way a lathe and a horizontal mill are similar so there should be a "hybrid".
This isn't mine but this gives you an idea.

It's limited in size and in comparison to a proper milling machine isn't a fraction as 'stiff' and (for my lathe at least) the spindle speed doesn't go as fast as I'd like (originally only 500rpm, fine for steel stuff, not good for aluminium. Now upgraded to 2000rpm :)). Other lathes of course vary, some lathes are setup with a T-slotted plate to which the tooling bolts, these are idea for replacing the tooling with the part or a milling slide.

But regardless ; I now think I should get a 3-in-1; you guys have convinced me (or rather, I convinced myself with your assistance) that my belief that my usage of a lathe would be too low to justify it is based on a lack of appreciation of what a lathe can do.
Its quite amazing what you can do with a lathe. Sometimes it takes a bit of imagination but at the same time it can be far easier with the 'proper' machine, even if that 'proper' machine is part of the same machine as in a 3-in-1.

The big thing for me was the realisation that you could swap the tool and material.

I will say again though that you can really end up spending a fortune on tooling, I think I've spent 2-3 times the lathe cost on tooling and extras and if possible look for a lathe/mill or 3-in-1 that comes with a lot of chucks/tooling.
...The big thing for me was the realisation that you could swap the tool and material...
While David is refering to the milling slide function on a lathe, this is a concept that a lot of people new to lathes sometimes have trouble with when it comes to thinking out a problem...that is, on a lathe the *part* turns, not the tool. On just about everything else--mill, drill press, etc.--the cutter turns while the part is for the most part stationary (yes, the mill table moves, the part moves across a table saw, etc., but the concept is that the cutter is turning, not the part, which is opposite of a lathe). It sounds like a simple concept, but my experience with people new to machine tools is more than just a handful of people really struggle with the concept when it comes to designing and problemsolving. Just a couple of tangential two cents.


Alan Watkins

Lifetime Supporter

Alan Watkins

Lifetime Supporter
So, just to update my situation and demonstrate how unstable I am, I went in one big circle and ended up buying this nice mill:

Square Column Bed Mill

However, the result of conversing with you guys is that I expanded my budget to fit in a separate lathe, which I have not chosen yet.

So once again, thanks for the wise counsel. Now I have to go reorganize the garage and get rid of stuff....

That looks like it should be a nice mill for you. Post some pics of it when you get it up and running in your shop, and of your first machining project. Welcome to the wonderful world of machinists. Be sure to pick up a copy of the Machinery's Handbook (from Industrial Press, it's "the bible").

I couldn't find pricing info on that company's website. Do you have to call them for pricing?


Alan Watkins

Lifetime Supporter
I couldn't find pricing info on that company's website. Do you have to call them for pricing?
Yes, I had to e-mail them to get pricing:
"At the moment we are out of machines due to the high volume of orders we have received and the remolding of our machines to incorporate additional ribbing and support in key areas. It will also increase the weight to 1100 pounds. Our estimated arrival date for the machines is 1 1/2 months.

Manual Milling Machine $2700
Manual w/40i DRO and Powerfeed installed $4900
Manual w/30i DRO and Powerfeed installed $4500
Manual w/20i DRO and Powerfeed installed $4200
Turnkey CNC Mill(call for pricing, prices varied)
3HP VFD Motor $850 NT30 Spindle $400"
and since they were out of stock I bought what is the same mill from Machine Tools Warehouse in Ontario, Canada.

for (CDN) $2299 + $149 for a cabinet and $606 for shipping and duty, total $3055.98, which is US $3081 total not much different than the IH one with shipping.

So I'm going to miss out on additonal stiffening and 100+ lbs more weight, but figure I've already "super-sized" this thing enough.

First real project will be facing & drilling the parking caliper ears on my rear uprights (!). I will definitely record that for posterity and humiliation. :shocked:
Last edited:
Just FYI in case anybody is interested, Smithy is offering free curbside delivery through the end of this month. That's roughly $400 off the total cost.