We'll never forget !!!

Well, here it is…Another personal site dedicated to the home machinist. After shopping around for a couple of months, making some tough decisions, I finally received my HF44142 3-in-1 machine tool in July of 2002.

I can see many eyes rolling already. Why did he decide on this type of machine? In a word -- flexibility. The purists will tell you that the 3-in-1 is a big compromise and that a better choice would have been a standalone mill and lathe. After careful consideration I concluded that they are absolutely correct. For a starter setup the standalone mill and lathe are a better choice. In my case however I had a specific requirement -- lathe bed length. My machining hobby supports my interest in old British sports car restoration and for many of those projects I needed a machine with a wide swing and quite a lot of real estate between centers.

Since my space is limited, (see pic.) I couldn't fit a 36" gap bed lathe and full size mill into the shop. Hence the compromise.

The HF44142 has been in my shop for about a month now. Through this site I'll try my best to document my successes and failures in using the machine. Hopefully some of you more experienced colleagues can use the site to provide some help to us less experienced folks.

A great many people enjoy this hobby, yet many of us are new to even the most basic techniques. In my own case I learned to work with machine tools when I was an apprentice auto technician in the late 1970's. I watched and learned on the job from some very friendly "old-timer" master machinists. They would teach me a few things on the spot and then I would practice as time became available. No formal schooling, just a need to make, or modify a part and the OJT began then and there. That said, I'm still a novice, but with the purchase of this machine I hope to get more experience.

So over the next few pages I hope to show how I setup my HF 3-in-1 machine, what kind of initial problems I encountered (and there are quite a few), how I set up a small shop, look at some accessories, share some stories, and describe what kind of other tools round out the shop.

So enjoy the site --

R. A. Sommer

Ray's Home
Machine Shop