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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Shopmaster/Shoptask > New To ShopTask or ShopMaster
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  1. #1
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    New To ShopTask or ShopMaster

    I am thinking of purchasing one of these machines, Mill Turn for my home hobby only use.

    Assuming I was a machinist 25 years ago and actually programmed NCs will this be difficult to work with? Are they heavy duty for hobby type work? As an example can I take a .25 depth of cut with a 1/2" end mill at a reasonable feed rate? I am just trying to understand would I go with this machine since it has the advantage of operating manually and CNC or just go with manual machines?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: New To ShopTask or ShopMaster

    Quote Originally Posted by Pjblues1 View Post
    I am thinking of purchasing one of these machines, Mill Turn for my home hobby only use.

    Assuming I was a machinist 25 years ago and actually programmed NCs will this be difficult to work with? Are they heavy duty for hobby type work? As an example can I take a .25 depth of cut with a 1/2" end mill at a reasonable feed rate? I am just trying to understand would I go with this machine since it has the advantage of operating manually and CNC or just go with manual machines?

    Thanks.

    I take a .25 depth of cut with a 1/2" end mill at a reasonable feed rate?

    At what WOC?

    In wood or plastic yes, in steel NFW.

  3. #3
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    Re: New To ShopTask or ShopMaster

    Thanks for the heads up. I really wanted to take the cut in steel. I guess this does not work so well.

  4. #4
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    Re: New To ShopTask or ShopMaster

    Quote Originally Posted by Pjblues1 View Post
    I am thinking of purchasing one of these machines, Mill Turn for my home hobby only use.

    Assuming I was a machinist 25 years ago and actually programmed NCs will this be difficult to work with? Are they heavy duty for hobby type work? As an example can I take a .25 depth of cut with a 1/2" end mill at a reasonable feed rate? I am just trying to understand would I go with this machine since it has the advantage of operating manually and CNC or just go with manual machines?

    Thanks.
    PJ,
    You need to give more info for a reasonable answer. 0.25 DOC in steel can be done, but at a very slow feed rate and with the sfm properly calculated. A "reasonable" feed rate depends on the machine HP- the Shopmaster is 2 HP, so it's reasonable rate will be far less than a 5 or 10HP machine.

  5. #5
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    Re: New To ShopTask or ShopMaster

    Thanks, I guess I am looking for a reasonable opinion about the machine. I am a woodworker who does a little bit of machining, only as a hobby. I currently have a 3 hp CNC router for wood and wanted something that could do metal machining. I am fascinated by CNC machines. I was hoping people could weigh in as to their opinion of the ShopMaster Patriot. Would they purchase it again? I just used the .25 depth of cut in steel as an example of how rigid the machine would be at the correct SFM. Otherwise I am going to go get a Smithy Granite 1340 and do things manually.

    Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Re: New To ShopTask or ShopMaster

    I know the Shopmaster has full manual functions as well, and those Chinese 3 in1 machines like the Smithy generally have poor reviews for their milling capabilities. If you are looking in the 5-6K range, and milling is your primary goal, then I would look to Grizzly for a variety of milling machines with good capacities. Tormach offers the 440 machine at a base price of 5K, but realistically you will be up around 9K to fit it out for any sort of operation.

  7. #7
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    Re: New To ShopTask or ShopMaster

    Quote Originally Posted by Pjblues1 View Post
    Would they purchase it again?
    I don't have any experience with the Patriot, but I did buy a 2015 Mill-Turn Shopmaster and I would NOT recommend the machine or the company. Contact me in private if you want more details as any negative post is quickly removed or buried on this forum.

  8. #8
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    Re: New To ShopTask or ShopMaster

    Your right on the Tormach 440. I priced one at $8K for what I wanted. Anyways, thanks for the advice. I do want a mill and lathe for just doing hobby type of work, most likely 3 - in 1 because I will not use them that much. I am not interested in starting a business. I am a woodworker that came over from the machining side of manufacturing.

  9. #9
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    Re: New To ShopTask or ShopMaster

    Do you happen to know what the horsepower for the Shopmaster machines is?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Pjblues1 View Post
    Do you happen to know what the horsepower for the Shopmaster machines is?
    Listed as 2 HP, but many say the actual torque capability (if that is the right wording) of the drive can be quite a bit less. I have an older ShopTask rated at 1/2 HP and it works OK, but you must move sloooooly in everything you do.

  11. #11
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    Re: New To ShopTask or ShopMaster

    So Russel, would you recommend the new ones? I am strongly considering purchasing one.

    Thanks.

  12. #12

    Re: New To ShopTask or ShopMaster

    Quote Originally Posted by Pjblues1 View Post
    So Russel, would you recommend the new ones? I am strongly considering purchasing one.

    Thanks.
    I too am looking to upgrade to a new machine, I haven't had any trouble with the company.

    Bought my ShopTask 12-22TC from them used in 1999 and bought a bunch of tooling, all works well (for the price). Here is the archive.org page of my machine:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20021206...aqhistory2.htm

    As a web designer, I have to say their current website is pretty rough and lacking a lot of information needed to make a multi-thousand dollar purchase...

    I really like the looks of the new machine, realize it is not a professional level machine and believe it is worth the price BUT (and it is a big but!), you must be prepared to check it out thoroughly when you receive it and be willing to do upgrades and modifications to get a good working machine out of it. I plan on going to visit their shop in Las Vegas, checking it out and bringing it back here to Idaho rather than having it shipped...

    That said it is NOT a professional machine but it seems like a good start at one fifth the price of a pro machine!

    If I ever get to the level of work where I can afford a pro machine I will trade this one off and upgrade.

    With proper setup, documentation, and instructions to the buyer about how this exact machine works it will be worth MORE than a new from China, untested machine. I believe if they would provide this service from the factory it would be worth an extra $1000 to me, save them a lot of warranty service and build tremendous positive customer relations, I don't understand JT doesn't offer it...

  13. #13
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    Re: New To ShopTask or ShopMaster

    Wow Russell, very good points. I am a bit concerned about what mods and upgrades would be required for a new machine like this. I thought it would be ready to run once the setup is completed. May I ask what you suggest?

    Thanks.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Pjblues1 View Post
    Wow Russell, very good points. I am a bit concerned about what mods and upgrades would be required for a new machine like this. I thought it would be ready to run once the setup is completed. May I ask what you suggest?

    Thanks.
    Like I said, I don't have one yet, but I have read many posts, some positive, got a lot of work done and paid for their machines quickly, some really negative 'never buy from them again', I think if you want to get something for a reasonable price you kind of take your chances.

    Doesn't seem like it should be that way with a $5000+ machine, but that's what I've seen.... Sorry I can't be more specific.

  15. #15
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    Re: New To ShopTask or ShopMaster

    Quote Originally Posted by RussellCofID View Post
    I too am looking to upgrade to a new machine, I haven't had any trouble with the company.

    Bought my ShopTask 12-22TC from them used in 1999 and bought a bunch of tooling, all works well (for the price). Here is the archive.org page of my machine:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20021206...aqhistory2.htm

    As a web designer, I have to say their current website is pretty rough and lacking a lot of information needed to make a multi-thousand dollar purchase...

    I really like the looks of the new machine, realize it is not a professional level machine and believe it is worth the price BUT (and it is a big but!), you must be prepared to check it out thoroughly when you receive it and be willing to do upgrades and modifications to get a good working machine out of it. I plan on going to visit their shop in Las Vegas, checking it out and bringing it back here to Idaho rather than having it shipped...

    That said it is NOT a professional machine but it seems like a good start at one fifth the price of a pro machine!

    If I ever get to the level of work where I can afford a pro machine I will trade this one off and upgrade.

    With proper setup, documentation, and instructions to the buyer about how this exact machine works it will be worth MORE than a new from China, untested machine. I believe if they would provide this service from the factory it would be worth an extra $1000 to me, save them a lot of warranty service and build tremendous positive customer relations, I don't understand JT doesn't offer it...
    Most companies these days are using fulfillment warehouses for their machines and rely on the Chinese factories for the adjustments and setups. Smithy and Tormach both do the same, and if you read their forums, you will find they have the same kinds of issues. Even if you step up to a 50K production machine company which sends a setup crew to your site, you will find people having problems, bottom line is that there is no perfection in this industry. However, if you are a serious buyer and want some special attention, you can always contact the company and give them your list and ask for a quotation on the cost. I'm sure any of them would be willing to accommodate you so long as it's worth their while.

  16. #16
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    Re: New To ShopTask or ShopMaster

    That is a good point as well. I guess I am used to getting a great machine for the money I pay, at least that is the way it works in the woodworking machine environment.

  17. #17
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    Re: New To ShopTask or ShopMaster

    Quote Originally Posted by Pjblues1 View Post
    Wow Russell, very good points. I am a bit concerned about what mods and upgrades would be required for a new machine like this. I thought it would be ready to run once the setup is completed. May I ask what you suggest?

    Thanks.
    Look a little closer at their website- all those upgrades and modifications previously mentioned are standard features on the 2017 machines.

  18. #18
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    Re: New To ShopTask or ShopMaster

    Wow, thanks for this insight. I was wondering about that.

  19. #19
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    Re: New To ShopTask or ShopMaster

    I purchased the Mill Turn in May of this year. I like it for what I do. It does hold a tolerance of 0.001 consistently. It does cut much better than my SB9 and much quieter,
    You will have to check every nut and bolt on it when you get it. You will have to make sure they send you ALL the updated and changed documentation. It appears that the MFG has changed some specs and not forwarded these to Shopmaster.

    If you take the time to set this up properly in the beginning and check all the screws nuts bolts you'll have a much better outcome. I was cutting good parts a week after I got it.

    Would I buy this machine again at this price point , Yes. If you expect this to be a 25K Haas you'll be disappointed. If you expect it to be a 6k chinese Mill/lathe you'll be surprised how good it is.

    Setup and prep is the key. get an assortment of set screws. They seem not to know what nose type to use where.

  20. #20
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    Re: New To ShopTask or ShopMaster

    Now I really like your posting. This is fantastic to go to such detail information.
    Thanks.

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