Wombat21

Best shop machinery for $500?

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So I've been gifted $500 for Christmas and I was wondering what bit of kit I should get myself? I was thinking a band saw perhaps, but I'm not sure if a $500 band saw is going to be good enough for metal work. A table saw would be a good edition to the shop but not so much for metal. 
Any suggestions (already have a pedestal drill and belt grinder) ? 

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No reason to spend it immediately. Think of it as seed money. Put the money in a safe place, add more of the same from time to time, and watch it grow.

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I recently got a Milwaukee Portable band saw with a Swag table.  Great tool, and all in under your gift amount.  Really all depends on what kind of work you like to do.  Another great shop tool I got for that price range was a used treadle hammer.  Get lots of use out of that as well.

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Vertical metal band saw or horizontal if you have the room for it would be a good addition to any shop.

if you have the time, shop around for a vintage one made in the US. 

Oops, just noticed you are in Glen Innes ... mm ... the acquisition power of your $500 suddenly dropped by a factor of 4 ... oh well. You may still be able to find a good second hand post drill press. i bought a massive Hares and Forbes, from a fencing factory that was closing down for $400. 

Check Gumtree, there are a few metal band saw for sale under $500

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Have it to hand for when the great deal materializes---I've bought running triphammers for under that and my massive Hoskins #2 Screwpress was only US$100---having the money allowed me to seal the deal on the spot before they changed their mind.

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Hi Wombat,

When there are financial limits my vote goes always to the angle grinder. One 125mm/5", min 900W grinder gives you a versatile power tool for relatively cheap price. You can cut anything, rough grind, fine grind, wire wheel, polish with one tool. And you have most of your money for later purchases. (Work safety is a very important thing before grinders are turned on.)

Bests:

Gergely

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I agree with Gergely. Angle grinders are the most versatile tool and the prices have come down considerably. For your $500 you could set yourself up nicely with a few of them, each with a different application. Saves a lot of time changing from grinding wheels to cutting discs to polishing wheels etc. I buy any I see at garage sales.

A lot depends, of course, on what kind of work you are doing. You didn't say if you have a vice, anvil, tongs etc.

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I would also say hold onto it for deal making. I have seen a Monarch lathe sell for $350 at a machine shop auction because most the bidders only wanted the CNC's that day. 

I have no clue what used machinery runs in OZ, but $1,000 will buy a used Bridgeport mill copy. You would be halfway to one. 

When I go garage saleing I pull $100. Many items I buy to resell. I recently bought a bunch of reloading gear that I told the guy was probably worth $80 if he parted it out. He looks at me and says, how about $20? I don't want to mess with it.  A 20 quart Hobart A-200 mixer that was missing the bowl ended up in my car after $80 was exchanged. A used bowl will run me $100, and most mixers like this run $1,000-$1,500 used. $4,300 commercial food vacuum packer for $150. And the list goes on. Deals are out there, and having a wad of cash in hand can make deals happen. 

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I'm with others on this, hold the money in waiting for a deal and you may well be able to afford a number of usefull purchases, and in the meantime you can work out what you really need the most. Often very good condition machinery can be had second hand for less than half the price of new, I eventually managed to find a shaper for £40 (of which paypall paid half as a promotion) which normally fetch nearer £200! ......but I did have to wait a couple of years.

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(and always keep on the lookout; these things seldom drop in your lap; the more you work the luckier you get!)

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TPAAAT applies, carry some cash.

Like anvils, after you find the first one, they start showing up all over the place. Same with tools.

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