You may have heard some things about 3-in-1 mill-drill-lathe machines. Many
comments tend to be negative. However, every machining operation on this
locomotive including use of the mill, lathe, and in most cases, drill press,
were done on a Smithy CB1220XL-LTD, which is an earlier model of their current
MIDAS 1220 shown above.
Although this machine may not be as precise or rigid as other machines weighing and costing many times what this does, I have never encountered a machining operation that I could not do.
Sure it may take more time to complete a task or may require extra care in setting up for an operation, but I can get just about any level of precision that I need. It's more about the skill of the operator and less about the machine.
If you have the floor space and the funds for larger dedicated machines and can justify having them for other tasks, that is the way to go. If it's needed for hobby and/or occasional home repairs and you don't have much floor space and really want to save $$$, a 3-in-1 is the way to go.
Support from Smithy has been excellent. They have provided replacement parts (some at their expense) and virtually unlimited advise on use and maintenance of the machine. They even tell how to disassemble and reasssemble to replace a critical part in the event of a crash. (I've been there). They are also a ready source of tools and accessories for your machine. I find myself ordering new fixtures often.
They claim it is "Guaranteed to Pay It's Own Way". Well mine certainly has. If I had to pay a machine shop to do the work you will see on the following pages I would have easily paid what ten of these machines cost.