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don wilwol
04-12-2013, 10:10 PM
I'm not going to go as far as saying I'm new to metal work, but I've started taking it to a new height. Building the infill planes is a lot of fun, but it would be so much more enjoyable if I started gathering some more advance metal working machines. That said, this is a hobby, so cost is an issue. I also don't want to just throw good money after bad. Is something like this http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200419823_200419823 of any value, or do I need to look harder into Craigs List.

ray hampton
04-12-2013, 11:44 PM
this mill is light duty[noticed the round column ] but I think that it will work with non-ferrous metal or plastic-wood

Dave Bonde
04-14-2013, 9:27 PM
Based on my experiences you would be disappointed in that unit or would quickly outgrow its capabilities at best. To be fair I have never seen the unit you are looking at in person just basing my opinion on using other equipment. If you could find a Bridgeport Series 1 or similar used vertical mill you will be much happier IMHO.

Bruce Page
04-14-2013, 10:39 PM
Don, it would be fine for drilling holes and light machining of aluminum & plastics. You will be disappointed if you intend on milling your infill planes out of steel. As Ray points out, a round column is not stout enough for anything other than very light surface milling in steel.

David Wong
04-15-2013, 4:23 AM
Here are a few of websites you can look at for more info:

http://www.mini-lathe.com/Mini_mill/Main/mini-mill.htm
http://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?t=2064290
http://www.hobby-machinist.com/forum.php
http://www.chaski.com/homemachinist/viewforum.php?f=38&sid=f3101e23db56100967881059513c60be
http://www.littlemachineshop.com
http://www.hossmachine.info

I am not a metal worker, but have looked into getting a small mini-mill, once I can figure out if I have the room. You might want to look into one of the Sieg square column machines (X1, X2, X3). They are sold through a number of different retailers - Grizzly, Harbor Freight, Little Machine Shop,... The difference between the retailers has to do with quality control and after sales support. If I had the space, I would get a Grizzly G0704.

Ron Brese
04-15-2013, 10:00 PM
Don,

I had two of the larger small mills prior to purchasing a knee mill. The first mill I purchased was an Enco. I don't know why they call a 760 lbs machine a bench top mill never the less that machine did a lot of good work for me. It had all the draw backs of a round column mill even though it was stout enough to machine most metals in a reasonable way. Having a DRO was a real plus for aligning things when the height of the head needed to be moved. My next mill was an Industrial Hobbies Mill. This eliminated the round column and increase my work envelope. I think this machine was close to 1000 pounds and this machine was actually quite accurate. One thing I disliked about this mill was the noise of the gear head. You really needed to wear hearing protection when running this mill and that was a hassle.

I finally upgraded to a full size Eisen Knee Mill with a 3 axis DRO, 9 x 49 table and I've never looked back. I could hold a phone conversation right beside it while running and it has the capacity to do anything I need to do.

Ron Brese

ray hampton
04-16-2013, 2:15 PM
I do not own a mill , but I do some milling on a metal lathe and one thing that I found out is the a big end mill will work better than a small end mill [1/4 versus 3/4 ] DO THIS apply to the milling machines also

Bruce Page
04-16-2013, 4:03 PM
I do not own a mill , but I do some milling on a metal lathe and one thing that I found out is the a big end mill will work better than a small end mill [1/4 versus 3/4 ] DO THIS apply to the milling machines also
There are adjustments to feeds & speeds, but all things being equal, (e.g. setup, cutter sharpness & quality) the larger cutter will be stronger, allow better chip extraction, and heavier cuts.

Ole Anderson
04-21-2013, 11:18 AM
I have never posted in this forum, but it seems to me that comparing the Shop Fox the OP linked to a Bridgeport is like comparing a shovel to a D8. There are a lot of machines in between that ought to get him started in the right direction. I bought this one 20 years ago for light production work with aluminum and I still have it. Grizzly would be a good starting place, but even there it is a big step up in cost from the Shop Fox. If you know what to look for, CL might be a good way to go for a bigger yet affordable machine and if you have the room.

don wilwol
04-21-2013, 7:00 PM
I couldn't even think about a Bridgeport at this point. I have been looking at some of the grizzly's as well. I wouldn't mid going used on CL, but I really don't know what to look for. I don't have room, but I'd make room. We'll see were this adventure takes me.

George Carlson
04-21-2013, 7:53 PM
I was looking at the Grizzly G704. It looks pretty like it would be a nice small mill. The head is on a dovetail, so you won't get those round column reposition blues. I had a round column mill-drill about thirty years ago. Re-zeroing after changing the height of the head drove me nuts. The mill has an R8 taper, and a way to lock the spindle. It is still small, it weights a just little more than the big rotary table I use on my Bridgeport.

ray hampton
04-21-2013, 10:34 PM
I was looking at the Grizzly G704. It looks pretty like it would be a nice small mill. The head is on a dovetail, so you won't get those round column reposition blues. I had a round column mill-drill about thirty years ago. Re-zeroing after changing the height of the head drove me nuts. The mill has an R8 taper, and a way to lock the spindle. It is still small, it weights a just little more than the big rotary table I use on my Bridgeport.

S.Q , after you lock the spindle, do the lock prevent the spindle from turning ?

don wilwol
05-08-2013, 8:49 AM
So one more question. If I went with something like this http://www.grizzly.com/products/Drill-Mill-with-Stand-29-inch-x-8-inch-Table/G0705 what else would I need to get started?

Ron Brese
05-08-2013, 10:19 AM
I think you would need to a good 5" milling vise and having the vise on a swivel base would help a great deal with locating the back jaw square to the spindle when you have need to change the height. When I was working on a similar mill I found that a two axis DRO was invaluable and I also had a set of micrometers attached to the quill for setting depth. The mics on the quill was an easy mod and worked quite well.

So what will a DRO do for you? The DRO will give you the ability to make accurate set ups quite quickly. Once you have this ability you'll be hard pressed to work without it.

Ron

don wilwol
05-08-2013, 10:27 AM
I think you would need to a good 5" milling vise and having the vise on a swivel base would help a great deal with locating the back jaw square to the spindle when you have need to change the height. When I was working on a similar mill I found that a two axis DRO was invaluable and I also had a set of micrometers attached to the quill for setting depth. The mics on the quill was an easy mod and worked quite well.

So what will a DRO do for you? The DRO will give you the ability to make accurate set ups quite quickly. Once you have this ability you'll be hard pressed to work without it.

Ron
So something like this one? http://www.grizzly.com/products/Premium-Milling-Vise-5-/G7154 261871

Keith Outten
05-08-2013, 11:02 AM
Don,

I own an older model Grizzly bench mill/drill similar to the link you provided above. I have had the machine for a dozen years I guess, its a great little mill/drill for the work that I do in my shop. I did add an X axis power feed on the table that made things a bit more convenient for a job that came up, I rarely use the power feed these days. I built my own stand, a massive one welded together from 6" by 6" by 1/2" thick angle iron.

The round column that most people seem to dislike has never been a major problem for me but the price point of moving up to a larger machine when I bought mine was not an option. FWIW I am very satisfied with my Grizzly mill/drill and I would not hesitate to purchase another one.

Ron Brese
05-08-2013, 11:51 AM
Don I'm sure that vise would be fine, however if possible you may want to consider a Glacern Vise, a bit pricey, but more likely to be accurate and easier to use. While we're spending your money (grin), the x axis power feed would be a great idea. You'll get tired of cranking that table in short order.

I have two 5" Glacern vises on my knee milll that are indicated to each other and I had to use nothing more than 1/2 thou film to fine tune them. That's pretty accurate for a vise.

Ron

don wilwol
05-08-2013, 1:00 PM
While we're spending your money (grin),
Ron
Ron, I appreciate the help, but Keep in mind, I have to get this approved by my financial manager, and I doubt that's going to be an easy sell. I stopped to pick up a small blasting cabinet I've wanted for a while now. She promptly reminded me Mothers day was coming up. I'd offer up a Glacern vise, but I can't afford a divorce. :D

Mike Heidrick
06-09-2013, 2:33 AM
If I had the space, I would get a Grizzly G0704.

Great advice!

Carl Winterbauer
08-18-2013, 2:13 AM
Don,
with the economy being so screwed up the past 10 years many small and large machine shops have shut their doors allowing
many used Bridgeports to hit the used machine equipment market.
You'd be surprised how cheap some deals become with most having 3 phase motors. Rotary converter a simple fix then let the chips fly.
Must caution adding a good vice, rotary table, collets and end mill selection can add up quickly costing more than the mill alone.

Bruce Boone
08-18-2013, 12:51 PM
Carl says my philosophy exactly. Get the most machine that you can possibly afford, take on a job or two that will pay it off, then keep the better machine for the rest of your life. You will never regret this decision. I have often regretted doing the opposite, getting a lesser machine then having to get the better one eventually, so getting the better machine from the onset has become my default decision. I have never once regretted doing that. You tend to find new ways to use it that you had no idea about when you were first contemplating which machine to get.

don wilwol
08-28-2013, 9:52 PM
albany.craigslist.org/tls/4031706675.html I believe its an older version of this (http://www.harborfreight.com/1-1-2-half-horsepower-heavy-duty-milling-drilling-machine-33686.html)

Adan Bailey
08-29-2013, 2:26 AM
Last week I have purchased a Milling machine and getting training to well manage it. I am able to use different skills from this discussion. Its really helping and acknowledging discussion for my type of newbies.

Charlton Wang
10-06-2013, 12:14 PM
Ron, given you have experience with all these mills, if you to choose between the belt driven round column mill or the square mill with gears what would you choose? I have concerns (perhaps misguided) about the durability of gears in addition to the noise. A full sized Bridgeport would be ideal but the are far too large for my shop. A smaller 6x26 knee mill seems ideal but they are expensive here and there is no used market for deals to be had.

Thanks,
Charlton

Ron Brese
10-11-2013, 12:40 PM
Sorry it has taken me a while to respond to Charlton's question. The round column mill will be considerably quieter than the gear head, however the round column mill may not be quite as robust when it comes to having the power to remove metal when roughing. If you plan to install a DRO then the issues with aligning the spindle to the back jaw of your vise on the round column mill can really be minimized, adding a vise that swivels makes it even easier when coupled with the DRO. Personally I'd prefer the belt driven round column just due to the noise factor, but then again I have a full size knee mill at this point and for me there's no looking back.

Ron

Charlton Wang
10-30-2013, 1:40 PM
Thanks for the feedback, Ron. I would love a belt-driven mill but I can see the round column being a nuisance. I can see why a full-sized knee mill is ideal but like many, I simply don't have the space for one....maybe one of these days. :)

Cheers,
Charlton

Brian W Smith
10-31-2013, 9:36 AM
First post here......usually oogling/drooling at ya'lls shop pics,haha.Anyway,don't know if this is "polite" or not?But if you go on the Practical machinist site,look for a guy with the handle "sidecar"(I think thats him).He's getting on up in years but is an absolute treat to deal with.He grew up in a machinery "rebuilding" family.Think,handscraping and all that goes with it.He sells used BP mills that he's rescraped,for very good prices.His family bought Norton's surface grinding dept when they got out of that line.....He sent me an original manual(complete with a few greaseprints)....NOT a reprint,for our 1947 6x18 surface grinder.If I was buying another BP,wouldn't think for a second and buy from hime.Major thumbs up guys.

Duncan Potter
12-15-2013, 12:40 PM
I have the Grizzly 0619. It does pretty good work but you have to go slow, compared to a knee mill. If I had room (and a few more dollars) I would go for a knee mill. I got some inexpensive DROs on fleaBay that actually work pretty well. I think they were 30-40 per axis and they are fantastic for the price.

Jim Ritter
01-08-2014, 8:52 AM
Hi everyone I usually am up in the "Hand tool" section but have gotten into metal work for tool making. A year ago I bought this Bench Master mill it is really quite nice for small things but has no quill feed.

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m628/boatman53/db25072a1be06668520b80566a784218_zps79fd6b4f.jpg

But just yesterday I upgraded to a Millrite, it's about 3/4 the size of a Bridgeport and I will most likely not out grow it. It runs on 110 and has a power cross feed.

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m628/boatman53/4a3e6a209e7142d915b2b209483d5f4d_zps8a587642.jpg

So I guess I'll be watching this section from now on.
Jim

Bruce Page
01-08-2014, 2:31 PM
Very nice Jim. You should look into installing an X-Y DRO on the Millrite.

Dennis Ford
01-08-2014, 2:34 PM
That is a great upgrade.

Jim Ritter
01-08-2014, 10:47 PM
I don't think the Bench Master ever had a quill feed. It's a nice little mill just as it is.
Jim