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I' m looking for mill advice

 
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  #1  
Old 12-12-2012, 05:59 PM
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I' m looking for mill advice

So I have been shopping around for a few months, reading on other forums, here and there about the small hobby mills (mini mills) that are available out there. I just cant decide, so I'm asking for advice.

I don't want to spend more than 1k, space and weight are an issue a bench top unit is ideal. Also power is a factor 220 is available but 110 is more practical for me.

I have looked at little machine shop and grizzly as they both fit into my price/size range. Any other suggestions are welcome first hand experience is great.

I intend to use it for small work on 1911 pistol frames and slides etc.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:55 AM
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Re: I' m looking for mill advice

In the past I did alot of work on 1911 slides. Some were harder then "the hubs". Make many "Bomar" sight installs and front dovetails. I was glad to have the mass and ridigidity of a full size vertical mill. Not saying what you've got in mind won't work, just relaying past experience. Carbide cutters require ridigity! (or more carbide cutters!)
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:47 AM
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Re: I' m looking for mill advice

look for a Bridgeport clone that has the smallest table they sell (36" or 42"). I like the ones from Willis Machine, as they are easy to rebuild, and most all the addons will work on it. You can buy several of the clones wired for single phase electricity.
gary
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:15 PM
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Re: I' m looking for mill advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by shortgrass View Post
In the past I did alot of work on 1911 slides. Some were harder then "the hubs". Make many "Bomar" sight installs and front dovetails. I was glad to have the mass and ridigidity of a full size vertical mill. Not saying what you've got in mind won't work, just relaying past experience. Carbide cutters require ridigity! (or more carbide cutters!)
Yes I have a concern with this, I see this as the best option for a bench top model in my price range at present.

HiTorque Mini Mill, Solid Column with Tooling Package - LittleMachineShop.com
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:16 PM
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Re: I' m looking for mill advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trickymissfit View Post
look for a Bridgeport clone that has the smallest table they sell (36" or 42"). I like the ones from Willis Machine, as they are easy to rebuild, and most all the addons will work on it. You can buy several of the clones wired for single phase electricity.
gary
Just did some informal searching cant seam to find anything I will have room for yet.
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:41 AM
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Re: I' m looking for mill advice

Is there a disadvantage to having a mill with a column that will not tilt? I am of the understanding that the same cuts can still be made, but added set up is required?
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2012, 02:33 PM
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Re: I' m looking for mill advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by ICANHITHIMMAN View Post
Just did some informal searching cant seam to find anything I will have room for yet.
a few years back I was tasked with buying six or eight Bridgeports (or clones), and a half dozen CNC lathes. Got a ticket to the Chicago Tool Show (this place is huge so take good walking shoes). Looked at a lot of machines while I was there, but kept going back to the Willis Machine booth. Bought ten of them for less money than I could buy eight Bridgeports (all are made in Asia these days). But what sold me was the way they did the saddle and basic frame construction. BVoss that I was nuts till the first two showed up on the dock.

I also bought six CNC Hardingh slant bed lathes (well actually there was seven on that buy, but one went to somebody else). They wanted me to buy Okumas, but these lathes made the Okumas look like toys. Came in about 20% cheaper and were U.S. made! The down side was the lead time. It was almost a year as I was right behind Pontiac and Ford in my buy (the two together almost bought a hundred of them!!) Bought one right off the floor with the bar feed unit and live tooling with the motorized tail stock for $226K delivered and setup. That was roughly $50K less than the Okuma without an X2 slide and live tooling. Plus it had a better build quality. Would have loved to seen the sales commision check they guy got for selling 100 lathes in that price range.

Now a machine you might want to consider (as your doing light milling and mostly drill and tap work) is a gently used is the one sold by Fanuc that has the large hex turrent on the front. These are often .0005" machines, and can be often picked up fairly cheap.
gary
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