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Thread: Central Machinery mill

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    Gunco Regular The Dark Knight's Avatar
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    Default Central Machinery mill

    How good are central machinery mills? I found one i might try to buy if its a good deal.

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    gunco irregular moleman's Avatar
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    Which one? I have the harbor freight green drill/mill and am happy with it.

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    Gunco Veteran Viper Dude's Avatar
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    Hello Dark Knight,
    It depends upon the model you are selecting. The Harbor Freight Central Machinery mills are reasonably priced asian-made machines. I own one. Don't expect Bridgeport performance from these very light-duty bench-top mills. Go for the beefier models that use the R-8 taper tooling. Machinery mass equates to smoother cuts all else being equal.

    Belt drive on a mill is fine. Electronic speed control is a bit overkill in my estimation on a mill and expensive to repair. An add-on digital readout (DRO) is a real treat to use on any machine. A rigid column is a must in my estimation. Some fellows fill the round columns with concrete to increase the beef.

    I suggest going with the largest model that your shop space and wallet will allow. Bigger is Better !!!

    Keep in mind that tooling is spendy stuff. Happy hunting !!!

    VD

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    Quote Originally Posted by moleman View Post
    Which one? I have the harbor freight green drill/mill and am happy with it.
    sorry forgot central machinery complex machine drilling and milling #981 I think that is the model.

    It is a bench top 1.5 horse power I was wondering how much could I do with it? Do you think it will be able to do a lot. I'm looking for a good deal the biggest problem I have is getting it into my garage. A want to be able to machine out alot. Maybe even receivers. I don't know much but it looks like most gun parts could be done on a bench top.

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    gunco irregular moleman's Avatar
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    I don't know which model the #981 is, but I've included a picture of mine. Vz58 also has this model and helped me out when I first got it. He added a digital caliper to the down feed to get a better measurement of the down feed which is kind of vague at times. For getting it into the shop a engine hoist is great, but I bolted a 2500# eye bolt to the main beam in my garage and winched the mill off of a trailer and set it down on a base that I made out of unistrut with casters and levers on the bottem. This model is very capable although as Viperdude pointed out "it aint no bridgport". Is this the model? Since the picture I've added a 6" kurt milling vise as the little blue vise in the picture couldn't hold the work very well.
    So far I've made a few receivers with the mill and modifed a bunch of suomi and a few pps43 bolts. I most recently fluted a 20" ar15 barrel with it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Gunco Regular The Dark Knight's Avatar
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    It's about the same thing just older like 1983. It comes with some tooling like vises and couple of cutters.

    I want to get somthing that can make receviers, semi parts or help cut out weld. I think a bench top could do it.

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    gunco irregular moleman's Avatar
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    Not to steal his thunder, but Coils also got one recently. http://www.gunco.net/forums/f183/input-mill-50611/

    A lot of the early 80's import lathes and mills came from taiwan and are suppost to be made a little better.

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    No Hope For Me Coils's Avatar
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    Dark Knight,
    The one your looking at is the lighter weight one, about 350 lbs, the one I got is the model #590 and is about 650 lbs. The one Moleman has shows 700 lbs on HF's site.
    It's just a little smaller then the one I got, 4" stroke compared to 5". The table is a little smaller, 20"x6" mine is 28"x8". They both have 12 speeds, yours has a little slower low speed but the high speed is about the same.
    OK that's just some of the minor differences, other then that they are almost the same, I don't know what they left out to get it 300 lbs lighter. You will need a solid & heavy bench/table to mount it to, being that light it might shimmy or hop if you get to hard on a cut.

    As for cutting receivers, I think it would but for ones like milled receivers it would take a while and everything would have to be done with light cuts. But then again your not a business trying to pump them out as fast as you can, you want it for the hobby and save some money not paying the businessman his fees.

    In my opinion, if you can get it for around $200 (you have to judge on it's condition and how hard it was used) it would be a decent starter/small project mill, if they want more then that you'll have to think about it hard.
    But that's my $.02, it might be worth more but I'd think a mill almost 30 years old won't be in excellent condition.
    And you have to think about the vise, if it looks like a nice quality vice that might make a difference in the price you think about, a good vise can run $100-200 easy. If it looks basic or low end, just think of it as a part of the mill and don't give it any value, a cheap vice is just that "cheap" and you can got one of those yourself.

    If you decide to get it and there's no manual, let me know and I'll try to scan mine for you. But the manual isn't very good, the belt settings and exploded views are about the only really useful info in it.

    Hope my rambling was useful
    "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem" Ronald Reagan

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    Gunco Regular The Dark Knight's Avatar
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    Thanks for all replys guys. I think i'm going to wait and find something bigger.

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    gunco irregular moleman's Avatar
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    From time to time HF puts out a 20% off coupon which says its not for special orders, but they'll let you use it on a mill or lathe. Plus have the heavy item shipped to the nearest store for free and pick it up.

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