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Thread: Mill machine

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    Gunslinger jdgabbard's Avatar
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    Default Mill machine

    Looking at buying a mill machine, and believe that I have found one in my budget that will do the intended purpose. But am wondering about a vise. Is there any specific type of vise I need to look for, because I am fairly sure that this machine doesnt come with one.

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    Gunco Good ole boy kernelkrink's Avatar
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    A milling machine vise, of course. Enco has an imported one for around $100 that works pretty good. You will also need a clamping kit which is a rack full of T bolts and nuts, clamps, etc. You need this for irregualr or circular pieces you can't clamp in a vise.

    http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?P...PMAKA=425-7261

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    Gunco Rookie machinisttx's Avatar
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    kernelkrink is 100% correct. A milling machine vise is designed quite differently than a drill press vise, and has to be. The forces generated by millling are much different than those from drilling. A drill press vise isn't strong enough to hold parts in a milling machine.
    "I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every
    form of tyranny over the mind of man." --Thomas Jefferson

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    Gunslinger jdgabbard's Avatar
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    Well, what I am looking for is an entry level machine. Nothing to turn out thousands of parts, just something to learn on and start me off. I found this maching.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=42976

    Does this sound like something that will work well? Or should I just jump up to something a little larger?

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    Gunco Member Jim Boyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdgabbard
    Well, what I am looking for is an entry level machine. Nothing to turn out thousands of parts, just something to learn on and start me off. I found this maching.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=42976

    Does this sound like something that will work well? Or should I just jump up to something a little larger?
    I'm no expert but the manual shows it doesn't use a draw bar to secure the #2mt. I would be scared that the drill chuck would come out in the middle of a cut.

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    Gunco Regular acmech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdgabbard
    Well, what I am looking for is an entry level machine. Nothing to turn out thousands of parts, just something to learn on and start me off. I found this maching.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=42976

    Does this sound like something that will work well? Or should I just jump up to something a little larger?
    The vise Kernalkrink suggested is the one I'm using on my HF round column mill, it is great.

    The mill you are looking at isn't too bad. You'll need some mt2 collets and it does use a draw bar from what my former boss told me. He has one of these and has been happy with it. He got it for less than $300 instore as well. One modification you will want to make is adding a finefeed to it. There are plans out there to add a finefeed to it to make it as easy to use as a larger mill. I was making gears for it and selling them on ebay (for the finefeed), due to the cost, I only make smaller bronze worm gears now, and they aren't the best for it. If you get it, pm me and I can set you up with the last 160:1 bronze gear I have for a nice finefeed, the price will be $60 though but I can tell you how to make your own also. If you have a lathe, you may want to make your own, but mine are cda 632 high strength bronze and a true bitch to machine.
    Another option is to get on harbor freights mailing list and hope they start sending you 20% off coupons. When the larger mill/drill like mine goes on sale for $799 you could walk out of the store with it for $640 plus tax.

    If its within your budget, go with the bigger mill/drill!

  7. #7
    Gunco Good ole boy kernelkrink's Avatar
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    I just used the "old" 20% off coupon posted here:

    Harbor Freight 20% off coupon

    at my local HF. It didn't scan but they ran it through manually without a second thought. Worth a shot, worst they can do is make you pay full price!

    BTW, the only "complaint" I have about the Enco vise I linked to above is the swivel base is not very well marked. Resetting to zero will require some setup time.

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    Citizen, Patriot, Ranger bellson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdgabbard
    Well, what I am looking for is an entry level machine. Nothing to turn out thousands of parts, just something to learn on and start me off. I found this maching.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=42976

    Does this sound like something that will work well? Or should I just jump up to something a little larger?
    This machine will work fine for a learning rig. But what you may be learning is bad habits due to the weaknesses of the rig. If you are OK with torching the $400.00 in a year or less, then this is your machine!

    I did this by the way.....a 3in 1 model. Worked great for about 8 Months.....Then came all of the limitations. Torched $1100.00.

    Ended up buying this rig, Much Better....Not as good a seperate machines, but no real loss in quality of finished product. Just lots of set-up time. That does not hurt me, it makes me think about what I am doing. I tend to plan a lot better now.

    http://www.shoptask.com/

    The downside is that this rig is 10x what you are looking to spend.

    Take a seriuos look at http://www.grizzley.com/

    A buddy of mine got his there, and he is happy with his purchase.

    The combined wisdom of folks a lot more experienced than we are is that you should buy seperate machines that are designed for the task. They are right.....

    BTW: Whatever you spend on the rig, expect to spend 3x on the gear to go with it. The Vise for the Mill should be BIG, Ugly, HEAVY, and last a lifetime. I have gone through three of the lightweight ones before I got one from a GOV. auction....It weighs 72 Lb!!! No identification at all....just some holes where I suspect the ID plate used to be attached. Probably sat out in the Kalifornia desert for several years rusting away before I plunked down my $55.00 for that a a buch of other "treasures"....Marines, ya gotta love em...Just don't give them tools.

    Bellson

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    Always sore, always tired Bradrock's Avatar
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    I preffer to watch for older American made shop tools for cheap. I bought this Atlas horizontal mill for a couple hundred dollars with a bunch of tooling. I did not realize how cool a horizontal mill was until i brought this home to play with.



    You can use end mills in a holder or horizontal milling cutters on the arbor

    I got this for $300.00:

    " Save a tree...........Eat A Beaver!"

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    Indian Admin Winn R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradrock
    I preffer to watch for older American made shop tools for cheap.
    I'll chime in here with amen as well.

    The old Bridgeport mill and Logan lathe cost little more than Chinese but I enjoy working on them.

    And that's what it's all about!
    There is no nonsense so errant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action. -- Bertrand Russell


    "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity." Robert J. Hanlon

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