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Happy Camper
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Discussion Starter #1
http://pookieweb.dyndns.org:61129/minimill/mill1.jpg

mmmm juicy snack! Now to get all the cutting tools I need. Hrm what can I do for a project? I'm thinking about making some dimple dies. Then I'm thinking about making an FCG from scrap metal I have laying around. Would be a good first projo - simple, small, cheap.

I must say I plan to do quite a bit with it! :D
 

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Happy Camper
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Discussion Starter #3
Harbor Freight, part # 44991go to www.mini-lathe.com and follow the "mill" link... you'll find that all of these mini-mills are identical, all made at one OEM plant somewhere, and all made in China (or Taiwan). Thus it became a matter of economics. There's an HF store here in town, so I saved shipping and happened to get it when on sale for $100 off... paid $430 total. ;)

Now to invest that $100 I saved into collets and end mills! Ironically, littlemachineshop.com has the best prices on end-mills but they are sold out.
 

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I picked mine up at the Homier travelling sale near my house last year for $299. H-F had a green one at that time for $399, and it was virtually identical.

I have used the crap out of mine. There are some limitations. I started an AR receiver out of a chunk of aluminum and had to stop because there was not qite enough travel on the Z-axis with my vise in place.

You will need some accessories. I get a lot of mine at www.littlemachineshop.com. They specialize in minimills and minilathes.

Good move!
 

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Gunco Irregular
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Now you will spend the real money! LOL The cutters, collets, dividing table, 4 jaw chuck, backplates, boring head...ect. :scared: I thought I'd spent the big amount when I bought a combo tool a few years ago but was I wrong LOL! At least you were smart and bought a seperate machine. I wish I would have. I can't wait to see what you do with it! I know from seeing your work that you will put yours to good use!!
 

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************
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I sure wished I had one. that's a great start. I can't wait to see what you end up putting out with it...Talk about the ultimate "Jerry-rig", that's it!

But, I can't help but comment about what you said "my goal to do everything without a press or a mill"... But that's not a flame, just a tease...so don't let that be taken wrong. :)
 

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Master Endmill Breaker
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Happy Camper
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Discussion Starter #10
lol that's too funny - I did know that all the parts would exceed the cost of the mill, but that's OK.

The littlemachineshop.com website is always out of the parts I need - figures. I need a recommendation for a good supplier of economy end mills and collets. I've found a few that seem to have some good prices:

http://www.lathemaster.com

http://www.billstoolcrib.com

http://www.discount-tools.com

Any others I should look into?
 

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Master Endmill Breaker
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1,367 Posts
While I am a firm believer in having quality tooling, there is something to be said for the cheap stuff. I would rather chew up a cheap bit when hogging lots of stock than ruin a good one on roughing operations.

http://www.jtsmachinery.com/jtswebshop/asp/home.asp

It just so happens that you can get the generic digital scales for the Shumatech DRO from JTS...

You can get cheap tooling from Harbor Freight too.

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/wwg/homepage.jsp

http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/INSRBR

http://www.mmsonline.com/mtg/SuppliersDatabase_Detail.cfm?ID=5090

http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRHM

http://www.mcmaster.com/
 

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Happy Camper
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Discussion Starter #12

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Well I went and purchased a mini mill. Does anyone have any suggestions as to books, reference guides etc. I was looking at some in the Brownells catalog and noticed several. One in particular is Michinery's Handbook. Any ideas? Thanks Jack
 

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Happy Camper
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Discussion Starter #14

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Grendeljaeger said:
Now you will spend the real money! LOL The cutters, collets, dividing table, 4 jaw chuck, backplates, boring head...ect. :scared: I thought I'd spent the big amount when I bought a combo tool a few years ago but was I wrong LOL! At least you were smart and bought a seperate machine. I wish I would have. I can't wait to see what you do with it! I know from seeing your work that you will put yours to good use!!
It's easy to spend more on mill tooling than the mill itself. Can't wait.....lol
 

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Master Endmill Breaker
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scubadvr said:
Well I went and purchased a mini mill. Does anyone have any suggestions as to books, reference guides etc. I was looking at some in the Brownells catalog and noticed several. One in particular is Michinery's Handbook. Any ideas? Thanks Jack
This is a copy of another post I made a couple of weeks ago...


This is just one amateur's opinion...

Any edition of "Machinery's Handbook" will be a great addition to your library. The "Machinery's Handbook Guide" is a great supplement to the handbook. The books cover a massive range of topics including: mathematics, mechanics, strength of materials, machining operations, and manufacturing processes. These can be bought online, but shop around for a better price.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...=books&n=507846

You don't need the absolute latest edition, so don't pass up an earlier revision if it's really cheap. I'm pretty sure the latest revision is 26, as I haven't seen anything newer.
 

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Damn....I'm behind the times....I need a mill too....
I'd like to hold out for something with an R8 spindle though, but a minimill might be a good start, especially if you haven't done a lot or no machining before....
I worked on CNC mills and lathes myself for about a year including a little programming, but that was quite a few years ago and I probably retain just enough knowledge to sink an endmill into the table :)
Congrats HCPOOKIE, I also would be interested in updates on how the minimill does, particularly how the accuracy holds up once you get used to the machine.
 
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