View Full Version : Mill...What do you think?

03-22-2005, 08:42 AM
I really like this machine except for the lack of low rpm on the main spindle and the rather limited table travel (for its size anyway) What do you guys think of this thing?

03-22-2005, 09:45 AM

You asked.
I am always partial to Domestic machine tools vs. Oriental. You will probability get a much better tool for less $, if you shop for a used U.S. mill. It may need a little cleaning and paint, but the performance will out weigh the inconvenience of your first project (cleaning & Painting).


03-22-2005, 09:57 AM
I agree that the table is small and the one thing that is missing is power down feed on the quill. If you are going to do any boring on the mill you will really miss that feature. Personally if I had to have a horizontal mill I would want a seperate machine.


Paul Gauthier
03-22-2005, 11:23 AM
IIRC it has a powered knee, so perhaps no power feed for the quill is not that important. Just a thought.

Paul G.

03-22-2005, 01:44 PM

I like combination HV Mills since that's what I trained on. Two machines for one price and less floor space than two seperate machines.

The spindle speed is a concern. If you plan on runnig larger face mills, say 4" which is about 1' circumference, your slowest spindle speed will produce 270SFM. Fine for mild steel but too fast for stainless or harder steels. If you figure the biggest straight-side horizontal milling cutter at 10", your work envelope will be really limited. You might not plan on running many 10" cutters, but it's nice to have the option.

You might want to look at these:



Barry Milton

03-22-2005, 02:20 PM
Russ, Have you looked at any Grizzly mlls? Your not that far from them. I am considering looking at them. Don't like the Busy Bee to much. Any pro's or con's.
John( Edmonton)

03-22-2005, 03:04 PM
Hi Russ,thats definitly a missprint about the table lift. Mine is definitely manual cranked. But, you can fit a similar drive motor as the X-axis to the knee. CDCO in Chicago sells one for $189.00,150 in. lbs. I am planning to lower the spindle speed by fitting a larger intermediate pulley.You relly cant go wrong with the price(4200.00), I paid $6300.00 last year.Doug

03-22-2005, 03:06 PM
I'm curious as well about the Grizzly mills. It seems that the Grizzly woodworking tools (table saws, routers, etc.), at least those going for the slightly higher prices, seem to have gained a pretty good reputation. I have no idea whether this is true for their metal working tools.

03-22-2005, 06:21 PM
Cool machine , but if it were me and had the room I would opt for seperate machines.
YOU may come out ahead.


03-22-2005, 07:03 PM
JCD...Up here in Southwestern BC there AIN'T no Used equipment...period! I've already spent a lot of money running around looking and finding junk. I am going to buy a big ugly mother of a mill for heavy stuff but I'd like this mainly for cutting gears but it may as well be useful for other things.
Joe...Dang, I missed that! I built a power feed for the quill on my M/D. Haven't quite got the bugs out yet but when it works it is nice. Maybe I can do the same thing here.
Paul...or I could do that also!
Barry...This won't be my only mill and I hear you about the bigger cutters. This really is all John Stevensons fault http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif He also sent me a coule links for Universal mills. One was a REALLY nice Lagun H/V Universal. I would have loved to have had it but it was thousands of miles away. The link to the Lagun you showed just isn't fair...LOL!
seejay John...Check your email.
Doug...glad you showed up. Thanks for the info on the power feed.
Guero...The Grizzly mill....that's the one I'd like and I can even get one up here from Busy Bee but they want $6800 (plus tax and shipping)for a $3200USD machine
Thanks all!

03-22-2005, 07:04 PM
Maximum drilling diameter, 1-1/4'' (32mm).

like to see it do that at 270 rpm

all the best.mark

03-22-2005, 07:10 PM
I dont think I would use a boreing head at that speed, this is something I use alot.

I use to hate working for someone else, now I work for everyone else!

03-22-2005, 07:17 PM
Russ the low speed on the horizonal spindle is 72,that's fine for running big cutters up to 4" which BTW is the absolute limit for the whimpy R-8 spindle.You do realise that it is R-8?

My point is this,for what you are looking at spending,you can get a 9x42" b-port clone,still with R-8 taper and a horizonal attachment that will be just about as capable as the one in the link.In addition to a larger envelope you will also get a machine with more mass/rigidity as a decked out b-port will run 1900 lbs while that one is in the 1450lb range.
Your not near a KBC branch are you?If you were they have some Taiwan built B-ports in that price range.

03-22-2005, 07:20 PM
Guys...I thought of the same thing but as Doug says, you can change the pulleys to slow it down. That is an assinine speed for a machine rated at 1 1/4" drilling capacity. Probably do alright drilling a hole through a triple layer cake http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

03-22-2005, 08:32 PM
Darin, dammit, dammit...you had to do that didn't you? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif Actually that is a good point. We have a KBC up here about a 12 hour one way drive. I've been looking at their Kent mills. They have a lot of different models as I'm sure you know. So...how do you think the horizontal attachment for a BP type mill would stack up against this mill? BTW, Doug figures the weight they list for this machine is wrong as listed. He said that his is far heavier than they claim in the ad. Oh ya...I knew it was a whimpy R-8...LOL! The big mill I want has #40 but I have a ton of R-8 tooling now, some is even pretty good quality so I'd like to take advantage of that. For the time being I'm only going to be making 20DP gears so the cutters aren't that big. But then again...dammm Ebay..there are always some big gear cutters that nobody else wants http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif Ooops...gotta go make some chips before bedtime!! Thanks.

03-22-2005, 09:27 PM
I was going to mention that BIG CUTTERS are really cheap on eBay........................

03-23-2005, 06:03 AM
Hey Russ,

I just got the Busy Bee flyer yesterday. A vertical Knee Millis on sale for $2199.00 Model CT054.

I second the opinion of new used equipment in Canada. I have been looking. NO such luck. KBC or Travers seem to have some good deals on Bridgeport style milling machines with DRO's already installed. Ah...to have the money!!!!

Rob http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

03-23-2005, 07:04 AM
Rob, Geeez that is a good price on that mill. Too bad it's just a baby! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif They also have their bigger mill on sale for a bit over $3K. Coolant system and all. However....figure this...the little mill has 2 hp. The big mill has 1 1/2 hp! And their bigger mill has about 4" less table travel than my mill/drill. I would have bought their bigger knee mill before if would have had more table travel.
Another thing, I doubt if you can make anykind of horizontal setup on their mills. That's something I really want. I also need a bigger table than that. I keep waay too much crap on my table. You know...a 70+ pound swivel vise (which I use a lot), a rotary table, a tool tray over the powerfeed unit, a magnetic base worklight, a stainless coffee cup (most important...I like drinking chips http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif) and I like to save room on the table in case my cat wants a ride http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif
I've got the money but I'm trying to be careful here, I only want to do this once. I learned that the hard way from my woodworking days. One shop I had I ended up requipping (is that a word?) it three times!
Still have to check out King tools yet. They sell BP clones also.

03-23-2005, 07:11 AM
Russ,I aim to sleaze...uhm please http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

With the R-8 I don't think it would be much better than an attachment since the spindle taper is the limiting factor.

You can run R-8 in a NT 40 spindle,all you need is an adapter.If it were me I would get a good vertical mill and wait for an old Horizonal to come up.Even in the Canadian machinetool Sahara an old horizonal will turn up cheap sooner or later.If all else fails I can send you one a piece at a time through the mail,I'll just mark it"Chirstmas card" so it will make it through customs http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

As for the size of the unit,I noticed they don't give you any over all specs as to floor space or hieght.They do give the length of the table so scale off that with a ruler to see how tall it stands.I'll bet it's smaller that you think.Catalog pics can be deceptive if they are on a white background with nothing for reference.

03-23-2005, 07:22 AM
weird, Ahhso...I didn't even think about adaptors. Good point! Never thought about the R-8 being the limiting factor there either.
I've seen a lot of smaller horizontal mills back in eastern Canada lately but the shipping and distance are killers. Driving out to look at stuff is out too with our gas at about $4 a gallon...hmmm, my old one ton gets 8mpg X a 5000 mile round trip http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif
I may just have to go look at Doug's machine. Will probably take a few projects up there with me, stay a couple weeks (if he has enough food) and finish them, then decide http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif
Gawd...I need more sleep!
Oh ya...if it doesn't work out, then I will take you up on the "Christmas card" idea! ("Really Mister, this is the new Hallmark series...they are made to look like the knee from a big Cincy H mill...")

[This message has been edited by torker (edited 03-23-2005).]

03-23-2005, 09:41 AM
If you are going to invest in a new piece of equipment, it is best to get one which meets your primary requirements. If compromises need to be made, they should be in the secondary requirements.

That mill seems to have compromises in all areas, small table, too high speeds, inadequate tool holding on horizontal spindle and more.

It also is probably one of the 2/3 size of a Bridgeport machines based on weight and appearance.

Unfortunately, the best way to find exactly what you are looking for is to buy something that is "kind of" what you want and wait a week.

03-23-2005, 01:44 PM
Russ, You are more than welcome to come on up for a visit. Try the machine and see if it meets your requirements. You wont have to bring much as I recently pict up a 10in. rotary table and an Ellis dividing head. I have lots of cutters for the horzontal and both 1in. and 1 1/4 in. arbors. By the way, this machine stands almost seven foot tall. Doug

03-23-2005, 06:21 PM
Hey Doug...was just kidding about bringing projects! Sometime in the next month or so we are supposed to be going up there to visit our kids and Thrud. I'll have to track you down! Thanks for the offer! Ummm 7 feet tall huh? That is a pretty good size alright.