View Full Version : smithy milling machine #cx-329

ken kuban
05-16-2006, 11:20 AM
i'm highly considering purchasing the above machine for my home work shop.
i'll be doing small projects and i'm limited to space and funding. i'll be mounting the above machine on a steel base for better support.
i know may of you out there will say buy american but it's just not possible
for the above reasons. please note this isn't a combo machine it's there straight milling machine.
thanks for any comment that you may have ken kuban

05-16-2006, 12:14 PM
I am not familar with all of the import mill drills, but it looks like one of the common dovetail column ones. Maybe a Sieg with the Smithy badge.

These can be good machines, and you may be able to shop a bit for price among the distributors. If possible, look for a dealer near you where you might be able to actually see the machine, and where you may be able to go for after purchase support if needed.

Tin Falcon
05-16-2006, 05:04 PM
Ken: Cybor462 just bought one. Does not seem real happy with it. He mentioned in an e-mail that while at the harbor freight store he saw the same mill for about half the money. I personaly have no experience with this particular machine. I do know that import machines are often sold under different labels often at diferent prices. So do your homework. I have also heard that HF sells the machines that the other importers do not want. Shop around. JC is correct it is best if you can see the machine before you buy. Also going to the seller/warehouse will save on shipping costs.
Tin Falcon

05-16-2006, 06:01 PM
Definately shop around for a better price. These are a popular machine among many home shop enthusiasts.



http://wttool.com/p/3006-0085 (swivel table model)

http://www.americanmachinetools.com/benchtop_milling.htm (for comparison sake)

http://www.astro.premcom.com/ADM/ADM%20Products/ZAY7045M.htm (Informative site made by an owner of one of these machines)

05-17-2006, 01:39 AM
Ken, I recently bought the Smithy CX329 mill/drill. First I want you to know this is my first mill and first time operating one. I worked for Avco Lycoming in the turning department 20+ years ago so when the cobwebs clear I know I won't have any trouble with operation. With that out of the way I also purchased their CZ 239 lathe. That was very good quality. The mill when first setup was not so good. The head unit would not budge. I all but busted off the handle to get it moving after dousing it with blaster penetrating lube. The locks where all loose and I even loosened the gibs and it still did not want to budge. I decided I was going to get it moving if it took busting the handle so I really laid on it. I went back and forth while spraying the pb blaster. Finally it started to move and then freed up.

After that I started checking stuff. The Chinese noodle book called the manual is worthless. SO I asked many questions and searched the web and called Smithy. It still is not totally setup as I am waiting for parts that were either missing or damaged on delivery. The handles are made from a bakelite type material (real flaky) turns to powder if scratched like when tightening the allen set screws with a screw driver. I bought it with intentions of getting the power feed (don't get Smithy's as HF sells the same for 75.00 less) I also want the DRO but was told the machine is not the best for either DRO or CNC. As Tin said I saw the exact same machine in my local HF for 1300.00. The machine is made by ZAY which in the worthless manual they still have Zay on the machine in the picture. Smithy didn't even have the manuals reprinted with Smithy on it. As someone who has run many machines in the past I can safely say that my mill is a low quality import. It may work ok but I think if you check around you will find a mill that will work for you. If your planning on upgrading the Smithy is not the best. I found out the hard way.

I have done some minor work and it came out ok. I hope it will do the job. For me wanting to upgrade I made the wrong choice. And remember HF sells the exact same machine for much less so check that out.

One thing I can say for Smithy is they really have good customer service which HF may not have. But again with Smithy you are paying much more and also 300.00 to ship. At HF you could pick it up at the store and not have the cost to ship.

Its your choice what you want. If you want to upgrade or if you would be satisfied with the mill as it is. Smithy did tell me this is new for them. They just started selling this model. I am satisfied with Smithy customer service and also the lathe. The lathe is as advertised it holds .0005-.001 tolerance. I am pleased with that. The mill I won't really know until its totally set up and checked and tested for tolerance.

Hope I did not confuse you. Again I am not a mill operator, yet, so maybe my opinion is all washed up.

Good Luck