View Full Version : Different slant to a mill.

John Stevenson
02-25-2008, 09:24 AM
Not a new idea, Hurco and Deckels have done it for years using the ram for the Y axis.

Spotted this on my last trip to China.


A row of SX3 based milling machines with the X axis running on the fixed base and the Y axis moving the column.

Z is by a handwheel at the top instead of at the front and the jack shaft with bevel gears.

Two normal SX3's in Grizzly green at the back.

Right at the very back some of the blue and white industrial range pedestal drills with No 4 morse, geared heads and power feeds, right brutes of drills.


02-25-2008, 09:34 AM
A row of SX3 based milling machines with the X axis running on the fixed base and the Y axis moving the column.

Z is by a handwheel at the top instead of at the front and the jack shaft with bevel gears.

Two normal SX3's in Grizzly green at the back.

What's the advantage of this John? I would think that more effort would be required to move the column than the table or have I got completely the wrong end of the long woody thing?


John Stevenson
02-25-2008, 09:42 AM
Don't know if there is an advantage or not, personally I would have thought that a bit of shake at the bottom of the column will be magnified at the tool.

Knowing the Chinese someone has asked for this as opposed to them dreaming it up as they have more than enough worldwide orders to keep busy without getting side tracked.

Saw some other interesting stuff but that was inside the development section and pictures were banned, only part that was.

As this was in the factory area I though I'd post it.


02-25-2008, 10:06 AM
are you sure about that?

you were there....but:

it looks to me like Y handle moves the table. and the vertical column is simply clamped to the same dovetails and adjustable, (but not moved by the Y crank.)

cant really see clearly in the photo.

02-25-2008, 10:14 AM
I am with you John in that if you attempt to make a cut in the Y axis the head would have movement in it from the ways if a heavy cut were taken. I can't see any advantage at all and see nothing but trouble as the machine wears and loosens up. It looks to be a bench top mill as well.

02-25-2008, 10:37 AM
think its a crateing issue

with that sort of arangement ...you can have the same travel as a larger machine ...but when its stripped down and packed ..it fits in a smaller crate .

all the best.markj

Doc Nickel
02-25-2008, 01:29 PM
it looks to me like Y handle moves the table. and the vertical column is simply clamped to the same dovetails and adjustable, (but not moved by the Y crank.)

-Probably it; look close, the column has "saddle locks" on the dovetail.

think its a crateing issue

-I don't think so. The column on the "normal" version already unbolts, so nothing is saved.

I agree with the others, it'll magnify gib slop for the column. So the only thing I can think of is the column can slide on the dovetail, but is clamped in normal use, and the mill has a conventional X/Y table. That way the "throat" of the machine can be varied, to accomodate larger workpieces.

The Z-to-column spacing won't change, of course, but the column-to-table can, and while not as handy as the ram on a Bridgeport, I can see how that'd be useful.


02-25-2008, 04:01 PM
This is being sold by Axminister as a "Sieg Super X2", although Sieg Industries has claimed it is not on their product line.



John Stevenson
02-25-2008, 04:48 PM
That's the bugger.
So it was obviously commissioned by Axeminster.


02-25-2008, 05:06 PM
Only difference is that Axminster call it an X2 not an X3 it is even more expensive than an X3 by about a third!!

John Stevenson
02-25-2008, 05:12 PM
Peter, probably my mistake as I called it a SX3 in the first post which is what I thought it was derived from.

And the X3 is going to be coming down in price, Arc have just had a delivery of two containers of X3's and they are going to be doing an offer on the X3 just as they did with the C3 at Christmas.


02-25-2008, 05:36 PM
If they keep dropping the prices I may as well dump my X1 and go for an X3

Thomas Staubo
02-25-2008, 05:45 PM
It has most of features of the Sieg Super X3 mill, like tapping mode, head tilt (only 30) and a DRO and fine feed on Z-axis.

Only advantage to the user, as I see it, is the increased speed range of 50-2500rpm (SX3=100-1750).

But on the other hand the Axminster has shorter X-travel, and a less powerful motor.


John Stevenson
02-25-2008, 05:55 PM
Not wanting to push anything but now is the time to get anything like this as there are quite big price rises in the future for the Chinese goods.

The cost of raw material that was forced on us by the Chinese buying everything up has now caught up with them and last year was the last years that subsidies were paid to manufacturers.

Ketan from Arc is over in China at the moment and one of the things he's dealing with is the price rises as he's not happy at the increase.

I did post a few months ago in a post on the UK group with the subject line we have never had it so good.

Ill put a copy in a fresh thread.

02-25-2008, 06:56 PM
It has most of features of the Sieg Super X3 mill, like tapping mode
From all reports, this is a negative feature... the spindle is too fast to tap with, and the reverse buttons on the spindle control handles are not reliable, causing the machine to stop running.

Thomas Staubo
02-26-2008, 12:25 AM
No, that tapping function is not very useful.
Too fast, as you say.

I have been thinking a lot on milling machines again lately.
I read what John S. wrote about how the prices probably are at the lowest right now.

There's not too much to choose from here in Norway, but i can get the X3/SX3 mill.
I can also get the 7x24/28 ones sold under the name of Optimum and Chester (also sold as JET and other names, I think), different names but pretty much the same it seems.

I have not been able to see any of them with my own eyes, as they're not sold very near to me.

I was mentioning some milling machines a long time ago here, and John S. said then:

That [Opti] BF20 is made in China but it's a nice machine for the money,
They do a BF25 that's on MT3 but it doesn't look as if your importer carries this.

I didn't delve deeper into the matter back then, but I can see now that I can buy a mill called Chester Century, it does have MT3 taper.
Link: http://www.chesteruk.net/store/century_vs_mill.htm
It's about 34% cheaper than the Super X3 here. A very good deal if it is a solid, good machine

I wonder if anyone (John S. maybe) have had a look at one, I wonder how it would compare to a Sieg X3/SX3?

From the pictures the column seem a little thinner than the X3/SX3, but it's not easy to tell from a picture. It weighs about 30kg less.
Also the throat dimension (column to spindle distance) is not stated.
Otherwise it's very similar.

On the positive side, the spindle speed is 50-3000, which is a much larger spectrum than the X3/SX3 (100-1750).

The best would of course to take a look at it myself (I will probably soon), but any experiences or opinions are welcome.



John Stevenson
02-26-2008, 04:12 AM
Bear in mind this is just a personal opinion and although I'm slighly tied to Sieg on a R&D basis I hpe this is taken not as an advert but neutral.

First of all the differences between the X3 and the SX3 are all head related.
The X3 has a 600 watt DC drive to a 2 speed gearbox, then gera drive to the spindle.

The SX3 as a 1000w 3 phase brushless motor with single belt to the spindle and a tilting head. It also has gizmo's like spindle speed and tapping features that have been mentioned.

For manual use I feel the X3 is a better machine as the gearbox even though they can be noisy gives low down torque, something the SX3 lacks.

The X3 is easliy modified in respect of differnt motors and belt drives if you are capable, many have done this.
The SX3 with it's integral motor and short single speed drive train isn't as versatile.

The new KX3 CNC is a fixed head version of the SX3 without the tapping gizmo's and is OK because most CNC work is done with smaller cutters at higher speeds.
You don't normally run big boring heads and face mills so the lack of low down torge hardy applies.

The other make mills like the Chester come from a differnet factory in the North of China

There is a slighly cheaper verion that Thomas pointed out, the Champion.


In many way these are better than the Sieg product in features and capacity but they have been extended from smaller previous machines and not as ridgid.

If you want longer travels and can get away with ligher cuts then I feel these are better suited.

It's all down to personal choice and expectations, no two people will choose the same for different reasons.


Thomas Staubo
02-26-2008, 11:35 AM
Thanks for your in-depth answer John!
Yes, I know you are a bit biased :) .

I didn't know the difference in torque in X3 vs SX3.
But I don't think I can get the (plain) X3 here anymore.

I do know about the Champion 20V, it's on my list of mill candidates.
When price comes into the picture, it probably is at the top of my list.

You don't know any more about the Chester milling machines (Champion20V / Century), do you? Do they share the same column?
I see that they both have a gear head for greater torque, in addition to having variable speed (I like that:) ).

Two more questions:
1. How useful are a tilting head really?
2. Does it help much in rigidity if I can get one with a MT3 taper, instead of MT2, or is it not that important?

One positive side (for me) in buying a mill with MT2 taper, is that I can then use some of the same tools on both the mill and the lathe (Myford ML7).


02-26-2008, 12:06 PM
chester seams to have bad customer support .

have a look here ...


more than a few brit guys who post on these forums have been burnt

all the best.markj

02-26-2008, 12:23 PM
chester seams to have bad customer support .
all the best.markj

I've dealt with chester a few times and the best way i found of describing thier service and support was that the left hand doesnt know what the right is doing, they never seemed to have the parts in stock, and the waiting list for the larger lathes when i was in the market last year was like 8 months (instead i bought a warco and had it within 5 weeks)... with that said they seem to on paper at least have slightly better specced machines than the warco equivelent.

However my experiances with chester are over a year old now so i am probably wrong!

Fred White
02-26-2008, 12:56 PM
These are sold as square column mill/drills by several
( import ) vendors. The advantage is that the setup is not lost if the head is moved up. The design won't replace a Bridgeport, but is can provide satisfactory service in a lot of home shops.

This is a small one...


A bigger one...


Thomas Staubo
02-26-2008, 01:35 PM
Well it doesn't matter much if the Customer support at Chester in UK is sub par, if my local seller is OK (I'll have to ask about their spare parts policy).

Speaking of Warco; the Chester Champion 20V (which I consider) seem very similar to the Warco WM-16 (http://www.warco.co.uk/shop.asp?catid=40&ProdId=161#161) when I look at the specs and pictures.
By the way, Warco seem to get better reviews, although I couldn't find much info on this particular model.

The G0463 looks very much the same as Sieg X3, I don't know about the other one.

Forgot a link