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KiddZimaHater
03-08-2008, 04:14 PM
I've been in the market for a small mill, due to the fact that I have limited space in my 1-car garage. :(
A full-sized Bridgeport would take up too much room.
Anyhow, What's the difference between these two mills?
I know about "Horror" Freight's lousy quality, and I've heard good things about Grizzly's customer service, but this is an $800 difference for what looks to be the same Tiawan-made mill.
I think the HF model doesn't come with the base.
But everything else looks the same. :confused:
+

http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/4263/millsjn8.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
+
Does anyone have any hands-on experience with either mill?
I'm just asking for your opinions. -KZH

tony ennis
03-08-2008, 04:27 PM
All I can say is that my friend has a smaller Horror Freight mill and it's decent enough for amateurs, at least. I have enjoyed using it.

But, for this kind of jack, perhaps a road trip to a Grizzly distributor could be worthwhile to see it first-hand. Also, call Grizzly and ask them what makes their mill worth that much more for what almost certainly came from the same facility.

Doc Nickel
03-08-2008, 04:29 PM
Roughly speaking, Harbor Freight gets the "leftovers".

In other words, while the same Chinese factory might make all of a series of tools, each buyer pays progressively more or less for progressively more or less quality.

A dealer like Birmingham might pay for, and get, the best-fitted parts. Jet and Grizzly get well-fitted, but perhaps not perfect fits, and make do with a little more filler in the castings.

Harbor Freight tools are built from the parts and castings not good enough for the above, but not bad enough to be scrapped. (Generally speaking.)

HF machines usually aren't bad, but you have to go into them knowing they'll almost invaribly require additional work- anything from minor tweaking, to a full-blown repair. The Jet and Grizzly machines tend to require much less additional work before they're ready to use. (I didn't say no work- they're still imports. My Griz Bridgy clone needed nothing more than cleaning off the rust-preventative, but my 9x20" lathe needed some drivetrain tweaking.)

The last thing to think about is Grizzly has a real live warranty, and keeps parts on hand. Harbor Freight's warranty is "ship it back and we'll replace it".

Doc.

platypus2020
03-08-2008, 04:34 PM
The HF model also needs the bench, the knee screw needs to goes down throught the hole as the knee goes down, I guy I know has the HF one and I been to the Grizzly showroom in Muncy, Pa, both are made in China, the fit and finish might be better on the Grizzly. I made a 6" riser block to gain more space between the table and the quill. He has run the HF model for 6-8 years, it seems to work fine, for him. The only real problem he has had is in the wiring, ended up completely rewirig it.

Jack

tmarks11
03-08-2008, 04:38 PM
incidently, there didn't use to be as much as a gap in prices... the Grizzly 3102 mill was on sale at Christmas for $1800... and the new year brought a $400 price increase (and $500 for the 3103).

There is a yahoo 6x26 forum that you can find out alot of info about this model from. You could also read some insider info here:
http://www.benchtest.com/w-grizzly_mill_revisited.html

Bill Pace
03-08-2008, 05:07 PM
Kiddz...

First off, are you aware of the yahoo group dedicated to this group of 6x26 mills?....

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/6x26millingmachines/

I am (perhaps a bit grudgingly?) changing my mind on HF's quality.... I buy a good bit of stuff from them, -- they are fairly close, the prices are damn hard to beat, they got a 'no questions asked return policy' , they got a lot of items that I use/need, etc, etc. Over the last couple years, in my personal purchases, and my keeping up with several forums where the import machines/tools are discussed, I am seeing less and less of the 'bottom of the barrel' type thing with HF.

Of course there are still the problems that crop up, but by following and reading closely as much as I do, I get the feeling there is about an even bunch of gripes across the board with the different makes, --of which, I get the feeling, there are less of ... especially in, say, the last year.

Over at the yahoo group these 2 machines, and all the others in the grouping, have been purchased and discussed many times with the HF model getting quite high praise. I bought the WT version a couple years ago and discovered the wonderful invention of ---"the KNEE"--and the overall features of the machine was so nice I sold it to move up to a full Bridgeport sized mill to take full advantage of them. The WT 6x26, from every thing I could determine, was VERY close to the HF.

The HF mill does NOT come with a stand, but that should not be a problem for a good HSM'er ... besides, the stand aint nothing to get excited about anyway.... (just remember to leave a hole in it to accept the knee screw sticking out the bottom!)

I too question whether there is THAT much difference in the Grizz machine to justify that large a difference in cost.

lane
03-08-2008, 08:25 PM
In Texas you should be able to find a small Clausing are Rockwell mill which would be Perfect . Besides a lot better than any small mill you can buy new. check around some of the larger Texas cities.

SGW
03-08-2008, 08:50 PM
This experience is from 1985 so factor that in, but....

Back when I was looking for a milling machine, I saw an Enco mill (bear in mind that this was pre-MSC-takeover Enco) that "looked just the same in the pictures" as a Jet milling machine. At the time Enco had a showroom within driving distance of me, as did Jet, so I went to see both machines. I can tell you, the milling machines that "looked just the same in the pictures" were NOT the same in reality. The Enco was, charitably speaking, crap compared to the Jet.

Whether that applies in this case I have no idea, but my hunch is that there is a sound reason for the price difference.

retusaf99
03-08-2008, 08:52 PM
incidently, there didn't use to be as much as a gap in prices... the Grizzly 3102 mill was on sale at Christmas for $1800... and the new year brought a $400 price increase (and $500 for the 3103).

There is a yahoo 6x26 forum that you can find out alot of info about this model from. You could also read some insider info here:
http://www.benchtest.com/w-grizzly_mill_revisited.html

Well, since I actually have one of the HF #40939 knee mills sitting my garage, perhaps I can offer an opinion.

I ordered it Dec 31, 2007 when it was on sale for $1299. Delivered to my local HF store (5 miles away) for free, but paid state sales tax of $104 or so...

I was generally impressed with the fit and finish, but I'm a rookie. I found a major flaw with the threaded hole securing the motor mount for belt tension, but not worth returning the whole machine for. The hole is stripped and oval-shaped, but I believe fixable.

That said, the tables move smoothly. I can stand a nickel on edge on the table and start and stop the 8.5A 220v TEFC motor and she just hums with the nickel standing still.

I still need to build a stand. I've got some 2"x3" rect tube, and 3/8"x2" bar stock for the top and bottom runners. Time to drag out the mig, and yeah, I'm a rookie at that, too. I'm learning all this stuff as I go.

I'm accumulating bits and pieces from CDCO and Enco, including R-8 collets, 4" vise, 5" vise (don't ask), some end mills, DTI, holders, parallels...Wish me luck, guys.

Doug

Bones
03-08-2008, 09:00 PM
I have a Griz 3103, which has thus far been a decent machine. Two things have me somewhat concerned, oiling the spline seems to have started flushing the bearing pack, and imagine will have to re-pack soon, and the switch heats up considerable after awhile, which I dont like. Maybe the wires are a bit on the light side.

larry

BadDog
03-08-2008, 09:08 PM
I've been in the market for a small mill, due to the fact that I have limited space in my 1-car garage. :(
A full-sized Bridgeport would take up too much room.
Really? A friend of mine has one and it's surprisingly close on floor space compared to my 9x42 2J. I would encourage you to re-evaluate that view, preferably with a side-by-side comparison with a tape measure. It's not like a lathe (where every increment seems to near double floor space required), with a mill we are talking only inches of difference, for at least 5-6 times the capability (depending on how measured, frankly I would go much higher than that). I have a single car detached garage, so unless you plan on keeping the car in there, you could hardly be much tighter for space. And I would never consider swapping for one of those mini-mills. In fact, I can't imagine a case where I would feel I had enough room for one of those, but could not squeak out enough for a full size. Obviously only you can make that call, but with similar constraints I made a different call and wouldn't reconsider under any circumstance (within parameters stated - being mainly size).

Other than that (or maybe even at that?) I am no help on picking the lesser of two evils. <grin> But good luck and I hope you get something you will be happy with, not regretting in 6 months...

rantbot
03-08-2008, 10:19 PM
but this is an $800 difference for what looks to be the same Tiawan-made mill.
Besides Harbor Freight, Grizzly, Enco, and Jet, the same mill is sold by Wholesale Tool, Penn Tool, a couple of Canadian retailers (Busy Bee and Machen), a couple of English ones (Warco and Chester), and a couple of Chinese ones (Yangzhou Euro Brother and Shaoxing Yuejian), and doubtless others I've never heard of. I doubt any are made in Taiwan, though.

Personally, I doubt that the popular hobby of ascribing great differences to the same machine sold through different vendors has any real validity outside of the human "need to believe." This is a rock-bottom-of-the-market product no matter who the vendor is. The only real difference (aside from paint) appears to be in the electrics, which seem to be installed domestically rather than in China.

I actually considered one of these machines for my cellar before I made some footprint measurements and discovered that a BP with one of the smaller table sizes really isn't that much bigger.

TECHSHOP
03-08-2008, 11:33 PM
I own the Griz version, and find it an fairly "decent" machine, within its limits. The electrical and motor were upgaraded and the machine is being slowly rebuilt, because the "I can do that better" theory of machine design is my way of avoiding real work. Mine didn't come with the stand, but the orginal stand is a little overated, and not IMHO not worth the price difference.

One thing to keep in the back of you mind, there are (I think) two "sizes" of the this type of machine. Both are listed as "6x26" and look the same in ad photos, but the column is longer on one. You have to do some math to compare, because some vendors sell the stand and mill seperate, and round measurements. I haven't seen the larger one sold in the States for several years, but I don't know for sure that nobody is importing/selling it today.

Also don't forget to factor in the shipping cost into your budget.

The Clausing mill is nicer and the Rockwell mill is much nicer. YMMV.

Peter N
03-09-2008, 05:38 AM
A couple of points.
I had a 626 mill before getting my Bridgy (I have a single car garage workshop too), and whilst a Bridgy is definitely bigger, the apparant space it takes up doesn't really feel all that much larger. I was surprised how much space I still had after getting it in, so you might be too.
The 626 I had, from Warco in the UK, was a very good, quite capable small mill. However, the one thing that frustrated the hell out of me on several jobs was the limited travel of 6" in the Y axis. In this respect, some of the similar sized bed-type (no knee) HSM mills have far better travel.

And there are definitely differences between brands, even over this side of the Pond where there are only 2 main suppliers, Warco & Chester. The Warco offerings were marginally more expensive but had a much better fit and finish than the Chester offering. More importantly though, you need to actually verify the travels on the different brands, as the Warco mill had just over 6" in Y, while the Chester mill at the time had only just over 5", although according to the current Chester spec sheet this is now 6".

Peter

interiorpainter
03-09-2008, 07:11 AM
Bones, i have got a different mill but also need to oil the spline and use silicon chain spray. After the solvent evaporates it turn thick.
Should repack itself, please say no if i am wrong.

Saw this kneemill at a Dutch vendor. Different paintjob.
Overall it looks very nice. They say i am picky and then they are polite:D

Your Old Dog
03-09-2008, 08:40 AM
I have a geared head mill from Harbor Freight. I'm not a machinist and just want to dink around in the backyard shop not making close tolerance projects. I think it is well suited to me as a beginner. Maybe someday I'll get something better but for now, it mills metal . As for the stand, if you're 6' tall the stand is too short for you anyway. I have the stand and had to raise it 8" on cement blocks to keep from breaking my back. I think the stand was a waste of money as I don't want to get down on my hands and knees to use the storage. It is very stable I will have to say.

Seastar
03-09-2008, 08:58 AM
I bought the WT version a year and a half ago and so far it has done everything I have asked of it.
It came with a stand and the finish is very good.
It's not a BP but for the money very hard to beat.
It's on sale right now.
http://www.wttool.com/product-exec/product_id/14821/nm/6_x_26_Knee_Milling_Machine
Bill

A.K. Boomer
03-09-2008, 10:47 AM
and the switch heats up considerable after awhile, which I dont like. Maybe the wires are a bit on the light side.

larry


Bones --- thats scary -- I would make damn sure the wire connections are good first, mine were just taped together, they were not even twisted:eek:

If your getting noticeable heat there its just a matter of time, its either a weak switch or bad connections, If its too small of wiring thats another nightmare but something that will show in the entire length and not just the switch, a bad motor will cause the entire system to be under more load/draw/heat ---
first check the connections though. Good luck.

MTNGUN
03-09-2008, 02:20 PM
HF owner here. It's a decent machine.

I'd rather have a full size mill, but I don't have a full size budget.

Mine has been in daily production for 5 years now. There's been a few electrical repairs, I had to replace the hinges on the belt cover, I replaced the lamp, and I replaced the belts (the chinese belts were shot after one year, the American replacements are still going strong).

The original motor is still humming along. It seems to be better quality than the 1ph motors on HF lathes.

It is comfortable with a 2 1/2" face mill to rough out ductile iron, taking 1/32" per pass, and leaving a mirror finish.

It'll let you know when you are pushing it too hard. It helps if you use roughing mills as much as possible.

Even if I upgrade to a "real" mill someday, I'll keep the HF. It works fine within its limits.

Alistair Hosie
03-09-2008, 02:35 PM
what about this within uk looks very reasonably priced to me anyone know how big it is.?Alistair



http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=330217519090&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=014

Peter N
03-09-2008, 02:52 PM
what about this within uk looks very reasonably priced to me anyone know how big it is.?Alistair
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=330217519090&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=014

Weighs about 3500lbs and eats a bridgeport in 2 bites.:D

Peter

Alistair Hosie
03-09-2008, 03:31 PM
Thanks peter too big for me then :DAlistair

retusaf99
03-09-2008, 05:38 PM
This is a rock-bottom-of-the-market product no matter who the vendor is. The only real difference (aside from paint) appears to be in the electrics, which seem to be installed domestically rather than in China.

Wow. That's a pretty broad indictment. So my HF machine wiring was installed by HF employees? :eek: And Grizzly has a factory to wire theirs? :rolleyes:
I don't doubt that HF is a bottom feeder, but I've seen dramatic improvements in the quality of their products over the past few years. Nope, they're not perfect, but frequently good enough is good enough, especially for the hsm.

You can try to tell me that a full size BP really isn't any bigger than my HF bench mill, but I'm not going to buy it. (Even if I could find a decent one around here...)

Doug

Edit to add: Rantbot, this really wasn't directed at you. Just feeling a little frustrated when what I can afford/justify in my shop comes under fire.

rantbot
03-09-2008, 05:57 PM
Wow. That's a pretty broad indictment. So my HF machine wiring was installed by HF employees? :eek: And Grizzly has a factory to wire theirs? :rolleyes:
What, you thought that stuff was put on by little elves who only come out at night?

I don't doubt that HF is a bottom feeder, but I've seen dramatic improvements in the quality of their products over the past few years.Of course. But they're still on the bottom of the pile. So is Griz. So is Jet. So are the others. We all love searching for non-existent differences to distinguish them. There are entire Yahoo groups devoted to just that. When somebody sees one specimen that he insists is better than one specimen from somewhere else - you know, the old claims of "superior fit & finish" - everybody else repeats that rumor as fact. But it's not fact, it's still rumor.
Nope, they're not perfect, but frequently good enough is good enough, especially for the hsm.Good enough is always good enough. What's "good enough" is the important question. If the HF unit is "good enough," then it may be worth buying.
You can try to tell me that a full size BP really isn't any bigger than my HF bench mill, but I'm not going to buy it.Don't be daft. I certainly said no such thing. Of course the BP is bigger. But most of the increased size isn't in the footprint, it's in the height. That spool or stand you have to put under the Chinese unit doesn't save you any useful shop space. Floorspace, a.k.a. footprint, is what determines what machines you can cram where. Now through the miracle of standardized units, we can measure and compare footprint sizes. We don't have to guess. When I took the trouble to go through that exercise, I found that for my purposes, BP was clearly the way to go.

John Stevenson
03-09-2008, 06:03 PM
Weighs about 3500lbs and eats a bridgeport in 2 bites.:D

Peter

But they are beautiful machines drool, drool, smacks lips and has orgasm but not in that order.
..

retusaf99
03-09-2008, 06:31 PM
What, you thought that stuff was put on by little elves who only come out at night?Of course. But they're still on the bottom of the pile. So is Griz. So is Jet. So are the others. We all love searching for non-existent differences to distinguish them. There are entire Yahoo groups devoted to just that. Not elves, but Chinese workers doing the best they can in a tough situation. You and I would do the same.

There is a reason for the Yahoo groups. You may choose not to notice the differences, but they are there.



When somebody sees one specimen that he insists is better than one specimen from somewhere else - you know, the old claims of "superior fit & finish" - everybody else repeats that rumor as fact. But it's not fact, it's still rumor.So if I believe that Chinese quality has improved, based on my own eyeball experience, that is "rumor" and not a fact? So who creates these "facts". Does it require a government commission to study these facts to overide my experience?



Good enough is always good enough. What's "good enough" is the important question. If the HF unit is "good enough," then it may be worth buying..Hey, hey, we agree on something!:)




Don't be daft. I certainly said no such thing. Of course the BP is bigger. But most of the increased size isn't in the footprint, it's in the height. That spool or stand you have to put under the Chinese unit doesn't save you any useful shop space. Floorspace, a.k.a. footprint, is what determines what machines you can cram where. Now through the miracle of standardized units, we can measure and compare footprint sizes. We don't have to guess. When I took the trouble to go through that exercise, I found that for my purposes, BP was clearly the way to go.The work pieces I have are small. The footprint I'm referring to is the space required for table movement. A big table (say 42") does me no good if I only have 15" of free space. On the other hand, a 2800# BP is not easy to move solo...

Doug

fasto
03-09-2008, 10:53 PM
The work pieces I have are small. The footprint I'm referring to is the space required for table movement. A big table (say 42") does me no good if I only have 15" of free space. On the other hand, a 2800# BP is not easy to move solo...

Doug

For reference, a typical bridgeport type machine weighs 2100 pounds. It's about 7'6" tall. I've attached the floor plan of a bridgeport:
http://www.psinteg.net/files/bp-floorplan.jpg

oldtiffie
03-10-2008, 12:13 AM
For reference, a typical bridgeport type machine weighs 2100 pounds. It's about 7'6" tall. I've attached the floor plan of a bridgeport:
http://www.psinteg.net/files/bp-floorplan.jpg

Thanks fasto.

Well, I'l be damned.

A good old USA icon like BP specifying its key dimensions in metric!!!

And with a conversion table to "inch".

So, if BP is metric and "metric" = "China" is it true then that BP = "China (made??)" as well??

Surely not!!

Oh dear me no.

torker
03-10-2008, 01:06 AM
LOL! I get a kick out of the "never ending" footprint argument.
Yup...they may be SORTA close.
Something you guys don't think about...when someone says they don't have enough room... the smaller bench machines offer a HUGE area underneath for tooling storage, material storage or whatever.
A BP or similar mill does not offer this convenience.
That alone can make a hell of a difference in a crowded area.
My horizontal mill has roughly the same footprint as a BP...maybe a bit bigger.
I had to add another roll chest and a cupboard for the tooling for it. That increased the "footprint" a bunch.
My mill drill...has a big stand under it with drawers and a good size storage area for steel and alu solids. All my tooling for that machine fits in the stand. The footprint stays the same.
Russ

oldtiffie
03-10-2008, 02:28 AM
Hi Torker and others in snow-bound North America.

I'd have thought you'd be more concerned about a "Big Foot" print in the snow than a small one for a mill in your shop right now!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigfoot

Seems that there are a lot of Trolls in the North of America too.

Might be Troll (big) foot-prints in the snow.

I'd leave "foot-prints" until the Thaw or Summer!!!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigfoot


Trolls in America

"The Troll." A statue under the north end of the Aurora Bridge in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, USA.Scandinavian folk-tales involving trolls such as "Three Billy Goats Gruff" are familiar to other European and European-derived cultures. In the US and Canada, the old belief in trolls is paralleled by a modern belief in Bigfoot and Sasquatch.[citation needed]

Many statues of trolls adorn the downtown business district of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, leading to the town being dubbed The Troll Capital. There is also a neighborhood on the northeast side of Fargo, North Dakota which is named Trollwood.

Residents of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, known as Yoopers, refer to their lower-peninsula counterparts as "trolls," because they live "Under the Bridge" (Referring to the Mackinac Bridge.)

Northern Central California (Sacramento, Stockton, Lodi, Modesto, Yuba City and Marysville) hispanic residents tell their children tales of the "Colupe" (KOH-LOOPIE) the little man that lives in the walls which comes out at night stealing away the breath of its sleeping victims. This story was made famous in Stephen King's movie "Cat's Eye".

torker
03-10-2008, 09:03 AM
Tiffie..what the hell...you mean you don't have Sasquatches down there?
I have one that lives in a cave right above my place.
He comes down for lunch every Friday...just befoe he goes out to steal all the Kokanee beer from the Forest Rangers :D
I just thought that was normal. Guess I better get out of the bush more often.

small.planes
03-10-2008, 09:10 AM
Alistair,
Ive got a TOS FNK25 in my single car garage (along with an L5, other asstd junk, and of all things a car! :confused: ) I was looking for a small mill, but after seeing how Peter managed to get a bridgy in his garage I re thought my plans.
Theres a photo here (http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showpost.php?p=308202&postcount=40) I cant remember the footprint offhand, but IIRC its not actually much bigger than a bridgeport, just built heavier :)

Dave

Pete H
03-10-2008, 12:03 PM
A Clausing 8520 is a nice little mill ("little" being relative to a BP), weighs less than 1000 lb. There was one on FleaBay last week for about $1800 - I'd go for that (if it was in good shape) a lot sooner than a low-end Chinese machine.

tomb
03-10-2008, 12:21 PM
I have a 8 x 32 Grizzly A1S knee mill - a nice smaller footprint mill that is, unfortunately no longer sold by Grizzly. The quality is excellent - no problems in the last 8 years I've owned it (bought new).

Rather than a 6 x 26 - you might want to consider a square column 8 or 9 x 32 geared head mill offered by Enco, Grizzly, HF, etc. You can get a stand for them and they offer a bigger table than the 6 x 26 without really changing the footprint.

Alistair Hosie
03-10-2008, 12:50 PM
Thanks Dave too big for what I was thinking about.I like your workshop,it looks nice by the way.Alistair

retusaf99
03-10-2008, 02:52 PM
http://s261.photobucket.com/albums/ii49/retusaf99/6x26/

Courtesy the excellent Shop Fox online manual for the 6x26 mill, which is the same type that the OP was looking at.

My shop is only 13'-6"x23' , and every inch does count.

Doug

Edit to add: Grrrr...How come the pic isn't showing up on Photobucket?

retusaf99
03-10-2008, 04:18 PM
For reference, a typical bridgeport type machine weighs 2100 pounds. It's about 7'6" tall. I've attached the floor plan of a bridgeport:
http://www.psinteg.net/files/bp-floorplan.jpg
Thanks Fasto for the diagram. Does the "A" dimension include the full traverse of the table? Just my rough calculation of the 6x26 footprint (on the previous post) is around 17 sq ft. I'm guesstimating nearly double that for a 42" table.
Doug

fasto
03-10-2008, 07:26 PM
Thanks Fasto for the diagram. Does the "A" dimension include the full traverse of the table? Just my rough calculation of the 6x26 footprint (on the previous post) is around 17 sq ft. I'm guesstimating nearly double that for a 42" table.
Doug

Doug, yes that is the full travel of the table. Also note that a BP-type knee mill fits quite nicely in a corner, since it's basicly triangular in shape.

Oldtiffie, the picture is from the manual for an export machine.

oldtiffie
03-10-2008, 07:51 PM
Oldtiffie, the picture is from the manual for an export machine.

From the USA or China?

oldtiffie
03-10-2008, 09:23 PM
Tiffie..what the hell...you mean you don't have Sasquatches down there?
I have one that lives in a cave right above my place.
He comes down for lunch every Friday...just befoe he goes out to steal all the Kokanee beer from the Forest Rangers :D
I just thought that was normal. Guess I better get out of the bush more often.

Thanks torker ("Russ").

Nope - we don't have Sasquatches down here.

But stay out the bush in OZ!!

We have:
Yowie:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yowie_%28cryptid%29

Bunyip:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yowie_%28cryptid%29

And for one that leave no trace or tracks at all:
the "Kurdaitcha" man:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurdaitcha

I think its safer to stick with (machine) "foot-prints" in my shop!!

oldtiffie
03-11-2008, 12:33 AM
LOL! I get a kick out of the "never ending" footprint argument.
Yup...they may be SORTA close.
Something you guys don't think about...when someone says they don't have enough room... the smaller bench machines offer a HUGE area underneath for tooling storage, material storage or whatever.
A BP or similar mill does not offer this convenience.
That alone can make a hell of a difference in a crowded area.
My horizontal mill has roughly the same footprint as a BP...maybe a bit bigger.
I had to add another roll chest and a cupboard for the tooling for it. That increased the "footprint" a bunch.
My mill drill...has a big stand under it with drawers and a good size storage area for steel and alu solids. All my tooling for that machine fits in the stand. The footprint stays the same.
Russ

Bloody marvelous.

Russ, that is the most compelling argument/reason for a desk/bench-top machine (read: "China") that I have seen to date for those with limited floor space and storage space.

I have 2 steel benches 2 meters long x 700 wide (80" x 28") with 3 really good drawers under the work-top and a full length shelf/tray about 200mm/8" off the floor. The 3-in-1 is on one of them and the T&C and Surface grinders on the other. I welded an extra "leg"/column for a bit more stiffness and they are as solid as rock. I also have 2 excellent multi-tray/drawer units with a good work-top and industrial castors. The HF-45 vertical column mill has its own pressed steel base that has 2 shelves in is as well.

I have shelving and benches on most of the 3 walls.

My shop is about 22ft x 36ft. The car and trailer live in the 22ft x 24ft car-port which is also an extension of my shop and working floor space. Even with that I am short of room. Any more machines and I will need a major re-arrangement and big compromises to be made.

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Shed-ext1.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Shed-ext2.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Lathe1.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/Machine_Covers1.jpg

BadDog
03-11-2008, 01:06 AM
Something you guys don't think about...when someone says they don't have enough room... the smaller bench machines offer a HUGE area underneath for tooling storage, material storage or whatever.
Russ
But the mills in question are not the smaller bench top "bed mills". These (apparently?) always have the knee screw going down through the cabinet. That alone kills much of the utility of using it for storage. No drawers, and shelves must leave clearance for the descending screw, so don't get stuff too close. My son set a half full gallon can of mineral spirits on the foot below my knee, and I didn't notice. Crank down to get a drill chuck and bit into play... "What was that noise I just heard? <sniff> <sniff> WTF!" What a mess. :D

I still say that given typical clearances required for working around the table, and figuring that (for mine at least), the table extends and moves past surrounding obstacles such that keeping it somewhat centered provides almost no impact on surrounding access when not in use. I really don't see how switching to a mini-J or Clausing would help me much at all. And how much have I given up? A little space (and I'm the poster child for maximizing space utilization) got me a LOT more capacity. Going to a square column bed mill like IH, at least that's a more substantial mill AND it gives me that storage below without a visiting knee screw. That might be manageable. But me, I find I'm more inclined to lusting after a 2H Universal, maybe a Van Norman or Cinci with the right goodies. Now you wanna talk about giving up some floor space!!!! :eek:

Eh, whatever, it's nothing to me. But as someone who once thought "ah, I don't need anything bigger than this 9x20, and don't have the room for the luxury of large tools", someone also making do with a 1 car detached garage, I can honestly say I've been there, done that, got the POS t-shirt; and I aint goin' back! :D

oldtiffie
03-11-2008, 01:45 AM
Thanks Fasto for the diagram. Does the "A" dimension include the full traverse of the table? Just my rough calculation of the 6x26 footprint (on the previous post) is around 17 sq ft. I'm guesstimating nearly double that for a 42" table.
Doug



Doug, yes that is the full travel of the table. Also note that a BP-type knee mill fits quite nicely in a corner, since it's basicly triangular in shape.

Oldtiffie, the picture is from the manual for an export machine.

Hi fasto.

That advice of yours that the BP type knee-mill fits nicely into a corner is the best thing/advice "for" knee-mills thus far. I don't know if others missed or ignored it.

Anyone who has ever planned a Kitchen or a Work-shop will know that the corners of the set-out are among the hardest to get right.

torker
03-11-2008, 08:18 AM
The screw going down into the cabinet? That would be no problem for a decent carpenter. A narrow slot for it to go down through...then narrow (er)drawers on the both sides. You'd still have a lot of usable storage.
I've also been there...considering one of those small (china)knee mills.
A couple places up here sell them cheap during sale time.
I just never liked the smallish work envelope.
LOL! I'm going to be learning a LOT about "footprints" here soon.
Moving all my junk into the machine shop side soon.
14X40 lathe, Weiler turret lathe, mill/drill, three drill presses, horizontal mill, at least one upright compressor, tool/cutter grinder (the one that hurts your head), small but heavy metal bench for a nice big old REAL vise, two coolant systems, three roll chests packed with tools and a ton of tooling etc.
All this into an 8X30 area.
Not bad...but I'm supposed to have a big ol' Van Norman coming in about a month. And I still want/need a bigger lathe.
We've come a long way baby! :D
Russ

MickeyD
03-11-2008, 10:02 AM
I enjoy horse trading with mills. Over the years I have had a couple of mill drills, a WT 6x26 knee mill, a taiwan 7x30, a 9x42 knee mill, a Hurco and Bridgeport cnc knee mills, and a Sharp machineing center. The little 6x26 was a nice machine to use and my neighbor who traded me for it still loves it. The 9x42 does not take up that much more space and is not that much harder to move around, and is a whole lot more of a machine. My advise is to get the biggest mill that you can. They are often less expensive because people are scared to move them and they sure are a pleasure to work with. The only real reason to go with a small mill is a lack of headroom, and that one can be worked around.

As a side note on the headroom issue, I bought a big hardware cabinet full of tooling from a shop that was shutting down last week. The guy had a big Tree VMC that needed about 10 feet of headroom but he only had a nine foot ceiling. He got around that by cutting a hole in the ceiling (which happened to also be the floor of his upstairs apartment) for the head to go up into during tool changes. I looked up in the hole and I think that I saw the bottom of a bed.

Alistair Hosie
03-11-2008, 04:40 PM
John Stevenson said

But they are beautiful machines drool, drool, smacks lips and has orgasm but not in that order.
..
I thought it looked a very good buy for the money too John whay so cheap if they are so good ?? Did you buy it bye the way?:DAlistair

Alistair Hosie
03-11-2008, 04:43 PM
Nice workshop tiffie.Alistair