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Xtreem
11-02-2009, 09:40 PM
I have a Smithy 1220xl. It was my first machine of any kind and served me well as I learned the basics of machining. I have outgrown the machine and am now shopping for a stand alone mill for my garage. I race dirt bikes and have a Harley so i am constantly making or repairing components. I have no intention of making anything in quantity so even though CNC capability would be nice it is not a necessity for me. I am looking at mills in the $4000 to $7000 range. I would like something accurate enough to bore an engine cylinder. When I purchased the Smithy I was ignorant enough to think it would be capable of this with small engines. Live and Learn! I am open to a knee mill such as a Grizzly or a bench top unit like an Industrial Hobbies. I do see machines once in a while in my area (South Florida) for sale used like Hurco's or Bridgeports but I am not confident enough in my abilities to be able to determine what kind of condition the machines are in or identify their capabilities or upgradability to CNC in the future. I do want something with power feeds on the X,Y and Z axis. DRO or DRO upgradable is also a requirement. So in a nutshell, I am seeking input and advice on which machines out there are worthy of my hard earned dollars and which should I stay away from. I want to thank everyone in advance for help steering me in the right direction! If there are more questions I should be supplying answers to please let me know!

doctor demo
11-02-2009, 10:22 PM
I can't advise You on a mill other than a B P or B P clone, as I have not been around any of the others that are out there. But if You want to be able to bore cylinders for motorcycles , the Z axis travel is something You need to look at. A bench type mill is not going to have enough travel . A full size mill like a B P will have the travel, but it will be with the knee mixed into the equation.

Steve

Black_Moons
11-03-2009, 04:01 AM
xtreem: Where do you live? What companys you buy from will be rather influanced by location what with the weight involved.
Iv seen pics of an IH mill reboring a 410 or something bigblock, so im pertty sure its capable with some work, and they only cost $2100~3000 before shiping. Tooling and such will cost a decent amount however.

tmc_31
11-03-2009, 10:08 AM
Xtreme,

I am currently working with a RF31 Mill/Drill. A much maligned machine but fairly capable none the less.

When I grow up, I am going to get a Jet JTM-2. This is a bridgeport clone knee mill weighing in at about 2200lb. It has a 9X42 table, 2 HP belt drive spindle and can be had from Smith Hamilton for a mere $5,699.00 with the X powerfeed installed. This includes free shipping to anywhere in the lower 48.

I bought a new lathe from these folks a few years ago and they were very pleasant to deal with.

Tim

PS I don't work for them and have no financial interest in them.

PaulT
11-03-2009, 10:57 AM
The economic situation has caused a lot of Bridgeport mills to be put up for sale. If you look around you should definitely be able to find a nice low mileage one in your price range. Look to buy it from a private owner and make sure it doesn't look like its been used too hard and you'll do fine.

If you search Bridgeport on this forum and the Practical Machinist forum you'll hit suggestions on how to check out used Bridgeports.

Falcon67
11-03-2009, 12:08 PM
>Iv seen pics of an IH mill reboring a 410 or something bigblock

IIRC It was a Ford 460 block on a bench mill - and I would not use that as a reference LOL. It's an excellent example of "Just because you CAN do it doesn't mean you SHOULD". Bike engine different deal IMHO. But the Z travel is still a factor. It'd have to have pretty decent ways to use the knee for accurate boring - you would want to be centered and be able to cut to around .002~.003 of finished size then hone to final bore.

The block bore link:
http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=85123

1937 Chief
11-03-2009, 12:41 PM
You should be able to get a good mill for that money. As for being able to bore motorcycle cylinders I think I would leave that to someone who does it as a business, that has all the necessary hones to get the correct finish. I found a one man shop near where I live who does most of his business boring motorcycle cylinders. If you can find someone like that it would be good. Just my 2 cents. Stan

sidneyt
11-03-2009, 02:01 PM
For that kind of money you should easily be able to afford a new mill. I would not waste time or money on something used. Grizzly sells several mills that with shipping cost ab out $5K or less (G9901, G9902 or G9903). Penn Tools sells this model for $4K (plus shipping):
http://www.penntoolco.com/catalog/products/products.cfm?categoryID=7257
I would be inclined to buy something that has a 3ph motor and add a VFD. This would give you more flexibility.

There are at least several more vendors, Wholesale Tools and Enco that could supply very serviceable mills for about the same as the above. Any of these mills would be an order of magnitude better than a IH mill/drill sized machine.

hardtail
11-03-2009, 07:08 PM
You can try here for a few knee mills and fit it up how you like.......

http://www.machinetoolonline.com/kneemillindex.html

I understand parts of Florida are scarce for machine tools but if you could find a used Wells Index, Tree or Excello they are beefy and rig it up from there......

Not sure which generation harley you have but some newer models have very little meat to bore out, then I recall the dirt bikes having similar hard coatings which were thin but I've been out of the dirt for awhile..........

gnm109
11-03-2009, 07:29 PM
I can't advise You on a mill other than a B P or B P clone, as I have not been around any of the others that are out there. But if You want to be able to bore cylinders for motorcycles , the Z axis travel is something You need to look at. A bench type mill is not going to have enough travel . A full size mill like a B P will have the travel, but it will be with the knee mixed into the equation.

Steve


Quite correct what you say. I certainly would never try to bore cylinders on a mill, however. First choice would be on a purpose-built boring bar such as a Van Norman to name one.

JMO.

Michael Moore
11-03-2009, 07:48 PM
For my race bikes I prefer to take cylinders to someone who has an expensive and dedicated Sunnen boring machine and pay them a reasonable sum to do the job with a machine that does nothing but bore and finish cylinders.

Use your mill for making parts and let the specialist work be done on specialist machines by specialists.

cheers,
Michael

Xtreem
11-05-2009, 12:56 PM
Anyone have an opinion of this mill? It is Grizzly's Taiwan made mill. I have heard the Taiwan machines were a litle beter quality wise than the chinese. I looks like it has only one power feed. Are they easy to add to the other axi?

scatter cat
11-05-2009, 02:35 PM
How about a good sized horizontal mill ? Now you can find them pretty cheap and have power feed on all axies. I have bored motercycle jugs on a lathe. Faceplate and a big boring bar.Lathe won't work on a jug with 3or4 clyinders unless you have a really big one:D not bad for singles though.