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View Full Version : Just got a killer deal on a bench mill



AiR_GuNNeR
01-05-2010, 07:24 PM
I couldn't pass this up. I got it for $325. Although it was bought in 1996, I can see only the most minor whitness marks on the parts that it has ever been used before it was disassembled. The base looks brand new.

The guy selling it bought it at an estate sale from an older machinist that was clearing out a full workshop of machine tools to move to Florida.
It has a 2HP three phase motor on it. Only a dusting wipe-able surface rust. It's a China machine, but for $325, I had to get it. The only think I could see missing was the pulley cover.
This is the unit as advertised.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=33686

Here it is in a form condusive to sneaking it into the house...;)
http://www.compufoil.com/mill.jpg

snowman
01-05-2010, 08:29 PM
I think I saw that on craigslist.

Ken_Shea
01-05-2010, 08:45 PM
Right place at the right time gave you a great deal, about 1/3 the cost of new, that would be hard to pass up.

wooleybooger
01-05-2010, 09:41 PM
not a terribly bad machine,fairly accurate.its a slow,all manual machine tho. youll need to get a couple of cheap ,mag-base dial indicators because the micro dials are about useless. the vise that came with it is pretty flimsy. a friend has had one for about 4 yrs that i can do pretty good work on if i set the DIs up.

gnm109
01-05-2010, 09:44 PM
I had a similar Mill Drll until I sold it to get my present Webb. Mine was a Harbor Freight Rong Fu with a 2 hp single phase motor. I got $500 for it. $325 is an excellent price for a Mill Drill.

If you need a manual for it, look at the Manuals on Enco and Gruizzly Websites. You will find the exact same model and you can download one.

This was mine.

http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r188/gnm109/MachinesD.jpg

AiR_GuNNeR
01-05-2010, 10:11 PM
GNM109, I think that is the exact machine. Looking at it under good light, I don't think it has ever been used. The pully system doesn't have any bright spots on it from the belt. From what I can see, the only things that are missing are the belts, the pully cover, and the motor switch. It looks like it was tore apart when new and never reassembled.

I was actually looking for something like a Millrite size mill, but this will be a good quick project machine that I can easily resell when I'm ready. I have a could of 110v motors laying around I might be able to use as well.

Black_Moons
01-06-2010, 04:34 AM
Looks very nice. You might wanna research about the 'laser alignment' method many people with round collumn mills use to raise/lower the head without changing its rotation. (Laser as in, $5 laser pointer and mirror, Not some pricy laser system)

As much as you might wanna get started ASAP, One startup tip: don't try and use endmills with a drill chuck. Buy proper collets or endmill holders. Drill chucks CAN easily fall off the taper when subjected to milling side forces, and are only for holding drills.

oldtiffie
01-06-2010, 07:05 AM
Black Moons.

What you say about drill chuck falling out of spindles if used for milling is true in the case of an MT3 bore with a slot for the tang of the chuck adaptor.

It may not be true in if the OP's mill has an R8 taper the same as gnm109's has as that chuck has an R8 tapered adaptor which will need a draw-bar to hold it into the spindle.

http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r188/gnm109/MachinesD.jpg

Some of the better key-less drill chucks grip very well and run pretty true as well. I'd be willing to give that chuck on that taper a go at milling provided the set-up was solid and the cutter was very sharp and not too large and the cut was not too deep or the speed and feed not too high.

Sure, there are a lot of negatives but despite the limitations, it may be quite "do-able" if needs be.

There are many people who do reasonably well milling in a lathe with the cutter held in a 3-jaw chuck with the job mounted on the cross-slide.

ulav8r
01-06-2010, 02:20 PM
When I worked at Vickers in Omaha, I was talking to one of the toolmakers one day. He told me he had a mill-drill that he used with end mills in a drill chuck. He would grind three flats on the shanks to keep them from slipping. It provided more contact area to resist slipping out endways and the flats gave more torque resistance.

Black_Moons
01-06-2010, 03:34 PM
Actualy my bigger worry is the fact that most chucks are on an R8/MT3 to JTxx adapator, and the JTxx taper isent the most secure (Untill it comes time to remove the chuck from the taper, then its impossable to remove of course)

a chuck with a built in R8 arbor would be 'ok' but theres still more reasons not to use a drill chuck.

Big T
01-06-2010, 03:52 PM
Looks very nice. You might wanna research about the 'laser alignment' method many people with round collumn mills use to raise/lower the head without changing its rotation. (Laser as in, $5 laser pointer and mirror, Not some pricy laser system)

As much as you might wanna get started ASAP, One startup tip: don't try and use endmills with a drill chuck. Buy proper collets or endmill holders. Drill chucks CAN easily fall off the taper when subjected to milling side forces, and are only for holding drills.

I like that idea about the laser pointer. Thanks!!!

gnm109
01-06-2010, 04:02 PM
GNM109, I think that is the exact machine. Looking at it under good light, I don't think it has ever been used. The pully system doesn't have any bright spots on it from the belt. From what I can see, the only things that are missing are the belts, the pully cover, and the motor switch. It looks like it was tore apart when new and never reassembled.

I was actually looking for something like a Millrite size mill, but this will be a good quick project machine that I can easily resell when I'm ready. I have a could of 110v motors laying around I might be able to use as well.


I ultimately removed the pulley cover from mine and made a guard for the belt. It made speed changes easier. Mine was single phase and you said yours was three phase. No big deal if you have three phase power or build a small rotary phase converter. I had to get a rotary phase converter for my big Webb Mill anyway.

Those mill drills will get you going and you can do lots of things on them. I'm almost sorry that I sold mine since it was also an excellent drill press with nice slow speeds. Oh well.

AiR_GuNNeR
01-06-2010, 05:43 PM
I already have a Smithy Granite 1324, and despite the limitations of a 3-in-1, it really does quite well. The lathe is fine, but the mill is a bit flexible. I cut mostly aluminum, and only small steel items, so it's been quite adequate. I've been making 6" diameter focus wheels for side focus rifle scopes on it.

http://www.compufoil.com/images/daisystylenewrings.jpghttp://www.compufoil.com/images/daisystylenewrings.jpg

sidneyt
01-06-2010, 06:32 PM
It looks like you may have the HF model that was made by Rong Fu (a model 2119 now discontinued). I own a 33686 made in China and that model uses cast iron pulleys. Your machine appears to have aluminum pulleys. Good. The fact that you got a 3ph motor is also fortunate, because the 1ph motor that comes on the 33686 is really junk. If you add a VFD you will have very useful new mill. The addition of a 3ph motor and VFD to my mill improved it greatly.

AiR_GuNNeR
01-06-2010, 11:27 PM
It looks like you may have the HF model that was made by Rong Fu (a model 2119 now discontinued). I own a 33686 made in China and that model uses cast iron pulleys. Your machine appears to have aluminum pulleys. Good. The fact that you got a 3ph motor is also fortunate, because the 1ph motor that comes on the 33686 is really junk. If you add a VFD you will have very useful new mill. The addition of a 3ph motor and VFD to my mill improved it greatly.

The paperwork that I got with it was faxed in 1996, and I think I saw a 1992 date on the paperwork somewhere.

What model VFD did you get? I am planning on replacing the 1.5hp brushed DC motor on the Granite with a 2HP brushless DC motor, (MUCH more torque at slow speeds), and then retrofitting the brushed motor onto the mill
I don't want to put a lot of money into the mill, since I plan on still using the mill on my Granite for most things, (I have a three axis DRO on it).

I am hoping to find a used square column mill yet, and then just sell this one eventually,( Rockwell, Millrite, or maybe one like this one:
http://www.lathemaster.com/HEAVYDUTYMILLINGMACHINE%207045FG.htm).


I have a good portion of it put back together already. I think I know why they took it apart initially. The quill was pretty tight. I took some 320 wet/dry paper to the bore and polished it out. It rides real smooth now with zero play.

So far, it looks like everything other than the belts, cover, draw bar, and switch are there.

I stopped by our local machine tool supply house and found the exact same mill there for $1300. The other think I see that is different is the cap on the top of the column on this lathe is steel, the new ones have a some type of plastic cap.
They wanted $68 for a set of V-Belts and $14 for a draw bar! I found the belts, reinforced with Kevlar for $8. The draw-bar is a one hour project if that. They are getting me a price for the cover...