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View Full Version : X2 on the Way!



Kibby
03-07-2010, 09:15 AM
Well after much deliberation, which is composed mainly of doubt, waffeling, and indecision, I finally pulled the trigger on a Sieg X2 from Harbor Freight. This will be my first reacquisition of my machine tools, after medical expenses took my shop away. Granted, it is no Bridgeport, but it looks like it will be entertaining at the very least.

My plans are to learn CNC and eventually add CNC to the X2. I have been researching affordable software, and I think I may have settled upon Alibre for the CAD-CAM stuff, and Mach3 for a control application. I am still green as all getout on this, so if I have left something out PLEASE slap me upside the head and set me straight! :p

Does this sound like a good plan to you guys? Am I on the right path?

My plan is to get this mill up and running, and then get a mini-lathe. Once I can get these two in the shop and fiddling about, I can concentrate my efforts on larger machines. Someone up here on Craigslist has a 16x60 Southbend for $2000 that would be awesome for rifle work. :(

S_J_H
03-07-2010, 10:02 AM
The x2 makes a fine little cnc mill for the home shop. I went that route to get my feet wet with cnc and had a lot of fun with it while I learned the basics of cnc milling.

Mach3 is a great controller program IMO and is well worth the price.

For your cad and cam needs you might also have a look at CamBam.

Steve

radkins
03-07-2010, 11:58 AM
Just curious does HF have a special deal on that one now?

Pete F
03-07-2010, 01:09 PM
Awesome! They are great little machines. After you play with it a while, tear down the XY table and give it a little TLC. Mine came with the bearings floating in slots, with about 15 thou backlash. After locking down the bearings and adjusting the gibs, everything was nice and tight with under 3 thou backlash. I found the Z axis to be a bit trickier, but is worth adjusting as well.

Also, here's (http://www.littlemachineshop.com/Info/MiniMillUsersGuide.pdf) a nice reference, if you are in need of information.

-Pete

Black_Moons
03-07-2010, 02:58 PM
Awsome, great little mill those X2's. You'll thank yourself for not getting round collumn dispite the extra XYZ they might have, especialy if you plan to CNC it!

What made you buy an X2 over other benchtop square collumn mills btw?

Kibby
03-07-2010, 06:45 PM
Awsome, great little mill those X2's. You'll thank yourself for not getting round collumn dispite the extra XYZ they might have, especialy if you plan to CNC it!

What made you buy an X2 over other benchtop square collumn mills btw?

I used to have a Jet JMD-18 round column mill. It was okay, but just okay ya know? I didn't ask too much of it. I was glad to be rid of it.

I decided on the X2 because it has a lot of support at LMS and yahoo groups. Its been around a while - long enough to have most of the mods hashed over a multitude of times, and plenty of info. Like Steve said above, its a great machine to learn CNC. My intent is to learn CNC, and the CAD part too. The X2 is easy to CNC and best of all it fits my budget.

I also got this "all or nothing" mentality that permeates everything I do, and it pisses me off pretty good. I can't afford to buy a pristine Bridgeport and a nice Hardinge right now, so I punish myself by settling. The X2 won't break my wallet too hard, and I can still buy a gun or two here and there while I am learning it and playing with CNC. Also, I am getting older. I'm only 51, but I am also getting really frugal and practical in my old age. When I add up what it would cost me to reoutfit my shop in full, I ask myself how long I would have to enjoy it, and how much that money would get me otherwise. Besides, there is 40 acres of wooded property just up the road that went up on the market for $178k, and I might need to buy it.