View Full Version : MicroMark and other micro Mills

Al Messer
03-10-2004, 01:17 PM
Does anyone on the list own one? And would be willing to share their fortunes or mis-fortunes with us?

03-10-2004, 01:24 PM
I have a harborfreight Micro Mill. It works nicely for the 265$ I payed for it. Cant drill 1/2 holes or use 1/2 end mills with it though, I tried, hehe.
With that said, I must say, I wish I had a bigger mill.

03-10-2004, 02:23 PM
Hi Al
I have the Harbor Freight Micro Mill.
I Made an adaptor and installed the motor
feed that is made for the Mini mill on it.
I make telescope mounts for air pistols and
other small things with it. I like it fine.
However I would like to have a larger mill.
I have the micro and a Unimat SL1000 that
has a very small milling capability.
I bought the motorized feed from "Little Machine Shop" for 149.00 and it has variable

03-10-2004, 02:25 PM
One other thing "Little Machine Shop" has all the spare parts for the micro mill.

03-10-2004, 04:08 PM
I have a Derbyshire Micromill and it's built like a brick @#^*house. It's tough to find parts for though. All in all, it's a great little machine.

Paul Alciatore
03-10-2004, 05:58 PM
I've done milling on my Unimat DB-200 for years. Same comments about limited size but I have used a 1/2" end mill. Mounted it in the 3 jaw and used it like you would a fly cutter in a larger mill. But slow going with very small depth of cut and slow feed rate. Takes hours to do what can be done in minutes on a full size mill.

Glad I now have a bigger one.

Paul A.

Al Messer
03-10-2004, 08:01 PM
Yeah, I know! I'd love to have a Clausing or a Benchmaster, but, they are scarcer than hens' teeth! A big Bridgeport like I trained on would be better, but is too tall for the Basement ceiling, so I am going to have to go with not only what I can afford but what I can find room for in the Shop. Thanks for the info. Is there a "Group" for these mini mills like there is for lathes and shapers, etc?

03-10-2004, 10:13 PM

My HF micro mill drill is the first machine tool I started out with so I don't have anything to compare it with, but I would like to say I am very pleased with it, first of all I like it's small size because my workbench is in my bedroom, the bench is 19" by 6 ft. and my mill shares a spot with my HF mini lathe, and bench top drill press. Second I love the variable speed where you can change the speed on the fly, third the square column is excellent, I am constantly drilling with a center bit raising the head and inserting the drill bit, as well as changing cutters and everything else I constantly raising and lowering the mill head, it also has a nice micro feed handwheel in the front, for depth of cut in the .002" per line, however after using that for a long time I decided I could get better accuracy by tightening up the quill and using an dial ind. with a magnetic base on the back of the column , raise the whole mill head up and down wathcing the indicator.
The table on my last years model locks the X,Y axis with a center position metric hex head screw. I got tired of using an allen wrench to lock and unlock the table, cause I lock and unlock the table quite often during milling operations. So I bought a couple large lenghth hex screws, and mathcing metric hex keys and made small knobs on my
lathe, then I cut the hex keys into small pieces then I glued and pressed fit the hex keys into a hole inside the knobs and glued and pressed fit the hex screw into the knob into the hex key, so now the knob has the screw built right in and makes it easy to lock and unlock the table on the fly. The weight og the machine is around 100 lbs. or so so pretty rigid for alot of small milling operations, my model came with a 3/8" chuck, I have used a 1/2 cutter with a reduced shank, and I found with the proper feed and speed I was able to mill with it pretty easy, as long as the bit is sharp.
With a sharp 3/8" roughing end mill I cut slots, 1/2" deep in one pass in aluminum bar stock, again I find the proper feed and speed and then I have hardly any vibration at all.
With a little bit of finangling I can fit a 6" rotary table on it.
Now again feed rate will be considerably slower than you would with bigger models.
But I am well pleased with mine, but than again that's the only mill I ever owned, so this is kind of a biased opinion because I have nothing to compare it with.

Here is a project I'm still working on, it's a cross slide table made out of aluminum for my drill press. I only have the two slde mechanisms done so far, but to give an example of size of projects that can be done take a look, this is all done on my micro mill drill. These are dovetail slides.
The one I was able to cut dovetail length of 7 inchs. all made from 1/2" X 3" aluminum bar stock.


03-10-2004, 10:22 PM
I have Micro-Mark's version,(mini-mill) my first, so nothing to compare it with.
Does the job, just go slow,no deep cuts.
Today I milled a slot with a 1/16" end mill, figure that would be difficult w/a Gonzo B'port.
The M-M has MT-3 collets, might be better to get one of the other names, them it will have R-8.
I realize its limitations, don't force it, and am happy w/it.

[This message has been edited by PSD KEN (edited 03-10-2004).]

[This message has been edited by PSD KEN (edited 03-10-2004).]

Al Messer
03-10-2004, 10:41 PM
Thanks, everyone!

dvk, looks to me like you're doing O.K. with that job. Nice work!

PSD KEN The MT-3 tooling would suit me just fine 'cause I have made quiet a bit to fit my lathe which also has a MT-3 spindle socket.

I am currently working on a live steam locomotive and I am looking for something with which to accurately lay-out, drill, ream, and flute the side rods and mill the other assorted parts. I'm getting a crick in my back from bending over so far to see what is going on while milling in the lathe!

03-10-2004, 11:35 PM
Al, If I was you, I'd go over to http://www.lathemaster.com and take a serious look at his Square Column Mill drill. He is a small buisness, and never has many tools in stock, but people seam to like his service.

Al Messer
03-11-2004, 09:34 AM
THANKS, Bill H.! That is one hefty little machine and just may be exactly what I am looking for. Thanks for telling me about the site as I had not picked it up in any of the micro machine links.


G.A. Ewen
03-11-2004, 09:55 AM
Nice,very nice. (wish my old girl would let me keep my tools in the bedroom) http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Ben Diss
03-11-2004, 01:53 PM
I am very close to getting the mill from Lathemaster, but I'm having trouble getting over the $400 shipping fee he wants. I really don't have room, but it looks like such a nice unit I would find space for it. Still, $400 where most others charge $125 for a similar size and weight item is hard to swallow.


03-11-2004, 02:02 PM

I agree with George - nice work - keep it up laddy! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

George get a grip,man! You know that if she let you do that the next thing she would do is "arrange them" for you beibg the good helpful wife she is, would not realize that in a man's world chaos is in fact - "Highly organized Structure" and messing with your stuff she disturbed the nature of things and you would never find anything again... poor George. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//frown.gif

J Tiers
03-11-2004, 02:42 PM
Just a caution....

I tried to do some business with that guy, and got nowhere fast. At least I didn't lose any money to him.

I asked about one item that he had on ebay but not on the site. I don't buy on ebay, ever, so that wasn't happening.

He finally (after some delay) replied about them, and said there was no problem selling outside of ebay. But where he was selling just the one size I needed on ebay, for direct sales he wanted to sell me a "set" including ones I did not need, at much higher cost off-ebay.

The item was an MT-3 shell end mill holder for 1". Everyone else has them starting at MT4. Easier to buy than make, but not when I needed to buy a bunch of unneeded stuff to get it.

Couldn't get a straight answer out of the guy after that.

I would not bother with him again, myself. I had been hoping that he was a decent guy, as there were other unusual items that he had that I probably will want to get soon. Forget that, I got a very bad impression of and from him.

03-11-2004, 06:48 PM
The 400$ shipping fee is ridiculous. Well the good news is that many other people sell a mill similiar to that one made by rong fu. Some have 3 phase, others single phase.

Sieg who makes the Micro and Mini mill also make a 3rd size that is a little larger, called the X3. No one imports it right now, although that lathe master guy did a test run on them for a few people. One person who has it has a web page here. http://www.tedatum.com/thms/
You can ask him about it, but one problem with it is that it does not have a lot of room from the table to spindle.

Al Messer
03-11-2004, 08:44 PM
MicroMark weighs 110#. Lathemaster's weighs 700# and that will make the difference in the shipping costs.

Al Messer
03-11-2004, 08:58 PM
I just browzed Grizzly's website and their G1126 mill is just about the same as Lathemaster's, though shipping is only $125.00. Does anyone know of how the feedscrews are set up on either of them? Some machines advance .062" with each revolution of the feedscrew and MicroMarks advances .050" with each turn.