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View Full Version : advice on a milling machine--with a different twist



jcaldwell
12-27-2012, 12:38 PM
Hello,

I am seriously new to both HSM and this forum. I have never personally looked at, or used, a milling machine. However, I bought a lathe several years ago and have long wanted a milling machine to go with it and do things I just can't accomplish on a lathe.

I have looked at archived discussions on milling machines and opinions regarding used BP versus new/used Taiwan or Chinese machines, and they have been informative.

The thing that is apparently never discussed, though, is what features/accessories/capabilities I should look for, regardless of the pedigree of the machine.

For example, I get the impression that a machine with a 9x42 table and axis movements of 10-12" vertical and Z, with about 32-36" X is probably the spec most people would recommend. It won't do any good to ask me beforehand what I am going to use the machine for, since I really have no idea. I don't want to put out the money, only to find that I got something too small or too restrictive.

How about DRO? Seems like not quite, but close to, a necessity. Power drive(s) for axis movement? Likely not a necessity, but how high is it on the "really want it" list? I saw a thread once that said you should avoid R8, if feasible, and go with 40 or 50 for tool mounting, as they were much more rigid and less prone to deflection. I don't exactly know what 40 and 50 mean, but have seen at least one machine with "30" versus R8. Is the difference significant for someone not operating a pay-for-hire machine shop? Again, I don't know what I might use the machine for, but it might be interesting to try milling an engine head or block--as a "for instance".

Since I live in Albuquerque, many of the (relatively) good options for a used BP are probably not available to me. Likely, the Asian imports, whether new or used, are going to be more readily available. Other than relying on the word of the seller, what options are there for assessing the value and usefulness of a used machine? Granted, it will be somewhat difficult to go (probably) to the Los Angeles area to personally examine a machine, but if I did, what would I want to look for?

I realize this is pretty long-winded, but I wanted to ask things that I normally don't see addressed in discussions of the merits of US versus Taiwan versus Chinese machines.

Thanks for your help,

JC

lbhsbz
12-27-2012, 01:39 PM
9x42 is a good size table...pretty much all the machines that size will have similar table travels. One nice thing about the Wells Index machines is they seem to have 1" more quill travel than all the others, which is advantageous for boring operations.

Spindle taper....the R8 will be the most common. Buy a set of collets and you're ready to work with whatever round shank cutting tools you want...but you're limited to 1" diameter tools I beleive. With a CAT40 or CAT50 spindle, the toolholders are much larger and beefier, and will enable you to run large facemills will much less deflection than you'd get out of the same tool with a 1" shank or R8 shank on it. If all you'll ever do is run endmills or possibly a smaller flycutter, I wouldn't worry about it. You're probably not going to find much in the used machine market with a CAT40 or CAT50 spindle...most will be R8. I have a Tree 2UVR, which uses a quickchange system that will accept up to 3/4" tooling...while I enjoy not having to deal with a drawbar to change tools, the 3/4" max tool size kind of limits my selection when it comes to anything other than endmills. R8 tooling is cheap and available everywhere. CAT toolholders aren't cheap, but are available everywhere. If you don't see yourself running a 8" facemill to resurface cylinder heads or engine blocks, I'd probably go with the R8 for simplicity sake.

A powerfeed on the X axis is useful for long cuts or for finishing where you need a uniform finish. A DRO is not a necessity, but is a huge timesaver. For example: Without the DRO, to drill a bolt circle in a part, I used to make a fixture to clamp the part to my rotary table, then remove the vise from the mill, bolt the rotary table to the mill, fixture the part, find center, offset the radius, and start drilling and cranking the rotab around. With a DRO, I clamp the part in the vise or next to the vise, find center, then program the bolt pattern into the DRO...and it tells me where to go to drill each hole. I recently had to learn how to use this feature of my DRO because I had a part that would not fit on my rotary table.

I used to set up dial indicators to measure exact table movements, now I just watch the DRO. I wouldn't be without one ever again.

Depending on how you plan on converting to 3 phase, the decision on what type of head to get is important. If you're using a VFD, then I'd get a step pulley head and simply use the VFD to adjust your speeds. If you have a rotary phase converter, then I'd look for a vari-drive head. The step pulley is going to be less problematic.

The Artful Bodger
12-27-2012, 01:53 PM
Hi, I bought a mill knowing nothing about it, I did'nt know anything at all and had only seen a horizontal mill at the school workshop in about 1962 (but I never saw it run).

I bought a new Asian turret mill...
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5058/5449940871_e44d4ce286.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25239206@N06/5449940871/)
Luxcut mill (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25239206@N06/5449940871/) by aardvark_akubra (http://www.flickr.com/people/25239206@N06/), on Flickr

I choose an R8 spindle, I also bought a milling vise, a rotary table and a divider head (I probably didnt really need the divider head).

It has two axis DRO so I dont know what it would be like to be without one however I do a lot of things without using the DRO or even the feed screw graduations which I suppose would be seen as poor practice.

I made a few mistakes, I bought an ER32 collet chuck (which mounts in the R8 spindle) and use that for all milling cutters, presumably there are R8 collets chucks would have been more rigid, but I dont really know what the difference would have been.

One of the first things I made was a power feed for the X axis.

loose nut
12-27-2012, 03:55 PM
With a CAT40 or CAT50 spindle, the toolholders are much larger and beefier,

And much more expensive!

Without knowing what you want to use it for makes it difficult to determine your options. Many will only use R8 tool holders, like the Clarkson because the tool will not slip out, while others (myself included) use plain R8 collets without any trouble. If you aren't doing any time sensitive "for pay" work then you probably don't need heavy duty cutters that require the Cat series holders.

Dro's are not a necessity unless you are older with failing eyes, they are a big help then but they are a real treat to use. They make using a mill much easier and faster but don't rely on them for an absolute positioning system, at least for real accurate work. There are to many places were errors can creep in, so use them to get close, measure with your mic and then finish cut. Worth getting if the money is there.

As for other bells and whistles like power feed, they make the use of the mill easier and faster but as stated are not a necessity. If you can afford them then get them but don't go hungry to do it.

JEZX
12-27-2012, 04:16 PM
i have an older bridgeport 1hp , 9x42 table 19'' z x 19y x 32X with a $400 dro on it and it will do anything i want . the slow gears (30rpm ish ) are great and it has up to 3000aswell . for the $400 get a dro.... saves 200 zeros , does bolt holes and lots more . $2000-3000 would get a great mill .

Scottike
12-27-2012, 04:27 PM
It won't do any good to ask me beforehand what I am going to use the machine for, since I really have no idea. I don't want to put out the money, only to find that I got something too small or too restrictive.

You might consider the size of your lathe as an indicator of the size mill
you may want to look for. If your lathe is on the small side, but fulfills
your needs, perhaps a smaller mill would be a better fit for you.
or if your lathe is larger and you routinely utilize it's capacity, a 9x42
may not be big enough for you.
Being your first mill, you may want something a little smaller, and not so
intimidating (or expensive) to learn and make mistakes on.
After you get some experience under your belt you'll be in a better position to
to know what you need and want. At that point you can always sell your
starter and get something better.
Too large a mill can bring difficulites with doing small work, as well as
unneccessary expense.

Jaakko Fagerlund
12-27-2012, 04:30 PM
I would absolutely go for the ISO30 spindle over anything else (MT, R8). Tooling is available, the tool is easy and quick to change and the cost is quite low as they are a lot smaller than the ISO40 or 50 spindle tooling.

If you don't get ISO30 taper, then R8 is an option. But whatever you do, don't get a MT spindle taper, it is more headaches than use.

Toolguy
12-27-2012, 04:51 PM
The R8 spindle will probably do everything you want for home use. I have run Bridgeports (R8) professionally on a daily basis since 1980 and haven't had any problems with them not being rigid enough for any job that would normally be done on a Bridgy. I have also run the big Cincinnati, Milwaukee and several other brands of machines that take 40 and 50 taper tooling. When I bought my first CNC mill in 2001 I got it with a Bridgeport type head with R8 spindle. It is manual tool change. This is a prototype rather than production machine. I am still happy with this choice. For a production machine with automatic toolchanger I would get a 40 taper.
The R8 tooling is cheap, small and lightweight. It is a common size. I am running the whole shop based on R8 and 5C (lathe and mill fixtures) with some ER collet sets that have R8 or 5C shanks.

danlb
12-27-2012, 04:58 PM
A DRO falls under the heading of "very desirable".

I have an itty bitty mill (4x10) and a mid sized knee mill (8x26) . I added the DRO to the big one after using it for about 6 month of occasional hobby work. Before adding the DRO, it was a toss-up between choosing the small one or the big one for casual milling and drilling. The DRO makes it super easy to roughly find the center of a part, or to precisely find a point on the part. The small mill is now used more as a drill press and second op machine.

I want to add a power feed to the big one. Slow, consistent feeds are the key to a great finish. My hands are not calibrated that well.


Dan

Ron of Va
12-27-2012, 05:27 PM
I agree with the others, when choosing a mill, most any 9X42 will do the job in a hobby machine shop.

I would also choose an R8. A 2 axis DRO is almost a must; I canít imagine not having one (Gear backlash can drive you crazy).

A power feed on the X axis is desirable but not a deal breaker.

If you have a choice of an Asian machine, then choose Taiwanese made over a machine made in China. Most Taiwan made machines have better quality control, and better fit and finish.

loose nut
12-28-2012, 09:43 AM
If you can afford it then go for the 3 axis DRO, you will like it more in the end.

A.K. Boomer
12-28-2012, 10:50 AM
I agree with the others, when choosing a mill, most any 9X42 will do the job in a hobby machine shop.

I would also choose an R8. A 2 axis DRO is almost a must; I canít imagine not having one (Gear backlash can drive you crazy).

A power feed on the X axis is desirable but not a deal breaker.

If you have a choice of an Asian machine, then choose Taiwanese made over a machine made in China. Most Taiwan made machines have better quality control, and better fit and finish.



I agree for the most part but for home shop an 8 by 36 is plenty big,
and R-8 is a great economical choice with about zero setbacks for a home unit.
and like stated put what you save into a good DRO,
as far as a power feed on anything that is a luxury you can get by with no problem,
Go basic - then build - I went basic and have stayed basic,
My mill is always there when I need it but I haven't turned a handle on it in over three months...

HWooldridge
12-28-2012, 12:12 PM
I learned on a mill without a DRO and can do anything I need to - BUT having a DRO is a great addition and one of those things I will eventually add to my Bridgeport. 3-axis is nice but 2-axis is likely good enough for any home shop. I also think having an X-axis powerfeed is almost a necessity for getting good finishes and good used ones can be found on Ebay for a pittance of new cost.

Jaakko Fagerlund
12-28-2012, 02:24 PM
One reason that I use in favor of ISO30 over R8 is also the fact of making your own tool holders etc. ISO30 is just one taper with threaded end and two slots on it, while R8 requires lots more material and dimensions.

jcaldwell
12-28-2012, 03:42 PM
I would absolutely go for the ISO30 spindle over anything else (MT, R8). Tooling is available, the tool is easy and quick to change and the cost is quite low as they are a lot smaller than the ISO40 or 50 spindle tooling.

If you don't get ISO30 taper, then R8 is an option. But whatever you do, don't get a MT spindle taper, it is more headaches than use.

From reading the replies and your suggestion to go for an ISO30 spindle, I get the impression that the 30, 40, and 50 spindle sizes may refer to mm diameters. Is that correct? If so, the ISO30 would hold tools up to about 1-1/4". Is that about right? There was mention of making ISO30 tool holders, with some taper and a threaded end. Though I like the idea of making my own tooling, I realize it would be much easier to use R8 collets. Are the ISO30 tools comparable in cost to R8?

jcaldwell
12-28-2012, 04:39 PM
Hi, folks,

I appreciate all the replies. They seem to reinforce my thoughts that I should get a 9x42, with the DRO and x-axis feed. I should have mentioned that I don't have access to 3 phase power, but have up to 50a of 220vac power. I also found a set of R8 end mill holders I bought a LONG time ago. I have holders for end mills from 3/16" to 1-1/4", except, for some odd reason, a 1/4" holder. So, I guess R8 is part of the equation also.

Now the question becomes new or used. And, if used, how do I recognize a good deal? All this seemed to start when I saw an EBay auction for an Acra milling machine from a company in SoCal. When I saw it, the bidding was at about $1400. It closed out shortly afterward, and I have no idea if the unit was sold near that price or not. I also don't recall whether it had DRO or feed. The company was Reliable Tools, I think. Since it's not too feasible to drive to SoCal to examine a unit, are there questions I should ask, places I should avoid, things that can assure me the unit is sound?

Thanks again for everyone's help,

JC

lbhsbz
12-28-2012, 05:03 PM
Where are you located?

I would avoid Reliable Tools on ebay...they just buy up shops that are going out of business and ebay everything without much regard for condition or knowledge of history of the machine. I've purchased a few things from them, but I don't think I'd buy a machine unless it was an absolutely smokin' deal.

Try to buy local...shipping across the country on a 2000lb+ machine can easily double the cost of the machine.

How do you plan on converting to 3phase? I would recommend looking for a step pulley machine (more reliable than a vari-drive) and a VFD.

jcaldwell
12-28-2012, 08:12 PM
Where are you located?

I would avoid Reliable Tools on ebay...they just buy up shops that are going out of business and ebay everything without much regard for condition or knowledge of history of the machine. I've purchased a few things from them, but I don't think I'd buy a machine unless it was an absolutely smokin' deal.

Try to buy local...shipping across the country on a 2000lb+ machine can easily double the cost of the machine.

How do you plan on converting to 3phase? I would recommend looking for a step pulley machine (more reliable than a vari-drive) and a VFD.

Of course, I'll look locally, but I doubt Albuquerque is a hotbed for used milling machines :-). Most ads I have seen are for things on or near the East Coast. Hopefully, I can find a unit that doesn't have a 3 phase motor, though I haven't seen many ads other than that. I sadly don't know anything about converting to 3 phase, though I expect I could find some info online. Good advice about Reliable. I suspect there are some others on EBay that do the same thing. Part of my problem is that I wouldn't know a smoking good deal for a milling machine if it fell on my foot. Maybe that will become more apparent as I look, but I suspect that I won't be easily able to tell a smoking good deal from a used-up, not worth anymore machine.

SGW
12-28-2012, 10:00 PM
You do need to get some sense of the size of work you plan to do. I suspect for virtually all home shop projects, a 9x42 table and R8 spindle will be quite adequate. Unless you have plans to bore 454 V8 engine blocks, anything with a #50 spindle would IMO be way larger than you would ever need, and dim all the lights in your house whenever you turned it on.

Personally, I'd look at the Jet JVM-836, a bit smaller. My own mill has a 7x30 table, which has occasionally been a little small but not impossibly so. It all depends on what you're doing with it.

A DRO? A convenience, not a necessity. We won WWII with hand-cranked dial readout machines, after all. A DRO is worth getting, but initially if there is a budget issue I'd buy a better mill without a DRO rather than shortchange on the milling machine. You can always add a DRO later.

3 phase...not a big deal these days with cheap VFDs (variable frequency drives). You can get a VFD rated for 1hp for about a hundred bucks that accepts single phase 240 and puts out variable-frequency 3 phase.

A.K. Boomer
12-28-2012, 10:32 PM
I also think having an X-axis powerfeed is almost a necessity for getting good finishes and good used ones can be found on Ebay for a pittance of new cost.

My experience is good finishes are more dependent on cutting fluid and tooling.

the once rough piece of steel seen in pic is near mirror finish and was done with my home brew flycutter and hand cranking.

http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r249/AK_Boomer/DSC00207.jpg



You can always bolt more stuff on as you go as long as your basically happy with your base unit, I say basically because you don't even always need to be happy with that, all you need to know is it can still get the job done.

SGW just brought up maybe checking into the 2/3rds 3/4 scale JVM 836 and that's what I bought quite awhile back.
Below is a pic of it getting swallowed by my bro's powerstroke ZF trans. as I was boring out the main oversize,
I missed being able to bore it out in a conventional manner by lacking just under a half inch of needed clearance, but as you can see the job still got done and with great results...

http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r249/AK_Boomer/DSC02512-1.jpg

RussZHC
12-28-2012, 10:55 PM
Check Craig's, just saying...after that, circling out, depends on how far you want to drive and if there is a balance between that (costs involved) and what you will "settle for" that is nearer and costing a bit more ...just a quick browse through Craigs, certainly not an exhaustive search and certainly not only choice it looks like slim pickings and as usual the larger machines are less money [if you are of the mind, "go big or go home", there is an older 4P Cinnci horizontal/vertical 10Hp, 3ph cat 50 showing in Dallas but if I were driving that far, I think I would look at the Ex-Cell-o first for a home type shop]

Edit: if you get to the point of trying to decide which clone, there was a thread here maybe a year or so ago discussing merits or advantages of many common clones IIRC there were some that were a fair bit heavier than others but don't recall any of the other details like differences in work envelop size etc.

uncle pete
12-29-2012, 10:04 AM
Jcadwell,
I've been between L.A. and Albuquerque, that's a grind on distance, and especially so if you go check some equipment out and then don't find a mill worth buying. I'm also in a machine tool vacuum for anything that would be local. Normally I'd suggest a good used American or European built machine tool. Given your experience right now and where you live? IMHO you would probably be much more satisfied with a new Taiwan built machine. Something that works 100% correctly right out of the crate is much better than a machine that might or might not need a head overhaul you find out about only after you get it home. The 836 Jets already mentioned are ok, but some of them won't allow the head to nod. Something to consider maybe? Not having that knuckle does make the head assembly a bit more rigid while under cutting conditions though.

Not knowing exactly what you'd use it for makes the choice a bit tougher, but I've done some milled parts on my old sherline lathe, a Emco compact 5, an X2, and then up to a 3/4 sized Bridgeport clone. At least for myself, I thought doing even tiny parts on the largest mill I've run wasn't any tougher than on the smaller equipment. In fact it seemed a bit easier, but obviously there's a lot less feel on the the table movements. I'll admit that takes a bit of experience and judgement.

I've only owned and operated one 3 phase machine so far, and that's my current mill. I personally wouldn't ever want to go back to a single phase machine again. The differences are that much noticeable and superior. A VFD / step pulley mill should do about anything you'll ever want up to and including light semi production with a manual machine just fine. Nobody yet has really stressed having a mill with a built in power down feed on the spindle so far. It's NOT used for drilling, but it's more than worthwhile having it for single point boring. Again in my opinion, it's as worthwhile as having power feeds on a lathe. I'd much rather have a mill with it and seldom use it, than have a mill without it.

Your obviously under no need to buy any mill with every single optional item ever made for them since it can all be added over time.With everything else being equal, Your tooling costs are going to be exactly the same no matter what larger mill you buy, so it's only the initial cost for the mill itself that's different. I'd buy the best mill I could afford with the idea of adding tooling as you can afford and need it. Power feed on the X axis is usually added first and as already mentioned, makes for much nicer surface finishes. It's a very nice to have item I wouldn't want to do without. DRO's? Even the super accurate Moore jig borers had some measurable lead and lag in their feed screws, and they used some dial indicators and accurate made distance rods long before the modern style of DRO's were invented. Yes you can do without a DRO, You can also drive a car in your area without air conditioning in the summer too. They are to me just as important and nice to have.

For at least us here in North America, the R-8 spindle taper is probably the cheapest and most available out of any other machine tool taper ever invented. For a home shop? If it's not made in R-8, then you probably don't need it. And I'm 100% in agreement about the Morse Tapers for a mill also. While they've proven themselves for a very long time, they really should be considered today as an antique method of tool holding in a mill when the R-8 does such a far superior job, and with much better selection and availability. Having a screw type ejection system with the MT's would make them at least far better to use instead of slowly beating the spindle bearings to death.

The start up costs for the bare minimum of the required tooling to get any mill operational can really add up fast. But a little searching here will more than prove it's also not a place to cut corners either. Buying tooling at the lowest possible rock bottom price you can find is a mistake I made. You shouldn't have to be as stupid as I was. You will get exactly what your willing to pay for. But there's also some fair deals around for good quality used if your willing to wait and search a bit. The Chinese built vices seem to be a real crap shoot as far as what you'll get, some here have gotten lucky. I've found even if their accurately made, some of their cast iron quality can be real questionable. That allows the vises to flex far more than they should under normal holding tension. Your work can only be as good as your work holding is, so besides a good vise, you'll need a good quality hold down set, some good parallels, R-8? collets, and an arbour and drill chuck. And since drills don't drill straight, on size, or even round holes, I happen to think a good boring head should be real close to the top of the list. No matter what you spend to buy that mill? It's really not very hard to spend even twice it's price over some time just on the extras, I know I have.

A Bridgeport or the standard clones aren't the worlds best design for absolute rigidity, but their very versatile and adaptable. That's what makes them so common. I can't recall who wrote it, maybe a Google search will turn it up? "Turret Mill Operation". I'd highly recommend finding and reading a copy before you buy your mill.

Pete

jcaldwell
12-29-2012, 10:25 AM
The suggestion about Craig's List was a good one, and one that I had not even thought about. A quick check found two listings, possibly for the same unit, nearby. The machines are Acra, both dated 1986 according to the serial number plate. They are described as "industrial sized mill turret milling machines". (Does "turret" mean the head rotates?) They are going for $3000-$3500. I don't have a feeling as to whether that is a good deal or not. And, they are said to be "meticulously cared for".

Which brings me to another set of questions: Since I have read numerous threads about Chinese machines being inferior in quality control, materials, workmanship, etc, and Taiwan machines being better, how do I identify the one from the other? I think Acra is Taiwanese, but I'm not sure if they are Taiwanese and of higher quality going back to 1986 or not. And it still brings up the question of how to identify a good used machine. I would expect a machine that is 25 years old in a shop would have considerable wear in the areas where most of the work is done, probably near center of the x, y, and z axes. That can probably be adjusted with gibs for a tight tolerance fit. But what about areas at the ends of travel, which would probably not have seen a lot of wear? Adjusting for a tight tolerance at the centers could mean the table wouldn't move to the travel extremes. Would that condition mean I have to scrape all the ways? If so, is there still an advantage of getting a used machine versus a cheap Chinese or Taiwanese, and need to do the same sort of thing to get tight tolerances? Certainly, the difference in cost between these used units and any new one is significant.

Ohio Mike
12-29-2012, 10:31 AM
I can't recall who wrote it, maybe a Google search will turn it up? "Turret Mill Operation". I'd highly recommend finding and reading a copy before you buy your mill.

You're thinking of "Turret Mill Operation" by John G. Edwards. Very good text but kinda pricey for a simple paperback. I would also recommend reviewing the Bridgeport videos on YouTube by MrPete222 aka Tubalcain. You really need to understand what everything on a BP does before you can buy one used and be confident its not a dog.

uncle pete
12-29-2012, 10:43 AM
Ohio Mike,
Yeah that's it, thanks and your memory is much better than mine lately. I guess that book could be considered a bit pricey, but the one tip inside it about how to get the back gears dropped into place and making a point of being sure they are fully engaged before hitting the start button was for me worth the price of the book alone. And I'd certainly agree about fully understanding what the machine does and how it works is a requirement before buying one. Especially a used one.

Pete

Pete

Ohio Mike
12-29-2012, 10:47 AM
Aside from various Asian clones like the Comet etc that are complete knockoff's (as in parts actually interchange with a real BP) which are of varying degrees of quality there are a number of other great quality mills to keep an eye out for. Lagun, Wells-Index, and Gorton are just three that made excellent if not better milling machines. For those you do need to be sure to verify the spindle taper, and be sure the machine is fully functional. There are certainly better tapers than R8 but I still highly recommend the BP with R8. Why? Two reasons. Because tooling is available new and used everywhere and for dirt cheap. Also parts for BP mills are the cheapest you'll find for just about any machine tool because they made over a quarter of a million of them in addition to the thousands of knock offs that were imported.

Mike

MasterMaker
12-29-2012, 01:36 PM
You don't have to have a powerfeed to get a good and even finish but after continuous crank number 500 on the handle getting you half done with part number one of 10, you will be wishing that you had powerfeed.

If you are poor or cheap you can do what I did and just weld a long nut to a plate that you bolt to each crank and use an electric drill with a socket in it, I use a skill energy for it and it has made machining a lot more enjoyable by making it a great deal easier.

jcaldwell
12-29-2012, 02:56 PM
Going back to a previous question, what is the opinion on whether $3000 is a good price for a 1986 Acra milling machine? It's 9x49, with x-axis power feed, 2hp-3phase motor. It's appaently being sold by someone who bought all the tools from a machinist who has terminal cancer. There is some mounting pin for the motor that is broken, but is supposedly a very easy fix. The apparent brand-new version has more x-axis travel and is about double the cost (without power feed). The seller had one that was supposed to be the same, minus the broken pin, and advertised it for $3500. It sold, though I don't know the final price.

A.K. Boomer
12-29-2012, 03:33 PM
Depends if it's worn out or is in good shape - heck of a name - heck of a mill - and will also handle heavy production so could be anywhere from massive overkill to being just fine depending on what kinda of HS you plan on having...

jcaldwell
12-29-2012, 04:27 PM
Depends if it's worn out or is in good shape - heck of a name - heck of a mill - and will also handle heavy production so could be anywhere from massive overkill to being just fine depending on what kinda of HS you plan on having...

Any suggestions as to how I might figure out if it's worn out? This one is close enough I could go look at it.

Thanks,

JC

jcaldwell
12-29-2012, 05:42 PM
Every time I look something up, I find more things I don't know.

When I look at most of the available milling machines, they are 3 phase motors. Apparently, this is the norm, and I will have to get a Variable Frequency Driver to make the motor work with my 220VAC/30A supply. Some VFDs advertise a variable motor speed function, as well as conversion from single phase to 3 phase. If I have to get a VFD anyhow, would it give variable speed control on the milling machine, without buying a machine with built-in variable speed? That sounds like too good a deal to be true.

Thanks,

JC

hardtail
12-29-2012, 06:03 PM
Yes a VFD will give you speed control converting single to 3 phase with a host of other features........they should only run around $100 for 2 hp and shouldn't need to be derated yet. Make sure the machine your looking at is 208-230V 3 phase though or your into other problems.....

I think Acra was ok, ask about the dowel, if it was such an easy fix why didn't he do it? Then theres the health reasons thing again.......