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Dave C
09-03-2017, 01:43 PM
Anyone have experience with a Supermax mill? Looks like a Bridgeport clone, made by Yeong Chin in Taiwan. There's one for sale not too far from me, and I'm wondering if I should go and take a look at it. The owner says the motor runs but it wont go in gear. I'm thinking that if it's a Bridgeport clone, I can fix it. If it's not, then probably a deal breaker. I've never seen a Supermax before.

RB211
09-03-2017, 01:52 PM
Bridgeport clone? Won't go in gear? I'm confused. Talking the back gear? The power downfeed? Bridgeports are belt driven...

Dave C
09-03-2017, 02:07 PM
I figure he means the back gear. Not sure as the only info I have is what was in the ad. Guess I'll have to make the trip to see it for myself.

Doc Nickel
09-03-2017, 02:15 PM
I have to admit I've never been inside an an actual Bridgeport, but I did recently rebuild a Spanish-made Exacto that had a "not going into gear" problem.

The backgear-engagement lever on mine moves the gear that actually drives the spindle via the splines, into or out of engagement with the back gear idler.

When in normal 1:1, the gear is raised, and engages dog splines at the top of the travel. In back gear, the sliding gear is lowered where it engages the back gear idler. You can see what I'm talking about here (http://www.docsmachine.com/projects/anayak/exacto14.html).

Again, I'm not sure exactly how the Bridgeport one works, but on mine, the lever itself, and the two spring-loaded detents hold the gear in place. If it's not fully raised, or not fully lowered, you get nothing, the spindle won't turn with the motor running. And when I got the machine, the lever had been broken off the head, rendering the machine unusable until it was repaired.

It sounds like you might have some similar situation. If it is truly a "clone" of a Bridgeeport, you should be able to find replacement parts fairly easily. If it's only "largely based on" a Bridgeport like my Exacto, parts can still be repaired or fabricated.

Doc.

Machine
09-03-2017, 02:56 PM
I'm no expert, but I recently bought a Bridgeport and one of the clones I also carefully considered was a Supermax. They have a decent reputation, and from what I heard they're one of the better - or even best - foreign built clones. From what I recall, the ones built starting in the early 90's were built a little better than the 80's models. Also, some (most?) of the parts are interchangeable with a Bridgeport. And also, from what I heard, Supermax still provides good support on parts. If it's a good mill, and it's priced right, I'd strongly consider it.

ncjeeper
09-03-2017, 03:15 PM
Nothing wrong with a Supermax. Especially if you can get it for a good price.

Dave C
09-03-2017, 03:15 PM
I'm no expert, but I recently bought a Bridgeport and one of the clones I also carefully considered was a Supermax. They have a decent reputation, and from what I heard they're one of the better - or even best - foreign built clones. From what I recall, the ones built starting in the early 90's were built a little better than the 80's models. Also, some (most?) of the parts are interchangeable with a Bridgeport. And also, from what I heard, Supermax still provides good support on parts. If it's a good mill, and it's priced right, I'd strongly consider it.

Thanks Machine, that's the kind of info I was looking for.

Dave C
09-03-2017, 03:36 PM
I've been inside more than one J head, and a few variable speed ones as well. A couple of the J heads that wouldn't shift, just needed to be torn down, cleaned and lubed. Not a big job and can be done in a day. However, one memorable job involved replacing the timing belt that runs at the bottom of the assembly. That one got pretty involved. Don't recall the price of the belt, only remember it wasn't cheap.

Machine
09-03-2017, 03:51 PM
I recently bought a variable speed head Bridgeport and I tore the upper head down and rebuilt the entire variable speed drive system. So I'm familiar with the dual speed system. Here is a good video, which I've queued up to the point where they show the bull gear.


https://youtu.be/B56XhVq1_bw?t=12m55s

The bull gear slides up and down on a splined shaft. When you move the Hi/Low lever back and forth, it causes the entire bull gear to slide up and down. In the down position it engages the small gear (which remains in a fixed position) shown in the video. In the other position it moves the gear up so that the bull gear's teeth disengage the small gear and instead the bull gear's center part with the flat splines engages with the upper pulley (into high speed position). If it won't go into one or both gears, it could be it's just dry and needs lubrication or it could be that one or bearings is worn out on either the small gear and/or the splined shaft so that the bull gear's teeth are out of alignment with the small gear's teeth. Or it could simply be the engagement lever is not adjusted properly, or some combination. If the machine does not appear to be heavily worn or abused, and the head's not making awful sounds, I would suspect it to be a more minor problem.

I'm no Bridgeport expert, this being the first one I've ever owned, but taking the head down was pretty easy, especially after viewing the excellent H&W videos. And the complete rebuild kit was like $300 for a variable speed head, cheaper than that for the step pulley designs, which I thought was reasonable. Not that you'd necessarily need to do that, you might not need any bearings, just cleaning, adjusting and lubing.

macona
09-03-2017, 06:30 PM
Supermax machines are great. My CNC mill is a YCM-16VS that was converted to CNC by Tektronix for their model shop. They are every bit as good as a bridgeport, FWIW. I also have an old J head and they are nothing special.

Parts are available and always reasonably priced, I think they parts are distributed by Ellison machine in Seattle. My mill came with a R8 spindle and looking through the manual they had sold a 30 taper spindle as well. Called Supermax up and the 30 taper spindle was only like $250.

Axkiker
09-04-2017, 02:25 PM
Ive always heard Supermax mills were superior to BP. Cant say I have experience with either just telling you what ive heard over the years.

flylo
09-05-2017, 04:18 AM
I had a 5 HP SuperMax which was comparable to a Series 2 Bridgeport with Cat 40 tooling I sold to a friend with an OSAMA lathe, can you or anyone tell me why they are better the a BP please? They have asian motors & electronics so I'm just trying to find out how the import clone is better than what asia cloned. The BP claimed a 4HP motor but we all know asian machines seem to exaggerate specs a wee bit or the horses the used to rate HP are small ponies. The name is cool & sounds like a Super Hero but other than that I'd like some facts please.

macona
09-05-2017, 04:39 AM
The machines are made out of taiwan, not china. I had no problems with lack of power on my mill before I installed the servo and nixed the vari-speed. Also YCI has Meehanite castings. I had heard they are one of the big Meehanite foundries in Taiwan, though I cant find any reference to this now.

I dont know about better but I would say just as good.

flylo
09-06-2017, 03:07 AM
Where did I say china? don't you know taiwan is in asia also? My point was they're no better than a BP of the the same series I don't care what anyone's heard. Yea if you compare a 5HP Supermax to a BP M head sure it's better but to say the same size machine is better I need to know why, which looks like no one is going to tell me so I say it's not better, don't care what you've heard all your life. Better be good boys I heard santa's coming.

Dave C
09-07-2017, 09:20 PM
Y'all can fight about which is better, while I sit and stew over getting out bid on it by a measley $110.

danlb
09-07-2017, 10:39 PM
So sorry to hear that Dave. I hate auctions for just that reason. You get excited after all that research, and Poof, it's gone.

QSIMDO
09-07-2017, 11:14 PM
Y'all can fight about which is better, while I sit and stew over getting out bid on it by a measley $110.

Well, that's odd.
Flylo was PM'ing around trying to borrow just that amount!

GNM109
09-08-2017, 12:06 AM
The Supermax is a good machine. They are typical of heavier machines built in Taiwan. They often feature Meehanite castings. boxed ways on the knee, drains into the base for coolant and higher horsepower than a BP, like 3, 4, 5 hp. Some have 10 X 50 or 10 X 54 tables as well and 30 or 40 taper quills. They are much heavier than a BP also, like 3,500 #.

The large Grizzly and Webb mills are all very similar to the Supermax.

JRouche
09-08-2017, 12:24 AM
Y'all can fight about which is better, while I sit and stew over getting out bid on it by a measley $110.

Well thats on you son. Everyone said their peace.

Well the heck Dave C. I was just getting on the Yes Sir, a SuperMax is a solid machine Bandwagon and you stopped the ride. Some of us Elders cant keep up with the fast pace responses and lag a bit :)

Yes, from what I have heard from reputable people the SM is a brick chit house and will "Mee'll". (ref needed?).

If you can afford it get it, if you cant dont. Everybody has an "affordability range". All different. I cant afford it so... All yers :) JR

flylo
09-08-2017, 08:49 AM
The Supermax is a good machine. They are typical of heavier machines built in Taiwan. They often feature Meehanite castings. boxed ways on the knee, drains into the base for coolant and higher horsepower than a BP, like 3, 4, 5 hp. Some have 10 X 50 or 10 X 54 tables as well and 30 or 40 taper quills. They are much heavier than a BP also, like 3,500 #.

The large Grizzly and Webb mills are all very similar to the Supermax.

They are no better than a Series 2 BP, They are good asian clones of them so how can a clone be better. They are better than a smaller BP like a M or J head. Have you never seen a Series 2 larger BP?
Here's a Series 2 BP http://nsmachine.com/product/11-x-58-Bridgeport-Knee-Type-Vertical-Mill-4/
Please read the specs, weight & size & tell me how a SuperMax is better.

GNM109
09-08-2017, 09:39 AM
They are no better than a Series 2 BP, They are good asian clones of them so how can a clone be better. They are better than a smaller BP like a M or J head. Have you never seen a Series 2 larger BP?
Here's a Series 2 BP http://nsmachine.com/product/11-x-58-Bridgeport-Knee-Type-Vertical-Mill-4/
Please read the specs, weight & size & tell me how a SuperMax is better.

I don't have a canine in this dispute. You are talking to others who say that the Supermax is better than a BP. I said it was a good machine, not the best or better.

My big Webb 10X50 4VH is an excellent machine as well, held back only by its R-8 Spindle. It is somewhat stiffer than a BP, however and I've run BP's many times.

Take two 800 mg Ibuprofen and relax.

:)

flylo
09-08-2017, 11:56 AM
[QUOTE=GNM109;1134217]The Supermax is a good machine. They are typical of heavier machines built in Taiwan. They often feature Meehanite castings. boxed ways on the knee, drains into the base for coolant and higher horsepower than a BP, like 3, 4, 5 hp. Some have 10 X 50 or 10 X 54 tables as well and 30 or 40 taper quills. They are much heavier than a BP also, like 3,500 #.

Did you not read the specs I posted. This Series 2 BP weighs 5220#. The problem here seem to me is everyone is comparing a Series 1 BP to a SuperMax which was a clone of a Series 2, a machine over twive the size & power of a series 1. I just hate to see misinformation spread by people who don't know. Like the one post saying I've never used or seen one but HEARD that a Supermax was better than a BP. It's like saying a ford truck is heavier duty than a gmc, it depends on the model, a ranger is not more HD that a 6500 medium duty truck. I don't care what someone has, likes or buys but please don't spread misinformation because you don't know or won't take the time to check. I had a SuperMax with the 10x54 table & 5 asian HP, can you read the BP specs I posted & still say the SuperMax is a heavier machine? I owned the big SuperMax & wasn't impressed but I'm not saying it's a bad machine but let's compare apples with apples. Ther's where my rub comes in.

Dave C
09-08-2017, 12:06 PM
Well thats on you son. Everyone said their peace.

Well the heck Dave C. I was just getting on the Yes Sir, a SuperMax is a solid machine Bandwagon and you stopped the ride. Some of us Elders cant keep up with the fast pace responses and lag a bit :)

Yes, from what I have heard from reputable people the SM is a brick chit house and will "Mee'll". (ref needed?).

If you can afford it get it, if you cant dont. Everybody has an "affordability range". All different. I cant afford it so... All yers :) JR

I had to go fix a toilet in my rental house yesterday and it took longer than expected. (I'll chalk that up to being an elder) My auto bid price was a tad too low and I wasn't on line when the bidding ended. :(

flylo
09-08-2017, 01:06 PM
Another day, another deal, you'll get a better mill cheaper I bet. The one I had had only cut plastic & aluminum & I paid $900 for the big 5 HP cat C with a large lot of tooling. There was a picture on here before PhotoF*cket screwed us all.

GNM109
09-08-2017, 01:48 PM
[QUOTE=GNM109;1134217]The Supermax is a good machine. They are typical of heavier machines built in Taiwan. They often feature Meehanite castings. boxed ways on the knee, drains into the base for coolant and higher horsepower than a BP, like 3, 4, 5 hp. Some have 10 X 50 or 10 X 54 tables as well and 30 or 40 taper quills. They are much heavier than a BP also, like 3,500 #.

Did you not read the specs I posted. This Series 2 BP weighs 5220#. The problem here seem to me is everyone is comparing a Series 1 BP to a SuperMax which was a clone of a Series 2, a machine over twive the size & power of a series 1. I just hate to see misinformation spread by people who don't know. Like the one post saying I've never used or seen one but HEARD that a Supermax was better than a BP. It's like saying a ford truck is heavier duty than a gmc, it depends on the model, a ranger is not more HD that a 6500 medium duty truck. I don't care what someone has, likes or buys but please don't spread misinformation because you don't know or won't take the time to check. I had a SuperMax with the 10x54 table & 5 asian HP, can you read the BP specs I posted & still say the SuperMax is a heavier machine? I owned the big SuperMax & wasn't impressed but I'm not saying it's a bad machine but let's compare apples with apples. Ther's where my rub comes in.

I really don't care. Find someone else to quote. LOL.

flylo
09-08-2017, 09:17 PM
I was just answering the 1st line in the 1st post "Anyone have experience with a Supermax mill?" I did & feel if people give advice maybe they should give correct advice. No problem or hard feelings on my part. Steel toe boots may help:rolleyes:

GNM109
09-08-2017, 09:26 PM
I was just answering the 1st line in the 1st post "Anyone have experience with a Supermax mill?" I did & feel if people give advice maybe they should give correct advice. No problem or hard feelings on my part. Steel toe boots may help:rolleyes:

Actually, I was really surprised that anyone noticed my post since 99 times out of 100 I get ignored. This is progress. LOL.

:D

JRouche
09-09-2017, 03:27 AM
I had to go fix a toilet in my rental house yesterday and it took longer than expected. (I'll chalk that up to being an elder) My auto bid price was a tad too low and I wasn't on line when the bidding ended. :(

Well, wasn't meant to be. At least you fixed a chitter somewhere right? JR

macona
09-09-2017, 05:24 AM
Supermax did not just make a series II clone, they made the YCM-1 1/2 VA and VS which is a series I clone.

Dlane
09-09-2017, 01:22 PM
I have a YCM 1 1/2 va 1980s I like it, head is quieter than most Bridgeports I've seen/heard

flylo
09-09-2017, 03:08 PM
Supermax did not just make a series II clone, they made the YCM-1 1/2 VA and VS which is a series I clone.

Did anyone say they only made s series II clone? I just said that was one I had & the one I posted the ad for. I don't know anything about the smaller ones. Sorry

Dave C
09-10-2017, 01:46 PM
https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?fa=Main.Item&itemID=45&acctID=8504

I'm still crying in my beer.

flylo
09-11-2017, 09:05 AM
Lots of better deals, here's one in MS on Ebay item number:302443168304

Forrest Addy
09-11-2017, 02:20 PM
Lotta fitted parts to a turret mill head but in reality they are not much more complicated than a toaster. Any one with mechanic skills and a sense of cleanliness can diagnose and repair a back=gear problem. Take note and pictures.

Dave C
09-11-2017, 05:52 PM
Lots of better deals, here's one in MS on Ebay item number:302443168304

I was late seeing your post. It went for $1300 a minute ago.

mudnducs
09-11-2017, 10:48 PM
I have a Supermax Series 1 BP clone. I cant comment on how they compare to BP as this is my first mill.

NOTED problems: Changing the Hi/Lo speed can be hit/miss sometimes. It wasn't until recently I discovered that if I change into high range the speed changes reliably if I just grab the quil and turn it by hand...drops right into gear.
I've noticed some table movement when making heavy cuts into steel....MOST likely operator error.

That's it. The manual lube pump works well, the weighs (dovetail type, not box) seem to be well cut. Its wired for 3 phase so you'll need to spend a little money on a phase converter. This winter I'm going to give a VFD a try.
The table operates smoothly and tolerances seem plenty tight at least for the ham handed things I make.

I have a manual for it...sing out if you need me to make you a copy.

flylo
09-12-2017, 01:26 AM
I was late seeing your post. It went for $1300 a minute ago.

Would you have been interested in it? I'll be glad to help find one just PM what you want, want to spend & your e-mail & I'll do my best to find a deal close to you. Nothing better than a Great deal with someone else's money :rolleyes: Let me know, Thanks!

macona
09-12-2017, 01:53 AM
Thats standard with the back gear on any knee mill, you have to move the spindle till the clutch lines up.

Dave C
09-14-2017, 01:49 AM
Would you have been interested in it? I'll be glad to help find one just PM what you want, want to spend & your e-mail & I'll do my best to find a deal close to you. Nothing better than a Great deal with someone else's money :rolleyes: Let me know, Thanks!
PM on the way.