View Full Version : mill drill ?
11-12-2004, 10:14 AM
Hey guys, I have been reading from this forum for a while and finally decided to join to ask a few questions. I am a full time machinist and run all sorts of machines at work, full maunual and cnc but I haven't worked on any mill drills and I am thinking about buying one for home. I have a desire to build some of the mini ic engines and steam and atmospheric engines. Anyway I have just about settled on the Top Tech geared head mill from Penn tool co. I like the size and preferr the slower spindle speed offered by the geared head. Anyway do any of you have experience with this mill or one similar and if so would this make a satisfactory mill to hobby with? Thanks for any info.
11-12-2004, 05:34 PM
Sorry, I may not have give you enough info about the mill. It is the dovetail column mill with the swivel head by Top Tech. The model number is dm-45. Any info about it or one of the clones would be appreciated.
11-12-2004, 07:47 PM
I have the wholesale tools version of the mill drill you are looking at. There are also sold by grizzly, enco, lathemaster and others. I like mine real well but remember, I have never ran a bridgeport on a lagun or a deckel either! When I got mine home I cleaned it up, changed the oil in the head and put it to work, no problems at all. I did buy a kurt vise for it and a jacobs ball bearing chuck. I also added a table power feed and just recently, a 3 axis dro from shooting star. As with any import it would be nice to see it before you buy. This is a picture of my mill.
Paul in NE Ohio
11-12-2004, 09:04 PM
These are really sweet machines for the price, very very rigid ( especially the dovetail coloumn ones) in fact theres a company that sells a cnc version of this mill (they call it benchtop machining center) which is good to know because it is a good machine to convert to cnc, you might want to do so eventually. The company is called pheonix and it is the "compact" model, you can check it out at forwardprecision.com. You've also might of seen them on ebay. Also Phiers owns one, he seems to be pretty happy with it, im planing to buy one in fact (after i purchase a good lathe) Many makers of this lathe : enco, grizzly (i think its smaller the grizzly one) , pen tool co , lathemaster.com , industrialhobbies.com (biggest one), lukesmachinery.com (canadian site) , wttool.com , houseoftools.com (also canadian but expensive, might be better quality). There are also some of these already cnc converted sometimes found ebay.com
11-12-2004, 10:48 PM
PHiers, thanks for the reply and the info. It's nice to talk to someone that owns a like machine before you lay down the cash on something you have never seen in person. I like bridgeports really well, but I really don't have the room or need for a machine with the capacity of a bridgeport. All the guys I work with try to talk me into getting something bigger because we run bigger equipment at work, but I am not tooling up to do the kind of work like we do at work. I am mainly interested in mini model engines. Now the capability of a future cnc conversion does interest me some though.
11-13-2004, 12:58 AM
japcas,i have a local (new zealand)version of this machine.i'm using it to build a 5"gauge steam loco,so it would cope well enough with smaller stuff.DO replace the table locking bolts with decent ones though.Mine stripped quite quickly.(M10,i believe)Mine has a 4 morse taper,which means an adapter to3morse for a collett set.In the us you might get an R8 spindle.Also be aware you will spend half as much again on tooling,but that will last forever.The dovetail column is 200%better than a round one.no alignment problems.good luck with whatever you buy.hans
11-13-2004, 08:24 AM
Thanks matador. Your right the Top Tech model has an r8 spindle which is what I want. Yeah I know all about the tooling cost, I am going to start out with a few necessities and gather more as a go along. I have been looking at the clones to the kurt vices, have any of you used them? Are they pretty good vices?