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Thread: Comet Mill good/bad?

  1. #1
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    Default Comet Mill good/bad?

    Hi Guys,

    I have been looking around for a replacement for my mill/drill. I would like to have a Series I Bridgeport or similar. Poking around on fleabay, I found 2 Comet Mills. Both were 3 hp variable speed knee mills. One had a 10X50 table, the other had a 9X42 table. The pricing on both seemed pretty cheap, the 9x42 bid is at $510 and the "buy it now" price for the 10X50 is $1100 (different dealers).

    Is there something inherently wrong with these mills that they would be priced lower than comparable mills?

    Any insight will be appreciated.

    Tim

  2. #2
    gnm109 Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmc_31
    Hi Guys,

    I have been looking around for a replacement for my mill/drill. I would like to have a Series I Bridgeport or similar. Poking around on fleabay, I found 2 Comet Mills. Both were 3 hp variable speed knee mills. One had a 10X50 table, the other had a 9X42 table. The pricing on both seemed pretty cheap, the 9x42 bid is at $510 and the "buy it now" price for the 10X50 is $1100 (different dealers).

    Is there something inherently wrong with these mills that they would be priced lower than comparable mills?

    Any insight will be appreciated.

    Tim

    I looked at those listings on eBay and the Comets appear to be a typical Bridgeport Clone. I have a Webb which is also a Bridgeport Clone. I presume that the Comets are probably built in Taiwan since they appear to be from the 1980's. The first one shown is 1984. My Webb is 1987 and was built in Taiwan.

    Most clones are similar to Bridgrport but very likely are built to metric specifications so that it would be a good idea to locate a parts distributor before buying one. If parts are available, it would probably be an OK purchase. Shipping can be a concern, of course.

    I notice that there is a parts manual shown for Comet Mills from another seller. I had to buy one of those for my Webb. They are a good thing to have.

    Those prices are typical for clone mills nowadays. I paid $1,500 for mine but it needed some replacement parts to convert it back to manual from CNC.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tmc_31
    Hi Guys,

    I found 2 Comet Mills. Both were 3 hp variable speed knee mills. One had a 10X50 table, the other had a 9X42 table. The pricing on both seemed pretty cheap, the 9x42 bid is at $510 and the "buy it now" price for the 10X50 is $1100 (different dealers).

    Is there something inherently wrong with these mills that they would be priced lower than comparable mills?

    Any insight will be appreciated.

    Tim
    Tim, are either of them close enough to pick up Your self? Shipping is usualy the deal breaker on e-bay for Me.
    I don't know any thing about the Comet, but $1100 for a mill of that size if it is in decent shape sounds reasonable. It also tells You that anything under a grand for the other mill would be reasonable if in decent shape. Befor My B P, I had a clone that I paid 2k for it came with a quite a bit of extras that I kept when I moved up to the B P.

    Steve

  4. #4
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    DD,

    You say that you "moved up to the BP". Since this is the HSM board, I hope I am not putting you on the spot when I ask

    Assuming a Clone and a real BP in similar condition, how much of a step up is a real BP? (not talking status here)

    The reason I ask is that in an ideal world, I would prefer a real BP. The reality is in this world may have to settle for a good clone. The imperial vs metric thing may be one factor as to availibility of parts. I understand that parts for the BP's are readily available.

    Tim

  5. #5
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    Default

    Had a comet at the last place I worked. It was a mid 80's made machine.
    It needed work, but the owner wasn't really interested.

    I have a Modern Mill, also mid 80's made, which is damn near identical to the comet, which is near identical to the Birmingham.....My Modern is in pretty good cond. has a 9X49 table, 3HP vari-speed head. Nice big square column, heavy machine. Is heavier than a "Bridgeport", and as near as I can tell is just as good if not better than a "Real Bridgeport" Don't let the name alone sway you, check out the machine. If you can't check out the machine in person..........that's more of a chance then I care to take.
    Nothing inherently wrong with Comets, parts are not as easily available as a bridgeport....
    Last edited by Uncle O; 12-12-2009 at 04:39 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tmc_31
    DD,

    You say that you "moved up to the BP". Since this is the HSM board, I hope I am not putting you on the spot when I ask

    Assuming a Clone and a real BP in similar condition, how much of a step up is a real BP? (not talking status here)

    The reason I ask is that in an ideal world, I would prefer a real BP. The reality is in this world may have to settle for a good clone. The imperial vs metric thing may be one factor as to availibility of parts. I understand that parts for the BP's are readily available.

    Tim
    I guess I used the term "moved up" loosly. I had an old used clone for 15 years or so that had x and y power feed.It was a Samson, no other bells or whistles, a decent mill. Now I have a BP EZ-Trak (that is the bad news)the good is it has chrome ways,ball screws,dro,BP Rapid8 air powered drawbar motor, a lube system,mist coolant,and vari drive. The EZ-Trak is obsolete and giving Me trouble , the mill itself has very low hours on it and is great and when I get around to converting it to a modern cnc it should be great.
    Not realy comparing apples to apples, between the two.
    Comparing the sammson to a BP that I had at work at the time, both basic-used machines I liked My Samson over the BP it was a tighter machine but that may have been due to how they were treated in their past.

    Steve

  7. #7
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    Default

    Its getting more and more to the point that buying a decent Bridgy is a real gamble, and as mentioned, when you cant look at one like off ebay, the risks are indeed big.

    In a recent post, Lane (one of our more knowledgeable machinists/homeshopper) commented on this, saying in most cases its better to get one of the import mills - even the Chinese - he "upgraded" from a Bridgy to a Birmingham!
    If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........

  8. #8
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    Sounds like pretty decent pricing if they're in reasonably good shape (and close to you). I have a 3hp Mighty Comet that I've been pretty pleased with. It is a heavy bugger though. If it's in good shape and the vari-speed doesn't make any weird noises, I doubt you'll be disapointed. If they were a little closer to me, I'd probably jump on one of them myself.

  9. #9
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    Thanks fellas,

    I appreciate your insights

    The one I am most interested in is the smaller one (the one with the 9X42 table weighing 2900lbs), the seller is Reliable Tools. Anyone have any dealings with them? The mill is located in California (I am in Texas) so is a long way to go to inspect it or pick it up (road trip anyone?).
    I have requested a freight quote from them.

    Tim

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmc_31
    Thanks fellas,

    I appreciate your insights

    The one I am most interested in is the smaller one (the one with the 9X42 table weighing 2900lbs), the seller is Reliable Tools. Anyone have any dealings with them? The mill is located in California (I am in Texas) so is a long way to go to inspect it or pick it up (road trip anyone?).
    I have requested a freight quote from them.

    Tim
    Run, don't walk away from that one. Unless You see it in person, and then maybe stay away from it.
    Everything that I've bought from RT, I purchased not expecting much and I still expected too much.
    Steve

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