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Thread: First Milling Machine

  1. #21
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    Jun 2009
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    san jose, ca. usa
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    872

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    I think you should decide what you'd like to use a mill for then shop.

  2. #22
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    Jan 2010
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    Kansas City area
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    It's most likely that a manual mill will do all you want to do, without the possible downside of the electronics making it a giant boat anchor. Only you can decide.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    19

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    Quote Originally Posted by gambler View Post
    I think you should decide what you'd like to use a mill for then shop.
    Well that is hard to say. Just for my own personal making stuff once and a while. I really probably don't even need it but once and awhile it would sure make life easier. Just like I have South Bend lathe that I don't use but a couple of times a year, but when you need one it save a lot of work and time.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Chilliwack, BC, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mopar_Mudder View Post
    Well that is hard to say. Just for my own personal making stuff once and a while. I really probably don't even need it but once and awhile it would sure make life easier. Just like I have South Bend lathe that I don't use but a couple of times a year, but when you need one it save a lot of work and time.
    Unless you have a rather large size South Bend the mills you are looking at so far are all rather bulky. They'd be a much better "fit" with your lathe if it's at LEAST one of the 12" models. If it's a 9 inch swing then the mills you're looking at are going to tower over the lathe. Especially for three or four times a year sort of occasional use.

    Working with proper hand wheels on the movements is also a lot more intuitive than working with coordinates. Oh sure, E-wheels could be added as noted earlier if they can be poked into the ports in some manner. But that's another bit of a project that would benefit highly from a good background in electronics. Otherwise you may be sitting there like the newb with side cutters hovering over the bomb in the movie wondering which wire to cut and knowing that your purchase price is hovering mere seconds away from destruction.

    The machines you showed us ARE attractive. I especially love the fact that the Bridgeport comes with the 3ph converter included with the deal. And a little light corrosion shown in the pictures isn't a deal breaker at all. It would clean up just fine with the resulting surface still having some "patina" but being quite well and very serviceable. But both are a LOT of machine if your lathe is of a size that sits perched on a bench top.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    East Coast, USA
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    7,766

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    I'd say quality of lathe is far more important than swing. If you own a Hardinge HLV-H with a 9" swing over the cross slide, you'll consider a Bridgeport class machine just barely acceptable compared to your precision lathe.
    Work hard play hard

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    19

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    I believe my lathe is an 8". it is not a bench top, it is on a regular stand. That two is something I would like to upgrade down the road. I hate to buy a mill that I decide some day is too small, I realize it is going to take up a lot of space.

  7. #27
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    Dec 2015
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    Chilliwack, BC, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mopar_Mudder View Post
    I believe my lathe is an 8". it is not a bench top, it is on a regular stand. That two is something I would like to upgrade down the road. I hate to buy a mill that I decide some day is too small, I realize it is going to take up a lot of space.
    If you're already planning on growth due to enjoying the ability the lathe gives you then that's great. And in that case the size of the mill you're looking at is good. You won't ever need bigger. It'll cost you more now for both the mill and tooling that is suitable for that size of mill. But the good news is that it would be a life long investment since you'll never outgrow it.... at least not unless you start running a job shop like Keith Fenner or Abom79 that does BIG items.

    So that just leaves the situation of how you move the table. Handwheels or servos. And what will happen if the parts in the boxes go kablooey..... I've got nothing against electronics. But you'd want to have both the books and any schematic prints and some ability with electronics to be able to service or select replacements. Up to and including total replacement of the controlling system that run the feed motors with something else. A project that could become VERY pricey if you have to get someone else to do that sort of thing. But something that would be highly interesting and rewarding if you can do yourself provided you have a good grounding () in electronics and computer control systems.

    There's always the option that you could pull the covers off the servos and add on hand cranks to either supplement or replace the servos. That sort of work would very likely be a good home shop project. And while you would not have dial indexes on the hand wheels with this option you really don't need them when the DRO is right there. I daresay that those with DRO panels likely have not looked at their handwheel number dials in a month of sundays since getting the DRO. So this is certainly a workable option if all hell breaks loose and the drive boards to the servos puke themselves. As long as the DRO still works all would be well.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    SW Kansas
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    251

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    I would run from the CNC mill. I like hand cranks to feel the work.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    marina del rey
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    225

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    ...If it's a 9 inch swing then the mills you're looking at are going to tower over the lathe...
    A milling machine, by its very nature and aspect ratio, will tower over a lathe, which is low and wide. This is meaningless in choosing the right one.

    Photo shows my mill "towering over" my lathe.

    12" x 35" Logan 2557V lathe
    Index "Super 55" mill
    18" Vectrax vertical bandsaw
    7" x 10" Vectrax mitering bandsaw
    24" State disc sander

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    san jose, ca. usa
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    872

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    pick up a cheap mill drill with r-8 spindle and play a bit. then decide if you need the big one. or one at all. the r-8 stuff will be useful if you get a bigger mill. look for a used jet or grizzly.

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