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Anyone own smaller Clausing Mills???

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  • Anyone own smaller Clausing Mills???

    I have been trying to decide on a good mill for my knifemaking shop.
    I have heard several members in the past, speak of the smaller Clausing Mills, Rockwell mills, etc, and I have begun to think that a mill of this type, might be just what I need.
    I have even heard a guy say that he was able to pack his Clausing in a mid sized automobile, upon tearing it down to transport it.
    I was wondering if any of you have any of these fine mills, and would love to hear about your experience with them.
    I am trying to learn all I can about milling machines. I don't know much, and would really love to find someone in my area who loves metalworking, and machines in general. So far, no luck.
    Nice to be able to come here, and hang with those who are so passionate about this type of thing...
    Thanks fellas..
    Paul Cataldo

  • #2
    I've also read that some (maybe ALL?) of the Clausings do not have R8 tapers?
    Is this true?

    I know R8 is desireable to most, and would like to know if I should look for another type mill...
    Thanks guys, sorry for the ignorance!
    Paul Cataldo


    • #3
      The Clausing 8520 is probably the most common of the Clausing Mills. MT2 tooling. Nice small mill. If you don't need to hog metal all the time it is a great choice for small shop. Nice pics of one at Shooting Star DRO site under mill pics if you need to see one. Also the Clausing lathe mill group on Yahoo has many conversations concerning this mill.

      Hope this helps


      • #4
        Some pics of my mill.
        Scroll a little over half way down, it's under "Clausing DRO".


        • #5
          I have a Rockwell mill, and think it is better than the Clausing. It does use R-8 collets, and I feel it is more rigid.

          Either is a good choice for the small shop, and both have the advantage of being easily dismantled into managable pieces to get into a small shop or down the basement stairs by one man.

          I doubt they could be loaded in a car, but I have loaded three Rockwells into either small pick up trucks or Blazer size SUV's.
          Jim H.


          • #6
            Clausing is a good little mill; I had a clausing vertical mill for about 20 years and did a lot of work on it.
            It did have a #2 MT spindle, but collets are available to 1/8â€‌ to آ½â€‌. 5/8â€‌ end mill is about the limit.
            I have mo complaints, just a little small for me, that is why I sold it and bought a larger mill.
            Two guys can disassemble it and hall it. It probably weights about 600 lbs.
            Good luck, I hope you enjoy.



            • #7
              Thanks fellas.
              I would probably rather get a Rockwell. Is there a fair chance I would ever be able to obtain one?
              Can anyone tell me approx. what I will have to spend?
              I'm really hurting without one. Very limited to what I can do, without the use of a mill.
              Thanks for your comments fellas.
              Paul Cataldo


              • #8
                Don't overlook the Chinese knee mills. They are Clausing copies anyway.


                • #9
                  Paul, I too have a Rockwell mill. The problem with Rockwells (lathes and mills) is that they are VERY scarce, and used parts are even MORE scarce. So if you find one, make sure it is complete or in decent shape, or if not, you are prepared to take on a project.

                  Scanning eBay over the last 4 years or so, used RW's go for anywhere from $800 - $2500+, it all depends on the condition and amount of tooling.

                  This is also the price range (again, condition and tooling) that I've observed for Clausing 8520's, which are more available. Just guessing, but I'd say I've seen at least five to ten 85xx's on ebay for every Rockwell.

                  In your quest for a small mill, I would not be put off by MT2 tooling, as it is very available. BTW, while the 8520 uses MT2 tooling, the 8525 uses B&S 7 tooling, which is harder to find. Then there is the very rare 8540, a slightly upsized 8525, still MT2.

                  Another Rockwell possibility is to go with the horizontal mill version. Still scarce, but usually dont cost as much as the vertical mill version. A very common modification for small horizontal mills with a round ram is to add a Bridgeport M-Head vertical milling head (1/2 hp, MT2 spindle).

                  If you're interested, there are a couple yahoo groups that have lots of info on Clausings and Rockwells, and of course there's


                  Speak of the devil, there happens to be 2 Rockwell's on eBay now, a vertical and a horizontal. The horizontal miller looks very nice! No affiliation with the sellers. Jeff

                  [This message has been edited by mendoje (edited 03-20-2005).]


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the info.
                    Maybe I should not totally rule the Clausing out just yet.
                    So far, it looks like the following fit my bill:

                    Another is the MillRite.
                    Finally, a Bridgeport, which I would love to have, but might be out of my price range. I really would rather have one of the smaller, easier to transport mills though.
                    I am trying to stay away from the imports as of now.
                    I am intrigued by the old American machines. There's just something about the history behind them, that creates a passion within, that I keeps me from going to an import...
                    Paul Cataldo


                    • #11
                      I have a Clausing 8520 and a friend has a combo Rockwell vertical/horizontal. They are nearly identical in specs, but the Rockwell does seem a little more rigid. The friend is finding that switching between the Rockwell between horizontal and vertical modes is a PITA, so he is about to buy a Clausing 5840 horizontal mill.

                      Lots of folks would rather have the R* spindle in the Rockwell but I haven't found a problem in getting the tooling I need for the MT2 spindle in the Clausing mill.

                      Criterion makes an MT2 arbor for their 2" boring head that is threaded for the drawbar and for just about everything else but endmills I use a 1/2" collet and tooling with 1/2" shanks or a 3/4" end mill holder.

                      Personally, I feel that condition should be the guiding principle when considering either mill. The Rockwell vertical mill has an aluminum (I think) gear that is used to rotate the head and these are usually broken on used mills. My friend's is broken as well, but he hasn't had any problem using the mill without it. His also had a couple of tapped holes for a cover that partially broke out of the column casting and felt. The cover is just bolted on and he felt that there should have been a couple of dowel pins to locate the cover and impart additional structural strength. He did manage to repair it pretty well, though.

                      Mike Henry near Chicago


                      • #12
                        Hey mendoje,
                        I have seen the vertical one. However, I cannot find the horizontal one?????
                        Can you help me view it? Must be listed under a weird heading, or ebay's search is screwed up. ?????
                        Paul Cataldo


                        • #13
                          Ebay # 7501400320, "Nice Condition Rockwell Milling Machine".

                          I also agree with Mike, if you have to choose between the 8520 and RW, choose based on condition.

                          Also on my list was the Millrite (w/R8 spindle) and Bridgeport, but my small shop area really dictated either the RW or 8520. If I actually had the room, I'd go for the BP. Though the Millrite is much lighter than the BP, its still too heavy for my limited equipment for me to move myself (I easily transported my RW). If I'm paying a rigger, might as well go for the BP, which has power quill feed, bolt-on table powerfeed, and parts availability.

                          You should be able to find a BP in the same price range as the RW/Clausing. When I was looking, I kept my eyes open for a pulley drive (not variable speed) J-head, with the 9x32 table. My reasoning was that the short table model is older (and cheaper), yet wear (sagging) on the ways should/would be minimizied since the table is almost fully supported by the knee. The pulley drive head keeps things simple and minimizes repair costs. I planned to use a DRO from the start, so normal screw backlash isn't an issue, and also planned to use a VFD, to provide both 3phase and variable speed (have both on the RW).


                          [This message has been edited by mendoje (edited 03-21-2005).]