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  • $100 Power feed for mills?

    Anyone here try one of those cheap ($100) table feeds from ebay? I see a number of them all right under $100. I'm wondering if they're good enough for the part-time home shop tinkerer. I especially like them when I have a lot of face milling to do so I can turn it on and escape the hot chips until a pass is finished. Sure, a Servo unit would be nice, but out of my budget.

  • #2
    These are a new thing! I've looked at power feeds on and off ever since I got my new mill about 7 years ago. When I last checked about a year back they were still up around $400 for me and my Canuckistan sheckles…. So yeah, I'm keen to know more too.
    Chilliwack BC, Canada

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    • #3
      MushCreek, can you provide a link? Are they the same thing as something like this on Amazon for ~$160?
      https://www.amazon.com/BestEquip-Pow...3840631&sr=8-7

      that one appears to be a cheaper copy of one of these:
      https://www.amazon.com/TTC-Power-Tab...840634&sr=8-55

      I've been considering one of those cheap ones too. Don't need it bad enough to spend $500-$800 on the real thing and don't mind taking a risk on ~$150 but haven't wanted to just waste it on cheap junk either.

      I also have wondered why the 150 and 135 in-lb models exist when the same companies also sell 450 in-lb models for about the same prices. The specs (rpm etc) seem essentially the same, so I am wondering why everyone doesn't just buy the 450 in-lb models? I feel like I'm missing something there, any insight on that would help.

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      • #4
        Yondering, I suspect the higher torque models would be useful if pushing a BIG surfacing head or BIG end mills taking really wide cuts. When I've taken bigger hogging cuts on steel I found I needed quite a lot more force on the hand wheels. But my "half size" knee mill the machine won't tolerate truly big heavy hogging cuts like I've seen done on some mills. And the hand wheel pressure needed to get the push I use isn't all that high.

        Now some of those units are listed at 150 inch-lbs and some at 135 lbs... I assume that's inch-lbs too. So that's about 10 to 12 foot-lbs. Enough to run the lead screw for anything I'll ever do. And the upside is that if I should crash it into the end stop it won't break anything. And it sure looks like the travel limit is based on the unit pulling more than a set amount of current and just tripping out.
        All in all while not as powerful the big assortment of smaller knee mills and bench top mills don't require the same sort of torque as a B'port or larger mill.

        Hmmm.... Christmas is almost upon us.. And I've noticed that I've been a good boy all year. Report to follow shortly into the New Year...
        Chilliwack BC, Canada

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        • #5
          If you look up 'power feed Bridgeport' a lot of them pop up. I've noticed that some of the dealers have kind of poor ratings, yet they all seem to be in the same location.

          https://www.ebay.com/itm/AS-250-X-AX...8AAOSwRW9ceiiv

          Anyhow, I'm running an old 1 hp step-pulley J-head. Its never gonna be worked very hard. Most of the time I'll use it to rapidly move the X axis. I'm also looking at a cheap 3" boring head. They seem to be a little over $50. For the odd occasion I need one, I would think they would be adequate.

          https://www.ebay.com/itm/12pcs-3-Bor...QAAOSwDtFdyQvn

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          • #6
            The power is more about maintaining a set speed than about maximum torque. I use a 'WorkHorse' version made in Taiwan. It is very well made, parts are available and it cost me around $250 not quite 15 years ago. I'm wary of anything with an electric motor made in mainland china. The cheapo gears are suspect as well.
            Southwest Utah

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            • #7
              I bought one. Had to fiddle with the mount slightly but it works fine. I would buy again.

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              • #8
                I bought one like a year ago when they were about 150 bucks. Works fine no issues.

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                • #9
                  I ordered the boring head; I think I'll wait on the power feed for now. No heat in the shop, and I've discovered that you absolutely cannot warm up a milling machine by cranking the handles. I'll be lucky to do a few small projects between now and April; no sense spending the money. Maybe I'll get lucky and find a deal on one between now and then.

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                  • #10
                    There are plenty of guys here that can answer technical questions when it craps out in the first week.

                    JL.................

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                    • #11
                      Are these $150 wonders any good for the Z axis ? Seems like the demands are a lot more for the Z axis compared to the X and Y.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dan_the_Chemist View Post
                        Are these $150 wonders any good for the Z axis ? Seems like the demands are a lot more for the Z axis compared to the X and Y.
                        My Z handle takes a pretty good amount of torque. Plus on my machine there's nothing that would work for mounting the power unit. And let's not forget that even the more expensive and more powerful units I'm seeing with specs are still only 150 in-lbs. So not quite 12 ft-lbs. And that's pretty close to what we use to install a sparkplug.
                        Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                          There are plenty of guys here that can answer technical questions when it craps out in the first week.

                          JL.................
                          And plenty of guys to give you a hard time for buying the cheapest turd in the steaming pile and wasting our time to pay for your mistake.

                          -Doozer
                          DZER

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dan_the_Chemist View Post
                            Are these $150 wonders any good for the Z axis ? Seems like the demands are a lot more for the Z axis compared to the X and Y.
                            I have one of the 400 dollar ones that look identical to the 100 dollar unit on my Z, not really my Z but knee on my Boss CNC It works great and that knee is heavy. So maybe they, 100$ units might work. JR
                            My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                            https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JRouche View Post

                              I have one of the 400 dollar ones that look identical to the 100 dollar unit on my Z, not really my Z but knee on my Boss CNC It works great and that knee is heavy. So maybe they, 100$ units might work. JR
                              It would be easily enough to tell. A torque wrench on the Z handle and see how much it takes to move it smoothly.

                              Just a sec..... (sounds of feet passing into the distance, pause, sounds of feet returning..... ) OK, at the lowest 10ft-lb rating on my big torque wrench the Z handle didn't come close to being a problem. So I broke out the fish scale and used it on my near enough to 5 inch long handle. 9 to 9.4 lbs to start it lifting the table and around 8.5 to 8.8 to keep it moving. Let's call it 10 to be sure. So 10lbs x 5 inches is just 50 inch ounces. And well below the 132 inch-ounces for even the $100 unit.

                              Keep in mind that I've got the smaller knee mill that is the same as or really close to the Grizzly G0801. So not as heavy as a proper B'port or clone.
                              Chilliwack BC, Canada

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