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Home Shop Milling Machine -- Used Knee Mill vs. New Benchtop

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  • #16
    do you have an idea what kind of precision you expect from the machine?

    btw, the vise is as important as the machine itself.
    Last edited by dian; 10-14-2020, 01:45 PM.

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    • #17
      It is important to know the capabilities of the machine, and to use these capabilities correctly.
      additional equipment of course will gobble up a lot of money, but you can't hide from this)

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      • #18
        Surprised no mention of resale. BP will likely keep it's value. New benchtop probably not.

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        • #19
          A worn out Bridgeport is worlds better than a brand new round column mill.
          Just saying.

          -Doozer
          DZER

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          • #20
            Originally posted by strokersix View Post
            Surprised no mention of resale. BP will likely keep it's value. New benchtop probably not.
            Yup. Sell the Bridgeport and buy a K&T or a Cincinnati.

            -Doozer
            DZER

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            • #21
              If my Bridgeport was pristine condition I'd put ballscrews, power drawbar, servos, and a Centroid controller on it.
              I had a chunk of mild steel in the Bridgeport the other day with a 1/2" corn cob endmill. I was rather pissed off and impatient for what ever reason and just mowed down that piece of mild steel like it was nothing, The cuts I was doing would of made my previous Grizzly X3 mill scream, the head flex, and probably would of broken the endmill. As far as 2,000 lb mills go, Bridgeports are pretty light duty. My Bridgeport has both X and Y gibs shimmed, the X and Y both need to be reground, and my headstock makes a clacking sound that I can't seem to figure out why. It does NOT make the clacking sound when in backgear. It's a clapped out mill from the 1950's and still way better than any small import benchtop job would be.
              Now if your intentions was to CNC a new Grizzly or PM mill, and use one of the available kits to do so, and it fits what you want and need to do for that purpose, then go ahead with one of them.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Doozer View Post

                Yup. Sell the Bridgeport and buy a K&T or a Cincinnati.

                -Doozer
                "Your Galya baluvana", (Ukrainian folk wisdom)

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by strokersix View Post
                  Surprised no mention of resale. BP will likely keep it's value. New benchtop probably not.
                  If you buy an excellent used Bridgeport at a fair price you can at any time get all your money back out of it. If you buy any new import you will most certainly lose money when you resell it.
                  12" x 35" Logan 2557V lathe
                  Index "Super 55" mill
                  18" Vectrax vertical bandsaw
                  7" x 10" Vectrax mitering bandsaw
                  24" State disc sander

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Doozer View Post

                    Yup. Sell the Bridgeport and buy a K&T or a Cincinnati.

                    -Doozer
                    Or keep the Bridgeport as your drill press and augment with a K&T

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                    • #25
                      I would go with the larger machine. You can always make small parts on a big machine, but you may not be able to make big parts on a small machine.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                        There are 2 kinds of milling machines....
                        Knee mills, that got us to the moon,
                        and round column mills, that did not.
                        Nuff said.

                        -Doozer
                        Red herring, Doozer. The choice is not between round columns and dovetails. I know of no knee mills with round columns, but there are certainly plenty of bench mills with dovetail columns.

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                        • #27
                          Does the spindle on the benchtop have power feed, if not .. I be out right there.
                          and spindle stroke on Bport, usually 5 inch, not sure a benchtop goes that far.
                          spindle to table height, another big one.
                          But ..BUT... being able to clamp off the side of the table or hang the work over.. pieces up to 4 ft long and machine the ends.. priceless.
                          plus you can turn the head 90 degrees, on the Bport type.. ..and more.,

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                          • #28
                            Knee mill is great for fixing things, Bed mills great for CNC conversion. Some convert knee mills to CNC and retain the usefulness of a manual knee mill.
                            If you're just starting out, get the knee mill. Down the road you can play with CNC on a small bed mill if you desire.

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                            • #29
                              There are lots of "bed-type" mills used in industry.

                              They DO tend to be "a little" larger in working area...........
                              1601

                              Keep eye on ball.
                              Hashim Khan

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                              • #30
                                Well, I am going to throw in a confusing factor because there is a third type, the dovetail column. These seem to fit between the knee mills and the bench tops. I have a dovetail column that is basically an RF-45 type I believe. I suppose you could call it a bench top style, but it came with it's own floor base. The dovetail column avoids the problems of the round column but it does not have the flexibility of the Bridgeport style. Similar to this one:

                                https://www.grizzly.com/products/Gri...wer-Feed/G0755

                                Oh, and then there are the horizontal spindle ones but we won't talk about them.



                                Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                                There are 2 kinds of milling machines....
                                Knee mills, that got us to the moon,
                                and round column mills, that did not.
                                Nuff said.

                                -Doozer
                                Paul A.
                                SE Texas

                                Make it fit.
                                You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!

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