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Seeking high-precision milling machine for mild steel, better than Proxxon MF70(!)

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  • The SM-4040 is 75 kg and fairly large in size, as its work area is 300 x 400 x 50 mm.

    There is also some distinction of types, because there are some "metal routers", presumably different from the rest of them. Maybe they just have coolant, did not look for the detailed differences, if they are even described.
    CNC machines only go through the motions

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    • http://www.lathes.co.uk/emcomiller/

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      • Re CNC milling - I have just heard back from Bantam Tools. I was asking them about whether their "Bantam Tools Desktop CNC Milling Machine" ($3,999 + 20 weeks + shipping to UK) could cut mild and/or stainless steel. Here's what they said:

        >>>
        Thanks for checking out Bantam Tools. Steel is not a supported material on our machine and would void your warranty. The Bantam Tools Desktop CNC Milling Machine is designed to be optimized for machining aluminum. Because the lowest spindle speed is 10K RPM and steel requires a much lower SFM (surface feet per minute) compared to aluminum, you need to run smaller tooling when machining steel (3/16" and below).
        >>>

        So I guess Bantam Tools is out then.

        J

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        • I think you're in a real goldilocks situation here, and will either have to modify an existing product to tick more boxes, make your own ground up solution to tick ALL the boxes, or realize that ticking all the boxes might no be possible in one off the shelf unicorn.

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          • > http://www.lathes.co.uk/emcomiller/
            Can't see a weight listed but it looks properly heavy


            dan Dubeau
            This may appal many of you but I'm now leaning back towards buying a Proxxon MF70. I know it's a bit of a toy, but if I destroy it, it's only GBP 310. Atleast it's light and cheap. It would be very useful for milling light stuff like plastic.

            After all, this guy managed to mill a mild steel ("4142 alloy steel") with it
            "Proxxon mf70 mill steel milling drilling test"
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkdKNwbJ2SA

            He appears to be using a 1/8" (3.175mm) end mill. It probably makes a horrible noise (music masked the sound) but it does seem to have cut the steel!


            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvgeMu2dYps
            But I am now wondering if there is an 'after-market' where I could pay someone to upgrade the bearings & motor etc. ??

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            • I wish he had done that in real time so we could get a feel for the time needed. It's clearly set up for around 20x or higher though.

              As you say this doesn't need to be the end of it. If nothing else it can be used for lighter duty jobs in the future. Or buy it, use it, figure out what you want for the next one. And when it comes time to upgrade, if that point does come along, you'll easily get back 50% of what you pay. At least you're going into it at this point armed with some reality checks on what it can and cannot do.
              Chilliwack BC, Canada

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              • Originally posted by ship69 View Post

                So I guess Bantam Tools is out then.

                J
                Youre not missing out. That machine has an awful design. Round rail linear bearings have no place in metalworking machines. They lack stiffness because they are only constrained in one direction.

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                • Honestly... I read a few pages at the beginning of the thread. Didn't wish to continue on and thought this one may have outlived its usefulness. Yet here it posts again.

                  Rusnok 850.
                  YES. You can buy a new one.
                  YES. It is not import machine prices.
                  BUT. Let's put this in perspective. It's still *cheap* for an extremely good design and an extremely versatile machine. If I were ever to sell my entire shop, I would still keep mine.

                  ...otherwise, just buy something Grizzly offers. All the hand-wringing is silly.

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                  • Originally posted by MyrtleLake View Post
                    Honestly... I read a few pages at the beginning of the thread. Didn't wish to continue on and thought this one may have outlived its usefulness. ....................................

                    All the hand-wringing is silly.
                    Yes, he has a point saying that.

                    Truthfully, you are not really going to understand what you really want, and why you want it, until you have, and use, some form of milling machine.

                    There is no getting around actual experience, which will tell you what YOU want rather than what I or anyone else here wants.

                    Getting the Proxxon may be the best thing, as it is your cheapest option for something reasonably credible which you can buy new. Use it. If you can, post some of your work (probably much of it you cannot.... I get it, My shop was the after hours model shop for 2 of my employers, because I wanted the parts for my designs sooner rather than later. then other engineers discovered how I got my samples so fast.).

                    After you have used it for a while, you will probably have questions, as well as a far better handle on what you want to do. Ask here, check youtube, but make sure the youtube presenter has a clue...... One who clearly does is Joe Pieczynski. There are some others.
                    CNC machines only go through the motions

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                    • A thing I learnt during my time at a startup: Make a decision. Then at least you will find out quickly if it was a bad decision. Even a bad decision is better than decision paralysis.

                      We’ve been through it. An MF70 will cut steel. It will meet your weight requirements. There is a spindle upgrade available from USVO ( I think that’s their name). FFS Go *read* the threads I linked to - the details are in there.
                      What it won’t do is hog of huge amounts (of any material) per cut.

                      Decide, then DO

                      Im near J23 of the M1 if you want to see some things in the flesh.

                      Dave
                      Just south of Sudspumpwater UK

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