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  • Rong fu Mill drill

    Hello,
    Any folks out there using one of these Rong Fu Mill drills??
    Any good/bad points?
    Thanks
    JRW

  • #2
    There is a Yahoo Group who all own RF 30/31 type mills. They know all the tricks about using these beasts.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mill_drill/?yguid=7484283

    I have an RF-31 (Harbor Freight version #2119, no longer sold, current version made in China instead of Taiwan) and it is fine for the general milling I do. I will add a x-axis drive unit and an inexpensive 6" DRO on the quill (the Taiwanese idea of .001" dial marks is not real close).

    All that said, it is a stop-gap machine until I can afford or find a used knee mill.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey,I have a Jet 16 M/D. It's been great after some fine tuning and add ons. I made a variable speed table feed,from a Dayton gearmotor and a Router speed control. I added a gas strut,same as used to hold up a car hood,to assist raising the mill head. Used 2 ballheaded bolts,one on the base and one on the head. Works great,need to do some figuring to determine the correct mounting location. I'm in the process of installing a variable speed mechanism for the drive motor.

      Comment


      • #4
        The RF45 is sold in these parts. It has a cast iron frame that is dovetailed for the head to travel up/dowm. It seems well made (for the money) and can be ordered with an R-8 Bridgeport spindle or a NT30 spindle on special order. This is the only "small" (1800 Lbs.) machine I know of that has the NT30. The head is gear change but the AC motor looks cheezy. There are smaller RF mill/drills with round columns but this one looks pretty good (even has scraped ways!) for $3,800 (Canadian). It does seem pretty solid.

        Dave

        Comment


        • #5
          I echo Martin's comment - check out the mill/drill group on Yahoo. There's lots of really good information on these machines.

          I have the Enco incarnation. I'm really happy with it. It's a great mill. Plenty powerful and plenty accurate. The main difference between one of these and a knee mill is the size of the workpiece. If you are mainly working on small parts (under 6x18") the mill/drill will probably do everything you need.

          J. Kelly McCoy
          West Texas
          http://www.wcc.net/~jkmccoy

          Comment


          • #6
            i personally think that for the price of what you would pay for a rong fu mill/drill combo you could get a better and possibly identical unit from grizzly for much cheaper... i don't know how grizzly stuff is in comparison to quality, but i havn't seen anyone so far slam dunk grizzly for anything more then cosmetic and maybe minor mechanical stuff...

            rong fu looks like good stuff, but seems really limited for the money...

            Comment


            • #7
              azmodeus--huh?

              The grizzly machines are Taiwan made as are rong-fu, jet, and a host of others sold under proprietorship--company names. You are recommending grizzly over rong-fu and they are the same thing.

              jwoitasek,

              Rong-Fu, in general belong to the superior class of asian machinery. The chinese made versions, as are sold by HF are noticably inferior in fit, smoothness, and finish. So you're off to a good start. Nevermind talk of the superiority of Jet or others--it's mostly Ford-Chevy talk.

              You have a built in limitation in that your head will not swing if yours is belt driven and that only means that you'll need to set up your angle cuts on the table using one of the various devices for that- a tilt table, a rotary, a tilt angle vise (for very light cutting). You also have less room from table to bit than some do while having more than some others do. In general, people learn to live with what they have and are seldom stopped but sometimes slowed in reaching their goal of completed work.

              Yahoo groups are great places to learn and bounce ideas around.

              Comment


              • #8
                In my experience, not everything made in Taiwan (or anyplace else, for that matter) is of equal quality. Machines that may "look just the same in the picture" can be wildly different in fit and finish when one actually sees them.

                I think there are Asian machine tool companies that build machines to any level of quality (or to put it another way, to any price) a dealer wants. If a dealer wants a machine he can sell for $1499.95, that's what he'll get. If another dealer wants a higher-quality machine, he can get it, but he'll have to sell it for $2500. The machines will "look just the same in the picture," but the quality isn't the same.
                ----------
                Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
                Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
                Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
                There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
                Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
                Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

                Comment


                • #9
                  Gents

                  I must agree with SGW, he is 100% right! If you check through back issues of Fine Woodworking they had an excellent article about the Taiwan OEMs. Delta has their stuff made there - no one bitches about Delta quality. Some of the best Bridgeport type machines are Taiwanese and extremely good machines - you will not see them advertised though - you have to go to macinery dealerships for those babies.

                  You really must compare apples to apples, and yes, you almost always get what you pay for...

                  Dave

                  [This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 12-23-2001).]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    [QUOTE]Originally posted by George Hodge:
                    [B]Hey,I have a Jet 16 M/D. It's been great after some fine tuning and add ons. I made a variable speed table feed,from a Dayton gearmotor and a Router speed control. I added a gas strut,same as used to hold up a car hood,to assist raising the mill head. Used 2 ballheaded bolts,one on the base and one on the head. Works great,need to do some figuring to determine the correct mounting location.

                    Any possibility of a pix of the strut install and part # for the strut-they come in lots of lengths and lift forces. Thanks
                    Steve
                    Steve

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I am sitting here looking at an Enco flier. The sale end date is 1/31/02. They have a one hp 21 inch gear head RF mill/drill on sale. It features the tilting head and free shipping at $1595. They also list the RF belt drive 2hp at $1109 plus shipping. That makes the price fairly close, maybe within $200. Any ideas which is the better? One can add options with either unit. The similar Enco units are also on sale.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dave,
                        I never did like that expression; it's backwards. It should be "You don't always get what you pay for but you usually pay for what you get" ;-)
                        Bob

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Bob,

                          Excellent point - Touche! (enough puns)

                          That is what I love about the English language. Saying what you mean rarely means what you say and meaning what you say is not what you meant to say in the first place. Therefore, I quote Homer Simpson in saying: "Doh! I say, Doh!" Or, was that Foghorn Legghorn? I get the two confused. That is my excuse and I am sticking to it!

                          Dave

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            After reading my prior post, me thinks I was not quite clear. Seeing the posts about the RF30/31, and Dave's mention of the RF45, I looked in a couple of catalogs to see what was being discussed. I did not find any RF45's for sale, just the two RF mill/drills I mentioned. Ken had mentioned the belt vs. gear head, and I posted the info I found to provide a pricing perspective, and hopefully to get a better idea of the limitations and advantages of each.
                            I do the little milling that I need on a Palmgren lathe attachment, and as of yet have no need for a mill. However, the catalog search that I did made me curious about the differences in hp and the repeatability (rigidity?) of the RF tilting head. I am not looking for purchase advice, just an explanation of different niches that these machines fill. Thanks, Mike

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well...I can't make specific useful comments about the Rong Fu mill/drills as I've never seen them. Regarding tilt head or not, however, I can say that I've tilted the head on my milling machine maybe a dozen times in the 16 years I've owned it. It isn't a feature you're likely to use very much. Of course, when you DO have a situation where it's useful, then it sure is nice to have the capability. Even if you can't tilt the head though, there are often other alternatives for setup that you can use to get the job done; they'll just be more inconvenient. And you may need a rotating base on your milling vise or something like that, as an alternative, which you may not have either.

                              ----------
                              Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
                              Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
                              Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
                              There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
                              Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
                              Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

                              Comment

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