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Barker mill

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  • Barker mill

    Was told by a senior hobby machinist to look for a Barker horizontal mill as opposed to the new Asian verticals. Any comments as to what/where to look for, price, etc.

    BTW, Santa brought me Guy Lautards "Bedside Reader" numbers 1,2,&3, Great books! Also got a new Craftsman 15" (1hp) drill press. The drill press is Tawain made and looks similar to all the others but for about the same price I figured Sears should stand behind the name.

    Happy New year,

  • #2

    Do not dismiss any machine just because it is made in another country. Every country has its fair share of "garbage production".

    Of the horizontal or vertical mills, I think most would agree that the vertical is more versatile.

    If you are just starting in the hobby I would strongly recommend you take courses from the local high school, College, or vocational school first to learn how to safely use the machines.

    When you complete the courses you will be able to judge what you really need for your own personal goals and not what someone "thinks" you need. It is a great hobby but can be expensive and very frustrating at times - everyone has "scrap production" at times. (I like to call them "lessions")



    • #3
      The only Barker horizontal mills I've seen have been pretty small and, I would think, pretty limited. They may make larger ones I don't know about, but I agree with Thrud: the general consenus is that vertical is more versatile.
      And you can get a perfectly servicable import mill. There is indeed any amount of pretty bad import machinery, but there is also a lot that is quite good. Just remember that quality costs money, whether it's domestic or import, and the good machines cost more.

      As far as getting a small US-made vertical mill, the Clausing 8530 is nice (no longer made though). The 8520 is a somewhat smaller version. Rockwell/Delta made a nice knee mill; I'm not sure if that is still in production or not, I don't think so. As far as small import verticals, I'd look at the Jet JVM-836.

      Check out, Plaza Machinery, and Sobel Machinery for used mills. They all advertise in Home Shop Machinist.

      [This message has been edited by SGW (edited 01-02-2002).]
      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


      • #4
        There was just a Barker in ebay. Tiny little benchtop with what looked to be no more than 6" from arbor to table, and the table was little too. It looked solid, but probably not as usable even as the Atlas horizontal with veg-a-matic.

        I think that a person could get more done with one of the mini-mills from varasia, and there's a lot more interest, tooling, and info on their use than there is for any of the old horizontals.

        I think that if I were to run across one of those little mills I'd convert it to a small surface grinder and get more use out of it.

        JMHO, of course.


        • #5
          Screw machine shops like Barker mills for second operation work, like screw slots,
          flats, keys, and such in large lots.
          I had one once but never used it. Sold it to a screw machine shop.
          It had a rack and pinion feed under the table.
          If you find one with feed screws x,y, and z it may be useful once and a while.
          I had a mill drill and built a traction engine,gears and all, and an electric locomotive on it.
          A mill drill is much more useful machine in my opinion.
          The main shortcoming of a mill drill is re-indicating when you move the head, and also that belt change system on the Encos.
          The barker only has a couple inches clearance and you can't move the head back.
          Put a vice on it and there goes your clearance.


          • #6
            Thanks guys for the insights. Didn't mean to sound like I was slighting the Asian equipment. I'm definately a newcomer to this board and everyone here has always given sound advice. I also subscribed to HSM so I'll look to the advertisers for equipping my own Home Shop.
            Thanks again,


            • #7

              I do not think anyone thought you were putting down the machines, and I am sure no one was berating you for it. They are a low cost alternative that some of the guys do go with. We crusty old farts just want you to know you can find beauty machines from the far east as well. Lets face it, most people cannot afford to lay out megabucks for their hobbies. Sometimes we have to make do with what we have (we ARE a resourceful bunch). We just want you to get the best you can comfortably afford. We have all had our share of crappy tools in our tool boxes at one time or another. In the end, if it does what grabs your snappy and you are happy with it - you made a great purchase!

              Have fun and follow safety rules to the letter.