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HF mini mill weirdness

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  • HF mini mill weirdness

    HarBor Freight's Micro Mill has a somewhat strange design. It is a small mill smaller than the mini mill. However, it has the strange feature that when the saddle is centered on the ways, the head and spindle are not centered over the table. Is this common? Is it the case on the mini mill?

  • #2
    The center of the spindle was most likely determined buy the size of the gearbox. And they just put the table where it is. sells a kit to extend y and x to more usable travel.


    • #3
      There not the same

      I've had both and they are very different.


      • #4
        It sounds like there using one base machine for two different model applications? Common practice with economy priced stuff.


        • #5
          Plus the design of the table ways means that for some positions the table is barely on the ways, I think you get roughly half the rated Y travel with solid footing.

          Have one on the shelf, tore it down and built an adapter so I could mount it on the ways of my old atlas lathe which gave me a stiffer table with a bit more travel. My yuasa X-Y table had ways on it that were a perfect match for the atlas to replace the cross slide, so if I had small milling needs, it was about 10 minutes to mount and tram the mill if I had the table mounted, and if I had the regular slide, 15-20 minutes to swap over and I had a handy little mill. Been thinking of making an adapter to fit my logan, but have the clausing now so it's more a 'wonder if I can' scenario than a needed mod. I made a clamp that mounts to the column, and was bolted through the spindle which realy stiffened up the column. The thing would cut nice and accurate, but was still a short reach.



          • #6
            It is definitly NOT using the same parts. THe mini mill's whole head goes up and down but the micro mill has a dovetail column and a short quill-never caused me much trouble. LMS's extension is a bit spendy, but maybe someday.


            • #7
              Originally posted by kendall

              Have one on the shelf, tore it down and built an adapter so I could mount it on the ways of my old atlas lathe

              I have a mini mill. When the X axis is zeroed on the scales, it's actually 1/2" off center of the spindle.

              I'll soon be adapting my mini mill for dedicated CNC and buying a yet to be determined, but somewhat respectable knee mill to appease my appetite for destructive machining.

              Kendall, I'd really like to see some photos of your adapted Atlas/Mini combo.


              • #8
                I've got a micro, first thing I did was a belt conversion, then a CNC conversion.

                For my needs it actually works quite well. I use it mostly to rough out "pretty parts" in aluminum, and a lot of plastic work.

                With the belt conversion, it will run for a good long time without heaint up too much, and it's not too loud.


                • #9
                  I have a belt conversion as well. After I replaced the plastic gears several times it seemed like a good idea. I built it myself, it's a fantastic addition.

                  Don't get me wrong, I think the HF equipment is great! My mini mill has been awesome so far. I just want more.