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Industrial Hobbies Mills ?????

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  • Industrial Hobbies Mills ?????

    Hello All,

    Has anyone had any experience with an Insustrial Hobbies square column mill?

    One of the replies to my first post mentioned this mill, and I took a look at their website. If what they claim is fact, then it looks like something that could find a home in my basement.

    The ways on the Y axis look kind of tiny when compared to the size of the bed, so I was wondering if anyone out there could comment on this, of anything good or bad about this machine. I am interested in the manual mill only, not the CNC.

    Thanks in advance to all who take time to put fingers to keyboard! Hayyp 2009 to all!

    Don W.

  • #2
    Great mill! I like mine a lot and have used it for several years now. I am currently converting an IH mill to CNC.

    The mill seems very rigid to me for its size.

    More on my web site


    Try G-Wizard Machinist's Calculator for free:


    • #3
      I thought it was perfect for me and ordered one, gave CC# etc. but they changed ownership at the time and I never got it (never got charged either, don't get me wrong) so I bought a used BP but I still think that IH would have been great for the little tinkering I do.


      • #4
        Don't know the current $$ for IH but you should check Lathemaster, pretty much the same mill but w/o the cnc.


        • #5
          i've got two at my shop, one thats cnc and one thats manual. both work really well. if you are going to buy the cnc one don't build it yourself. i did and i'm still futzing with some aspects of getting it to run reliably. i'm sure it will come with time and for a hobby machine its great, but i need to run jobs daily on it at my shop. mind you when i bought this my shop was in my basement and was a hobby shop and things blew up from there. if i were to do it all over again...


          • #6
            Originally posted by gr8life
            Don't know the current $$ for IH but you should check Lathemaster, pretty much the same mill but w/o the cnc.
            Not even close.

                                Lathemaster           Industrial Hobbies
            Table Size          31.5" x 9.5"          39.5" x 9.375"
            X Travel            21.25"                30.125" 
            Y Travel            8.5"                  12" 
            Spindle to Table    17"                   22.25"
            Quill Stroke        5"                    4.75"

            There's a reason for the extra $1000 for the Industrial Hobbies.
            Last edited by Mike Nash; 12-28-2008, 11:25 AM.


            • #7
              I own an IH mill (not CNC). I purchased it just before Christmas last year and a part of it arrived a week or so after New Years and the stand arrived several weeks later. It's been at my home for less than a year.

              The machine has cut everything I've asked it to cut. However, I have not ask it to cut large pieces since I basically work on guns and various small parts unrelated to firearms. The x - y axis is sturdy and the bed is long enough to machine longer pieces and I even use a heavy indexing head toward the end of the table without any noticeable sag.

              My mill is HORRIBLY noisy and sound like the gears are not meshing properly in all ranges . . . . forward and especially in reverse. VERY NOISY at high speeds. Having owned and operated a BP, noise-level makes owing this machine a disappointment. Yet it works ..... just sounds bad. I have not noticed any unusual vibration while the head is turning ...... yet.

              It's very difficult to change speeds. Must stop the machine, get the gears "out of gear" and "feel the gears" into a different range by hand. Sometime it takes several tries before a gear-change occurs. Sometime I think I have it in gear and it's not. It makes a horrible sound at that time.

              When I finally got the mill assembled, having come with oil in the head, I went through a "break-in phase" letting it run at lowest speeds for as much as 30 minutes and then going to the next highest gear. When I got to high range, oil-foam literally poured from the top of the "breather port" and ran everywhere. There is a window on the side of the machine for viewing oil level. This window totally filled with foam .... could not determine oil level until machine was shut down and allowed to settle down. No instructions came with the mill indicating a need to change oil. Finally I decided to drain the oil and replace with new oil. Most foaming stopped reducing the amount of oil spilling out the breather port.

              There are chrome handles below the bed that locks the table and prevents it from moving left or right. If you move the bed from front to back, care must be taken because the handles are too long, will hang on the bed, and break totally off. Ask me.

              I will likely be the only one to complain about service. If fact, I may be the only person dissatisfied with delivery date and service but I can tell you of my experience and it was not pleasant. I paid in advance, and was assured that I would take possession of the equipment before Christmas; a date was given. I located a BobCat operator to off-load the mill and set it in place. The equipment did NOT arrive and I paid for the BobCat operator to wait. This occurred several times leading to a phone call after Christmas but before New Year. Still no mill when promised. Toward the second week of January I receive the mill but it was missing the stand. After another phone call, the stand came several weeks later. The point is, I was assured that if I pay in full *at the time I ordered the mill*, I would receive the mill before Christmas and I feel that I was deceived. I took Holiday leave and planned everything in advance. I was snookered and lost a bunch of money because they did not follow through with their agreement. They stood me up on several occasions and this was not professional!

              In retrospect, had I been all knowing, I would have purchased a good used BP.

              Since I've decided to keep the IH mill, do I have regrets? Yes. I regret that I did not buy the mill with DRO installed. Would I like to have a DRO for this machine? You bet ya'. Will I buy for them again? Very unlikely.

              Regardless of experiences of others, this was my experience, it was real, and it happend to me and I will not sugar-coat my experience. You asked and I told you.

              For those having fought for it, Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.
              Freedom is only one generation away from extinction.


              • #8
                Hi Folks;
                Apparently we are celebrating Hwingo's first anniversary of purchasing an IH Mill. Again I apologize to Hwingo for the few days of lost time. In all fairness to IH I am using my post from 01-09-08 again not as an excuse, but as an explanation of what really happened so everyone could read both sides of the story. We work real hard at IH to keep everyone happy and our mills the best.
                "Post from 01-09-08"
                Hi Folks;
                I am Gene from IH. We love this blog because it has some pretty neat articles. Looking through it today I found that one of our customers is unhappy with us. First of all I would like to apologize to HWingo for any inconvenience that he has had with us. The 2 snow and ice storms on the 21st and 23rd stopped R&L Carriers from picking up our scheduled shipments. They were ready to go on the 21st. The Mill was very complete in every way minus the stand and was shipped on the 26th, after the Christmas Holiday and was received on the 31st. The stand was shipped and was received on the 7th. The reason it was not shipped with the mill is because Tommy wanted to give HWingo the newest design stand and we paid the additional freight of $100.00. This all seems to be a normal transaction and not for God's intervention with the weather and Tommy's good heart for the stand everything would be fine. Apparently you just can't make some people happy. I don't mind some criticism, but I do mind the untruths and name calling spoken of my son. He and our Company are none of the things that HWingo's abusive tongue have said. A little understanding and compassion goes a long way. I would like to thank all the members of this blog for their continued support.
                God Bless and thanks
                Gene & Tommy Spada
                Industrial Hobbies

                There is no assembly needed for the mill. Putting it on a stand is necessary for any mill. All gear heads have to be stopped to change gears. Our head is made purposely tight and selecting gears can be easily done with a slight turn of the spindle. You cannot compare the noise from a belt drive BP to a gear head, although ours is far less noisy as compared to others after break in. Oil foaming is normal for new gearheads and will subside after use (again very tight). Oil coming out of the breather is new to me, but it could have been overfilled from the factory.

                It is the Holiday Season and we at IH wish everyone the greatest.
                P.S. Our new website is nearly done. The movies take a long time to get set up, but we are getting there.
                Thanks again for your support on this Forum,
                Gene & Tommy Spada
                Industrial Hobbies


                • #9
                  Another option. Lists 16 speeds on the blurb but I think I would call Matt and find out for sure. All of the dovetail mills will pale compared to a good BP (a worn out BP is no fun) due to the fact that the columns really aren't that heavy but keep in mind they are BENCHTOP MILLS
                  Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.


                  • #10
                    Bought an industrial hobbies mill for a few reasons, size! size! and more size. After 4 months of use the mill is great, accurate, rock solid and quiet compared to my lathemaster mill. 1 thing i don't like is the color, wish it was light gray. Other than that buy it it's great. Also need more humor from Sir John, love it.