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  • Newbie, needs your thoughts on a mill

    I am going to purchase a mill. I am looking at the Grizzly G4048 or a friend has an older Millrite sitting in his shop that he will sell me for $750. The Millrite seems to be in good condition. The spindle bearing are a little loose, but smooth. The backlash is minimal, but I have not measured it. The Millrite has a 1 hp. 3ph motor so I will needed a phase converter or find a way to change the motor to a single phase.

    I mostly do small jobs and some gunsmithing. I know that I will have to wait for the Grizzly, but it is new and the Millrite is fairly old and I am sure it will need some work.



    Last edited by RossW; 01-14-2009, 10:40 PM.

  • #2
    Millrite! Millrite! Millrite!

    Comment


    • #3
      As a gunsmith, you'd know how to respond if someone told you he didn't want a pre-'64 Winchester Model 70 because it was old and he could by a new Chinese copy for a lot more money, but it would be new.

      thnx, jack vines

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      • #4
        You don't need a phase converter...a low cost VFD will run that mill and up the bells and whistles at the same time.
        For that kind of money...I'd be having that Millrite in my shop yesterday.
        I have tools I don't even know I own...

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        • #5
          Even though I have a Grizzly (full-size Bridgeport clone) and I'm very happy with it, given your two choices, I'd go with the Millrite in a heartbeat.

          One, it's local. You can go see it before buying, check for problems. And two, it's cheaper- better bang for the buck. Even if it needs some repairs, you can put several hundred bucks into it and still have less invested than in a new import.

          Like Torker said, spring for a $150 VFD, and not only can you run the 3ph as-is, but you'll get near-infinite speed control as well.

          Doc.
          Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

          Comment


          • #6
            OK, I think you have convinced me to go with the Millrite. I posted some pic's . Anyone know were I can find parts if I need them or books?

            Thanks

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            • #7
              For the price difference, you can get that Millrite pretty well tooled up, too!

              David
              Montezuma, IA
              David Kaiser
              “You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.”
              ― Robert A. Heinlein

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              • #8
                The answer is obvious,get both!
                I just need one more tool,just one!

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                • #9
                  The magic 8 ball says that you should buy the Millrite.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yup - millrite

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'd go with the grizzly.

                      No wait... what am I saying!? Go with the millrite, its old so it must be good.

                      Seriously though, for the money, you can't get much better than that. Like everyone has said, you can do alot of "fixing up" and tooling up with that millrite and have yourself a fine mill. Lest it sounds like I know what I'm talking about, let me remind you that the only mill I currently own is nothing more than a 3-n-1 machine that sucks! But, I do know several of the guys who have posted here have alot of expierence and knowledge.

                      See here:
                      http://www.lathes.co.uk/millrite/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Grizzly

                        I went the Grizzly route. However, it was done out of necessity. I had looked for over a year to find a used mill. Each one that I went to see that was advertised in "good condition" turned out to be one step from the scrap yard, completely covered in rust or would require a COMPLETE rebuild to get back into running condition.

                        I would have loved to gotten an older machine but just couldn't find one. However, I'm happy with the Grizzly as I now can mill.

                        Bill
                        Bill

                        Being ROAD KILL on the Information Super Highway and Electronically Challenged really SUCKS!!

                        Every problem can be solved through the proper application of explosives, duct tape, teflon, WD-40, or any combo of the aforementioned items.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BigBoy1
                          I went the Grizzly route. However, it was done out of necessity. I had looked for over a year to find a used mill. Each one that I went to see that was advertised in "good condition" turned out to be one step from the scrap yard, completely covered in rust or would require a COMPLETE rebuild to get back into running condition.

                          I would have loved to gotten an older machine but just couldn't find one. However, I'm happy with the Grizzly as I now can mill.
                          -Ditto. Not only that, but I agree wholeheartedly.

                          I went through the same thing years ago, and a bunch of people told me to hold out for a good American rather than buy an import. The problem there is that Alaska is a machine tool desert- or practically so, anyway. Lots of enthusiasts (I'd bet we have one of the highest per-capita of DIY-ers and home-shop owners) but few machines, and what there is, is priced accordingly given the typical shipping costs.

                          A used Bridgeport or similar would have cost me $2,500 off of eBay, and I'd have been buying a pig in a poke. We've all seen the pressure-washed, wire-wheeled and freshly painted eBay queens, and I didn't want to spend three grand on something that was going to need another two thousand bucks and several months of work.

                          So I bought a brand-new Griz. It happened to be a Taiwanese (rather than mainland Chinese) unit, and is very well built. I've used it virtually daily for just short of six years now, and it hasn't given me a lick of trouble.

                          That said, I later spent a bit more than what people considered a fair price, for a well-tooled Sheldon lathe, because it was a good old American machine- this time, local where I could inspect it.

                          Yeah, I would have preferred to have a good Bridgeport, but it was five years later that I saw one relatively local, and the owner was asking $8,500.

                          Doc.
                          Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The Millrite is a good solid mill, about 2/3 the size of a Bridgeport. I would choose one in a heartbeat over an import unless the size were a factor. I have a slightly smaller Rockwell and it handles most of my needs for amateur gunsmithing. Table travel is limited for full length barrel profiling, but that is about the only drawback I can think of.

                            Tooling a mill or other machine tool can run as much as the initial purchase of the machine. This should be considered when establishing a budget. The Millrite came with several different spindles, and you should check the collet it uses. They came with B&S taper, MT, R8 & 30 taper. All are good, some better and easier and cheaper to acquire.

                            Millrite was manufactured for many years under several names. It was Burke, US Burke, Millrite, Powermatic and maybe some others I don't remember. They are a simple machine, and most repairs can be accomplished with the usual shop tools. The company is still in business, and some support is still available. I can't recall the name, maybe someone else can chime in with that information.

                            http://www.lathes.co.uk/millrite/
                            Jim H.

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                            • #15
                              If you live in Central PA, or nearby, buy the Grizzly and PM me with your friend's phone number.
                              There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary and those who don't.

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