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  • Comet Mill good/bad?

    Hi Guys,

    I have been looking around for a replacement for my mill/drill. I would like to have a Series I Bridgeport or similar. Poking around on fleabay, I found 2 Comet Mills. Both were 3 hp variable speed knee mills. One had a 10X50 table, the other had a 9X42 table. The pricing on both seemed pretty cheap, the 9x42 bid is at $510 and the "buy it now" price for the 10X50 is $1100 (different dealers).

    Is there something inherently wrong with these mills that they would be priced lower than comparable mills?

    Any insight will be appreciated.

    Tim

  • #2
    Originally posted by tmc_31
    Hi Guys,

    I have been looking around for a replacement for my mill/drill. I would like to have a Series I Bridgeport or similar. Poking around on fleabay, I found 2 Comet Mills. Both were 3 hp variable speed knee mills. One had a 10X50 table, the other had a 9X42 table. The pricing on both seemed pretty cheap, the 9x42 bid is at $510 and the "buy it now" price for the 10X50 is $1100 (different dealers).

    Is there something inherently wrong with these mills that they would be priced lower than comparable mills?

    Any insight will be appreciated.

    Tim

    I looked at those listings on eBay and the Comets appear to be a typical Bridgeport Clone. I have a Webb which is also a Bridgeport Clone. I presume that the Comets are probably built in Taiwan since they appear to be from the 1980's. The first one shown is 1984. My Webb is 1987 and was built in Taiwan.

    Most clones are similar to Bridgrport but very likely are built to metric specifications so that it would be a good idea to locate a parts distributor before buying one. If parts are available, it would probably be an OK purchase. Shipping can be a concern, of course.

    I notice that there is a parts manual shown for Comet Mills from another seller. I had to buy one of those for my Webb. They are a good thing to have.

    Those prices are typical for clone mills nowadays. I paid $1,500 for mine but it needed some replacement parts to convert it back to manual from CNC.

    Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by tmc_31
      Hi Guys,

      I found 2 Comet Mills. Both were 3 hp variable speed knee mills. One had a 10X50 table, the other had a 9X42 table. The pricing on both seemed pretty cheap, the 9x42 bid is at $510 and the "buy it now" price for the 10X50 is $1100 (different dealers).

      Is there something inherently wrong with these mills that they would be priced lower than comparable mills?

      Any insight will be appreciated.

      Tim
      Tim, are either of them close enough to pick up Your self? Shipping is usualy the deal breaker on e-bay for Me.
      I don't know any thing about the Comet, but $1100 for a mill of that size if it is in decent shape sounds reasonable. It also tells You that anything under a grand for the other mill would be reasonable if in decent shape. Befor My B P, I had a clone that I paid 2k for it came with a quite a bit of extras that I kept when I moved up to the B P.

      Steve

      Comment


      • #4
        DD,

        You say that you "moved up to the BP". Since this is the HSM board, I hope I am not putting you on the spot when I ask

        Assuming a Clone and a real BP in similar condition, how much of a step up is a real BP? (not talking status here)

        The reason I ask is that in an ideal world, I would prefer a real BP. The reality is in this world may have to settle for a good clone. The imperial vs metric thing may be one factor as to availibility of parts. I understand that parts for the BP's are readily available.

        Tim

        Comment


        • #5
          Had a comet at the last place I worked. It was a mid 80's made machine.
          It needed work, but the owner wasn't really interested.

          I have a Modern Mill, also mid 80's made, which is damn near identical to the comet, which is near identical to the Birmingham.....My Modern is in pretty good cond. has a 9X49 table, 3HP vari-speed head. Nice big square column, heavy machine. Is heavier than a "Bridgeport", and as near as I can tell is just as good if not better than a "Real Bridgeport" Don't let the name alone sway you, check out the machine. If you can't check out the machine in person..........that's more of a chance then I care to take.
          Nothing inherently wrong with Comets, parts are not as easily available as a bridgeport....
          Last edited by Uncle O; 12-12-2009, 05:39 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by tmc_31
            DD,

            You say that you "moved up to the BP". Since this is the HSM board, I hope I am not putting you on the spot when I ask

            Assuming a Clone and a real BP in similar condition, how much of a step up is a real BP? (not talking status here)

            The reason I ask is that in an ideal world, I would prefer a real BP. The reality is in this world may have to settle for a good clone. The imperial vs metric thing may be one factor as to availibility of parts. I understand that parts for the BP's are readily available.

            Tim
            I guess I used the term "moved up" loosly. I had an old used clone for 15 years or so that had x and y power feed.It was a Samson, no other bells or whistles, a decent mill. Now I have a BP EZ-Trak (that is the bad news)the good is it has chrome ways,ball screws,dro,BP Rapid8 air powered drawbar motor, a lube system,mist coolant,and vari drive. The EZ-Trak is obsolete and giving Me trouble , the mill itself has very low hours on it and is great and when I get around to converting it to a modern cnc it should be great.
            Not realy comparing apples to apples, between the two.
            Comparing the sammson to a BP that I had at work at the time, both basic-used machines I liked My Samson over the BP it was a tighter machine but that may have been due to how they were treated in their past.

            Steve

            Comment


            • #7
              Its getting more and more to the point that buying a decent Bridgy is a real gamble, and as mentioned, when you cant look at one like off ebay, the risks are indeed big.

              In a recent post, Lane (one of our more knowledgeable machinists/homeshopper) commented on this, saying in most cases its better to get one of the import mills - even the Chinese - he "upgraded" from a Bridgy to a Birmingham!
              If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........

              Comment


              • #8
                Sounds like pretty decent pricing if they're in reasonably good shape (and close to you). I have a 3hp Mighty Comet that I've been pretty pleased with. It is a heavy bugger though. If it's in good shape and the vari-speed doesn't make any weird noises, I doubt you'll be disapointed. If they were a little closer to me, I'd probably jump on one of them myself.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks fellas,

                  I appreciate your insights

                  The one I am most interested in is the smaller one (the one with the 9X42 table weighing 2900lbs), the seller is Reliable Tools. Anyone have any dealings with them? The mill is located in California (I am in Texas) so is a long way to go to inspect it or pick it up (road trip anyone?).
                  I have requested a freight quote from them.

                  Tim

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tmc_31
                    Thanks fellas,

                    I appreciate your insights

                    The one I am most interested in is the smaller one (the one with the 9X42 table weighing 2900lbs), the seller is Reliable Tools. Anyone have any dealings with them? The mill is located in California (I am in Texas) so is a long way to go to inspect it or pick it up (road trip anyone?).
                    I have requested a freight quote from them.

                    Tim
                    Run, don't walk away from that one. Unless You see it in person, and then maybe stay away from it.
                    Everything that I've bought from RT, I purchased not expecting much and I still expected too much.
                    Steve

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have a 1985 Comet 3KV with the 10X50 table. It is larger and heavier than a series 1 bridgeport. Some parts in the head interchange with the bridgeport, some don't. The ram, knee and main casting are all larger and heavier than the bridge. I love mine and find it to be stouter than the bridgeports I have used but you should see any mill you plan to buy in person and if possible see it under power.

                      Jack.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by doctor demo
                        Run, don't walk away from that one. Unless You see it in person, and then maybe stay away from it.
                        Everything that I've bought from RT, I purchased not expecting much and I still expected too much.
                        Steve
                        Thanks DD,

                        My mom always said "if it looks too good to be true, it probably is". Besides, it is too far away to lay eyes on.

                        Tim

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have never dealt with Reliable, but have never heard anyone say a good about them, never.

                          I would love to get a hold of an eztrak, used to run one of those at another shop...
                          Last edited by Uncle O; 12-13-2009, 06:11 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A friend of mine bought a lathe from reliable and the description was a little rosier than reality. The other thing was the the expensive palletizing that they make you pay for sucked and the lathe almost did a face plant on the way home because the pallet broke. There is a lot of discussion about Reliable over on PM, so if you are serious I would do some searching over there. Me, no way that I would buy something like that from them.

                            Since you are only about 3 hours from DFW, I would look over there. A lot of nice machines show up on Craigslist there, so if you keep a trailer and cash ready you can get a nice machine for a reasonable price and see it in person before you hand over the cash.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I've run several Comet Mills over the years and find them to be a well made, good machine. I ran one for 5 years in one shop. They are almost equal to a Bridgeport. Castings are almost identical as are most BP clones.

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