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  • Mill or Mill/Drill

    Hey, Folks. Sorry about the newby question all over again, just a few days after one of the same variety. It takes time to sort out, settle down and become expert.

    But here's a real one.

    While going through the posts I came across the fact that MILL/DRILL of the Rong Fu bent, will float up and down due to gap-itis in the rack and pinion. I want/need a milling device and actually had that particular mill/drill in question on my list of potential prospects. But no more.

    My question to you all is;

    Is this tool floating a particular problem with all MILL/DRILLS in general or just with the Chinese/Taiwan connection?

    There isn't much difference in price between the floor model MILL/DRILLSand a KNEE Mill so I made a "U" turn here and looked back a bit.

    Will a MILL, such as the Enco 8" x 30" or Grizzly G3616 Vertical Mill 9 1/2" x 31 1/2" or a Jet mill have the same problem with the milling tools floating up and down. This doesn't seem logical to me that there would be very much "play" in the rack and pinion or you couldn't be very precise with your work.

    Thanks for the input.

    GreenWillyPeter at your service.

    Leave the wild animals alone, their heads hurt after a busy night.

  • #2
    Hey,GWP,I bought a used Jet Mill/Drill a few years back,and have used it quite a bit. It hadn't been used as much as it had set. The guy didn't have any hold down bolts. But he'd bought a lot of tooling. I've never had problems with the slop in the spindle,I snug the spindle lock lever so that there isn't much slack. Admittedly,it needed some attention when I first got it,but nothings cracked,squalled,broke or burnt yet.

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    • #3
      Green Willy

      Vertical space is very important - more than you think! If you have to bore a hole with a boring head you can lose 12" of vertical space just like that. Speaking of Boring heads - if you get one get the shank the same as the spindle of the mill - using a straight shank in a collet is bad (trust us).

      I hae seen new Modern Standard knee (mini-bridgeport style) mills here in Edmonton for under $3,000 Canadian.

      I have looked at a Rong Fu RF-45 at House of tools (about $3,000) a nice machine for the money. It can be ordered with a NT30 Spindle (bigger than R-8) for about $300 extra. This is the smallest machine I have come across with this option. It is solid, has a massive "L" shaped base, the head is dovetailed to the vertical section. Pretty beefy for a little guy (the bears would be impressed).

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      • #4
        Don't these things have a quill lock, so the quill can't float while you're machining? Seems to me that the quill on any milling machine may move on you unless there's a way to lock it.

        ----------
        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

        Comment


        • #5
          SGW
          Yes, the mill drills do have a quill lock. The problem that guys are referring to happens when drilling or plunge milling. The fine downfeed is sloppy - too much play. Sometimes you can overcome this by applying a little pressure on the quill lock.

          I have a rong fu 30 (round column type). These are not on par with a good knee mill of course, but so long as one knows and respects their limitations,(kinda like with any machine), they can do decent work.

          Like many of the asian built machines, there are alot of little things that can be done to improve them.

          Also, with the cross slide (milling) table and the speeds they have, they are a pretty handy little drilling machine.

          [This message has been edited by Herb W (edited 03-10-2002).]

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          • #6
            I had an Enco mill drill years ago.
            Just kept the quill lock snugged when using the fine feed, and tight when milling.
            I cut many a gear and steam engine parts with it.
            Every machine has some down sides, including Bridgeports, now costing over 13k stripped at msc.
            Precision boring was a problem because of no power feed.
            It didn't owe me anything when I traded it off.
            Kapullen

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            • #7
              Maybe I missed "Greens..." original question, but I think he is confusing the slop in the head raising/lowering rack and the 5" of quill feed available in most mill/drills. All round column mill/drills will lose registration when you loosen the clamp bolts on the "head" and move it up or down. BUT, once the head is clamped to the column, you have about 5+" of quill feed (just like an oversized drill press) to advance the cutter downward to the work. As mentioned before, the "fine feed" on the quill is a little sloppy, but a dial indicator or $60 DRO on the quill will take care of the slop, and is much more reliable than the "almost close" graduations on the fine feed collar.

              A knee mill will "always" give you better control by moving the work and keeping registration with the fixed head. But the larger Bridgeport style mills use a quill feed as well for smaller movements of the cutter. The difference comes into play when you have to change setups - like going from a small center drill to a full sized jobber length large drill......on a mill/drill you may not have enough room to change the tools without moving the head up out of the way....that is where the real difference lies between $1000 mill/drills and $4000 + knee mills.

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              • #8
                Thanks all for the input.

                No, Martin, I am not confused. I was refering to to slop in the Quill, NOT the head. I read about the problem concerning an RU45 on this forum somewhere.

                I have plenty of room in my shop for a floor knee mill but I am looking at mill/drills/ mills, and knee mills for problem areas and capabilities. I'm not sure if I need all the capabilities that a knee mill offers now or in the future for mostly hobby stuff and gun work. Besides the difference in price can buy a whole passle of tooling and toys to play with.

                GreenWillyPeter at your service.

                Watch out for the Coyotes, they will invite themselves to supper and bring your own chickens.

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                • #9
                  Willy,
                  Keep it in mind some of these guys are working in outer space.
                  Only explanination I can see for floating tools.
                  No cayotees up here! Just space junk.
                  over.
                  Mity Metal

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                  • #10
                    Consider that you'll (hopefullly) have this thing for 20 years or more. 10 years from now I don't think you'll be disappointed if you stretch a little and get something better than you think you really need, but if you go the cheap/minimalist route now, I wonder how you'll feel about it in 10 years.

                    Look at the Jet JVM-836. Quite a bit more coin than a mill/drill, but it's a NICE little knee mill.
                    ----------
                    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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      GWP
                      I too am a newbee. I bought a enco mill/drill about seven years ago. It worked ok but did have limitations. About four years ago I bought a Bridgeport type clone. It seems I never use the mill/drill any more. I think in time you will be happier with the Bridgeport type.
                      My .002

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                      • #12
                        Thanks again for the info. I am leaning well away from the mill/drills now. The advice on getting a "real mill" is very compelling. Besides the cost is very close and even less at some counters.

                        I noticed a post concerning the problem and added my nickels worth, but I think the solution for me is not to indulge the problem in the first place. Kinda like preventative medicine, use a "latex device" when doing....you know....the "Wild Weasle"

                        GreenWillyPeter at your service

                        Always remember, even a rabbit can cause you intense pain and suffering if you don't respect it's hidden talents.

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