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  • Craftex Mill

    I am just getting started with this machining and am looking for a mill. I have read almost all the posts in here and have narrowed it down to a RF-45 look alike called KC-45 by King Industrial or this Craftex machine. The machine is at Busybeetools.com and it is the B048.
    The price of the two are very similar except the craftex in not a table top, has power feed and the table moves in the Z direction instead of the head. I am unsure of the quality as I have not seen anything that looks like it anywere.


  • #2
    I have not seen either of them but can tell you that a knee style mill is a great advantage when tooling of different lengths needs to be used in the same setup.
    Consider: a small end mill mounted in a collet may only stidck out of the quill a half inch while a large size drill in a 1/2" or larger chuck can be 3, 4, 5 inches or even more. A 5 inch quill travel sounds like a lot but it can be lost in the difference in tooling.

    Mill-drills with heads that are moved up/down on round columns will instantly lose the set up when the head is moved. This can waste a lot of time. Knee mills with a dovetail design will maintain the setup when moved up/down but they generally cost more. Recently some designs with a dovetail slide for the head have appeared and may be just as good.

    Of course, if money is tighter than time.....

    Paul A.
    Paul A.

    Make it fit.
    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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    • #3
      B048 is definitely a beefier machine, and as Paul noted, having the knee style mill will allow you much more versatility and make certain operations easier. What's the price of KC-45? If the price difference isn't too far off, I'd definitely go with B048. I have studied B048 few years back, and as I recall they are made in Taiwan. They are definitely few notches above the made in China machines.

      Albert

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      • #4
        Flash319
        I have got a Craftex 12 inch lathe and a drill/mill. I like them and the quality is very good for the money you pay. My machinest friend checked out my lathe and was impressed with it.
        John

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        • #5
          Thanks everyone for the input. The difference in price between the two is about $300 bucks. I think I am going to go with the Craftex as it has 20" spindle to table distance and comes with power feed on Y axes.

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          • #6
            I've used my Craftex mill for several years now. The only beefs I have with it are that the head loosens unpredictably when using a face mill under heavy cuts. (The adjustment nuts are awkward to get at) Also, the quill downfeed leverage ratio is wrong, so if you plan on using this as a drill press, forget it, you won't get adequate downfeed pressure. [of course you can crank up the table as normal milling] Otherwise, for it does the job for what I paid for it. Oh, I still haven't gotten used to that bright green John Deere color yet either.

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            • #7
              Have you looked at what The House of Tools has to offer. they have a medium priced mill, head travels on rack and pinion.angles left and right. most important, the distance from spindle to collume is 15 1/2 in. compare that to the craftex mill(7 1/2in). prices are right too,$2500-3900.00cdn. I bought their big combo mill and am very happy with the quality, power,versatility and oh yeah, the color(white) good luck, Doug

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              • #8
                Note that the Craftex is on sale for $3599.00 Cdn (reg price $4299.00) until Saterday the 22nd of May. Thats a $700 savings wich will buy some nice tooling.

                Mike

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                • #9
                  I've owned a B048 for about a year. It is almost always on sale for that price. It is made in Taiwan and jet and others have similar machines in the USA. There is also a smaller version for slightly less money. This is pretty good bang for the bucks, in Canada anyway. The add-ons, such as the coolant pump are chicomm quality and look like they were added by crazed convicts on daypass in toronto, ditto for the wiring. I ripped it all out and started over. The machine itself seems quite good at the cost. The cast iron on the table seems a bit soft and that is my only complaint so far. It's accurate and quiet, spindle seems well balanced at high speed. If'n I was in the US I would have looked for a BP or similar at this price point but there is not much here to choose from.

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