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Why so many mill drills?

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  • Why so many mill drills?

    In all the years I've worked with machines, it seems you are always limited to the capacity of your machine. Aren't these mill drills to small for most work? I have nothing against them, There are so many now; is there something I'm missing? Just wondering... Can someone educate me? It seems all you see is mill-drills and Bridgeports, and very little in between.

  • #2
    Too small for most work that you may do, but perfect for others. Personally id love to have something just a touch larger than my mini-mill, and one of those square column mill/drill deals would be perfect for me. Plenty big enough for 90% of my work and barely big enough for the other 10%

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    • #3
      Because people are tight wads.
      -Doozer
      DZER

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      • #4
        There aren't many BPs left to be had. A rebuilt one will cost $6-10k or more. A new BP clone at the same level will cost you $14-24k. Not many home shop owners can throw that kind of money around--And stay married. The minis and mill/drills fill a niche without needing a second mortgage.

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        • #5
          asked and answered. from: https://sherline.com/wp-content/uplo...iness_book.pdf

          page 24.

          Manufacturing Overseas
          A quick way to get screwed in this world is having your product manufactured in third world countries. The first thing you should realize about third world countries is that they have very intelligent dedicated workers and managers but what they lack is the capital to carry out their own plans. Giving them the capital to develop your product could be an error. The moment you can’t buy all they are capable of producing, you’ll find yourself competing with a product that is very similar to yours.
          Under their name they will look for new markets for your products. Look what happened to the U.S. manufacturersof outboard motors. American manufactures now have to compete with several Asian manufactures. This would have been inevitable, but I’m sure the process was accelerated when American ompanies had their “low-end” models built in Asia.

          this book is on a par with The Prince, The Art of War, and The True Believer in my Must Read To Understand The World list.

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          • #6
            Some of the mill drills are not as wimpy. My FIL has a big ENCO version that has a fat column, a big head, and handles a 3" + face mill easily. It's main issue is the loss of position moving the head, but that is not a problem for the work he does.
            CNC machines only go through the motions

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            • #7
              Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
              Some of the mill drills are not as wimpy. .
              or if you've a spare $40,000 kicking about, there's the Fehlmann bench top mill/drill
              in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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              • #8
                The RF-45 type mill (square column) has a fairly large work area for a bench mill, similar to an early Bridgy and the good ones are quite accurate.
                The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

                Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by loose nut View Post
                  The RF-45 type mill (square column) has a fairly large work area for a bench mill, similar to an early Bridgy and the good ones are quite accurate.
                  Having both, I would say the RF45 is quite similar to a Bridgeport in its capabilities. I paid $1250 for the RF45 from Penn Tool. (they call it a DM45, same thing) At the time the catalog price was $1500, I inquired if they ever have sales and the rep responded "how about $1250 ? "

                  http://www.penntoolco.com/dm-45/

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tungsten dipper View Post
                    In all the years I've worked with machines, it seems you are always limited to the capacity of your machine. Aren't these mill drills to small for most work? I have nothing against them, There are so many now; is there something I'm missing? Just wondering... Can someone educate me? It seems all you see is mill-drills and Bridgeports, and very little in between.
                    gateway drug!

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                    • #11
                      Perhaps this will help when you're looking.

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                      • #12
                        That ENCO was basically similar to an RF40.
                        CNC machines only go through the motions

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                        • #13
                          I had one for about 5 years. Got my feet wet milling with it, and tarted it up with some good mods. i eventually ran across a good Bridgeport, and need to move the Mill-Drill. It was a space consideration, I would like to have kept it, it was a great drill press. I would say that one like I had RF-40, woud be a great way to start. As many of us know, it's pretty easy to get a ton of money tied up in tooling. The best part was, for me, I moved my tooling to the new BP. I should take this opportunity to quote Sir John and say, the P.O.S. Bridgy. RIP John.
                          I cut it off twice; it's still too short
                          Oregon, USA

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                          • #14
                            So many? Are there really that many? Or just several models that are "badged" by different importers?

                            As for the sizes, there are many reasons why a small mill-drill may be ideal for some of us. First, there is the price thing and CCWKen said it well with his "And stay married" remark. I am in that group of home shop machinists who has to consider every penny spent. I certainly am not now nor have I ever been in a position to spend $5K or more on a milling machine. I do have what I consider a fair sized machine of the RF-45, square column type. But before that I did a lot of work for decades with my Unimat, including making small parts using it as a mill-drill. And if you think that you can not do serious work in an envelope that is around 1" x 2" x 3", think again. More than once I made a part for my employer that saved hundreds and perhaps thousands in repair costs. These parts only need to work, they do not need to be big.

                            Another reason for small machines is space. My present, and probably my final shop is in my two car sized garage, about 500 square feet. My previous shop was in a trailer. In both situations space was at a premium. In both cases I do/did not have a lot of land on which I could build a larger shop like some here have done. My shop will remain at it's present size unless I steal the laundry room from my wife's use. So every square inch is valuable.

                            Finally, some of us will never make anything really large. There are shops that are dedicated to another hobby, like model railroading. The parts for a model train, even a fairly large scale one like O gauge, are just not that large. There is no need for a ten foot long shaft or a wheel that is three feet in diameter.

                            I say that each of us should look to the type and size of machines that suit our different needs. There is no, single "right" size mill or lathe or drill press or saw or whatever.
                            Paul A.
                            SE Texas

                            And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                            You will find that it has discrete steps.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
                              So many? Are there really that many? Or just several models that are "badged" by different importers?

                              As for the sizes, there are many reasons why a small mill-drill may be ideal for some of us. First, there is the price thing and CCWKen said it well with his "And stay married" remark. I am in that group of home shop machinists who has to consider every penny spent. I certainly am not now nor have I ever been in a position to spend $5K or more on a milling machine. I do have what I consider a fair sized machine of the RF-45, square column type. But before that I did a lot of work for decades with my Unimat, including making small parts using it as a mill-drill. And if you think that you can not do serious work in an envelope that is around 1" x 2" x 3", think again. More than once I made a part for my employer that saved hundreds and perhaps thousands in repair costs. These parts only need to work, they do not need to be big.

                              Another reason for small machines is space. My present, and probably my final shop is in my two car sized garage, about 500 square feet. My previous shop was in a trailer. In both situations space was at a premium. In both cases I do/did not have a lot of land on which I could build a larger shop like some here have done. My shop will remain at it's present size unless I steal the laundry room from my wife's use. So every square inch is valuable.

                              Finally, some of us will never make anything really large. There are shops that are dedicated to another hobby, like model railroading. The parts for a model train, even a fairly large scale one like O gauge, are just not that large. There is no need for a ten foot long shaft or a wheel that is three feet in diameter.

                              I say that each of us should look to the type and size of machines that suit our different needs. There is no, single "right" size mill or lathe or drill press or saw or whatever.
                              As Paul said about different needs,I used a belt drive Mill-Drill for years biggest challenge was table was too small.When I refurbished my Varnamo Mill with 13" x 64" table I thought it was huge and would never need any thing larger.In the agriculture sector I have run across stuff that too big for this Mill and would consider something larger if price was right.The HP has never been an issue ,this one was 7.5 hp changed to 5 hp which seldom needed,even the 2 hp on the Mill- Drill was never a issue.

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