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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have so much invested in this hobby as it is already and plenty of kits stashed. I figure the next step would be to add a mill to my tools collection. Any recommendations and should I get a combo lathe/mill? I would like to keep it under 2k closer to 1k if possible. I know very little about mills but would love to play around with one. TIA
 

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I patiently waited for enco to put their RF45 clone on sale, and hit 'em with a 15% off coupon on top of that.
Got mine for about $1200 shipped. I wouldn't go any smaller that a 600 - 900 pound mill though, my first was a little mini-mill, and it is VERY limited in it's scope of work.
 

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Aero said:
I have so much invested in this hobby as it is already and plenty of kits stashed. I figure the next step would be to add a mill to my tools collection. Any recommendations and should I get a combo lathe/mill? I would like to keep it under 2k closer to 1k if possible. I know very little about mills but would love to play around with one. TIA
I'll try to thread the threaad back on track lol

I got this one a couple of months ago. Dovetailed Z axis, built in tapping ability, very well built with tight tolerences. Took a day to clean the cosomoline off though. Weighs about 700 lbs. Ships for $89 anywhere.

http://grizzly.com/products/6-x-21-Mill-Drill/G0619
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well thanks all for the info. I am looking more towards the fall to pick one up. I may just run up to the Grizzly showroom store in Bellingham to see what they have. I was kind of leaning towards Grizzly already from my limited research. Ebay/Craigslist is a great idea as well. Sidecarnutz that was one of the ones I was looking at.
 

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SoundFX said:
Here is the one I'm thinking about picking up.

http://www.littlemachineshop.com/3900
I'd think twice. That's just a harbor freight mini mill with a couple bells and whistles. The thing is difficult to tram and doesn't stay trammed long because of that ridiculous collumn tilt block on the z-axis. And forget about power; I promise, your hand is stronger than that motor.

I know because I've poured a good bit of time and money into mine trying to make it rigid enough to be usefull.
Here's a couple of the things I've done to mine:

Fill all major parts with steel and jb-weld for rigidity
major redesign where the collumn attaches to the base (still working on that one)
convert the spindle to roller taper bearings
modify the mill head to run an oil bath over the spindle bearings (still working on that one)
redesign the leadscrew for the z-axis (way too much slop with the rack and pinion setup)

By the time all is said and done, I could have just bought a bigger mill. In fact, If I had it to do again, I'd have never bough my mini mill.
 

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Are there any reasonably priced small mills that you'd recommend? I saw the Prazi machines, but they didn't seem to take the cheap tooling that they make for all the chinese models. It can't be too big, because I'm going to need to be somewhat mobile (we still rent). I have the Micromark 7x14 lathe, and even though it's small and underpowered, it sorta fits my limited skill level. But if there's a good mill to go with from the start that you would recommend, I'll definitely put it on the list.

Thanks in advance,
Sfx
 
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