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Machine Shop and Tool Talk Shop Equipment, fabrication, repairs, how to fix it, which tool to use for the job. Machinist shop talk, straight to the point.

Machine Shop and Tool Talk

milling machine


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  #1  
Old 12-28-2015, 09:19:24 PM
Jerry B Jerry B is offline
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Default milling machine

what do you guys think about jet mills with round column or the shopfox m1001or the gear head mills Grizzly has one made in Taiwan G0728 I like the belt drive what do you think
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Old 12-29-2015, 12:24:30 AM
beezerbill beezerbill is offline
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Default Re: milling machine

I built an entire Stuart Victoria Twin using a Jet round-column drill-mill and it worked fine for that. I also used the Jet for a ton of prototype machining - really put it through it's paces.

The most significant problem is the loss of referencing every time the head is moved up or down on the column. This shows up when, for instance, you switch between a milling operation with an end mill in a collet, close to the work, and the other extreme, which might be a reamer in a drill chuck, requiring moving the head way up high. This is not an insurmountable problem; you just get good at re-indicating the work. You can also use the quill feed to precisely control the vertical if you stay within it's range

Another problem is the incredible amount of backlash in the handwheel that gives fine control of the quill. The best solution here is a DRO that directly reads the quill position rather than relying on the marks on the handwheel. Or use a long-travel dial indicator, which is what I did.

The motor on my Jet was incredibly bad - shook like a banshee! It was a 220 volt motor run WAY into saturation - running it on 120 volts quieted it down a lot but it still shook. Turns out the rotor was badly balanced - balancing it smoothed it out to acceptable levels.

The only other trick to this machine is to keep it clean - the cast iron it is made of is pretty soft and any abrasive dirt or fine steel chips will wear it out quickly.

I eventually converted mine to CNC to handle some of the prototyping I was doing which involved lots of funny curved profiles. That conversion worked out well and really helped me learn CNC. I finally gave the machine to a company I was consulting for and to this day their engineers (the hands-on kind) are running the heck out of it - they really like it.

So...for a machine that has a reputation of being kind of a POS this thing really churned out a lot of good work!

I don't know anything about the Grizzly or the Shopfox but if they are anything like the Jet, they should work out well if you are willing to work with any minor deficiencies they may have.

OK - my disclaimer. I am just as happy turning work on my 6 inch Atlas as I am on my Monarch EE, and the Jet (while I had it) was pretty much on equal footing with the Gorton (which I sadly also don't have any more) so I am happy with ANY machine under my control.
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Old 12-29-2015, 02:50:48 PM
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Ray Cardoza Ray Cardoza is online now
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Default Re: milling machine

im looking at the grizzly g0704 they seem to be a pretty popular model and a good price
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Old 12-29-2015, 08:02:58 PM
Pat Barrett Pat Barrett is offline
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Default Re: milling machine

We lucked out on an 16 x 48 ENCO and have used it much. It's always done a great job.
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Old 12-29-2015, 10:01:30 PM
s100 s100 is offline
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Default Re: milling machine

An excellent machinist can do great work on almost any machine, no matter how old or how worn out or how cheezy. They'll cry like a baby all day, but at quitting time the job will be done and it will be right. That's the benefit of craftsmanship, experience and training. Not all of us are so well endowed with those. And it is for people like us that having a good machine really pays dividends. As a general statement I have found, with few exceptions, the bigger the machine, the more rigid, the more forgiving, the easier it is to use and to produce good work. One may also say, for those reasons those machines are far more pleasing and relaxing to use, an important consideration when you are doing this for a hobby and not to feed the rug rats or keep the mortgage company afloat. And the bigger machine gives you that much more capacity until you run out of swing or table travel.

Certainly there are exceptions. I wouldn't want to try turning 1/4" work on a big old lathe with a top speed of 300 rpm, and expect particularly good results. I wouldn't want to try milling with a 1/8" end mill in a big old Milwaukee or Cincinnati with 250 top rpm and sloppy tables and knees. So the type of machine you get, and the satisfaction you derive from it, is dependent on many more factors than we have knowledge of. A basic truism will be to more or less size the machine to the range of work you will be doing. Don't be put off by the size and weight of a big machine, if that is what you need. You probably won't be moving the thing every couple of days anyway, so the point is somewhat moot.

Speaking from my own experience, I have had little good luck with any oriental stuff, but then that experience is with cheap offbrand machines like Grizzly and the like. I'm sure I would love a nice big Mori Seki lathe. The oriental machines I have used vibrate, the motors get hot and when they feel put upon simply stop and growl. The machines themselves are sloppy and don't hold adjustment. And those are some of the better points. I have also read many horror stories on various sites about people buying brand NEW oriental machines and having to more or less completely rebuild them before they were fit for use. The comments preceding mine suggest that this is not always the case, and I would never disagree with the people who made those comments. I simply do not like cheap oriental (or European, for that matter) machines and wouldn't take a chance on one unless the circumstances are exceptional. That's my dos pesos, I gotta go wipe down some Big Iron.

Oops, one last thing. One poster asked about belt vs. gear drive as regards the rice grinders. And purely within that context, I will answer with a question. Which would you rather replace when they go bad, the gears or the belts?
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