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Harbor Freight vertical Milling/Drilling Machine


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  #1  
Old 04-13-2008, 10:52:19 AM
Francis Francis is offline
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Default Harbor Freight vertical Milling/Drilling Machine

Hi,
Anyone have any experience with the Harbor Freight vertical Milling/Drilling Machine? I have been looking at a used one with some tooing. A new one lists at about $1,000.00. This one was used in a hobby shop environment. What would be a fair offer?

Francis
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:33:15 PM
LCJudge LCJudge is offline
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Default Re: Harbor Freight vertical Milling/Drilling Machine

Francis, HF used to have those in a couple of different sizes. Make sure you get the larger size mill. The smaller one isn't heavy enough unless your only going to be milling aluminum or other soft material. If its in good condition, not worn, has a vise, collets, drill chuck, on a stand, etc. (these cost extra from HF and would add up to another $400 or so to the costs), I would think anything $800 or below would be a good deal as the mill and accessories would be about $1400. Plus, you potentially could have some shipping costs on a new machine.
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:39:23 PM
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JKWidener JKWidener is offline
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Default Re: Harbor Freight vertical Milling/Drilling Machine

Does it look like this one? If so, then i have one and i have milled a new keyway in a crankshaft with it and also worked with bronze also on it...
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Old 04-13-2008, 09:52:35 PM
Francis Francis is offline
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Default Re: Harbor Freight vertical Milling/Drilling Machine

Here is a picture of the mill that I am thinking about purchasing.
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Old 04-13-2008, 10:04:26 PM
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Default Re: Harbor Freight vertical Milling/Drilling Machine

Francis,
The green one I use alot at work. It is a R8 compatible mill and drill. It is a less expensive and not as heavy. Can purchase bench separately but I prefer heavy steel or heavy wood bench to keep from vibrating noise. I quit using this and preferred a Bridgeport knee mill. The mill you look at is crank type Z axis vertical mill. Make sure you use lower vise on table. If i use tall vise it may not be able to drill extra long drill bit. get a indicating dial gauge to straight the vise before clamping it little at a time turn and turn till tight. also edge finder for vise to find center line for zero setting x and y axis. There are three nut bolt to tighten on the z axis. This is a basic mill. very much what the most home shop machinist people would buy. This weekend North America Model engineering expo is hosting machining tools and model expo at Toledo, Ohio April 19-20th. Info is available by modelengineeringsoc.com You will see mill dealer there. Also can get a cnc kit for this mill.
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Old 04-14-2008, 04:32:47 PM
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ListerDiesel ListerDiesel is offline
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Default Re: Harbor Freight vertical Milling/Drilling Machine

These were sold all over under different names/brands.

We bought one last week for the factory workshop, called an Excel, imported by Elliott Tool & machinery Co in London in the 1980s.

Look for Rong-Fu RF30 and that should bring up the current machine.

http://uen.hsix.com/q/webinv/007270=x,135

Ours was converted from a multi-belt and pulley speed change to a single DC motor with speed controller and 3 toothed belt cogs at each end.

Spindle is 3MT, R8 was optional for the USA where it is is standard for the Bridgeport machinery.

Ours also has a tiny motor for the quill feed and another, larger motor and geabox on the left-hand end of the table for X axis feed. This larger motor can be whipped off quickly and the regular handle fitted if you want to go fully manual.

We paid $660 dollars for it with the variable speed drive etc etc.

We collected it on Wednesday last week, have just got a 14gauge Zintec steel worktop made for it to sit on, with 1" ply underneath, all sitting on a 1-1/2" box section floor standing frame.

It also came with a large drip/swarf tray.

I'll get some pictures of it when we have it mounted up.

Peter
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Old 04-19-2008, 09:36:45 PM
Richard W. Richard W. is offline
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Default Re: Harbor Freight vertical Milling/Drilling Machine

I have the larger one and it seems to work fine. It has the R8 spindle, which lets me move up later on to a Bridgeport type machine in the future and not buy the tooling over again. You will find it's a better drill press than a mill,but it will get the job done. Don't over tighten the machine to the bench, because it will bend the base slightly and throw the head out of tram. Use big thick rubber washers and just tighten it down so it won't move around easily.

Richard W.
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Old 04-19-2008, 10:38:24 PM
Jim18655 Jim18655 is offline
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Default Re: Harbor Freight vertical Milling/Drilling Machine

You'll be better off I you can find a mill with a dovetail column.
When ever you move the head on round column mill you'll lose your alignment with the work piece. It might not seem like a big deal, but, it will get old after awhile if you need to find your mark every time you change tools.

Jim
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Old 04-20-2008, 03:38:29 PM
Francis Francis is offline
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Default Re: Harbor Freight vertical Milling/Drilling Machine

After receiving several valid commits on this Harbor Freight vertical milling/drilling, I decided to purchase the unit. It is now in my garage. Luckly, we had the manpower to help load it onto my son's pick up. Using a cherry picker hoist, we were able to unload it. Now, I have to move things around to place it in the shop. It will several days before I will able to apply power to the unit.
Thanks to everyone who passed on information to me regarding the good and bad points about these milling/drilling machines. This data helped me to make the buy decision.
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Old 04-20-2008, 03:40:29 PM
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Default Re: Harbor Freight vertical Milling/Drilling Machine

I have an Enco mill / drill like the one you are looking at. Bought it new in 1979. I have been very satisfied with it. When an opportunity came up, I bought a real Bridgeport mill, but I still use & like the little Enco.
Put it on a solid stand, what ever you make it out of. I made my stand from welded 1-1/4" angle iron. Been meaning to close it in on the bottom with sheet metal or even plywood to have a cabinet, but haven't found the right 'Round Tuit' yet....
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:47:40 PM
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Default Re: Harbor Freight vertical Milling/Drilling Machine

This a follow up after getting the mill home.
I have been looking at the tooling that I got with the mill. There are 4 - R8 collets, 2 - ˝", 1 - 3/8" and 1 - 2 MT and a 1- R8 Albercht keyless drill chuck. I am thinking about getting an Enco R8 6 piece collet set (1/8 x 3/4" x 8ths). There are many different types of 2 & 4 flute end mills of various diameters. There is also a R8 3" diameter surface type head with 4 carbide cutting tool bits.
Other items that came with the mill was a 4" Palmgrem vise, 4 drill chucks (1 - Albrecht Keyless, 1- ball bearing Jacobs, I - Rohm, & 1 - off brand), and a step block clamp set. Also included were several small hand reamers.
For the kind of projects I have in mind, I will need a rotary table. Enco has an 8" horizonal table for about $200.00. They also have rotary table that can be used in horizonal or vertical position. I don't know if it worth the difference in price - $60.00 more. Which is the better way to go?
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Old 04-23-2008, 12:44:44 AM
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Default Re: Harbor Freight vertical Milling/Drilling Machine

Depends on the features you are capable to use it.. I would make sure the rotary table can secure with clamp on table on either side. I use the little more expensive ones with a internal indexing plates. This can be handy to be productive. I am not aware what you are looking at that product.
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