Author Topic: Buying a mill (probably)  (Read 587 times)

Offline Cotton

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Buying a mill (probably)
« on: April 06, 2021, 11:02:09 AM »
Hello All

Just finished machining my first engine, a Stuart 10v, assembled and it works!  Disassembled and painting in progress.  The job was very enjoyable and extremely instructive!  There are a number of processes I could have done better, mostly associated with setting up work.  The concept of an hour's set up (or more making fixtures) followed by 5 minute's machining is now clear in my mind and perhaps the most enjoyable part of the process (when it works!).  I produced the model using an ML7 and a pillar drill.  I would like to progress and the idea of making from stock rather than castings is appealing.  Although I have managed milling with a vertical slide on the lathe it isn't ideal and it is size-limited.  I would like to buy a small milling machine.  Having lurked a little on some sites I am considering one of the machines sold by Axminster.  Any views on this?

Additionally I am a bit limited for space and would probably have to put the mill on my (very solid) bench, in place of the pillar drill.  Is there any reason I shouldn't use one of these machines for general drilling tasks?

Thanks in advance

Regards

Ian

Online propforward

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Re: Buying a mill (probably)
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2021, 11:57:59 AM »
I donít know the Axminster specifically, although I am sure they are similar to other import mills. Iíll look them up.

What I will say is that since I got my own mill, in the last 7 years Iíve maybe used my bench pillar drill once. The mill is a much better tool, so I doubt youíll regret putting one in place of your drill.

Great to hear that you are progressing and enjoying the hobby!
Stuart

Offline AVTUR

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Re: Buying a mill (probably)
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2021, 12:03:30 PM »
Ian

Like you I decided I needed a milling machine after finishing my first recent (started in the last 25 years) project. After buying a Chinese band saw I did not want a Chinese milling machine so I bought a new German machine. I use it and the lathes for all my precision drilling (I never drill "free hand") and gave away the bench drill many years ago.

You are right about setting up time. On my present model I have spent more than two afternoons setting up for a 15 minute job. That's life.

AVTUR
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Online Vixen

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Re: Buying a mill (probably)
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2021, 12:06:24 PM »
Hello Ian

I see you are located in the UK.

Axminster appear to import a higher quality product (to UK) than some of the cheep-end importers. They may all look similar, but you get what you pay for

When you have a mill in the workshop, it makes a big difference. I use my mills more than any other machine tool.

Cheers

Mike
« Last Edit: April 06, 2021, 12:39:08 PM by Vixen »
It is the journey that matters, not the destination

Offline simplyloco

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Re: Buying a mill (probably)
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2021, 12:13:46 PM »
Wise words from Mike, as I buy Axminster kit as well. In addition, Arc Eurotrade kit is well worth a look at.
Just to stir the pot, even though I have an Austrian made EMCO FB2 milling attachment, which is first class, I still do a great deal of work in the four jaw chuck.
However, as I get older I work on smaller stuff, and my Proxxon Mill/drill which I've had for 15 years gets used just about every day. It is one fantastic piece of kit...
https://www.proxxon.com/en/micromot/20165.php

« Last Edit: April 06, 2021, 01:45:22 PM by simplyloco »

Offline Jasonb

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Re: Buying a mill (probably)
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2021, 01:24:55 PM »
The Axminster and ARC Eurotrade machines both come out of the same Sieg factory, painted different colours. Axi ones tend to cost more as they offer a longer guarantee but generally not as good a backup as ARC.

Like the others since getting the mill my drill press hardly gets used for any drilling, more often used for honing or sanding discs so you could do without if space is an issue.

What size of work are you intending to do as that will have some influence on what to choose.

Online propforward

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Re: Buying a mill (probably)
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2021, 01:56:57 PM »
My mill and band saw are both Chinese imports, imported by Grizzly in the USA. I am pretty sure they come out of the same factories as the UK import machines - they certainly look identical.

My band saw was horrendous and took a lot of work to get going correctly, the mill did not suffer the same level of issues. It DID need tramming to get the column true to the table in both X and Y, but that wasn't hard. Otherwise it seems quite accurate - not industrial accurate, but plenty good for hobbies. These small mills don't have a lot of rigidity - as long as you factor that in and cut lightly, especially for finishes, you can make very nice parts.
Stuart

Offline Jasonb

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Re: Buying a mill (probably)
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2021, 02:48:25 PM »
In the US Little Machine Shop do the Sieg range with is the same as Axminster and ARC. These are a bit better than the others.

Grizzley, Precision Mathews, Harbour Frieight, Buzzy Bee, Warco, Chester, Amadeal tend to do the Weiss and Real Bull machines or ones to a similar design from a few other small factories

Offline Cotton

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Re: Buying a mill (probably)
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2021, 05:25:26 PM »
Thanks for the comments.  I should have mentioned Arc Eurotrade along with Axminster, they look the same machine - good to have positive comments about them. 

AVTUR - What is the German make you mention?

Not looked at any in the flesh, only on the internet.  I'd looked at Warco and Chester but on the screen they don't look as robust.  Maybe that's not the case, just an impression.  I guess they could all have the same internals with different cases but.......

Thanks

Ian

Offline AVTUR

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Re: Buying a mill (probably)
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2021, 06:44:46 PM »
Ian

The milling machine is a Wabeco F1210E which I bought new through a local machine tool dealer in 2006. I think it is a bit light but ideal for what I do. It has given me no problems at all which is more than can be said for the German cars I have owned (two were bought new). The importer is Pro Machine Tools at Stamford.

AVTUR
There is no such thing as a stupid question.

Offline simplyloco

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Re: Buying a mill (probably)
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2021, 06:51:47 PM »
Ian

The milling machine is a Wabeco F1210E which I bought new through a local machine tool dealer in 2006. I think it is a bit light but ideal for what I do. It has given me no problems at all which is more than can be said for the German cars I have owned (two were bought new). The importer is Pro Machine Tools at Stamford.

AVTUR

My E350 Bluetec is now five years old and still wonderful! My fourth Merc...😊
John

Offline Cotton

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Re: Buying a mill (probably)
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2021, 07:38:02 PM »
Ian

The milling machine is a Wabeco F1210E which I bought new through a local machine tool dealer in 2006. I think it is a bit light but ideal for what I do. It has given me no problems at all which is more than can be said for the German cars I have owned (two were bought new). The importer is Pro Machine Tools at Stamford.

AVTUR

Thank you.  Looks good but I'm afraid they are outside my price range.

Regards

Ian

Online propforward

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Re: Buying a mill (probably)
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2021, 01:40:57 AM »
One thingís for sure - buying a new machine tool is a heck of a lot of fun. Please keep us posted.
Stuart