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RF-31 vs Mini Mill

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  • nkefalas@alum.mit.edu
    Well, I decided to put this together as an informative piece. I recently decided that my trustee mini mill had too many limitations when it came to milling.
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 3, 2001
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      Well, I decided to put this together as an informative piece.

      I recently decided that my trustee mini mill had too many limitations
      when it came to milling. Vibration being the biggest one. Many
      solutions have been published for stiffeing the head, base and
      improving other areas, but sooner or later it all just got to me and I
      decided to move up in size and power.

      I predominately make model engines. Steam, I.C., and some variety of
      other parts. I am not a fan of hogging out large chunks of stainless
      steal! I mainly work with 6061 aluminum, cast iron, bronze, brass, and
      CRS and HRS.

      I looked at various machines, Enco, Rong Fu and Grizzly. I was pretty
      keen on the G1005 (Rong Fu RF-20). I liked its size/weight and power
      but the Mill_Drill group convinced my that for a few extra hundred
      dollars I would be better off with the G1006 or G1007 (Rong FU RF-31).

      I took the plunge and ordered it (G1007 from Grizzly). When it arrived
      at the house I was taken back by its size and weight. This baby is
      huge !

      I was very happy that I ordered the base "ahead of time" so it was all
      assembled. The truck company had one of those forklift trucks that fit
      in the back of the truck, so they helped my get the unit in the
      garage, were my shop is. I still had to get it out of the box and on
      the base, all 670 lbs of it !

      I base for the G1007 (which is the same for all RF-31's and clones)
      needs reinforcement. It is very easy to do. All I did was add some
      additonal stiffeners to the base and then put as many cinder blocks as
      I could fit inside the base. It made a big difference.

      The unit can be wired to run at 110 v or 220 v. I chose the latter. I
      ran a new separate circuit out of 12-2 NM to a 20 AMP 2-pole CB. The
      motor is rated at a REAL 2HP and runs at 11.5 AMP's under load. The
      surge current is probable higher. I would recomend against running the
      Mill/Dril at 110V since the current consumption is 25 Amps !

      I took the unit appart into pieces: base and table / head and motor.
      The pieces still weighted a ton ! I had three of my buddies help me
      get on to the base and put it back together. If you think that you can
      do this by yourself, without taking this whole unit appart, almost
      completely, you are kidding yourself. Get your friends to help you. If
      you don't have firends, go make some before you order!

      The unit is very impresive. Look at the mini mill and then at the
      RF-31 is like comparing a rubber zodiac boat to a destroyer ! This is
      a serious piece of machinery. My mini mill looks like a toy ! I
      actually thought "Oh my God ! will I ever use my beloved mini mill
      again ?"

      Well, I have been using the RF-31 for several months now, and the
      experience is priceless ! It has opened a brand new level of machining
      that I just did not know existed ! Since I got the unit I have
      installed a 3-axis DRO, (I already had one on the mini mill and loved
      it), the horizontal power feed is phenominal. I am going to be adding
      one in the x-axis also. Some people have complained about loosing
      positioning when the head is raised and lowered. I have yet to come
      across this issue. The quill has a travel of 5", and with the DRO's
      you move the table away from underneath the spindle, change the tool,
      and reposition the table "dead on !" with the DRO's.

      I think the best part of owining the RF-31 is that if you can
      visualize what you want to come out of a piece of metal in your head,
      this machine will make it happen for you.

      Okay, so enough about the RF-31. How is the mini mill doing ? Well
      contrary to what you you may think, I still use my mini mill alot !
      It is primarily used as an accurate drill machine, and I also use it
      to mill smaller pieces: valves, pinions, boring small cylinders, etc.

      It is an excellent complement to the RF-31, much the same way my 7x10
      mini lathe is to my 9x20 G4000 lathe. Somethings are better done with
      the other machine. Would I trade/sell my mini mill ? No way ! The
      little monster is still a favorite. It just has a big brother now that
      will scare the daylights out of any milling job that challanges it !

      So, for all of you out there thinking of upgrading to a bigger mill,
      and can afford it, DO IT ! And keep your mini mill too ! You'll still
      need it !

      HAPPY HOLIDAYS

      Nick Kefalas
      Milford, CT
    • Barry Young
      Glad you are happy with your new mill Barry ... __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Buy the perfect holiday gifts at Yahoo!
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 4, 2001
      • 0 Attachment
        Glad you are happy with your new mill

        Barry


        --- nkefalas@... wrote:
        > Well, I decided to put this together as an
        > informative piece.
        >
        > I recently decided that my trustee mini mill had too
        > many limitations
        > when it came to milling. Vibration being the biggest
        > one. Many
        > solutions have been published for stiffeing the
        > head, base and
        > improving other areas, but sooner or later it all
        > just got to me and I
        > decided to move up in size and power.
        >
        > I predominately make model engines. Steam, I.C., and
        > some variety of
        > other parts. I am not a fan of hogging out large
        > chunks of stainless
        > steal! I mainly work with 6061 aluminum, cast iron,
        > bronze, brass, and
        > CRS and HRS.
        >
        > I looked at various machines, Enco, Rong Fu and
        > Grizzly. I was pretty
        > keen on the G1005 (Rong Fu RF-20). I liked its
        > size/weight and power
        > but the Mill_Drill group convinced my that for a few
        > extra hundred
        > dollars I would be better off with the G1006 or
        > G1007 (Rong FU RF-31).
        >
        > I took the plunge and ordered it (G1007 from
        > Grizzly). When it arrived
        > at the house I was taken back by its size and
        > weight. This baby is
        > huge !
        >
        > I was very happy that I ordered the base "ahead of
        > time" so it was all
        > assembled. The truck company had one of those
        > forklift trucks that fit
        > in the back of the truck, so they helped my get the
        > unit in the
        > garage, were my shop is. I still had to get it out
        > of the box and on
        > the base, all 670 lbs of it !
        >
        > I base for the G1007 (which is the same for all
        > RF-31's and clones)
        > needs reinforcement. It is very easy to do. All I
        > did was add some
        > additonal stiffeners to the base and then put as
        > many cinder blocks as
        > I could fit inside the base. It made a big
        > difference.
        >
        > The unit can be wired to run at 110 v or 220 v. I
        > chose the latter. I
        > ran a new separate circuit out of 12-2 NM to a 20
        > AMP 2-pole CB. The
        > motor is rated at a REAL 2HP and runs at 11.5 AMP's
        > under load. The
        > surge current is probable higher. I would recomend
        > against running the
        > Mill/Dril at 110V since the current consumption is
        > 25 Amps !
        >
        > I took the unit appart into pieces: base and table /
        > head and motor.
        > The pieces still weighted a ton ! I had three of my
        > buddies help me
        > get on to the base and put it back together. If you
        > think that you can
        > do this by yourself, without taking this whole unit
        > appart, almost
        > completely, you are kidding yourself. Get your
        > friends to help you. If
        > you don't have firends, go make some before you
        > order!
        >
        > The unit is very impresive. Look at the mini mill
        > and then at the
        > RF-31 is like comparing a rubber zodiac boat to a
        > destroyer ! This is
        > a serious piece of machinery. My mini mill looks
        > like a toy ! I
        > actually thought "Oh my God ! will I ever use my
        > beloved mini mill
        > again ?"
        >
        > Well, I have been using the RF-31 for several months
        > now, and the
        > experience is priceless ! It has opened a brand new
        > level of machining
        > that I just did not know existed ! Since I got the
        > unit I have
        > installed a 3-axis DRO, (I already had one on the
        > mini mill and loved
        > it), the horizontal power feed is phenominal. I am
        > going to be adding
        > one in the x-axis also. Some people have complained
        > about loosing
        > positioning when the head is raised and lowered. I
        > have yet to come
        > across this issue. The quill has a travel of 5",
        > and with the DRO's
        > you move the table away from underneath the spindle,
        > change the tool,
        > and reposition the table "dead on !" with the DRO's.
        >
        > I think the best part of owining the RF-31 is that
        > if you can
        > visualize what you want to come out of a piece of
        > metal in your head,
        > this machine will make it happen for you.
        >
        > Okay, so enough about the RF-31. How is the mini
        > mill doing ? Well
        > contrary to what you you may think, I still use my
        > mini mill alot !
        > It is primarily used as an accurate drill machine,
        > and I also use it
        > to mill smaller pieces: valves, pinions, boring
        > small cylinders, etc.
        >
        > It is an excellent complement to the RF-31, much the
        > same way my 7x10
        > mini lathe is to my 9x20 G4000 lathe. Somethings are
        > better done with
        > the other machine. Would I trade/sell my mini mill ?
        > No way ! The
        > little monster is still a favorite. It just has a
        > big brother now that
        > will scare the daylights out of any milling job that
        > challanges it !
        >
        > So, for all of you out there thinking of upgrading
        > to a bigger mill,
        > and can afford it, DO IT ! And keep your mini mill
        > too ! You'll still
        > need it !
        >
        > HAPPY HOLIDAYS
        >
        > Nick Kefalas
        > Milford, CT
        >
        >
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