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Re: [GrizHFMinimill] HF version mini mill

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  • BrianK
    I have the Micromark R-8 Minimill which is made by the same manufacturer and virtually identical to the HF Mininmill. My model already includes some of the
    Message 1 of 14 , Dec 1, 2012
      I have the Micromark R-8 Minimill which is made by the same manufacturer and virtually identical to the HF Mininmill. My model already includes some of the upgrades that John suggested. The only improvements that I have made so far are The plastic washers in Y and X feeds, and fiber nuts to replace the double locking nuts on the Y and X handles. I have true inch lead screws which are a real plus; my only real problem in controlling the Z feed. I still use the standard torsion bar control which is very unreliable- even with the gibs snugged up, it will drop the head down when you least expect it. My approach which seems to work so far is to limit the use of the Micro adjustment feed in one direction- always toward the work. I am currently using a DI for fine adjustments and it's really surprising to see the unplanned head movement.

      I use the machine strictly for machining small engine models. It will handle a .500 roughing bit ok If the depth of cut and feed are properly controlled. I discovered the upper limits by attempting to fair up a cast iron
      weight, and quickly learned its limitations. It will handle a small fly-cutter ok for brass and aluminum, and I'm generally happy with the results. The drill chuck is marginal- ok to get you started but really questionable for accurate work. If the chuck detaches from its arbor, it is essential that you reassemble it in its original position; this requires a DI and a little 'cut and try'. Failing in that, the ordinary .003 runout expands to .010 or so.

      I'm very satisfied with the basic machine, but would definitely work on improving Z axis control using the LMS air shock kit and at least a DRO for the Z.

      Brian


      From: SirJohnOfYork <steelchipper@...>;
      To: <GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com>;
      Subject: Re: [GrizHFMinimill] HF version mini mill
      Sent: Sat, Dec 1, 2012 5:30:59 AM

       

       I have one of the HF 44991 mini-mills and I get along ok with it. Needs a lot of tweaks and fine tuning until you are happy with it, but it it quickly becomes a reasonably workable little machine. Can't take huge cuts or make big parts on a mini-mill, but that is not what they are designed for anyway. Time or money: A little time and you will get to know that machine pretty well, and get used to working within it's size limits and such. Plenty of bigger & better mills out there but they cost several times more at least, and are a lot harder to move around and get set up in a small workshop.

       I added a x-axis (left to right) power feed from LMS, (if your leadscrew has a split end you can get the kit minus the leadscrew for a little less), the air spring conversion kit for $39.95 which replaces the oddball lever spring and supports the mill head better, and comes with a longer z-axis gear rack so you get more vertical travel than factory. More vertical travel is a very good thing. :-)

       Probably the very first order of business after making sure you have all of the bits and pieces that you are supposed to have, is to lap the gibs nice and smooth so they can be set nice and snug yet still move smoothly. A nylon or acetal plastic spacer (thrust washer) on the y-axis leadscrew is quick and easy to add and makes the table crank a bit smoother. Lots of little touches add up. Some folks use good steel mounts on the back base of the column to make it a lot stiffer, although many of the designs eliminate the ability to angle the column over. Stiffer and more solid is good. A lot of info on that is available.

       Lots of plans and pictures in the files and photos on the group web site. Fixing up and getting to know the machine is a great start. Since the mini-mill uses R8 tooling, it can all come along with you to a bigger machine someday if that is something you ever need to do, and seeing as how you can easily spend more on tooling over time than you did on the mill, thats very nice to know too...

       Welcome to the group!
       Cheers,
       John Z.

      On 11/30/2012 9:54 PM, mlminto55 wrote:
       

      hi all; i just bought an HF mini mill, am awaiting delivery. did i make a mistake with this unit, or a good thing? so many mixed reviews.








    • mlminto55
      Harvey, Thanks for inspiring some confidence in me about this purchase. I m primarily a woodworker, and make some of my own tools and thought this would help
      Message 2 of 14 , Dec 2, 2012
        Harvey,

        Thanks for inspiring some confidence in me about this purchase. I'm primarily a woodworker, and make some of my own tools and thought this would help me. I'll be posting when i get the machine and more...

        Mike
      • Harvey White
        ... You may find www.dragonworks.info interesting. www.littlemachineshop.com is a good and reliable source of information and parts. Harvey
        Message 3 of 14 , Dec 2, 2012
          On Sun, 02 Dec 2012 22:31:25 -0000, you wrote:

          >Harvey,
          >
          >Thanks for inspiring some confidence in me about this purchase. I'm primarily a woodworker, and make some of my own tools and thought this would help me. I'll be posting when i get the machine and more...

          You may find www.dragonworks.info interesting.

          www.littlemachineshop.com is a good and reliable source of information
          and parts.

          Harvey

          >
          >Mike
          >
        • olduhfguy
          Those still on the fence should know that HF s mini mill is on sale for $459 via the ITC ($20 to join FWIW). And yes they are a little rough when delivered,
          Message 4 of 14 , Dec 3, 2012
            Those still on the fence should know that HF's mini mill is on sale for $459 via the ITC ($20 to join FWIW). And yes they are a little rough when delivered, but some elbow grease and finishing of some of the moving parts will produce a nice small useful machine.
          • mlminto55
            Small change of plan - cancelled the HF order, and instead am waiting for an LMS Sieg SX2, which will be here Monday or Tuesday. Will post more when it
            Message 5 of 14 , Dec 8, 2012
              Small change of plan - cancelled the HF order, and instead am waiting for an LMS Sieg SX2, which will be here Monday or Tuesday. Will post more when it arrives. Accessories have started making their way already, such as a few end mills, parallels, vise, holders. Yay.
            • Frank Ramsden
              I have the HF mini and haven t messe around with the LMS Hitorque but I would say you made a better decision. For me, I am thinking of selling the HF mini and
              Message 6 of 14 , Dec 8, 2012
                I have the HF mini and haven't messe around with the LMS Hitorque but I would say you made a better decision. For me, I am thinking of selling the HF mini and 7x and ordering a Grizzly G0704. For the price difference between the LMS and the 0704, that is my next step. 

                Congrats on your new purchase.

                On Dec 8, 2012, at 8:04 AM, "mlminto55" <mlminto55@...> wrote:

                 

                Small change of plan - cancelled the HF order, and instead am waiting for an LMS Sieg SX2, which will be here Monday or Tuesday. Will post more when it arrives. Accessories have started making their way already, such as a few end mills, parallels, vise, holders. Yay.

              • BrianK
                I think that I have the same basic model, distributed by Micromark. It has some similar idiosyncracies as the SX2 but you won t be sorry at all. Its a very
                Message 7 of 14 , Dec 8, 2012
                  I think that I have the same basic model, distributed by Micromark. It has some similar idiosyncracies as the SX2 but you won't be sorry at all. Its a very nice machine. And the good thing for you is not getting the Sieg 1/2" chuck- you can select a good one!
                   
                  regards,
                  Brian

                  From: mlminto55 <mlminto55@...>
                  To: GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Saturday, December 8, 2012 10:04 AM
                  Subject: [GrizHFMinimill] Re: HF version mini mill
                   
                  Small change of plan - cancelled the HF order, and instead am waiting for an LMS Sieg SX2, which will be here Monday or Tuesday. Will post more when it arrives. Accessories have started making their way already, such as a few end mills, parallels, vise, holders. Yay.

                • Jerry [HM]
                  I have the LMS high-torque mini mill.. (love it!).. Pros over the HF mini-mill 1.) better, brushless motor 2.) better fit and finish 3.) bigger table size 4.)
                  Message 8 of 14 , Dec 8, 2012
                    
                    I have the LMS high-torque mini mill.. (love it!)..
                     
                    Pros over the HF mini-mill
                     
                    1.) better, brushless motor
                    2.) better fit and finish
                    3.) bigger table size
                    4.) more X & Y travel
                    5.) belt drive
                     
                     
                    now it cost alot more than the HF mini mill (especially if you get it on sale for the $399 or whaterver its been on sale for the last month or so off-n- on)
                     
                    but the belt drive conversion will cost you about $150.00 right there..
                     
                    the reall 'KILLER" (waste) is the HUGE shipping costs LMS has endure...  its almost $200 for shipping ($180 or so if I recall)
                     
                     
                    I got the solid column version, w/tooling kit (as well the rotary table kit as well)
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    Sent: Saturday, December 08, 2012 9:22 AM
                    Subject: Re: [GrizHFMinimill] Re: HF version mini mill

                     

                    I have the HF mini and haven't messe around with the LMS Hitorque but I would say you made a better decision. For me, I am thinking of selling the HF mini and 7x and ordering a Grizzly G0704. For the price difference between the LMS and the 0704, that is my next step. 

                    Congrats on your new purchase.

                    On Dec 8, 2012, at 8:04 AM, "mlminto55" <mlminto55@...> wrote:

                     

                    Small change of plan - cancelled the HF order, and instead am waiting for an LMS Sieg SX2, which will be here Monday or Tuesday. Will post more when it arrives. Accessories have started making their way already, such as a few end mills, parallels, vise, holders. Yay.

                  • Glen
                    Good choice. Money well spent I would think. I have the HF mini-mill and have added the LMS belt kit and air spring. The LMS High-torque was beyond my
                    Message 9 of 14 , Dec 11, 2012
                      Good choice. Money well spent I would think. I have the HF mini-mill and have added the LMS belt kit and air spring. The LMS High-torque was beyond my budget, but wish I could have afforded it.

                      Have fun.

                      --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, "mlminto55" <mlminto55@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Small change of plan - cancelled the HF order, and instead am waiting for an LMS Sieg SX2, which will be here Monday or Tuesday. Will post more when it arrives. Accessories have started making their way already, such as a few end mills, parallels, vise, holders. Yay.
                      >
                    • watkinsforge
                      ... Maybe I should post this as a new topic rather than as a reply to a month old post, but wanted to get it out there that Harbor Freight has cut their price
                      Message 10 of 14 , Jan 23, 2013
                        --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, "olduhfguy" wrote:
                        >
                        > Those still on the fence should know that HF's mini mill is on sale for $459 via the ITC ($20 to join FWIW). And yes they are a little rough when delivered, but some elbow grease and finishing of some of the moving parts will produce a nice small useful machine.
                        >


                        Maybe I should post this as a new topic rather than as a reply to a month old post, but wanted to get it out there that Harbor Freight has cut their price on the mini mill from $599 to $499, AND they are running a 20% off coupon all January. So I tried to double up the sale item with the coupon code and it worked! I've got one coming for $451 with taxes and shipping.
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