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Wanting to buy a mill, but there are limitations on my part

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  • Jeff Fischer
    I have had a wood shop for years, and most every machine I have, such as drill presses or others that are tall I have to modify and make shorter so I can
    Message 1 of 12 , Jul 3, 2005
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      I have had a wood shop for years, and most every machine I have, such
      as drill presses or others that are tall I have to modify and make
      shorter so I can change the speeds on the belts.
      I do a lot of R/C racing and am always wanting to make, or modify a
      part in way or another.
      I am in a wheelchair, and thus cannot reach very high for things, so
      the big mills are out of the question. My neighbor has three big mills
      a Brideport and two older mills and after being around them I know I
      can't handle them.
      So from what most people know after they have used their equipment do
      you think one of the Mini-Mills a Grizzly, Harbor Freight style etc do
      what I might want to do. I DON'T plan on doing anything large at all,
      and would be nice if I could find someone in my area, which is Northern
      Virginia that wanted to upgrade and get a larger mill.
      The one thing that seems to bother me with most of the small units is
      they take a MT3 rather then a R-8, of which most everyone seems to have
      tools for.
      Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
      Jeff
    • Leo Reed
      Jeff, a mini-mill might just fit the bill for you. Harbor Freight and WholesaleTools both carry the mini-mill with the R8 spindle.I think this would be your
      Message 2 of 12 , Jul 5, 2005
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        Jeff, a mini-mill might just fit the bill for you. Harbor Freight and
        WholesaleTools both carry the mini-mill with the R8 spindle.I think this
        would be your best choice, if you plan to do a lot of tool bit changing.
        (the r8 is self releasing, the mt3 is not). A draw back on these mills is
        the 1/16" feed screws on the table (these can be changed, thanks to micro
        mark). There is a simple formula to calculate "turns and divisions", but I
        have fitted mine (a grizzly) with DROs. (cheap ones, made with 6" digital
        calipers) Fast positioning of the table can be accomplished, using a
        cordless drill. Another drawback with these mills is the poor Z control,
        but there are ways around this..

        As for the lack of tooling for the MT3 spindle. Most tool bits for these
        mills are end-mills, with round shanks. These will fit in either machine. I
        have never found the MT a drawback. (except for collets {much cheaper} in
        r8). Since I use end-mill holders, to me, this is not a problem.

        Leo (pearland, tx)


        > [Original Message]
        > From: Jeff Fischer <jeff@...>
        > To: <GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com>
        > Date: 7/5/2005 1:56:42 AM
        > Subject: [GrizHFMinimill] Wanting to buy a mill, but there are
        limitations on my part
        >
        > I have had a wood shop for years, and most every machine I have, such
        > as drill presses or others that are tall I have to modify and make
        > shorter so I can change the speeds on the belts.
        > I do a lot of R/C racing and am always wanting to make, or modify a
        > part in way or another.
        > I am in a wheelchair, and thus cannot reach very high for things, so
        > the big mills are out of the question. My neighbor has three big mills
        > a rideport and two older mills and after being around them I know I
        > can't handle them.
        > So from what most people know after they have used their equipment do
        > you think one of the Mini-Mills a Grizzly, Harbor Freight style etc do
        > what I might want to do. I DON'T plan on doing anything large at all,
        > and would be nice if I could find someone in my area, which is Northern
        > Virginia that wanted to upgrade and get a larger mill.
        > The one thing that seems to bother me with most of the small units is
        > they take a MT3 rather then a R-8, of which most everyone seems to have
        > tools for.
        > Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
        > Jeff
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Gerry Waclawiak
        I think that the minimill will be ideal for your proposed use on RC stuff and leave you plenty of capacity for something larger and heavier. I do a lot of
        Message 3 of 12 , Jul 5, 2005
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          I think that the minimill will be ideal for your proposed use on RC
          stuff and leave you plenty of capacity for something larger and heavier.
          I do a lot of aluminium and non ferrous metals and plastic on mine but
          have also tackled solid steel and stainless with a little care on depth
          of cut.

          The variable speed and lever gear change are also plus points in your
          circumstances as is the fact that it is simple to mount on a workbench
          and sit under. I have a heart condition so have mine set up so I can
          stand up or sit on a tall stool under the bench if I get tired.

          I gather that MT tooling is harder to get in the states and more
          expensive than R8, the opposite to what we have in the UK but on the
          plus side MT tooling is available it MT1 -3 all of which are smaller
          than R8 and perhaps more suited to model engineering. The only other
          downside is that you will need to slacken the drawbar and give it a
          sharp belt with a brass hammer to release it but your QR,collet or taper
          mill chuch/holder wont drop out on it's own when you slacken it off.

          I don't know a lot about MT availability in the States being on the
          other side of the pond but believe that www.littlemachineshop.com carry
          a good selection at fair prices.

          Hope this helps

          Gerry
          Leeds, UK

          -----Original Message-----
          From: GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com
          [mailto:GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jeff Fischer
          Sent: 04 July 2005 01:14
          To: GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [GrizHFMinimill] Wanting to buy a mill, but there are
          limitations on my part

          I have had a wood shop for years, and most every machine I have, such
          as drill presses or others that are tall I have to modify and make
          shorter so I can change the speeds on the belts.
          I do a lot of R/C racing and am always wanting to make, or modify a
          part in way or another.
          I am in a wheelchair, and thus cannot reach very high for things, so
          the big mills are out of the question. My neighbor has three big mills
          a Brideport and two older mills and after being around them I know I
          can't handle them.
          So from what most people know after they have used their equipment do
          you think one of the Mini-Mills a Grizzly, Harbor Freight style etc do
          what I might want to do. I DON'T plan on doing anything large at all,
          and would be nice if I could find someone in my area, which is Northern
          Virginia that wanted to upgrade and get a larger mill.
          The one thing that seems to bother me with most of the small units is
          they take a MT3 rather then a R-8, of which most everyone seems to have
          tools for.
          Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
          Jeff







          Yahoo! Groups Links
        • Harvey White
          ... Yes, you can do lots with a mini-mill, and you can put them on a custom bench that will allow your chair to go right under. A few 2x4 s, some plywood or
          Message 4 of 12 , Jul 5, 2005
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            On Mon, 04 Jul 2005 00:14:18 -0000, you wrote:

            >I have had a wood shop for years, and most every machine I have, such
            >as drill presses or others that are tall I have to modify and make
            >shorter so I can change the speeds on the belts.
            >I do a lot of R/C racing and am always wanting to make, or modify a
            >part in way or another.
            >I am in a wheelchair, and thus cannot reach very high for things, so
            >the big mills are out of the question. My neighbor has three big mills
            >a Brideport and two older mills and after being around them I know I
            >can't handle them.
            >So from what most people know after they have used their equipment do
            >you think one of the Mini-Mills a Grizzly, Harbor Freight style etc do
            >what I might want to do. I DON'T plan on doing anything large at all,
            >and would be nice if I could find someone in my area, which is Northern
            >Virginia that wanted to upgrade and get a larger mill.

            Yes, you can do lots with a mini-mill, and you can put them on a
            custom bench that will allow your chair to go right under. A few
            2x4's, some plywood or particle board, and you're in business.



            >The one thing that seems to bother me with most of the small units is
            >they take a MT3 rather then a R-8, of which most everyone seems to have
            >tools for.

            The Harbor Freight takes an R8, the Grizzly takes MT3. They're
            essentially the same unit, and Little Machine Shop
            (www.littlemachineshop.com) even sells a kit for converting one to the
            other should you "luck" into a very inexpensive one.

            try www.mini-mill.com for the same kind of stuff you'd find with the
            mini lathe (www.mini-lathe.com). I do not recommend a combination
            machine, because you'll spend a lot of time trying to work with a
            machine that is not the best of either world.

            Harvey


            >Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
            >Jeff
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • Lowell Johnson
            Jeff, I understand your problem. I am also in a wheelchair. I got a mini-mill from Micro Mart. That choice was basically because they shipped UPS, secondarily
            Message 5 of 12 , Jul 5, 2005
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              Jeff,
              I understand your problem. I am also in a wheelchair. I got a
              mini-mill from Micro Mart. That choice was basically because they
              shipped UPS, secondarily I liked the idea of decimal reading dials.
              The first problem was getting a barrier free bench the right height.
              I don't think the collet is a big deal. The Little Machine Shop has
              lots of tooling. I have not done a lot yet, but for milling a 3/8 mill
              holder will cover a whole lot of cutter sizes and the changing of
              tools is no problem.
              The only big problem for me is reading the z axis dial . . . it is too
              high for mr to see from the chair! Most of the cutting I have done so
              far has been z axis independent so no need to accurately read the z
              position, however I can read the dial divisons with a "dental type
              mirror".
              Hope these helps. The mill and the bench have opened some closed doors
              for me.
              Lowell





              --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Fischer" <jeff@t...> wrote:
              > I have had a wood shop for years, and most every machine I have, such
              > as drill presses or others that are tall I have to modify and make
              > shorter so I can change the speeds on the belts.
              > I do a lot of R/C racing and am always wanting to make, or modify a
              > part in way or another.
              > I am in a wheelchair, and thus cannot reach very high for things, so
              > the big mills are out of the question. My neighbor has three big mills
              > a Brideport and two older mills and after being around them I know I
              > can't handle them.
              > So from what most people know after they have used their equipment do
              > you think one of the Mini-Mills a Grizzly, Harbor Freight style etc do
              > what I might want to do. I DON'T plan on doing anything large at all,
              > and would be nice if I could find someone in my area, which is Northern
              > Virginia that wanted to upgrade and get a larger mill.
              > The one thing that seems to bother me with most of the small units is
              > they take a MT3 rather then a R-8, of which most everyone seems to have
              > tools for.
              > Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
              > Jeff
            • Jim E.
              ... plus, I believe the combinations use a MT2 in the mill, which is even harder to find than MT3. Graciously, Jim Lakewood, CA All Hail Rube Goldberg! Harvey
              Message 6 of 12 , Jul 5, 2005
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                ... plus, I believe the combinations use a MT2 in the mill, which is even harder
                to find than MT3.


                Graciously,
                Jim
                Lakewood, CA
                All Hail Rube Goldberg!

                Harvey White wrote:
                <snip>
                I do not recommend a combination
                > machine, because you'll spend a lot of time trying to work with a
                > machine that is not the best of either world.
                >
                > Harvey
              • Rick Kruger
                You should fit your Z-axis with a digital scale/caliper, or better yet, set the whole thing up with DROs. Rick ... Jeff, I understand your problem. I am also
                Message 7 of 12 , Jul 5, 2005
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                  You should fit your Z-axis with a digital
                  scale/caliper, or better yet, set the whole thing up
                  with DROs.

                  Rick

                  --- Lowell Johnson <lowell@...> wrote:


                  ---------------------------------
                  Jeff,
                  I understand your problem. I am also in a wheelchair.
                  I got a
                  mini-mill from Micro Mart. That choice was basically
                  because they
                  shipped UPS, secondarily I liked the idea of decimal
                  reading dials.
                  The first problem was getting a barrier free bench the
                  right height.
                  I don't think the collet is a big deal. The Little
                  Machine Shop has
                  lots of tooling. I have not done a lot yet, but for
                  milling a 3/8 mill
                  holder will cover a whole lot of cutter sizes and the
                  changing of
                  tools is no problem.
                  The only big problem for me is reading the z axis dial
                  . . . it is too
                  high for mr to see from the chair! Most of the cutting
                  I have done so
                  far has been z axis independent so no need to
                  accurately read the z
                  position, however I can read the dial divisons with a
                  "dental type
                  mirror".
                  Hope these helps. The mill and the bench have opened
                  some closed doors
                  for me.
                  Lowell





                  --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Fischer"
                  <jeff@t...> wrote:
                  > I have had a wood shop for years, and most every
                  machine I have, such
                  > as drill presses or others that are tall I have to
                  modify and make
                  > shorter so I can change the speeds on the belts.
                  > I do a lot of R/C racing and am always wanting to
                  make, or modify a
                  > part in way or another.
                  > I am in a wheelchair, and thus cannot reach very
                  high for things, so
                  > the big mills are out of the question. My neighbor
                  has three big mills
                  > a Brideport and two older mills and after being
                  around them I know I
                  > can't handle them.
                  > So from what most people know after they have used
                  their equipment do
                  > you think one of the Mini-Mills a Grizzly, Harbor
                  Freight style etc do
                  > what I might want to do. I DON'T plan on doing
                  anything large at all,
                  > and would be nice if I could find someone in my
                  area, which is Northern
                  > Virginia that wanted to upgrade and get a larger
                  mill.
                  > The one thing that seems to bother me with most of
                  the small units is
                  > they take a MT3 rather then a R-8, of which most
                  everyone seems to have
                  > tools for.
                  > Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
                  > Jeff


                  __________________________________________________
                  Do You Yahoo!?
                  Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
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                • Harvey White
                  ... I have found MT2 mill holders, which Harbor Freight has in reasonable quantity for about 10 dollars each, if available. There are the usual sources,
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jul 5, 2005
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                    On Tue, 05 Jul 2005 13:42:37 -0700, you wrote:

                    >... plus, I believe the combinations use a MT2 in the mill, which is even harder
                    >to find than MT3.

                    I have found MT2 mill holders, which Harbor Freight has in reasonable
                    quantity for about 10 dollars each, if available. There are the usual
                    sources, including LMS, though.

                    Have not found any MT2 collets, but then again, wasn't looking.


                    Harvey


                    >
                    >
                    > Graciously,
                    > Jim
                    > Lakewood, CA
                    > All Hail Rube Goldberg!
                    >
                    >Harvey White wrote:
                    ><snip>
                    >I do not recommend a combination
                    >> machine, because you'll spend a lot of time trying to work with a
                    >> machine that is not the best of either world.
                    >>
                    >> Harvey
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • Jim E.
                    See the Photos section, Jim E. s Photos Mods Z-Axis Dial Indicator Holder. This is the z-axis stop modified a) for easy removal/replacement, and b) to hold
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jul 5, 2005
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                      See the Photos section, Jim E.'s Photos > Mods > Z-Axis Dial Indicator Holder.
                      This is the z-axis stop modified a) for easy removal/replacement, and b) to hold
                      a dial indicator. Mount the stop/indicator assembly under the spindle box,
                      plunger up, so that the plunger is depressed when the spindle is lowered.
                      That'll put a readout more at eye level - and show accurate distances, at that.

                      Graciously,
                      Jim
                      Lakewood, CA
                      All Hail Rube Goldberg!

                      Lowell Johnson wrote:
                      > snip
                      > The only big problem for me is reading the z axis dial . . . it is too
                      > high for mr to see from the chair! Most of the cutting I have done so
                      > far has been z axis independent so no need to accurately read the z
                      > position, however I can read the dial divisons with a "dental type
                      > mirror".
                      > Hope these helps. The mill and the bench have opened some closed doors
                      > for me.
                      > Lowell
                    • Charles Keeney
                      Jeff, Mini-mills come on the used market for sale occasionally but not with any great frequency and very rarely with any appreciable discount. Your best bet
                      Message 10 of 12 , Jul 6, 2005
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                        Jeff,

                        Mini-mills come on the used market for sale occasionally but not with any
                        great frequency and very rarely with any appreciable discount. Your best
                        bet may be to make your way to a Harbor Freight store such as in Woodbridge
                        and purchase a new one. I think they are on sale until mid-July but call
                        the store to learn the date for sure. I think they are around $450.00 now
                        which is $50.00 off the normal price of around $500.

                        I would not be overly concerned whether it is R8 or MT3 in case you fall
                        into a deal on a used one - or a new one for that matter. Others have
                        addressed that topic.

                        Because you mention RC and small applications, many have found that the
                        micro-mill fits their needs just fine and you can save a bit on the price
                        of the new machine. List is about $300 compared to $500 for the mini-mill.
                        Sale price for the micro is usually $279 whereas $450 is about as good as
                        you can hope for on the mini and that is pretty much just one time per
                        year.

                        Good luck,

                        Charles





                        "Jeff Fischer"
                        <jeff@... To: GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com
                        m> cc: (bcc: Charles Keeney/CES/EMCORGROUP)
                        Sent by: Subject: [GrizHFMinimill] Wanting to buy a mill, but there are limitations on my part
                        GrizHFMinimill@yaho
                        ogroups.com


                        07/03/2005 08:14 PM
                        Please respond to
                        GrizHFMinimill






                        I have had a wood shop for years, and most every machine I have, such
                        as drill presses or others that are tall I have to modify and make
                        shorter so I can change the speeds on the belts.
                        I do a lot of R/C racing and am always wanting to make, or modify a
                        part in way or another.
                        I am in a wheelchair, and thus cannot reach very high for things, so
                        the big mills are out of the question. My neighbor has three big mills
                        a Brideport and two older mills and after being around them I know I
                        can't handle them.
                        So from what most people know after they have used their equipment do
                        you think one of the Mini-Mills a Grizzly, Harbor Freight style etc do
                        what I might want to do. I DON'T plan on doing anything large at all,
                        and would be nice if I could find someone in my area, which is Northern
                        Virginia that wanted to upgrade and get a larger mill.
                        The one thing that seems to bother me with most of the small units is
                        they take a MT3 rather then a R-8, of which most everyone seems to have
                        tools for.
                        Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
                        Jeff







                        Yahoo! Groups Links
                      • Jeff Fischer
                        Hello Charles, I went down to Woodbridge last night and picked on up. I am now deciding on how big of a bench or stand I want for it and will weld one up in
                        Message 11 of 12 , Jul 6, 2005
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                          Hello Charles, I went down to Woodbridge last night and picked on up. I am now deciding on how big of a bench or stand I want for it and will weld one up in the next day or so, then work on buying some tools for cutting. Thanks for the advice, Jeff

                          At 12:19 PM 7/6/2005, you wrote:

                          Jeff,

                          Mini-mills come on the used market for sale occasionally but not with any
                          great frequency and very rarely with any appreciable discount.  Your best
                          bet may be to make your way to a Harbor Freight store such as in Woodbridge
                          and purchase a new one.  I think they are on sale until mid-July but call
                          the store to learn the date for sure.  I think they are around $450.00 now
                          which is $50.00 off the normal price of around $500.

                          I would not be overly concerned whether it is R8 or MT3 in case you fall
                          into a deal on a used one - or a new one for that matter.  Others have
                          addressed that topic.

                          Because you mention RC and small applications, many have found that the
                          micro-mill fits their needs just fine and you can save a bit on the price
                          of the new machine.  List is about $300 compared to $500 for the mini-mill.
                          Sale price for the micro is usually $279 whereas $450 is about as good as
                          you can hope for on the mini and that is pretty much just one time per
                          year.

                          Good luck,

                          Charles




                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                "Jeff Fischer"                                                                                                     
                                                <jeff@...        To:       GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com                                                
                                                m>                         cc:       (bcc: Charles Keeney/CES/EMCORGROUP)                                          
                                                Sent by:                   Subject:  [GrizHFMinimill] Wanting to buy a mill, but there are limitations on my part  
                                                GrizHFMinimill@yaho                                                                                                
                                                ogroups.com                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                07/03/2005 08:14 PM                                                                                                
                                                Please respond to                                                                                                  
                                                GrizHFMinimill                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                   




                          I have had a wood shop for years, and most every machine I have, such
                          as drill presses or others that are tall I have to modify and make
                          shorter so I can change the speeds on the belts.
                          I do a lot of R/C racing and am always wanting to make, or modify a
                          part in way or another.
                          I am in a wheelchair, and thus cannot reach very high for things, so
                          the big mills are out of the question. My neighbor has three big mills
                          a Brideport and two older mills and after being around them I know I
                          can't handle them.
                          So from what most people know after they have used their equipment do
                          you think one of the Mini-Mills a Grizzly, Harbor Freight style etc do
                          what I might want to do. I DON'T plan on doing anything large at all,
                          and would be nice if I could find someone in my area, which is Northern
                          Virginia that wanted to upgrade and get a larger mill.
                          The one thing that seems to bother me with most of the small units is
                          they take a MT3 rather then a R-8, of which most everyone seems to have
                          tools for.
                          Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
                          Jeff







                          Yahoo! Groups Links











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                          YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS



                        • tyranorbis
                          i have gotten a micromark mini as my first mill, since then have upgraded to a grizzly g3103 the mini- imho has a few flaws in its design thank fully there are
                          Message 12 of 12 , Jul 6, 2005
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                            i have gotten a micromark mini as my first mill, since then have
                            upgraded to a grizzly g3103
                            the mini- imho has a few flaws in its design thank fully there are
                            support groups out here that address them
                            have you seen or read about the siege x3 the bigger brother of the
                            x2 aka mini-mill siege's website http://www.siegind.com/index.htm
                            the only import i know of is www.lathemaster.com and a support group
                            out their is http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/lathemaster/ off
                            hand
                            as far as the minis if i was to doit again i would buy
                            grizzly,mainly for after purchase support
                            they have fixed me up nicely on the g3103
                            the mini cannot get close to the table with a standerd collet on
                            tosionbar setups so you have to go with a endmill holder or quick
                            change system if you dont want to mod the machine

                            heres a few things that to me is required
                            1 if it has torsion bar trash it and get a economy airshock kit from
                            www.littlemachineshop.com
                            2 if it has mt3 convert the spindle to r-8 with a kit from
                            littlemachineshop
                            3 add the powerfeed on x-axis asap
                            4 add a digital read out, if you know how to solder then look to
                            www.shumatech.com and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ShumaTech/
                            for the readout by adding a dro you can almost forget about the
                            slop in the x,y,z and produce better stuff
                            5 take out or leave the center gibscrews loose


                            --- In GrizHFMinimill@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff Fischer" <jeff@t...>
                            wrote:
                            > I have had a wood shop for years, and most every machine I have,
                            such
                            > as drill presses or others that are tall I have to modify and make
                            > shorter so I can change the speeds on the belts.
                            > I do a lot of R/C racing and am always wanting to make, or modify
                            a
                            > part in way or another.
                            > I am in a wheelchair, and thus cannot reach very high for things,
                            so
                            > the big mills are out of the question. My neighbor has three big
                            mills
                            > a Brideport and two older mills and after being around them I know
                            I
                            > can't handle them.
                            > So from what most people know after they have used their equipment
                            do
                            > you think one of the Mini-Mills a Grizzly, Harbor Freight style
                            etc do
                            > what I might want to do. I DON'T plan on doing anything large at
                            all,
                            > and would be nice if I could find someone in my area, which is
                            Northern
                            > Virginia that wanted to upgrade and get a larger mill.
                            > The one thing that seems to bother me with most of the small units
                            is
                            > they take a MT3 rather then a R-8, of which most everyone seems to
                            have
                            > tools for.
                            > Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
                            > Jeff
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