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Re: [atlas_craftsman] Need advice on mini mill

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  • Allan Anderson
    ... I d likely put this in the basement and I m not up to moving a Bridgeport there. But I m sure that rigidity is just wonderful. MSC price: $12,000. :-) ...
    Message 1 of 40 , Dec 1, 2004
      At 09:42 PM 11/30/2004 -0600, you wrote:
      > >
      >The smallest Bridgeport weighs roughly 1800 Lbs. It is pretty stiff
      >against the cutting forces...<snip>

      I'd likely put this in the basement and I'm not up to moving a Bridgeport
      there.
      But I'm sure that rigidity is just wonderful. MSC price: $12,000. :-)


      >Then, there are the round-column machines, which lose the X-Y alignment
      >every time
      >you have to change the height of the head. So, I would strongly urge
      >you to just
      >avoid those machines, an only look at the ones with rectangular or
      >dovetail columns.

      >Also, look carefully at the Y table travel, and the min and max height
      >of the spindle
      >above the table. When switching between a small end mill in a collet and a
      >large jobber's length drill in a big drill chuck, yo can need to move
      >the head 5"
      >or more to accomodate the difference. Also, sometimes you need to put a
      >large flat piece right over the table, other times you want to hold a
      >small part in a
      >milling vise. That adds several inches to the height, and you want to
      >have sufficient
      >clearance.

      I'm beginning to understand this. If you want to index with a dividing head
      or rotary table with a vice,
      then use a drill in a chuck, there's no height room . I was thinking about
      a Rong Fu RF-30, but the round
      column it has is something to understand in operation.

      So there is a Rong Fu RF-45 with dovetail column and tilting head (90 left,
      30 right) that MSC lists for $2300.
      Looks nice. 18" spindle to table. But I found a Grizzly that looks like an
      RF-45 clone (same features):

      http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?itemnumber=g0519&

      Max. dist. spindle to table: 18 5/8", Table size: 9-1/2" x 32-1/4" , Table
      travel 21-5/8" x 7-1/2"
      600 lbs, $1395, 3 phase motor, so I'd get a VFD and have variable speeds.

      Although this is much more money, it looks much more capable. And I want to
      build a power hammer machine
      involving trimming two 5/8" x 20" x 20" plates together in a 6" deep C
      shaped notch for example. Make a 3" round x 8" long
      aluminum die holder collet. Several other parts, other projects but
      sometimes 1" steel parts, sometime 12 x 24 size.

      Well, thanks everyone. This is very helpful.

      -Allan


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • S or J
      Hi folks. Not gonna repeat any of the good info already submitted by others here. As the Sieg X3 (bigger than the minimills) came up during some private
      Message 40 of 40 , Dec 2, 2004
        Hi folks.

        Not gonna repeat any of the good info already submitted by
        others here.

        As the Sieg X3 (bigger than the minimills) came
        up during some private conversation recently, I thought
        you might want to learn about Dan Kautz's excellent
        private website that has a detailed article on this machine,
        as well as as some very logical analysis/critiques on choosing
        machinery suitable to the home machinist. He seems to be
        able to cut through fiction and make informed judgements.

        Dan Kautz's web site http://www.tedatum.com/thms/
        has a very positive article about the Sig X3 including lots of tips
        and detailed disassembly pix (see "Workshop" on his left menu).

        His site was so good that it was added to the very short list
        of links on my site Machining and Metalworking at Home
        http://my.tbaytel.net/jstudio/ during my 01 December update.

        Then I open the latest copy (#102 -- Nov 2004) of Model
        Engineers' Workshop and there is Part 1 by a Brit machinist
        on how he is converting an X3 to CNC. Looking at his few
        pix, and comparing to Dan's pix, it seems to be virtually the
        same machine; so CNC conversion methods (and machine initial
        tuneup tips after purchase ) should be compatible.

        FYI, this mag MEW underwent a big price increase this year
        but I just subscribed in November to a special price about half
        of the current newstand price. If you are interested, following
        is some info from the North American distributor.

        Usual caveat: just a subscriber. Don't know when the offer ends.

        Steve -- in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

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