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  • Len
    Hi guys! Just joined up looking for recommendations for retirement toys. Well, 7-10 more years and then I m out, but right now I m adding tools and interested
    Message 1 of 13 , May 5, 2006
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      Hi guys!

      Just joined up looking for recommendations for retirement toys.
      Well, 7-10 more years and then I'm out, but right now I'm adding tools
      and interested in a dovetail column mill.

      I searched the archives here and read for about 45 minutes but still
      I'm unsure if any of you have found measureable/quantifiable
      differences between the Rong Fu original and the clones.

      Penn Tool seems to be the only one offering the original but I spoke
      with them today and they weren't real anxious for me to spend the
      extra money for the Rong Fu. How about that!?

      The gentleman said, "...we're just not selling a lot of the Rong Fu's
      compared to the mainland China machines. People seem to be very happy
      with them." ( my question to them was "justify the extra cost please?")

      Lathemaster, Penn Tool, Wholesale Tool, IH ...what have you folks
      found please?

      Thanks in advance for any info!

      Len
    • bbluealpine
      ... Len, I m here for the same reason you are, just a few years ahead of you on the schedule! After looking around, I ve decided that perhaps the Top Tech
      Message 2 of 13 , May 6, 2006
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        --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "Len" <qsimdo1@...> wrote:
        Len, I'm here for the same reason you are, just a few years ahead of
        you on the schedule! After looking around, I've decided that perhaps
        the Top Tech mill is indeed, a very good machine.

        Glenn (I believe) has found his to have a very quiet gearbox and setup
        quite acurately from the factory. Plus, he gets very good results
        when climb milling. To the best of my knowledge, these machines are
        not designed for climb milling, so that has to be high praise, indeed!
        The downside is it is a metric machine. For every turn of the feed
        cranks, you will a few extra thou (4?) of travel above the value
        registered on the feed dial.>
        >
        If I'm wrong, somebody please tell me before I do something drastic
        and buy one.

        Bill




        Hi guys!
        >
        > Just joined up looking for recommendations for retirement toys.
        > Well, 7-10 more years and then I'm out, but right now I'm adding tools
        > and interested in a dovetail column mill.
        >
        > I searched the archives here and read for about 45 minutes but still
        > I'm unsure if any of you have found measureable/quantifiable
        > differences between the Rong Fu original and the clones.
        >
        > Penn Tool seems to be the only one offering the original but I spoke
        > with them today and they weren't real anxious for me to spend the
        > extra money for the Rong Fu. How about that!?
        >
        > The gentleman said, "...we're just not selling a lot of the Rong Fu's
        > compared to the mainland China machines. People seem to be very happy
        > with them." ( my question to them was "justify the extra cost please?")
        >
        > Lathemaster, Penn Tool, Wholesale Tool, IH ...what have you folks
        > found please?
        >
        > Thanks in advance for any info!
        >
        > Len
        >
      • carbideqc
        Len, For me it came down to a choice between IH ($2100)and lathemaster ($1674)= $426 difference. That s $42.60 per year or $3.55 per month to have available
        Message 3 of 13 , May 6, 2006
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          Len,
          For me it came down to a choice between IH ($2100)and lathemaster
          ($1674)= $426 difference. That's $42.60 per year or $3.55 per month
          to have available twice the work envelope. Both mills manufactured
          by same mfr and both sellers get high marks on these forums. Apply
          the same comparisons to your choices to see what works for you.
          Good luck,
          PV in Tulsa
          --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "Len" <qsimdo1@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi guys!
          >
          > Just joined up looking for recommendations for retirement toys.
          > Well, 7-10 more years and then I'm out, but right now I'm adding
          tools
          > and interested in a dovetail column mill.
          >
          > I searched the archives here and read for about 45 minutes but
          still
          > I'm unsure if any of you have found measureable/quantifiable
          > differences between the Rong Fu original and the clones.
          >
          > Penn Tool seems to be the only one offering the original but I
          spoke
          > with them today and they weren't real anxious for me to spend the
          > extra money for the Rong Fu. How about that!?
          >
          > The gentleman said, "...we're just not selling a lot of the Rong
          Fu's
          > compared to the mainland China machines. People seem to be very
          happy
          > with them." ( my question to them was "justify the extra cost
          please?")
          >
          > Lathemaster, Penn Tool, Wholesale Tool, IH ...what have you folks
          > found please?
          >
          > Thanks in advance for any info!
          >
          > Len
          >
        • Glenn N
          Pretty close Bill, I don t know that the feed screws are metric. It s just that they are calibrated for 125 divisions per rev. It could be they are 8 tpi
          Message 4 of 13 , May 6, 2006
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            Pretty close Bill,
            I don't know that the feed screws are metric.  It's just that they are calibrated for 125 divisions per rev.  It could be they are 8 tpi instead of 10 or it could be a metric approximation.  I took one look at the dials and bought a DRO and haven't looked at em again :)  Quiet is relative.  I wear hearing aides so all I can do is compare sound levels.  It is one of the quietest machines in the shop.  Wish I had an SPL to quantify it better :)
            I filled out my retirement papers Thursday and will submit them on Monday.  Should take about 90 days for it to kick in and I can move out to the shop :)
            The only real complaint I had with the TopTech machine is that the Tslots were not the width they advertised.  I had already bought a couple hundred dollers worth of clamps etc. to fit when I discovered the error.  I just cut the slots wider with the mill and finished the last half inch the mill couldn't reach with a trim router and a carbide burr.  The undercut of the slots was the correct size for the larger slots.  They are now 5/8" slots and the extra benifit is they have less overhang so the Tnuts are less likely to blow out the slot and I think they run about as true as they could since I cut them on the machine.
            It was a "scary" thought to cut the shiney new mill but the options were to send back all the clamps etc. or cut all those Tnuts and bolts to fit.  I had nothing to fit the slots to hold the Tnuts to cut them down to fit the slots soooo.. :)
            So far the machine has done everything I have tried with great results.  I didn't even have to shim the column to tram the head.  As long as I remember to lock down the gibbs on the column it maintains tram very well.
             
            Glenn
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Saturday, May 06, 2006 7:29 AM
            Subject: [mill_drill] Re: New here and seeking information

            --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "Len" <qsimdo1@...> wrote:
            Len, I'm here for the same reason you are, just a few years ahead of
            you on the schedule!  After looking around, I've decided that perhaps
            the Top Tech mill is indeed, a very good machine. 

            Glenn (I believe) has found his to have a very quiet gearbox and setup
            quite acurately from the factory.  Plus, he gets very good results
            when climb milling.  To the best of my knowledge, these machines are
            not designed for climb milling, so that has to be high praise, indeed!
            The downside is it is a metric machine.  For every turn of the feed
            cranks, you will a few extra thou (4?) of travel above the value
            registered on the feed dial.>
            >
            If I'm wrong, somebody please tell me before I do something drastic
            and buy one.

            Bill




            Hi guys!
            >
            > Just joined up looking for recommendations for retirement toys.
            > Well, 7-10 more years and then I'm out, but right now I'm adding tools
            > and interested in a dovetail column mill.
            >
            > I searched the archives here and read for about 45 minutes but still
            > I'm unsure if any of you have found measureable/quantifiable
            > differences between the Rong Fu original and the clones.
            >
            > Penn Tool seems to be the only one offering the original but I spoke
            > with them today and they weren't real anxious for me to spend the
            > extra money for the Rong Fu. How about that!?
            >
            > The gentleman said, "...we're just not selling a lot of the Rong Fu's
            > compared to the mainland China machines. People seem to be very happy
            > with them." ( my question to them was "justify the extra cost please?")
            >
            > Lathemaster, Penn Tool, Wholesale Tool, IH ...what have you folks
            > found please?
            >
            > Thanks in advance for any info!
            >
            > Len
            >





          • ron pattersn
            about the retirement after 5 years in the marines and 39 with alabama power i went to work one morning ; just before lunch I decided i just didnt want to do
            Message 5 of 13 , May 6, 2006
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              about the retirement after 5 years in the marines and 39 with alabama
              power i went to work one morning ; just before lunch I decided i just didnt
              want to do it any more . Called my boss on the radio tole him i had enought
              just send my retirement checks to the house and it was best move i ever
              made


              >From: "Glenn N" <sleykin@...>
              >Reply-To: mill_drill@yahoogroups.com
              >To: <mill_drill@yahoogroups.com>
              >Subject: Re: [mill_drill] Re: New here and seeking information
              >Date: Sat, 6 May 2006 11:11:54 -0700
              >
              >Pretty close Bill,
              >I don't know that the feed screws are metric. It's just that they are
              >calibrated for 125 divisions per rev. It could be they are 8 tpi instead
              >of 10 or it could be a metric approximation. I took one look at the dials
              >and bought a DRO and haven't looked at em again :) Quiet is relative. I
              >wear hearing aides so all I can do is compare sound levels. It is one of
              >the quietest machines in the shop. Wish I had an SPL to quantify it better
              >:)
              >I filled out my retirement papers Thursday and will submit them on Monday.
              >Should take about 90 days for it to kick in and I can move out to the shop
              >:)

              _________________________________________________________________
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            • Len
              ... month ... Thanks, PV. Certainly can t argue with your logic and I did have a very informative and enjoyable 15 minute conversation with Aaron the other
              Message 6 of 13 , May 6, 2006
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                --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "carbideqc" <paulvan@...> wrote:
                >
                > Len,
                > For me it came down to a choice between IH ($2100)and lathemaster
                > ($1674)= $426 difference. That's $42.60 per year or $3.55 per
                month
                > to have available twice the work envelope. Both mills manufactured
                > by same mfr and both sellers get high marks on these forums. Apply
                > the same comparisons to your choices to see what works for you.
                > Good luck,
                > PV in Tulsa


                Thanks, PV.
                Certainly can't argue with your logic and I did have a very
                informative and enjoyable 15 minute conversation with Aaron the
                other day.
                An absolute treat to be able to talk directly with the business
                owner, especially one who is as involved as he.

                (Watch...the guy I spoke with is probably the sweeper! ;o) )

                Frankly I lust after an 8-36 or even the M head I looked at the
                other day, but I have to negotiate a steep slope getting to my walk-
                in basement and I just can't see adding another $300 for a Bobcat
                and forks so that's why the interest in the dovetail column in the
                first place.
                Heck the IH would give me more work envelope anyway!

                I think I'm sold, but nothing worse than a vacilating pragmatist,
                eh?
              • Len
                ... Bill, you dog, I m jealous! No hurry to get older but sure seems like I ve been working alooooong time. Good luck with your choice.
                Message 7 of 13 , May 6, 2006
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                  --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "bbluealpine" <bbluealpine@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "Len" <qsimdo1@> wrote:
                  > Len, I'm here for the same reason you are, just a few years ahead of
                  > you on the schedule!

                  Bill, you dog, I'm jealous!
                  No hurry to get older but sure seems like I've been working alooooong
                  time.
                  Good luck with your choice.
                • bbluealpine
                  ... and you can convince the CEO/CFO of the wisdom of the purchase. I can t even make up my mind if I NEED or would ever use the extra capacity of the IH. I m
                  Message 8 of 13 , May 6, 2006
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                    --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "Len" <qsimdo1@...> wrote:
                    >Len, get it if that is what you want, meets all of your requirments
                    and you can convince the CEO/CFO of the wisdom of the purchase.

                    I can't even make up my mind if I NEED or would ever use the extra
                    capacity of the IH. I'm 63, how would I ever put something the size
                    of a Ford small block on the table? Same with buying a big lathe.
                    Those 10" chucks are heavy, so are the huge pieces of steel they eat.
                    My CEO/CFO is a reasonable person, but not much help on the heavy jobs.

                    Bill




                    > --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "carbideqc" <paulvan@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Len,
                    > > For me it came down to a choice between IH ($2100)and lathemaster
                    > > ($1674)= $426 difference. That's $42.60 per year or $3.55 per
                    > month
                    > > to have available twice the work envelope. Both mills manufactured
                    > > by same mfr and both sellers get high marks on these forums. Apply
                    > > the same comparisons to your choices to see what works for you.
                    > > Good luck,
                    > > PV in Tulsa
                    >
                    >
                    > Thanks, PV.
                    > Certainly can't argue with your logic and I did have a very
                    > informative and enjoyable 15 minute conversation with Aaron the
                    > other day.
                    > An absolute treat to be able to talk directly with the business
                    > owner, especially one who is as involved as he.
                    >
                    > (Watch...the guy I spoke with is probably the sweeper! ;o) )
                    >
                    > Frankly I lust after an 8-36 or even the M head I looked at the
                    > other day, but I have to negotiate a steep slope getting to my walk-
                    > in basement and I just can't see adding another $300 for a Bobcat
                    > and forks so that's why the interest in the dovetail column in the
                    > first place.
                    > Heck the IH would give me more work envelope anyway!
                    >
                    > I think I'm sold, but nothing worse than a vacilating pragmatist,
                    > eh?
                    >
                  • steve
                    ... got to get the terminology right it is not CEO it is SWMBO.
                    Message 9 of 13 , May 6, 2006
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                      >
                      > I can't even make up my mind if I NEED or would ever use the extra
                      > capacity of the IH. I'm 63, how would I ever put something the size
                      > of a Ford small block on the table? Same with buying a big lathe.
                      > Those 10" chucks are heavy, so are the huge pieces of steel they eat.
                      > My CEO/CFO is a reasonable person, but not much help on the heavy jobs.

                      got to get the terminology right it is not CEO it is SWMBO.
                    • Len
                      ... extra ... size ... lathe. ... eat. ... heavy jobs. ... Guys, you ve just gotta play it cagey. I was standing behind the old woman one day when she was
                      Message 10 of 13 , May 6, 2006
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                        --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, steve <doggie@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > >
                        > > I can't even make up my mind if I NEED or would ever use the
                        extra
                        > > capacity of the IH. I'm 63, how would I ever put something the
                        size
                        > > of a Ford small block on the table? Same with buying a big
                        lathe.
                        > > Those 10" chucks are heavy, so are the huge pieces of steel they
                        eat.
                        > > My CEO/CFO is a reasonable person, but not much help on the
                        heavy jobs.
                        >
                        > got to get the terminology right it is not CEO it is SWMBO.
                        >

                        Guys, you've just gotta play it cagey.

                        I was standing behind the old woman one day when she was reading her
                        quilting magazines.
                        She kept eyeballing one machine and said how she'd love to have one.
                        Heh, heh, heh...I started calling around.
                        Off to the dealer we went.

                        Well, I damn near choked when we walked in that store.
                        The first machine I saw was $10 THOUSAND!
                        Hold on heart, that can't be the one!

                        Phew, hers was ONLY $3500. Steppers, servos, computer interface, the
                        whole bit.

                        Then there's the tooling. You think our stuff is expensive?

                        However, in goes the trump card..."ABSOLUTELY you should buy
                        it...this machine will last you a LONG time...look at all it does!,
                        etc."

                        So, when I toss in for a mill..a huge machine...heavy..serious MAN
                        stuff..."why, yes Dear, you need that to go with your lathe anyway,
                        right?"

                        Yes M'am, you bet!
                      • rgsparber@aol.com
                        Before you go out and buy any HUGE machine, at least verify that you can get it into and out of your shop. Most machines do break down into smaller parts but
                        Message 11 of 13 , May 6, 2006
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                          Before you go out and buy any HUGE machine, at least verify that you can get it into and out of your shop. Most machines do break down into smaller parts but with these big machines, even the parts are more than I can handle.
                           
                          My RF30 in pieces is about all I can handle safely.
                           
                          Rick Sparber
                          rgsparber@...
                          web site: http://rick.sparber.org
                        • Len
                          ... can get ... smaller parts ... handle. ... Aside from having to negotiate a slope that ends in a cliff, no problem with getting a machine in. I could fit a
                          Message 12 of 13 , May 7, 2006
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                            --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, rgsparber@... wrote:
                            >
                            > Before you go out and buy any HUGE machine, at least verify that you
                            can get
                            > it into and out of your shop. Most machines do break down into
                            smaller parts
                            > but with these big machines, even the parts are more than I can
                            handle.
                            >
                            > My RF30 in pieces is about all I can handle safely.
                            >
                            > Rick Sparber
                            > rgsparber@...
                            > web site: http://rick.sparber.org
                            >

                            Aside from having to negotiate a slope that ends in a cliff, no
                            problem with getting a machine in. I could fit a #3 Cincinnati in
                            there!
                          • rgsparber@aol.com
                            In a message dated 5/7/2006 7:06:10 A.M. US Mountain Standard Time, qsimdo1@yahoo.com writes: Aside from having to negotiate a slope that ends in a cliff, no
                            Message 13 of 13 , May 7, 2006
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                              In a message dated 5/7/2006 7:06:10 A.M. US Mountain Standard Time, qsimdo1@... writes:
                              Aside from having to negotiate a slope that ends in a cliff, no
                              problem with getting a machine in. I could fit a #3 Cincinnati in
                              there!
                              You are most blessed! Go for the big machine.
                               
                              Rick Sparber
                              rgsparber@...
                              web site: http://rick.sparber.org
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