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Re: [mill_drill] Choosing a new Mill Drill

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  • curt wuollet
    If money isn t an issue, it certainly opens up a lot of choices. A lot of the popularity of the round column milldrills has to do with their providing good
    Message 1 of 17 , Feb 1, 2011
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      If money isn't an issue, it certainly opens up a lot
      of choices. A lot of the popularity of the round column
      milldrills has to do with their providing good capability
      and versatility at a price that can almost be justified
      for a hobby. If I were thinking about spending that kind
      of money, I would also be looking at the low end knee mills
      which also avoid the registration issues and may be more
      robust than the dovetail column type. And a check around
      for good used industrial machines would be prudent in this
      economy. In other words, for what I spent for my RC milldrill,
      I doubt you can beat it as far as bang per buck. Once you
      climb up out of the low end, things aren't nearly so clear.
      Of course, where you are also enters into the picture as
      some options simply don't exist in some places and you
      can't ship these massive chunks of iron very far economically.
      But, here, for $2K, I could be looking for a Bridgeport or
      Lagun or Hurco at fire sale prices.

      Regards

      cwww


      bphill04 wrote:
      >
      >
      > Hi All,
      >
      > I have been researching options for the purchase of a new mill drill.
      >
      > After ready the many comments already listed on this forum I had pretty
      > much decided to go with a dovetail column rather than a round column. I
      > have been looking at the HM-46 from Hare & Forbes.
      >
      > https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=M123
      >
      > The HM-46 has a 6 speed gear driven head with a top speed of 1600RPM. I
      > have also looked at the HM-32
      >
      > https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=M121
      >
      > This is a round column unit with a 12 speed belt driven head and a
      > maximum speed of 2040RPM.
      >
      > My question is this: Is this 1600RPM top speed on the HM-46 too slow for
      > general machining in a hobby workshop?
      >
      > I will be working with a wide range of materials - steel, brass,
      > aluminium, plastic etc. Any comments on maximum speeds or
      > recommendations on the HM-46 vs HM-32 would be greatly appreciated.
      >
      > Cheers
      >
      > Barry
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • Jerome Kimberlin
      ... Almost identical with the Grizzly G0519. The differences are that the Griz has a 3-phase motor and an R-8 headstock taper. The 3-phase motor is nice
      Message 2 of 17 , Feb 1, 2011
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        On 1/31/2011 11:09 PM, bphill04 wrote:

        After ready the many comments already listed on this forum I had pretty much decided to go with a dovetail column rather than a round column. I have been looking at the HM-46 from Hare & Forbes.

        https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=M123

        Almost identical with the Grizzly G0519.  The differences are that the Griz has a 3-phase motor and an R-8 headstock taper.  The 3-phase motor is nice because you can add a VFD and get higher speed if you like.  R-8 tooling is generally more available and cheaper here in the USA.  Could be different in Oz.  You might like to go with an ER type collet system.  The top speed difference between the HM-46 and the Grizzly G0519 seems to be just electrical - 50 hz vs 60 hz.

        My question is this: Is this 1600RPM top speed on the HM-46 too slow for general machining in a hobby workshop?

        I will be working with a wide range of materials - steel, brass, aluminium, plastic etc. Any comments on maximum speeds or recommendations on the HM-46 vs HM-32 would be greatly appreciated.


        For me, speed hasn't been an issue.  It really depends on the size of your end mills and drills that you will be using most.  The higher speeds are better for the smaller diameter tooling.   I've used 1/16th end mills on my Grizzly and haven't had any problems.  The feed has to be slow, but I've gotten the job done without breaking tools.

        The HM-46 looks like a good choice and if machineryhouse could supply it with a 3-phase motor it would be even better.

        JerryK
      • Jack Dinan
        ... jack
        Message 3 of 17 , Feb 1, 2011
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          > The specs give a slight edge to the HM-46 vs G0519 for spindle to
          >table: 20" vs 18 5/8". Could this be related to the R-8 tooling?
          jack


          >
          >On 1/31/2011 11:09 PM, bphill04 wrote:
          >
          >>After ready the many comments already listed on this forum I had
          >>pretty much decided to go with a dovetail column rather than a
          >>round column. I have been looking at the HM-46 from Hare & Forbes.
          >>
          >><https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=M123>https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=M123
          >>
          >Almost identical with the Grizzly G0519. The differences are that
          >the Griz has a 3-phase motor and an R-8 headstock taper. The
          >3-phase motor is nice because you can add a VFD and get higher speed
          >if you like. R-8 tooling is generally more available and cheaper
          >here in the USA. Could be different in Oz. You might like to go
          >with an ER type collet system. The top speed difference between the
          >HM-46 and the Grizzly G0519 seems to be just electrical - 50 hz vs
          >60 hz.
          >
          >>My question is this: Is this 1600RPM top speed on the HM-46 too
          >>slow for general machining in a hobby workshop?
          >>
          >>I will be working with a wide range of materials - steel, brass,
          >>aluminium, plastic etc. Any comments on maximum speeds or
          >>recommendations on the HM-46 vs HM-32 would be greatly appreciated.
          >>
          >
          >For me, speed hasn't been an issue. It really depends on the size
          >of your end mills and drills that you will be using most. The
          >higher speeds are better for the smaller diameter tooling. I've
          >used 1/16th end mills on my Grizzly and haven't had any problems.
          >The feed has to be slow, but I've gotten the job done without
          >breaking tools.
          >
          >The HM-46 looks like a good choice and if machineryhouse could
          >supply it with a 3-phase motor it would be even better.
          >
          >JerryK
          >
          >
        • Jerome Kimberlin
          ... Personally, I doubt it. My G0519 has a spindle to table of over 19 . I think it is just variation in how much they mill off the column casting during
          Message 4 of 17 , Feb 1, 2011
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            On 2/1/2011 9:10 AM, Jack Dinan wrote:
            >> The specs give a slight edge to the HM-46 vs G0519 for spindle to
            >> table: 20" vs 18 5/8". Could this be related to the R-8 tooling?
            Personally, I doubt it. My G0519 has a spindle to table of over 19". I
            think it is just variation in how much they mill off the column casting
            during manufacture. I look at those things as just ballpark type specs,
            not to be counted upon.

            JerryK
          • leonar d bristow
            Hi Barry, I just purchased a mill from Asset machinery, close by to hare & Forbes. Slightly dearer than H&F but IMO a cut above, & service is excellent. With a
            Message 5 of 17 , Feb 1, 2011
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              Hi Barry,
              I just purchased a mill from Asset machinery, close by to hare & Forbes. Slightly dearer than H&F but IMO a cut above, & service is excellent.
                  With a belt drive you can always play with the pulley sizes. 1600 seems a bit slow for small size drilling or polishing, but it largely depends on how you use the machine.
                  I got a SM-MD30 - geared head box column, variable speed. Only thing I dont like is the position of the head crank handle, but I'm putting a motor on that, so no prob. Very happy with my purchase. Top revs is 2600.
              Lennard
               
               
               
               
               
               

              ------------------------------------------------------
              Provided by Australis
              http://www.australis.com.au/
            • bphill04
              Hi Jerry, Machinery House (H&F) does supply a 3-phase model https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=M124
              Message 6 of 17 , Feb 1, 2011
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                Hi Jerry,

                Machinery House (H&F) does supply a 3-phase model

                https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=M124

                but unfortunately I do not have 3-phase power at my house so that is not an option for me. Most houses in Australia are wired with single phase only.

                Cheers

                Barry

                >
                > The HM-46 looks like a good choice and if machineryhouse could supply it
                > with a 3-phase motor it would be even better.
                >
                > JerryK
                >

              • Snag
                ... That s why they make phase converters . Single phase in one side , three phase out the other . And with a variable frequency drive, you have a much wider
                Message 7 of 17 , Feb 1, 2011
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                  bphill04 <barry.phillips@...> wrote:
                  > Hi Jerry,
                  >
                  > Machinery House (H&F) does supply a 3-phase model
                  >
                  > https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=M124
                  > <https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=M124>
                  >
                  > but unfortunately I do not have 3-phase power at my house so that is
                  > not an option for me. Most houses in Australia are wired with single
                  > phase only.
                  >
                  > Cheers

                  That's why they make phase converters . Single phase in one side , three
                  phase out the other . And with a variable frequency drive, you have a much
                  wider speed range .

                  Snag
                  Learning keeps
                  you young !
                • Jerome Kimberlin
                  ... Right Barry, here the wiring is almost always single phase. That is why the VFD is so popular. Not only can you avoid doing a lot of gear changing, you
                  Message 8 of 17 , Feb 1, 2011
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                    On 2/1/2011 2:10 PM, bphill04 wrote:
                    >
                    > Machinery House (H&F) does supply a 3-phase model
                    >
                    > https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=M124
                    >
                    > but unfortunately I do not have 3-phase power at my house so that is
                    > not an option for me. Most houses in Australia are wired with single
                    > phase only.
                    >

                    Right Barry, here the wiring is almost always single phase. That is why
                    the VFD is so popular. Not only can you avoid doing a lot of gear
                    changing, you can over-rev the motor to some extent too. So you have a
                    much broader range of speeds which are smoothly adjustable in one hertz
                    increments between the ranges selected. In theory, you could run the
                    50 hz motor at 100 hz and that means 3200 rpm instead of 1600. You have
                    to watch heat and motor balance, though. Some motors are not made to be
                    over run by that much.

                    VFDs have a single phase input and a 3-phase output, plus on/off
                    forward/reverse, and speed can be controlled with a small switch and a
                    potentiometer mounted right on the front of the mill if you so choose.
                    The VFD I have on my Grizzly cost me a bit over US$100. The
                    versatility of the VFD/3-phase motor is well worth the extra expense.
                    Once you have used one, you'll never go back, as they say :-)

                    There are plenty of posts about VFDs on this site and on the square
                    column mill site. The only question might be what it would cost you in
                    Oz to get a VFD? You would need to match the VFD output to the motor
                    input in order to be safe, so you might need a 2 Hp unit.

                    JerryK
                  • bphill04
                    Hi Lennard, Thanks for the information. I looked at the specs of the SM-MD30V and started getting all excited and then I read that Asset Machinery is in
                    Message 9 of 17 , Feb 1, 2011
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                      Hi Lennard,

                      Thanks for the information. I looked at the specs of the SM-MD30V and
                      started getting all excited and then I read that Asset Machinery is in
                      Victoria. Yes, just around the corner from Hare & Forbes but not the one
                      in Sydney where I am located. I dare say freighting this item from
                      Melbourne to Sydney would be an expensive exercise.

                      I am now more confused about what to buy than ever before. Geared head
                      (low speed) versus belt drive (higher speed), dovetail column versus
                      round column, are there any real advantages with a tilting head, and
                      after reading the comments on the other posts about VFD's, single phase
                      versus 3-phase... Urgh!!!

                      Cheers

                      Barry
                      --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "leonar d bristow" <firstbumper@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Hi Barry,
                      > I just purchased a mill from Asset machinery, close by to hare &
                      Forbes. Slightly dearer than H&F but IMO a cut above, & service is
                      excellent.
                      > With a belt drive you can always play with the pulley sizes. 1600
                      seems a bit slow for small size drilling or polishing, but it largely
                      depends on how you use the machine.
                      > I got a SM-MD30 - geared head box column, variable speed. Only thing I
                      dont like is the position of the head crank handle, but I'm putting a
                      motor on that, so no prob. Very happy with my purchase. Top revs is
                      2600.
                      > Lennard
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > ------------------------------------------------------
                      > Provided by Australis
                      > http://www.australis.com.au/
                      >
                    • Paul Alciatore
                      The obvious advantage of a tilting head is you can mill at any angle you want. One possible use for this is with a gear hob which must be at the helix angle
                      Message 10 of 17 , Feb 1, 2011
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                        The obvious advantage of a tilting head is you can mill at any angle you want.  One possible use for this is with a gear hob which must be at the helix angle of the hob to the gear tooth.  Hard to do when the head does not tilt.  Also could be used to do helical gears. 

                        You need to look at the kind of work you plan to do and them see what is needed for that.  Be sure to get a good idea of the sizes of the work and of the features you will be making.  You can talk over various ways of doing the work here. 

                        Paul A.



                        At 10:38 PM 2/1/2011, you wrote:
                         


                        Hi Lennard,

                        Thanks for the information. I looked at the specs of the SM-MD30V and
                        started getting all excited and then I read that Asset Machinery is in
                        Victoria. Yes, just around the corner from Hare & Forbes but not the one
                        in Sydney where I am located. I dare say freighting this item from
                        Melbourne to Sydney would be an expensive exercise.

                        I am now more confused about what to buy than ever before. Geared head
                        (low speed) versus belt drive (higher speed), dovetail column versus
                        round column, are there any real advantages with a tilting head, and
                        after reading the comments on the other posts about VFD's, single phase
                        versus 3-phase... Urgh!!!

                        Cheers

                        Barry
                        --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "leonar d bristow" <firstbumper@...>
                        wrote:
                        >
                        > Hi Barry,
                        > I just purchased a mill from Asset machinery, close by to hare &
                        Forbes. Slightly dearer than H&F but IMO a cut above, & service is
                        excellent.
                        > With a belt drive you can always play with the pulley sizes. 1600
                        seems a bit slow for small size drilling or polishing, but it largely
                        depends on how you use the machine.
                        > I got a SM-MD30 - geared head box column, variable speed. Only thing I
                        dont like is the position of the head crank handle, but I'm putting a
                        motor on that, so no prob. Very happy with my purchase. Top revs is
                        2600.
                        > Lennard
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > ------------------------------------------------------
                        > Provided by Australis
                        > http://www.australis.com.au/
                        >

                      • leonar d bristow
                        Barry, A mill of this size is one of the smaller machines that this Co. handle so they no doubt have a deal with a cartage Co; it may be worth contacting them
                        Message 11 of 17 , Feb 2, 2011
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                          Barry,
                                      A mill of this size is one of the smaller machines that this Co. handle so they no doubt have a deal with a cartage Co; it may be worth contacting them for prices. I am impressed with the finish on this machine considering it is Chinese, maybe because Asset are part owners of the manufacturing plant so have a say in QC
                              Sorry about giving you a bad lead, forgot H&F have outlets elsewhere, but then, Melbourne is the real Capitol of Australia!!!  [grin]
                          cheers ,
                          Lennard
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           
                           

                          ------------------------------------------------------
                          Provided by Australis
                          http://www.australis.com.au/
                        • worktoil
                          I can only echo some of the feedback you have already received. An R8 spindle (at least in the states) is much easier to get a variety of economical tooling
                          Message 12 of 17 , Feb 3, 2011
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                            I can only echo some of the feedback you have already received.

                            An R8 spindle (at least in the states) is much easier to get a variety of economical tooling for. An important consideration since depending on your style, you can spend more on the tooling than the mill.

                            Which one to buy depends on what you are going to do, but if you are like me, you'll be happy with some aspects of whatever you buy and unhappy with other aspects.

                            In terms of speed, the gearhead is a little slow for aluminum but not so slow that you couldn't get by in a home shop environment.

                            Bill
                          • bphill04
                            Hi Lennard, I have been in touch with the guys at Asset Plant & Machinery - very helpful indeed! One thing I have noticed about the SM-MD30 is that it only
                            Message 13 of 17 , Feb 6, 2011
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                              Hi Lennard,

                              I have been in touch with the guys at Asset Plant & Machinery - very helpful indeed!

                              One thing I have noticed about the SM-MD30 is that it only weighs 210kg - almost 100kg less than the HM-46! From what I have read and been told, weight (mass) is very important on a mill. Do you know what causes the weight difference between the two machines and if it is something I should be concerned about?

                              I must admit, the additional cost of the SM-MD30 coupled with the freight charges to get it to Sydney are a bit of a concern to me. Then again, the 1600RPM top speed on the HM-46 also concerns me greatly as much of my milling will be done using small-ish cutters on aluminium and other alloys. I am seriously considering foregoing the benefits of a tilting head and dovetail column and choosing a round column, belt drive mill such as the HM-32 (https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=M121) With the money I save on the purchase price I can get a few more extras like a digital read out or a good sized vice or some extra cutters... Life is full of trade-offs and buying a Mill is no different!

                              Any comments from other group members on the choice of a belt drive round column mill would be greatly appreciated.

                              Cheers

                              Barry

                              --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "leonar d bristow" <firstbumper@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Hi Barry,
                              > I just purchased a mill from Asset machinery, close by to hare & Forbes. Slightly dearer than H&F but IMO a cut above, & service is excellent.
                              > With a belt drive you can always play with the pulley sizes. 1600 seems a bit slow for small size drilling or polishing, but it largely depends on how you use the machine.
                              > I got a SM-MD30 - geared head box column, variable speed. Only thing I dont like is the position of the head crank handle, but I'm putting a motor on that, so no prob. Very happy with my purchase. Top revs is 2600.
                              > Lennard
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > ------------------------------------------------------
                              > Provided by Australis
                              > http://www.australis.com.au/
                              >

                            • leasingham_connelly
                              See my message #27522 My own machine is the round column with a 3 phase motor and VFD. I have it set up so that at 100Hz it runs at 1600 rpm. I run it as slow
                              Message 14 of 17 , Feb 7, 2011
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                                See my message #27522

                                My own machine is the round column with a 3 phase motor and VFD. I have it set up so that at 100Hz it runs at 1600 rpm. I run it as slow as 3Hz for tapping (with corresponding low torque) M6, M8, M10, M12 & M16. Never change the belt position as a result. I have glass scale DRO on X and Y and the electronic caliper type on Z but will probably go glass scale there as well soon. Power drive on X axis.

                                Only you can realy decide which machine is best for you. The main argument for spending more money on the dovetail machine compared to the round column is the loss of head registration when raising or lowering it. There are plenty of work arounds for this with little cost (a suitable indicator in a mag base). Some with medium cost such as I employ if required (enough suitable collets to allow either R8 or ER32 as required). Some with high time cost such as modifying the machine with no guarantee of improvement. The tilting head would be nice to have but the lack of it has never caused me to be unable to make something I wanted to.

                                The X axis power drive is something I would consider a must have, you will too if you spend much time cranking the handles. DRO a close second.

                                What you need to think about is if the increase in cost for a dovetail machine is worth the decrease in possible speeds and the possibility that you may occasionaly need to move the head up or down during a set up. There may be some difference in the distance from the spindle to the column that may be important to you as well.

                                Martin

                                --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "bphill04" <barry.phillips@...> wrote:
                                >
                                >
                                > Hi Lennard,
                                >
                                > I have been in touch with the guys at Asset Plant & Machinery - very
                                > helpful indeed!
                                >
                                > One thing I have noticed about the SM-MD30 is that it only weighs 210kg
                                > - almost 100kg less than the HM-46! From what I have read and been told,
                                > weight (mass) is very important on a mill. Do you know what causes the
                                > weight difference between the two machines and if it is something I
                                > should be concerned about?
                                >
                                > I must admit, the additional cost of the SM-MD30 coupled with the
                                > freight charges to get it to Sydney are a bit of a concern to me. Then
                                > again, the 1600RPM top speed on the HM-46 also concerns me greatly as
                                > much of my milling will be done using small-ish cutters on aluminium and
                                > other alloys. I am seriously considering foregoing the benefits of a
                                > tilting head and dovetail column and choosing a round column, belt drive
                                > mill such as the HM-32
                                > (https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=M121
                                > <https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=M121> ) With the
                                > money I save on the purchase price I can get a few more extras like a
                                > digital read out or a good sized vice or some extra cutters... Life is
                                > full of trade-offs and buying a Mill is no different!
                                >
                                > Any comments from other group members on the choice of a belt drive
                                > round column mill would be greatly appreciated.
                                >
                                > Cheers
                                >
                                > Barry
                                > --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "leonar d bristow" <firstbumper@>
                                > wrote:
                                > >
                                > > Hi Barry,
                                > > I just purchased a mill from Asset machinery, close by to hare &
                                > Forbes. Slightly dearer than H&F but IMO a cut above, & service is
                                > excellent.
                                > > With a belt drive you can always play with the pulley sizes. 1600
                                > seems a bit slow for small size drilling or polishing, but it largely
                                > depends on how you use the machine.
                                > > I got a SM-MD30 - geared head box column, variable speed. Only thing I
                                > dont like is the position of the head crank handle, but I'm putting a
                                > motor on that, so no prob. Very happy with my purchase. Top revs is
                                > 2600.
                                > > Lennard
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > ------------------------------------------------------
                                > > Provided by Australis
                                > > http://www.australis.com.au/
                                > >
                                >
                              • Bill Stietenroth
                                The answer to your question can only come from you based on what you are going to use the machine for. Do you have a use for the machine now or are you going
                                Message 15 of 17 , Feb 7, 2011
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                                  The answer to your question can only come from you based on what you are going to use the machine for. Do you have a use for the machine now or are you going to buy a machine to try a new hobby? If you are buying it to "get into the machining hobby", and don't have a need for it based on something else you are doing, then I would think you would get the cheapest machine you could find so that you will have some money left over to buy tooling and material with. You are going to find that the machine is just the start, tooling is going to really eat up the budget so buy stuff as you need it, don't invest in inventory that your "might need" later, especially when you don't even know what you are going to make on it. If the hobby clicks with you, you will upgrade as you grow in the hobby. You can always sell your machine and buy another one as you find out what traits you want in a machine.
                                  If you are already at the upgrade point, then this opinion is moot. However, I would think if you were at the upgrade point, you wouldn't have asked the question, you would already know what you want.

                                  Just my 2 cent worth

                                  Bill

                                  ---------- Original Message ----------
                                  From: "leasingham_connelly" <martin@...>
                                  To: mill_drill@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: [mill_drill] Re: Choosing a new Mill Drill
                                  Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2011 15:34:10 -0000

                                  See my message #27522

                                  My own machine is the round column with a 3 phase motor and VFD. I have it set up so that at 100Hz it runs at 1600 rpm. I run it as slow as 3Hz for tapping (with corresponding low torque) M6, M8, M10, M12 & M16. Never change the belt position as a result. I have glass scale DRO on X and Y and the electronic caliper type on Z but will probably go glass scale there as well soon. Power drive on X axis.

                                  Only you can realy decide which machine is best for you. The main argument for spending more money on the dovetail machine compared to the round column is the loss of head registration when raising or lowering it. There are plenty of work arounds for this with little cost (a suitable indicator in a mag base). Some with medium cost such as I employ if required (enough suitable collets to allow either R8 or ER32 as required). Some with high time cost such as modifying the machine with no guarantee of improvement. The tilting head would be nice to have but the lack of it has never caused me to be unable to make something I wanted to.

                                  The X axis power drive is something I would consider a must have, you will too if you spend much time cranking the handles. DRO a close second.

                                  What you need to think about is if the increase in cost for a dovetail machine is worth the decrease in possible speeds and the possibility that you may occasionaly need to move the head up or down during a set up. There may be some difference in the distance from the spindle to the column that may be important to you as well.

                                  Martin

                                  --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "bphill04" <barry.phillips@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Hi Lennard,
                                  >
                                  > I have been in touch with the guys at Asset Plant & Machinery - very
                                  > helpful indeed!
                                  >
                                  > One thing I have noticed about the SM-MD30 is that it only weighs 210kg
                                  > - almost 100kg less than the HM-46! From what I have read and been told,
                                  > weight (mass) is very important on a mill. Do you know what causes the
                                  > weight difference between the two machines and if it is something I
                                  > should be concerned about?
                                  >
                                  > I must admit, the additional cost of the SM-MD30 coupled with the
                                  > freight charges to get it to Sydney are a bit of a concern to me. Then
                                  > again, the 1600RPM top speed on the HM-46 also concerns me greatly as
                                  > much of my milling will be done using small-ish cutters on aluminium and
                                  > other alloys. I am seriously considering foregoing the benefits of a
                                  > tilting head and dovetail column and choosing a round column, belt drive
                                  > mill such as the HM-32
                                  > (https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=M121
                                  > <https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Products?stockCode=M121> ) With the
                                  > money I save on the purchase price I can get a few more extras like a
                                  > digital read out or a good sized vice or some extra cutters... Life is
                                  > full of trade-offs and buying a Mill is no different!
                                  >
                                  > Any comments from other group members on the choice of a belt drive
                                  > round column mill would be greatly appreciated.
                                  >
                                  > Cheers
                                  >
                                  > Barry
                                  > --- In mill_drill@yahoogroups.com, "leonar d bristow" <firstbumper@>
                                  > wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > Hi Barry,
                                  > > I just purchased a mill from Asset machinery, close by to hare &
                                  > Forbes. Slightly dearer than H&F but IMO a cut above, & service is
                                  > excellent.
                                  > > With a belt drive you can always play with the pulley sizes. 1600
                                  > seems a bit slow for small size drilling or polishing, but it largely
                                  > depends on how you use the machine.
                                  > > I got a SM-MD30 - geared head box column, variable speed. Only thing I
                                  > dont like is the position of the head crank handle, but I'm putting a
                                  > motor on that, so no prob. Very happy with my purchase. Top revs is
                                  > 2600.
                                  > > Lennard
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > ------------------------------------------------------
                                  > > Provided by Australis
                                  > > http://www.australis.com.au/
                                  > >
                                  >
                                • leonar d bristow
                                  Hi Barry, Weight..... I found the mill purchased is 260Kg. specs slightly different from their advertising, probably an improved model. Weight IS important. I
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Feb 7, 2011
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                                    Hi Barry,
                                                Weight..... I found the mill purchased is 260Kg. specs slightly different from their advertising, probably an improved model. Weight IS important. I went for a slightly smaller mill because I do smallish work, i dont hog metal out [ie make moderate cuts] and it was within my weight lifting capacity. I took off the head and tables, and three of us just managed to lift the base & column on to the mill base, which is an old cast iron bandsaw base which I have converted.            
                                                 Column........personal preference. No way would I buy a round column mill- drill, although many have expressed satisfaction. I like the repeatability, and the time saved.
                                                Speed........I dont often use the high range, except for small hole drilling. Top speed is 2600 RPM which is ample for me. 1600 may be a bit limiting IMO.
                                                Tilting Head...... To be used as little as possible - tilting vice is better, but occasionally useful. good for tramming the X axis, which I check weekly. Round plate glass on the table and a custom made holder for the DTI - takes about a minute and I can get working knowing its accurate.
                                                Price........I had been waiting for some time for the Christmas sales and got mine some $400.00 off their listed price. I was prepared to pay a little more and get something a little better, plus I am impressed by their service and attitude.  You can of course get a mill cheaper on Ebay. My advice is DONT. Some of these are Indian copies, and you will not be happy with the purchase. H&F products are'nt bad.
                                     
                                    Hope whatever you buy works out well for you. BTW is have just finished installing a chinese Sinpo DRO, and can highly recommend them- very stable, which was my main concern. As you say, life is a tradeoff.
                                     
                                    cheers,
                                    lennard
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     

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