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Posted: 10/4/2015 11:51:39 PM EDT
Hi,

Thinking about completing a few AR 80% receivers for myself... And only for myself... Not looking to go to prison either.

With that said, what is the best milling machine on the market and that an unskilled guy like me can use with ease??

Thanks!!

Link Posted: 10/5/2015 12:43:36 AM EDT
[#1]
https://ghostgunner.net/

$1500

That's the easiest.
Link Posted: 10/5/2015 1:44:39 AM EDT
[#2]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
https://ghostgunner.net/

$1500

That's the easiest.
View Quote

Tag!
Link Posted: 10/5/2015 2:14:00 AM EDT
[#3]
Would this be of interest to you?


http://www.techshop.ws/
Link Posted: 10/5/2015 2:16:42 AM EDT
[#4]
If you're only going to be completing a few lowers that are already 80% done, there's really no point in blowing $1.5K on a milling machine (and then spending a few weeks getting the damned thing running properly), when you can get comparable results from a decent router and jig (total cost: under $300).
Link Posted: 10/5/2015 2:38:00 AM EDT
[#5]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:  If you're only going to be completing a few uppers that are already 80% done, there's really no point in blowing $1.5K on a milling machine (and then spending a few weeks getting the damned thing running properly), when you can get comparable results from a decent router and jig (total cost: under $300).
View Quote


Agreed.  But OP asked for the easiest.    You can do a lot w/ $1500 to throw @ a mini-mill.  Ghost Gunner may not be the best for the money - but it's close to idiot proof.
Link Posted: 10/5/2015 2:43:37 AM EDT
[#6]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Agreed.  But OP asked for the easiest.    You can do a lot w/ $1500 to throw @ a mini-mill.  Ghost Gunner may not be the best for the money - but it's close to idiot proof.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:  If you're only going to be completing a few uppers that are already 80% done, there's really no point in blowing $1.5K on a milling machine (and then spending a few weeks getting the damned thing running properly), when you can get comparable results from a decent router and jig (total cost: under $300).


Agreed.  But OP asked for the easiest.    You can do a lot w/ $1500 to throw @ a mini-mill.  Ghost Gunner may not be the best for the money - but it's close to idiot proof.


It's not what anyone asked for, but a 3d printer is like 1/3 of the cost and makes usable lowers. You're not going to be doing any of them there fancy run-n-guns that a lot of these guys are into, but it's an option especially if you're interested in development as well. Most of the more refined lowers have 600+ rounds through them, so if you're just looking to make usable lowers it's kinda a point-of-diminished-returns thing.

After 4 printers I'm ready for a mill, though.
Link Posted: 10/5/2015 3:02:00 AM EDT
[#7]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Agreed.  But OP asked for the easiest.    You can do a lot w/ $1500 to throw @ a mini-mill.  Ghost Gunner may not be the best for the money - but it's close to idiot proof.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:  If you're only going to be completing a few uppers that are already 80% done, there's really no point in blowing $1.5K on a milling machine (and then spending a few weeks getting the damned thing running properly), when you can get comparable results from a decent router and jig (total cost: under $300).


Agreed.  But OP asked for the easiest.    You can do a lot w/ $1500 to throw @ a mini-mill.  Ghost Gunner may not be the best for the money - but it's close to idiot proof.


When you include the time spent getting your mini-mill to produce the desired results, it's not anywhere near the easiest way to complete something as simple as a 80% lower.
Link Posted: 10/5/2015 5:56:16 AM EDT
[#8]
You asked "best" not easiest.  Perhaps best and easiest are the same thing.  I was in your shoes a couple years ago.  A Bridgeport was the answer for me.  Bridgeports are plentiful in SE PA.  Not sure about WA state.  Plentiful means you can buy one for as little as $500 - which is what mine cost.  It's a mid-50s' M-Head.  A 60s and beyond J-Head will be $800 at least.  I run mine with a $125 Variable Frequency Drive - necessary because Bridgeports want 3 Phase power.  Living in the sticks means single phase only.

Ray
Link Posted: 10/5/2015 6:58:19 AM EDT
[#9]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
You asked "best" not easiest.  Perhaps best and easiest are the same thing.  I was in your shoes a couple years ago.  A Bridgeport was the answer for me.  Bridgeports are plentiful in SE PA.  Not sure about WA state.  Plentiful means you can buy one for as little as $500 - which is what mine cost.  It's a mid-50s' M-Head.  A 60s and beyond J-Head will be $800 at least.  I run mine with a $125 Variable Frequency Drive - necessary because Bridgeports want 3 Phase power.  Living in the sticks means single phase only.

Ray
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
You asked "best" not easiest.  Perhaps best and easiest are the same thing.  I was in your shoes a couple years ago.  A Bridgeport was the answer for me.  Bridgeports are plentiful in SE PA.  Not sure about WA state.  Plentiful means you can buy one for as little as $500 - which is what mine cost.  It's a mid-50s' M-Head.  A 60s and beyond J-Head will be $800 at least.  I run mine with a $125 Variable Frequency Drive - necessary because Bridgeports want 3 Phase power.  Living in the sticks means single phase only.

Ray


His exact quote was:
Quoted:
With that said, what is the best milling machine on the market and that an unskilled guy like me can use with ease??

Link Posted: 10/5/2015 11:34:56 AM EDT
[#10]
I knew nothing about milling before I bought a LMS mini mill. But I didn't mind learning.  Always wanted to and figured the 80% game would make learning to mill a little more fun.  It certainly wasn't "easy" to get started.  But with enough time, effort and practice, it is pretty easy to produce a quality lower from an 80%.  

If a mill is the route you choose, buy the biggest you have room for.  It's a lot easier to do a small job on a big mill.  It's not always possible to do a big job on a small mill.  Many of the smaller mini mills barely have enough travel to complete a lower indexing from the front take down pin.
Link Posted: 10/5/2015 11:49:55 AM EDT
[#11]
Sieg X2D on sale through littlemachineshop.com. $1000 will get you the mill, starter set and some other stuff you may never need but once!



combine that with an 80% jig and you can't go wrong.









Link Posted: 10/5/2015 2:58:15 PM EDT
[#12]
For those of you who mentioned the "Ghost Gunner", I've yet to see ANYONE post here that they have or have actually seen one.  
Link Posted: 10/5/2015 3:24:15 PM EDT
[#13]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:  For those of you who mentioned the "Ghost Gunner", I've yet to see ANYONE post here that they have or have actually seen one.  
View Quote


A couple of months ago, someone posted about how the machine stops, beeps, and you have to follow the instructions to move the 80% lower to a new position.  It's not just push a button & let it run.

During the Texas Open Carry debates, the prototype was set up on the Capitol grounds in Austin and was cranking out lowers.

ETA:  I may be misremembering, and thinking of this article:

http://www.wired.com/2015/06/i-made-an-untraceable-ar-15-ghost-gun/

Linked from this thread:

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_4/675520_Did_anybody_get_a_Ghost_Gunner_CNC_Mill.html

ETA2:  Nope, was thinking of this thread:

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_123/680348_Slabside_lower_from_80__almost_complete_.html

So, yes, an ARFCOMmer has one and is cranking out lowers.  
Link Posted: 10/7/2015 4:53:42 PM EDT
[#14]
Well, for practicality my choice would be this...you will still need some tooling, milling vise, digital caliper, and such...

http://www.grizzly.com/products/Mill-Drill-with-Stand-and-DRO/G0759

Good luck.
Link Posted: 10/7/2015 8:25:16 PM EDT
[#15]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Well, for practicality my choice would be this...you will still need some tooling, milling vise, digital caliper, and such...

http://www.grizzly.com/products/Mill-Drill-with-Stand-and-DRO/G0759

Good luck.
View Quote


This. It's the one I'm saving up for so I can do lowers and other hobby type things. Then get a 10x22 lathe to make suppressors, cut/thread barrels. Then you need a band saw, disk sander, tons of tooling.

Or

If your really just going to do a couple lowers, just get a drill press or router and use a jig
Link Posted: 10/7/2015 9:17:20 PM EDT
[#16]
The best answer is simple, how much money do you want to spend, and something else you may not have figured in, if you do go all out and buy a mill, it will open up lot's of other related projects that can be created with this awesome tool. I have a Grizzly G0619 mill and the 11 x 22 lathe. You will need more tools, cutters, end mills. So research before you break out the credit card. It can be a pleasant period of time building up a small machine shop. And you would enjoy it in the long run. I started with just the Mill, then realized there are things you can't do easily with the Mill so went ahead and got the companion lathe, then a tool grinder. Then bit the bullet and got some DRO's for the mill. Wow they really make a big difference. All the while you are learning the fine skills needed to run a mill and lathe. I also strongly suggest you practice on blocks of scrap aluminum, learn the difference in milling and climb milling, it's a learning curve you will need to get beyond before screwing up the first lower to clamp on the machine.  

Back to the basics, what do you want to spend on a fantastic add on hobby and what else can you do with these fine tools. There's many ways to skin a cat. Pick one and go for it.
You can find good deals in many places for surplus older machines, but they come with issues that won't be there with buying new gear.
This is an old joke about harbor Freight, If the machines passes the quality control it gets painted green and shipped to Grizzly, if it failed QC then it's painted red and sent to HF. Fyi I been buying from both companies for many years, you get what you pay for.
I have built several 80's and one Zero's so far. The zero was very challenging but fun. Now if I could find a DPMS 308 zero I'd be real happy. Already have an 80 almost completed.
Link Posted: 10/8/2015 8:49:51 AM EDT
[#17]
I did 8 80% lowers, 4 AR15 and 4 308.

I love these kind of tinkering projects. I decided this would be fun to do and my son and I had them custom engraved.

I bought a Harbor Freight mini mill used from a guy who tried to do an 80% but he said he failed. The machine was dirty and still covered in the red packing grease mixed with chips. I took it apart and cleaned the grease and inspected everything. I replaced the gear drive with a belt drive. I replaced the tilt column with a fixed column. I installed the inch table wheels.

Then I bought a vise and had to shim the column so it was perfectly square to the table. That took a few hours of shimming. I used aluminum foil tape, aluminum foil and a piece of flashing. Once I got that I checked the square of the table. Luckily that was within .001" so I left it alone. I am not building aerospace parts on this Chinese hobby mill.

There are couple of things that annoy me about this mill. I was able to get excellent results. (The place I had them coated even commented on how nice the machining is). The gibs constantly need adjusting on the head. I used the self locking screws that Little Machine Shop supplied with the replacement column. I found once I switched them back to the original style I did not have to adjust them any more. The same for the tables.

The main annoyance and if I can't fix it will cause me to sell it is the backlash on the feed screws. I was able to get through it because I fitted DROs but without it would be much more difficult. I have not done much research into seeing if I can eliminate it or not. If not I will look into a different machine and sell this one. I wish I had space for a full size Bridgeport but I don't
Link Posted: 10/8/2015 1:15:39 PM EDT
[#18]
I love these milling/80% threads!

My Zero Project with links to my mini mill thread.
Link Posted: 10/8/2015 6:20:24 PM EDT
[#19]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
For those of you who mentioned the "Ghost Gunner", I've yet to see ANYONE post here that they have or have actually seen one.  
View Quote

I saw someone post here with one, with lots of Q&A following about the shavings, time to finish, etc.
Link Posted: 10/8/2015 7:00:53 PM EDT
[#20]
Why no $1000 used Bridgeport from CL?  
Link Posted: 10/8/2015 9:38:49 PM EDT
[#21]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Why no $1000 used Bridgeport from CL?  
View Quote


They are plentiful here east of the Mississippi, but those on the west coast aren't so lucky.  

For many others they are intimidating.  40+ years old, 3 phase, size, nearly impossible for one man to move, yet alone load up and haul around.  

Having said that, I have a mini-mill yet still want an older than me pile of American iron.
Link Posted: 10/8/2015 10:22:04 PM EDT
[#22]
Bridge port ! They're a damn decent mill and for the price nothing compares. Personally wouldn't waste my money on a mini mill I hear they all suck basically although I have never been on one. Get a rotary table and you can make all kinds of neat stuff on a Bridgeport  not just lowers.
Link Posted: 10/8/2015 10:39:23 PM EDT
[#23]
How about a $300 mill?
Like this one

Link Posted: 10/9/2015 8:43:09 AM EDT
[#24]
if you only plan to do 1 or 2 why bother buying a mill? ask around and see if anyone you work with or know anyone who has one you can spend some time on maybe give you some training. but to answer the original
question which is best? my vote is Bridgeport M head, smaller than a J head, can be found with 115v motors, good resale when you lose interest or room.
Link Posted: 10/9/2015 10:12:14 AM EDT
[#25]
Here's my $500 M-Head Bridgeport finishing it's first 80% receiver.



Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
if you only plan to do 1 or 2 why bother buying a mill? ask around and see if anyone you work with or know anyone who has one you can spend some time on maybe give you some training. but to answer the original
question which is best? my vote is Bridgeport M head, smaller than a J head, can be found with 115v motors, good resale when you lose interest or room.
View Quote

Link Posted: 10/10/2015 12:20:49 AM EDT
[#26]
Wish I could find one at 500$. Nice buy.
Link Posted: 10/10/2015 1:17:38 PM EDT
[#27]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Sieg X2D on sale through littlemachineshop.com. $1000 will get you the mill, starter set and some other stuff you may never need but once!

combine that with an 80% jig and you can't go wrong.
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c320/ejeviking/ARFCOM%20bucket/20150809_211823_zpsn0uq99bp.jpg
View Quote

I see that the seig is on sale for 600... What else do i need?
Thanks




Link Posted: 10/10/2015 2:13:52 PM EDT
[#28]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

I see that the seig is on sale for 600... What else do i need?
Thanks

View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Sieg X2D on sale through littlemachineshop.com. $1000 will get you the mill, starter set and some other stuff you may never need but once!

combine that with an 80% jig and you can't go wrong.
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c320/ejeviking/ARFCOM%20bucket/20150809_211823_zpsn0uq99bp.jpg

I see that the seig is on sale for 600... What else do i need?
Thanks



Or you can buy the seig x2 from harbor freight for less than 500 shipped.  Then buy the starter kit from LMS with vise and whatnot
Slightly different than x2d I think, but perfectly capable of this application.

I went this route but the money is in all the other shit.  Drive belt upgrade and tooling, vises, clamps, measuring devices.  I thought I was going the cheap route but I'm $1500 deep at least






Link Posted: 10/14/2015 5:22:36 PM EDT
[#29]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Or you can buy the seig x2 from harbor freight for less than 500 shipped.  Then buy the starter kit from LMS with vise and whatnot

Slightly different than x2d I think, but perfectly capable of this application.



I went this route but the money is in all the other shit.  Drive belt upgrade and tooling, vises, clamps, measuring devices.  I thought I was going the cheap route but I'm $1500 deep at least
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:



Quoted:


Quoted:

Sieg X2D on sale through littlemachineshop.com. $1000 will get you the mill, starter set and some other stuff you may never need but once!



combine that with an 80% jig and you can't go wrong.

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c320/ejeviking/ARFCOM%20bucket/20150809_211823_zpsn0uq99bp.jpg



I see that the seig is on sale for 600... What else do i need?

Thanks







Or you can buy the seig x2 from harbor freight for less than 500 shipped.  Then buy the starter kit from LMS with vise and whatnot

Slightly different than x2d I think, but perfectly capable of this application.



I went this route but the money is in all the other shit.  Drive belt upgrade and tooling, vises, clamps, measuring devices.  I thought I was going the cheap route but I'm $1500 deep at least
I bought the starter kit for mills, the midline one with 3" vice, 7 R8 collets, inspection equipment, parallels, 20 end mills and some other goodies. I've used most all of it so far for one thing or another.

 
Link Posted: 10/14/2015 9:09:57 PM EDT
[#30]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
For those of you who mentioned the "Ghost Gunner", I've yet to see ANYONE post here that they have or have actually seen one.  
View Quote


Here's one for sale in the EE,  LINK
There is another mill for sale in there too OP.
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