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Posted: 2/12/2006 5:09:03 AM EDT
I have been looking for a cost effective Mill drill, not being interested in a mini mill, I needed something larger. Most of the mills in the size that I was looking at were well over a grand. I have had my eye on this model at Harbor Freight, only to find on the Internet Web site that they have been discontinued.

However several of the Retail outlets still had them. The Mill costs $399.00 The Stand was another $80.00 not a necessity but a nice option, and of course I am not big on maintenance agreements, but with HF stuff I tend to get them, as they are complete "replacement" agreements. Wonder how they are going to do that since my item is discontinued (if something happens).

Anyway to make a long story longer, The sales associate gave me this deal, (conditional on purchasing the maint. agreement. (that is how they make thier $$$)). The deal was out the door tax and all

Mill,Stand,Maintenance agreement, Rotating angle vice. $415.0

Below are the specs

* Motor: 1/2 hp,120V, 8.5 amps, 1700 RPM
* 12 speeds: 300, 400, 540, 720, 900, 1040, 1500, 1740, 2100, 2260, 3100 and 3840 RPM
* Head rotates 360°
* Spindle taper: MT-2
* Spindle stroke: 3-3/8''
* Spindle diameter: 1.265''
* Drill capacity: 5/8''
* Face mill capacity: 1-1/2''
* Chuck to table: 10''
* Table size:16-1/2" X 6-1/16''
* Column diameter: 2.830''

Link Posted: 2/12/2006 5:12:03 AM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 7:25:08 AM EDT
You might try posting this in the build it yourself forum.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 7:35:55 AM EDT
Look at this site for informed response:

www.roderuscustom.tzo.com
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 7:44:59 AM EDT
Can you give me the HF SKU #'s on the items...I may go check it out.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 10:20:36 AM EDT
Get yourself a real good clamping vice to bolt to the table. Buy good American made mill bits and take small cuts (In mild steel do no more than .010" at a time and feed it slowly. Flycutting? Do only a couple thou at a time.). A rig like that isn't as rigid as a larger one and there's bound to be play in the raising/lowering column so clamp it tight before making a cut to reduce chatter. No coolant system means slow feed as well.
Treat it like a hobby mill and not like a production machine and you should get some great service from it. That was a darn good buy at that price.
I've got a bunch of HF tools. They're great if you use them as they're intended to be used.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 10:41:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/12/2006 10:42:52 AM EDT by Chris_1522]
In my opinion, it's not a mill if you have to put end mills in a drill chuck. Does it take R8s or any other type of collet? How much backlash is in the leadscrews and is it accurate? Lastly, if you lightly lock the table, can you take climb cuts?

I've been thinking about getting a small lathe and mill myself because I no longer work in a shop where I can do 'government jobs'.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 1:23:48 PM EDT
Smithy 1220 LTD....... R1150R
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 2:02:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/12/2006 2:07:26 PM EDT by advntrjnky]
i have the one about that size that is called a mini-mill for around $500 (not the smallest, but next size up and works great as a drill). it has the R8 spindal taper so collets are plentiful/cheap. it also has adjustable gibbs (spelling?) to keep everything square/ in line. the one pictured doesn't IIRC. it has worked fine for me, but if you want to do a 0% AR forging you run out of height, so you have to get creative on your jigs/ clamping. i exploded the plastic gears by running a 1 1/2" end mill a little hard. so, i just ordered up three sets from HF. they are simple to replace. a fly cutter would prob have been a better cutter for me to use. all in all i like it, but wish i had gotten the bigger one for around $1000.

Edit: now that i look at it again that is about the same size as mine, it should do you fine for general work.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 5:47:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By advntrjnky:
i have the one about that size that is called a mini-mill for around $500 (not the smallest, but next size up and works great as a drill). it has the R8 spindal taper so collets are plentiful/cheap. it also has adjustable gibbs (spelling?) to keep everything square/ in line. the one pictured doesn't IIRC. it has worked fine for me, but if you want to do a 0% AR forging you run out of height, so you have to get creative on your jigs/ clamping. i exploded the plastic gears by running a 1 1/2" end mill a little hard. so, i just ordered up three sets from HF. they are simple to replace. a fly cutter would prob have been a better cutter for me to use. all in all i like it, but wish i had gotten the bigger one for around $1000.

Edit: now that i look at it again that is about the same size as mine, it should do you fine for general work.



Yes the one pictured (mine) has adjustable gibbs.

I have plenty of height adjustment, (so it seems).

Yes R8 accessories, heck of alot cheaper than Morse taper #2 (MT2), but I have a source that is cheap as water so...


Link Posted: 2/12/2006 5:52:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CBR900:
Look at this site for informed response:

www.roderuscustom.tzo.com



Can you help me out with a direct link? All that I see is his dealings with the HF mini mill. Thanks.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 5:54:34 PM EDT
Go to the Forums section...
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 5:56:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sidecarnutz:
Get yourself a real good clamping vice to bolt to the table. Buy good American made mill bits and take small cuts (In mild steel do no more than .010" at a time and feed it slowly. Flycutting? Do only a couple thou at a time.). A rig like that isn't as rigid as a larger one and there's bound to be play in the raising/lowering column so clamp it tight before making a cut to reduce chatter. No coolant system means slow feed as well.
Treat it like a hobby mill and not like a production machine and you should get some great service from it. That was a darn good buy at that price.
I've got a bunch of HF tools. They're great if you use them as they're intended to be used.



Sage advice Sidecar, thanks, did what you said tonight on the slow feed, luckily I have plenty of Cleveland end mills to play with. I understand that she isnt a production tool, but will work well within my hobby.

Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:07:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By robpiat:
Go to the Forums section...



Kinda where I am, however as mentioned by someone else maybe I will post this on BIY.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:10:23 PM EDT
No...on www.roderuscustom.tzo.com...go to the forums...Tons of info.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:14:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By robpiat:
No...on www.roderuscustom.tzo.com...go to the forums...Tons of info.



Oh, ok my mistake.

Thanks!

Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:21:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Chris_1522:
In my opinion, it's not a mill if you have to put end mills in a drill chuck. Does it take R8s or any other type of collet? How much backlash is in the leadscrews and is it accurate? Lastly, if you lightly lock the table, can you take climb cuts?

I've been thinking about getting a small lathe and mill myself because I no longer work in a shop where I can do 'government jobs'.



It takes M2 like my description reads. Not the cheapest but....

As for the drill chuck end mill coupling, well, we will see how that pans out, I am a bit more optimistic than you (since I have the dog gone thing in my shop) but I understand what you are saying, not the optimal setup for sure but the whole deal for under $500.00 and if it will do what I need. (based upon tonight's practise runs it appears that it will).

copied to BIY forum as per request.


Link Posted: 2/12/2006 7:14:26 PM EDT
My own main machine tool is a Shoptask (Now called Shopmaster) XT17 that I bought back in 1997 for about $1900 with some basic tooling. It's been a very good tool for a advanced hobby level set up and has saved my bacon on many projects over the years.
The HF stuff isn't quite as good and have fewer features (Their 3 in 1 machine is actually an older Shoptask design.), but they are much less expensive too.
When I left the Navy in 1999 I took four semesters of machine shop and cnc programming and three semesters of welding and the other stuff for my AS degree at VA expense. That was a great time! Nothing will make you more dangerous than professional instruction!
I recently bought HF's floor model drill press. It is 1 hp and 16 speeds with a 17" swing. I was very impressed with it. At just $189 it was a bargain. It's very smooth and chatter free.
There was a time some years back when I laughed at HF stuff. Now my shop looks like one of their catalogs. Their quality goes up every year too. They got the last laugh on me!
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:22:47 AM EDT
See www.mini-lathe.com/Mini_mill/Versions/versions.htm.


(07/21/02) This machine is really more of a drill with milling capability than a true milling machine, but a number of folks who have bought it have reported good results using it as a mill. It is larger and heavier than the mini-mill and a bargain price at $379.99 (sometimes less on sale). One weakness is the lack of a fine Z-axis feed, but at least one owner has developed a fine-feed mod. According to the specs, it has a #2 Morse Taper spindle, which seems too small for a machine of this size, but all the accessories listed for it are #2MT, so I guess it really is.


Also looks like the speed control is done by changing the belt.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 10:22:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By rocko:
See www.mini-lathe.com/Mini_mill/Versions/versions.htm.


(07/21/02) This machine is really more of a drill with milling capability than a true milling machine, but a number of folks who have bought it have reported good results using it as a mill. It is larger and heavier than the mini-mill and a bargain price at $379.99 (sometimes less on sale). One weakness is the lack of a fine Z-axis feed, but at least one owner has developed a fine-feed mod. According to the specs, it has a #2 Morse Taper spindle, which seems too small for a machine of this size, but all the accessories listed for it are #2MT, so I guess it really is.


Also looks like the speed control is done by changing the belt.



Yes speed control is facilitaed by changing the belt, pretty basic, I would like the flexibility of electronic speed control but I know a guy that had his go out on his "mini-mill" pretty much takes you out of commission until you can get a new board. If a belt breaks, it's off to Autozone.

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