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Thread: Index Mill
02-05-2010, 03:41 PM #1
I am looking at purchasing an Index manual mill. What are anyone's thought and/or concerns with this mill? I can't seem to be able to buy a Bridgeport at a reasonable price, and this Index looks like a good copy. Thnaks
02-05-2010, 03:56 PM #2
Many would say that Wells Index made a BETTER machine than Bridgeport. American made, the company is still in business and still supports their product.
02-05-2010, 04:07 PM #3
I was told that parts were still readily available. I hope the guy doesn't shock me when he finally gives me a price. He replaced the vari-drive belt, and a couple of bearings in the head. It does have power X&Y feeds and a nice DRO. Any ideas on what it may be worth? Thanks
02-05-2010, 04:32 PM #4
I have an Index 845. I think it's better than the similar bridgeports. All parts are available and Index provides excellent customer support.
It's worth what you are willing to pay for it and what he's willing to sell it for.
02-05-2010, 05:06 PM #5
There's a wide range in utility between the 40H with it's step pulleys, 8 X 30 table, no turret, (solid cast iron to the head pivot) and no nod, does have have tilt, #9 B&S spindle while the top of the line 845 that Aaron has, 4' + table, all planes of movement with turret, R8 spindle and vari drive, double the weight of the 40H
40H, the 500, 600, 700 and 800 series.
Help us help you. Between Aaron on the top and my little 40H, we've got 2 of the 5 covered, both ends, then there are others.
02-05-2010, 05:09 PM #6
Have a '78 847 Wells Index out here. Factory CNC, old Bandit controller. Where I used to work we had two manuals also.
A Wells Index IS NOT a bridgeport copy. It is a Wells Index. A damn good machine that is STILL american made, unlike a "bridgeport".
They don't go for as much since you aren't paying $3000 for the name plate and $500 for the machine.
They still have fantastic tech support and parts are available, right here in the USA, they still make 'em. Pretty darn small company.
Buy the Wells, and stick your nose up at the folks that scoff at you because you don't have a "Bridgeport".
If you're talking about a first index/sharp, still pretty sweet little Taiwanese machines. All the ones I've seen had all chrome ways, and the one I did get to use was really nice. A good investment also.
02-05-2010, 05:18 PM #7
Go for it if it is in good shape. Wells Index is beefy, I also like the Tree mills.
No, you don't have to have a Bridgeport. My Alliant is a pretty good one also.
The Wells Index ones that I have seen/ran were heavy duty.
02-05-2010, 05:39 PM #8
I once met a man who was in a terrible train accident and had a near death experience. He tells me he doesn't remember a lot other than there was a long tunnel that he was walking down, and a light at the end of it. As he approached the light, he could see God operating an Index mill. Then, suddenly, he was jerked back to this world and is still avoiding trains at all costs. Various experts will tell you this sort of phenomena has a wide variety of interpretations, but once thing is for sure - God uses an Index.
02-05-2010, 05:45 PM #9
02-05-2010, 06:15 PM #10
Couldn't tell you a model # yet. I have talked to the guy by phone, but not seen the mill first hand yet. I heard about it from a friend of mine that would not steer me wrong. He told me that it was nice, and that the guy selling it is top notch. I believe it after talking to him about what and why he is replacing things on the mill. I am confident that the mill will be in top notch condition, or he will not sell it. I too like the Tree mills. I have run a few of the Journeyman CNC mills, and really liked how they performed. That mill is at the top of my wish list, just funding holding me back.
02-05-2010, 08:52 PM #11
This is really esoteric:
One cool thing I liked about the Wells 747 was the X axis leadscrew nut was mounted to the left side of the saddle. On a long tapping process I disconnected it and reeled it away from the saddle about 8 inches. This left me with an X axis I could push to get the tap started and let it feed itself both ways by reversing the motor. I mounted the tap in a right angle head.
I also built a simple "side to side" lever in which I could slide the table left and right for different jobs. It was fun.
02-05-2010, 08:54 PM #12
I have a 745 Index mill and I am very satisfied with it. I have run a Bridgeport and the Index and the Index seems like a little better mill than the Bridgeport I ran. No extras on mine just a solid machine.
02-05-2010, 08:57 PM #13
I think I got the one that the Devil himself tried to run! Index 645 model. Power feed gutted on the head. The table used as an anvil. Rest of the mill in excellent shape with minimum wear. Had the table top reground, refitted all of the slides. Added manual feed to the head for now, and added a VFD to the spindle motor. It's puts a BP to shame!
02-05-2010, 09:13 PM #14
There should be a serial number plate on the left side of the body. It will have the Serial number and Model number on it.
You can call wells-index and they will tell you when it was made, what options it had and who it was originally sold too.
Like others have said with more conviction than me, the Index and Wells-Index machines are NOT Bridgeport Copies. They are their own design. The power feed mechanisms on the table are far superior to the servo electric POS's on the bridgeports, mine is powered by a 1/4 3 phase motor and has 8 precise feed rates through a gearbox. The power feed clutch on the quill and 3 feed rates are easily engaged.
You won't pay for the bridgeport name, but you won't be able to find cheap knock-off stuff on Ebay for it. but what you will get is a machine that will probably last longer than you or I will be alive.
02-05-2010, 09:27 PM #15
This Ain't No Bridgeport Clone!!
The Mighty Metal Muncher Index 645...it ain't real pretty, but it sure makes chips!
02-06-2010, 03:46 PM #16
Make sure its one of the US made Index mills, a while back they sold some import mills under the Wells Index name.
02-06-2010, 07:23 PM #17
Index Milling Machines
I have a 1968 Index Model 756 milling machine. I bought it 2 years ago and did a 100% restoration of it. The grease in the head was like asphalt. It is a great machine. The 756 does not have a ram for moving the head in the Y direction but this is seldom a problem for me. It is very rigid. I have a VFD on it so I just run the belt in the middle position and use the VFD and back gears for changing the spindle speed. As other have said, the Index is not a Bridgeport clone. It was a competitor before Bport won the manual knee mill war... I thin the Index is stiffer than the Bport and cuts better. I do not have power feeds but have installed an old DRO.
Rick at Wells Index (the current company name) is very helpful. He has manuals and parts for nearly every old model. He also reconditions them.
Coincidentally, here is an Index Model 756 for sale on Ebay at this moment:
Index Vertical Milling Machine - eBay (item 200399102083 end time Feb-24-10 06:33:30 PST)
Please tell us exactly what you are looking at. We can advise if it is a good deal. Will you be able to go look at it before you have to commit or not to purchase?
02-06-2010, 07:49 PM #18
Yes, I will be able to look at it before committing to anything. This guy is meticulous. I have no doubt that it will be a great machine when he is done with it. I am just waiting for him to finish a few things on it before he lets anyone even look at it.
02-06-2010, 08:57 PM #19
I was looking at a Wells Index CNC 800< (number was the cnc controller).
I e-mailed Rick Robison and he replied the next day!!!! From the serial number he gave me the week it was built & all kinds of info.
Rick even said that if I bought it and decided it was too big of a project he would buy it from me.
Of course he would only buy it if I didn't tear it all apart and scatter it.
Here is the contact information for Rick:
A & D Machinery Company
701 West Clay Ave.
Muskegon, MI 49440
Last edited by jackal; 02-07-2010 at 07:40 AM.
02-06-2010, 11:24 PM #20
Well, here is my Index 845. It started out as a rustoleum rebuild but has turned into a full on rebuild because I'm more anal that I had thought.
New bearings in everything, re built lube system, new paint, rebuilt clutch, etc...etc...
This thing is nice and the bit I used it before I tore it down was showing easily +/- .005" tolerance capability.