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Note from president of Wells Index

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Admin5

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Rick Robison <[email protected]> Posted on the Chaski Machine Shop forum
August 2002

My name is Rick Robison president of Wells-Index. I sometimes come on this site when I have the time and enjoy reading your letters and answers. I have learned a few things and have tried to help some of you with answers about knee mills in general a couple of times. I found a little misinformation in the archives that was posted a few weeks ago so I wanted to clear it up. Wells-Index is still being made in the USA using castings poured in the same foundry we have used since the 1960's in Grand Rapids, MI. We are a 100% USA made milling machine. We have not imported a mill and put our name on it since A & D Machinery purchased us in 1987. Before that the only models imported were the following, the manual 837 mill, 320-3 CNC and 420-3 CNC mills were all made using Taiwanese iron in early 1980's to 1986. Sytem 5 and system 4 CNC model mills were imported from Spain in the same time period. All other model machines made with the Index and Wells-Index logo were made in the USA. If you want to know when and where yours was made please contact us and we will let you know. I have worked for Wells-Index since 1974 and believe that we manufacture the best knee mills in the world. We are not a copy of anyones mill. We are Wells-Index, our mills our own design which we believe is the best design for our size mill.



[This message has been edited by Admin5 (edited 08-31-2002).]
 

andy pullen

New member
I fondly remember the Wells Index vertical mill that was in my high school machine shop. Nice heavy machine. But that's been 20+ years ago.

There was an Index mill in one of the shops that I worked in in the '80s. It was used and abused. Completely worn out. Not like the aforementioned machine.

Based on the memory of the machine from school, I would probably buy one of those. I liked the easy speed change mechanism in particular. Not like the little handwheel on a B'port or its copies.

Andy Pullen
 

CBlair

Active member
Thank you for the posting Rick, I am sure your input would always be appreciated.

Da##, Just saw the date of the original posting, I hate it when I speak before I think...
smile.gif


Charles


[This message has been edited by CBlair (edited 04-22-2004).]
 

stevewatr

New member
Just bought my first mill. Had been looking for a Bridgeport, and found a guy with an old Wi model 55. At that point, not being in the trade myself, I had never heard of "index" as proudly embossed on the front of the head. I knew what a Bridgeport was, but since the seller wanted $800, and since I had no idea if this was a fair price, and since the right side table hand wheel was missing, along with "something" else, I passed on it. But this little trip made me research the company, and boy am I glad I did!

Heres what I've learned by viewing videos, reading historical info, and most of all, reading countless posts in forums by guys who run, or ran them:

Wells index mills on the used market tend to run lower in price than Bridgeports. General consensus is that this is due only to a lack of name brand notoriety, and nothing else.

Many owners/operators of 700/800 series mills believe that their mills are superior to Bridgeports, this usually sparks a lively debate between them, and died in the wool BP fan's.

One thing that cannot be denied, A wells Index model 847 is a few hundred pounds heavier, and "beefier" than your average J head BP. Many proponents of the WI's attribute better finish to this fact.

For a nice walk around look on an 847 mill, check out Keith Rucker's video:

So 2 days ago I bought an 847, in excellent shape with a one shot oiler, and power feed on the x axis. Can't wait to get going on some projects!

Steve W.
 

gustafson

Active member
I only had one of the early 80's import CNC machines that had been ridden hard and put away wet, not a very nice machine, BUT what a great company to deal with. super easy great support. Still had a lot of documentation on the machine.

When I scrapped it ~10 years ago I sent them pieces they wanted so they could continue to support any poor souls with this machine
 

Big B

Active member
I never realized that Wells Index was made in Grand Rapids, Mi. I live fairly close to GR.

Big B
 

Krutch

New member
Don't have hands on experience with WI's but looked at one when I was about to buy my first mill. I was impressed with what I saw, but that particular machine had been abused pretty bad. It had a bunch of tooling with it, too. It was the only WI I had ever seen and thought it was an obsolete machine and builder. Unaware WI was still making mills.
 

MetalCarnage

New member
I picked up this 860 about two years ago and have been very happy with it since.

WIM010.JPG


Rick and his staff have been more than helpful in getting parts and information for this machine. I can highly recommend doing business with them.

-Ron
 

stevewatr

New member
I picked up this 860 about two years ago and have been very happy with it since.

Rick and his staff have been more than helpful in getting parts and information for this machine. I can highly recommend doing business with them.

-Ron

Nice looking mill. Looks like if it were an inch taller it would not fit. :)

Steve.
 

ad4wq

New member
Own a WI 745 and been a milling machine that has done everything I asked it to do---sometimes it did not understand what I was asking but my Southern tongue is easily misunderstood at times. And I give a big plus to Rick and his staff for their help with any questions I have consulted them with. Nice to talk with the "big cheese" and not get the runaround.
 
I like Wells Index, but somehow I always end up with a Bridgeport. But maybe someday, I'll have one. If I had the money, and was buying new, I would chose a Wells Index.
 








 
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