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Rockford MV100 Mill


Sep 13, 2010
San Francisco Bay Area, CA USA
I have found a Rockford MV100 for sale, and could be a good buy. But also have also seen very little info regarding this unit. A search on this forum produced very little info. As a total novice, am concerned about parts availability, what to lube, with what, how to maintain, etc. That would seem to make it a poor candidate for someone like me, but people have them and make do. Wondered if such a machine really is a risk, or with machine tools, can one generally get by with even the minimal info that seems to exist for this unit. It is apparently the same as a Hedwick and Logan MV100.

- Phil
From your last post, this machine in question looks to fit the bill, Rockford Milling Machine-USA . $800.00, great shape, what more do you want. I'd say it's a perfect fit for what your needs are as you posted previously. Don't start second guessing, from what the pictures show and description I'd jump on it. Just bring someone you know that has working knowledge in machining if your unsure.

I just did a search for a Rockford and found this PM thread on one and someone who looks to have or get/make parts for it, http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/general/rockford-mv100-fenlind-vertical-mill-owners-141774/

Well, being the one directed you to this machine in the first place, I say "go for it"! You're lucky it's still for sale.

Seriously, like Cuda says, this looks like a perfect fit for you. It looks a tad smaller than a Bridgeport, but very stout. I don't actually know this Rockford machine, but I own/owned the most common and popular small'ish mills, the Clausing and Rockwell, and from the looks of this Rockford, I'd say it looks much better than either of those. It's much more stout; has an infinitely variable speed head (I'm curious top speed); looks like it has fine downfeed handwheel and rapid down lever; it looks like quite a bit of quill travel, maybe even power downfeed on quill. And it has an extensible ram, like a Van Norman (which I also have and can attest it's a fabulous feature). ANd it looks to be in very good condition overall.

Don't worry about parts. You rarely need parts for a mill, unless it is totally clapped out or somehow damaged. There are not really consumable parts on old machine tools -- they were designed to last forever. Besides, almost none of non-Bridgeport options have good parts availability (Clausing, Rockwell, Gorton, Burke) so you'll always be in that boat unless you go Bridgeport.

Btw, I sold my Rockwell mill for $2800. If that Rockford is what it looks like, $800 is an absolute steal.
I just googled a bit, and that machine has speed 80 to 3720, and it does have power downfeed quill. Sweet machine!

I would have easily paid 3x that price for such a machine back when I was needing a smaller mill. I can hardly believe it's only $800. I would be tempted to buy it just for kicks, if I had not just taken delivery 6 hours ago on my latest machine purchase, and so I'm out of space until I get rid of something.
Get over there an buy it before someone offers $1000. The seller might rationalize you aren't coming.

I recently bought a car that appeared in the local shopper. I was in the guys driveway a couple of hours after the paper hit the street, gave him $50 and got a bill of sale hand written on the back of an envelope.

He couldn't find the title so it dragged on. When the sale was consummated, he said he had over 100 calls about the car and many would take it as is, no title. He did offer my money back several times. I refused and have the car.

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I have told the seller I will take the machine (barring something horribly wrong with it), and confirmed I still first in line until I can get to it this Sunday. The seller was fine with that. But, have heard this before and a mill was sold out from under me. I am a novice, do not have the knowledge to inspect alone and my friend who has the knowledge is not available until Sunday.

More troubling is moving it. My other thread has netted responses that recommend a professional rigger (possibly as costly as the machine itself!) to an assemblage of equipment of which I have none of or is costly to obtain. I am still working on this.

- Phil
Take it apart

have the same model mill and I am also a new guy to this machining thing. Tha mill I have was given to me but had a shed built around it. It took me and 2 other about 3 hours to have separate into about 7 pieces and loaded. Best thing to move is an engine hoist.
What pieces did you separate it into? How much do you think the thing weighed total. The seller claims 1800, one person said a one ton hoist wouldn't budge it, and yet is supposedly about 2/3 the size of a 2200 lb. Bridgeport.

- Phil
With respect to transport and loading, it doesn't really make any difference if it's 1800, 2000, 2200... The technique, requirements, risks, etc are all the same.
My friend can not come with me tomorrow to inspect the MV-100. I am going to look at. I know VERY little about mills, and am looking for guidance on how to inspect and what to look for. I have already read the mermac article, but not as helpful as the lathe piece. What I have on my list for tomorrow. I welcome any additions. Please, a total novice, so please use terms I can understand (I know the table, chuck, quill, X,Y,Z axes, etc.).

* Move table for left to full right. Check for tightness and backlash at extreme ends and center. Screw wear.
* Move table for and aft. Same check as above. Screw wear.
* Check for cracked castings.
* Check ways for wear.
* Check for obvious and severe dings, overall condition (evidence of abuse, etc.).
* Check quill operation.
* Run machine if possible. Listen for weird noises (I really won't know what is odd and isn't, unless it sounds catastrophic).


- Phil
The mill you're looking at has its motor tucked away in the base and a slightly complicated bit of gearing in the head. So, yes, run it through each of its speeds. Wouldn't hurt to spend some times on the Lathes UK site and Google around to see what you can learn about the operation of the mill this evening.

At the very fair price the seller is asking, I'm surprised it isn't gone. Unless there is a major problem, it sounds like a good deal.
Thanks for your help. There is next to nothing about the MV100 on the Internet and I checked the UK site very carefully. Nothing there either. That fact there is virtually zero info on this unit is concerning to me, but do not know enough to know if that really is a problem or not.

Since I am unfamiliar with mill operation, will ask the owner to run it. It sounds as though it really does need to run to be assured of it functioning properly.

- Phil
Phil, I have one of these machines (Hedwick MV-100). Check out the thread that I started not too long ago:

I believe this is the same as your machine. I listed some of the replacement parts like belts and seals and one of the members emailed some technical info to me, which I would be happy to forward to you.

These are extremely nice milling machines and very easy to work on if necessary.
Hey, give us an update on your mill when you get a chance. Do NOT worry so much about being a noob when it comes to buying the machine. You will figure out if it has any issues over time, as you become more familiar with it. The fact that you want a milling machine in the first place is a good indication of some aptitude in this area, just don't give up on the "project" at the beginning.
As someone suggested in this thread (related to the moving thread you posted), dismantling the machine is a perfectly viable option as well for moving it. I did that with a Bridgeport that I bought a few years back. On this machine, I suspect the 1800 lb. number is about right. A 2-ton shop crane from Harbor Freight will make dismantling or moving it a great deal easier. Without knowing the Rockford mill, but estimating based on Bridgeport weights, figure about 200-250 lbs. for the head, about 175 for the ram (although I can't see that ram is necessarily removable), the table and saddle together probably 300 plus, and I could only guess at the rest.
As others have posted, $800 looks like stealing the machine if you want to have it at all.
I have been using a Rockford MV-100 in a home shop for more than two years. I am in contact with a few other owners across the country and we share repair techniques when needed. All agree the machine is sound, heavy, old-American iron. If you can live with the short travel of a 36" table, you'll appreciate that it is beefier in every other respect to a No. 1 Bridgeport.

It has grease zerks through which you should pump way oil, not grease. Feel free to contact me for details.

Many of its parts are generic, off the shelf, industrial items, so there is no availability problem. But if anything special breaks or wears out you will have to fabricate it for yourself. As another poster has already pointed out, however, it was not designed to wear out.
You wouldn't happen to have any pictures of the plaque's on the Rockford MV100? I have one and can't read any of them.
I know this is an old post, but I picked up a Rockford MV 100 mill serial MV432.
Everything works on it. Doesnt have power feed.


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Has anyone removed table or replaced X and Y feed nuts? Y has a lot of slop X not bad, figured Id replace both while I had it apart