Vertical manual mill options - need guidance - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    Is gunsmithing LEGAL in California???
    It's legal, but it causes cancer.

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  3. #22
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    If you want the best of the best, spare no expense, a deckel, schaublin, aciera, maho, sixis etc is the best choice. I've ran bridgeports and their clones, but european machines sure are nice. My maho mh 800 is about the size of a bridgeport but dang it can do so much stuff a bridgeport can't. It'll take .300 doc with a 3/4in end mill in steel with ease. Another huge bonus for some people is the large satin chrome dials with .0005 increments. I could go on and on, but its like once you use a really nice machine its hard to go back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chknives View Post
    If you want the best of the best, spare no expense, a deckel, schaublin, aciera, maho, sixis etc is the best choice. I've ran bridgeports and their clones, but european machines sure are nice. My maho mh 800 is about the size of a bridgeport but dang it can do so much stuff a bridgeport can't. It'll take .300 doc with a 3/4in end mill in steel with ease. Another huge bonus for some people is the large satin chrome dials with .0005 increments. I could go on and on, but its like once you use a really nice machine its hard to go back.
    Most homeshop guys do just fine with a BP style knee mill. They're a great design for a relatively light weight and inexpensive general purpose machine.

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  6. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike C. View Post
    Ballscrews will backfeed under pressure unless the axis is locked solid. For a manual machine, Acme is far better.
    i have a ball screw on y. never noticed any backfeed.

  7. #25
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    Thanks everyone for the input. I'm taking it all in and putting it in notes.

    Something that I'm not sure if I was clear on is this will be a professional venture not home hobby and I've seen one or two home hobby comments. I know that can make a difference in recommendations. For instance when we do a slide to frame fit we are measuring the .0001. Right now we mill to the .001 then use the surface grinder for those last 1/10ths.

    Thank you on the comment about searching knew mill instead of vertical mill also. That helped.

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  9. #26
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    "i have a ball screw on y. never noticed any backfeed. "

    I have a 3hp Van Norman bridge mill with ballscrews on both X and Y axes. It will backfeed when you least expect or desire it, unless you lock the unmoving axis with a 1/2" lock bolt. I also run a 25hp Cincinnati vertical with acme screws that will not slip on the unused axis.

  10. #27
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    I would also recommend either a Tree brand mill or a Bridgeport. We had Tree's at work and they were a pleasure to run. We primarily had manual machines like the 2VGC:

    TREE 2VGC , Vertical Milling Machine, Power Cross feed, 3 HP 22/44 v | eBay

    and the 2UVR:

    TREE 2UVR VERTICAL MILL MILLING MACHINE 42" X 1" TABLE / 2HP | eBay

    Both were excellent machines and a bit shorter and more stout than the Bridgeports. I used both over the years but had a slight preference for the 2VGC.

    They use a proprietary collet system which is considerably easier for us short guys to use. The only drawbacks are they are slightly more expensive than the Bridgeports and tooling is also more expensive. I looked for over 2 years to find one but it seemed they were all either rode hard and put away wet, or extremely expensive. In the last few years I've seen some on the market at more reasonable prices. In fact I turned one down earlier this summer that could have been purchased for $500.00. I passed on the deal primarily because I don't have room for another vertical mill, and I would have had to buy all new tooling.

    After striking out on the Tree mills years ago I started looking for other brands. In the end I purchased a Bridgeport 9"x 42" vari-drive machine similar to this:

    Bridgeport Variable Speed Vertical Milling Machine 9" x 42" Table 1 1/2 HP R8 | eBay

    It came from a local high school and had been in storage 10 years before they finally decided to let it go. Don't let the prices on eBay or other internet sites scare you off. I paid less than half the price the seller is asking for this machine, and it was delivered to the shop free. They are a bit heavy at around 2,100 lbs. However they can easily be moved by one person using pipes as rollers. Just turn the head upside down to lower the center of gravity.

    I've moved mine several times including down a flight of stairs. To move it down the stairs it had to be disassembled, but still it's a one man job for everything except the column.

    Good places to look are high schools technical colleges and universities. Most are in the process of phasing out the manual machines for CNC machines. The universities and technical schools tend to keep their machines in like new condition. When they do go up for sale most sell for less than $2,000.00. The only drawback is the seller has to remove it in a timely manner.

    Some universities have their own surplus websites like this:

    Home | SWAP

    Then there's Craigslist:

    craigslist: madison, WI jobs, apartments, personals, for sale, services, community, and events

    Also look around to see if there are any sites that handle surplus equipment for municipalities like this:

    http://www.maxanet.com/cgi-bin/mncal.cgi?rlust

    The key is to be patient and persistent. You may not find what you want at the price you want to pay today, but if you keep looking eventually you'll find good quality machines at the prices you can afford. I've been successful in finding several machines in excellent condition and for prices that I could afford.

  11. #28
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    rusty tool "It's legal, but it causes cancer."

    Well in the end, like cancer the final outcome can organ or lung damage but that is for a different reason (bullet holes).

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    Dave

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    Found this one. Could use input. I'll need to add a power feed to X. I need a phase converter because I'm working out of my home. Before anyone says it's difficult to change spee this is exactly what I use daily in the shop I'm working now.

    Bridgeport Milling Machine - Belt Driven W/ DRO | eBay

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    That mill looks ok but a bit high on the price. There's tons of mills floating around in Ca. Just watch craigslist. Watch CL for a cheap 3 phase motor also then talk to Jim at Phasecraft and you'll be good to go.

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    1-owner makes it attractive. Looks very good. Make him a reasonable offer.

  16. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post
    1-owner makes it attractive. Looks very good. Make him a reasonable offer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adwcali View Post
    That mill looks ok but a bit high on the price. There's tons of mills floating around in Ca. Just watch craigslist. Watch CL for a cheap 3 phase motor also then talk to Jim at Phasecraft and you'll be good to go.
    goid info you two thnx.
    Got a link to phasecraft?

  17. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sfsmedic View Post
    Thanks everyone for the input. I'm taking it all in and putting it in notes.

    Something that I'm not sure if I was clear on is this will be a professional venture not home hobby and I've seen one or two home hobby comments. I know that can make a difference in recommendations. For instance when we do a slide to frame fit we are measuring the .0001. Right now we mill to the .001 then use the surface grinder for those last 1/10ths.

    Thank you on the comment about searching knew mill instead of vertical mill also. That helped.
    I'll throw the BS flag here. There is no need to piss around with tenths on a machine that was designed in 1911 before tenths were even measured in machine shops. You will not work to tenths on a machine with .001 graduations. Now you REALLY sound like a hobby shopper.

  18. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdmidget View Post
    I'll throw the BS flag here. There is no need to piss around with tenths on a machine that was designed in 1911 before tenths were even measured in machine shops. You will not work to tenths on a machine with .001 graduations. Now you REALLY sound like a hobby shopper.
    and that would be on a new or rebuilt (not reconditioned) machine. You may find a machine with a DRO that reads in tenths but I doubt seriously you would be able to hold more than a few thousands.

    Tom

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  20. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike C. View Post
    "i have a ball screw on y. never noticed any backfeed. "

    I have a 3hp Van Norman bridge mill with ballscrews on both X and Y axes. It will backfeed when you least expect or desire it, unless you lock the unmoving axis with a 1/2" lock bolt. I also run a 25hp Cincinnati vertical with acme screws that will not slip on the unused axis.
    i have a 2hp bridgeport and have ball screws on x,y and have never had one back feed. i have a good friend that runs the milling dept in a large manufacturing co and they still have a couple bridgeports w/ball screws from back in the day and he states they never had that problem which is why i put them in mine.

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    As we have said in the past you get what you pay for a limited budget dont expect miracles,you pay peanuts you get monkeys.Save up and buy when you can afford a m/c thats going to be capable of the work you want to do or expect to be having a "project"


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