Opinions wanted on fair market value of my mill
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  1. #1
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    Default Opinions wanted on fair market value of my mill

    After many years it's time for me to part with my much loved, but not often used, knee mill.

    The rent on my workshop space has just become too high and I can't justify the cost given how little I actually use the mill.

    Plus, I already have an arrangement with the owner of a local machine shop who knows that I'm a competent machinist, and he will allow me to use one of his manual mills any time I need to if one is available. (Which is pretty much all the time.)

    So I'm looking to sell a package deal to an interested party. But the price has not been discussed.

    Please review this description of the package and tell me what you think I should be asking for the whole package.

    Milling machine and related inventory

    The milling machine is a Sharp YC 1-1/2VA with a 42 inch table and an attached X axis power feed.
    It has been converted from a standard R8 spindle to use a Bridgeport QC30 quick change 30 taper spindle from an early generation Bridgeport CNC mill.
    The modifications necessary to enable this conversion consisted of just two parts other than the spindle assembly swapout: The bull gear inner bore had to be enlarged by .0015 inches diameter and the bronze drive gear that mates to the bull gear worm had to be replaced by a Bridgeport spec gear,
    as the Taiwanese made Sharp machine is a metric machine. No other changes were required.

    The mill is equipped with ball screws for X and Y axes. It is possible to back-drive either axis on heavy
    cutting loads on the other axis. Be aware of this and remember to lock down the undriven axis if making heavy cut loads.

    The mill is equipped with a 2 HP 3 phase induction motor which is currently wired for 480 volt operation.
    It can be easily changed over to 240 volt 3 phase operation.

    For safety the mill has been wired with a 120 volt contactor based control package with E-stop button. It is necessary to plug this into 120 volt power in order to enable the contactor. The contactor switches the 3 phase 240/480 power to the motor switch wiring. The control box has a six foot cable on it and is intended to be placed where the operator can easily reach it and slap the E-stop button in the event of a sudden need to kill power to the mill.

    There is a four outlet 120 volt accessory outlet box wired to the 120 volt circuit, for providing power to the DRO system, the power feed, and any other desired accessories.

    The mill is equipped with an Acu-Rite VRO300M system which has full DRO functionality and supports up to six individual scales. The mill is currently configured with X, Y, and Z quill scales. There is a Z knee scale included which has never been mounted to the knee. The VRO300M has provisions to enable both knee and quill Z axis scales and mathematically compensate Z position when either knee or quill is moved, so as not to lose your Z location if you should move one instead of the other.

    There is a spare VRO300M in working condition that is included.

    The VR0300M is more than just a DRO. Its functionality falls between that of a basic DRO and a CNC controller, essentially. It allows you to program part files into it and has useful features such as a programmable circle and angle calculator. When used in program mode, an operator can make parts by following the on screen directions. This consists of moving the various axes to 0 indicated, performing the operation, pressing the NEXT button, and repeating the process as required. This is handy for making multiple copies of the same part.


    Included items and accessories:
    18 inch Brown & Sharpe rotary table with included heavy fabricated steel cart on extra heavy duty casters, for storage of rotary table when not on the mill. (Drop mill knee to match table height to cart, slide rotary table across. Easy and safe.)

    2 6" Kurt vises
    Roughly 50 QC30 taper toolholders in both fixed and collet styles, with various collets from 1/16" to 1" shank capacity
    Customized tool cart capable of holding 40 QC30 toolholders on two levels. Includes QC30 tool changer fixture bolted to cart.

    Setup blocks, T nuts, bolts, washers
    A parts/tool storage unit holding various assorted items, 24 steel sliding drawers.
    A mid sized Craftsman rolling tool chest with some tools and parts in it, including a Tapmatic reversible tapping head
    A Brown & Sharpe dividing head

    All necessary tools (such as for the QC30 spindle) are provided.
    An assortment of end mills in good condition with substantial usable life remaining


    The mill is functional but has a few issues that would all be easy to address.
    The X axis handle locknut on the right side needs to be drilled and tapped and given a nylon tipped locking setscrew as this easily unscrews itself when turning the right side handle clockwise.
    There may be an assembly error in the right side of the handle assembly.

    The power feed has a stripped screw hole which causes the actuator lever to slip out of position. This
    can be fixed by adding a suitable helicoil insert to that part. The power feed is functional when this problem is corrected.
    The knee crank needs a new handle.

    The mill table does have a few "love scratches" on it left by various errors a few times over its life.
    None are serious.

    The machine was taken mostly down about 15 years ago and work done included disassembly of the head, cleaning out of all the old crusty grease, regreasing all assemblies, removing the table and saddle, cleaning all surfaces, cleaning out oil passages, rebuilding the oil feed system, adding a new automatic lubricator, cleaning the gibs, regreasing everything, and generally performing a full periodic maintenance cycle on the whole mill. The only major jobs that were not done were removing the ram and removing the knee for deep cleaning. This was deemed unnecessary in addition to being essentially impossible for me to do without assistance.

    The spindle brake's leather braking pad has separated from the aluminum shoe. This is an easy fix but will require removal of the spindle motor and then the top half of the spindle clamshell to fix.

    The back gear does not engage properly. This can be fixed, again, by the magic of helicoils.

    There are a few screws in the cast iron top housing that are stripped. This machine uses metric hardware, and retapping the affected holes for 1/4-20 or 1/4-28 hardware would be an ideal solution,
    or helicoil inserts could be used.

    The machine is generally solid and works well. It has been proof tested to make good quality cuts in plate aluminum, 1/2 inch wide by 1/2 inch deep cuts at a rapid hand feed rate, which is far beyond the depth and feed expected in any normal milling operation.

    Spindle bearings were replaced when the QC30 spindle was installed.

  2. #2
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    Sounds like a lot of tooling and that adds up fast, does it all add up to be $3K if sold separate? I will throw out around $7-$8K, if he is a real good buddy then maybe as low as $5K? Not sure of Fl values compared to Ca though.
    Fix all the little misc issues and add some $ to have a no issue machine.

  3. #3
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    I'd fix all those small (big?) problems, then change the motor voltage for 240V and wire in a suitable 220V 1ph > 240V 3ph VFD. Then $7-8k sounds pretty reasonable, especially in central Florida.

    As is, any one of those things could easily put off a buyer. I'd certainly be leery of buying a BP style mill where the back gear, power (down? X?) feed and brake all don't work, even if the fixes are supposed to be straight forward. Starts giving the impression that this is a project machine with a matching value, even if it's not.

  4. #4
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    That long read and no mention of age or pictures?

  5. #5
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    Hard to tell without pictures, but I think you'd be looking at much lower price. You're much better off selling the accessories, particularly the kurt vises separately. The mill itself doesn't sound great. Mills that have been modified and has issues is going to be a big hurt on the value. If you get it all fixed and can say its working perfectly that would certainly improve thing, but buying someone elses project is never fun and will hurt the value.

    I'm a little un-clear on the VR300M, is it just a fancy DRO or does it actually drive servos on the axis? I'm assuming its just a fancy DRO.

    I'd say you're looking at like $2k for the mill and maybe $2k for all the stuff that goes with it? That's going to be dependent on how much effort you are willing to put into selling the accessories.

  6. #6
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    Give it to the owner of the shop you are going to be using it will be there waiting for you with open arms
    Don


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  7. Likes digger doug, tim9lives liked this post
  8. #7
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    The market will determine. Opinions have nothing to do with it.

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  10. #8
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    The mill was made in 1980.

    I've got a probable buyer for it but if the deal falls through I'll quickly insert some helicoils, fix up what I can that I can do myself,
    and then try to find another buyer. If you know anybody who'd be interested in a decent mill in central Florida, one with LOTS of tooling that goes along with it, show him this and hopefully someone will drop me a message.

  11. #9
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    I would be about 4 grand max with all the add ones.
    But there is a sort list of much higher price.

  12. #10
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    The deal fell through. The guy who was looking at buying this has chosen to spend more money to get CNC capability.


    This package is available for inspection and offers in the area of Melbourne, Florida.

    I'm going to have to lay it all out in a presentable fashion, make photos, write up a summary, and get it listed on various sites and in local papers.

    I'm thinking of doing a sealed bid format auction at the site location. In about a month.

  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmjohnson View Post

    I'm thinking of doing a sealed bid format auction at the site location. In about a month.
    I think that's a great idea.

  14. #12
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    Please send pictures. I'm a dealer, and I agree with the other folks on here. Sell your mill for $1.5k-2k and the rest potentially for $3k. Will let you know if any of my customers come looking for some of these parts, and I will give them your contact info.

  15. #13
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    I'll be heading into the shop this evening and will make photos to post.

    Here's the straight offer: 4000 cash takes the whole package and that includes literally everything that's in the unit including the shelving.

    The shelving is 3 foot tall sections, stackable, with 2 by 4 foot shelves. Knockdown construction. Sixteen of these sections, plus two more that have 18 by 36 inch size shelves.

    I have (had) them set up in four 9 foot sections, two six foot sections, and the smaller 18 by 36 unit in a six foot tall section as well.
    They use wood boards for shelving. Particle board as provided when I bought them, but a few shelves were replaced with 1/2" plywood which is much stronger
    and suitable for holding the heavy stuff.

    If someone bites at the 4000 dollar package price, they're taking respnsibility for everything remaining in the unit except for a few designated items that are going home with me.

  16. #14
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    Did you get a chance to get those pictures mate?


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