Purchase advice. 8x36 Enco mill for $2300. - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    I'm a bit more positive on this machine, given the apparent lack of alternatives. Don't have any personal experience, but a friend had the Jet equivalent and no problem with it in light use. Pretty simple machine.

    If it's Taiwanese rather than mainland Chinese that would be a slight plus for the vintage. If it's mainland China from back in 1994, I'd probably pass or at least look it over with considerable skepticism.

    Lack of a power downfeed may not be a big deal for you, depending upon what work you will be doing. A lot of them end up broken when people try to drill big holes with them. You will want a fine manual downfeed, though, for boring and you might want to check the condition of that.

    Lack of a back gear and low speed would most likely be a problem. Things like slitting saws and 3" or so dovetail, cove, etc. cutters are very handy -- and you don't want to be spinning them too fast. A partial work-around would be a VFD (1 or 3 phase motor on that??) to get whatever the low pulley speed (240?) is down by a factor of five, maybe 10. And maybe top speed up to 2K to 3K or so?? Might see if the owner would knock the price down another $300-600 to pay for that VFD and 3 phase motor??

    And a mill really does want a DRO. Another $500 for something like a Korean one. So you're looking at more like $3000 for this (adding VFD and DRO) and without much tooling.

    In any case, it sure beats a mill-drill. And even that beats no mill.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by oughtsix View Post
    I am an amateur machinist at best... and definitely don't have the skills to pull acceptable results out of a worn mill... I have tried. I currently have a pretty worn 8 x 30 Taiwanese knee mill.
    you are judging the abilities to machine on a real bridgeport by your experience on a junk Asian machine?

    Get in front of a real short table bridgeport. WE all tend to go for the long table, but that is not how they were designed.

    A short table[32 or 36 inch] short knee[9 inch] bridgeport step pulley machine is an absolute pleasure to run, almost regardless of condition.

    The table is so light you can feel the cutter through the handle. The head is so quiet in lower speeds you barely know it is running.

    You are in where the work is, not standing 2 feet away turning the handle.

    The machine you are looking at is a toy by comparison, as was the previous machine you were using.

    Where you are lacking in experience is knowing the difference.

    The other advantage of a short table machine is that they weigh maybe 1600-1700 lbs, meaning you could tow one home behind a minivan.

    Maybe I exaggerate, but I took one home in the back of a half ton Chevy

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post

    Maybe I exaggerate, but I took one home in the back of a half ton Chevy
    I call BS. A chevy can barely handle a pillow in the bed :P

    Jon

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by HWElecRepair View Post
    I call BS. A chevy can barely handle a pillow in the bed :P

    Jon
    THWWWWWP!!!!!

    Drove 30 miles and up my steep rocky driveway [that last bit did cause a eye opening thump]

    Of course it was an 1973 Chevy 1/2 ton, back when men were men and trucks could haul stuff

    I used to have a pic of the bridgeport hanging from the beam I hoisted if from

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  6. #25
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    [QUOTE= Get a baby Gorton.[/QUOTE]

    Have a Gorton 0-18a with #30 taper, great small foot print machine. Probably weighs as much as a BP though.

  7. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    THWWWWWP!!!!!

    Drove 30 miles and up my steep rocky driveway [that last bit did cause a eye opening thump]

    Of course it was an 1973 Chevy 1/2 ton, back when men were men and trucks could haul stuff

    I used to have a pic of the bridgeport hanging from the beam I hoisted if from
    I had a 66 3/4 ton Chevy that I would frequently haul 1 1/2 cords of oak firewood in packed tightly. That is 3 tons, the thing was stock except for air shocks and over sized tires. With 327 V-8, 4 speed and 4:11 rear gears I could go up any hill at the speed limit. On the other hand I don't think I ever drove past a gas station without stopping. It got like 9 miles a gallon and that was empty.

  8. #27
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    A basic advisory on machine-buying: beware of new shiny paint-jobs (particularly judging from photos), especially vibrating-color ones.

    vibrating-color.jpg

  9. #28
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    I can understand considering one of these based upon what's available for your area but it still seems a bit overpriced/under featured. Casting made in the PRC are often porous and not very good. This can mean less mass, which translates to cutter marks in the work. None of that is critical, nor is the lack of head nod, back-gear, or power down feed. You may not even need this for your intended purposes but the lack of these feature will rule out possibilities of future work. What about having the capability to make fixtures/tooling? Boring a hole (dowel pin for eg.) to a size a reamer isn't available for? Cutting an angle on a piece longer than 6 inches for a fixture? Back gear to reduce speed for a larger cutter? Having these features opens up the possibility to do things you haven't yet thought of. Not having those features may just bite you if/when the need arises. I can't speak for the market in your area but for that much money I'd look for something else and be willing to extend my search distance. Good luck.

  10. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by AD Design View Post
    I can understand considering one of these based upon what's available for your area but it still seems a bit overpriced/under featured. Casting made in the PRC are often porous and not very good. This can mean less mass, which translates to cutter marks in the work. None of that is critical, nor is the lack of head nod, back-gear, or power down feed. You may not even need this for your intended purposes but the lack of these feature will rule out possibilities of future work. What about having the capability to make fixtures/tooling? Boring a hole (dowel pin for eg.) to a size a reamer isn't available for? Cutting an angle on a piece longer than 6 inches for a fixture? Back gear to reduce speed for a larger cutter? Having these features opens up the possibility to do things you haven't yet thought of. Not having those features may just bite you if/when the need arises. I can't speak for the market in your area but for that much money I'd look for something else and be willing to extend my search distance. Good luck.
    Good post. The features that are missing as outlined above would also hinder a resale, especially the missing downfeed and back gear. I frequently use both of these features on my Webb (Taiwan) mill.

    If I were the OP. I would keep looking. I looked for my mill for close to ten years since they are scarce in my area and, even then I had to drive 150 miles to pick it up.


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