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Thread: Mill preferences (or Mill drill)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    12

    Mill preferences (or Mill drill)

    I知 looking at a Jet right now... just double / triple checking thoughts...

    Gear or Belt and why...

    I think I知 ok on table size.... (bigger is better)

    Things that I know I want / know I know
    Power feed in X direction
    DRO... I like double checking / having a third thing to check distances

    Anyway - anything I might not know, I don稚 know... let me know.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    96
    Belt drive with 3-phase motor. Get a aftermarket VFD ( single-phase input) to match ( $300 or less) This gives you wide range fingertip speed control with a quiet, smooth spindle drive and probably cheaper than a gear head. Increase in usability and convenience over any other drive cannot be overstated.

    RWO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Augusta, Maine & Palm Coast, Fl
    Posts
    5,656

    I have a small Grizzly

    I bought a G0704 With the DRO and power feed. I figured it would do everything I needed or wanted to do, WRONG.

    I wish I had bought a Gear head machine with a few more features and more power. I don't enjoy making light cuts and having a puny power unit. Guess i'm just a brutish person but I don't want to spend the precious few years I have left waiting for a puny mill to cut.

    if you have the room, look around for a good Bridgeport or clone and don't look back.

    Pete

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    280
    Quote Originally Posted by Spot shooter View Post
    I知 looking at a Jet right now... just double / triple checking thoughts...

    Gear or Belt and why...

    I think I知 ok on table size.... (bigger is better)

    Things that I know I want / know I know
    Power feed in X direction
    DRO... I like double checking / having a third thing to check distances

    Anyway - anything I might not know, I don稚 know... let me know.
    Look for 9-42 Bridgeport/Clone. Some get all sweaty over V Speeds. I like the step pulley drive better. I have both and I'll run the step pulley. With a VF Drive

    The best feed attach for a knee mill is the power drive on the knee. The X + Y ok is you think you really need them.( I don't). They will slow down a good machinist. If I'm going to do that, I'll install one of of the ProtoTrak systems, They are the best of the best.

    Unless you have reason like burned up drive motor, leave the drive motor alone and install a VF Drive. A Yashawa makes a good durable unit. Why do we? We use a truckload on them and they are durable and don't go down and ruin your day/.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Branchville, NJ
    Posts
    436
    If you get a mill/drill, get a square column, or you will have problems with head movement. If you want a small Bridgeport, I have a M head for sale in NJ.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    70
    What ever you do don't buy one with a round column.
    Just don't.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    15
    I have the Jet JMD-15 which is essentially the same as the Grizzly G0705. It has a round column, but I don't find it much of an issue. I suppose if you try to use the column as a "knee" then yes, you will have issues with head movement. I set the column where I need it and lock it down. I only rarely need to work with the same part with more than the 6 inches of spindle travel in the Z direction, and if I have to move the column, I will re-index.

    I would certainly recommend that you go the Bridgeport/clone route if you're able. I wish I had.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    364
    Quote Originally Posted by tjensen View Post
    What ever you do don't buy one with a round column.
    Just don't.
    The round columns lose all alignment when unlocked to adjust them.
    There is no key-way or anything else to preserve the head to table alignment.

    The newer ones with a square column appear to be a decent improvement.
    At least within the quality of the column ways they should stay aligned better when adjusted.

    It is still very hard to beat a dovetail and adjusting the table height (knee action) instead of messing with the head at all.

    I had to do an overnight trip to retrieve a used industrial machine from Baltimore.
    'Heavy industry' and the Washington, DC area do not mix.

    The only product there is hot air and reams of paper.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Albany, OR
    Posts
    148
    I'd second a square column if looking at mill drills. I also think that for a given amount of cash, you'll get a better machine going belt drive. If you want a good gear drive, it's going to come on a big, expensive machine. (Also, belt drives are pretty easy to fix if anything goes wrong.)

    Things get more complicated when you shop for smaller machines. In that case:
    1. Pay attention to how much Z-height you have available: a vise, a chuck, and a drill could eat up 10"-12" all by themselves - would you have anything left for a workpiece?
    2. Although it will cost you a little of said Z-height, get an R-8 spindle. If you buy a machine with an MT taper, you will forever pay 4x for everything you stick in your spindle. With R-8, you can find anything and much of it inexpensively.
    3. Take note of your table slot size. Making T-nuts isn't a big deal, but it's nice when the slots in your table are close to the slots in the thing you're bolting down (vise, rotab, sine plate, etc.).

    My two favorite accessories are DRO and good lighting.

    GsT

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    364
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneT View Post
    My two favorite accessories are DRO and good lighting.
    And throw some incandescent in with florescent.

    The newer electronic ballasts are a lot nicer (kHz of flicker).
    The old 120 Hz flicker was annoying on rotating machinery.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    4

    mill drill

    I have the Grizzly G0755 http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2018/main/612?p=617 it will do anything you need to do for gunsmithing. Unlike most older Mills or Lathes for that matter, the Grizzly products are available, as well as any parts that may ever be needed, anytime you need them.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Albany, OR
    Posts
    148
    Quote Originally Posted by kermit1 View Post
    I have the Grizzly G0755 http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2018/main/612?p=617 it will do anything you need to do for gunsmithing. Unlike most older Mills or Lathes for that matter, the Grizzly products are available, as well as any parts that may ever be needed, anytime you need them.
    I have had a different experience with Grizzly. The mill I bought (G9901) used to be advertised as having a "US made" motor. Guess what the first part to crap out on my mill was? I went a couple rounds with Grizzly trying to get things sorted and I still have the last replacement motor they sent me: wrong power (3phase vs 2phase), wrong shaft size, wrong mounting hole pattern, just wrong, wrong, wrong. I bought a Baldor and haven't looked back. Hopefully if something particular to this mill gives out, I'll have better luck. (I've also replaced the knob on the knee lock lever, the quill wheel, the quill handle (that one was my fault), and the quill lock.) Otherwise it's been a great machine and I don't regret the purchase.

    GsT

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